Gay Key West – Ultimate Travel Guide, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Activities (Updated 2024)

Gay Key West is an island in the Florida Straits in the United States. The City of Key West is made up of all or sections of the islands of Dredgers Key, Fleming Key, Sunset Key, and the northern part of Stock Island.

Gay Key West is one of the most remarkable places in the United States, being laid-back, free-spirited, artistic, quirky, and stunningly beautiful.

This little Florida Keys island has been attracting visitors seeking a break from the norm for two centuries due to its friendly and tolerant attitude, tropical environment, and apparently endless happy hour.

Visitors also come to the end of the Florida Keys island chain to fish, write, carouse and revitalise. Gay Key West has long been a place where you can be yourself, find yourself, or re-invent yourself, from the renowned to the infamous, including Ernest Hemingway, John J. Audubon, and Tennessee Williams.

When traveling as a gay couple or as an individual, you frequently wonder if the place you’re visiting is LGBTQ+ friendly. It’s understandable because all you want is a worry-free, safe, and relaxing trip.

Worry no more – it will not be difficult for a gay individual or couple to visit Gay Key West because it is an open and gay-friendly community. Gay Key West is a true paradise at any time of year, and it’s the ideal destination for groups of friends or couples searching for a romantic weekend.

With an acclaimed LGBTQ+ culture complete with excellent restaurants, exciting nightlife, entertainment, and, of course, the popular key lime pies, Key West celebrates openness and diversity all year round. Gay Key West attracts over 300,000 LGBTQ visitors each year, making it one of the top LGBTQ+ attractions in the country

If you are thinking about going somewhere else you can try other Gay Travel Guides.

Remember to always check out the latest rules and restrictions before you leave.

Gay Key West – the Scene

Key West is a popular LGBTQ+ vacation destination in the United States. It is situated in one of the country’s most remote areas.

Key West’s bohemian culture drew gay visitors as well, and the city’s official slogan has been ‘One Human Family’ since 2000. The character of LGBTQ+ friendly Key West has altered dramatically since the beginning of the twenty-first century.

It was once something of a hedonistic resort and a shelter for both gay and lesbian natives and tourists searching for a lively, tropical holiday destination. There used to be a slew of men-only guest houses strewn all over Key West, particularly in the Old Town and along Whitehead Street.

Due to dwindling business, several of the city’s erstwhile gay accommodation alternatives now have modest signs outside that state “All Welcome.”

Duval Street is still the heart of Key West’s gay scene, with a slew of pulsing gay nightclubs, including the ever-popular Aqua Nightclub, which has great drag performances, happy hours, cocktails, karaoke nights, and fun themed contests.

The Bourbon St. Pub, which advertises itself as the most popular gay pub in Key West, is just down the road and still standing on Duval Street.

The Bourbon St. Pub is known for its Saturday afternoon pool parties, as well as its garden bar and dance floor.

The 801 Bourbon Bar and the La Te Da Key West Hotel’s popular cabaret shows are also worth checking out on Duval Street.

The Island House resort has grown famous throughout Florida for its openness and optional nudity for guys who like a combination of seclusion, security, and spending time with like-minded people.

The Higgs Memorial Beach is known to be the most popular gay beach in Key West, and sunseekers should take note of this.

Attending Fantasy Fest will also excite you. The first time it was held was in the late 1970s.

This event is held annually every October. The spectacular Fantasy Fest attracts massive crowds of more than 100,000 gay and lesbian guests for this ten-day spectacle.

This yearly celebration is the centrepiece of Key West’s LGBTQ+  calendar, with carnival-style floats, costume parties, drag queen competitions, charity fundraising, and even body painting taking place along Duval Street.

Those attending the Fantasy Fest should keep an eye out for the newly crowned Conch King and Conch Queen.

Is Gay Key West Safe?

It is understandable that, as you plan your trip, you want to ensure your safety. Travelling to Gay Key West won’t be a problem, and it will bring you no harm.

