You know, there’s more to Miami than just buff eye-candy patrolling the beach in skimpy shorts…
…no, really! America’s most sun-soaked city is also one of its gayest, with no shortage of LGBTQ cultural highlights, party opportunities and places to stay. We absolutely love it here. Whether enjoying a sushi lunch complete with sea views or dancing well into the early hours of the morning, Gay Miami is just so much fun!
Miami is also one of the most liberal cities in America, with a vibrant gay community that has been loud and proud for many decades now. There's a reason that Miami Pride is one of the best gay parties in all of Florida. Miami also offers plenty for the cultural traveler, too. We loved exploring the unique art deco architecture as well as the buzzing arts scene. Really, it isn’t all beaches and cocktails here! Although, there is that too. A trip to Miami wouldn’t be complete without at least some beach time. The city is home to several world-class gay beaches as well as an embarrassment of seaside gay bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
In this gay travel guide to Miami, we provide you with a go-to selection of the city’s queer highlights. From the finest gay nightlife options to the best place to take a sauna, we will cover everything you need to make your gay vacation to Miami truly fabulous.
Landing in Miami soon?
The last thing you want to deal with after a long flight is juggling your luggage on the Metrorail, right? We like to pre-book our private airport transfer so we can meet our driver at the airport and be whisked straight to our hotel with minimum stress and zero fuss!
Is Miami gay friendly?
Without a doubt, yes! We found South Beach, in particular, to be the definitive gay area of Miami. Truth is, most of the city is LGBTQ friendly, but South Beach is where you will find the main bars, clubs and restaurants. What marks the city out most as being safe and welcoming to LGBTQ travelers is the Miami Police's Safe Place Initiative.
With stunning views of the sea and quaint art deco architecture, SoBe (as the locals call South Beach) has become home to the city’s gay community over the years. Probably the single most popular area for LGBTQ travelers is 12th Street Beach, where the swimsuits are skimpier and the bodies more tanned than anywhere else! There are rainbow flags aplenty here so it's not difficult to locate at all.
If you're lucky to be in Miami for Gay Pride in April, the area around South Beach and particularly 12th Street Beach is where the action is at its wildest. Head to this stretch of sand for all-day partying with gay boys from all across the country and indeed the entire world. Miami is one seriously gay city but it has to be said that South Beach shows the city at its gayest and most fabulous!
What is the gay area of Miami?
South Beach and particularly the area around 12th Street Beach and Ocean Drive is the main gay neighborhood of Miami. Brimming with gay-friendly and gay-owned businesses including bars, nightclubs, restaurants, saunas and more, this is the shining diamond of the city’s LGBTQ scene.
There is so much to do here for gay boys of every type. Head to Palace Restaurant and Bar for a delicious brunch with bottomless mimosas. If you’re feeling up for a boogie there’s the Latin-themed Twist club, which is packed with golden adonis every single Thursday night. More about this below.
Besides this gay area of Miami, other gay districts include Coconut Grove. This was once the center of the city’s gay scene before 12th street took over. It's still worth a visit, particularly to check out one of the best gay clubs in town, Azucar. On top of that, the biggest Circuit Party in the US gets thrown every November in Coconut Grove, with no shortage of handsome gay guys in attendance.
Gay hotels in Miami
As one of the most visited cities in the country and a hub for gay travelers from all over the world, Miami is of course home to some tremendous gay hotel options. Whether you’re after pure luxury right down on the sand or something a little more basic to use as a base for partying, sunbathing and sightseeing, Miami’s gay hotel scene has something for you. Be sure to also check out our detailed guide to our favorite gay hotels in Miami.
Why we love it
- Gay hotel option
- Modern, complimentary spa
- Great central location
- Vibrant bar area
With a seafront location in the Lincoln Road shopping district, Gaythering is our favorite gay hotel in Miami.
Offering plush rooms stylishly decorated with chic touches such as vintage-inspired furniture and quirky art on the walls, Gaythering is ideal for cultured gay guys hitting Miami. Major perk: the hotel offers its guests free bicycles, which was our favorite way to explore the city's art deco heritage.
