By Amanda Little
The ‘B’ in LGBT doesn’t stand for beaches, but that doesn’t make gay beaches around the world any less awesome. Gay travelers or even gay locals looking for some fun in the sun can find a stretch of shore anywhere in the world to meet up with friends, party, or find new flirts, but these beaches rank among the best.
Clifton 3rd Beach • Cape Town, South Africa
Among the four beaches of Clifton, the 3rd has become the one gay beachgoers favor. Stunning year round, protected by strong winds by a unique backdrop of stoic granite boulders, and offering views of Table Mountain and spectacular sunsets, Clifton 3rd makes for an amazing day on the beach and is only a short ways away from gay-friendly bars, shops, and restaurants. Feel free to take a walk through the vibrant and friendly city of Cape Town as well!
Playa Los Muertos • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Walk the sands of Playa Los Muertos, or the Beach of the Dead, while on vacation in Mexico! Just steps away from the pristine shoreline of this gorgeous gay beach is Zona Romantica, the prime gay neighborhood in Puerto Vallarta. Ranking among the world’s most gay-friendly countries, you can feel free to explore the Old Town for a break from the perpetual beach party on the coastline and wander through the historic streets, meander among art galleries, and enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants lining the charming cobblestone streets.
English Bay • Vancouver, Canada
While not many would choose Canada as a beach destination, during its spring and summer months English Bay in Vancouver’s West End draw in crowds with its gay-focused bars and restaurants, vibrant city life, and spectacular views of Kitsilano Beach Park across the water, which is also a very popular spot for the LGBT community. There are few beaches with beautiful views like the ones in Vancouver.
Pines beach • Fire Island, New York
Travel the stretch of beach, nicknamed the Meat Rack, between Cherry Grove and Pines Beach, the two gay beaches on Fire Island. Cherry Grove offers more developed areas with hotels and restaurants and is wonderful for families, but Pines is one of the most well-known gay beaches. Luckily it doesn’t get too crowded compared to its notoriety, and has been known as the gay meet-up spot for years.
Es Cavallet Beach • Ibiza, Spain
The tiny island of Ibiza has many gay beaches, but Es Cavallet is the most famous among them. Considered one of the best places by many to soak in sun and party until sunrise and beyond, Ibiza attracts beachgoers in crowds, and the gay community has not lost out on that attraction in the slightest. A visit here practically guarantees meeting new and interesting people.
Elia Beach • Mykonos, Greece
Serving as the meeting point for countless gay travelers and locals, Mykonos is a stunning island in Greece that is home to one of the best known gay beaches in the world: Elia Beach. It’s characterized by its exotic beauty and is only 5 miles away. Gay travelers looking to make a connection should make their way to the far right of the beach however, as the far left has become popular with the straight crowd.
North Bondi Beach • Sydney, Austrailia
Serving as a gay destination all around, it’s no surprise Sydney is home to the amazingly popular Bondi Beach, as well as a plethora of other gay beaches. Head to the north side of the beach for a denser gay population, and enjoy soaking in the sun on the sand, the occasional nude sunbathers do. Anyone visiting though should know alcohol is prohibited on the entire beach, but virgin cocktails are offered. That might before the best, since the waves can get pretty choppy, making for excellent surfing, but difficult for anything other than sober swimming.
Hilton Beach • Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is widely regarded as the gay capital of the Middle East, so it’s no surprise that the beaches there attract a large crowd of gay travelers. The Hilton Beach though, edged by the Hilton Hotel, is the most famous in the area for drawing in the gay crowd for fun and meeting new people. Anyone meeting locals should be aware though, Israeli guys are pretty straight-forward. If they’re into you, they’ll make sure you know it.