The most popular gay beach in Miami is mostly a hangout for men, but you’ll also find lesbians and straights soaking up the sun with locals. At 2½ miles long, Smathers is big compared to other beaches on this tiny island of Key West, one of the nation’s top destinations for gay travelers.
It’s across the street from the Palace Restaurant & Bar, a gay hangout that has been welcoming sunbathers for the past 25 years. Best time to visit: In March, when the Winter Party, the biggest gay beach party in North America, takes place. The beach’s shallow waters are only a short distance from the bars, restaurants and shops of Duval Street. Best times to visit: In March for the Winter Party Festival; September for Womenfest; October for Bear Fest or June for Key West Pride. The most popular gay beach in Fort Lauderdale is across the street from the Ritz-Carlton and within blocks of some of the city’s gay resorts and guesthouses.
Playalinda, accessible via Titusville at the southern end of the park, straddles the Volusia and Brevard County line. Nudity is prohibited in Brevard, so sunbathers need to make sure they go north into Volusia before baring all. Only the north part of the 1½-mile pristine, white stretch of sand at this gay beach in the Miami area is delegated for urban nude sunbathers.LGBT beachgoers tend to set up just north of the lifeguard tower. By Carlos Harrison It seems fitting that the Sunshine State would be a magnet for sun worshipers from around the world.
Florida is much more than just a place for naturists to gather, says Ramon Maury, naturist industry representative and voice in Tallahassee.One of the west coast’s premiere gay beaches, bohemian Sunset Beach is on the southern tip of St. Best time to go: In October for the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival or June for St. Pete Beach, the breathtaking, rustic North Beach area of this county park has a northern expanse near the end of the island where gays and lesbians congregate. Best time to go: In October for Sarasota Pridefest. Guana Tolomato Reserve, Ponte Vedra Beach With more than 73,000 acres, this aquatic preserve – officially known as the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve – is between Jacksonville and St. Ponte Vedra Beach includes Old Florida beaches, sand dunes, salt marches, tidal wetland and estuarine lagoons.Pete’s Treasure Island, among the string of barrier islands that extends along the Gulf of Mexico to the west of St. Once famous for foam parties, the strip, with its beachfront bars, is now known for regular Sunday beach parties. It’s known to be patrolled by undercover police officers, so stick to sunbathing with a suit on! There’s an unofficial gay meet-up at Guana’s first beach access point, reached by a boardwalk that winds down a 40-foot-tall dune system to a pristine stretch of secluded sand. Best time to go: In October for River City Pride Parade in Jacksonville.Petersburg, boasts some two dozen nudist resorts and clubs within 90 minutes of Orlando or Tampa, some also surrounded by clothing-optional housing communities.But Pasco is hardly alone in offering a range of naturist-friendly attractions and activities.Two clothing-optional beaches have the official blessing of the county they are in; One is a national seashore "Canaveral National Seashore, the other, Apollo Beach just north of the National Seashore. His advice: "Come, stay at a clothing-optional guesthouse in Fort Lauderdale.