This four-star hotel is unique for its men-only, self-service spa, complete with steam room, dry sauna, and hot tub. Unlike most hotels in Miami, guests can use this spa on a complimentary basis with absolutely no added costs. After a long day at the beach, we loved unwinding with a long steam and sauna session followed by a soak in the hot tub. This area of the hotel is also a great place to meet fellow gay travelers and admire all those
sun burnt tanned bodies…!
Gaythering is home to a bar area that is something of a hub for the Lincoln Road gay community in the evenings. We loved the friendly and vibrant atmosphere here. This place can get really wild with tequila in full flow and karaoke events taking place regularly.
The rooms at Gaythering are spacious and expertly designed, making an ideal oasis to return to after a day at the beach, a night on the tiles or a shopping spree in the nearby Lincoln Road area. This is a great hotel for all those shopaholic gay boys who want somewhere relaxing to retire to after dipping in and out of the boutiques and superstores that this area is known for.
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
Why we love it
- Luxurious hotel
- Amazing location
- Extensive gym and spa
- Massive rooftop infinity pool
Across the world, the W hotels have become a byword for a unique brand of luxuriously hip chic. From all the W hotels we've stayed at, we've always found them to be filled with young, beautiful people looking to enjoy themselves in style.
This all makes the hotel an excellent choice for Miami, where the people seem to be more beautiful than anywhere else.
The W Miami is in downtown Miami, perfect for city-slickers! For starters, the rooms at W South Beach are truly fabulous. Design is ultra-modern and colourful touches can be found everywhere you look. Then there are the marble-lined private bathrooms, which make the simple task of showering or getting ready an absolute joy. We felt like celebrities at the W Miami! The incredible on-site spa certainly helps, with a water lounge, plunge pools, and even a floating library.
The rest of the gay friendly hotel is just as stunning, with the 300-foot infinity rooftop pool a calm yet vibrant area that’s filled with beautiful boys dipping in and out for a cool down. The poolside Wetdeck Cafe bar serves up tasty, refreshing cocktails and light snacks, perfect for fueling us up for a day doing absolutely nothing at all by the pool!
There is an extensive gym to help keep those guns pumped up whilst the staff at W Miami are some of the best we have encountered anywhere in the city. Not only are they super gay-friendly, but they are willing to do whatever it takes to make your stay at this hotel a fabulous one until the very end.
AxelBeach Miami South Beach
Why we love it
- Aimed at LGBTQ community
- Chic, clean rooms
- Young and beautiful crowd
- Delicious restaurant fare
This hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach is specifically geared toward the LGBTQ community, making it a top choice among our favorite gay hotels in Miami.
AxelBeach is home to simple but immaculately clean rooms decked out in classic Miami style with plenty of sunny artwork and cute art deco touches. We found it to be ideal spot to rest our weary heads in between all that partying, mingling and sightseeing…
That’s not to say that AxelBeach is boring, far from it! As a hotel marketed toward the gay community, there is a vibrant gay bar and pool area that’s home to some of the sexiest beefcakes in town. On top of that, the restaurant is a modern space that serves up delicious snacks and meals, which we enjoyed in between sunbathing and swimming sessions.
Of course, there's a gym too, which was usually packed with guys working on their chest, arms and legs before a night in the bars and clubs of the nearby 12th Street Beach. AxelBeach attracts a young, beautiful crowd that is a mix of members of the LGBTQ community, to straight couples – a true testament to its “hetero friendly” slogan. This means that AxelBeach is perfect for groups of gay guys traveling with a couple of hetero friends in tow. Read why we love Axel in our article about the best Axel gay hotels in the world.
Gay beaches of Miami
If Miami is famous for one thing and one thing only it is its stunning beaches. Whether you head to the hub of South Beach or one of the lesser-known spots, you’re all but guaranteed clear water, white sand and blue skies in Miami. We found this to be super unique: there are only a handful of cities in the world that have an exciting queer scene with a gorgeous gay beach right next to it. Here are the main gay beaches of Miami to check out:
12th Street gay beach
The undisputed gay hub of Miami, 12th Street beach also happens to be a gorgeous stretch of sand in its own right and also one of our favorite gay beaches in the world. Finding the 12th Street gay beach is not difficult at all. It is located at the intersection of 12th Street and Ocean Drive, the city’s ultra-glam seaside strip. We love this beach because as well as being a gay mecca, the water is (usually!) calm and super clean, despite being next to a large city…as we said above, Miami is one of the few cities in the world we've been to that has an incredible (gay) beach right next to it.
