Fort Lauderdale's Sebastian Beach Named Hottest U.S. Gay Beach by Out Traveler


GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2014) - Greater Fort Lauderdale, the city with the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the U.S., has been awarded the Hottest U.S. Gay Beach by Out Traveler for the destination's Sebastian Beach; the second top LGBT accolade for the region in 2014.


The destination's Sebastian Beach beat the popular Lighthouse Beach on New York's Fire Island in this year's Out Traveler Awards. The award follows the recent announcement that Greater Fort Lauderdale beat out worldwide competition to win "Destination of the Year" in the 2014 ManAboutWorld Editors' Choice Awards.


Home to the world's first AIDS museum, the Stonewall National Museum & Archives with one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT history and culture, and one of the country's largest Pride Centers, Greater Fort Lauderdale continues to attract LGBT travelers from around the world.


In July 2014, the GFLCVB announced its unconditional support for the repeal of its state's gay marriage ban, which is set to lift on January 6, 2015.


"Fort Lauderdale had been stealing a lot of thunder lately from Miami, its famous neighbor to the south, and committing to LGBT tourism," Out Traveler reported. "The smaller city is a more relaxed alternative to South Beach, but there's no shortage of action, whether it be warm sands or handsome men. Fire Island will always be a favorite, but Fort Lauderdale is on a roll. Oh, and marriage equality is coming to Florida in January."


While the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been rolling out the Rainbow Carpet since 1996, it continues to innovate and lead in LGBT marketing, recently launching a Transgender Travel Initiative to further efforts to cater to all segments of the LGBT market by delivering an authentic welcoming experience for transgender visitors. In August 2014, the GFLCVB commissioned the largest, first-ever survey of transgender travelers in North America, with the goal of identifying the travel motivations, needs and priorities of the market. As a result of these efforts, Greater Fort Lauderdale has secured the Southern Comfort Conference for 2015, 2016 and 2017, the first time ever this transgender conference has moved from its home in Atlanta.


"While it's important to us that we were one of the first CVB's to take a lead role in proactively welcoming LGBT visitors, it is equally important to continue to do more and not rest on our laurels. This latest accolade is a reflection that those efforts are working," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.


"Last year, Wilton Manors was named Gayborhood of the Year, and this year Greater Fort Lauderdale was named LGBT Destination of the Year along with the Hottest U.S. Gay Beach, showing a clear trend as more LGBT travelers discover how gay-friendly the destination is," said Richard Gray, managing director for the LGBT market at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.


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