Check out all of the LGBTQ-friendly Florida fun that awaits!
Tallahassee, FL – (June 18, 2020) – While this year’s Pride Month celebrations look a little different, that hasn’t stopped VISIT FLORIDA from celebrating! The Sunshine State rolls out the rainbow carpet for LGBTQ travellers all year round, beckoning with top-notch dining and clubs, inclusive events and festivals, and friendly accommodations.
Whether you’re a couple seeking a romantic getaway or a modern family searching for kid-friendly fun, here are some LGBTQ-friendly destinations you should consider when it comes time to plan your next Florida escape:
FORT LAUDERDALE: Fort Lauderdale and the neighbourhood of Wilton Manors typically welcomes more than 1.1 million LGBTQ travellers every year. The city has more than 100 gay-owned businesses, including bars and clubs, cafés and coffeehouses, and award-winning hotels and guests houses, including the Grand Resort and Spa, one of the area’s first gay resorts. The city has also played host to a week-long Pride Fort Lauderdale celebration every February since 1977, and was preparing to host the first-ever ‘Pride of the Americas’ in April (new dates will be announced later this year).
When it’s time for some sun, sand and surf, check out Sebastian Street Beach, one of Florida’s top LBGTQ-friendly beaches. In Wilton Manors, be sure to check out the Stonewall National Museum & Archives. For more information, visit sunny.org/lgbt
ST. PETE: St. Pete’s Pride Weekend is one of Florida’s largest gay pride events, drawing more than 100,000 participants to a downtown parade, street festival and concert every June (2021 dates coming soon). The heart of LGBTQ-friendly St. Pete is the historic Grand Central District, which features more than 70 LGBTQ-friendly businesses, and the adjacent neighbourhood of Kenwood.
During your visit, be sure to check out Sunset Beach. Located on the southern tip of St. Pete’s Treasure Island, it is known as one of the west coast’s premier gay beaches, famous for its beachfront bars and Sunday beach parties. For more information, visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater LGBT Travel Connections.
TAMPA: This city’s GaYBOR District – a coalition of gay and gay-friendly businesses that began on the west end of Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighbourhood – is a 12-block area that offers a fun mix of shops, bars and restaurants. Dubbed the “LGBTA Main Street for the West Coast of Florida,” the coalition has its own float and krewe that make regular appearances in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, the St. Pete Pride Parade in June, and the Tampa Pride Parade in March (Mar. 27, 2021). Visit Tampa Bay’s Conquer With Pride website for more information.
KEY WEST: The Florida Keys, and specifically Key West, have been welcoming LBGTQ guests since the 1970s. Along with shops and boutiques, you’ll find most of the town’s gay bars along the very walkable Duval Street (check out the new rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets!), including Aqua Nightclub, with its fun drag shows. The month of June is typically when Key West holds its annual Pridefest celebration (now rescheduled to Nov. 18-22, 2020), while WomenFest is held each September (Sept. 2-6, 2020).
When it comes to beach days, Smathers Beach is one of Key West’s top LGBTQ-friendly strips of sand (although you really can’t go wrong anywhere you decide to stretch out!). For more information, visit gaykeywestfl.com.
MIAMI BEACH: Dubbed the “Gay Riviera,” Miami Beach has been flying the rainbow flag for decades. The city’s legendary White Party Week – usually held in November – is the nation’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser, drawing more than 10,000 LGBTQ visitors for its high-energy dance parties hosted by top DJs and performers, comedy shows, sports and recreational events.
Along with South Beach’s famed collection of Art Deco architecture and boutique hotels, the beach is a huge draw, especially the 12th Street Beach at Ocean Drive. The city also hosts a two-day Miami Beach Gay Pride in the spring (now rescheduled – stay tuned for new dates) and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Check out gogaymiami.com for more details.
ORLANDO: What started as small group of people dressing in red and spending the day at Walt Disney World in 1991, has grown into one of the largest gay pride events in the world, attracting over 150,000 LGBTQ travellers to Orlando on the first Saturday every June. Gay Days at Orlando-area theme parks is now a week-long celebration that floods all of the city’s theme parks with a sea of red-shirt-wearing attendees.
Later in the year, Come Out With Pride takes place every October in downtown Orlando and is one of the State’s largest pride festivals, with a street festival, fireworks, kid zone and concerts. Click here for more information.
For more information on LGBTQ travel in Florida, click here. Images available upon request.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.
About Vox International
VoX International is a Canadian-owned destination marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada with offices in Vancouver and Montreal, providing Canadian representation nationally. VoX is a full-service sales, marketing, event planning and public relations agency led by a team of high profile, knowledgeable travel industry executives. Recognized as a marketplace leader, VoX offers a wide range of support within the North American meeting, incentive, events, and hospitality and leisure tourism sectors. VoX’s passion for providing personal, innovative and results driven solutions are key factors for driving the company’s reputation for success.
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