Located north of the city, Haulover is the only legal clothing-optional beach in Florida. The gay area is in the northern section between lifeguard towers #12 and #16 – look out for the many rainbow flags to guide you home! Facilities are limited here. Whilst we were able to rent sun-loungers and parasols at Haulover, we had to bring our own snacks and drinks. Although much quieter than the 12the street gay beach, things can get pretty wild here at the height of summer when gay guys from all over come down for skinny dipping, mingling and more…!
Gay bars of Miami
The gay nightlife is a huge part of a vacation in Miami and we are LIVING for it! From the glam clubs of Ocean Drive to the backstreet bars of the city center, we found Miami’s gay bars to be as diverse as its inhabitants. Gay bars in Miami are, of course, some of the best in America. Packed every night of the week with beautiful boys from all over the planet, Miami’s gay bars offer a carefree atmosphere and vibrancy that can only be found in this steamy city. Here are some of the main ones to check out:
Miami’s premier gay bar is actually seven bars in one, with three separate dance floors for when things get truly wild later in the evening. Known the world over as a hotspot for Miami’s LGBTQ scene, Twist is an incredibly exciting place to come for drinks at any time of day, but it is particularly booming on Thursday nights. Open seven days a week, we think the best time to come is during the daily happy hour, which attracts large crowds…as do those smoking hot dancers. They certainly kept distracting my Seby each time I tried to get into a deep discussion with him about our future plans…
Location: 1057 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Open: Daily from 1 pm to 5 am
A dive bar with a difference, WaterLOO is a spot that describes itself as sinful, flamboyant and sophisticated. We totally agree because this Washington Avenue hotspot is one of the most amazing gay bars in the whole of Miami. With a chic, relaxed aesthetic that invites the enjoyment of cocktails and company, WaterLOO is all about celebrating life and our true essence. This bar is home to top DJs, performers and steaming hot shirtless bartenders. Throw in the celebrity appearances, drinking games and go-go boys at this LGBTQ staple and you have quite simply a fabulous place to drink.
Location: 1216 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Open: Daily from 9 pm to 2 am and Saturday from 9 pm to 5 am
The Wynwood Walls art district is one of Miami’s coolest and most-visited neighborhoods. We strongly recommend everyone visits it! It's a sprawl of murals and beautiful ‘graffiti’ that you cannot help being charmed by. R House is a hub for the neighborhood’s LGBTQ community, even offering drag brunches every Saturday and Sunday (more about this below). Yet it is as a bar that R House really shines, providing delicious cocktails, funky music and, all in all, a great place to come for a boogie on a Friday night when Seby tells you he needs to get his Britney groove on…
Location: 2727 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Open: Friday from 3 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 11.30 am to 10 pm and Sunday from 11.30 am to 6 pm.
This dive bar served us more Lower East Side than Miami, with its dim lighting, minimal decor and a super-limited menu of beer or wine. The reason that things are so stripped-back here is so that visitors can focus on nothing more than having a damn good time. And we couldn't agree more! With great music, an anything-goes vibe and fun guests, Jamboree Lounge has long been a mainstay on the city’s LGBTQ circuit of bars. We can’t get enough of this down-at-heel joint!
Location: 7005 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138
Open: Sunday to Thursday from 7 pm to 3 pm, Friday from 7 pm to 4.30 am and Saturday from 8 pm to 4.30 am
Yes, this might not be an exclusively gay bar but their queer drag extravagant night on Thursdays is the stuff of legends! Named “Double Stubble”, the event is a wild showcase of Miami’s most fabulous drag queens doing their thing. With cheap drinks offers, resident DJs and a good times crowd, Gramps is the only place to head to on a Thursday evening in Wynwood. We strongly recommend you check it out!
Location: 176 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm
An English pub? In Miami? And it’s a straight bar? You might be thinking why on earth we would send you here. Well, it’s all because Churchills throws a tremendous drag night called “Dollhouse Presents”. This wild event brings together some of Miami’s most established and stunning drag queens for a fun evening that attracts members of the city’s LGBTQ community as well as a handful of straight regulars. The drinks are cheap and the crowd fun-loving. You can find Churchills in the Little Haiti district.
