Miami Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Miami gay guide to the best hotels, restaurants, beaches, gay bars, clubs, parties & cruising.
The Gay Travel Experience: Miami, Florida
Miami is one of those magical gay destinations that everyone loves for beautiful weather, an easy pace of life, and an awesome gay scene.
There’s always something for gay travelers to do in Miami, whether it’s lounging by the pool, enjoying the beach, or partying at the local gay bars and clubs.
While the muscled bodies can be intimidating, Miami gay locals tend to be super friendly people. If you’re on the shy side, South Beach is a great gay destination to get out of your comfort zone. I’ve made some great friends out at the local gay bars.
In this guide, you’ll discover all the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, and local things to do.
Miami Gay Hotels & Where to Stay
12th Street and Ocean Drive is the center of Miami’s gay district and is naturally among the most popular areas of the city for gay travelers to book a hotel or vacation rental. Most gay bars as well as the gay beach are right here.
Miami Beach vacation rentals as well as South Beach hotels on Ocean Drive are equally popular and have both been fantastic in my experience. There are plenty of Miami gay hotels to choose from, too.
Vacation home rentals tend to be less expensive than hotels since they’re not typically beachfront. However, they do typically come with a lot more space and can be ideal for groups of friends.
AxelBeach Miami: The Best Local Gay Hotel
AxelBeach Miami is undoubtedly the most popular gay hotel in Miami for being packed with handsome guys. Everything about the property’s design is elegant too, from the colorful geometric outdoor furniture to the soft art-deco-inspired interior finishes.
The hotel’s location, huge swimming pool, and outdoor jacuzzi tub are a few other reasons gay travelers love staying at AxelBeach Miami. Plus, it’s part of the famous Axel Hotels brand, so it doesn’t get gayer than this!
Hôtel Gaythering is a must-mention, as one of the most popular adults-only gay hotels in Miami. They have 23 sexy red and black-themed rooms. It’s quite an erotic design.
There’s also a popular gay sauna within Hôtel Gaythering, which is free for hotel guests. Being able to pop in to cruise any time of day is quite a perk! I’ll mention more about it in the gay saunas section of this guide.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a wonderful hotel choice for anyone not concerned with staying directly in the heart of Miami. This property embodies luxury in every sense.
You might even consider Fontainebleau a Miami gay hotel given how many gay travelers stay here, even though it’s not branded as LGBT. The hotel has all sorts of dining, nightlife, and outdoor activity options.
The below video shows some epic drone shots of the Fontainebleau, produced by MIADrones Media.
Royal Palm South Beach
I stayed at the gay-friendly Royal Palm South Beach hotel during my first trip to Miami. It’s a fantastic option for an inexpensive beachfront hotel.
I was super comfortable here and highly recommend it even though it’s not the most luxurious hotel around. My room had a fantastic ocean view which I loved waking up to each morning.
The Royal Palm also has an open-air bar and pool behind the hotel. You can even pay to enjoy this space if you are not staying with them. I’d call and make a reservation though, just to be sure.
More Miami Hotels I Recommend
Here are a few other fantastic gay friendly hotels in Miami that are highly rated and perfectly located for enjoying the city’s gay life.
Miami Gay Travel Experiences
Explore the Art Deco District
The Art Deco architecture in Miami is beautiful. 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.
An Art Deco bike tour is the perfect way to cover as much ground as possible if you’re curious about all there is to see.
Stroll Lincoln Road
Walk down Lincoln Road and enjoy some drinks and shopping. Many big-brand stores and coffee shops are here, where locals and tourists both spend time. It’s one of the best places to shop in Miami.
Like sweet drinks? Stop at the Sugar Factory while you shop on Lincoln Road for some sharable drinks served with dry ice!
Miami Gay Cruises
Several of the famous Atlantis cruises depart from Miami, making a journey around the Caribbean and nearby Mexican Island destinations.
If you’re interested in taking a gay cruise, Miami is a great destination to explore before you set sail, or even after you get back!
Wondering what these cruises are like? Read about a typical Atlantis gay cruise from first-hand experience.
Wynwood is a neighborhood in Miami with a fantastic streetscape and lots of gay-friendly establishments. The area is known for bright, colorful murals.
Stop by the Wynwood Walls, an outdoor museum containing a series of street murals done by world-renowned artists. You can also visit one of the various art galleries in Wynwood or the nearby Miami Design District.
Wynwood’s restaurant scene is also popular, with so many diverse and stylish places to eat. Explore both food and local art with a Wynwood food & art walking tour.
Visit Little Havana
Head to Little Havana to grab a delicious and informal dinner. Make sure to walk down Calle Ocho, the famous stretch of East 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.
Miami Gay Beaches
12th Street Gay Beach is the official Miami gay beach, located right in the heart of Miami’s South Beach gay district. Popular, easy to get to, and close to tons of restaurants and bars, 12th Street Beach is the place to be.
When you see a little lifeguard hut with a big LGBT flag, you’ve arrived! Show up at the gay beach in style with some sexy swimsuits from these popular gay swimwear brands.
Haulover Naturist Beach is a clothing-optional gay beach near Miami that’s perfect for a day trip. It’s the second most popular gay beach in Miami after 12th Street Beach.
