Making a trip to Key West? Here are some of the must-see, free things to do while on the gay-friendly island.

Making a trip to Key West? Here are some of the must-see, free things to do while on the gay-friendly island.

free things to do in Key West, USA

Big gay road trip

Firstly getting to Key West can be one big gay affair with your very own big gay road trip. Key West is by far one of the most friendly areas for gay travellers in the United States outside San Francisco or New York.

Travelling by car to any of the keys is definitely the most impressive way to see all the keys and their different styles. Simply slap on some Shania Twain, Britney and Kylie and sing your heart out in a convertible for mile after mile.

Gay Key West Visitors Centre

Want to find out more about what’s gay in Key West the helpful Gay Key West Visitors’ Centre should be your first stop.

Hot tub it at a gay guest house

Bourbon has an all-male guest house called New Orleans House (724 Duval Street). You don’t need to be a guest to use their facilities, but drinks and foods are chargeable. So why not take a dip in one of their pools and feel free to shed some clothes as the resort is clothing optional.

Pan Am’s birthplace

Pan Am was an iconic airline which can trace its roots to Key West. Pan Am was seen as one of the world’s finest airlines. It introduced the world to the Jumbo Jet, was the first airline to space (in film anyway, thanks to 2001: A Space Odessey) and its camp but classic uniforms have been copied and revered countless times, including in the Britney Spears’ music video for ‘Toxic’. As far as we know, Pan Am is the only airline that has a drag queen named after it, Pam Ann.

Photograph yourself with an icon

Fancy getting up and close to a true icon. Outside the Tropic cinema, there’s a life-size model of Marilyn Monroe. Make sure you see the cinema at night when the neon lights shine brightly making the independent cinema complex a must-see on the island.

Gay bar crawl

It’s quite easy to do a gay bar crawl in Key West, after all, they are, for the most part, on one street, Duval Street. There’s the Bourbon Street Pub, 801, Bobby’s Monkey Bar, Aqua Key West, La Te Da, Saloon1, Garden of Eden. Duval Street is also famous for having the world’s biggest pride flag unravelled along its 1.25 miles.801 Bourbon Bar and Bobbies Monkey Bar provide free Karaoke most days of the week.

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Key West Historical Memorial Sculpture Garden

Key people to Key West are memorialised at the Sculpture Garden, including writer Tennessee Williams who was key to assimilating the LGBT community into Key West. While you’re at you could pop into the Tennessee Williams’ exhibit. He lived in Key West until his death in 1983. It is open daily from 9:30 AM til 4:30 PM (there is an admission charge for the museum).

Kissing your partner at the southernmost sunset in the USA

Every night hundreds of people gather at Mallory Square to watch and applaud the setting of the sun. It’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll see and well worth giving your partner a quick smooch as the sun goes down.

Holding hands at the southernmost point of the USA

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Hold your partner’s hand at the southernmost point on continental USA.

Higgs Beach

Although technically not a “gay beach” Higgs has a poignant AIDS memorial, which informs visitors about gay history. The beach is at the southern end of White St. with Higgs Beach Dog Park on the Westside.

Find out more about the Keys at the official website


About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.