Location: 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137
Open: Sunday to Thursday from 5 pm to 3 am, Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to 5 am
Located smack bang in the heart of Ocean Drive, Palace is one of Miami’s best-known and most-visited gay hotspots. Whilst you won’t save much on the drinks at this place, we think their weekend drag shows are a must-visit for gay boys in town. Since opening in the 1980s, Palace has been the place to celebrate all things queer in South Beach and little has changed to this day. We particularly loved their terrace – the perfect spot for
Location: 1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Open: Thursday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 am and Sunday to Wednesday from 10 am to 3 am.
Gay clubs of Miami
When it comes to drinking, dancing and general nighttime shenanigans, we rate Miami as one of the best cities on the planet… Forget New York, this city literally never sleeps! Miami’s gay clubs are a massive part of its famed nightlife. We found there was always a raucous party to check out on any given night. Whether you’re here for the legendary drag clubs or the teeny sweatboxes that don’t get going until well into the early hours, we know that Miami’s gay clubs will leave you blown away!
‘Seby, get your Shakira groove on' I said to my Frenchman… This amazing drag club has a distinct Latin theme that makes for an unforgettable Miami experience. The music is high-energy and the drinks flow freely. We found the acts to be as diverse and fabulous as the staff, many of whom are gay and super handsome! For Latin beats, freshly-mixed mojitos and fabulous drag entertainment, Azucar cannot be beaten. We said we'd go for a quick boogie, but ended up staying the entire night!
Location: 2301 SW 32nd Ave, Miami, FL 33145
Open: Thursday to Sunday from 10.30 pm to 5 am
Twist is legendary in Miami Beach! Everyone told us that Twist is THE place we couldn't leave without checking out. It's huge, with no less than seven separate bars and club areas here, with each presenting you with its own distinct vibe to explore. And, they have a party happening seven days a week until the wee hours of the morning. Oh, how we loved gawking at the sexy shirtless dancers and booging to the latest Latino pop hits… The best part, we made so many new friends at Twist, who we ended up hanging out with for the duration of our Miami vacay.
Location: 1057 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL
Open: Daily from 1 pm to 5 am
A night out at Score is a recipe for trouble, especially when my cheeky Seby hits the rum all night long… The party goes on late into the night at this South Beach gay club. Score is all about freedom and self-expression, with locals and tourists alike flocking here every night of the week for drinks, dancing and naughtiness. Score is known across Miami’s gay scene for having some of the best music in town. We particularly loved the electro-music vibe here, which our friends told us is the finest in town. And we couldn’t agree more!
Location: Score doesn't have a physical location. Instead, they operate as an event production company with ‘pop-up events' taking place around town. Check their Facebook page for details of the latest events.
Open: Daily from 10 pm to 5 am
This straight club has a very gay-friendly vibe that makes it one of the most inclusive places in Miami. We found the vibe to be fashion, serving us glam-our… and a banging sound system to boot! Basement also hosts some of the most famous DJs on the planet who perform a live set every weekend. One of the best things about this spot is that there is an ice rink as well as a bowling alley inside the club itself, making for a special experience that’s super-fun for groups of gay guys looking to mix things up a bit.
Location: 2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Open: Daily from 5 pm to 5 am
Best gay brunch in Miami
One of the most exciting things to really take off in Miami in recent years is the gay brunch scene. Many of the city’s best gay bars and restaurants throw special weekend brunch event specifically geared toward gay tastes. For those who like a little drag with their french toast, Miami is as good as it gets. Our selection of the city’s best gay brunch options is packed with fabulous food and even better vibes.
One of the city’s premier gay bars also hosts one of Miami’s best gay brunches. Palace throws its unique unlimited mimosa drag brunch every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with two separate seatings at 11 am and 2 pm. The performances are just as varied and delightful as the food on offer, which includes everything from delicious egg dishes to super-comforting pancakes. Perfect after a night on the tiles and a few too many cocktails.
Location: 1052 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Open: Thursday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 am and Sunday to Wednesday from 10 am to 3 am
This popular art deco inspired spot on South Beach is pure Americana, serving up everything from chicken and waffles to french toast. The brunch at Big Pink is the best remedy to a hangover in the city. We love the decor here, it really feels like you could be in a 1950s diner. The food reflects this too. Comforting, retro and not at all healthy, Big Pink brunches are a Miami must!
