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Miami Gay Pride
Miami Gay Pride
In the wake of a delayed 2021 celebration, the 2022 iteration of Miami Beach Pride has returned to its regularly scheduled programming, set to span ten fun-filled days beginning April 1. While there’s no shortage of parties, performances, and ticketed events to attend, visitors and locals alike are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant queer culture that’s long permeated the Miami metro area.
From visiting the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ archives to supporting South Florida’s most exemplary queer-owned bars and restaurants, the following activities are tailor made for crafting a truly unforgettable week centered around one of America’s most exuberant gay pride celebrations. Here’s everything you need to know about celebrating Miami Beach Pride 2022.
Looking to beat that balmy Miami heat? Don’t miss out on Fun Dip, a rooftop bash set to signify the official beginning of Miami Beach Pride. Located on the Palomar Hotel’s luxe rooftop, this event pairs stellar city and sunset views with an electric diva-loaded soundtrack crafted at the behest of DJs Deanne and Hex Hector. Ramp things up a notch by snagging a VIP ticket and chilling out in the rooftop lounge, a swank hangout equipped with a fully stocked open bar and a wide array of snacks courtesy of Osteria Morini, one of Miami’s top Italian restaurants.
Dine at South Florida’s finest LGBTQ-owned restaurants
In addition to hot weather and even hotter residents, Miami is home to one of the nation’s hottest food scenes. And as the annual pride celebration launches into full swing, there’s no better time to drop a dime at some of the area’s standout queer-owned restaurants.
Though trendy Wynwood is best known for renowned breweries and colorful outdoor murals, R House has been a local favorite for flavorful Latin cuisine since 2014, first launched at the behest of husbands Owen Bale and chef Rocco Carulli. Blue Crab Croquetas, Cubano Sandwiches, and Short Rib Ropa Vieja are just a few of the decadent dishes gracing the menu around here. And for weekend visitors, a truly unforgettable drag brunch awaits, complete with bottomless Mimosas and icy Frosés.
If you’re planning to stick around Miami Beach, don’t miss out on Cheeseburger Baby, a casual and cozy venue just north of Lummus Park. As you may have assumed from the name, burgers reign supreme around here, with a massive portfolio of savory sandwiches and other bites crafted by restaurateur Stephanie Vitori. In the mood for a little something sweet after that massive meat fest? The Andrew Gonzalez-led Night Owl Cookies is the perfect spot to soothe that raging sweet tooth.
It may be tempting to spend most of Pride downing VRBs and dancing your heart out to thumping beats, but don’t forget to take some time to appreciate the finer things in life—and for serious art connoisseurs, the Miami Beach Pride-sanctioned Queer Art Showcase is a can’t-miss occasion. Held on April 4 at the flashy Moxy South Beach, this bash presents some of the finest visual and written works found within the city limits, with pieces crafted by ten local LGBTQ+ artists. Be sure to bring your wallet, as all art sales made during the event go directly to creators.
Lounge poolside at a bonafide queer hotel
South Florida’s cup runneth over with LGBTQ-friendly hotels, but how about a hotel that’s certifiably gay? It may sound too good to be true, but Miami Beach is actually equipped with not just one, but two properties that fall under this enticing niche category.
Just off of Venetian Way, Hotel Gaythering is one of the few lodgings on earth catering specifically to gay men, coming in hot with a sauna, regular karaoke nights, and cocktail-focused bar all housed under one roof. On the other side of the island, AxelBeach promises a self-described “hetero-friendly” experience, stocked with a massive outdoor pool, Sky Bar, and on-property restaurant available for all guests, no matter where they identify on the gender and sexuality spectrum.
After 10 action-packed days, Miami Beach Pride culminates in the main event: The aptly named Miami Beach Pride Parade, a no-holds-barred, brilliantly colorful, and queer AF celebration marching right down Ocean Drive. Sporting a charming Wizard of Oz theme for 2022, this event unites community members and allies amid the tenacity of Miami’s queer community in the wake of the pandemic-ridden past few years. Once you’ve had your fill of the procession, be sure to hang around to peruse the ample food, drinks, and queer-centric crafts displayed all around Lummus Park.
Miami Beach—and specifically South Beach—has been a bastion of gay culture for decades on end, and in the modern era, this uber gay-friendly district is still going strong. One of the area’s most storied establishments—Palace, to be precise—has been catering to queer patrons for more than 30 years, serving up strong cocktails, tasty American fare, and scenic rooftop poolside views. Brunching queens take note—while this spot is perfect for post-sunset partying, it’s also a hotspot for midmorning dining.
Keep the party going a couple blocks north of Palace at Score Nightclub, one of Miami Beach’s top spots for late night debauchery. This savvy venue is worth visiting all year round, but in honor of Miami Beach Pride, Score is throwing an official pride night bash on April 9 at the airport-adjacent 94th Aero Squadron.
Miami Beach may be the crown jewel of South Florida’s LGBTQ+ scene, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the city doesn’t know how to get down, too. Case in point? Azucar Nightclub, Coral Way’s bustling hub for drag shows, cabaret nights, and all-night partying. The music here typically skews Latin, making this one of Miami’s hottest clubs for boogying to reggaetón into the wee hours of the morning.
Interestingly enough, one of Miami’s most beloved queer haunts isn’t a gay bar at all—but given its 2020 Best Gay Bar endorsement from the Miami New Times, it’s safe to say that Gramps is a top-tier destination for LGBTQ+ folks exploring the city. Classic cocktails and mainstream American beers flow like water around here, all of which pair perfectly with one of Gramps’ famous pizzas. This hangout is a queer magnet 365 days a year, but for a little added flair, be sure to visit during one of their regular drag bingo or trivia nights.
Though technically not located in Miami proper, the Fort Lauderdale-based Stonewall National Museum and Archives are too fascinating a draw to pass up. Officially founded in 1972, this prestigious institution is home to more than 28,000 volumes highlighting the nation’s vast and complex history surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. Upon arrival, visitors are welcome to peruse the Stonewall Library in search of queer reading material, or check out Mis-Information, an exhibition offering ample insight into the early years of the AIDS crisis and the many misconceptions that were disseminated to the public during this time.