Miami’s Gay Beaches

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By: Liz Cepeda

Want to visit a beach that makes you feel welcomed, comfortable and relaxed? Miami’s gay beaches are all that and more.

All Miami’s amazing beaches are LGBTQ friendly, but as you walk up 12th Street Beach off of Ocean Drive, you know you are at a place where you will be right at home. You may recognize the Deco District scenery from television and film and there is always such a happy and upbeat feeling with plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. I guarantee you’re going to want to stop by every single one that you pass.

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Crossing the street to the beach you’ll walk through Lummus Park. This park is a must see for anyone visiting the area. There are walking and bike trails throughout the park that lead you to the beach and when you are done with the sun and sand, Lummus Park is right by Ocean Drive’s famous restaurants, bars and stores.

    12th Street Beach is the most popular gay beach in Miami next to Haulover Beach up north toward Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles. Don’t forget to look out for the Miami Beach Pride Parade and Festival during the spring as it brings the street to life even more. You absolutely must attend the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival at least once (but hopefully more) — an extraordinary 3-day event on Ocean Drive. Each year the amount of attendees grows by the thousands!

    Haulover Beach, a private 1.5 mile strip along the Miami coast also has a .4 mile clothing optional area located in the northern side of the beach. You will know you are there form the posted signs. If you’re looking to relax “au natural” and catch some sun without getting tan lines, this is the place for you. The soft sand between your toes and crystal clear waters will let you know you’re in paradise.

    You’ll feel very comfortable and no one will judge you for your age, sexual orientation, or body shape and size. Many gay couples enjoy coming to this beach because they are free to be themselves without any limitations. You can even bring your fur baby, Fido, here for some fun in the sun on “Dog Beach Days” — Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

      Haulover Park has bicycle and beach wheelchair rentals available, Skyward Kite Shop, Food Truck Tuesdays from 5 to 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting), and a Fresh Market in the Fall. Bring your picnic basket to enjoy a seaside picnic with your friends or stop by the Grand Beach Hotel restaurant, just a hop over the bridge in Surfside for some al fresco dining of light bites and tasty cocktails as you listen to the soothing sound of the waves breaking over the shore.

      Please be aware that you may not bring any sort of flotation devices in order to protect our natural areas along the beach, according to a Miami-Dade City ordinance.

      Insider Tip: We all know how parking can be a hassle sometimes at the beach but fortunately, Miami has changed the way you pay to park. You can now download the Pay-By-Phone mobile app and use your exact location code that you’ll see on the signs. You no longer have to worry about going over your time allotment. If you plan to stay longer, simply add more time via the app, or call 1-800-234-7275 to add more time and enjoy the rest of your day. And you Miami residents — you get 20% off your parking charge!

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