Key West as a Gay Destination
Key West was one of the first destinations worldwide to actively encourage gay tourism – a fact that the locals are particularly proud of. Interestingly, the iconic gay writers, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote both used the beautiful Key West environment as inspiration for their writing. Today there's a plethora of sea-based activities to keep holiday-makers entertained including snorkelling, diving and dolphin watching tours. Make sure you sample the Key Lime Pie – a delicious local delicacy.
Understandably, Key West has a thriving gay scene – the gay heart is located on Duval Street. Aqua Night Club is the main dance club and also presents terrific drag shows. KWest Bar & Liquor Store is always friendly and 801 Bourbon Street Pub, a staple of Key West for over 30 years, boasts a fantastic outdoor pool. Pearl's Patio Bar & Grill welcomes everyone to their tropical environs. Within the sprawling, La Te Da there are three bars, a restaurant and a cabaret venue.
Key West hotels welcome everyone with a genuine warm smile. Gay travellers may however appreciate the dedicated gay hotels in the town. Island House Resort for Men, Equator Resort, Oasis Coconut Grove Coral Tree Inn and the New Orleans House are great clothing-optional places to stay. Other exclusive hotels include Alexander's Guest House and Big Ruby's Key West.
View our Key West accommodation options.
Key West Pride
The official Key West Pride festivities take place in early June. There are a variety of events arranged to keep visitors entertained including pool parties, dance parties and a street fair. The official parade is held on the final Sunday and usually starts around 5pm in Duval Street.
Tropical Heat, generally held in August, is organised by the Key West Business Guild who arranges various events throughout the extended weekend. The frivolities begin on the Thursday night with a kickoff party in a local bar. Other events include a fetish party, a clothing optional pool party and gay bingo. Sailing, snorkelling and kayaking are also available to participants.
Gay Spring Break
Targeting University students, Gay Spring Break takes place, as the name suggests, around March/April each year depending on when the American school holidays are. This is a chance for students to let their hair down and party it up with other like-minded enthusiasts. Many local businesses offer discounts to students who've travelled to Key West for the event - so that they can make the most of their Floridian experience.