The island’s accommodations are known for their warm welcome to all guests — whether they’re traveling in all-male or all-female groups, sharing their vacation with family members or friends, or seeking a secluded retreat with a romantic partner.
As a leading destination for LGBT travelers, Key West is home to a wide array of hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, guesthouses, inns and resorts that range in price from economy to luxury. Most feature private pools with lushly landscaped grounds, and many offer colorful flower-drenched courtyards and lazy porch swings for lounging. Some are nestled along the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico with beaches for sunning beside aquamarine waters.
Key West properties have long attracted LGBT visitors. Some prefer intimate bed-and-breakfasts or guesthouses that are tucked away in the island’s historic district. Most are carefully restored properties dating back to the mid-1800s. They include the downtown La Te Da, which hosts weekly tea dances frequented by LGBT and straight residents and travelers.
Many luxury accommodations are Queen Anne or Victorian mansions trimmed with gingerbread and painted in cheerful pastels that once belonged to the island’s wealthy merchants or sea captains.
Key West’s remarkably preserved architecture includes more than 3,000 standing wooden structures in the picturesque and extensive historic district. Several restored architectural treasures were owned by illustrious notables: Elizabeth Bishop, Jerry Herman and Calvin Klein, for example.
The social atmosphere at properties appealing specially to the LGBT market ranges from intimate and romantic to lively and entertaining with poolside clothing-optional activities.
Guesthouses often are furnished with blends of wicker or rattan and museum-quality antiques. Ceiling fans circle lazily overhead and balcony doors stand open, welcoming breezes that flow across the 2-by-4-mile island.
Guest rooms generally offer artfully designed décor, private baths and an in-room refrigerator. Many properties have suites or apartments with full kitchens to accommodate groups of friends.
Amenities typically are generous. Bed-and-breakfasts offer tropical treats such as Key lime beignets, fruits and juices. Some innkeepers greet the evening, and their guests, with complimentary cocktails or a wine hour held poolside or in their property’s garden.
Key West accommodations information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest/placestostay.cfm
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/gay, www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Gay Key West Visitor Center: www.gaykeywestfl.com, 305-294-4603 or 1-800-535-7797
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