Location: 57 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Open: Thursday to Saturday from 8 am to 5.30 am, Sunday from 8 am to 2 am, Monday to Wednesday from 8 am to 12 am
R House is best known as an awesome Miami gay bar in the hip Wynwood neighborhood. Yet the gay brunch here is also the stuff of legend. Colorful, delicious, fabulous! R House throws a riotous brunch that has earned it a serious reputation on the gay scene in Miami. Order a cocktail, one of their amazing burgers and simply enjoy the show. The drag acts who perform here do not hold back for a second, making this a seriously unique dining experience.
Location: 2727 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Open: Friday from 3 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 11.30 am to 10 pm and Sunday from 11.30 am to 6 pm
Best gay saunas in Miami
In Miami, the gay bath house and sauna scene is smaller than you might expect but the quality can’t be knocked. Whether you’re looking for a long hot soak in a Jacuzzi or the chance to meet some new friends in steamy surroundings, Miami has exactly what you want. Here are the main gay saunas in Miami to check out:
Gaythering is one of Miami’s premier gay hotels. The male-only sauna at this place is also one of the best in town, with this compact yet modern space home to a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi that is frequented by locals and tourists alike. For hotel guests, using the sauna is totally complimentary. The Gaythering Sauna is located at 1409 Lincoln Rd in Miami Beach and it is open 24/7.
Club Aqua is an amazingly extensive gay bathhouse that’s home to a full gym, steam room, whirlpool, dry sauna, outdoor heated pool, bar, sundeck and even a maze/video area. It is also extremely clean and super welcoming…zero attitude here! Club Aqua is located at 2991 Coral Way in Coral Gables and is open 24/7.
Gay Pride and other gay events in Miami
When it comes to Gay Pride, Miami's is one of the most unique in the world: like Rio's it is one of the few Pride events that take place on the beach. It is, after all, in the city’s DNA to be unique, beautiful and different! Miami is also home to a variety of other gay celebrations that take place throughout the year, each with its own distinct character, which we summarise here:
Gay8 Festival (February)
Taking place every February, Gay8 Festival is an all-encompassing celebration of all things gay. With DJs, live music, performers, comedy, food vendors and much more, Gay8 Festival is tons of fun. This event should not be missed for gay guys visiting Miami in February. As the first gay celebration of the year in Miami, Gay8 really knows how to get things started in style! This is also a great place to meet sexy gay guys from all over the world, yet tickets sell fast so don’t hang around…
Winter Party Festival (March)
Marking the end of winter every year on Miami Beach, the Winter Party Festival is like one big gay carnival. With everything from all-night parties to performances and vendors, this is an amazing party that definitely focuses on high energy music at its core. Visitors can expect some of the biggest electronic music DJs on the planet to be included on the Winter Party Festival lineup, just be sure to get your tickets early.
OUTshine Film Festival (March)
OUTshine is a two-part festival, the first part takes place in Miami in March (except in 2020 when it was held in October due to the global pandemic) and the second part in October in Fort Lauderdale. This is the definitive gay culture event of the year in South Florida. The films range from first-time efforts from up and coming directors to seriously polished movies by award-winners. Book tickets to a showing that grabs your attention, order a glass of wine and enjoy some of the most vibrant, urgent LGBTQ films on the planet at this high-quality film festival.
Miami Beach Pride (April)
The big one! This nine-day celebration is the definitive Pride in the USA. Centered around the two-day festival period, Miami Beach Pride revolves around amazing music, inclusive vibes and of course the most fabulous parade you can imagine. With a range of stages and events spaces spread across Miami Beach, this enormous celebration attracts some of the gay scene’s biggest and best DJs, along with headlining acts for an unbeatable Pride experience. For our money, Miami Beach pride might just be one of the wildest gay events in all of Florida!
Sizzle South Beach (May)
Every year on Memorial Day weekend, South Beach heats up with the arrival of Sizzle. Centered on wild pool parties that stretch from early afternoon way into the wee hours of the morning, visitors can expect to see some of the hunkiest beefcakes in the skimpiest of swimsuits at Sizzle. Cocktails, great tunes and a celebration of Miami’s LGBTQ identity, Sizzle is a legendary gay party that just gets better with age.
