With nearly 50 art galleries, award-winning restaurants, beautiful accommodations, exciting nightlife, nearby beaches and more than 450 years of history tucked in close to a sun- and moon-lit bay, it’s no wonder St. Augustine is a special place for so many visitors. Hospitality is the city’s primary focus and one that has been refined and evolving over many generations. Today, it is also a place of welcome for the LGBTQ+ community.
Where to Stay?
The possibilities are endless – from cozy B&Bs to properties from the biggest names in the hospitality industry. Plus, locations can be as varied as a historic home from the 18th century to a sea-breezed oceanfront suite.
For instance, known for more than a decade as a favorite gay-friendly place to stay, At Journey’s End is the recipient of a 2021 Traveler’s Choice “Best of the Best” award and a seven-time TripAdvisor “Hall of Fame” winner. Located at 89 Cedar Street, this short-term vacation rental (two-night minimum) features a four-bedroom Victorian home and two single-bedroom carriage houses.
The Bayfront Marin House at 142 Avenida Menendez is also a beautiful place to begin a memorable walk along the historic waterfront. Each of its 17 bedrooms feature regal décor (including some with 4-poster beds) private baths and an array of memorable amenities -plus, a sumptuous breakfast is served daily.
Food, Drink and Fun:
Two new restaurants on St. Augustine’s bayfront offer amazing food, drinks and rooftop bars that are perfect for getting a buzz on while enjoying the ever popular “people watching.” Check out the beautifully-designed River and Fort or the classy atmosphere of the Casa Reina. And for fun imbibing don’t miss the Tini-Martini Bar on the bayfront or the top floor balconies of Sangria’s overlooking busy St. George Street.
A Top 10 Gay Beach!
VISIT FLORIDA®, the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing firm, recently selected St. Augustine’s Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTMNEER, just call it Git-Mur) as one of the ten best gay beaches in Florida. Located just north of the historic city, this Atlantic beach stretches several miles along A1A and features towering dunes leading down to a pristine shore.
Things to Do:
Sunset and moonlit sailing trips aboard the Schooner Freedom, water-borne tours of Matanzas Bay, ghost tours, culinary tours, award-wining distillery and winery tours, narrated train and trolley tours – and so much more insure a seemingly endless supply of adventures. (Looking for something different? Don’t miss the world’s oldest carpet at Villa Zorayda Museum – it’s made of cat fur! Or take a nighttime kayak trip on a secluded lake where the water glows in the darkness.
A Celebration of Juneteenth: A multi-community choir performs an inspiring selection of Negro Spirituals and classical works celebrating the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement. Performances on 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 135 N. Rodriguez Street and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica, 38 Cathedral Place. Admission is free. 7:30 p.m. www.staugustinemusocfestival.org
June 23 – 25 and June 30 – July 2
St. Augustine Music Festival: The St. Augustine Music Festival is a series of six free concerts held throughout two weekends in the historic Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. The concerts take place Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a different performance each evening. www.staugustinemusocfestival.org
Battle of Bloody Mose: Visit Fort Mose Historic State Park for this event from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with battle reenactments at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. between the British and Scottish invaders and the victorious Spanish defenders along with the free black militia and Native American auxiliaries. Event admission is free. 15 Fort Mose Trail, St. Augustine 904-823-2232 www.fortmose.org