Travel Hub

What's Gay and Great in Miami: A Travel Guide for Right Now



There's nothing like the feeling of stepping off a plane after having traveled from some godforsaken winter tundra gripped by the polar vortex into the warm, tropical air of Miami.

IMG_8849If you've been coming to South Beach for more than two decades, from the time it first exploded with nightclubs like Paragon, Warsaw, Amnesia, and Salvation, you'll realize that South Beach and Miami, while they may not be the wild gay nightlife arenas they once were, appear to be maturing culturally, with new cultural venues and neighborhoods. South Beach, known for its art deco architecture, is seeing a boom in restoration projects. North Miami Beach is seeing a huge surge in growth. There is still nightlife, but it's broadening. And there is so much more.

Since many of you — our Towleroad readers — live in Miami full time, or part time, or visit on a frequent basis, we surveyed you and examined dozens of replies in which you told us your favorite restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, beaches, and cultural destinations and compiled them into this ultimate guide to what's happening right now. We've also made a few tweaks of our own based on our last few visits. Thanks to all who participated!

FireworksWe've taken what you told us and created a snapshot which should be useful if you're heading to Miami this week for the Winter Party Festival (today through the 9th) or any time in the near future. We'll be adding to this and we hope that you'll chime in and offer more useful advice in the comments.

If you're thinking of planning a trip, consider coming during one of these annual events our readers say are not to be missed.

The annual Winter Party begins this week in South Beach but there are many other events not to be missed throughout the year including Miami Beach Gay Pride (April 10-12 - Mario Lopez is the parade's grand marshal), Miami International Film Festival (March 6-15), The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (April 24th - May 3),  Calle Ocho Festival (March 15), Winter Music Conference (March 24-28), Ultra Music Festival (March 27, 28, 29), White Party Week (November 26-30), Art Basel (December 3-6), South Beach Food & Wine Festival (February 25-28, 2016), Coconut Grove Arts Festival (next February), the Miami International Boat Show (February 11-15, 2016), or New Year's Eve week (for fireworks on the beach, photo).

So, let's see what's up for gay travelers in Miami.

Click here for 33 Places to Eat in Miami Right now....


And here's our first of many tips from readers:

"You do not need a car to drive around South Beach, as there is a LOCAL 25 cent bus whose route goes around the perimeter.  If we do not take this LOCAL bus, most of us avoid taxis and use Uber to get to our destination. Half the price of taxis, pleasant drivers, and they show up in 3-4 minutes after one calls them on a smart phone."

(inset beach photo David Jarrett)


This Gay Couple Found Love, Quit Their Jobs, and Opened Their Dream Restaurant in Provincetown: VIDEO

Provincetown, Massachusetts has a longtime reputation for attracting visionary and enterprising individuals to its scenic shores at the tip of Cape Cod. Its history as an arts colony, its spectacular natural setting, and its appeal as a tourism mecca for gay and lesbian travelers have made it a cultural hotspot where creators, curators, and connectors come together each summer to work and live, exchange ideas, and just relax.

RCF_LGBT_300x250_STATIC_112014Towleroad spent last summer in 'Ptown' and got to know some of the people whose dreams have been brought to life by this unique place, and whose visions are helping make it the most popular destination in the country for LGBT vacationers.

Towleroad and LEXUS are excited to bring you their stories over the next few weeks in our AskTell ACT series.

Today we'd like you to get to know Rob and Loic, a binational married couple who met in Provincetown and two years ago decided to pursue Rob's passions as a chef and Loic's ambitions as a business owner, renovating a restaurant in the center of town.

Their restaurant, The Canteen, has since become a go-to destination for foodies and tourists alike, hungry for its lobster rolls and fried brussels sprouts, its quaint backyard a serene oasis amid the chaos of the town's main drag, Commercial Street.

In the video above, Rob and Loic explain how they made their dreams a reality in the place they now call home.



Travel Notes from All Over: News for the Global Gay Jetsetter


WISCONSIN: The Ice Caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore off Lake Superior will be open THIS WEEKEND: "The ice caves are located several miles outside of Bayfield, Wis., on a 12-mile stretch along the coast. Those hoping to admire the dazzling ice displays have to walk at least a mile on lake ice and up to 6 miles, depending on how many caves they want to visit, says Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore." More on the ice caves HERE and on their Facebook page.

DogMAIN12ALBERTA, CANADA: Ever wanted to go dog sledding? Notcot continues its series on great escapes in Alberta, Canada, and went on a 2-hour adventure: "Snowy Owl Sled Dog Kennel was created in 1983 by Connie and Charles Arsenault as one of the first dog sledding tours, and is now run by their kids, Jereme and Carlin. They have around 175 dogs, and tend to breed/adopt their dogs. While they are of racing stock, they really train them for tourist adventures - meaning they are all extremely people and camera friendly, and love the hugs and attention from all the visitors."

SCOTLAND: If you're thinking about getting married in Loch Lomond, Scotland, don't think about doing so at the Loch Lomond Waterfront wedding venue. They just turned away a gay couple. You might try one of these venues.

CAMBODIA: At least five foreign visitors have been deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites of Angkor Wat: "Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping off at Angkor archaeological park, a sprawling Unesco World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex, built between the ninth and 15th centuries, holds enormous spiritual and historical significance."

