A well-heeled and self-satisfied South Florida city of just 180,000 residents, Fort Lauderdale has emerged in the last decade as the Sunshine State’s undisputed gay mecca—even putting Miami to shame. Flashy high-rises are towering both downtown and along A1A, fancy Las Olas
Boulevard remains a great place to gallery hop or grab a bite and the city’s 23 miles of pristine beaches are clean, accessible and sun-drenched almost every day of the year.
Additionally, LGBT-owned resorts and guesthouses flourish, the bar scene is lively and outrageous and gay suburb Wilton Manors now ranks second in the country for highest number of same-sex residents. Case in point: Its main drag overflows with enough gay shops, restaurants and clubs to rival many a major American city. Victoria Park and Oakland Park also have a firm queer presence.
Fort Lauderdale is often called the “yachting capital of the world” or “the Venice of America” due to its 300 miles of navigable waterways and
innumerable canals, which permit thousands of residents to anchor boats in their back yards. To see what we mean, come in December for the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, where more than 100 illuminated boats float along the Intracoastal Waterway through Fort Lauderdale. There also are Broadway-style performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and don’t forget the International Swimming Hall of Fame, with its hundreds of photographs of guys in wet Speedos and Olympic swimming pool which is open daily to visitors. Visit in late winter for the city’s annual Pride Festival or in late April and early May for Fort Lauderdale Bear Weeks and Weekends.
Steps from the beach, Bahia Mar Ft. Lauderdale Beach is in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, near the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the Gallery at Beach Place and 1 mile from Port Everglades. The airport is also nearby.
Situated near the airport, this guesthouse is within 6 mi (10 km) of Sebastian Street Beach, The Gallery at Beach Place, and Port Everglades. Coral Ridge Mall and World AIDS Museum and Educational Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Between Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway, this hotel is 1 mile from the downtown Fort Lauderdale scene and 1 block from water taxi services.
This Florida resort is located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway with beach access, 8 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, and 20 miles from downtown Miami.
Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas Beach, and Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Jungle Queen Riverboat and Las Olas Boulevard are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This Mediterranean-style hotel stands on the 17th Street Causeway, 4 blocks from the Broward County Convention Center, 6 blocks from Port Everglades' cruise-ship docks, and 2.1 miles from the Ft. Lauderdale Airport.
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Fort Lauderdale Beach, Las Olas Beach, and Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Jungle Queen Riverboat and Las Olas Boulevard are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This extensive resort-style hotel and marina occupies 22 waterfront acres just a bridge crossing away from Fort Lauderdale shops and restaurants, within half a mile of the convention center, and one mile from the beach.
1. Take a boat.
You don’t need a friend with a luxury yacht to enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s waterways—water taxis are plentiful. Just avoid the more crowded 70-passenger “water buses.”
2. Choose your favorite gay beach.
Fort Lauderdale has not one but three popular gay spots: Sebastian Street is where you’ll see the highest concentration of gay men walking around in tiny bikinis; Terramar is close to many of the gay guesthouses and more mellow; and visitors with cars often make the 30ish-minute trek to North Miami to visit clothing optional Haulover Beach.
3. Find the right accommodation for you.
Fort Lauderdale has a dizzying array of lodging options. The city home to more than a dozen gay guesthouses clustered along the beach and scattered elsewhere around town. Most cater specifically to gay men and most are clothing optional (meaning nude sunbathing is allowed). But also near the beach are gorgeous high-rise hotels and resorts like the Atlantic Hotel and Spa and the W Fort Lauderdale. There really is something for every taste and budget.
*Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from October 2017 through September 2018, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.