Aside from its natural beauty and eclectic charm, Key West’s warm, come as you are attitude is one of the main reasons for the island’s popularity with gay and lesbian visitors. Key West is safe, seductive and real, a genuinely gay-friendly sanctuary where you can be open, relaxed, make new friends, and savor this small town’s live-and-let-live philosophy. So go ahead. Hold hands. Embrace. Hang out. No wonder LGBT visitors feel more themselves in Key West than anyplace else in the world.
COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE.
There’s plenty to do and see on this two-by-four mile island, including hidden charms that might escape the untrained eye. Streets lined with bougainvillea, royal poinciana and hibiscus blossoms showcase lovingly restored Victorian homes, many once owned by illustrious gay and lesbian figures. Here, secluded courtyards and lazy porch swings are permanent fixtures. And bicycles rule the road. With countless dive and snorkel sites just off shore, Key West’s turquoise water beckons. Try your hand at deep-sea fishing. And don’t miss our gay and lesbian sunset cruises that offer front-row seats to pastel skies.
KEY WEST. HAVE A GAY OLD TIME.
When it comes to naughtiness, Key West pulls no punches. From pulsating gay dance clubs to testosterone-free women’s bars, the nightlife here is uninhibited and unashamed. Try a cabaret for a bawdy performance by stiletto and lipstick-clad drag queens. Liberate your libido at one of Key West’s nude entertainment or dance clubs. Bear it all at annual events such as Womenfest Key West, Tropical Heat and Bone Island Weekends.F or something more subdued, kick back in a cocktail lounge or piano bar. During the day, visit the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory or climb aboard the fascinating Gay & Lesbian trolley tour.
HISTORY & CULTURE
For a small town, Key West is big on gay history and culture. With more than 2,500 historic buildings, Key West is also an architectural wonder. Its famous “Carpenter Gothic” gingerbread houses have hosted gay novelists, playwrights, painters and poets. Today, many of these homes are fabulous showplaces, open to the public. Other highlights include the Little White House Museum, Audubon House, the Ernest Hemingway House, the Key West Lighthouse Museum and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. Besides live theater, a pops orchestra, opera theatre and a film society, Key West boasts a local yet world-class symphony.
WHERE TO STAY. THE NAKED TRUTH.
In gay Key West, the only thing hidden in closets are clothes. Then again, with so many clothing-optional activities and hotels, your wardrobe may never see the light of day. Key West’s accommodations range from elegant resorts to cozy tropical guest houses, many of whom cater primarily to gay men, lesbians, or a combination of the two. They’re often private hideaways tucked underneath swaying palms, dressed up with island wicker or rattan and museum-quality antiques. It’s not uncommon to find private pools, private beaches and clothing-optional sunning decks.
EAT, DRINK & BE MARY.
A festival for your taste buds and feast for the senses, Key West is home to a dizzying array of dining options. Many restaurants artfully prepare authentic island delicacies – succulent Key West pink shrimp, conch, fresh-off-the-dock fish and luscious Key Lime Pie – with their own unique flair. From romantic hidden courtyards to chic sidewalk cafes where dining and people-watching intertwine, you’ll soon discover why Key West is meant to be savored.
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