The ‘City of Five Flags’ Pensacola is one of the most charming coastal resort cities on Florida’s Gulf Coast, bordering the state of Alabama. That’s why the vibe of this charming beach city is typical Floridian brashness with a dash of laidback Southern charm. Add to that a Spanish downtown and gorgeous beaches, and you have one amazing beach destination. What’s more, Pensacola is very accepting of gay travelers, with Pensacola Beach being home to many gay businesses and residents. Additionally, more and more gay hotels in Pensacola FL are popping up. This is what’s made Pensacola one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast. In fact, Pensacola Beach is one of the liveliest gayborhoods in the city, complete with an official LGBTQ beach area!
What’s more, the beach is also home and host to the biggest annual LGBT pride event of the south, Memorial Day weekend. The festival sees tens of thousands of LGBTQ travelers flock here to party. During this time, they also visit the many gay bars in downtown, the city’s other gayborhood. Furthermore, the city also hosts Pensacola Pride in June, officially making Pride a two-month celebration in this city! Plus, Pensacola has a ton of other things to do and see. This includes the National Naval Aviation Museum, digging into delicious seafood, and lounging under a rainbow umbrella at Pensacola Beach. If that wasn’t enough, Pensacola is less than an hour from Mobile. It’s not only Alabama’s only coastal city but also one of the Best Places To Visit In Alabama.
So, make sure that Pensacola is on your itinerary of gay Florida. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Pensacola, FL.
Portofino Island Resort
Portofino Island Resort is easily one of the best gay hotels in Pensacola FL. Located right on Pensacola Beach, it’s the most gay-friendly of the beach resorts here, with scantily-clad LGBTQ partiers flocking here on Memorial Day Weekend. Featuring a dream-worthy spa experience, it’s also a great place to meet people and hook up! In fact, the gay section of the beach is right out front, and there are tons of beach camping opportunities too. Now, what more could you want?
Five soaring tower units house two and three-bedroom condos, all with spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico from spacious balconies. What’s more, each tower has its own exclusive outdoor pool and a whirlpool spa, where meet-cutes are guaranteed. After a session at the pool, head to the spa and indulge in a romantic body treatment or couple’s massage. Or, you could request a massage at the poolside or even in the privacy of your room. Oh, and did we tell you about the jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms? Heaven.
The rest of the resort is equally impressive, right from the restaurants to the fire-pit tables for enjoying meals alfresco, complete with fountains and ocean views. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel even arranges for dolphin cruises and has a complimentary water taxi service to Portofino Boardwalk.
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Surf & Sand Hotel
On a private sandy beach in Little Sabine Bay sits the gay-friendly Surf & Sand Hotel. Lying across from Pensacola Bay, it’s a short distance from the Portofino Boardwalk and Casino Beach. Featuring an impressive list of amenities and a relaxed social vibe, this hotel is a great budget option for LGBTQ travelers looking for a value-for-money place to stay. The rooms and suites here radiate a Floridian vibe through their soothing aqua and seafoam color scheme, with surfboards hanging from the walls telling you where you are. Aside from coffeemakers, flatscreen TVs, and mini-fridges, you’ll love the sliding glass doors leading to sprawling balconies with great views. Even bathrooms are well-designed with complimentary toiletries and huge shower areas.
The rest of the hotel is similarly impressive. Both the heavenly outdoor pool deck and the beach out front are lined with sun lounges under umbrellas. So, all you need to do is head down there and pick a perch – and lie all day sipping cocktails. In the evening, the fire pit bonfires on the beach are a great place to meet people. Finally, you’ll find tons of free perks, including free bikes, a delicious breakfast,
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Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach
LGBTQ women, you finally have a place designed especially for you. Welcome to Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, which is famed for hosting the most seductive pool parties for women during Pensacola Women’s Week! So, if you’re here at that time and staying here, expect lots of good-looking eye candy and steamy meet-cutes! Standing in the heart of Pensacola’s hotel zone, this resort features light-filled rooms with swanky mod-cons. What’s more, you’ll also find gaming centers, bean bags, and sliding glass doors leading out to balconies directly facing the beach.
The hotel boasts a slew of amenities, of which the centerpiece is the huge beachside pool. With a lazy river, wooden bridges, and rock waterfalls, it is a veritable water playground and presents tons of photo ops. With sunbeds sprinkled all over, it’s also a cozy spot to relax with your partner under brightly colored umbrellas. Plus, you can order drinks and snacks from the thatched-roof poolside bar.
