the beach at Moxy Miami South Beach

Searching for vacation ideas for LGBTQ travelers? Look no further than these beach towns and hotels, including Moxy Miami South Beach. (Photo: Marriott International)

Tips + Trends

Soak Up the Sun at These LGBTQ-Friendly Beach Towns in the U.S.

Sunbathe, swim, repeat. When you’re considering LGBTQ vacation ideas, there’s nothing quite like a beach destination to relax and recharge. Whether you’re looking to chill all day or party all night –– or some combo of the two –– these seven LGBTQ-friendly beach towns across the United States will roll out the welcome mat and help you feel right at home. 

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip. 

Miami Beach, Florida 

It’s easy to feel the LGBTQ vibes in Miami Beach –– just look for the rainbow flag painted on the lifeguard tower at the foot of 12th Street. The sandy stretch along Ocean Drive is also near the epicenter of Miami Beach’s gay-friendly restaurant and nightlife scene. Here you’ll also find Moxy Miami South Beach, perfectly located to go from your room to the pool to the sand and back.  

While there’s no bad time to visit Miami Beach, some of the most popular times on the LGBTQ social calendar are in late February for the Winter Party, a multiday beach bash; April for various celebrations for Pride; and October for Aqua Girl, a women’s-only charity event benefiting LGBTQ+ health. 

Provincetown, Massachusetts 

Provincetown, located on the northern tip of Cape Cod, offers all the shingled-cottage charms of a classic New England beach town plus a warm, welcoming LGBTQ-friendly community.  

You can stay on the Lower Cape at Courtyard by Marriott Cape Cod Hyannis and easily make a day trip to Provincetown to explore the rainbow-flag-lined Commercial Street and get your fill of boutiques, galleries, pubs and restaurants. 

P-town is also renowned for its “tea dance,” or afternoon dance party — and the party scene continues around town well into the night with cabaret performances, dance nights, karaoke and drag shows. Be sure to check out events like Pride Weekend in late May or early June, Bear Week in mid-July and Family Week in late July. 

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 

aerial view of Rehoboth Beach
Soak in the sunshine in Rehoboth Beach. (Photo: Getty Images) 

In welcoming Rehoboth Beach, you can spend all day at the LGBTQ-friendly Poodle Beach. Then head back to the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rehoboth Beach before hitting popular night spots like the upscale Blue Moon and more casual Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant. There’s also an old-school boardwalk with all the rides, arcade games and junk food you could want, making it one of the best vacation destinations for LGBTQ families. 

The crowd is a mix of vacationers from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore. At CAMP Rehoboth, a gay and lesbian community center, you can mix with visitors and locals at year-round events for singles, couples and families. Also mark your calendar for bigger happenings like CAMP Rehoboth’s annual block party in October and Delaware Pride in early June. 

Fire Island, New York 

Since at least the 1970s, Fire Island, New York, has been an iconic gay-friendly beach and party destination where a dozen small communities connect mainly via boardwalks and beach paths. You can reach this idyllic spot via the Patchogue ferry and then head back to the Residence Inn by Marriott Long Island East End for a dip in the pool and hot tub. 

At the center of the action on Fire Island are two towns famous for their LGBTQ-friendly bars, clubs and events: Cherry Grove, which draws a mixed crowd for its high-energy drag and cabaret shows, and The Pines, where mostly male parties often go on all night. 

Key West, Florida 

a seating area overlooks the pool at The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection
Spend time by the pool at The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection. (Photo: Marriott International) 

The southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West is renowned as a place where people from all walks of life can go to be themselves.  

It’s also known for its spectacular sunsets –– you can stroll 10 minutes from your room at The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection to join the crowds gathering nightly at Mallory Square to catch Mother Nature’s latest performance. Along Duval Street you’ll find performances of a different sort — cabaret, karaoke and drag — at a range of LGBTQ-friendly restaurants, bars and venues.  

Popular dates to note on the LGBTQ events calendar are early June for Key West Pride, early September for Womenfest and mid-October for Fantasy Fest

Long Beach, California 

If you’re looking to get the beach party started in Long Beach, head to the Broadway Corridor in Alamitos Beach. Book your room at The Westin Long Beach, and then you can hop among a range of LGBTQ-friendly restaurants, bars and nightspots like Hamburger Mary’s, Mineshaft, The Brit, The Silver Fox and The Falcon.  

Each May, tens of thousands of revelers line Ocean Avenue for Long Beach Pride, which in years past has featured headliners like Chaka Khan, Fantasia and Iggy Azalea. 

Atlantic City, New Jersey 

aerial view of the Atlantic City boardwalk at dusk
Explore the Atlantic City boardwalk and its stunning skies at dusk. (Photo: Getty Images) 

An easy getaway from New York City and Philadelphia, Atlantic City has long been an LGBTQ vacation destination and in 2022 even declared an official gay beach at Park Place.  

It’s only fitting that the city that originated the Miss America Pageant would also spawn a drag version. Miss’d America is now held in January, timed to the actual competition. 

You can reserve a room right off the beach at Courtyard by Marriott Atlantic City Beach Block. In AC, you’ll have your choice of celebrity-chef restaurants and shows by the likes of The B-52s, Patti LaBelle and “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” as well as outlet shopping, spa treatments and, of course, casinos.