Circuit Miami (November)
Every November, Miami hosts one of the best Circuit parties in the world. After partying at Barcelona's awesome Circuit Party, we were excited to repeat it all once again in Miami. With a series of elegant club nights and pool parties, Miami's Circuit takes place at various locations across the city. The main party on Saturday evening is one not to be missed when Miami’s most beautiful gay boys gather, clad in harness gear(!) to party away all night long.
Art Gaysel (December)
Miami Art Week is a major event on the global cultural calendar, attracting A-listers from all parts of the world. Taking place at Gaythering, one of our favorite gay hotels in town, Art Gaysel is the LGBTQ answer to ArtBasel. Featuring 30+ queer artists from across the planet, ArtGaysel is a showcase of gay artists’ work that puts the LGBTQ experience in the spotlight. Expect drinks, canapés and no shortage of amazing art.
Where to eat in Miami
It's no secret that Miami boasts some of the most delicious food in the whole of America! From insanely fresh sushi to classic French fare, Miami’s culinary offerings are up there with the very best. As one of the nation’s most cosmopolitan cities, this comes as no surprise. Our selection of the best places to eat in Miami for gay travelers includes a diverse set of restaurants with something to please every palette.
Owned and operated by ‘Top Chef’ winner Jeremy Ford, Stubborn Seed has fast become one of Miami’s most sought after reservations. With food this good, it’s not difficult to see why. Refined, fresh and oh-so-Miami, the food here totally blew us away. Expect elegant entrées like Kusshi oysters with a Thai chilli mignonette alongside expertly seared beef and freshly caught prized tuna. We found Stubborn Seed to be the perfect place for a date night before heading out to one of the gay hotspots for cocktails and a boogie.
Who doesn’t love a pizza? This place in the Miami Beach neighborhood does classic Neapolitan-style pies with plenty of skill and no shortage of love. Whether you like a simple marinara or something a little more indulgent, La LeGGenda Pizza is the perfect place for classic Italian comfort food. We recommend this place after a day of drinking on the beach before heading back to your hotel for a long jacuzzi. Why? After a pizza at La LeGGenda, you will want to keep activity to a minimum!
For an extravagant experience we love INTI.MO, a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine by the famous Peruvian chef Juan Chipoco. We love Peruvian ceviche and the ones at INTI.MO are absolutely delish. The staff are wonderful here too, with incredible service to match the amazing dishes. Lots of seafood, especially the exquisite sushi and a spectacular dessert called “Secreto del Inca” – a homemade brioche bread slice, lightly battered and flash-fried for perfect crispiness, topped with genuine Italian vanilla gelato. OMG, talk about a food-gasm!
Simply the freshest, best sushi in Miami, Nobu has long figured high on the list of foodies visiting this beautiful city. We love the elegant decor here and it has to be said that the clientele are strikingly beautiful too! In fact, the only thing prettier are the dishes themselves, which include favorites like Blue Fin Toro Tartar, Sea Urchin Tiradito as well as the beloved California Roll. Nobu is a glamorous spot for lunch or dinner. Their Japanese-American fusion food shows Miami at its multicultural best.
Top things to do for gay travelers in Miami
Miami is packed with exciting cultural opportunities for gay travelers. Some of our favourites include the unique Wynwood art district and the art deco heritage along Miami Beach. A vibrant, multicultural city that’s teeming with history and life, Miami offers plenty of memorable experiences for the culturally inclined. Our selection of tours and top things to do for gay travelers in Miami is sure to provide you with something totally amazing.
With over 50 stunning murals by artists such as Shephard Fairey, DFace and many others, Wynwood is renowned across the globe as a hub of alternative culture. It's a must-see in Miami, one of our favourite spots in the entire city, particularly Wynwood Walls. One of the most unique ways to check out Miami’s hippest area is on a one-hour guided tour in a golf buggy. Not only were the guides super friendly and informative yet the buggy was a convenient, unique way to experience the area.
