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).