Travel topics > Concerns > LGBT-friendly beach resorts

LGBT-friendly beach resorts are coastal communities that are welcoming of large numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers and offer amenities and recreation activities that appeal to that demographic. Destinations that intentionally market to gays and lesbians and those with a long history of gay and lesbian visitors are, in almost all cases, not exclusively gay and actually appeal to wider audiences. Furthermore, as gays and lesbians are more accepted in many cultures, they are more comfortable vacationing in locales that are not focused on the LGBT market. It is the case that certain beach destinations attract such a significant number of LGBT visitors that there is a critical mass of gay-focused bars, discos, restaurants and shops.


Even before gays and lesbians were out to their families, in their communities and at work, there were gay-friendly vacation destinations. In the United States, starting in the 1950s, Fire Island, New York, Provincetown, Massachusetts, Stinson Beach, California and Key West, Florida all gained reputations as gay-friendly beach destinations. In Europe, Brighton, UK, Sitges, Spain and Mykonos, Greece were popular with gays. Often these destinations featured a nude beach nearby and were known for being hard to reach.

As society became more accepting of gays and particularly after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, gay travelers became more evident and even more beach destinations on more continents catered to the LGBT demographic.

Today, there are hundreds of beach resort destinations that actively market to the LGBT demographic. The other hallmarks of these destinations include gay bars and nightclubs, restaurants that cater to gays and lesbians, shops and gyms with large gay clientele, and a cluster of gay guesthouses--often small or medium sized with clothing optional pools.



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