As the end of Summer approaches, and Autumn rapidly approaches (yup, that’s right. We said it!), many of us will try anything to make that golden summer glow last. Well, thanks to this week’s Fresh Ten, you can put away the self tanning goo, step away from fake-and-bake tanning bed, and cash in some vacation days to hit up ten of the most lesbian friendly beaches on earth. No matter where you are and what your travel budget is, there’s a spot in the sun for each of us!
10. Phuket Island, Thailand
Few islands can boast of such an abundance of sandy beaches and clear waters as Phuket Island in Thailand. The winding coastal roads along the west coast of this 540-square-km island offer stunning views and easy access to some of the world’s finest beaches.
Where the girls are. Patong Beach is the most famous beach on Phuket Island and is extremely gay and lesbian friendly…but most of the activity takes place at night and centers around a very lively and male oriented gay scene.
9. Sitges, Spain
Sitges is a beautiful village 35 km south of Barcelona and is known for its carnival, its nice weather, and its nightlife (especially for gays and lesbians). While not as popular as Spain’s Ibiza, Sitges holds its own as a great beach destination and is much less expensive to visit.
Where the girls are. Playa de la Bassa Rodona is considered the gay beach and right in the center of the city’s beach zone.
8. Will Rogers State Park, Los Angeles, California
Notoriously lesbian friendly Los Angeles has 78 miles of gorgeous beaches, each with a personality all it’s own – from the totally laid back and diverse Venice Beach to the paparazzi laden sands of Malibu. And there’s hardly a drive in all the country as beautiful as a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway… beach hopping through them all.
Where the girls are. There’s only one real gay beach in L.A. and it’s the Will Rogers State Beach, a.k.a. the Ginger Rogers beach, a three quarter stretch of warm sand with picturesque mountain views. Popular with the lesbian community since the 1950’s, this beach boasts volleyball courts, playground and gymnastic equipment, as well as a bike path and walkway. It’s also a popular spot for filming movies and TV shows.
7. Ogunquit beach, Maine
Ogunquit is fringed by more than three miles of sandy shoreline, some of it directly facing the ocean, and some of it facing a more protected tidal river. The beach here draws all walks of life, from families and heterosexual couples to gays and lesbians, and you can access the beach right from the center of Ogunquit.
Where the girls are. The predominantly gay section of beach at Ogunquit is to the north, past the volleyball area, where on warm summer days, and especially weekends, you’re apt to discover hordes of gay men and lesbians. At this section, you can choose to lie facing the ocean, or you can take some stairs down toward the calmer river area.
6. Little Beach, Maui, Hawaii
There are few places as serene as Hawaii. Easily considered among the most romantic escapes and a hands down favorite of honeymooners and lovers of both the gay and straight persuasions, Hawaii is nothing short of enchanting. With its tropical temperatures, amber sands, and hospitable local population, Hawaii will have you saying “Aloha vacation.”
Where the girls are. Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches known to man, however, one island in particular has a reputation for hosting gays and beautiful lesbians: Maui’s Little Beach. Located in Makena State Park, Little Beach is a little stretch of beach located on a point at the west end of Big Beach. Its amber sands can only be reached by climbing over black lava rocks along a cliff trail (it’s recommended to wear a backpack to carry your items so you can be hands free). Once you arrive, the hike proves worth it, as this is the unofficial nude beach on the island and a popular spot for gay and lesbian sunbathers.
5. Mykonos, Greece
The most cosmopolitan destination in all of Greece, Mykonos has long been known for its incredible, long sandy beaches overflowing with singles looking to connect, honeymooners beginning their new lives together, couples, families, surfers, and gays, all enjoying the crystal clear waters and brilliant sunshine.
Where the girls are. Although the majority of Mykonos is very gay friendly, the mostly gay and nude Super Paradise Beach is the most popular among lesbian travelers. The gay section of Super Paradise lies to the left (facing inland). The single boys tend to stay more to a wind-sheltered area to the far left, where they can sunbathe nude. Lesbians, gay couples, and straights tend to stay more to the right side of the beach.
4. Los Muertos Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Known as Mexico’s gay capital, Puerto Vallarta has always been a favored vacation destination for gay men and in recent years has been gaining tremendous popularity with American lesbians looking for an affordable foreign getaway. Zona Romantica, as the gay neighborhood is known, has a romantic charm and is bustling with gay eateries, bars, shops, and hotels. Adjacent to this area is Los Muertos Beach where gay and lesbian sunbathers soak up the rays.
Where the girls are. Although Zona Romantica is traditionally known as Puerto Vallarta’s gayborhood, the lesbian scene has spread itself well beyond the village. And many of the establishments that cater to lesbian tourists are actually owned and operated by foreign lesbians who have fallen in love with the area and decided to make it their home.
3. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
For those who may have overlooked the tiny state below New Jersey when considering summer beach options prepare to be surprised – Rehoboth Beach is awesome. It calls itself the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” but it has a whole lot more to offer than just vacationing families from the Washington area. The sands of Rehoboth have been recognized as one of the top ten beaches in America and there are many lesbian and gay owned and friendly businesses throughout the town. Harassment is not tolerated and the local police back up this policy with vigilance in an effort to maintain the open and friendly atmosphere.
Where the girls are. Lesbians traditionally gather at the popular sandy destination, North Shores at nearby Cape Henlopen State Park.
2. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Provincetown has always been a favorite spot for New England gays and lesbians to vacation and hit the beach. Not only does its heritage of hosting culturally-diverse visitors and celebrating diversity date back to the Pilgrims arrival in 1620, but P-town has been promoting its eclectic population of artists, poets, journalists, socialists, and radicals since 1898 when the Great Portland Gale wiped out the town’s fishing industry. Since then, the historically charming and breathtakingly beautiful beach town has brought in a steady influx of lesbian and gay vacationers and residents.
Where the girls are. Provincetown has two main beaches, Race Point and Herring Cove. You’ll find most of the ladies lounging in the sand at Herring Cove, which has a very active nudist population. Stay to the left of the parking lot – that’s what is most often thought of as the lesbian section – where most women bring a laid back carefree attitude and leave their tops at home.
1. Cherry Grove, Fire Island, New York
When the heat hits Manhattan – the hotties hit Fire Island. Located a mere 60 miles east of NYC, Fire Island offers miles of coastline, sandy beaches and natural surroundings, as well as a fun and vacation ready assortment of the city’s gay community. The federally protected area, officially known as the Fire Island National Seashore, offers up sand dunes, white beaches, camping, hiking trails, hotels, restaurants, nude beaches and several drinking holes.
Where the girls are. The tiny island contains several rustic villages but its claim to fame stems from two infamous gay resorts that attract hundreds of hot bodies all summer long. While The Pines is where you will find the boys of Manhattan Cherry Grove is where the lesbians gather to relax and leave the stresses of city life behind.