According to statistics, Gay Key West, Florida is a safe area to visit. Pickpocketing is a medium-risk crime, but if you use common sense, you will not be a victim of pickpocketing while on the island.

Mugging is a low-risk activity, but you should still keep your hotel room secured, put valuables in the safe, and have your wits about you, especially if you drink and enjoy the nightlife.

In Gay Key West, traveling as a gay couple or as an individual won’t be a problem. The island has a highly accepting and warm attitude toward LGBTQ+ visitors and is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly communities in the country.

When to Visit Key West?

When we travel, we usually consider the best time to visit a particular location. You’re probably thinking about when is the best time to visit Gay Key West.

Between March and May is the best time to visit Gay Key West. In the spring, the winter crowds will thin out, hotel rates will drop, and you’ll be greeted by a sunny sky and rising temperatures.

This is the best time to visit the beach and engage in water-based activities. The busiest and most expensive season on the island would be winter, which runs from December to February.

Between June and November, during the rainy and humid summer months, there are fewer travellers but the best hotel rates. Even if the trade-off is worthwhile, you’re still taking a risk during hurricane season.

Also, keep in mind that during major events like Key West Pride and Fantasy Fest, rates will skyrocket.

Best Gay-Friendly Hotels in Gay Key West

Island House Key West 

gay key west

This male-only gay resort, located just six blocks away from Duval Street, offers an adult-only and clothing-optional experience.

Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities including a heated outdoor pool, a chilled poolside cafe, and a pool deck perfect for soaking up the sun.

The resort also features a 24-hour erotic video lounge and evening pool parties, providing opportunities for guests to socialize and meet new people. For those looking to stay active, a health club is a great option.

With a range of features, this gay hotel is sure to provide an enjoyable experience for all guests.

ActivitiesBar & Cafe
Outdoor Jacuzzi
Outdoor Shower
Heated Pool
LocationIsland House Key West 
1129 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040
Contact Call +1-305-294-6284 or 1-800-890-6284
WebsiteKey West | Island House Key West Resort

Equator Resort

gay key west

The Equator Resort is a male-only, clothing-optional retreat located in the heart of Old Town Key West, just three blocks from the historic Duval Street. The resort provides a large and private setting surrounded by lush greenery, featuring two heated pools and hot tubs for ultimate relaxation.

The resort comprises of five historic properties, each room providing its unique charm and spaciousness with private bathrooms. The Equator Resort values guest privacy and comfort and prides itself on meeting typical male-only resort expectations while maintaining class and exceptional service.

The location is perfect for those seeking access to the city’s history, culture, and festivities.

Hot Tubs
LocationEquator Resort
822 Fleming St, Key West, FL 33040
Contact Call (305) 294-7775
WebsiteKey West’s Premier Resort for Men – Equator Resort Equator Resort | Key West’s Premier Resort for Men

New Orleans House

New Orleans House Gay Key West Guide

The New Orleans House is an all-male guest house located in the heart of Old Town Key West, steps away from the shops, galleries, and nightlife that the city offers. Guests can start their day with a continental breakfast served on the Grand Balcony overlooking Duval Street.

The property features a private sun deck, a pool, and a hot tub, which are restricted to men only. The pool-side garden bar is open to the public and also restricted to men only.

Some of the rooms at the New Orleans House are located above the Bourbon Street Pub, where the party goes on until 4:00 AM.

Hot Tub
Private Sun Deck
LocationNew Orleans House
Contact No Contact Number
No Email
WebsiteNew Orleans House :: Rooms (


Gay Massage in Key West

Gay-Friendly Dining in Gay Key West

Fresh seafood, Caribbean tastes, and Key West flair are all part of island cuisine.

The island’s fantastic restaurants and bars are also well-known-award-winning chefs and emerging new stars fresh from the best culinary schools have drawn a growing number of brand new establishments, making this tiny island an attraction for food enthusiasts from all over the world.

