By: George Neary
Looking to relax on the beach? These gay-friendly beaches in Miami offer soft sand, sea breezes and crystal clear water.
Gay-Friendly Beaches: 12th Street Beach & Haulover Beach Park
Check out the social scene on South Beach's 12th Street Beach, marked by two large gay pride flags. This gay-friendly section of the beach flanks famed Ocean Drive and is located within walking distance to restaurants and shopping. Join a game of beach volleyball or soak up some rays and do a little people-watching.
After getting nice and bronzed, take the Gay & Lesbian Walking Tour of Miami Beach, offered by the Miami Design Preservation League. The tours, which start at the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive, take place the second Saturday of each month and highlight the contributions of gays and lesbians to the history of Miami Beach along with LGBT hotspots.
Twenty minutes north of South Beach, Haulover Beach Park is another popular beach to visit. Famed for it's clothing-optional policy, this beach is just as popular with locals as it is with tourists.
Mixed Crowd: North Shore, Sunny Isles Beach and Key Biscayne
Further north at 79th Street and Collins Avenue, discover the largest state park beach, North Shore Open Space Park, a free resource that’s just a short walk from restaurants and cafes. There are free concerts held at the historic North Beach Bandshell.
Check out the pier at Sunny Isles Beach, located further north on Collins Avenue. The pier, built in 1936, is the only traditional pier in the area for fishing. Walk out to the end and enjoy the quiet atmosphere picturesque views.
Head back down south to one of the public beaches on Key Biscayne. Captured in hundreds of TV commercials and magazine photoshoots, Crandon Park Beach is a gorgeous stretch of sand dotted with tropical palm trees. The beach at Bill Baggs State Park is low-key and romantically picturesque, complete with a lighthouse.
Wherever you decide to put your towel down, Miami’s beautiful beaches are a great place to relax and have fun.
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