Key West Gay and Lesbian Scene

(Key West, Florida - FL, USA)

Once something of a hedonistic resort and refuge for both gay and lesbian locals, and those looking for a lively, tropical holiday destination, the face of LGBT-friendly Key West has certainly changed greatly following the arrival of the 21st century.

Previously, there were a series of men-only guest houses dotted around areas of Key West, such as the Old Town and along Whitehead Street. However, due to falling trade, many of the city's former gay accommodation options now display subtle signs outside, saying 'All Welcome'.

Duval Street remains central to the gay community of Key West and is called home by a number of pulsing gay nightspots, such as the ever popular Aqua Nightclub, where fun drag shows are a firm staple, along with happy hours, cocktails, karaoke nights and fun themed contests.

Just down the road and still standing on Duval Street is the Bourbon St. Pub, which advertises itself as being the most popular gay bar in the whole of Key West. Many come to the Bourbon St. Pub for the Saturday afternoon pool parties alone, along with its garden bar and dance room.

Also worth looking out for on Duval Street is the 801 Bourbon Bar and the well-attended cabaret shows at the La Te Da Key West Hotel. And for men who prefer a combination of privacy, security and spending time with like-minded people, the Island House resort has become famous all over Florida for its openness and optional nudity. Sunseekers should note that the favorite gay beach in Key West is the Higgs Memorial Beach.

Key West Gay and Lesbian Fantasy Fest

First held in the late 1970s, the exciting Fantasy Fest now draws in huge crowds of more than 100,000 gay and lesbian visitors for this ten-day extravaganza during October, when a distinctive Mardi Gras atmosphere fills the city's air.

This annual event is the highlight of Key West's LGBT calendar and features an abundance of entertainment based around Duval Street, including carnival-style floats, costume parties, drag queen competitions, charity fundraisers and even body painting. Those in attendance should be sure to look out for the Fantasy Fest's newly crowned Conch King and Conch Queen.

Other popular Key West LGBT events:

Useful contact details:

Key West Business Guild Office and Visitor Center (KWBG)
Address: 513 Truman Avenue, Key West, Florida (FL), 33040, USA
Tel: +1 305 294 4603
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00