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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
April 2010 Email this to a friend

Fort Lauderdale

By Michael K Lavers

Nobiz, Fort Lauderdale

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Fort Lauderdale article click DailyXtraTravel

Once known for hordes of drunk and horny spring breakers, Fort Lauderdale has emerged as one of South Florida's gay hubs. It's a popular destination for gay travelers who want an alternative to South Beach and its A-list attitude.
The Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is quick to point out that the city and Broward County contain more than 20 miles of palm-fringed beaches. But Fort Lauderdale, located roughly 30 miles north of Miami, offers much more than a day on the beach. Within the city limits are more than 150 gay-owned bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels.
Local tourism officials report gay travelers pumped more than $1.2 billion into the area's economy last year. So it's no wonder Fort Lauderdale continues to lay out the welcome mat for visitors who continue to seek out its alluring combination of sun, surf and sex.

Getting Here
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is located three miles southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Broward County Transit's #1 bus shuttles passengers between the airport and downtown Ft Lauderdale. A taxi to Fort Lauderdale costs roughly $11; $25 to $30 to Wilton Manors.

Getting Around
Broward County Transit offers an expansive system of buses covering many areas of the country. A one-way fare costs $1.50; an all-day pass is $3.50. The Tri-Rail commuter train stops at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and downtown Fort Lauderdale. A round-trip from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, for example, costs $8.45 during the week and $5 on weekends.

Neighborhoods
Wilton Manors: Located just over Fort Lauderdale's northern border, Wilton Manors remains the heart of Broward County's gay community. More than 30 gay-owned and operated bars, restaurants and guesthouses can be found within the borders of "Island City." Wilton Drive is the city's main thoroughfare.

The Beaches
The city's warm climate and seven miles of sandy beaches are among Fort Lauderdale's biggest draws. A number of the area's gay resorts are located along the oceanfront near Terramar Street and Route A1A. Another popular beach is located at Sebastian Street between Sunrise and Las Olas boulevards.
The beach at NE 18th Street is one of Fort Lauderdale's most popular cruising areas. Former Mayor Jim Naugle sparked controversy in 2007 for proposing single-occupancy public toilets to "reduce homosexual sex in the bathrooms" along the beach. Matt Foreman, former executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, joined other local activists and even city commissioners to denounce them. The brouhaha has subsided and Naugle left office earlier this year.
Another popular gay beach is the clothing-optional Haulover Beach south of Hallandale.

What to See
Fort Lauderdale has become a popular destination for leather aficionados,who have affectionately dubbed it "Fort Leatherdale." Bars, clubs and stores that sell a variety of leather goods are located throughout Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors and the surrounding suburbs.
Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors also have an abundance of shopping opportunities. The massive Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise is one of the largest commercial complexes in the United States. Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale is lined with dozens of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and sidewalk. Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors also contains a number of gay-owned and operated bars, restaurants and boutiques.

In Focus

Gay books and the Village People
A lot of things come to mind when contemplating a trip to Fort Lauderdale: sunny days on the sand or beside the pool, a night out at the trendy clubs or even a visit to one of the famous clothing-optional resorts.
A trip to the library is not what most people dream about for a beach vacation.
But first-time visitors to Fort Lauderdale might not even realize that one of the country's largest gay libraries and archives is located along busy East Sunrise Boulevard.
Jack Rutland, executive director of the Stonewall Library and Archives, recently told Guide that sun-thirsty visitors who flock to Fort Lauderdale--especially in winter--are often unaware that the collection is housed within a short distance of the city's better-known attractions.
"People don't assume they're going to come here and have a wonderful cultural experience," Rutland said. "When they read the fine print and see we're in Fort Lauderdale, they say, 'You're kidding.'"
Founded in 1973, the Stonewall Library and Archives contains more than 18,000 books and other materials. It also houses 5,000 artifacts, manuscripts, periodicals and posters that testify to the history of the movement for gay rights.
In 2007, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission approved a proposal to allow the venerable collection to move into a city-owned building. Mayor Jim Naugle opposed the move, saying the facility was located near a children's playground.
The former mayor's crusade failed, and he later left office. Rutland expressed his pride earlier this year at a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the library's new home.
"The Broward County Commission and the Fort Lauderdale City Commission make me really proud to be a native of Fort Lauderdale," he said.
The facility contains a number of exhibits that highlight various aspects of gay history. Visitors donned platform shoes, leisure suits and other disco-era garb in early November to mark the opening of "Turn the Beat Around: Disco 1974-1982." The exhibit features vintage memorabilia from Studio 54, the Saint and other venues. The Village People figure prominently. The display will remain through the end of the year, but Rutland was quick to recall the nostalgia some visitors have already felt.
"My office is just off that gallery," he said, "and I could hear people say 'Oh my God, remember that song!'"
Rutland said that he tries to make the facility entertaining, as well as informative.
"My contention," he said, "is always being gay is fun."

