Fort Lauderdale is often celebrated for its beautiful beaches, thriving arts and culture background, and fabulous food and beverage scene. But did you know that it’s also one of Florida’s most welcoming cities? In fact, it has become one of the top gay destinations in the U.S. and in 2022 earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Municipal Equality Index. We embrace every segment of the LGBT+ community to make everyone feel welcome, comfortable and safe.
Below, we’ve compiled a few things to get you started in planning your gay-friendly vacation on Fort Lauderdale Beach and places just beyond, with a few tips from Stefan and Sebastien (aka, the Nomadic Boys ), a French/Greek gay couple who showcase their travel adventures on their popular blog.
Stay & Play on Gay1A
You can be rest assured that nearly any hotel or resort on Fort Lauderdale Beach is welcoming to LGBTQ travelers. Set one block back in the quaint North Beach Village district however, a half-dozen guest houses proudly fly the rainbow flag outside. Most notable is The Grand Resort and Spa with 33 well maintained rooms, a private pool, and open-air showers to rinse off after a swim. This is the first gay resort of its kind and features all the amenities of a premier resort, including a spa and hair studio.
Insiders Tip from @NomadicBoys: We are huge fans of W hotels. Not only are they world-famous for being gay friendly, but they are also super hip. Their appeal is to affluent millennials and always have a trendy, chic feel to them. What we love about W Fort Lauderdale is that they frequently host numerous gay events including gay weddings, Drag Brunches and parties like “Night of 1,000 Chers”. Location wise, it’s perfect, just across the road from the beach where the hotel hosts fitness classes like Yoga on the Beach and Boot Camp.
Sebastian Street Beach
Fort Lauderdale’s Sebastian Beach has been named the “Hottest U.S. Gay Beach” by Out Traveler. This is the stretch of sand to seek out if you’re looking for a lively scene and good people-watching in the center of it all. The popular gay beach is nestled along the corner of Sebastian Street and A1A, between The Ritz Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and Casablanca Cafe. Nearby amenities include parking, food and beverage vendors, umbrella rentals and a children’s playground. Insiders Tip: Looking for a spot that’s like Sebastian Street Beach without the crowds? Check out Terramar Street Beach! Find it just off the beaten path near the Royal Palm Resort.
Fort Lauderdale Pride
Fort Lauderdale Pride has gotten so big that it has moved to Fort Lauderdale Beach! It’s the only Pride festival in America where you can stand in the ocean and see the entire festival as it unfolds. Now, thousands of attendees arrive each year for advocacy, tradition, and celebration. You can expect more than 200 vendors and exhibitions as well as a variety of parties. That’s all in addition to the main parade and festival at Fort Lauderdale Beach! Details are coming soon for Pride 2023, February 10-12. Insider Tip: Leading up to Pride Fort Lauderdale, organizers have launched a new concert series, Fort Lauderdale LIVE, which debuts on Saturday, June 25 at Las Olas Intracoastal Park, featuring mega-artist, Leann Rimes.
FlockFest is an invitation to grab your best sunglasses and bring your decorated winged floatie for a day of sun and fun on one of Fort Lauderdale’s most beautiful gold sand beaches. The informal beach event, founded with the aim to do something fun and different, has gone from a one day event with a few dozen friends, to multiple events year round attracting thousands.
A short 15-minute drive due west of Fort Lauderdale Beach lies the city of Wilton Manors, a hub for the area’s LGBT+ community where business owners and homes proudly wave the rainbow flag. Not only is the town home to several LGBTQ organizations, a new LGBTQ senior residence and the region’s LGBTQ business chamber, but most of the businesses in Wilton Manors are also LGBTQ-owned. For more on this colorful town and all of the unique experiences that await, Visit Lauderdale’s Explore Guide provides a great overview of the suburban haven populated with many a variety of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. Insider Tip courtesy of @NomadicBoys “One hidden gem in the area you should check out is the unassuming road near Wilton Manors called “Eucalyptus Gardens”. It’s a Bohemian block of cafes and colourful gay friendly hangouts. One particular favourite in Eucalyptus Gardens is “Voo La Voo“ who do the best crepes and omelettes we’ve ever tried, as certified by our discerning Frenchman.”