Gay Friendly Beaches
Water, Water Everywhere!. With some of the best beaches in the country located near St Petersburg, it is no wonder so many people are drawn to area to visit…and then stay. Great Sunsets and a laid-back easy going lifestyle add to the quality of life here.
FORT DESOTO – Often listed in the top ten beaches in the country, Fort Desoto is a county park, which retains its natural beauty in many areas. With a large boat ramp, campground and biking/ hiking trails it can be busy in season. Gorgeous Sunsets, great views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and lots of secluded areas make it a great beach destination.
PASS-A-GRILLE – On the southern tip of St Pete Beach, this narrow island (1 block wide) has lots of charm. Going way back when the Lighted Tree was one of the only gay bars in the area, Pass-A-Grille has attracted Gays & Lesbians over the decades. The bar has long closed, but many still appreciate the charm of the area.
SUNSET BEACH – Located on the southern tip of Treasure Island, this mostly residential island is very popular for sunsets, with easy access just south of the Central Avenue Causeway. The former home of Bedrox, a beachfront gay bar, has been turned into a public beach with pavilion. One of the few beaches where drinking alcohol on the beach is allowed…no glass though! It is still considered by some to be the gay beach in the area, and one where you (usually) won’t get a second glance from holding your lover’s hand.
EGMONT KEY & NAKED ISLAND – Accessible by boat in the mouth of Tampa Bay is Egmont Key, with a lighthouse and old fort falling into the water, creating great snorkeling, Just south of this is Passage Key, commonly referred to as Naked Island, where yes you can be nude, but don’t disturb the nesting birds.
MADEIRA BEACH – A mixed bag of a beach, kinda touristy with John’s Pass Village…a little of everything here.
CLEARWATER BEACH – Located to the North of St Petersburg, Clearwater Beach attracts a lot of straight folks, and an especially large quantity of college aged beach-goers. Especially during Spring Break, beware though…as most are straight. Plan on a long drive there and hope for some parking, but it is said to be “the beach to go to in Florida, if you don’t want a big-name beach.”
HONEYMOON ISLAND & CALADISI ISLAND – Located west of Dunedin, these State Parks are always rated in the top five in national beach rankings. Caladesi is only accessible by Ferry. The northern tip of Honeymoon Island is very remote and often gay friendly.
DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG – If you are staying downtown and can’t make it out to the Gulf beaches, there are a couple of small, white sand beaches on Tampa Bay. North Shore Park runs from 9th Avenue NE to 18th Avenue NE along North Shore Drive. There is a small beach here with restrooms, public pool, dog park, and tennis courts, Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood. Spa Beach is adjacent to the Pier and the St Petersburg Museum of History at 2nd Avenue NE.
GULFPORT BEACH – This beach is adjacent to the Beach Blvd Arts District. It overlooks Boca Ciega Bay, All part of the charm of Gulfport.
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