When it comes to LGBT travel, the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater communities show their true colors as they open their doors and arms to welcome everyone who visits the area. In fact, more and more hotels in the area are becoming TAG-approved, which means they have agreed not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in their employment practices; to actively outreach to the gay and lesbian communities; and to strive to create gay-friendly experiences for their guests.
In Tampa’s Ybor City, the historic city-within-a-city, a LGBT-friendly collective of more than 200 businesses, including shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and more, come together to create GaYBOR. Check out the Honey Pot and Southern Nights Tampa for hours of dancing and good times.
Across the bay in St. Petersburg, the LGBT Welcome Center is an inviting space in which to get acquainted with the city, find things to do or just sit and relax a while. Popular LGBT hot spots in the St. Pete and Clearwater areas include St. Pete’s Grand Central District, terrific for shopping and dining and the host of the city’s annual Pride Parade; spending time soaking up the sun on Sunset Beach on Treasure Island; and ending the night with Drag Queen Bingo at the Blur Nightclub in Dunedin or the Flamingo Resort & Entertainment Center back in St. Pete, where you can dance the night away and enjoy the Flamingo Royal Players Cabaret Show.
A number of LGBT events are held throughout Central West Florida year-round, including the Tampa Pride Parade Festival (March); Pride & Passion, the official kick-off of Gay Pride Month celebrations throughout the area (May); the St. Pete Pride Festival and Parade, featuring the largest LGBT Pride Parade in Florida and including more than 150 organizations and businesses (June); Pride Night @ The Trop with the Tampa Bay Rays (June); and the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (October).