Local Media
EDGE Fort Lauderdale website, Hotspots Magazine, and Mark's List website, each provides good coverage of all the happenings in gay Fort Lauderdale.

Top Experiences
Hide and seek: Fort Lauderdale has emerged as one of the country's premiere destinations for leather aficionados and those who love them. Bars, clubs and boutiques that cater to these visitors are located throughout Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors and their surrounding suburbs. The Inn Leather advertises a sling in every room.
By the book: Stonewall Library and Archives (1300 E Sunrise Blvd) is one of the best places to learn more about the city's gay history. With more than 18,000 items, the library has one of the country's largest gay-specific collections.
Two if by sea: An extensive system of canals makes Fort Lauderdale one of the country's premiere sailing hubs. One of the best ways to see the city is on one of the dozens of water taxis that operate along its waterfront.

Pride Day
2010 PrideFest took place on March 13-14. For a recap, and information about 2011 events click Pride South Florida.

Event Planner

June
Stonewall Street Festival in Wilton Manors
June 19-20, 2010

October / November
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
October 22 - November 11, 2010

April / May 2011
Sunshine Stampede Florida Gay Rodeo Association
April 8-10, 2011
www.fgra.org

Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
April-May, 2011
www.mglff.org

Accommodations
The city's many gay establishments cater to a broad cross-section of the gay world. There's a fine selection of gay resorts at Fort Lauderdale Beach. They're actually situated two blocks off the ocean, but within easy walking distance of sand and surf. As anyone can tell you, the gay beach is opposite Saint Sebastian Street.

Alcazar Resort (555 North Birch Rd; 888-830-9931) all-male by the sand of Fort Lauderdale Beach, convenient to gay shops and clubs, with clothing-optional pools and hot tub.

Alhambra Beach Resort (3021 Alhambra St; 877-309-4014) conveniently close to the beach, but a bit apart from the bustle of the scene; with heated pool and immaculate facilities.

Aragon Inn Guesthouse (2520 NE 6th Ave; 954-566-2900) six comfortable and distinct suites, near popular Wilton Manors gay bars, with over 20 restaurants within ten minute walk. Poolside casitas provide for solar respites or romantic interludes.

The Atlantic Resort & Spa (601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd; 866-318-1101) stylish luxury hotel overlooking pristine beaches, three miles from downtown.

Bamboo Resort (2733 Middle River Dr; 800-479-1767) casual, intimate guesthouse minutes from the gay Sebastian Street Beach. Rooms and suites include full kitchens or fridge, most by the clothing-optional pool and with semi-private sundecks.

Blue Dolphin (725 N. Birch Rd; 800-893-2583) all-male pet-friendly resort with tropical, clothing optional courtyard, rooms, suites and apartments, all within an easy walk from gay beaches, restaurants and nightclubs.

Blue Lagoon Resort (3801 N Ocean Dr; 800-663-2985) conveniently located general public accommodations at affordable prices.

