Take a 'family' vacation to any of these popular LGBT spots.
ummer has arrived, and with it a bountiful number of opportunities to get out of Atlanta during the sweltering, 90-degree plus days ahead.
While New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco are always some of the top destinations, many Georgians like to kick off their summer with a trip to the Florida panhandle for Memorial Day weekend. While Destin, Florida, is popular with the family set, Pensacola kicks off the summer with one of the biggest beach parties—many beach parties to be exact—of the summer.
There’s also the hottest lesbian party, billed as “Sexacola,” put on annually at Captain Fun’s Beach Club by the owners of Atlanta’s My Sister’s Room. This year’s headliner for the weekend party is Uh Huh Her on Saturday, with the popular White Party on Sunday hosted by Sarah Bettencourt and Whitney Mixter.
There are numerous other parties dur- ing the Memorial Day weekend with events throughout the city’s gay bars and clubs. Emerald City bills itself as the largest gay dance club on the Gulf Coast, and General Manager Ted McCrary says that Pensacola will be awash with people looking for a good time in and around the city.
“Memorial Day is our weekend of the year, “McCrary says. “We have people driving in from as far as Texas, Tennessee, Georgia—it’s a big weekend.”
Long known for its history of conservative politics, Florida bills itself “family friendly.” But Pensacola is a dot of blue sea in the middle of the red state and the beach parties last all summer.
“Because we’re a beach town we have a pretty consistent flow of people coming in for a week or a weekend. Most people come here for the beach. There are very few places in the country where you have that white sugar sand beach, and we have it here,” he says. “Pensacola is like an oasis in (the Panhandle), there’s a large gay population, and most people feel very comfortable here… most gay people find coming to Pensacola very relaxing. From my talking to customers they don’t find Pensacola uncomfortable like they sometimes do other towns in the Panhandle.”
Key West Pride is June 11-15 this year and attracts close to 10,000 visitors each year.