While many gay meccas are becoming more mainstream (j’accuse Castro, South Beach and Chelsea!), Fort Lauderdale is actually becoming gayer. This is thanks in part to a growing base of out gay men in their 40s and older — many of whom migrated from these former gay capitals — who keep local businesses vibrant, including Ft. Lauderdale’s huge assortment of gay restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and sexually focused venues. Now is a great time to visit the Venice of America with its beautiful canals crisscrossing the city. Or wait till May for Beach Bear Weekend (May 6-11). Or, plan on staying a night or two before or after an upcoming cruise. We probably all know the city has a great gay beach (St. Sebastian) and the fabulous, untouched Hugh Taylor Birch Park, a protected reserve that harkens back to ye olde Ft. Lauderdale. So, here we present our top five things you may not expect and must not miss.