Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Fort Lauderdale gay travel guide to the best hotels, restaurants, beaches, gay bars & cruising.
The Gay Travel Experience: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A huge LGBT community, miles of beautiful beaches, and endless gay bars are just a few reasons why Fort Lauderdale gay travel is so popular.
As one of the world’s top gay destinations, there’s never a bad time to visit. But, the city’s tropical climate definitely attracts those in need of a winter gay getaway.
There’s always something going on and it’s easy to meet new people out at gay bars, hotel pools, or right on the beach.
Everything in Fort Lauderdale is easy to get to, making it easy for travelers to hop around. Lounge by the pool or beach during the day, grab dinner, and then explore the buzzing gay clubs all night long.
Below I’ll mention the best gay hotels, popular gay bars, clubs, beaches and tons more.
Gay Fort Lauderdale: Hotels & Where to Stay
The Central Beach neighborhood as well as the adjacent town of Wilton Manors are the two most popular places to stay for gay travelers in the greater Fort Lauderdale area.
There are plenty of LGBT tourists staying in all parts of Fort Lauderdale, but if you prefer quick access to the beach, then hotels along the shore will be a better fit. Wilton Manors is more convenient for proximity to local gay bars and clubs.
Luxury rentals in Fort Lauderdale curated by Plum Guide are the some of the most stunning and stylish options. Most come with beautiful backyard pools and well-decorated interiors. There’s quite a few listings throughout Fort Lauderdale, so the platform is definitely worth a look.
W Fort Lauderdale
The W Fort Lauderdale is a modern hotel with spectacular views and is well-known as a Fort Lauderdale gay hotel. I’ve stayed here a couple of times and truly loved it.
I will say that the W Fort Lauderdale isn’t as shiny and new as it once was. However, the attached W Hotel Residences rentals are typically in better condition.
You can book suites in the W Hotel Residences via private listings on VRBO. Suites in the other gay-friendly hotels and condo residences like the Q Club and Conrad Residences (just a couple blocks north) are all listed here too.
Pelican Grand Beach Resort
The Pelican Grand Beach Resort is another popular LGBT-friendly resort in Fort Lauderdale. Farther to the north of the city, the Pelican Grand is adjacent to the Lauderdale Beach neighborhood.
Inn Leather Resort
Inn Leather is one of the sexiest gay hotels in Fort Lauderdale. They’re known for having a sling in every room!
This is a place where you can relax, socialize, explore the leather kink, and of course, cruise! Inn Leather also hosts themed parties each month, another perfect chance to meet some other gay guys.
Amenities include a heated pool, hot tub, sun deck, and outdoor showers. Everything is clothing optional, too. If you want a piece of the action here at Inn Leather but are staying somewhere else, grab a day pass and you can visit between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM.
Clothing Optional Fort Lauderdale Gay Resorts
As one of the most LGBT-friendly destinations in the United States, you can bet that Fort Lauderdale is one of the best clothing optional gay resort destinations.
The city has a bunch of different types of clothing optional accommodations from standard resorts to intimate guesthouses and BnBs.
Since there are so many, I’ve dedicated an entire post covering all the best clothing optional Fort Lauderdale gay resorts and guesthouses.
Wilton Manors Vacation Rentals
The town of Wilton Manors sits just north of Fort Lauderdale proper, and is the hub of all local gay nightlife. If you prefer to have easy access to gay bars and clubs, this is definitely the best place to stay.
Vacation rentals in Wilton Manors tend to be more affordable than the large hotels near the ocean. The area is largely residential, with the exception of NE 4th Avenue, where all the bars and clubs are located.
Wilton Manors is no more than 20 minutes to the gay beach area, so it’s still convenient. When considering places in Wilton Manors, the best part is you’re likely to score a private pool!
Fort Lauderdale Gay Beaches
Sebastian Street Beach is the official Fort Lauderdale gay beach. Here you’ll likely see rainbow umbrellas, unicorn rafts, and other ostentatiously fun gay beach essentials.
