Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, California, Florida
Soak Up the Sun at These LGBT-Friendly Beach Towns
- New York
Whether you’re into swimming until sunset or partying until dawn—or both!—somewhere in U.S. there’s a scene for you.
Pack your beach bag and head to these welcoming seaside towns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers.
Provincetown, Massachusetts, has the makings of a typical New England beach town: sand dunes and beach houses — with an exceptionally LGBT focus. Head to the tip of Cape Cod, a peninsula 185 kilometers by car or 90 kilometers by ferry from Boston, Massachusetts, and make your way to the rainbow flag-lined Commercial Street to browse boutiques and galleries and hang out in pubs and restaurants. Socializing starts early at “tea dances,” or afternoon dance parties, and continues with cabaret shows and disco nights until sunrise. Don’t miss Provincetown’s annual Bear Week in July, when the town is overrun by burly men and those who love them.
Stroll the colorful Commercial Street in Provincetown to check out LGBT-owned businesses.
Fire Island, New York
An iconic gay beach destination since the 1970s, Fire Island is 5 kilometers off the coast of Long Island, New York, and comprises a dozen beachside communities. The Pines and Cherry Grove are well-known for their LGBT-friendly party places and clothing-optional beaches. Cherry Grove attracts a mixed crowd to its high-voltage drag and cabaret shows, while a predominantly male crowd parties until dawn at The Pines.
Wooden boardwalks lined with trees wind throughout the intimate beach communities of Cherry Grove and The Pines on Fire Island.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Sun-seekers who head to the longtime LGBT community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, can expect to mingle on the shores of gay-friendly Poodle Beach with older local residents and vacationing city folks from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (207 kilometers), and Washington, D.C. (194 kilometers). This town has a number of family-friendly places, such as CAMP Rehoboth, a full-service gay and lesbian community center that organizes summer events for all ages.
Long Beach, California
Popular among the young, hip and active crowd, Long Beach, California, is the place to party and play 38 kilometers northwest of Los Angeles, California. LGBT-owned businesses have thrived here for decades, particularly the gay nightlife in the Broadway Corridor in Alamitos Beach, which includes venues like Mineshaft, a pub for the jeans and leather crowd, and Paradise, a piano bar and eatery. More than 75,000 people flock to Ocean Avenue every May for Long Beach Pride, featuring past headliners like Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and the Village People.
Head to Alamitos Beach to mingle with the LGBT crowd on the sand and at bars nearby.
Miami Beach, Florida
Follow the rainbow flags by the lifeguard towers surfside at the foot of 12th Street to find the epicenter of gay-friendly Miami Beach, Florida, 4 kilometers off the mainland of Miami, Florida. This part of the beach is loud and proud, filled with gay-friendly restaurants and bars that will tempt you to stay out all night. Any time is a good time to visit, but mark your calendars for The Winter Party, a six-day beach bash in March, Pride in April and Aqua Girl, a women’s-only charity weekend in May benefiting LGBT health.
Miami’s warm weather and thriving party scene makes this beach city a popular LGBT destination year-round.