A thick mangrove forest on one end and the blue waters of the Atlantic on the other, Key Largo is the first of the Florida Keys. The northernmost spot of the ‘Keys’ is the self-proclaimed ‘Dive Capital of the World.’ It also has the country’s first underwater park and is a mecca for kayakers, snorkelers, and anglers. Its gay scene might be a lot more subdued than its fellow Key member Key West, but Key Largo is very gay-friendly. In fact, there are more gay hotels in Key Largo than bars, clubs, and such, which mostly lie in the gay-friendly mecca of Key West. But, Key Largo is also very welcoming towards the LGBTQ community. Gay travelers will find many options to stay here, ranging from luxurious resorts to smaller inns overlooking the water. Overall, if you’re looking for a quieter Florida Keys vacation, then Key Largo is it.
That said, there’s a lot more to Key Largo than its gay scene. It lies just an hour south of Miami via the Overseas Highway, one of the World’s Most Scenic Drives. What’s more, the Keys, Key Largo, and West, in particular, are also some of the Best US Winter Vacation spots. With huge areas full of coral reefs, mangrove forests, and upland areas, it’s the perfect place for beach bums, intrepid water adventurers, and nature lovers. So, pack your bags for the next big Floridian vacation to the Upper Keys. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Key Largo.
Table of contents
- Playa Largo Resort & Spa
- Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
- Baker’s Cay Resort
- Bayside Inn Key Largo
- Coconut Palm Inn
- Amoray Dive Resort
- Atlantic Bay Resort
- Hampton Inn Key Largo
- Bungalows Key
- The Pelican
- Coconut Bay Resort
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Key Largo
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Key Largo
- Best Gay Saunas in Key Largo
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Key Largo
Playa Largo Resort & Spa
Playa Largo Resort & Spa is one of the largest and swankiest gay hotels in Key Largo. This sprawling resort is a welcoming sight with a gleaming lobby that’s absent of any palm leaves or typical Keys foliage. This waterfront oasis boasts contemporary and stylish rooms and suites with plush beds and all comfortable mod-cons. The best rooms have French doors leading out to sea-facing patios. Are you a larger party of family or friends? There are even bungalows and a beach house if you want a little more space.
The resort has a whopping four bars and restaurants to choose from to dine at. Perhaps you’ll like the beach bar the best, which is the perfect place for enjoying a cocktail on the beach. The standout is the heavenly blue freeform pool. With amazing views of the beach, it’s fringed by palms and sunbeds under umbrellas. All in all, it’s the ideal way to cool off on a hot day and laze around.
Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
For gay travelers who love all bells and whistles, Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort is more than perfect. The seaside resort is a typical Marriott with lots of amenities and ample space. It overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, away from the bustle of Key Largo. You’ll love the rooms and suites here, all of which are bright and fresh. British colonial-style furnishings and blue-and-green striped carpeting. Huge windows afford amazing views of the lush greenery, with the suites featuring floor-to-ceiling walls of windows. You’ll be delighted to know that many rooms and suites even have balconies.
Coming to the rest of the resort, it overflows with amenities. The all-day dining restaurant is perfect for meals, while the tiki and pool bars are great for cocktails and snacks. Swimming and lazing by the pool, and sipping drinks at your perch is the best way to spend a day. The highlight is the dive and basin shop and the spa, where a massage or a body treatment is a must after a day of diving around the island.
Baker’s Cay Resort
Baker’s Cay Resort is the epitome of contemporary style on Key largo. Full of South Florida elegance, this is one of the best gay hotels in Key Largo and is very popular with discerning LGBTQ travelers. Think a modern and whitewashed structure with walls of windows and tall ceilings. Rooms and suites boast sleek and modern bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs for two in a few. It’s the perfect romantic sojourn in the Keys. Swanky mod-cons, hardwood floors, and coastal elements only add to the lovely vibe. The best rooms and suites feature sweeping views of the beach and the ocean.
The resort overflows with amazing amenities, including a nice variety of restaurants. Dig into hearty breakfasts at the indoor-outdoor restaurant. However, it’s the poolside mobile food truck serving sips and snacks that you’ll love the most. Swim in and relax on the loungers by the pool, which even has waterfalls. That said, you’ll love the two beaches right out front. Active LGBTQ travelers who love watersports will like the active beach, while the quieter Hammock Beach is perfect for lazing on the sand.