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Best Western Beachside Resort
LGBTQ families will love the Best Western Beachside Resort, which lies right on Pensacola Beach across the bay. This reasonably priced resort right on the beach will appeal immensely to gay travelers, with the gay section right out front. What’s more, the resort itself has a lot of amenities geared towards families at the same time. Two large pools and a massive splash pad for kids ensure that you all have water fun together during the day. Aside from numerous dining options around the resort, the hotel itself has an excellent restaurant and bar on-site. Add to that perks such as umbrellas and sun chairs sat the beach and hammocks in the patio areas make this resort absolutely fun to hang out at.
Since the location and ambiance of this resort are much smaller than its larger Gulfside peers, the Best Western feels more intimate, exclusive, and welcoming. Cable flatscreen TVs, fridges, and microwaves in the rooms aside, they also come with swish bathrooms and spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico.
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Margaritaville Beach Hotel
It’s always 5 o’clock at Margaritaville Beach Hotel, one of the breeziest gay hotels in Pensacola FL. This little gay-friendly slice of paradise on Pensacola Beach literally welcomes you with margaritas! make your way to the spacious suites, complete with drinks in your hand, and take in the views of the lagoon and the ocean from the living room balcony. What’s more, the digs are the epitome of beach-chic with huge balconies and windows, nautical themes, and huge bathrooms with a blue-and-white color theme.
Since it lies a secluded stretch of the coast, Margaritaville strikes the perfect balance between an exciting vacation hotspot and a serene getaway. Plus, the gay-friendly section of Pensacola Beach is right down from the resort. The on-site cafe and restaurant take care of all meals. Thanks to the skilled on-site masseuse, you can unwind with a relaxing massage in the comfort of your suite. The best feature, however, is the pool terrace with a huge turquoise pool, sun loungers under umbrellas, and a pool bar – and excellent ocean views. Did you know that the hotel stacks your rooms with complimentary LandShark beer vouchers? Don’t miss them!
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Springhill Suites by Marriott Pensacola Beach
Stay breezy at the gay-friendly SpringHill Suites by Marriott, a sleek all-suite hotel right down the street from Pensacola Beach that exudes seriously chill vibes. Reasonably priced rooms, a slew of amenities, and a super-friendly staff make this resort very popular with LGBTQ travelers vacationing in Pensacola. There’s a lot to do on the property, with the epicenter of all fun being the outdoor pool complex. Swim in the refreshing waters and relax on the sun loungers before heading to the fitness center for a spot of workout. The resort not only has a restaurant and a bar but even a sandwich shop on the property.
Despite being an all-suite hotel, you can expect surprisingly swish and spacious rooms at the Marriott. A microwave, a fridge, and a pantry area ensure that meals aren’t an issue here. You can whip up meals any time you want, along with great coffee with the coffeemaker. Flatscreen cable TVs, excellent views from sprawling balconies, and chic and modern bathrooms.
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Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach
Nestled right in the heart of Pensacola Beach is Hampton Inn, one of the most centrally located gay hotels in Pensacola FL. Lying right in front of the beach’s gay section, the hotel boasts roomy accommodations decked out with vibrant orange and blue setees, retro swivel chairs, and plush beds. Aside from a host of mod-cons, the digs also come with lovely private balconies with sweeping beach views. Free Wi-Fi and hot breakfasts every day are mainstays here, making this a great value-for-money place.
Hampton Inn has plenty of space – whether you want to lounge at the pool or by the beach. A huge beachfront courtyard has not one but two swimming pools, as well as the poolside bar. What’s more, multiple sun loungers and hammocks enjoy views of the lush manicured lawns, the sandy shores, and the blues of the ocean. Moreover, the staff will help you take cruises, rent boats, and even enjoy romantic dinners on the beach. Finally, the hotel restaurant is a great place to sip fruity cocktails and listen to live music with sunset views.
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GetAways at Soundside Holiday Beach Resort
LGBTQ travelers looking for privacy and tranquillity will love gay-friendly GetAways at Soundside Holiday Beach Resort. The resort features a bunch of luxurious and modern condos designed in a classic beach shack style. What’s more, these condos are in huge two-bedroom, two-bathroom design, which means this is a great place for groups of travelers. Thanks to fully-equipped kitchens, you can cook meals together and not have to worry about going out for every meal. Adding to the lovely atmosphere are the retro furnishings, such as the warm marigold palette, floral printed quilts, and wooden furniture. The best feature of them all is the private furnished patios, which enjoy stunning views of the ocean.
