Visit LGBTQ Sarasota

Part laidback beach paradise, and part eclectic arts and culture destination: Sarasota is a fun and welcoming destination for LGBTQ travelers, couples, and families. Explore our guide to our diverse community—and be our guest!

Looking for your next "gaycation" destination, but eager to escape the year-round traffic jams in party hotspots like Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale? In Sarasota, cosmopolitan tastes go hand in hand with close-knit-community charm. Our diversity of offerings in the performing, visual and culinary arts, family activities for all ages, and tropical-getaway options could put this "small town with a big personality" on the map for your next vacation escape.

Take a peek at our guide to Pride and other local LGBTQ events, entertainment staged by Sarasota's own vibrant LGBTQ community, and gay-friendly accommodations—and plan your Sarasota vacation today... Pride Season 2021 is just around the corner!

Pride 2021 events with Project PRIDE

Pride is celebrated across the U.S. through the month of June in remembrance of LGBTQ history, and in celebration of the resilience of the gay and transgender community. In Sarasota,  Project PRIDE will host a series of outdoors, safe for social-distancing events throughout the month.

June 3: Pride Month kicks off with a tiki-themed Pride Party at the newly remodeled Bahi Hut—a kitschy must-visit location for its authentic, retro (dating back to 1954!) tiki flair. What better place to raise a glass of something sweet and powerful to the LGBTQ elders who paved the path to Pride?

June 5 and 13 Car and Pet Parades: Catch rainbow-hued celebrations of LGBTQ joy on parade in downtown Sarasota at the Project PRIDE Car Parade, rolling down Main Street starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday,  June 5, and the Project PRIDE Pet Parade at Bayfront Park at 10:00 a.m. on June 13.

June 6-19: Taste of PRIDE 2021 puts the spotlight on Sarasota's most inclusive, LGBTQ-friendly restaurants and culinary businesses. Check out the prix fixe menus, deals and discounts at, and keep an eye out for businesses sporting Pride-themed window displays, decals, and rainbow-colored lights.

June 12: Pack sunscreen and picnic-snacks for the Big Gay Beach Party at North Lido Beach. This free, all-ages event was introduced in 2018 to bring LGBTQ community members and allies together for a day of fun in the sun. Guests are encouraged to bring their own umbrellas, towels, snacks and drinks.

Beyond Pride Month: More LGBTQ Festival Dates

September 23 - October 2: Typically held in May, Southwest Florida's largest LGBTQ music and arts festival, Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) returns with a new name in September, 2021.

After its first virtual-fest year in 2020, HMF will reprise over the last week in September, 2021 as FABAF—the Fabulous Arts Foundation—with a hybrid of outdoors and virtual festival offerings. The week-long FABAF festival will feature eclectic visual and performance artists, an outdoors and virtual LGBTQ film fest, drag shows, and live music and dance. As it has in the past, the festival encourages family attendance.

In a renewed commitment to equity and inclusion, in 2020 the festival also introduced the Amplifying Queer+Trans BIPOC Voices and #WeSupport Diversity and Inclusion Training program for local businesses. Look for #WeSupport window clings in LGBTQ-friendly businesses throughout Sarasota.

October 23: Following pandemic-postponement, the Sarasota Pride Festival will return on Oct. 23, 2021. This annual event featuring live music, vendors, entertainment, speakers and resources for the LGBTQ community, friends and family is hosted by Sarasota Pride, Inc..

LGBTQ+ Entertainment and Nightlife

From the theatre stage to the three-ring circus tent, Sarasota is a hub for the performing arts. Fans of theatre, opera, ballet, orchestra, and circus will have no trouble filling an itinerary with shows in Sarasota—and even trapeze lessons, if you dare. We’re also happy to help you unbutton your collar at some of the hottest alternative entertainment in town…

For instance: Drag Queen Bingo, anyone? Sarasota’s reigning Queen, Beneva Fruitville, is best known for hosting her long-running Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza at venues throughout Sarasota. Beneva Fruitville hosts a monthly (adults only) Game Night at Mellow Mushroom that includes "Unconventional Trivia" and other group games. Expect an evening of raunchy humor, booze, classic drag performances and—of course—several of the most blush-worthy rounds of bingo you’ll ever play.

Sarasota’s own Asolo Repertory Theatre is among the top theatres in the southeastern United States, and home to a unique partnership of art and social activism in its OUT@Asolo Rep series. For each OUT@Asolo event, the theatre partners with a local LGBTQ+ organization for a night of theatre combined with outreach and education.

Check back with for updates to the upcoming OUT@Asolo schedule. In the meantime, view the Asolo Rep Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Statement for info on the organization's ongoing efforts to offer inclusive resources, support, and visibility for the BIPOC and LGBTQIA community.

Sarasota’s gay and gay-friendly choral group, Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota, is one of the hidden gems in Sarasota's performing arts culture. The Diversity chorus performs throughout southwest Florida and in choral galas across the United States.

Find Community at LGBTQ Hangouts

The nonprofit organization and gay bar, Purple Rhino Lodge, is a hidden gem—and a first-stop for anyone seeking LGBTQ community in Sarasota. Visit the Purple Rhino's Facebook page for up-to-date info about drag shows, cabaret performances, burger-night socials, and more—or simply swing by for a cocktail any evening of the week. 

On the first Thursday of every month, members of the local LGBTQ community meet up at swanky lounges and eclectic restaurants throughout Sarasota for G2H2: Gay Group Happy Hour. From cosmopolitan rooftop settings to casual beachside bars, G2H2 provides a laidback environment for folks to meet and mingle, learn more about the Sarasota LGBTQ scene. It's also a great excuse to check out the 80+ LGBTQ-friendly businesses who've hosted the weekly event throughout the years.

Sports fans are invited to cheer on Sarsota's own LGBTQ kickball league during their spring season. Check out the schedule, roster, and kickball social events at

No matter when your visit, there's almost guaranteed to be a gay-friendly event in Sarasota. Visit the events calendar for frequent updates on LGBTQ events and social gatherings throughout Sarasota County.

Where to Stay

North Lido public beach is historically known as Sarasota's Gay Beach. Lido Key is also known for its luxury resorts and access to world-class shopping and dining on St. Armands Circle and the adjacent Longboat Key. Some of our favorite hotels with quick access to Lido beaches, St. Armands, and downtown Sarasota are Lido Beach Resort and the Zota Beach Resort on Longboat—both of which offer their guests on-site fine dining, ocean-overlook swimming pools, private cabanas, and other luxury amenities.

If you’re looking to catch a little R&R in a cozy beachside hideaway, look no further than Siesta Key Bungalows or Turtle Beach Resort. It’s up to you how you choose to de-stress: whether you're building sandcastles with your family on the beach, or daiquiri and oyster bar-hopping with friends, these spots offer casual "beach bum" vibes with convenient access to world-class Siesta Key beaches.

Want to be close to the action in downtown Sarasota? LGBTQ-friendly hotels including Art Ovation, Hotel Indigo and The Sarasota Modern await. Located within walking distance of the Sarasota bayside, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, the Theatre and Rosemary Districts, and award-winning restaurants in downtown Sarasota, these stylish hotels provide convenient access to the arts, dining and nightlife in a chic boutique hotel setting.

See what Sarasota has to offer for everyone

Sarasota is gifted with diversity in its natural ecology, arts community, and in the multicultural and modern lifestyles of the folks who choose to make their homes, here, and those who visit. Join us in celebrating our Pride in our community (and be sure to get some of our beach sand between your toes!) any time of year.