The Ultimate Guide to the Gay Florida Keys – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , February 13th, 2019

Gay Florida Keys - The Nomadic Boys

The best sunsets EVER!

We’ve travelled the world extensively, and can hands down say that when it comes to stunning sunsets, the Keys of south Florida is the best place to come. There are of course many other reasons to visit the Keys: the terrific gay scene of Key West, the diving in the many coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and of course the star culinary highlight, the Key Lime pie! But for us, those magnificent sunsets stole the show.

The Florida Keys are a string of thousands of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles (193km) off the southern tip of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The word “Keys” comes from the Spanish word “cayo”, which means ‘small island’.

The Keys begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami. They then extend from Key Largo, all the way to Key West, which is the westernmost of the inhabited islands.

In this gay guide, we’ve set out the best gay hotels to stay, favourite gay hangouts and best things to do.

Travel in the Gay Florida Keys

Key West is not only the most touristic part of the Florida Keys but also the main gay hotspot of the region. Whilst there are no official gay clubs/bars in the rest of the Florida Keys, there are still plenty of fascinating places to check out.

For the best gay bars, clubs, parties and events, be sure to check out our detailed gay guide to Key West.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys Travel Resources

 

Key West Gay Bars – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 23rd, 2019

Key West Gay Bars - The Nomadic Boys

Key West is a gay island mecca at the southern tip of Florida, famous for its relaxed, friendly and Bohemian atmosphere.

We loved it here so much that we stayed here for a large chunk of our road trip in Florida. There are so many things to do in Key West for gay travellers, along with a terrific gay scene. The majority of the gay bars and clubs of Key West are located in the same spot along the busy Duval Street, between Angela and Petronia Streets. There is a permanent Rainbow Crosswalk here so you can’t miss it!

This is our gay guide to the best gay bars in Key West, along with dancing venues, drag show bars, beaches, events and best things to do. For accommodation options, be sure to check out our guide to the best gay resorts in Key West.

Gay Bars in Key West

These are the main gay bars in Key West to check out, including popular weekly parties:

801 Bourbon Bar: 801 is a large building standing proud next to the Rainbow Crosswalk. The bar is downstairs and upstairs is the club (see more below). The bar is a good place to come for a few cocktails to start the night. Also check out their Sunday karaoke nights between 4-8pm. 801 Bourbon is located at 801 Duval and is open everyday until 4am.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Key West Gay Travel Resources

 

Sarasota Gay Bars – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , December 27th, 2018

Sarasota Gay Bars - The Nomadic Boys

Sarasota is a destination that most gay travellers to Florida are likely to overlook, opting for nearby St. Petersburg instead.

We’ll be very honest, before coming to Sarasota we knew very little about it. However, it turned out to be the hidden gem of our trip, a place we would definitely love to return to. As well as being the cultural capital of Florida with so many things to do, it also has a fun gay scene worth checking out, with annual events like the “Harvey Milk Festival” and “Sarasota Pride”.

Following our trip, we’ve put together our travel guide featuring the best gay bars in Sarasota, LGBTQ events, beaches and gay friendly hotels to stay.

Gay Bars of Sarasota

The gay scene of Sarasota is so small that even gay locals we met advised us to instead head to nearby St. Pete to party. This is no surprise given that St. Pete is 5 times larger than Sarasota. Despite its size, Sarasota still has a handful of places worth checking out for a fun gay night out:

Purple Rhino: this is Sarasota’s oldest gay bar with a really friendly atmosphere and some hilarious drag shows. We came here on a Saturday evening and saw a couple of shows, which you can see in our video below. On Sunday evenings, look out for their gay drag “Bingo Bash” event. Purple Rhino is located at 2920 Beneva Rd and is open daily from 4:40pm to around 10:30pm (later on weekends).

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Sarasota Gay Travel Resources

 

Fort Lauderdale Gay Bars – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , December 17th, 2018

Fort Lauderdale Gay Bars

Fort Lauderdale is out, loud and fabulously proud! Over the past few decades it has become one of the gayest places in the States and was even featured as the ultimate gay holiday for the boys in the trashy movie – “Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!”

In terms of gay scene, Wilton Manors is the vibrant gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, which comes alive every night of the week.

We’ve been to Fort Lauderdale several times, mainly due to the abundance of inexpensive flights from Europe. We used JustFly to search and book our flights, which we recommend because they offer a comprehensive range of options allowing you to search for the lowest prices. We also recommend searching for options to Miami Airport, which is only a 45 minute drive away, to maximise your flight options.

However and whenever you visit Fort Lauderdale, you’re guaranteed to have a great time with warm weather: temperatures rarely dip below 25 degrees (77 Fahrenheit).

The Gay Area of Fort Lauderdale

The main gay area of Fort Lauderdale is Wilton Manors, located around 15 minutes drive inland from the beach. Wilton Manors comprises several blocks with many Fort Lauderdale gay bars, clubs, boutique gay shops, cafes and restaurants. The biggest parties take place on weekends, but there is always a large crowd on every night of the week.