Bayside Inn Key Largo
Located right in the heart of the town is the gay-friendly Bayside Inn, which is a great base for getting to know the exciting Key Largo. The resort features classic decor such as Juliet balconies that look out to the ocean. Low mood lighting, plush beds, and rich wood flooring make the rooms all the better and cozier. The outdoor pool facing the marina and the ocean is the epicenter of all fun at the resort. What’s more, rooms even have coffeemakers and chic ensuite bathrooms. After a day of adventures, it’s a great place to unwind and relax. While it’s within walking distance of some of the best food on the Keys, meals at the on-site restaurant aren’t to be missed. If that wasn’t enough, the place even has a state-of-the-art fitness center for those who don’t want to skip workouts on their vacation.
Coconut Palm Inn
Coconut Palm Inn is one of the more unique gay friendly hotels in Key Largo. It’s unique because it overlooks not the Atlantic Ocean but the Gulf of Mexico. This coastal hideaway tucked on a quiet Gulf of Mexico lagoon is the perfect tranquil base for a low-key Florida Keys vacation. The resort was designed for living the hippie life surrounded by the vibrant blues and greens of Florida. Cook complimentary s’mores around the fire pit on the beach or relax on a hammock under gently swaying palm trees. You could even try a host of water activities, such as stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, or kayaking, all of which are included in your stay! You’ll love the rooms here as well; all decked out in classically white hues with wooden furnishings. Vibrant homeware and shutters add to the beauty, while mod-cons like coffeemakers and plush beds make your stay comfortable.
Amoray Dive Resort
With the words ‘dive resort’ in the name, you can bet that water-loving gay travelers will have a blast at Amoray Dive Resort. Super casual, if slightly old-school, the property boasts a superb staff where everyone is a certified diver! Both ground-level and first-floor rooms range from single rooms to oversized waterfront apartments with full kitchens. So, it caters to all kinds of travelers, whether solo, couples or traveling in large groups. Nevertheless, all rooms boast white rattan furniture, paste walls, and vibrant bedspreads with matching curtains. Bathrooms are small but modern and immaculate. Being a dive resort, it doesn’t have a restaurant, albeit there are plenty within a stone’s throw. The standout is the outdoor heated pool that overlooks the bay. With a nice deck area, it even has lounge chairs to relax and take in sea views after a swim.
Atlantic Bay Resort
If you’re looking for privacy, seclusion, and peace, then Atlantic Bay Resort is one of the best gay hotels in Key Largo. This colorful resort lies on the pristine waterfront in Tavernier Key, surrounded by the lush Floridian greenery. In fact, it’s one of the few LGBTQ-friendly hotels in the Keys to have a private beach! So, you can laze on plush sunbeds on your private strip of sand and watch the sunrise and set over the Gulf of Mexico. Accommodations are as homey as they’re plush, with cable TVs, microwaves, fridges, and even kitchens in some. Plus, they either enjoy views of the pool or the Gulf. Coming to the amenities, the hotel has both chilled and heated freshwater pools to relax. Picnic and barbeque areas ensure that you can have fun during the day as well as in the evening, swapping travel stories.
Hampton Inn Key Largo
Hampton Inn is one of the most well-located gay friendly hotels in Key Largo. Staying at this hotel allows LGBTQ travelers to stay close to nature while being close to the Overseas Highway. Rooms and suites are spacious, with a lot of space to move around. Decked out in neutral sand hues, they boast charming coastal details such as seashell lamp bases and nautical-themed trinkets. Moreover, all rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows or doors that lead to outdoor patios overlooking the lush foliage. If that wasn’t enough, suites add seating areas as well. Swim in and laze by the outdoor pool, which has sunbeds to the side. The highlight of the amenities at this hotel is the private white-sand beach with a cool tiki bar. So, if you wanted to take the day off and do nothing but laze by the beach, then this is the place to do it.
Bungalows Key is the veritable daddy of all gay hotels in Key Largo. The adults-only hideaway lies on lushly landscaped acres right on the beach, making it a veritable surf and sand playground. Since it’s an adults-only all-inclusive place, the place is all about mid-afternoon naps, lazing around, and lots and lots of unabashed skin showing. As the name suggests, all digs are bungalows with lots of room to stretch out and unwind. The best ones are the waterfront bungalows which come with all the views. Nevertheless, they all are decked out in soft gray palettes, outdoor showers, deep-soaking tubs, and private verandas.
