Fun in the Sun: 6 LGBTQ Beach Getaways

by Ivan Quintanilla

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday September 3, 2020

Fun in the Sun: 6 LGBTQ Beach Getaways
  (Source:Getty Images)

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Sun, sand and surf might just be the salvation of our 2020 vacation. As we embrace ever-changing travel restrictions and protocols guiding us outdoors, U.S. travelers needing a little escape are thankful our country spans from sea to shining sea. The beautiful, spacious skies are needed more than ever. As the summer season winds down, it's the perfect time to take advantage of lessening crowds.

Pack your mask, a little patience and a respectful curiosity when visiting these LGBTQ-friendly beaches and their welcoming towns.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Few—if any—towns can boast the inclusivity of Provincetown. Located on the tip of Cape Cod, P-town has offered a haven to outcasts since the Pilgrims landed on its shores in 1620. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy protected its beaches by naming them part of the National Seashore.

Today, every letter of our community heads to Herring Cove Beach for fun in the sun.

"To me, it's like gay Disneyworld," says Ravi Roth, host of the upcoming "Gaycation Travel Show" on YouTube. "Regardless of who you are, there is a place for you in P-town."

For those who want to reach the beach most popular with the boys, you'll need to ride your bike or drive and prepare to walk a mile through swampy sand. Plan your trek during low tide and pack a cooler, or pick up snacks at Far Land on the Beach by the Herring Cove parking lot. Provincetown has no shortage of LGBTQ lodging. For a quintessentially-Cape Cod experience, stay at the historic Crowne Pointe in the center of town.

Ready for lobster rolls and a stroll down Commercial Street? Click Here

San Diego, California

Boasting 300 sunny days a year, the beaches of San Diego are always a draw. For one of the most secluded beaches on the West Coast, head to Black's Beach, just north of La Jolla. It's insanely gorgeous, but, as with most beautiful things, you'll have to work for it. Park in the lot by the Torrey Pines Gliderport and prepare to hike one of two trails down the cliffs. Though the southernmost route is slightly more manageable, the northern path is the more gayly-popular way to descend and drops you off by the LGBTQ section of the beach.

Once you hit the sand, it is sun's out, buns out. Although nudism is technically illegal in San Diego, enforcement rarely makes it down the cliffs. From the bluffs above to the buffs around, the destination is worthy of the journey.

The West Coast awaits! Click Here to book your flight.

Saugatuck, Michigan

The Midwestern answer to a gay beach town is Saugatuck, Michigan. A summer artist retreat (read LGBTQ-friendly) since the early 1900's, Saugatuck is the gateway to Oval Beach on Lake Michigan. Today, it's still the sweetest little beach within a three-hour drive from Chicago or Detroit and one of Orbitz's "Ten Hottest Gay Destinations for 2019."

Though Oval Beach is friendly everywhere, veer right as you hit the sand for the biggest congregation of the LGBTQ community. The beach features a snack shop, grills and restrooms for a full day of uninterrupted fun. Just keep your drawers on — the beach is welcoming to all types of families, including those with kiddies.

For the full rainbow experience, no visit is complete without a stop at the Dunes Resort in nearby Douglas. As the epicenter of all things LGBTQ, Dunes is a combo hotel, club, bar and restaurant. This year, seated drinks have replaced the popular tea dances, but the crowd is no less colorful.

Ready for a road trip? Click Here to book your rental car.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

Heading "down the shore" has never been gayer. Asbury Park took its time transitioning into a full-fledged LGBTQ destination, but now, it's our New Jersey seaside escape of choice. Though beach passes are limited this year due to the pandemic, a select number of day passes are available for purchase through the Viply mobile app each day at 6:30 p.m. for the following day.

No pass, no worry: head to the Beach Bar overlooking the LGBTQ-popular 5th Avenue Beach, for a glimpse of the action and a delicious rum bucket. Stroll down the boardwalk for a beachside snack and finish with poolside drinks at the Empress Hotel or Hotel Tides.

Ready for your own version of "Jersey Shore"? Click Here to start planning.

Ogunquit, Maine

If good things come in small packages, then Ogunquit is the glittering gem of Northern New England. This four-square-mile town has prioritized inclusivity since its days as a sleepy arts colony.

Stop by the gay-owned Village Food Market to pick up a gourmet sandwich before heading to the beach. You'll want to enter through the Main Beach Access and walk north to Section 3 (sometimes cheekily called "Section G"). Didn't pack your lunch? Don't worry, LaPizzeria will deliver your pizza and frozen cosmo to the main beach parking lot for pickup. Though nightlife is limited this summer, Mainestreet is still offering its Dueling Drag Divas show, with socially-distanced seating.

Need a getaway? Click Here.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

As the LGBTQ beach destination of Delaware, Rehoboth Beach is a popular summer escape for Washington D.C. and Philadelphia queers. The downtown is small enough to cover on foot but large enough to offer variety. For speedo-clad boys, stroll down the boardwalk to Poodle Beach on the south side. On the North Shores area, you'll find the lesbians and those LGBTQs looking for a more subdued beach experience. After your day in the sun, head to Aqua Grill for food and drinks. Regardless of your pleasure, you'll feel welcome in Rehoboth.

"Our community is made up of people attracted to our comradery and inclusiveness," says Joe Sterner, board member of the Rehoboth Beach Bears. "At our events, you'll find bears, non-bears, and even straight and gay women who are friends of the bear community." Stay in the center of the action at the Rehoboth Guest House or opt for a quieter time at the Homestead B & B, located three miles from the boardwalk.

B&B's are a great option for socially distanced accommodations. Click Here to find one that suits your style.

Fore more vacation ideas, check out:
Culture Shock: 7 Fantastic Outdoor Experiences
Live Here, Go There: 5 Road Trips to Get Outta Town

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Cuban born, Miami raised, Dallas and London educated and New York seasoned, Ivan Quintanilla is a travel writer and professional actor living in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. Read about his latest destinations at TravelingIQ and follow him on Instagram at @TravelingIQ