11 Best Gay Beaches in Florida: Soak Up the Sun at LGBTQ Beaches
With the temperature heating up, it is ideal to drop off your towel, hit the sand, kayak with manatees, and explore the beaches.
So, this time let’s discover the best gay beaches in Florida, the popular and lesser ones to hang out and have fun! Welcome to the LGBTQ community in the U.S.A.
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I’m sure you’ll recognize some, I bet there are a few which are new and you never heard of them. So, let’s explore the finest and most popular gay beaches in Florida.
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Florida Gay Beaches Status
The Federal Government of the USA has accepted same-sex marriage since 2013 and since then the USA gave birth to gay beaches and gay-friendly places.
America’s Sunshine State radiates not only the population of straight people but the gay population with pride and warmth. Yes, Florida is the world’s best queer travel destination.
Gay Beaches owes respect to LGBTQ patrons by welcoming them and not judging their sexual preferences.
Due to the lack of LGBTQ friendliness in the past years because of law and social acceptance, the community faced a lot of hurdles and judgments.
So, now it’s time to cheer the freedom and embrace gays and lesbians as our own family and friends.
Best Gay Beaches in Florida
1. Key West Gay Beach – Smather’s Beach
Smather’s Beach is the famous gay beach in Key West, Florida with straights there too. During Spring break you should see the crowd! It’s very popular.
The beach is lined with palm trees and is home to golden sands. You will feel the tropical vibe making the atmosphere idyllic. Just sit with your partner and watch the sunset!
This gay-friendly beach in Florida is clean with plenty of shades, and amenities like a bathroom, umbrella chairs, and food trucks.
The view of gentle azure water is something you do not want to miss. Apart from that it sits on the southern shore of the Island, close to the airport making it perfect to reach.
The people here are very welcoming with a creative spirit and its endearing motto of “live as you are” is legendary. Did you attend Key West Pride?
I participated in the well-known festivals in Key West – Fantasy Fest and Pridefest last year. In the evening, I went to Duval Street to cheer a chilled beer at Bourbon Street Pub.
You can come in March to participate in Winter Party or Women’s fest in September. Also, Smather’s Beach is a great spot for snorkeling and spotting cute little fishes.
This gay beach in Florida is the best in America, so you cannot miss it! I recommend going to the end of Reynolds Street and Higgs Beach to socialize, and chill.
2. Panama City Gay Beach – San Blas, and Bocas del Toro
San Blas Island is a group of 378 beautiful yet rustic deserted islands sitting just off the coast of Panama, right in the middle of the Caribbean. Every frame looks gorgeous.
It is the incredible array of appealing natural spots blissfully away from the modern cosmopolitan life. Trust me, it is the best gay beach in Florida!
The outstanding jungle and idyllic environment could not escape the eyes of the movie producer of “Money Heist”. Pelicano Island was featured in the movie.
So, if you’re residing in any place in Florida Panhandle, I think you’re very lucky! Panama City, Florida is very gay-friendly, mostly El Cangrejo neighborhood.
For LGBTQ travelers, imagine you guys hanging out in a place surrounded by palm trees and in the pretty backdrop of the Caribbean. Does not sound like paradise?
I came to Bocas del Toro in Panama to celebrate Harry my friend’s birthday where he introduced me to Samuel, his boyfriend. You can taste the slice of Caribbean paradise here.
People here do not care about a same-sex loving community, for them every human being is loved. I saw many LGBTQ pats there, enjoying their night.
Bocas del Toro sits south of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and a chain of 9 islands, each with unique charm and beauty. I saw it, this place is so safe for gay couples!
3. St. Petersburg’s Gay Beach – Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is a premium gay beach in St. Petersburg, Florida sitting on the southern tip of Treasure Island on the west coast. There are so many hidden beaches along Southwest Florida.
This beach is perfect to sit by the water watching the spectacular sunset and enjoying the air. The place is quite relaxing and peaceful.
This Florida gay beach celebrates International Gay and Lesbian Film festival in the month of October. I highly recommend coming here during this time. You’ll love it.
I was here with Harry in the month of June when St. Pete Pride was celebrated. You know, Sunset Beach has a nickname and that is – “the gay beach”.
I suggest going to Caddy’s for breakfast, walking around the Sunset Beach Braodwalk, and then swimming in the water. Some memories are worth making!
If you’re the one who loves seeing people getting married and want to dream yours, come to Sunset Pavilion, where there are always some weddings or events going on.