There are a variety of dining options in the area, ranging from five-star gourmet restaurants to casual cafés and raw bars. Restaurants occupy old homes and other structures with wildly varying architectural styles, from Duval Street and the waterfront to hidden Old Town jewels or the Historic Seaport.

Dining in Key West is more than a meal-it’s a fun-filled and wonderful experience. Here are some of the gay-friendly dining options in Gay Key West:

1. Antonia’s Restaurant

gay key west

Classic Italian cuisine, handmade pasta prepared fresh daily, delicately crafted sauces, pristine local seafood, choice chops and steaks, delectable desserts, a Wine Spectator award-winning wine selection featuring the finest of the old and new worlds, and a meticulously selected full bar are all offered at Antonia’s.

Their menu features creative dishes, but they never stray far from many of the dishes that have been cherished by their visitors since the day Antonia’s opened its doors over 30 years ago, setting the standard that has become the standard-bearer for Key West’s thriving dining scene.

Family and friends, love, and fellowship are at the heart of the Italian eating experience.

Types of FoodPasta, Meat, Salads, Dessert
Location615 Duval St Key Florida, Key West, FL 33040
More InformationAntonia’s Key West (

2. Azur Restaurant

gay key west

Located in the centre of Key West’s Old Town. You can pop down to Azur Restaurant and get a taste of life as a local.

They’re just a few blocks from Duval Street and less than two miles from everywhere on the island. Azur is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves chef-inspired cuisine with wine and spirit pairings.

Types of FoodSalads, Seafood, Burger, Sandwiches
Location425 Grinnell St, Key West, FL 33040
More InformationAzur Key West

3. Hot Tin Roof Restaurant

gay key west

Hot Tin Roof has an island-inspired lounge and dining space. The magnificent lounge is filled with whimsy thanks to detailed teak woodwork, hand-painted murals and ceiling, and wacky sculptures.

You’ll be greeted at the coolest restaurant in Key West, with a view of the harbour. Tennessee Williams’ most renowned play, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” is the inspiration for their signature restaurant.

Their food is made in a culinary style known as “conch-fusion,” which combines flavours from Florida and the Caribbean to create a distinct “Floribbean” flavour.

Types of FoodEggs, Waffle, Sandwiches, Salad, Chicken, Meat, Seafood
Location0 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040
More InformationHot Tin Roof Restaurant | Ocean Key Resort & Spa

4. Bagatelle

gay key west

Bagatelle Island Restaurant is located at 115 Duval Street in downtown Key West, Florida, near Mallory Square. Bagatelle is housed in a historically significant and artistically stunning structure that was turned into a restaurant in 1979.

Bagatelle serves brunch seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a menu that includes eggs benedict, crispy, deep-fried french toast, fish sandwiches, and their signature lobster mac ‘n’ cheese.

They also offer an American-Caribbean dinner menu with locally sourced fresh fish and superb steaks, as well as an extensive wine selection to suit any palate.

Types of FoodSeafood, Meat, Salads
Location115 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040
More InformationBagatelle Key West

5. Café Solé – Key West

gay key west

Since 1995, Café Solé has captivated the hearts and palates of locals and travellers who have been fortunate enough to stumble across this gastronomic gem off the main path. Chef John Correa and his wife, Judy, blend their French sauce mastery with fresh fish gathered locally.

Chef John produced a menu unlike any other on the island, with dishes bursting at the seams with incomparable tastes.

Types of FoodSoups, Salad, Vegetable, Desserts, Fish, Meat
Location1029 Southard St, Key West, FL 33040
More InformationNo Website

Gay-Friendly Bars and Clubs in Gay Key West

Whatever your tastes, Key West has a nightlife scene that will make you pleased and allow you to have a good time. Key West is a popular destination for those looking for great nightlife.

It has been named one of the best party towns in the United States, and one of the most fascinating aspects of Gay Key West is that there is truly something for everyone.

Here are a few gay-friendly bars and clubs in Gay Key West that you might wish to visit for a fun night out:

1. 801 Bourbon Bar

gay key west

Bourbon Bar is a gay-friendly bar on Duval Street. Bourbon St. Pub and the fetish bar Saloon 1 are sister establishments.

