One of the west coast’s premiere gay beaches, bohemian Sunset Beach is on the southern tip of St. Best time to go: In October for the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival or June for St. Pete Beach, the breathtaking, rustic North Beach area of this county park has a northern expanse near the end of the island where gays and lesbians congregate. Best time to go: In October for Sarasota Pridefest. Guana Tolomato Reserve, Ponte Vedra Beach With more than 73,000 acres, this aquatic preserve – officially known as the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve – is between Jacksonville and St. Ponte Vedra Beach includes Old Florida beaches, sand dunes, salt marches, tidal wetland and estuarine lagoons.
Pete’s Treasure Island, among the string of barrier islands that extends along the Gulf of Mexico to the west of St. Once famous for foam parties, the strip, with its beachfront bars, is now known for regular Sunday beach parties. It’s known to be patrolled by undercover police officers, so stick to sunbathing with a suit on! There’s an unofficial gay meet-up at Guana’s first beach access point, reached by a boardwalk that winds down a 40-foot-tall dune system to a pristine stretch of secluded sand. Best time to go: In October for River City Pride Parade in Jacksonville.
When to go: May for the Pensacola Gay Memorial Day Weekend. Haulover Beach, Sunny Isles If you really want to sun your buns, this nude beach in northern Miami-Dade County is your choice.
About 20 minutes north of South Beach, Sunny Isles is the only legal clothing-optional beach in Florida and it’s gay-friendly.
Playalinda, accessible via Titusville at the southern end of the park, straddles the Volusia and Brevard County line.
Nudity is prohibited in Brevard, so sunbathers need to make sure they go north into Volusia before baring all.
The most popular gay beach in Miami is mostly a hangout for men, but you’ll also find lesbians and straights soaking up the sun with locals. At 2½ miles long, Smathers is big compared to other beaches on this tiny island of Key West, one of the nation’s top destinations for gay travelers.
From gay Florida party destinations such as Miami, Key West and Fort Lauderdale to mellow, secluded spots in St.
Fort Lauderdale is home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, which houses the largest circulating LGBT book and film program in the U. Last year, the city welcomed 1.1 million LGBT visitors. The quiet northern reaches of this white sand key is popular with gay sunbathers in Sarasota.
At Sebastian Street and North Fort Lauderdale Beach Drive (A1A). Pete Beach, south of the historic Don Cesar Hotel, Pass-a-Grille stretches for about 22 blocks. It’s secluded – think dunes and sea oats – and 22-acre north Lido Park looms like a forest above.
It’s family friendly, with plenty of parking, restrooms within convenient walking distance, and the Atlantic Ocean, of course, lapping gently at its shore. You can learn more about Blind Creek here: Canaveral National Seashore lays claim to two nude beaches in Florida.
“This is a place where you can go and feel like you’re part of a community,” says Shirley Mason, the driving force behind creating a clothing-optional beach in Miami. That could be because this pristine federal park is not only relatively remote, but also breathtakingly beautiful.