Low-Key, Gay-Friendly Beach Destinations
July 30, 2017 12:26 PM   Subscribe

My spouse needs a beach vacation. Any suggestions for a low-key, relatively crowd-free, gay-friendly beach destinations? We are in Atlanta, so driving to the Atlantic or the Gulf is Option #1, but we are also willing to take a plane if we can find the right place. Likewise, we're good with a variety of accommodations - hotel, resort, vacation rental, B&B. In general, we like history-culture-art, so that's a plus. And great local restaurants would also be nice.
posted by tmharris65 to Travel & Transportation around Chesapeake Beach, MD (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Provincetown, Massachusetts. http://vacationidea.com/weekend_getaways/best-things-to-provincetown-ma.html
posted by poppunkcat at 12:32 PM on July 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Low key, uncrowded, local restaurants = Ocracoke. I have no idea how gay-friendly it is. It's a bit of a hassle to get to, which is the flip side of the uncrowded.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2017

FYI, Ocracoke has been evacuated, and no telling when people will be allowed back at this point. Not sure when you might be planning your trip, but they are currently guessing that it could take weeks to be restored. :(
posted by poppunkcat at 12:52 PM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just spent a couple days in Asbury Park, NJ and found it charming, though not crowd-free.
posted by coppermoss at 1:08 PM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Siesta Key Beach! We just went a few weeks ago and had a lovely time. The beach was never really crowded and the area is pretty quiet. There were a few touristy type restaurants sprinkled in but for the most part we were able to find some solid local places to eat.

The beach itself is very beautiful - powder white sand, clear water. We rented a car but honestly if all you want to do is lie at the beach, eat out, etc then you could do without - just uber it from the airport if you choose to fly.
posted by elisebeth at 1:56 PM on July 30, 2017

Whoops, forgot to address the gay friendly part. I don't really know about that but it feels like the area was very welcoming in general.
posted by elisebeth at 1:58 PM on July 30, 2017

You could also do St. Petersburg, consider the Pass-a-Grille area. Not exactly isolation, but decent beaches and a short drive to downtown and the Dali Museum. Tickets to Tampa/Clearwater should be pretty cheap from ATL. Crowds should die down in September and especially October.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:49 PM on July 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

I’m a local resident and can confirm Siesta Key and the Tampa area in general is very gay-friendly. St Petersburg (where I live) is exceptionally gay-friendly and surrounded by beaches on three sides.
posted by _Mona_ at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

It depends on when you are going, naturally, but Rehoboth Beach, DE is very gay friendly and can be pretty relaxed once all the families leave. Right now it's going to be peak beach time, but even during the busiest months I've never found it to be unbearably crowded. You can also go a bit north to Dewey Beach for a calmer, more upscale/adult feel, but of the Dewey/Rehoboth/Bethany trifecta it's Rehoboth that has the real reputation for being supported by and supportive of the LGBT community.
posted by daikaisho at 5:05 PM on July 30, 2017

Provincetown sure fits the bill, and I could make a case for Martha's Vineyard. In either case wait till after Labor Day, the crowds will thin out and hotels etc will be a smidgen more affordable.
posted by vrakatar at 6:24 PM on July 30, 2017

Ogunquit, Maine.
posted by yet.another.boston.question at 7:19 PM on July 30, 2017

Nthing St. Pete
posted by gnutron at 4:51 AM on July 31, 2017

Also nthing St. Pete, especially Pass-A-Grille. Siesta Key's also wonderful, so is Treasure Island.
posted by ThatSomething at 8:13 AM on July 31, 2017

Lower Grand Lagoon or Cedar Key, both Gulf Coast, are really good. But for a more historic fun filled kind of beach I definitely suggest Tybee Island, GA or Hilton Head Island, SC - both within short driving distance of Savannah, GA which is my favorite place in the world. Super historic, super gay friendly and super gorgeous.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2017

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, if you're not going for a few months. It's unpleasantly hot until October (but super cheap to get there and especially dead until then). We stayed in the gayborhood on the beach and it was awesome. Lots of great food, not crazy crowded. If you live in a Southwest hub there are lots of cheap direct flights.
posted by *s at 8:54 AM on August 1, 2017

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