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Gay Miami Travel Guide

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South Beach is Miami’s undeniable gay hotspot. It consists of tons of bars, restaurants and shopping for straight and gay tourists alike, but all-in-all a very gay-friendly area. 12th Street Beach is the “gay beach”, easily marked by the two rainbow flags and exceptionally gorgeous people. The most consistently popular gay bars are the long-standing Score and Twist, both situated in the South Beach area. The Palace on Ocean Drive hosts weekend drag brunches where visitors can watch drag shows spilling into the busy streets. Lincoln Road is a pedestrian mall popular among tourists and locals, offering a wide variety of open-air restaurants and a plethora of shopping.

Beyond South Beach, the up-and-coming Design District offers one of the newest art scenes in the country. Also, on a longer visit, nearby Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors are just a 20 mile drive north. Key West is a 3 hour drive south – possibly a little far for a day trip, but the “Southernmost City” is ultra-gay-friendly and a quaint and historic getaway. 

Miami Pride takes place in early April and consists of a parade down Ocean Drive, followed by a festival and performers in beachside Lummus Park. Pride Day closes out with a free street party on 12th Street. Over 100,000 people come to watch the parade; prior grand marshalls include Mario Lopez and Andy Cohen.

Aside from Pride, Miami also plays host to the Winter Party (late-February or early-March), where a six-hour Sunday beach dance party with over 6,000 people caps off a six-day festival of parties and events. On Thanksgiving Week, Miami hosts the iconic White Party, benefiting Care Resource for HIV/AIDS research and programs. Miami Beach also hosts Art Basel, a not-specifically-gay arts event, where the who’s who of the arts/celebrity world descends on Miami in early December. Book hotels early, as this is typically the most popular week of the year in Miami.

Popular gay-friendly Miami hotel ideas include the quirky all-gay Hôtel GaytheringThe Stiles HotelW South BeachDelanoShore ClubSLS Hotel South BeachMondrian South Beach, and Soho Beach House. More intimate options include Hilton Bentley MiamiThe Hotel of South Beach, and The Anglers (a Kimpton Hotel). For high-end accommodations, check out The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach or The Setai.