Sushi, the reigning queen of drag at the Bourbon Bar, hosts nightly drag events. The Main Bar hosts live music on Saturday afternoons, karaoke three times a week, and Sunday bingo.

Since you’re surrounded by the island’s greatest bars, this is a perfect place to party and bar hop.

Food and DrinksNot Indicated
Location801 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040
Contact(305) 294-4737
WebsiteEntertainment, Bar, Nightclub – 801 Bourbon Bar – Key West, Florida

2. Bourbon St. Pub

gay key west

It is a popular gay club with a New Orleans theme. Regular drag performers, strippers, and a clothes-optional/male-only garden bar with a pool and a jacuzzi can be found here.

Every night, the “Men of Bourbon” strip down and strut around for your entertainment. There are also private lap dances available.

Of course, Key West is a famed gay hangout, and Bourbon St. Pub is right in the thick of it. It’s a terrific spot for seeing and being seen.

In addition to the popular New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Bourbon also offers themed parties and weekly pool parties.

Food and DrinksBoth Offered
Contact305-293-9800 or 888-293-9893
WebsiteBourbon Street Pub (

3. Bobby’s Monkey Bar

gay key west

For LGBTQ+ vacationers, this laid-back dive bar is a significant draw. There’s a welcoming environment here, and it’s a fantastic spot to meet some locals.

There are regular karaoke sessions that sometimes go on until the wee hours of the morning.

Food and DrinksDrinks Only
Location900 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040
Contact+1 305-294-2655
WebsiteNo Website

4. Aqua Nightclub

gay key west

Aqua Nightclub is a renowned nightlife destination in the city. The club is known for its live music concerts, karaoke, and other entertainment activities.

The place is regarded as being one of the best for singles as well as LGBTQ+, giving it a welcoming environment. Aqua Nightclub is the place to go if you enjoy tapping your feet to dance music.

So, if you’re in town and want to start the night off with a splash of fun, frolic, and laughter, head to Aqua Nightclub.

Food and DrinksNot Indicated
Location711 Duval Street
Key West, FL 33040
Contact+1 305-294-0555
WebsiteAqua Bar & Nightclub — Aquaplex Key West (

Gay-Friendly Activities and Attractions in Gay Key West

The best things in life are said to come in small packages, and this charming city is no exception. There are so many interesting things to do in Key West, from excellent tourist attractions to exhilarating adventures.

Since the island is regarded as a major LGBTQ+ destination, it is brimming with entertaining activities geared toward the LGBTQ+ population. Here are some suggestions for gay-friendly activities and sights to see during your visit to Gay Key West:

1. Key West Pride

Key West Pride Gay Key West Guide

It is celebrated every year in the first week of June. It’s a community festival that includes a street fair, a pride parade, dance parties, sunset sails, music, cinema, and more. Everything takes place on a tropical island known for its laid-back ambiance and welcoming ambiance.

ActivitiesPride Parade, Sunset Sailing, After event Parties
LocationKey West, FL
More InformationKey West Pride – Gay Key West (

2. Higgs Beach

Higgs Beach Gay Key West Guide

One of Key West’s most popular waterfront locales is Higgs Beach and its park. Higgs Beach Park is home to numerous major historical and cultural attractions in addition to white sands, tropical flora, and warm water.

Pay your respects at what is said to be the sole African refugee cemetery in the United States, or pay tribute to AIDS victims at another beautiful memorial. Higgs Beach is revealed in a new light when you take a tour of the Civil War-era fort and the Key West Garden Club that surrounds it.

ActivitiesSightseeing, Swimming, Sunbathing
Location1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationClarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach park | Monroe County, FL – Official Website (

3. Key West Champagne Sunset Sail

shutterstock 98362331

A magnificent catamaran will take you to a spectacular Key West sunset. Relax on the terrace with a glass of chilled champagne as you stare out over the Gay Key West cityscape, spotting historic monuments framed by the fading hues of sunset.

