Miami Gay Travel
Miami gay travel recommendations for LGBT friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches, gay bars & clubs.
The Gay Travel Experience: Miami, Florida
Every time I’ve visited Miami, no matter the season, I’ve always had a blast. I’ve even visited two days after a hurricane swept through town and the parties were on fire! Miami embodies party culture and a vibe of sunny relaxation.
I have found guys in Miami to be so friendly-probably the most friendly gay men out at bars in America! I’ve made many gay friends at many of Miami’s gay bars like the famous Twist and Palace.
Local Miami bodies may be muscled and intimidating, but the guys are certainly friendly people. If you’re on the shy side, South Beach is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.
Gay Miami: Hotels & Where to Stay
The hub of all gay life in Miami is in South Beach, near 12th Street and Ocean Drive. This is where most gay bars and the Miami gay beach is located. I recommend staying near this area. You’ll likely be satisfied staying within a 15-minute walking distance to it.
The Royal Palm South Beach hotel was a fantastic choice back during my first trip to Miami. My room had a fantastic ocean view which I loved waking up to each morning.
The Royal Palm also has an open-air bar in the rear of the building. You can actually access this space if you are not staying in the hotel. I’d call and make a reservation just to be sure.
One of the noteworthy and classic Miami gay hotels is the Delano South Beach. Gay travelers have. been staying here for decades! The Delano is pretty iconic and has a staggeringly beautiful pool.
I highly recommend the Fontainebleau Miami Beach if you’re not the biggest fan of staying directly in the heart of South Beach. This hotel embodies luxury.
Many gay travelers opt for this spectacular location, which has a plethora of dining, nightlife and outdoor activities on site. The below video shows some epic drone shots of the Fontainebleau, produced by MIADrones Media.
South Beach is relatively walkable, so it is easy to get most places on foot or via a short taxi ride. When I rented an Airbnb about 10 minutes inland from the beach, walking home late at night was no problem.
Miami Gay Travel Experiences
Miami Art Deco architecture is beautiful. If you are enthusiastic about architecture, book an Art Deco bike tour.
I spent a few hours walking through the historic neighborhood, taking in the pastel colors and popping into a few stores to cool off from the summer heat.
Walk down Lincoln Road enjoy some drinks and shopping. Many big-brand stores and coffee shops are here, where locals and tourists both spend time. Like sweet drinks? Stop at the Sugar Factory for some sharable drinks served with dry ice!
Is your visit to Miami super short? A bus tour with Big Bus Tours Miami is probably the best way to see as much of this wonderful city as you can in a short amount of time.
Also, seeing the heart of South Beach from an open-air bus is definitely a comfortable way to take in all the wonderful architecture.
Miami Gay Beach & Nude Beach
The official Miami gay beach is 12th Street Beach. It’s quite popular and easy to get to, so you should make a point to spend a day there. When you see a little lifeguard hut with a big LGBT flag, you’ve arrived!
They’re open from sunrise to sunset, so Haulover is a great option for a full or half-day trip. Keep in mind also that they don’t allow inflatable tubes or rafts.
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Española Way is always a good bet for good restaurants. Many places have outdoor seating in adorable pedestrian alleyways. I recommend avoiding the restaurants along Ocean Drive—the ones that have all the hosts and hostesses trying to get you to come in.
In my experience, these places pump out low quality food and charge too much for it. You are better off venturing a little farther inland from the beach.
My friends and I enjoyed cocktails and a fantastic gourmet lunch at La Côte. The restaurant is outside within the Fontainebleau hotel. Our good friend Derek was the sous chef that day, and we were delighted with all his entrée recommendations.
Casa Tua is popular with gay travelers, known for their Italian cuisine. The restaurant is right near the convention center on 17th Street.
Alternatively, you can grab a delicious and informal dinner in Little Havana. Make sure to walk down Calle Ocho, the famous stretch of Little Havana. Here you’ll find the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame, where Cuban pop stars have their own stars of tribute in the sidewalks.
Perusing the streets and seeing older men playing cards while smoking cigars in this small neighborhood was so entertaining! It was quite a cultural experience as well. I stopped in a small diner and had some authentic Cuban food.
For breakfast food, I always find myself at The Front Porch Café. Delicious traditional American comfort food is good any time of day.
Aroma Espresso Bar is always a dependable option for a quick snack or your morning coffee. My friends and I love this place for their cozy outdoor seating.
Miami Gay Bars & Clubs
One of the best Miami gay bars is Twist South Beach. I’d say its probably the overall crowd favorite. I love it because of the maze-like interior and spacious outdoor courtyard. It’s always a comfortable place to spend an evening.
Each room at Twist a different vibe and style of music, ranging from circuit music to Latin. The front room with the dancers always fills up first. Later on as the night progresses, guys will fill in room by room.
Here’s an iconic video of one of the Palace drag queen performances out on the street during the day!
Also, I love starting a night out at Palace because it is very informal and relaxed. For photos, events and reservations, visit their website.
Nathan's: The Newest Miami Gay Bar
Nathan’s Bar is a new addition to the Miami gay bar scene. They typically play a popular Latino mix on the weekends and during the week often host a sing-a-long night.
Expectedly as a new establishment, the interior of Nathan’s is modern and colorful. A few of my friends visited and also mentioned they enjoyed the outdoor seating.
Miami Gay Clubs
Score Nightclub is certainly the most popular gay club in Miami. With electronic beats and dancers, this South Beach gay nightclub hosts more of a circuit-style party.
The venue is a large club style with a smaller side area to hang out when not dancing. There will be a cover at the door in order to enter the party.
I’d say Score is probably the best club to spend the latter part of your night, since it gets pretty rowdy as the night progresses.
Glam Nightclub / Club Boi also hosts many Miami gay parties, although I have never been to this venue. However, I can say they’re probably pretty good since I am familiar with the people who promote gay parties here, like Cha da Alice for example.
Miami Travel Tips
Lyft is always my go-to taxi application in Miami. It’s always super cheap. Even a ride from the Miami International Airport is quite affordable.
In my opinion, you should avoid staying in accommodations in the downtown area if you are visiting for a vacation. The vibe is quiet and you feel a bit separated from the buzz of South Beach, so you might feel a bit isolated.