NYC: Mashable offers 22 tips for navigating NYC like a pro for you travelers headed to the city that never sleeps.

GoogleflightsRESERVATION TIPS: Are you trip planning and want an efficient way to see the lowest fare for each day of a certain month, or see how fares fluctuate from season to season? Google Flights allows you to do that: "Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you’re planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we’ll show you a tip at the top of your results. "

SAFETY ALERT: Southwest grounded 128 planes this week after discovering that they had missed their inspections. Said the FAA: "The airline voluntarily removed these aircraft from service while the FAA works with Boeing and Southwest to evaluate a proposal that would allow the airline to continue flying the planes until the inspections are completed over the next few days."

SOCIAL COMMENTARY: UK Street artist/prankster Banksy has unleashed a new work in the form of a video which starts off as a travel ad, saying "Make this the year YOU discover a new destination." It is then revealed that the clip intends to expose the destruction caused in the Gaza Strip during last year's bombing.

So You Want To Go To Cuba? 6 Tours Specifically for Gay Travelers


This weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital premium gay travel magazine from Billy KolberEd SalvatoKenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

Thanks to President Obama’s recent initiative to thaw relations with Cuba, our geographically near (yet ideologically distant) neighbor, it’s now a little easier to go. But don’t expect to hop on a plane, grab a hotel and hit the beach on your own just yet.

HAVANA Gareth Williams smallerThere are still restrictions in place, specifically with respect to pure leisure tourism — it’s still not legal for Americans, who must travel under a general or specific license (i.e., visa). Check out this comprehensive Q&A in the New York Times and visit our blog for further information. 

So how exactly do you go gay to Cuba?

There are quite a few gay tour operators running fantastic trips to get you to Cuba safely and (mostly) legally. Our friend Matt Smith has a licensed group for Cuba’s Pride Week May 4-10, 2015, and a license to do custom People-to-People trips if you’re looking for something customized. As a Canadian company, Out Adventures presents the most leisure-oriented of all the LGBT tours, with departures scheduled March 7-15 and December 27, 2015-January 4, 2016. (U.S. citizens may join at their own risk and in six years of running tours, they’ve brought a number of U.S. citizens without a problem — inquire directly with them for details.) 


Coda International Tours — March 8-15 — explores the art and food scene of Havana before heading to Cienfuegos; HE Travel's April 14-19 trip focuses on the life and work of Tennessee Williams with an elegant reception at the National Museum of Fine Arts; Detours With Mattduring Cuban Pride Week from May 1-11, includes Old Havana and encounters with Cuban nationals, plus a Pilgrimage to La Guarida, a restaurant based in the apartment where Strawberry and Chocolate was filmed; and Zoom Vacations takes their third trip to Cuba, from December 28-January 2, where guests can ring in the New Year at a beachside all-inclusive resort with white sand beaches to experience all the art, culinary and culture Cuba has to offer.

For more opinionated travel information and inspiration, get ManAboutWorld Magazine on iTunes (iOS) or Google Play (Android). 

Image credits: Top: Luis Guillermo Pineda Rodas; right: Gareth Williams bottom: Thomas Leuthard

CUBA NEXT Thomas Leuthard smaller

Travel: Is The Maldives a Safe Gay Destination?

Our reaction to the Muslim Sharia Law rules in place in the Maldives
Our reaction to the very backward Muslim Sharia Law rules in place in the Maldives.

Travel correspondents Stefan and Sebastien traveled to The Maldives in November 2014. The Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean made up of 26 atolls known for their coral reefs and crystal blue waters. Stefan and Sebastien are originally from London and France, respectively. Their site is Nomadic Boys.

MoretravelThe Maldives is a Muslim country and unfortunately carries all the usual Sharia Law 'decoration' with it like:

  • it is illegal for Maldivian citizens to be non-Muslim
  • women must be covered up at all times - even when going for a jog or swimming in the sea
  • alcohol is illegal
  • gayness of any sort here runs the risk of the death penalty...


Gay Maldives: The Reality

We didn't find the Maldives to be as scary as we thought it would be. Fortunately for gay tourists, the Maldivian economy relies heavily on tourism as its main source of income, so there will always be a different view towards foreigners.


Continue reading "Travel: Is The Maldives a Safe Gay Destination?" »

Gay Travel Dispatch of the Day: Lost in Translation in Japan

Instagram: "Why hello there, #Kyoto! Mario jump outside of Kyoto Station."

This new series features dispatches from LGBTQ travel writers, bloggers, and photographers who are on the road in far-flung places. If you know somebody who should be featured here, send us an email at

Tom Stockwell is a 27-year-old British teacher and traveler living in Taipei, Taiwan who writes a site about his travels called 'Waegook Tom'. He explains:

Waegook – the Korean word for “foreign”. So, basically, Waegook Tom is “foreign Tom”.

You can visit his site here and follow him on Instagram here.

Tom has been traveling around Japan for the past week and delivering some eye-opening images of its landscapes, its cities, and its food, touching down in Tokyo, and continuing on to Osaka and Kyoto.

Tom writes of the photo below: "One of the most famous places in #Kyoto is the bamboo forest, a lovely place to have a stroll and escape the city."


He's also a really excellent food photographer.

More of his shots of food and life in Japan, AFTER THE JUMP...

First the food:

Continue reading "Gay Travel Dispatch of the Day: Lost in Translation in Japan" »


Towleroad - Blogged