Tips + Trends

Soak Up the Sun at These LGBT-Friendly Beach Towns

Miami Beach is notoriously one of the most LGT-friendly towns in the U.S. (Photo: Alamy)

Whether you’re into swimming until sunset or partying until dawn—or both!—somewhere in the U.S. there’s a gay-friendly beach town for you. Pack your beach bag and head to these welcoming seaside towns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers.

Miami Beach, Florida

Follow the rainbow flags by the lifeguard towers at the foot of 12th Street to find the epicenter of gay-friendly Miami Beach. This part of the beach is loud and proud, filled with gay-friendly restaurants and bars that will tempt you to stay out all night.

Any time is a good time to visit, but mark your calendars for The Winter Party, a six-day beach bash in March; Pride in April, and Aqua Girl, a women’s-only charity weekend in May benefiting LGBT health.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

gay-friendly beach towns
Provincetown has long welcomed LGBTQ travelers. (Photo: Alamy)

Provincetown has the makings of a typical New England beach town: sand dunes and beach houses — with an exceptionally LGBT focus. Head to the tip of Cape Cod by ferry from Boston. Make your way to the rainbow flag-lined Commercial Street to browse boutiques and galleries and hang out in pubs and restaurants.

Socializing starts early at “tea dances,” or afternoon dance parties, and continues with cabaret shows and disco nights until sunrise. Don’t miss Provincetown’s annual Bear Week in July, when the town is overrun by burly men and those who love them.

Long Beach, California

Popular among the young, hip and active crowd, Long Beach, is the place to party and play northwest of Los Angeles. LGBT-owned businesses have thrived here for decades, particularly the gay nightlife in the Broadway Corridor in Alamitos Beach, which includes venues like Mineshaft, a pub for the jeans and leather crowd, and Paradise, a piano bar and eatery.

More than 75,000 people flock to Ocean Avenue every May for Long Beach Pride, featuring past headliners like Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and the Village People.

Fire Island, New York

gay-friendly beach towns
Skip off from NYC and head to Fire Island. (Photo: Alamy)

An iconic gay beach destination since the 1970s, Fire Island is off the coast of Long Island, New York, and comprises a dozen beachside communities. The Pines and Cherry Grove are well-known for their LGBT-friendly party places and clothing-optional beaches.

Cherry Grove attracts a mixed crowd to its high-voltage drag and cabaret shows, while a predominantly male crowd parties until dawn at The Pines.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Sun-seekers who head to the longtime LGBT community of Rehoboth Beach can expect to mingle on the shores of gay-friendly Poodle Beach. Here’ they’ll find older local residents and vacationing city folks from Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

This town has a number of family-friendly places, such as CAMP Rehoboth, a full-service gay and lesbian community center that organizes summer events for all ages.

This article was published through a partnership with Visit the USA, inspiring travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities.

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