From Parties to Family-Friendly Events, Here’s How to Celebrate Miami Beach Pride

Ahead of Pride Month, Miami Beach Pride is rolling out the rainbow carpet.

Miami Gay Pride | Atomazul/Shuttersrock
Miami Gay Pride | Atomazul/Shuttersrock

Miami has long been at the epicenter of gay glamor and nightlife in Florida. Even so, the coastal city didn’t have a city-sanctioned Pride festival until 2009, when Patti LaBelle helped kick off the inaugural event with about 15,000 revelers.

Now one of the largest Pride festivals in the country with more than 170,000 attendees, the annual Miami Beach Pride returns for its 16th year on April 2–14. While there’s no shortage of fun-filled parties, performances, and ticketed events to attend, visitors and locals alike are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the vibrant queer culture that’s long permeated the Miami metro area.

From visiting the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ archives to supporting South Florida’s most exemplary queer-owned bars and restaurants, the following activities are tailor-made for a truly unforgettable week centered around one of America’s most exuberant gay pride celebrations. Here’s everything you need to know about celebrating Miami Beach Pride 2024.

What Is the Miami Beach Pride Festival?

Miami Beach Pride is a 12-day celebration of arts and culture including events like a movie night, the Miss Miami Beach Pride Pageant, and more. The festivities crown jewel events include a parade and a two-day festival that runs April 13–14 at Lummus Park.

Gay Pride parade on Ocean Drive | Miami2youPhoto/Shutterstock

When Is the Miami Beach Pride Parade?

After nearly two weeks of days packed with pageants, picnics, art, and parties, a no-holds-barred, brilliantly colorful, and queer AF procession marches right down Ocean Drive to crown the exuberant celebration. This year’s theme, Pride, Progress, Perseverance, will come alive with floats, music, and costumes on April 14 at noon and ends with day two of the Miami Beach Pride Festival at Lummus Park featuring ample food, drinks, and queer-centric crafts.

Where Is the Miami Beach Pride Parade?

The Miami Beach Pride Parade runs along Ocean Drive and culminates in Lummus Park so parade-goers can take part in day two of the Miami Beach Pride Festival.

R House Wynwood
R House Wynwood

Other Ways to Celebrate Pride in Miami Beach

LGBTQ+-owned restaurants in Miami and South Florida

In addition to hot weather and even hotter residents, Miami is home to one of the nation’s hottest food scenes. And as the annual pride celebration launches into full swing, there’s no better time to drop a dime at some of the area’s standout queer-owned restaurants.
Though trendy Wynwood is best known for renowned breweries and colorful outdoor murals, R House has been a local favorite for flavorful Latin cuisine since 2014, first launched at the behest of husbands Owen Bale and chef Rocco Carulli. Blue Crab Croquetas, Cubano Sandwiches, and Short Rib Ropa Vieja are just a few of the decadent dishes gracing the menu around here. And for weekend visitors, a truly unforgettable drag brunch awaits, complete with bottomless Mimosas and icy Frosés.

If you’re planning to stick around Miami Beach, don’t miss out on Cheeseburger Baby, a casual and cozy venue just north of Lummus Park. As you may have assumed from the name, burgers reign supreme around here, with a massive portfolio of savory sandwiches and other bites crafted by restaurateur Stephanie Vitori. In the mood for a little something sweet after that massive meat fest? The Andrew Gonzalez-led Night Owl Cookies is the perfect spot to soothe that raging sweet tooth.

It may be tempting to spend most of Pride downing VRBs and dancing your heart out to thumping beats, but don’t forget to take some time to appreciate the finer things in life—and for serious art connoisseurs, the Miami Beach Pride-sanctioned Queer Art Showcase is a can’t-miss occasion. Held on April 8 at the flashy Moxy South Beach, this bash presents some of the finest visual and written works found within the city limits, with pieces crafted by ten local LGBTQ+ artists. Be sure to bring your wallet, as all art sales made during the event go directly to creators.

AxelBeach Miami · South Beach
AxelBeach Miami · South Beach

LGBTQ+ hotels in Miami

South Florida’s cup runneth over with LGBTQ-friendly hotels, but how about a hotel that’s certifiably gay? It may sound too good to be true, but Miami Beach is actually equipped with not just one, but two properties that fall under this enticing niche category.

Just off of Venetian Way, Hotel Gaythering is one of the few lodgings on earth catering specifically to gay men, coming in hot with a sauna, regular karaoke nights, and cocktail-focused bar all housed under one roof. On the other side of the island, AxelBeach promises a self-described “hetero-friendly” experience, stocked with a massive outdoor pool, Sky Bar, and on-property restaurant available for all guests, no matter where they identify on the gender and sexuality spectrum.

Palace Bar
Palace Bar

Miami Beach—and specifically South Beach—has been a bastion of gay culture for decades on end, and in the modern era, this uber gay-friendly district is still going strong. One of the area’s most storied establishments—Palace, to be precise—has been catering to queer patrons for more than 30 years, serving up strong cocktails, tasty American fare, and scenic rooftop poolside views. Brunching queens take note—while this spot is perfect for post-sunset partying, it’s also a hotspot for midmorning dining.

Keep the party going a couple blocks north of Palace at Score Nightclub, one of Miami Beach’s top spots for late night debauchery. This savvy venue is worth visiting all year round, but in honor of Miami Beach Pride, Score is throwing an official pride night bash on April 9 at the airport-adjacent 94th Aero Squadron.

Miami Beach may be the crown jewel of South Florida’s LGBTQ+ scene, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the city doesn’t know how to get down, too. Case in point? Azucar Nightclub, Coral Way’s bustling hub for drag shows, cabaret nights, and all-night partying. The music here typically skews Latin, making this one of Miami’s hottest clubs for boogying to reggaetón into the wee hours of the morning.

Interestingly enough, one of Miami’s most beloved queer haunts isn’t a gay bar at all—but given its 2020 Best Gay Bar endorsement from the Miami New Times, it’s safe to say that Gramps is a top-tier destination for LGBTQ+ folks exploring the city. Classic cocktails and mainstream American beers flow like water around here, all of which pair perfectly with one of Gramps’ famous pizzas. This hangout is a queer magnet 365 days a year, but for a little added flair, be sure to visit during one of their regular drag bingo or trivia nights.

Though technically not located in Miami proper, the Fort Lauderdale-based Stonewall National Museum and Archives is too fascinating a draw to pass up. Officially founded in 1972, this prestigious institution is home to more than 28,000 volumes highlighting the nation’s vast and complex history surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. Upon arrival, visitors are welcome to peruse the Stonewall Library in search of queer reading material, or check out Mis-Information, an exhibition offering ample insight into the early years of the AIDS crisis and the many misconceptions that were disseminated to the public during this time.

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Jared Ranahan is a freelance writer focusing on travel, wildlife, and food & beverage.