Best Gay Beach Destinations

Miami, Nice, Provincetown, Rio de Janeiro and Fire Island are just a few sizzling-hot beach towns. Get our complete list of fun beach destinations for gays and lesbians.

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San Francisco Pride, parade, balloons, California
San Francisco Pride

San Francisco Pride

San Francisco's annual gay pride parade draws hundreds of thousands of people to downtown San Francisco to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride. The rainbow flag, designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, symbolizes gay pride and the LGBT community's diversity. 960 1280

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images  

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

A parade goers pose prior during the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Australia. The March event, which includes a parade, dance parties, fair and drag races, is one of Australia's biggest events, generating about $30 million for the state of New South Wales each year. 960 1280

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras/Hamid Mousa  

EuroPride in Madrid

EuroPride in Madrid

A man holds a gay flag during the EuroPride in Madrid. EuroPride, in the Spanish capital, marks the highlight of a week of events. The first EuroPride event took place in London in 1992. Riga, Latvia, and Amsterdam are the host cities for EuroPride in 2015 and 2016 respectively. 960 1280

Bru Garcia/AFP/Getty Images  

NYC Pride

NYC Pride

In New York City, a spectators can expect to see the group 'Dykes on Bikes' and parade floats that commemorate the Stonewall riots, which erupted after a 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street. The riots launched the gay-rights movement, and gave birth to the annual march that now includes 170 floats, thousands of marchers, supporters and spectators. 960 1280

NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer  

Amsterdam Gay Pride

Amsterdam Gay Pride

The Dutch LGBT community participates in the annual Gay Pride parade along the canals in Amsterdam. The city's Gay Pride celebration, held over the course of a week in August, includes separate parties and events for lesbians. Amsterdam's liberal reputation is one of the reasons why it's a top travel destination for thousands of gays and lesbians. 960 1280

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images   

Pride Barcelona

Pride Barcelona

There's something for everyone at Pride Barcelona. Event organizers pack dozens of events into the 10-day celebration held in late June, including Pride Kids. The 2-day event is set up to provide children with the opportunity to play games and sports, and to participate in fun workshops and other activities. 960 1280

Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images  

Christopher Street Day

Christopher Street Day

People in Berlin take Christopher Street Day (CSD) seriously.  Germany and Switzerland call their Gay Pride event CSD in memory of the uprising of LGBT people against police assaults on NYC's Christopher Street in the 1960s. 960 1280

Christian Bach/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images  

CSD Berlin

CSD Berlin

A group of men dance on top of a float during the Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin. Also known as Berlin Pride Celebration, the first CSDs took place in the city in 1979; today Berlin is the leading gay city in Europe, hosting 4 major gay festivals each year. 960 1280

Miguel Villagran/Getty Images   

Delhi Queer Pride

Delhi Queer Pride

Members of the LGBT community and supporters march in the Delhi Queer Pride parade in New Delhi. The LGBT community demanded equal rights -- something that has slowly begun to be realized in recent years: In July 2009, the High Court of Delhi repealed Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which had previously criminalized gay rights. 960 1280

Virendra Singh/Hindustan Times/Getty Images  

Pride London

Pride London

Drag queens get dolled up to participate in the annual Gay Pride street march through central London. The community, as well as celebrities and performers on floats, are all part of London's Gay Pride celebration, which in recent years has attracted some 1 million people, making it the UK's largest gay and lesbian festival. 960 1280

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images  

Pride Toronto

Pride Toronto

The camera catches a gay couple sharing a special moment at Gay Pride in Toronto. Since the 1970s, Pride Toronto has grown to attract over 1 million people over the course of the 3-day festival, held in late June. The first economic impact study in 1996 showed that Pride tourists spent more than $46 million in Toronto. 960 1280

REUTERS/Mark Blinch  

Tokyo Rainbow Pride

Tokyo Rainbow Pride

Participants in the Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade march through the streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya district in April 2013. The parade celebrates the diversity of Japan’s LGBT community; organizers estimated about 12,000 people participated in this year’s inaugural parade. 960 1280

Keith Tsuji/Getty Images  

Marriage Equality in France

Marriage Equality in France

People hold rainbow flags to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in France. After months of debate and hundreds of protests, France's National Assembly approved same-sex marriage on April 23, 2013, becoming the 14th country to do so. 960 1280

KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images  

Sao Paulo Gay Pride

Sao Paulo Gay Pride

Each year thousands of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people walk down Paulista Avenue for the annual Gay Pride parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Held in early June, the 17th annual parade attracted nearly 4 million people in 2013, making it the biggest gay parade in the world. 960 1280

NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images  

Puerto Rico Pride

Puerto Rico Pride

People march during the annual gay pride parade in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2013 brought extra reason to celebrate: The Puerto Rican House of Representatives approved bills in late May that protect LGBT people in employment, housing, governmental services and public accommodations. The new measures also add sexual orientation to Puerto Rico’s domestic violence laws. 960 1280

David Gasser/LatinContent/Getty Images  

Bangalore Pride

Bangalore Pride

Members of the LGBT community take part in the Bangalore “Queer Pride” Parade in December 2012. The fifth-annual parade, held in India’s third most populous city, drew more than 1,000 people last year. The celebration was organized by the Coalition for Sexual Minority Rights (CSMR), a group of lawyers and human-rights activists who first rallied together in response to police harassment of gay individuals in the city. 960 1280

Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images  

South Bay, CA
South Bay, CA

South Bay, CA

Look out, here come the South Bay surfers! Head to the South Bay area, southwest of Los Angeles, for cool waves and plenty of sun. For top surfing action, check out the annual International Surf Festival -- one of South Bay’s biggest events of the year, held in late July. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Waimea Bay, HI

Waimea Bay, HI

If everybody had an ocean, across the USA … they might wish it looked like Hawaii’s Waimea Bay. Top gun surfers -- called 'rhino chasers' in the Beach Boys’ day -- love the area’s tall waves. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Redondo Beach, CA

Redondo Beach, CA

Everybody’s gone surfin’ at Redondo, too. While in the South Bay area stop by Redondo Beach, one of 3 prized beaches in the region. The South Bay waves here turn into killer kahunas -- as high as 20 feet! 960 1280

Neil Kremer, flickr   

Sandals Cay, Jamaica

Sandals Cay, Jamaica

Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand … welcome to Sandals Cay. Once known as Kokomo Island, Sandals Cay is just 2.5 acres but big on tropical relaxation: a Thai restaurant, Jacuzzi and secluded beach can be found here. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

Tach it up, tach it up, buddy gonna shut you down! The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson used to rev it up in a Shelby Cobra car around the now-gone San Fernando Raceway. These days, head to places like Auto Club Speedway, which has hosted NASCAR racing every year since 1997. 960 1280

Massimo Mazzocca, flickr  

Big Sur, CA

Big Sur, CA

Under Big Sur sky, that’s where you belong. This stretch of California’s Central Coast inspired the Beach Boys with its 'cashmere hills filled with evergreens, flowin’ from the clouds down to meet the sea.' 960 1280

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San Miguel, Mexico

San Miguel, Mexico

The Beach Boys sang they could be in San Miguel forever. However long your visit, take time for a stroll through this central Mexican city’s quaint cobblestone streets, lined with colorful homes and churches. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Trestles Beach

Trestles Beach

And who can forget Trestles Beach? The Beach Boys didn’t in ‘Surfin’ USA.’ Trestles Beach remains one of California’s best surfing spots, with some of the last undeveloped coastal areas in Southern California. 960 1280

Rian Castillo, flickr  

Disneyland

Disneyland

Disneyland is worth a trip to LA. The theme park made the list in the Beach Boys’ hit ‘Amusement Parks USA.’ In true Beach Boys-style, get behind the wheel of a specially-designed car and zoom around the track at Disneyland’s own roadway, Autopia. 960 1280

Larry Johnson, flickr  

Narrabeen Beach, Australia

Narrabeen Beach, Australia

It may not be surfin’ in the USA, but Australia’s Narrabeen Beach got a nod from the Beach Boys in their famous hit. The beachside suburb, northeast of Sydney, has 4 beach areas – and plenty of water activities, including rowing. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Islamorada, Florida Keys

Islamorada, Florida Keys

The Beach Boys called Islamorada the real inspiration for their hit ‘Kokomo.’ Four islands in this upper Florida Keys attraction offer tranquil spots to stretch out on the sand. And don’t forget your fishing pole -- locals call this the ‘sport fishing capital of the world.’ 960 1280

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Swami’s Beach, CA

Swami’s Beach, CA

Surf’s up on Swami’s Beach. This stretch of sand near San Diego was made famous in the Beach Boys’ ‘Surfin’ USA.’ To this day, Swami’s remains a major surfing destination -- its large number of right-hand point breaks is a big reason why. 960 1280

Phil Price, flickr  

Kona Coast

Kona Coast

Welcome to an “island mecca.” Yep, that’s what the Beach Boys called Kona’s coast. Part of the Big Island of Hawaii, the coastline includes Kealakekua Bay -- a popular spot for snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking. 960 1280

Travis Thurston, Wikimedia Commons  

Pasadena, CA

Pasadena, CA

Make like the ‘little old lady from Pasadena,’ and take a drive around this LA County city. One of the most scenic driving spots is Orange Grove Boulevard, a street lined with so many mansions it’s called ‘Millionaire’s Row.’ 960 1280

Thinkstock  

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