Nearby to Wilton Manors is a small Bohemian road called “Eucalyptus Gardens”. It has a handful of open minded and very colourful cafes like Voo La Voo, as well really cool street art murals. If you’re looking for a gay shop to stock up on your fetish gear, buy new swimwear and other accessories, check out Pride Factory.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Fort Lauderdale Gay Travel Resources

 

Queer History Along Route 66 – SDGLN

Author: , September 19th, 2018

Route 66 - pixabay

The subject of gay bars from the past really interests me.

Route 66, a National Treasure of the National Trust, winds its way some 2,400 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. It weaves past small towns, big cities, National Parks, roadside attractions, and also: gay bars.

As one of the first cross-country highways, Route 66 connected refugees from the Dust Bowl to safety in the 1930s, troops to military bases during World War II, and post-war Americans to California and the western states in the 1950s and onwards. While I traveled Route 66 with the National Trust from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri, I documented places in communities along the iconic highway that historically welcomed gay travelers.

The subject of gay bars from the past really interests me.

Where I live in New York City I lead a walking tour about “gay bars that are gone” and people who attend share histories and sometimes memories from LGBT spaces, dating as far back as the 1870s. These are spaces where gay Americans found joy, love, community, and solidarity in the face of great social and political adversity. To document the “gay bars that are gone” of Route 66, I came with a few important things in my suitcase: two LGBT USA travel guides from the year (coincidentally) 1966 and a rainbow flag.

The travel guides were incredible. Both are rare finds and I had to convince folks from far away to scan archival copies and send to me. One was titled: The Lavender Baedeker ‘66: A Guidebook to Gay, Interesting, Hysterical, and Historic Places in the U.S., and it was published by a company listing LGBT-friendly establishments since 1961. The other guide was a Damron Guide from 1966, which is an LGBT travel company that still exists and has been publishing gay travel guides since 1964. This third edition Damron Guide chronicled more than 900 places across the United States and Canada recommended for gay travelers.

By Michael Ryan – Full Story at SDGLN

Gay Vancouver – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , March 17th, 2018

Gay Vancouver - The Nomadic Boys

Greenpeace, Ryan Reynolds and Botox – what do they all have in common? They’re all from/invented in Vancouver!

This is Canada’s very cool city located right on the country’s far Western coast in the Province of British Columbia. The city is also famous for being extremely welcoming and accepting to everyone: we frequently saw many same sex couples walking the streets hand in hand all across town, and we definitely felt comfortable doing the same.

We loved the scene of gay Vancouver a lot, and have put together our guide of the best bars, clubs, events, hotels and more.

Vancouver Gay Village: Davie Street

Vancouver’s gay village, also known as the Davie Village, is the heart of the city’s LGBTQ community. It is based mainly along Davie Street between Jervis Street and Burrard Street. This is where the majority of the gay bars, clubs, fashion outlets, faces and saunas are. Although it’s not as big as the gay scene of Montreal or Toronto, it’s just as fun.

There is also a more bohemian area popular with the lesbian community of the city at Commercial Drive, called “The Drive” over in East Vancouver, which we did not visit so have not covered in this guide.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Vancouver Gay Travel Resources

Gay Amazonia – New Now Next

Author: , March 10th, 2018

Gay Amazonia

Walking through the streets of Iquitos amid the heat, smog, and buzzing moto-carriages, it’s hard to imagine there’d be a community of queens in the city. Iquitos lacks the quaint appeal of more popular gay hotspots: It’s dirty, rumbling, and while it has an estimated population of more than half a million people, remains accessible only by plane or boat.

Lodged in the Peruvian Amazon of the Loreto region, Iquitos feels more like an exile than a gay destination. But according to British writer Dilwyn Jenkins, who wrote The Rough Guide to Peru, the first travel guide dedicated entirely to the country, Iquitos’ queer scene is unusually active, for a Peruvian jungle town. Looking around, there is no sign of a gay scene. Presumably, it must be hidden away from the plain sight of curious gringos.

There’s little evidence of queer culture in the city’s history either, with one exception. Iquitos rose to prominence in the 1870s, following a rubber boom. It was a prosperous time for the rubber barons, but far less so for the trappers who were local tribesmen and mixed Indigenous-Spanish descents working, in essence, as slaves. Roger David Casement was tasked with investigating the ill-treatment of the Putumayo Indians in 1910 and 1911. Though successful on many levels, Casement was later hanged for political reasons and his diaries were leaked, which exposed him as a promiscuous homosexual.

By Mike Miksche – Full Story at New Now Next

Peru Gay Travel Resources

What Happened to the Gay Bars? – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , February 24th, 2018

Black Crown

Years ago, Gays went to the bars to meet people, have fun and enjoy being with other Gay people. In today’s world with the acceptance of Gays, Gays can go to straight bars and feel just as comfortable as going to a Gay bar.

Other factors have stopped people from going out to the bars. Cover charges for no reason is one thing. For those who are not into drag queen shows, they have opted out of going to bars. Last year we went to a leather bar in St. Louis and they had drag queens performing. Several customers did an about face and walked out of the bar.

