Planning a holiday next year, or even sooner? How about Key West in Florida, USA?
The city of Key West encompasses various islands and ‘Keys’ and is the county seat of Monroe County. It is also known as the Southernmost City in the Continental United States being 129 miles southwest of Miami. It is a seaport destination for many passenger cruise ships. The Key West International Airport provides airline service. Hotels and guest houses are available for lodging. But what about the gay scene? Ok, so it’s a great place to go on vacation but what are the gay companies planning for queer visitors?
There are plenty of gay and gay friendly resorts to choose from, that’s for sure. A quick search brought up hundreds so you really are spoiled for choice. I guess many businesses will declare themselves as ‘gay friendly’ these days, it makes sense to attract as many customers as you can and no one is going to say they are ‘gay unfriendly’. But watch out for the real gay resorts, gay run and gay owned, these are the ones that are going to be right on your wavelength.
How about Island House, voted “the best gay men’s resort in the world” by readers of OUT Traveler magazine – as well as receiving many other accolades from the queer press. This place certainly sells itself as gay men’s heaven; ‘a place where everyone is gay…where it’s easy to make friends… where you can really be yourself…where you can enjoy yourself 24 hours a day… in a secure locked compound, safe from the outside world…’ [www.islandhousekeywest.com] I’m not too sure about being ‘locked in a compound’ but I think I know what they mean. Check through their website to read the details of what’s on offer but don’t expect to find the men in the pictures when you visit. Holiday companies always do this; show you hunky guys to attract you, yes there may be some when you visit but the chances are the majority of guests will be ordinary guys like you and me.
So Island House comes out top in searches and has won awards but there are plenty of other places to choose. Ecuador (not the country but the name of the resort) gets good reviews from customers and its website outlines prices through the seasons, starting at $120 a night for a basic room and reaching $237 for a suite. Hobart Resorts have three places for gay men, Coconut Grove, Coral Tree Inn and Oasis. Each has its own charms, pools, bars and facilities and prices here range from $149 to $259 a night depending on the room size.
And for the girls? Pearl’s Rainbow is a resort for women in Key West. It’s close to Southernmost Point in a beautiful part of the town. It’s a full-service resort with two pools, two hot-tubs, a poolside bar called “Pearl’s Patio”, which is Key West’s only bar for women only. There are plenty of shady and sunny places to relax and lounge about, and it’s clothing optional. So the girls are guaranteed some fun too.
But what to do while you are there? Apart from search out the hot guys and gals of course. The local area offers loads of varied attractions, beaches, boats to rent, fishing, watersports (of either variety I expect) and cruises. There is no shortage of nightlife and places to eat out, bars and general entertainment. Search around a little more and you can make wedding plans, or turn up at the right time and take part in the Fantasy Festival; in 2009 it is being held between October 23rd and November 1st – that should give you plenty of time to get packing.
Those are just a few notes and ideas about the gay places to stay in Key West, as I said, there are many other places to check out and choose from but wherever you end up it looks like everyone has a great time down there in the Florida sun.