Long the fun, high-end destination for gay travelers around the country and all over the world, this fall Miami Beach has lots of events, activities and deals for stimulating and exciting fall travel. From unique packages at several hotels to the one-of-a-kind White Party, one of the largest fundraisers in the country for HIV/AIDS, Miami Beach is buzzing with a calendar stuffed with experiences and happenings.
Global LGBT spending on travel is estimated to be more than $200 billion per year with millions of those dollars spent in South Florida.
“Miami Beach has always been a haven for the LGBT community,” noted Peggy Benua, Chair, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). “With each passing year, however, our hotels, cultural and social venues really turn up the heat on the quality of offerings available to this community. That’s what makes our city so exciting to visit, the unpredictable but endless variety of lodging and entertainment that’s accessible here.”
The Gaythering, Miami Beach’s only hotel exclusively built to accommodate the LGBT traveler, is a 3-minute walk from Lincoln Road and one mile from the beach. Gay travelers are treated to a steam room, a cedar sauna, a hot tub, and a hammam and mud lounge. A low-key bar offers craft beers and cocktails made with locally sourced ingredients. There’s also a library lounge and a coffee shop.
The Dream Hotel-South Beach on Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue, directly behind the former Versace Mansion and two blocks from the beach, is offering a “Same Sex in the City” package which includes complimentary “his & his” or “hers & hers” monogrammed beach towels, bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival. VIP entry and premium bottle service for one evening at Twist LGBT lounge; custom-curated itinerary of recommended cultural events, activities and experiences as well as personal concierge services; early check in/late check out and a waived resort fee.
“Miami Beach competes with Madrid, Prague and Amsterdam for the gay travel dollar, among other top-notch international destinations, and that’s why our lodging, activity and event options are so superb and exceptional,” said Grisette Roque, Executive Director, MBVCA. “Miami Beach strives to be a world-class LGBT city of choice at all times.”
The city tries to make visitors feel comfortable in every way starting with the LGBT Visitor Center on Miami Beach, at 1130 Washington Avenue. Opening its doors to thousands of tourists from around the globe each year, the center is located in the historic Old City Hall building and provides information and resources as well as weekly support groups. The Gay & Lesbian Walking Tour of Miami Beach is offered by the Miami Design Preservation League. The tours, start at the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive and take place the second Saturday of each month. The tour highlights the contributions of gays and lesbians to the history of Miami Beach.
One of the largest LGBT events of the year is White Party Week. It’s an unparalleled week of fundraising parties and events culminating with the legendary White Party. Now more than 25 years old, White Party is the preeminent LGBT event of the season. More than 15,000 party-goers enjoy six days and nights of nonstop entertainment, all while raising awareness and money for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Can’t make White Party week? Then there’s a host of LGBT focused and friendly places to hang out during aMiami Beach visit including the Palace Bar with its infamous Brunchic on Sundays. Each week this Drag Brunch showcases performances and bottomless mimosas for $39.95 per person. You can also enjoy their Saturday brunch, Sabado Gigantes. Twist lounge and bar is the longest running gay nightlife venue in South Florida. A South Beach “must-do”, it has continuously redefined itself in the past 18 years. Visitors can also check out Score nightclub and relax and soak up some sun in the daytime at 12th Street Beach or Haulover Beach Park.