Gay Miami – Your Complete LGBTQ+ Travel Guide
In addition to the fabulous gay beaches like 12 Street on South Beach and nudist Haulover, we highly recommend taking a day trip to the Everglades for a thrilling ride on an airboat to see dolphins, alligators, snakes, turtles, and a variety of birds. It's a must if you've never done it before. With Everglades Day Safari, every tour includes a wildlife drive, nature walk, delicious lunch, airboat ride and boat cruise.
Overview – Miami is a major tourist destination drawing the second most international travelers to the United States just after New York City. It's also super popular with the LGBTQ+ traveler. With dazzling beaches and a sexy pool scene, Miami continues to shine in pop culture from music to film. One of our favorite movies, The Birdcage, was filmed here starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. If you haven't seen it, we highly recommend that you do before any trip to South Beach, Miami's gayborhood.
Miami also has a dedicated LGBTQ+ Visitor’s Center located just a couple blocks back on Washington Street from Ocean Drive between 11th and 12th Streets. City Hall is also located here as well as the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce which provides some very interesting statistics on the gay market. According to their website, the LGBTQ+ market spends in excess of $917B annually in the United States. In addition, Miami registers over 1.2M LGBTQ+ visitors every year who spend in excess of $1.7B. Impressive.
Top 10 Things To Do in Miami
Head to the gay beach -At famed 12th Street and Ocean Drive, you will find Miami's colorful gay beach packed with locals and tourists. For a gay nude beach, it's worth the trek up to Haulover Beach.
Work out at Muscle Beach -For fitness enthusiasts and their admirers, there is plenty of eye candy and inspiration at this outdoor gym located in Lummus Park near 9th Street.
See Miami Beach’s famous Art Deco architecture -Book the official Art Deco walking tour with an expert from the Miami Design Preservation League. The 90-minute guided tour includes admission to the Museum.
Snap a photo in front of an iconic lifeguard tower -With dozens of colorful structures lining Miami Beach, don't forget to take your pic at one of the unique towers that speaks to you. If not, did you really even come to Miami?
Visit Versace's former mansion -As you walk by this ornate landmark on Ocean Drive, it's still hard to imagine fashion legend Gianni Versace was killed on the steps leading to what is today a fabulous hotel and restaurant.
Day trip to Key West -If you're short on time and Gay Key West is a must on your gay travel bingo card, we have you covered. Book this day trip—one we've taken before. It's a long day but lots of fun.
Have a drink at The Carlyle -If you are a fan of the Birdcage starring Robin Williams, this art deco hotel is the nightclub's location and a great spot to stop for a drink. For a less busy alternative, try the nearby Betsey.
Explore Miami's Gay Nightlife -Start your night at gay hotel AxelBeach's Sky Bar to meet locals and fellow travelers before heading to Twist, our favorite gay bar in Miami.
Tour Wynwood Walls -See amazing street art and graffiti in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami. For the best murals and photo-ops, hop on a golf cart tour with experienced guides. The Wynwood Walls are a must do experience.
Enjoy an Everglades safari -As mentioned in our destination highlight, an airboat safari tour over the flooded grasslands of the Everglades is super unique and thrilling. Book your adventure with our friends at Get Your Guide.
When to go - High season and high season prices run from mid-November to mid-April as snowbirds and travelers from colder climates flock to warm and sunny South Florida. In the summer and early fall (roughly June through November), it's the Atlantic hurricane season so definitely keep on top of any weather developments before traveling to South Florida during this time.
Getting here – Visitors to Miami are spoiled for choice when it comes to getting here. There are 3 international airports within about an hour's drive from each other. The closest is Miami International Airport (airport code: MIA) where a Lyft to the gay hotels on South Beach will take approximately 25-30 minutes for the 12-mile trip. Alternatively, we would recommend flying into Fort Lauderdale International Airport (airport code: FLL) followed by Palm Beach International Airport (airport code: PBI).
In addition, if you need a one-way transfer between Miami and Key West, we've taken this shuttle bus before and bookended our trip with both of Miami's gay hotels for added fun! Book your one way transfer with our friends at Get Your Guide.
Where to stay - In terms of the best hotels in Miami, we have stayed in both of our gay hotel selections below numerous times. Each has unique rooms and amenities to offer, but we can assure you that you will have fun at whichever property you choose!