ActivitiesSightseeing, Sailing
Location1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationKey West Sunset Sail with Champagne, Hors D’oeuvres and Full Bar 2023 /// Key West Water Sports

4. Shark and Wildlife Viewing Adventure in Gay Key West

gay key west

As you make your way around 4 miles from shore to the shark viewing point, you’ll pass through shallow water close to mangrove islands. Keep a watch out for dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, barracudas, tarpon, and a variety of native birds along the route.

During your excursion, you’ll receive complimentary water, soda, juice, and chips, as well as use polarised sunglasses. Prepare for an incredible adventure when you arrive at the shark destination.

Your pilot will use bait to attract a swarm of sharks that will swim right up to the boat, allowing you and your family to safely witness them. Take spectacular images that you’ll want to show off to your family and friends.

ActivitiesSightseeing, Picture Wild Sharks, Dolphins, Stingrays
Location245 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationKey West Extreme Adventures | SHARK & WILDLIFE ECO TOURS

5. Key West Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour

Key West Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour Gay Key West Guide

This guided kayaking tour takes you through the mangroves of Gay Key West. Paddle in shallow backcountry waters with a guide and learn about the geology of the Florida Keys and the region’s coastal ecosystem.

The mangroves are home to tropical fish, crabs, jellyfish, seabirds, and other animals, so keep an eye out for them on your eco-adventure.

ActivitiesSightseeing, Kayaking
LocationKey West, FL
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationKey West Eco Tours | Sail Kayak Paddle Board Snorkel Sandbars

6. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum Gay Key West Guide

Discover the peculiarities of Ernest Hemingway’s life at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. For most of the 1930s, one of the twentieth century’s most renowned authors resided in a Spanish colonial mansion in the heart of tropical Key West.

Meet six-toed cats and tour the studio where Hemingway wrote some of his most famous works. As you walk through the house and gardens, you’ll notice a large collection of paintings, hunting trophies, and household items.

Location907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationThe Hemingway Home & Museum

7. Florida Keys Afternoon Reef Snorkel and Sail Adventure

Florida Keys Afternoon Reef Snorkel and Sail Adventure Gay Key West Guide

This small-group snorkeling experience aboard a sailing yacht in Gay Key West takes you to the only living coral reef in North America. Like the natives, you can take advantage of the reef.

Imagine sitting under the billowing sails with the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and a nice drink in your hand. To explore the reef, you’ll dive into the gorgeous blues and greens of the water.

Expect to get up close and personal with marine life. Common sightings include tropical fish, eels, turtles, dolphins, anemones, urchins, and who knows what else.

ActivitiesSightseeing, Snorkeling, Swimming, Sailing
Location601 Front St, Key West, FL 33040, USA
AvailabilityAll Year Round
More InformationSnorkel the Keys – Private Boat Tours in Key Largo –

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How to get to Key West?

From Canada

Everything in Key West is mesmerizing, once you visited it you’ll want to go back there again and again.

If you’re from Canada and really want to visit Key West, riding in a plane with AirCanada is the best choice, you may book a flight from Montreal to Key West which will take 3 hours and 35 minutes.

From the United States

All the things about Key West are captivating; once you’ve been there, you’ll want to return again and again.

If you’re from the United States and want to visit Key West, flying with Washington Dulles International Airport is the best option; you can book a ticket from Washington to Key West that takes 2 hours and 35 minutes.

From Italy

Everything in Key West is enthralling; once you’ve visited, you’ll want to go back.

If you’re from Italy and want to visit Key West, the best option is to fly from Rome Fiumicino Airport; you can book a 4-hour and 30-minute flight from Rome to Key West.

From the United Kingdom

All in Key West is fascinating; you’ll want to return. If you’re visiting Key West from the United Kingdom, the best choice is to fly from Heathrow Airport: a 9-hour and 40-minute trip from London to Key West can be booked.

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