There are so many beaches in Florida to choose from, but not all are great for someone in the LGBT community. You want to make sure you find one where you can relax in the sun without being harassed. Fortunately, there are many gay-friendly beaches in Southern Florida where the only thing that you have to think about is the sand, the sun, and the surf.
1. Pass-a-Grille Beach, St. Pete, Florida
Pass-a-Grille beach is a nice, long beach. Measuring one block wide and twenty-two blocks long, it provides a level of privacy not found elsewhere. It isn’t as busy as some of the other beaches in the area so you can enjoy a quiet relaxing time in the sun. The bright white sand will make you feel like you are in the tropics.
2. Smathers Beach, Key West, Florida
Photo: Don and Trella
The best thing about Smathers Beach is the shallow water, which makes it perfect for wading if you are not much of a swimmer. It’s also kid-friendly and safe, without any undertows or currents. There are plenty shops and restaurants nearby if you need a break from the beach.
3. Haulover Beach, Miami, Florida
Haulover is divided into gay and straight sections so you can stay with your peers and feel safe during your beach outing. The beach offers an official nude beach section for those of you who prefer to sunbathe au naturel. There are lifeguards posted along the entire beach for safety. There is also a shaded picnic area if you need to get out of the sun for a bit.
4. Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
One of the best things about Ft. Lauderdale Beach is that it has no hotel reserved sections, leaving the entire beach open to the general public. The atmosphere of the beach is very friendly and it is close to many gay run shops and restaurants. The only downside to the beach is the limited parking so you want to make sure to get there early for a parking spot or take transit.
5. Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola Beach is best known for the massive gathering hosted there each year on the Gay Memorial Weekend and its beautiful white sand beaches. There is a Sand Eco-Trail where you can learn about the local foliage and wildlife that is native to the beach. You can also enjoy fishing off the pier, if you enjoy that sort of thing.
6. Lummus Park Beach, Miami, Florida
Lummus Park is one of the most star-studded beaches in Miami. You never know who you might end up seeing on the white sand. The sand itself was imported from the Bahamas. The beach boasts a large gay community and is nearly 30 blocks long, ensuring there is room for everyone.
7. 18 th St. Gay Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 th St. Gay Beach is a designated gay beach and although it is much smaller than the other beaches in the area, it doesn’t get crowded often. You will find lots of bears and leathermen here but no one is turned away as long as they are respectful to everyone else on the beach.
8. 12 th St. & Ocean Drive, Miami, Florida
12 th & Ocean is the most popular gay beach in Miami. One of the reasons it is so popular is because it’s located near the Palace Restaurant and Bar, a gay run establishment that hosts gay events.
9. Sunset Beach, Treasure Island, Florida
Sunset Beach is not only an amazing place to watch the sunset each day, it is also home to the famous Sunday night parties which can go on all day and all night. The beach is one of the widest beaches in Florida and also claims to have the whitest sand. The entire island features a pirate theme. The fun theme includes the beach area. You will find a number of quirky little shops and statues around, making it a great place to visit and explore.
10. Sebastian Street Beach, Ft. Lauderdale
The Sebastian Street Beach is only a few blocks from many of the gay resorts and guest houses in Ft. Lauderdale. It is also next to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives which is the home to the largest LGBT book and film collection in North America. The beach itself is all gay and mostly frequented by men but is open to all. One of the best times to go to Sebastian Street Beach is during gay pride when the entire beach is one big party.
Florida has hundreds of beaches and many of them are gay-friendly or designated as completely gay. The LGBT community in South Florida is alive and vibrant. There are plenty of places to visit and feel welcome, making it a perfect destination for a sunny vacation.