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  

daytime, beach, dock, palm trees, ocean
Key West

Key West

A beach lover’s heaven, Key West is one of the most enchanting of the 1,700 islands that make up the Florida Keys. It’s also the southernmost city in the continental US. 960 1280

Ed Schipul via Flickr Creative Commons SA 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Key West

Key West

The beaches in Key West are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and fishing is allowed off the piers at most beaches. Enjoy these activities at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Florida’s southernmost state park -- and one of its most beautiful spots -- that’s home to wide stretches of sand and tranquil waters. We recommend renting a 2-person, glass-bottom kayak if you’re looking for a fun but romantic escape. 960 1280

Katja Kreder/ AWL Images/ Getty Images  

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

One of America’s finest white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach spans a narrow, 3-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast. Clearwater’s proximity to Tampa offers visitors ample activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball, parasailing, a dolphin-watching cruise and a fun fishing excursion. 960 1280

Image Source/ Getty Images  

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Piers are a Florida shore staple, and Clearwater Beach is no different. Walk to the end of the famed Pier 60 to take in one of the state’s many beautiful sunsets, whether it’s the one in the sky or the daily festival of the same name, which is held 365 days a year. 960 1280

Matthew Paulson via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Known as one of the best shelling locations thanks to the abundant seashells that wash ashore from the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island attracts collectors from all over the world. 960 1280

Gregory Moine, flickr  

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

With a small population of locals, along with breathtaking, clear-blue waters and immaculate white-sand beaches, Sanibel Island offers a fun and relaxing vacation for families and couples alike. 960 1280

ziggymaj / E+ / Getty Images  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

Just north of its aforementioned sister island, Sanibel, Captiva Island is a tropical paradise right here in the United States. It offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida. 960 1280

Jeff Self via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Captiva Island

Captiva Island

The blue waters and white-sand beaches of Captiva Island stretch into the horizon. So we recommend watching a spectacular sunset at the end of Captiva Drive. But before the sun sets, go boating down the waterways of the island to see local wildlife, including dolphins, crocodiles, blue herons and many different species of colorful birds. 960 1280

Pete Markham, flickr  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

The easternmost town in all of Florida, Palm Beach is lined with its namesake majestic trees and loaded with beautiful beachfront properties, high-end hotels and sprawling resorts. 960 1280

Simon Morris via Flickr Creative Commons NC 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Palm Beach

Palm Beach

This 16-mile-long, half-mile-wide island is the epitome of wealth and extravagance. In times past, it served as the winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and other millionaires. True to form, the town still features some of Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as beautiful beaches. Perched next to the Gulf Stream, this beach town also enjoys the extra benefit of warm blue water and gentle breezes. 960 1280

Panoramic Images/ Getty Images  

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Situated between Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, just a short distance from downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key is as laid-back and enjoyable as any beach you’ll find in Florida. 960 1280

Thomas Orger via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Siesta Key

Siesta Key

Spend the perfect family vacation in Siesta Key, a barrier island off Florida’s central western coast that boasts beachside picnic areas and playgrounds. Go shell collecting, kayaking or hop on a catamaran for more active pursuits. For adults who want a more low-key experience, spend a candlelit dinner at a restaurant or rent a cozy cottage for a romantic getaway. 960 1280

Mike Miller, flickr  

Naples

Naples

Located in southern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples offers phenomenal fishing experiences along the pier, top-notch outdoor restaurants and fun — but difficult — golf courses. 960 1280

Marcus Andersson via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Naples

Naples

Watch the rolling waves and gaze at the mansions that line some of Naples’ most popular beaches along 12th Avenue South. For a family looking to camp out on the beach for the day, we recommend heading a few miles north of Old Naples to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Food stands and on-site rentals for umbrellas, kayaks and snorkeling gear are available nearby. 960 1280

Getty Images  

South Beach

South Beach

Take a dip in the crystal-blue waters of Miami’s South Beach, an international playground that offers non-stop nightlife, high-end shopping, luxurious boutique hotels and unique Art Deco architecture. This man-made beach is perfect for early morning runs and topless sunbathing. 960 1280

photosvit/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

South Beach

South Beach

Take in a beautiful sunrise accompanied by blue skies and colorful clouds as you walk along one of the world’s most renowned beaches. 960 1280

ventdusud / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Delray Beach

Delray Beach

Each year, nearly 1 million people visit family-friendly Delray Beach to enjoy the 2-mile-long beach that’s ideal for fun beach activities, including sandcastle-building. Take a break from the beach and hit nearby Atlantic Avenue, lined with boutiques, seafood restaurants and the luxurious Seagate Hotel and Spa. 960 1280

ddmitr/ Moment Open/ Getty Images  

Delray Beach

Delray Beach

From sailing and surfing to snorkeling and paddleboarding, water-sport lovers are in for a treat when visiting Delray. 960 1280

Visit Florida / Pete Cross via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

One of the most northern spots on our list, Atlantic Beach offers sand as soft and white as sugar and beautiful azure waters reminiscent of a cloudless sky. 960 1280

Frank Vest via Flickr Creative Commons NC ND 2.0, cropped and color corrected  

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

Only a short drive from Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach exudes small-town charm, especially at the Beach Town Center, where the pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, galleries and boutiques. 960 1280

Fallbrook/ iStock  

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