The GangwayA lot of bars have bachelorette parties where straight women come in to see the drag shows and makes the Gays feel very uncomfortable. It makes money for the bar owners but they are alienating the Gay clientele.

Rising cost of drinks and the “drinking and driving” idea has stopped a lot of people from going to bars. And then there is the Smartphone and the different websites to ‘hook up’ and that has had a tremendous effect on bar business.
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Rising costs of operating a business with rent, insurance, utilities, etc. are rising and forcing a lot of bars out of business. There are also a lot of owners of Gay bars who simply don’t understand how to operate a business. Long ago all you had to do was open a Gay bar and Gays would flock to the bar. This certainly is not the case anymore.

Since we travel from coast to coast a lot, we have walked in to hundreds of Gay bars or the past many years. We have seen bartenders rip off the owners and in today’s world the worst thing is to have a bartender on his smart phone and doesn’t even seem to care if you are there or not. There are a few Gay bars that still do it right and take care of their paying customers and we salute them.

Some of the bars that we really enjoyed in the past and now out of business are listed below:

The TropicsThe Tropics in Ft. Lauderdale which we have been going to for years closed their doors last year. It was always packed and one of the busiest bars in the city. It was sold and the new owners simply didn’t know how to operate a business properly so what was once a real cash cow, now is closed. In a resort city like Ft. Lauderdale one really has to be dumb to lose a bar such as this. Thankfully another smart businessman opened up the old Chardee’s which had been around for years until it closed about 13 years ago. Now 95% of all the patrons of the old Tropics will drink down there.

Burkhart'sBurkhart’s in Atlanta had been a very thriving Gay for many years and we have been there several times on our driving trip down to Ft. Lauderdale. Some owners just don’t get it ! Any business depends on it’s customer base and for some strange reason, the owner turned out to be VERY racially stupid. All of his staff left and his customers stopped going there as well. Yep, he had to close the doors last January. Atlanta had already had two other bars closed due to not enough business.

The Palace Bar in South Beach which has been an “institution” for years was getting ready to close do to high rent, however the owner was able to find another location just 2 blocks away so the Palace will continue.

The Gangway in San Francisco, the city’s oldest Gay bar there closed last month. We have been to San Francisco many times over the years and never even heard of it. We had always thought that the Twin Peaks bar in Castro was the oldest Gay bar in the city. Well, we guess that is now !

The Double Header in Seattle, which was thought to be the oldest Gay bar in the country closed a couple of years ago.

One of our very favorite Gay bars was the Black Crown in Denver, Colorado. It was a very upscale and handsome bar. Unfortunately the owners simply did not know how to operate the business and then sold it a guy who really didn’t know how to operate a business. Sadly it also closed after just a couple of years.

In life, things change and the intelligent people know that they have to change with it. Just always remember the good times.

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

TRAVELING 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 gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama City – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 2nd, 2018

gay Panama City - Nomadic Boys

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is pushing towards civil union equality for gay couples.

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within Panama, like San Blas and further afield – Bocas del Toro.

We stayed in Panama City for a week and found it to be a lot of fun, full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return. This is our gay guide to Panama City following our experience here during our big Latin America trip.

Gay Panama City

Panama a very conservative Catholic country, with a strong influence from Opus Dei. As such, the gay scene in the country is pretty underground in quite dodgy neighbourhoods, with places frequently closing down/changing. When we visited, there were no gay bars and only one official gay club (see below) in Panama City.

Warning: when going out to a gay club in Panama City, doormen are very strict and will only admit you if you have your original ID, preferably your passport. Most LGBTQ locals we met preferred to have private parties, or attend one of the the monthly gay rooftop parties hosted at venues like the Hard Rock Hotel.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama City Travel Resources

New York Queer Clubs and Bars

Author: , September 3rd, 2017

New York Queer Clubs - the Toolbox

The City that Never Sleeps has plenty of time for nightlife, and the New York queer clubs scene is one of the most prominent in the United States. After all, the Stonewall Inn — a Greenwich Village tavern that was the epicenter of the 1969 Stonewall riots — recently became the country’s first LGBT national monument.

Whether your idea of an amazing night out includes Broadway-worthy singalongs or crowded ragers, there are a number of excellent gay bars and clubs in New York City to check out. Get to know the local LGBT community at one of these eight spots — and don’t forget your dancing cowboy shoes.

For the Dancing: Industry

Grab a drink at the bar and make your way through the crowds to Industry’s dance floor in the back. The DJs at this Hell’s Kitchen club blast up-tempo, Top 40 hits and throwbacks to keep people dancing through the night.

For the Broadway Fans: Marie’s Crisis

Come to Marie’s Crisis and sing along with an amicable troupe of musical lovers regardless of sexual orientation. The skilled pianists at this low-ceilinged West Village basement bar play classics by Sondheim, Lloyd Webber, and Gershwin, while patrons harmonize. Don’t be surprised if you spot a celebrity belting out The Little Mermaid in the crowd: A-listers are no stranger here.

By Peter Schlesinger – Full Story at Travel+Leisure

New York City Gay Travel Resources