If you really want to be the star of the party, show up with this easy-to-pack inflatable eggplant raft. Or show up in style with some sexy swimsuits from these popular gay swimwear brands.
The Sebastian Street gay beach is easily accessible, located directly along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. This entire stretch is walkable.
You’ll see lots of people biking and running down these paths, all wearing their sexiest workout clothes. Get a quick feel for the vibe near the gay beach in the video below!
Restaurants are plentiful within a few minutes’ walk of Sebastian Street Beach. You shouldn’t need to pack anything except basic drinks and perhaps a small snack.
Northeast 18th Street Beach is another option if you prefer a less ostentatious gay beach. Located directly south of the Lauderdale Beaches neighborhood next to the Pelican Grand Resort, this spot is much less touristic.
While I have not personally visited this gay beach, many gay travelers agree there is much more of a local vibe here.
The unending beachfront to the south of Northeast 18th Street Beach is known as the Fort Lauderdale Beaches.
They’re renowned for their majestic, expansive views and white sand. I recommend renting a bike and traveling down the shoreline back toward central Fort Lauderdale for a fun day activity.
Nude Beaches In Fort Lauderdale
Gay locals recommend Haulover Naturist Beach for a day trip and some adventure. Clothing is optional!
This nude beach is easiest to reach by car, only a 25 to 40-minute drive from the Central Beach area. Haulover is technically in at the very north of Miami Dade County, but it’s still quite simple to get to.
Haulover is open from sunrise to sunset, so it’s a great option for a full or half-day trip. Keep in mind also that they don’t allow inflatable tubes or rafts. Get more details on the Miami Dade County Parks site.
Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale
El Vez is an incredibly delicious Mexican restaurant popular for breakfast and dinner. It’s part of the W Fort Lauderdale, so the ambiance is chic! I’ve eaten here several times and everything is delicious.
Across the street from the ocean, El Vez has outdoor seating with a view of the water. There’s plenty of indoor space as well. If you’re just looking for cocktails, their custom cocktails are unbeatable. Also, bar seating is first come first served.
Sushi Garage in the Las Olas neighborhood is by far the best sushi restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Everything here is made in-house completely from scratch.
Their indoor space has some chic, dim lighting, and many large tables. It’s definitely a good restaurant for larger groups. Sushi Garage’s outdoor patio has a relaxing vibe and lets you take in the ambiance of the neighborhood.
Give Sparrow Bar a go for a meal with a view. Sparrow is a cocktail bar and restaurant at the top of the Dalmar Hotel, located downtown. It’s most popular around sunset, but the outdoor patio can definitely still be crowded past 8:00 PM.
I would make a reservation at Sparrow for dinner, especially if it’s a weekend. For cocktails inside though, you should be okay to just walk in.
Wild Sea Oyster Bar
Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille had some delicious seafood, perfectly crafted cocktails, and mouth-watering dessert specials. Their oysters were phenomenal. If you like seafood, you have to try it.
Fort Lauderdale Gay Bars
With so many gay bars to choose from, travelers will definitely have to choose wisely! Here are the most popular and highly-rated spots.
DrYnk Bar & Lounge
DrYnk Bar & Lounge is one of the most popular gay bars in Fort Lauderdale. they’re known for handsome, friendly bartenders and top-quality cocktails. I’ve never heard anyone have anything bad to say about DrYnk, and it’s easy to understand why!
An unmatchable ambiance, good service and a comfortable outdoor patio make them truly one of the best.
Eagle Wilton Manors
The Eagle Wilton Manors is greater Fort Lauderdale’s leather and fetish gay bar. It attracts more of a mature crowd, as well as their admirers. Nights here are always a blast!
The vibe here can range from easygoing on weeknights or earlier in the evening, to a wild circuit party with strobing lights late into the night.
Hunters Nightclub Wilton Manors
Hunters Nightclub is a mainstay of Fort Lauderdale gay nightlife. I always end up here every time I visit Fort Lauderdale.
The club is always busy and plays some of the best dance mixes. While spending an evening at Hunters Nightclub, you can undoubtedly count on a quality experience.
