Gay Fort Lauderdale – Windy City

Author: , May 25th, 2017

Fort Lauderdale

Going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an experience in warmth. The expected aspect of that would involve the actual air temperature; in fact, it was a record 85 degrees one “winter” day when I was there recently. However, the sunny disposition of the people (natives and tourists) was just as obvious as the climate and warm beach.

The first place this was obvious was The Grand Resort & Spa (539 N. Birch Rd.; Fort Lauderdale’s largest gay-owned and -operated men’s spa/resort—and there are a few in the neighborhood. Lee very kindly showed me around the spacious Grand, pointing out the pool, spa and, yes, clothing-optional grotto (where my cool suite happened to be). Yes, there’s warmth—and if you want to shed your inhibitions (and clothes), this is the place to be.

The spa ( which is essentially a bungalow ) features rooms that are comfortable. Massages (Swedish, mud and otherwise) are available, although I opted for a facial that left me feeling and looking refreshed.

After checking in to The Grand Resort, it was off to Wilton Manors restaurant Bubbles + Pearls (2037 Wilton Dr.;, a champagne raw bar that can boast a Top Chef contestant as its owner—in this case, lesbian Josie Smith Malave. Malave, like various people I met and just observed, was extremely friendly, chatting up visitors and regulars alike.

By the way, if you can get her to tell you about her adventures in New York City, you’ll be transfixed. As for the food, there’s some excellent seafood—and the chicken and ribeye are pretty impressive as well. A side benefit was getting to introduce one of my dining companions to shishito peppers. He was so enthralled that he planned to send seeds to his own father sothe can plant some.

By Andrew Davis – Full Story at Windy City

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

Fort Lauderdale is for Gay Beach Lovers

Author: , August 26th, 2016

Gay Beach Lovers

If Florida’s a family of blockbuster travel destinations – with Miami and Orlando as the energetic kids – Fort Lauderdale’s like the cool older brother. The one who doesn’t need to raise his voice to command your attention. Located on the state’s east coast a 38-minute drive from Miami, and three hours from Orlando, this city of 172,000 is the perfect foil to both.

It’s less intense and touristy than its neighbors, while sharing their year-round temperate weather. It’s almost perpetually sunny, and the sea is warm in summer and refreshing through winter. But Fort Lauderdale’s best quality sets it apart from the pack: it’s found in Broward County, the most progressive (read: gayest) of all Floridian counties.

It’s firmly Democratic in a region where Republicans reign supreme and, according to the US census, has the second highest proportion of LGBTI residents in America. Furthermore, Greater Fort Lauderdale has long been recognized for its efforts to attract gay and lesbian tourists, and in recent years, trans travelers specifically. Perfect for gay beach lovers.

By Andrew Gonsalves – Full Story at Gay Star News

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

Photo by Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

City Sundays: Fort Lauderdale

Author: , July 5th, 2015

Fort Lauderdale

Hey all,

We’re launching a new weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.

Today’s city – Fort Lauderdale. We were here a few years ago when we took an RSVP Caribbean cruise. It’s an amazing city – sunny and tropical, with one of the gayest suburbs anywhere in the US – Wilton Manors. Then there’s the amazing shopping on Los Olas Blvd, and the lovely Riverwalk Park.

Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?

Do you wanna go?

Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:

Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club

Check out our Fort Lauderdale page here:

And our Fort Lauderdale articles on the blog here:

Featured Gay Accommodations: Liberty Suites, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Author: , March 2nd, 2015

Liberty Apartments - Fort Lauderdale

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay owned vacation rental apartments in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Beautifully furnished, fully equipped efficiency, studio, one, two bedroom apartments.

See the Liberty Suites Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Fort Lauderdale

Enter by Tomorrow to Win a Fort Lauderdale Wedding

Author: , January 12th, 2015

Fort Lauderdale wedding“Hello Sunny” Fort Lauderdale is showing that “Love is Love” by announcing a massive beachfront wedding for both straight and gay couples, and you and your partner could win a spot at these historic nuptials. The landmark wedding, which will see 100 couples tie the knot, will take place in front of W Fort Lauderdale Hotel, right on the beach. The special occassion will be presided over by Reverend Dr. Durrell Watkins, the senior minister of the Sunshine Cathedral. After couples say their “I Dos” they will be invited back to W Fort Lauderdale for a post-ceremony Champagne toast and reception to commemorate the exciting occasion. Additionally, one lucky couple will win an extended getaway.

But time is ticking, register to win a spot ASAP, because the wedding will take place on February 5th.

Enter Here by 1/13/15.

By Joseph Pedro – Full Story at Passport | Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

Still More to Do To Make Fort Lauderdale Trans Traveler Friendly

Author: , September 17th, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Gay TourismBroward County’s tourism bureau has been marketing to the LGBT community since 1996, but results of a survey released Monday show extra effort is needed to attract more transgender travelers.

In August, some 700 members of the transgender community across 48 states participated in the online survey conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based specialty marketing and research firm.

Only 10 percent of participants perceived Fort Lauderdale to be very trans-friendly, the study revealed. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents polled perceived Fort Lauderdale as not being transgender-friendly, while 43 percent said it was somewhat trans-friendly, according to the study commissioned by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

By Arlene Satchell – Full Story at The Sun Sentinel | Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

Things to Do in Gay Fort Lauderdale This Summer

Author: , June 12th, 2014

Fort LauderdaleLauderdale is much more than just a beach destination, even in the steamy days of summer. New museums, nightlife, and events give locals and tourists alike plenty to do in addition to sunbathing on the sand or by the pool. There are new events being added every day to the GayCities calendar, so we’ve assembled more than a few suggestions for places to go, people to meet.

Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors – June 21 – There are two Pride festivals each year in Fort Lauderdale, two months apart. The first festival, Pride South Florida, happend in March and it was lots of fun. Sheena Easton, Judy Tenuta, and Tiffany performed. Missed it?

Fret not, because coming up is the second pride festival, Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors, Saturday, June 21. An outdoor stage and a street festival run along the main strip, Wilton Drive, all day. Come to the main stage and see the Mr. and Miss Stonewall Pageant.

By Dan Renzi – Full Story at Gay Cities | LOCATION Gay Travel Resources in Fort Lauderdale | Other Gay Travel Events

New: Gay Days Fort Lauderdale

Author: , June 5th, 2014

Fort Lauderdale - Apple Maps

According to Gay Days president Chris Alexander-Manley, the event is expanding into Fort Lauderdale. It’ll debut in 2014, running from Nov. 25 – Dec. 1.

Alexander-Manley said they “had been thinking about doing a winter-style event,” and the harsh winter up north this year pushed them into making it happen.

Gay Days, which celebrates its 24th anniversary in Orlando June 3-8, previously expanded into Las Vegas in 2012.

The Fort Lauderdale host hotel will be W Fort Lauderdale, and reservations are available now.

Full Story at Watermark | Ft. Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Image via Apple Maps

Broward County Aims to Build on Gay Tourism Success

Author: , December 13th, 2013

Fort Lauderdale Gay TourismGreater Fort Lauderdale has come a long way since officially rolling out the rainbow carpet to gay and lesbian travelers in 1996. Back then tourism officials spent $35,000 on gay marketing.

Today that marketing budget is about $750,000 and is aimed at building Greater Fort Lauderdale’s reputation as a top choice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers.

“Greater Fort Lauderdale is recognized as Florida’s largest and most popular diverse gay capital with the largest resident lesbian and gay community and the most gay-owned and operated businesses in the state,” Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki E. Grossman told attendees at an LGBT tourism conference Thursday. “We’re the No. 1 LGBT resort destination in the U.S. and 8th-most-popular American LGBT destination.”

Authored By Arlene Satchell – See the Full Story at the Sun Sentinel

Click here for gay travel resources in Ft. Lauderdale.

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Getting Ready for Going SOUTH For the Winter

Author: , September 29th, 2013
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

click any image for full-sized pic

Fort Lauderdale BeachIt is time to start thinking about winter traveling for those of us who are retired or have the time and money to go south for a few weeks this winter. In the United States unfortunately we have few options however there are always new and exciting places to go. Ft. Lauderdale is still the #1 favorite for gays in the United States as well as Canada. When we winter in Ft. Lauderdale we are always running into dozens of Canadians.

Monthly rentals are found everywhere down there and with all of the gay resorts you are sure to find whatever you are looking for. Our favorite is the Grand Resort and Spa, and we have been staying there for a dozen years. Greater Ft. Lauderdale really offers anything and everything that any gay person would want including fine dining, fabulous beaches, a huge variety of gay bars and wonderful shopping.

grand courtyardAlways check on to find dozens of listings for South Florida. Accommodations in South Florida do book up early, so it is time to begin your bookings now.

South Florida is much warmer than the middle or upper Florida and after all, we all go down there for the warmth don’t we? Two of our other favorite areas in Florida are St. Petersburg and Daytona. They both have a very heavy gay population. Both have great beaches. We always enjoy visiting both of these cities in the winter.

grand pool  twoWe enjoy the Gay St. Pete’s Guest House in St. Petersburg, and in Daytona we enjoy the VILLA INN,

You might want to venture on down to Key West which is always busy in the winter time. South Beach (Miami) is also a very hot spot for gays. Some gays go only as far down as the panhandle of Florida where they do have nice beaches however the weather is not as warm.

South Texas is another place where gays winter, down by South Padre Island as well as Houston and Galveston. There seems to be a lot of gays that travel down there in their RV’s. Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona has nice weather for those who are living on the west coast. There are a large variety of gay places to stay in either city and they both offer a lot of nightlife activities for gays.

resort photoSan Diego and Palm Springs are always great places to winter on the west coast. Palm Springs especially is full of gay accommodations and lots of nightlife. Las Vegas is yet another great place to winter. And yes, even though they have a lot of real ‘high end’ restaurants in the city, there are still dozens of very inexpensive places to dine off the strip.

Whether you are going south for just one week, or a couple of weeks or a month or two or three months, there are a lot of fun places. We were talking with some Canadian friends of ours and they spend one month in Palm Springs, California and then one month in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

On another subject, there seems to be a lot more scams and disgruntled travelers concerning accommodations. We still cannot imagine booking an accommodation online from a third party like Expedia or Hotwire. You never know what you are getting into and yet you pay upfront with no recourse if the property is not what you were expecting.

This really seems to happen to a lot of travelers when they want to rent an apartment or a condo for a month or two. If you stay in a regular Bed and Breakfast, resort, hotel or motel, you can always check out after the first night and find another place to stay. However if you pay the entire amount of your stay upfront then you are in for a very bad situation. On Christopher Elliott’s national blog, he is always getting dozens of people trying to get their money back to no avail.

Another thing one has to look out for when traveling by auto is at the gas pumps. They will have a huge sign up posting their price per gallon. Then when you get to the pumps and start putting in your gas, you will see in very small print (cash price). So if you are paying by a credit card, the price is much higher.

Another ploy that they are using now in some states that allow it, is that they charge you a small fee for using your credit card and that small fee can run from 35 cents up to a dollar! So one just has to be alert and be a very wise traveler.

We hope that all of you have a wonderful winter season and as we said you do need to plan ahead now.

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Donald and RayTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at and visit their website at