Out of Town: Go Gay at Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fun in the sun – the gay section of Fort Lauderdale Beach is within walking distance of both upscale high-rise hotels and clothing-optional gay resorts. Photo: Andrew CollinsSince its rapid transformation in the early 1990s into one of the world’s leading gay vacation destinations, Fort Lauderdale has continued on a steady path of exciting new developments. Swanky contemporary hotels have risen along its neatly manicured beachfront, which is within a short walk of several excellent gay resorts. The small city of Wilton Manors, which fringes Fort Lauderdale to the northwest, has become a vibrant hub of LGBT-popular nightlife, dining and shopping. And a growing number of impressive arts and historic attractions have helped turn Fort Lauderdale into one of Florida’s premier arts and cultural hubs.

High season in Fort Lauderdale (www.unny.org/lgbt) spans from late autumn to early spring, but Broward County is more of a year-round destination than you might think. As the region has become a top getaway among LGBT travelers, many gays and lesbians of all ages—from recent college grads to retirees—have moved here full-time. The acclaimed gay men’s resort Pineapple Point is currently developing an upscale retirement complex in an up-and-coming corridor of downtown Fort Lauderdale—plans are for this flagship residence to serve as a prototype for similar communities throughout the country. And throughout the city, neighborhoods, businesses and hotels tend to draw a diverse crowd.

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