Article by Claude Shy
Summer is coming to a close and we all have the itch to squeeze one more trip in - especially to a sunny beach full of hard bodies. You don’t have to travel all the way to Mykonos to have a nice getaway, however. The States are full of LGBTQ-friendly beaches that can meet almost anyone’s needs. We’ve identified a few that may get overlooked sometimes, because finding a great beach can sometimes be a real beach.
Hollywood Beach, Chicago, IL
Located on the north side of one of America’s most progressive cities, Hollywood Beach offers fun in the sun for all members of the LGBTQ. It’s not uncommon to find men in speedos or topless women of all shapes and sizes, here. Plus, the rainbow-painted pier is one of the most Instagram-worthy sites in the city.
Haulover Beach, Bal Harbour, FL
Approximately 18 miles from the Miami International Airport and a little different than most of the beaches on this list, Haulover Beach in sunny Bal Harbour is a nude beach. While not exclusively LGBTQ, the beach has attracted a lot of attention from the community for its welcoming patrons and carefree environment – just leave your inhibitions at home.
Sebastian Street Beach, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Because Florida is home to sprawling coastlines, it only makes sense that the state would fare well in a roundup of the best gay beaches. Take a trip to Sebastian Street Beach, less than a mile south of Fort Lauderdale Beach to find a male-heavy and low-key environment. Rumor has it, the north side of the beach is more or less clothing optional, so definitely make a pit stop.
Fire Island, Long Island, NY
New York, home of everything, had to make the list at least once and Fire Island definitely earned its place. Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove are two gay-friendly resort destinations on the island and offer plenty to do from great food to diverse bars. If you’re feeling a little friskier, check out the small strip of forest between the two cities. There’s a reason it’s known as the “meat rack”.
Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, CA
If you want to lie out in the sun, this beach may not be first choice on the list as there is workout equipment, jungle gym-esque stations and more to get a pump. In fact, this beach is home to the fitness boom during the 20th century and features plenty of gymnastics activities. While sunbathing may not be commonplace here, muscular eye candy definitely is. Just know what you want.
Little Beach, Maui, HI
While not part of the continental United States, it would be unfair to exclude Hawaii from the list. After all, the 50th and most recent state is the home of some of the most amazing beaches and coastlines. Little Beach, or Puʻu Olai Beach, is located in Makena State Park, south of Wailea. Beware: Climbing the rocks to get there is not the easiest, so make sure you have something more than a hot pair of trunks and flip flops. But once you’re there, strip down, move to the far side, and bask in the LGBTQ-friendly sunshine.
South Beach’s 12th Street Beach, Miami, FL
South Beach’s 12th Street Beach at 12th Street and Ocean Drive is arguably one of the gayest beaches in the United States. Each year, the beach hosts Winter Party in March, the biggest gay beach party in North America. While you will see women and straight men alike, the beach does cater to the LGBTQ crowd - just look for the rainbow flags and muscle hunks.
There are plenty more out there, so feel free to drop us a line and let us know some of your favorite sunny spots!