The amenities here are a soothing departure from the kitsch of Key Largo. It’s a place for couples who like to party as much as they like to play. So, you’ll find yoga sessions, lots of water sports, and a Zen-like garden spa. Given that there are six restaurants and bars, you’ll never get bored of drinking and dining here. If you like piña coladas, then do head to the floating tiki boats. They look more like mini tiki bars on floating platforms!
Bohemian gay travelers will love the 1950s throwback of The Pelican, a gay friendly Key Largo hotel. It’s a totally no-frills seaside motel, complete with old fishing off a dock. But, it’s been brought up to the modern era with artsy and cute touches here and there. For instance, the owners have added a small sunning beach, among other things, making it comfortable, if not fancy. Rooms range from small economy rooms to spacious waterfront suites with kitchenettes. Moreover, they even have modern bathrooms and cable TVs. Socializing under the chickee is one of the most popular things to do here. Despite being a budget motel, the hosts offer travelers a hearty continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi. There’s even an accessible boat ramp and three docks, free kayaks, and outdoor barbeque facilities.
Coconut Bay Resort
Get an authentic taste of island life at Coconut Bay Resort, one of the best gay hotels in Key Largo. The resort has all the amazing elements to drag you away from the disconnect of the everyday grind. Think grassy lawns, colorful orchids, and palapa huts. Choose from a variety of rooms, ranging from ‘New York petite-size’ rooms for solo travelers to waterfront cottages with full kitchens. Moreover, all feature local artwork, hand-painted furniture, and comfortable mod-cons such as Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs. Bathrooms, some of which have bathtubs, even have Bath and Body Works products making for a lavish touch.
One of the most popular activities is walking the lush grounds with grand gumbos and fragrant frangipani scenting the breeze. The freeform saltwater pool comes a close second, especially since it’s chilled in summer and heated in winter. What’s more, there are enough loungers for everyone, including quick-drying pool towels provided in everyone’s rooms. Breakfast is a highly anticipated one due to owner Peg’s legendary homemade scones that she makes across 34 varieties! Evenings are best spent around the charcoal grills in the company of fellow gay travelers.
Best Gay Neighborhoods in Key Largo
Key Largo is one long, thin strip of land that isn’t more than four-five streets in width, with the Overseas Highway running through its length. What’s more, it’s just 13 miles long, and one can get from one end to the other in just 15 minutes. Key Largo doesn’t have a gay neighborhood per se, with it being gay-friendly in its entirety. That said, there are two main neighborhoods that have all the best bars and restaurants in this Upper Key. The first is the main city center, which lies around Sunset Cove. It’s also home to a great number of gay friendly hotels in Key Largo, as well as the Key Large mangrove trails. The other is Anglers Park in the north overlooking Largo Sound. It’s home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, many snorkel tours, and some large and branded gay-friendly Key Largo resorts.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Key Largo
Most of the gay nightlife in the Florida Keys lies in Key West, and Key Largo doesn’t have any gay bars or clubs, really. But, it’s understood that all establishments are gay-friendly. These are some of the best places to enjoy drinking and dining in Key largo.
- Caribbean Club: Having been around since 1947, the Caribbean Club became famous for being the filming location for the classic movie ‘Key Largo.’ It’s also one of Key Largo’s last places to have live music from Thursday to Saturday nights. You’ll also find daily happy hours, which you can enjoy while soaking in the breathtaking Floridian sunsets.
- Snook’s Bayside Restaurant & Grand Tiki Bar: This is the place to go to at the end of a long day in Key Largo. Celebrate sunsets daily with happy hour, live music and amazing waterfront views. During winters, the place even has Luau and Pig Roast Celebrations.
Best Gay Saunas in Key Largo
Key Largo, or the entire Florida Keys, don’t specifically have gay saunas, which is very surprising. But, clothing-optional gay Key West resorts with saunas do exist that ensure that you’ll have a steamy time! That said, all these resorts lie in Key West, two hours away. These currently include Island House, Equator Resort, and the New Orleans Guest House.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Key Largo
- Key West Pride: Key West’s annual pride celebration is all about celebrating diversity, open-mindedness, and freedom. With the gay community going back to the 1940s, these Pride celebrations play tribute to the philosophy of “One Human Family.” The celebrations include a vibrant parade and endless queer parties.