At its best, Miami is all pastel hues and warm, velvety zephyrs – a tropical reverie. The culture is sensuous and physical, often spiked with Caribbean rhythms and accents.
1. Beach at 12th Street, SoBe
While all of South Beach is a gay haven, this particular stretch is where the guys tend to gather in their imposing, thong-clad throngs.
2. Haulover Park Beach, Miami Beach
Keep walking north, past the straight nude beach, and you’ll soon reach the gay section – where no heavy action is tolerated.
There are two major beaches “Where the Boys Are” in the Fort Lauderdale area: the stretch where Sebastian Street meets A1A; and John U. Lloyd State Park Beach. You’ll know you’ve reached them when you sight guys with pumped muscles and skimpy swimsuits.
4. Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
Located in very gay Wilton Manors, this is a big and well- maintained center. There’s an extensive library of gay literature and reference works, friendly staff, a full calendar of special events, and plenty of opportunities for lively social interaction.
5. Cathode Ray, Fort Lauderdale
This is the place to be in downtown Fort Lauderdale, especially when all the white-collar guys show up after work to relax and unwind during happy hour (2–8pm). There’s a comedy night on Mondays, and the weekend high-energy partying culminates with big-screen viewing of Queer as Folk.
6. Shoppes of Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale
An entire gay shopping mall! Shops here include Gay Mart, In the Pink Books, Oh What a Basket, Greetings from the Rainbow, Inside Out Boutique, and Wicked Leather. There are also many prominent bars, gyms, clubs, and restaurants, such as Around the World Pizza, Chardees, and Simply Delish.
7. Georgie’s Alibi, Fort Lauderdale
This is a video bar, café, and sports bar, located in Fort Lah-Dee-Dah’s unique gay shopping center, in its unique gay town – Wilton Manors – which even has its own gay mayor. The Alibi opened in April of 1997 in a then rundown area, but Wilton Manors has since blossomed into a thriving gay community, and this bar has flourished with it. In fact, the Alibi is one of South Florida’s best gay venues, and always worth checking out.
8. Coliseum, Fort Lauderdale
A newer incarnation of a former straight venue, this place is fresh and youthful, featuring lavish drag acts and an abundance of beautiful young musclemen. Every night some of the area’s better-known DJs launch global groove house music “dance-a-thongs”.
9. Copa, Fort Lauderdale
One of the older gay dance clubs in town. Operating for almost 30 years, this place still packs ‘em in – with drag shows, “Battle of the Bulge” and “Bare Buns” contests, and gorgeous go-go boys. It also offers video, indoor and outdoor bars, a games room, food, and cutting-edge sound and lights. As elsewhere, things really only get shaking at around midnight.
Set on an appealing square, the center offers a library, a lounge, and all the information you might need. Pluses include a monthly calendar of special events, such as wine-and-cheese parties, discussion groups, and a film series. Free anonymous HIV testing is available, or just stop by for a chat.