The resort sits amongst lush pebbled gardens which come with a tennis court and a barbeque area with benches and stone tables to enjoy alfresco dinners. The piece de resistance is the wooden pool deck, which also has an outdoor hot tub. So, after enjoying a refreshing swim, you can also soak in steaming waters and unwind. The best bit, though, is the fact that this resort has a private beach out front, complete with a shaded wooden pagoda that extends out into the bay.
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott Navarre Beach
Nestled on Navarre Beach 20 minutes out of Pensacola is SpringHill Suites by Marriott, one of the best gay hotels in Pensacola FL. This upmarket all-suite hotel sits on a stretch of pristine beach and oozes a relaxed and yet elegant atmosphere.
The huge outdoor pool set on the grounds with views of the ocean is easily the best amenity here. Plus, it boasts direct access to the sands of Navarre Beach. What’s more, there’s even an indoor pool for when the weather’s not so good. So, notwithstanding the season, you can enjoy a swim here. A lazy river aside, there’s even a hot tub for relaxation here. The highly-rated onsite restaurant takes care of all meals, while the gift shop allows you to easily stock up on necessities. The free breakfast bar with great coffee, sausages, eggs, and make your own waffles is particularly excellent.
The suites come with a bevy of mod-cons, immaculate bathrooms, and views of the ocean from private balconies. Superior in-room service is what sets this resort a veritable notch above the rest in terms of in-room comforts.
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Hilton Pensacola Beach
Gay travelers will love the stellar service and Hilton’s trademark elegance at the Gulf-facing Hilton Pensacola Beach. Not only are you within walking distance of all the entertainment dining, and sights here, but also the gay section of the beach is right out front! Expect a host of immaculate and upscale amenities such as expansive pools with sunbeds, poolside service, and sea views. You have tons of dining choices at the hotel itself, including a stunning beach bar. A fully-equipped fitness center aside, the hotel also has a superb indoor pool and a business center if you want to check up on work. Finally, the hotel staff even points you in all the right directions for exploring the neighborhood and the rest of Pensacola.
What’s excellent about the rooms and suites at this hotel is that they all come with ocean-facing balconies with alfresco seating. It’s a great place to begin the day with a cup of coffee and end it with a glass of wine. Fridges, microwaves, cable TVs with video games, and lavish bathrooms with deep-soaking bathtubs make up the rest of the place. It’s no wonder that this is one of the Best Hotels in Pensacola FL.
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Pensacola Victorian Bed and Breakfast
Topping the list of best gay hotels in Pensacola FL is the Pensacola Victorian Bed and Breakfast. Set in a stately and historic 1892 Queen Anne building, this B&B is the only one on this list to sit in the heart of downtown Pensacola. In fact, the gay bars of Cabaret and Roundup lie right down the street just a few blocks away, which is another factor that makes this place so gay-friendly. Begin your day with a superb American or à la carte breakfast, after which you can set off to explore the city. When you want to unwind, the shared lounge or the lush gardens offer the perfect respite. What’s more, there’s even a terrace where you can enjoy breakfast during warmer months.
Choose from four lovingly maintained guest rooms, all of which come with flat-screen TVs and a private bathroom with bespoke toiletries. The standout is Suzanne’s Room, which comes with blue toile prints, hardwood floors, and even a romantic claw-foot tub in the bathroom.
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Just So You Know:
- The Stay For The Gay calls itself a ‘gay house’ and is a very popular place to stay in the city. It’s a private room in a beautiful house run by a fun outgoing couple.
Get Some Culture in Pensacola:
- Pensacola Pride: Aside from the splashy Memorial Day weekend, Pensacola Pride is an entire week of kaleidoscopic and vibrant events for LGBTQ people. Think live entertainment, girl parties, foam parties, DJs, and even a gala. Plus, Pensacola Beach is occupied by LGBTQ visitors from all over the country, so expect lots of eye candy!
- Stamped LGBTQ Film Festival: Every October, Pensacola hosts this amazing film festival that features indie productions that shed light on LGBT lives. What’s more, they take place in different venues every night – think Pensacola Museum of Commerce, indie theater Treehouse Cinema and more.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Pensacola:
- The Roundup: Masculine men, men in leather, bears, and all of their admirers are welcomed at this rocking bar. An outdoor deck, pool tables, and kitschy decor galore. Karaoke nights are very popular.
- The Cabaret: Downtown Pensacola’s most inviting gay-friendly place with cute bartenders and an even better-looking crowd. Hefty-sized drinks, trivia nights, and a cozy dance floor make this a hit with the LGBTQ set.
Best Gay Saunas in Pensacola:
For all its gay-friendliness, Pensacola doesn’t exactly have a gay sauna. However, it does have an excellent gay beach, which has a very understated cruisey vibe too!