The AxelBeach Miami South Beach offers a perfect location just steps from the 12th Street Gay Beach and Twist, the biggest and best gay club in Miami! With a gorgeous and popular pool area, oversized loungers, and bar, if you prefer the sexy Miami pool scene to the beach, then AxelBeach is for you! We also love the rainbow dance floor and cocktail bar to meet fellow travelers before heading out to enjoy Miami's gay nightlife.
As a bonus option, you can stay or dine at Versace's former mansion, The Villa Casa Casuarina. While we have only dined here in the past, everything about the property is super luxe with impeccable service. We love the tiled pool and can only imagine the wild parties thrown here by Gianni Versace when it was a private residence.
Where to eat and drink – For more than three decades, Palace South Beach has been serving up fabulous and fun dining experiences and nightly drag shows and drag brunches. R House located in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami is a popular newcomer to the drag brunch scene.
One of our favorite restaurants in Miami is located at 1130 Collins Ave: Il Pastaiolo. The food and service are impeccable. Don't forget to order the homemade tiramisu which is prepared table side. We love a show! They also have a 4.9 rating on Google which is practically unheard of in a tourist area.
Where to find gay nightlife – While Miami doesn't have the sheer number of gay bars at say Gay Fort Lauderdale, what it makes up for in quantity is quality. Our favorite gay bar in Miami (for decades!) is Twist South Beach located at Washington and 11th Street. Twist is actually seven bars in one with each bar having its own unique atmosphere and vibe. You can literally bar hop without ever leaving the massive two story club.
In addition to Twist and our favorite Bunglaow Bar in the back, SkyBar at AxelBeach is a good place to start off your night. Gaythering Bar at Hotel Gaythering is also popular with locals and tourists with their nightly events and downstairs sauna.
Where to find gay beachgoers – At Ocean Drive and 12th Street, you will find access to Miami's 12th Street gay beach. You can bring your own towel or rent loungers and umbrellas. There is also a shower and foot shower to wash off any sand when you're ready to leave. On the weekends, come early to find your preferred spot, as this beach gets very busy.
Miami Cruise Port – Miami is known as the cruise capital of the world, and many of the world's largest and most luxurious ships depart from here. With nearly 7 million cruise passengers using PortMiami each year, it's very likely you may have found this article to plan a pre-or-post cruise stay. If so, we encourage you to use our links to book your stay to help support gay-owned small business. We greatly appreciate your support. Also, if you are traveling on super LGBTQ+ friendly Virgin Voyages, check out our Top 5 Things to Do & Travel Tips below from our recent sailing. We've also made a number of videos highlighting our experience on LGBTQ+ friendly Celebrity Cruises. The Celebrity Eclipse, a Solstice-class ship, and Celebrity Apex, one of the new Edge-class ships are two of our favorites.
Travel Credit Card – For the best travel credit card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve. We use it to book free stays with reward points, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary car rental insurance, lounge access through Priority Pass, and to avoid foreign transaction fees just to name a few of this card's incredible perks. To learn more, click here. Even though there is a hefty $550 annual fee, you get a credit of $300 for travel (i.e. airfare, uber, etc). For the remaining $250, the card easily pays for itself with free food and drinks at the complimentary airport lounges we frequent, including access to the Turkish Airlines Lounges or a credit at Corona Beach House in Miami. Also, if you don't have global entry yet, another card benefit covers that application fee! Trai has had the card since 2017, and it's his only credit card.
Travel Experiences – Discover authentic, unforgettable experiences and explore the world with Get Your Guide. They offer top-rated tours and activities in Miami. We have used Get Your Guide for numerous adventures around the world.
Shop Our Travel Essentials – To keep all of your electronics charged around the world, we recommend this universal international travel power adapter. It's also the one airline crew receive! For more of our favorite travel essentials, check out our Amazon Storefront.
Want to see more? For additional footage of our adventures in Miami, check out our Gay Miami YouTube video linked above and be sure to smash that like button and subscribe! Also, don't miss our other videos in South Florida, including Gay Fort Lauderdale and Gay Key West. And, of course, follow us on social media @twogayexpats on your favorite socials for more gay travel inspiration!
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Hi! We're Two Gay Expats
Hola amigos and welcome to our gay travel blog! We are Andy and Trai, a gay couple traveling the world with PRIDE 🌈 …and our rescue dog, Pattie!
After meeting in San Francisco in 2018 and later moving to Chicago, we decided to quit our jobs in 2021, sell everything, and become Two Gay Expats!
If you’d like to follow our adventures, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and add us on social media using the links below. We’d also love to hear from you and meet up if we’re in your city!
❤️ Andy + Trai