4. Pensacola Gay Beach – Pensacola Beach
If you’ve to suggest to your friend a gay beach vacation in Florida then what can be better than Pensacola Beach, the clear water and inviting sugar white sand beach?
I came here in March. I was flabbergasted by its turquoise cerulean to the royal blue color of the water. There was absolutely no one other than a gay couple during that time.
It was then talking to them that I realized that Pensacola Beach is one of the greatest gay beaches in Florida. The beach sits near the Alabama border in Panhandle city.
The open-minded people celebrate Gay Memorial Day weekend drawing a lot of people and professional DJs. I feel it is one of the best gay beaches in Florida.
No matter what the season or day is, you can come here to enjoy the peaceful shore and emerald-green coastline soaking the peace to fuel up your weekdays.
The beach is wide and long so you can find your spot easily for a cozy picture with your partner. The beach also has a lounge of chairs and umbrellas to relax
After having fun in the sea, I recommend going to Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier for some panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the beach meeting.
5. Daytona Gay Beach – Daytona Beach
Enjoy Daytona Beach and its sheer size for all the beach craziness that you always craved. The location and the beach are fabulous and so much to offer!
I’m sure you know Daytona is famous for high-speed automobile testing, and racing but its 23 miles stretch of gorgeous beach is something you did not know.
The time when I came here, the beach was thriving with straights and LGBTQ communities partying, enjoying the sunshine, and relaxing.
During low tide, you can actually walk 500 feet deeper. Trust me the walk is so beautiful. Indeed, that’s why it is called the great beach in North Florida.
Daytona Beach is not only the best gay travel destination but “The World’s Most Famous Beach” since the 1920s. You can also spot manatees in the canals and rivers.
I want you to get your action camera to get some cool snap pictures with the shorebirds while riding on the beach. In the evening. visit Bonefish Grill, the great gay-friendly bar.
6. Sarasota Gay Beach – North Lido Beach
In terms of the best gay beaches in Florida, North Lido Beach is a solid contender at St. Armand’s Circle north of Coquina Beach, and Anna Maria Island.
Among the other gay beaches, North Lido stands out because it is comparatively much less crowded with inviting white sand and blue water.
North Lido Park sits on an area of 49 acres with grassy savannahs, walking trails, a bird nesting area, pine woods, and 22.5 acres of beach and mangroves.
The beach is flanked by towering dunes. The water spills into the Gulf of Mexico. The environment is so romantic that people come here for cruising.
This Florida gay beach is an offbeat spot popular for sunbathing, canoeing, snorkeling, and photographing for the LGBTQ community.
In 2019, Jackson, my other gay friend took me to attend the Harvey Milk festival in Sarasota. I also attended the annual Sarasota Pride Fest downtown in J.D. Hamel Park.
Also, if you’re one who loves theatres then I recommend going to Asolo Rep – “Embracing our Difference” festival. It’s one of those worthy shows!
My favorite part of North Lido Beach is its water. It’s calm, smooth, clean, and feels like heaven. However, the only drawback is it’s a long way to reach the main beach.
7. Miami Gay Beach – Haulover Beach and Axel Gay Beach at 15th
Haulover Beach is not only an isolated good place to tan but one of the great gay nude beaches in Miami. Yes, it is the legal clothing optional nude beach in Florida.
For LGBTQ beachgoers, Miami is often overlooked for a relaxed live-and-let-live attitude. The northern end particularly # 15, #16, and #17 is a mecca for gay couples.
No matter what your body weight, type, and color, Haulover Beach in South Florida is the most gay-friendly, I ever visited. It’s a great Florida gay nude beach.
I came here with my friend Soniya and loved the vibe and welcoming attitude. The beach is protected by lifeguards with every amenity available to enjoy privacy.
The sand dunes make the beach ideal for people who want to be nude in public yet want to enjoy some privacy. 12th Street Beach is also a great gay-friendly place to explore.
I personally did not visit “Axel”, the men-only, and “hetero-friendly” hotel chain in Miami. Harry and Samuel, my friends spend two nights, and I know how great it is.
AxelBeach is a well-known gay-friendly hotel chain that opens its way onto the gorgeous South Beach attracting guests and non-guest to sit and enjoy the beach life.
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8. Tampa Gay Beach – Gulfport Beach
I came to know about Gulfport Beach when Soniya introduced me to “ProSisters”, a women’s music radio station.
They termed it as Gulfport Peace, Love, & Pride. I attended it. This is indeed the best gay beach in Florida as here you can feel and see the artsy and bohemian vibe.