The Manor Complex
The Manor Complex is my second favorite Fort Lauderdale gay club. The space is huge, with several rooms and it can get pretty rowdy. There’s a large main room where everyone tends to socialize and grab drinks. They’re another one of the gay bars in the Wilton Manors area.
Two rear rooms have go-go dancers and host drag performances. Drag queens like Jackie Coxx and Brooke Lyne Hytes have performed here!
Largest of all is the “Epic Room,” where they typically play electronic/circuit style music. During larger events, this room will pack in. Other nights, you’ll find a smaller group dancing in here, which is still super fun! Wear your best gay circuit clothing!
Get a feel for what the Manor Complex club is like in the video below.
Keep in mind that there is no coat check at The Manor Complex, so it’s best to leave outerwear at home. There is also a cover charge of $10 at the door.
Pro tip: go get your stamp/bracelet earlier and you’ll be able to skip the line! Later than most in the area, The Manor Complex closes at 4 AM.
Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar
Georgie’s Alibi has several distinct bar areas: the main bar, sports bar, their Monkey Bar, and a patio space. They’re a classic local gay bar and have accumulated an impressive list of awards.
The bar is in the same mall complex as Hunters Club, mentioned above. While approaching these gay bars, you’ll be walking through a parking lot! A little funny, unconventional, but you can expect just as good of a night.
More Gay Bars
Some other popular gay bars in Fort Lauderdale include Gym Sports Bar in Wilton Manors, the cruisy Ramrod leather bar, Monkey Business Bar, and Infinity Lounge cocktail bar.
Scandal’s Saloon is Fort Lauderdale’s country-western gay bar. They’re popular for the Sunday afternoon tea dance.
Fort Lauderdale Gay Cruising & Bathhouses
The Club Fort Lauderdale
A bathhouse called The Club Fort Lauderdale is known to be the best Fort Lauderdale gay cruising venue. It’s certainly among the best gay bathhouses in the USA!
On weekdays, their hours are 8 AM to midnight (with arrival no later than 11 PM). At most, expect to pay $25 for a locker rental and then $35 or $50 depending on what sort of bathhouse access you choose.
321 Slammer is a local gay cruising spot worth stopping by. They are a “BYOB bar,” so everyone is welcome to bring their own alcohol. You bring your bottle to the bar where you may check it and consume it as you wish.
There are no showers or baths at 321 Slammer and they do not provide towels. If you’re planning on visiting, you may want to coordinate what you’ll wear, (or not wear). Attract some extra attention with a pair of sexy underwear or jockstrap.
Expect to pay an entrance fee of $27 as well as a locker rental fee of $10, of which half is a refundable deposit.
Clubhouse II is one last option to consider for some gay cruising in Fort Lauderdale. They’re located just east of Wilton Manors.
Thursday nights are bear night and Tuesdays are leather night—make sure to bring a sexy leather harness. Clubhouse II also hosts special events quite frequently. Store your clothes in a locker and grab a drink at the cash-only bar.
Fort Lauderdale Travel Tips
Traveling to Fort Lauderdale from Miami
Many gay travelers visiting Miami save a couple of days to visit Fort Lauderdale. Some even come for a day trip or for a night out. By car, South Beach is only 45 minutes to an hour away.
You can also hop on a bus that will take you directly from Miami (either downtown or the airport) to Fort Lauderdale. This is also a great option to keep in mind if you’re looking to cut down on flight costs.
You could potentially fly directly to Miami and then catch a bus from there. FlixBus has incredibly cheap fares, especially if you purchase well in advance.
Pack Your Tropical Vacation Essentials
Before you head off to paradise, check wolfyy’s useful list of what to pack for tropical destinations. You’ll find my favorite waterproof gear, lightweight clothing ideas, rain gear, and tons more.
Fort Lauderdale Pride
Thinking of visiting during Fort Lauderdale’s gay pride week? Pride Fort Lauderdale events are a huge celebration, and quite symbolic, too. Fort Lauderdale’s pride events were the first to be held in the state of Florida!