Haulover is a favorite of gay locals, including those from nearby Fort Lauderdale. Getting there. by car only takes about 30 minutes from South Beach.
Park in the Haulover Lot #1 to reach the gay beach easily, since it’s toward the north end of the park. It’s 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.
Restaurants in Miami
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.
La Côte was the perfect restaurant to enjoy cocktails and a tasty gourmet lunch with friends. They are is within the Fontainebleau hotel property. 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.
I always find myself at The Front Porch Café for breakfast when visiting Miami. Delicious traditional American comfort food is good any time of day.
R House is a legendary drag restaurant in the Wynwood neighborhood. They host two drag brunches on both Saturdays and Sundays, along with other drag events and dinners on weekdays.
Both the food and cocktails are delicious. The restaurant is super spacious too, with a ton of indoor and outdoor seating. Make reservations in advance if you can!
Aroma Espresso Bar is always a dependable option for a quick snack or your morning coffee. My friends and I love this place for its cozy outdoor seating.
Miami Gay Bars
Twist is one of the best gay bars in Miami. I’d say it’s probably the overall crowd favorite, too. I love their maze-like interior and spacious outdoor courtyard. It’s always a comfortable place to spend an evening.
Each room at Twist has 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.
Palace South Beach
Palace South Beach is the best gay bar in Miami for drag performances. Drag queens take to the sidewalks with flashy performances. The talent is on par with that of New York City, so it’s a guaranteed good time.
I love starting a night out at Palace because it’s so informal and relaxed. There’s often a crowd in the afternoon, too. Above is an iconic video of one of the Palace drag queen performances out on the street during the day!
Nathan’s Bar is a new addition to Miami’s gay bar scene. They typically play a popular Latino mix on the weekends and during the week often host a sing-a-long night.
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 & Parties
Score is one of the most popular gay clubs in Miami. Right in the heart of South Beach, expect more of a circuit party vibe with dancing go-go boys.
The club has a large dance floor, as well as a small side area with a bar that’s better for socializing. Make sure to bring cash with you, too. There will be a cover charge at the door to get in.
Spending the latter part of your night at Score is ideal since it gets pretty rowdy as the night progresses. Don’t forget to wear some sexy underwear and bring along your best gay party accessories.
Club Boi is Miami’s popular urban gay club, located in the heart of South Beach. They play all types of music, from hip hop to house.
Go to one of their weekly Sexy Saturdays parties, which go all night, usually until 4 or 5 AM. They host a bunch of special events too, like gay holiday, Halloween and Carnival parties.
Miami Circuit Parties
Miami hosts several incredible gay festivals and circuit parties each year, attracting thousands of LGBT partiers.
Winter Party Miami is one of the most popular gay events in the city. Travelers come from all over the United States and South America for Winter Party. And the main beach party is held in the h heart of Miami’s gay district on 12th Street Beach.
Matinée Group, one of the world’s biggest gay party producers, hosts the yearly Circuit Festival Miami. They bring in top internationally-renowned DJs, enormous stages, and plenty of dancers.
Miami Gay Pride
As one of the “gayest cities in Florida,” Miami gay pride events are pretty spectacular. Visiting South Beach for pride is always a great experience.
Miami Beach Pride events are typically held in September. Joining the electrifying oceanside pride parade, showing support for everyone LGBTQ+ and partying all night is a great way to end the summer travel season.
One of my favorite things about South Beach gay Pride is that you see a large spectrum of our gay community, from the snappy young circuit queens to the older gay men and women who helped us fight for many of the LGBT rights we have today.
Miami Gay Saunas & Cruising
Miami has some of the best gay saunas and cruising venues in the country! Here are the places you need to know about.
The Sauna at Hotel Gaythering
Hôtel Gaythering’s sauna is the perfect place to enjoy some late afternoon or evening cruising. This place is on the smaller side, but it’s a super clean facility with a jacuzzi tub, playroom, and dry sauna.
Located on the west end of Lincoln Road, this gay sauna is open every day starting at 2 PM and closes at 2 AM. The last entry is about an hour before closing, so don’t be late! Towels and locker facilities are included.
I personally love Club Aqua. This gay bathhouse is huge, with so many different areas for cruising. It might seem a little out of the way since it’s not in South Beach, but a ride here will definitely be worth it.
Club Aqua’s facilities include a large outdoor heated pool, steam room, dry sauna, weight room, and video lounge. Plus, this local gay cruising spot is open 24/7, so you can never be late!
More Gay Sauna Options
For even more places to cruise, set your sights on the say saunas in nearby Fort Lauderdale. One of the popular spots there is The Club Fort Lauderdale.
Miami Travel Tips
South Florida’s heat and humidity will definitely make you sweat. For destinations like Miami, I can’t live without these cleansing skin wipes, especially because they have an exfoliating side that helps wipe away dirt.
See plenty more suggestions in wolfyy’s list of what to pack for tropical destinations. You’ll find my favorite waterproof gear, lightweight clothing ideas, rain gear, and tons more.
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.
Or, if you’re craving something even more tropical, check out these popular Key West gay hotels and resorts.