Discover the Art Deco on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
Anybody who knows a thing or two about architecture will be well aware of Miami’s unparalleled contribution to the art deco school. We did a two-hour bike tour through the entirety of Ocean Drive, Miami’s most iconic thoroughfare, which we highly recommend. Taking in legendary spots such as The Carlyle Hotel (where The Birdcage movie was filmed), the Versace Mansion and the Bass Art Museum, we learnt about the city's rich art deco history. Of course, your bike and helmet are included in the package.
Española Way is an iconic pedestrianized street of Miami that is teeming with culture, history and a distinct Spanish ambiance. Located between 14th and 15th streets in Miami Beach, Española Way provides an unmissable opportunity to dine al fresco on treats such as paella and jamon iberico, just as if we were sashaying our way around the streets of Seville, Madrid or Barcelona. Locals and tourists alike come here to awe at this super picturesque and Bohemian street.
Little Havana is home to Miami's vibrant and oldest Cuban community…cue: the best Cuban coffee shops, bakeries, photogenic old men smoking cigars posing for pictures and live Latin music, everywhere! We did this two-hour walking tour of Little Havana, which we totally recommend. It gave us a unique insight into America’s oldest Cuban community, along with the opportunity to sip authentic mojitos and sample real Cuban food. We also got the chance to sip cortadito at an old-school Cuban cafe to learn about the area’s unique architecture and iconic streetart murals, such as those by Calle Ocho.
South Pointe Park (South Beach)
This 17-acre urban park at the southernmost tip of South Beach is a beautiful place to come and get away from the hustle and bustle of Miami. With stunning views of the city skyline, South Pointe Park might just be the most tranquil area of Miami. We particularly love coming here at dusk with a few drinks and some snacks to enjoy the romantic beauty of the Miami sunset, which is unlike any other in the world!
Before you go
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Miami. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
How to get there: You can fly into the Miami International Airport from many parts of the US, as well as quite a few cities in Europe and other countries. If you're visiting from within the US you can also drive to Miami easily, or catch a bus or train. We usually fly into the airport and organise a private airport transfer to our hotel so we don't need to worry about juggling our luggage on public transport.
Getting around: Miami has a public transport system consisting of the metrobus, metrorail and metromover (an elevated train) however, the city is quite spread out so you'll probably still have to walk quite a lot. We found hiring a car the most convenient way to explore all corners of the city and get to the beaches!
Travel insurance: We never travel without the security of travel insurance and definitely recommend you do the same for your trip to Miami. You just never know when a missed flight or lost luggage will derail all your plans, but at least with travel insurance, you are covered. We've been using World Nomads Travel Insurance and always recommend them as they provide excellent coverage at an affordable price. It's also easy to make a claim online if you need to.
Travel credit card: Our favourite credit card for travelling to Miami is the Alaska Airlines Credit Card. For every purchase, we get 1 point for every $1 we spend. We also love the fact that there is no expiration on points, so we can redeem them whenever we want with no pressure. There are also no foreign transaction fees which means we get the best exchange rate when travelling abroad and it comes with many perks when we travel on Alaska Airlines or partner airlines. What else could you ask for? Ah yes, for only $100 annual fee, we get all the benefits and a welcome bonus of 40,000 points. No need to think twice!
Accommodation: We love using Booking.com to find more accommodation options in Miami, as they have all the best choices and many listings offer free cancellation if needed. They also have excellent 24/7 online customer support, in case you ever need help with your booking.
When to visit: Miami is warm all year round, but does get quite humid in summer and the hurricane season from June-November is best avoided. November-April (winter in America) is the high season, as people from the northern states flock down to the warmth. We personally think spring is the best time to visit, as the weather is great but it's not as busy (or expensive) as the high season.
Gay map of Miami
Here's our gay map of Miami which includes all the gay bars, clubs, hotels and sightseeing highlights we've mentioned in this post. Use it to plan your own amazing gay trip!
For more inspiration:
- After experiencing Miami's South Beach gay heaven, why not head north and visit the gay Wilton Manors neighbourhood of Fort Lauderdale?!
- These are the best gay bars and clubs of Fort Lauderdale to check out while you're there
- Along with the best gay resorts in Fort Lauderdale for a fabulous stay
- If you prefer something homier these are the best gay Airbnbs in Fort Lauderdale as well
- Then head south with our gay guide to the Florida Keys
- Making sure you definitely visit the totally gay Key West!
- And stay at one of these gay resorts in Key West