At Gulfport town, you’ll see locals are so queer-friendly and people believe in equality, and formulation of LGBTQ-friendly policies.
In the Gaybor district, you’ll find the hottest gay bars & clubs and great gay-friendly restaurants like Punky’s Bar.
I recommend going to “Let it Be Ice Cream”, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor for the gay community in the town. For a vegan option, visit The Golden Dinosaurs.
You can attend an amazing gay beach party in Florida, the Tampa Pride (in June), the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and Diversity Parade.
The streets eco about diversity and you’ll enjoy the fine local music to dance to. The foot-stomping songs are sure to bring back your lost happiness. You’ll surely love it! The same-sex community is really thriving.
9. Gay Vero Beach Florida – Vero Beach
In 2021, I participated Vero Pride walk by the Treasure Coasts which featured acceptance, food, music, and drag performance. The event welcomes everyone.
Vero Beach is always famous for its cultural attractions and tranquil landscapes. Its vibrant cultural scene and lush colorful garden make it one of the best places to visit for retirees.
Here you can soak in the sunlight, and enjoy a day of water sports like swimming, snorkeling and so more. You can also plan for a family-friendly picnic here.
It is not only a gay-friendly Florida beach but also offers gay-friendly spots to chill like churches, hotels, restaurants, and clubs.
I also recommend going to Lux Night Club for fun entertainment – a crazy dance floor, light shows, and a stage of music.
10. Palm Gay Beach – West Palm Beach
In South Florida sits an opulent jewel, Palm Beach, a barrier island between the Lake Worth Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.
In between, sits West Palm Beach, the well-known gay-friendly beach in Florida. You’ll see LGBTQ travelers rubbing elbows, clicking photos, and smiling.
Do you know West Palm Beach is famous among snorkelers, swimmers, and scuba divers? The beautiful beach also welcomes the LGBTQ community with open arms.
The white sand, faithful ocean breeze, and dancing ylang-ylang trees only offer romance around you. This beach with clear water really can make you feel alive!
The sub-tropical climate is what I love about West Palm. It has so many stunning waterfront lively entertainment spots.
At night, I recommend going to H.G. Roosters the longest-running gar club. They also host many events like Lip Sync Battle Friday and Wine Down Wednesday.
11. Fort Lauderdale Gay Beach – Sebastian Street Beach and Terramar Street Beach
The crowd at Sebastian Street Beach is international, but locals love this official gay beach. It sits across the street from the Ritz-Carlton.
The soft sand, pristine blue waters, and LGBTQ-friendly resorts and accommodations are very welcoming making it one of the best spots to reside.
You can indulge yourself in water fun activities making the day most memorable. You should click a photo in the background of rainbow flags flying.
In the month of March and June, they celebrate Pride Fest and Stonewall Summer Pride respectively. You should try to attend anyone of them.
On the other hand, Terramar Street Beach is quite an unknown beach that welcomes people of all sex and ages. The waves are gentle and the views are very natural.
It sits a few minutes away from Sebastian Street Beach. Ideally, this place is perfect to relax and soak Vitamin D.
In the evening, you can walk to Hunter’s bars to party. Hence, Terramar Street Beach and Sebastian Street Beach is a great gay-friendly beaches in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
After a lot of legal fights for gay rights, the community thrived and organizes special events like Pride Walk to celebrate their struggle.
Now, these events draw thousand to lakhs of people to the Pride Walk celebrating equality. I hope this blog guided you to find the special gay spot to enjoy in Florida!
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FAQ: Gay Beaches in Florida
1. What is the best gay beach in Jacksonville, Florida?
A. Guana Tolomato Reserve, Ponte Vedra Beach is the most beautiful Jacksonville gay beach. The sand is white and the water is crystal clear, perfect to click a great shot with your partner.
2. What is the best gay beach near Orlando, Florida?
A. Orlando does not have a gay-friendly beach. You can visit Cinderella Castle and Downtown Orlando with your gay partner to enjoy and take part in the Pride festival.
3. Are there clothing-optional gay beaches in Florida?
A. Yes, Haulover park beach is the legal clothing-optional gay beach in Miami, Florida. The vibe is very relaxed, and you can celebrate your queer dome with all your glory.
4. What city in Florida is best for gays?
A. West Central part of Florida in Pinellas County, St. Petersburg is very gay-friendly and more accepting. They feature the largest LGBTQ Pride walk every June since 2014. The queer life herein is very good.