Bungalow Six Guest House (2726 NE 6th Lane; 877-210-6317) luxurious bungalows, salt water heated pool and hot tub amid lush tropical follige at the heart of Wilton Manors.

Cabanas (2209 NE 26th St; 866-564-7764) all-male resort complex of smart cabanas with kitchens and big windows overlooking Middle River canal (kayak here!), at Wilton Manors center. Amenities include clothing-optional pool, whirlpool with waterfall, steam room and spa services; pet friendly too.

Cheston House (520 North Birch Rd; 866-566-7950) gay-exclusive guesthouse, spacious rooms, suites and apartments at reasonable rates, clothing optional pool area, just steps from the beach.

Coconut Cove (3012 Granada St; 888-414-3226) Key-West style, three-story building of stairways and porches around central patio and garden. Comfortably clothing optional, closest to gay Sebastian beach of all gay male guesthouse, they're very popular with bears and bear-lovers.

Coral Reef Guest House (2609 NE 13th Court; 888-365-6948) upscale, quietly back a ten-minute walk from the beach, with eight modern, sunny, spacious rooms, pool with a built-in whirlpool, and bikes for rent.

Deauville Hostel (2916 N. Ocean Blvd; 954-568-5000) backpacker dorm, hotel rooms, and efficiency apartments for any budget with all the amenities, two minutes from the beach and dog-friendly too.

DeSoto Beach Inn (2916 DeSoto St; 800-686-4809) cozy studios and spacious efficiencies for simple pleasures in lush gardens by the sea, or on their bougainvillea-shaded veranda.

Just opposite is the Dunes Guest House (2835 Terramar St; 800-425-8105) quiet tropical coastal retreat with beautiful gardens, spacious rooms. clothing optional gay resort pool and 8-man hot tub, also sociable extended continental breakfasts.

Ed Lugo Resort (2404 NE 8th Ave; 954-275-8299) luxury one or two-bedroom suites at Wilton Manors center, with heated pool and waterfall amid beautiful landscaping.

Elysium Resort (552 North Birch Rd; 800-533-4744), local gay legend, has spacious studios and suites with kitchenettes in connected properties, clothing-optional pools, secluded Jacuzzi, private rooftop sundeck, intriguing tropical garden paths and an on-site gym. Also there's an all-day sunshine deck, wireless or room data-port internet access, newspapers, books, and an extensive video library.

Flamingo Resort (2727 Terramar St; 800-283-4786) European-style boutique hotel on the beach with uncommon furnishings, five-star amenities, lush tropical landscape and an attentive staff "for discriminating gay men."

The Grand Resort & Spa (539 North Birch Rd; 800-818-1211), the area's largest and among the finest of gay men's resort hotels, with contemporary luxury rooms, suites, and penthouse suites just steps from the beach. Loyal guests return often, if only for the exceptionally hospitable staff here. Amenities include an oversized heated pool, spa, fitness center, clothing-optional courtyard and ten-man Jacuzzi. Spa services include facials, body wraps and scrubs, massage, manicure / pedicure, waxing, dermabrasion and hair styling.

On the south side of downtown Fort Lauderdale, Inn Leather (610 SE 19th St; 877-532-7729) with a sling in every studio and suite, has hosted an all-male international crowd of Leathermen since 1999, just a mile from downtown. Their clothing optional compound has hot tub, heated pool and free wireless internet.

On the south side of downtown, La Casa del Mar (610 SE 19th St; 877-532-7729) gay bed & breakfast is one block from Fort Lauderdale Beach, with kitchenettes in each room, rental dvd movies, internet access and long-term rental specials.

In Dania, the Liberty Suites (1501 SW Second Ave; 877-927-0090) clothing-optinal gay men's hotel has affordable daily weekly and extended stay rates, pleasant facilities, and host-owners who go out of their way to make things special.

In Dania, the Mary's Resort (1115 Tequesta St; 866-805-6570) four Key West-style buildings within a secluded tropical oasis a few blocks from downtown, with heated pool and Jacuzzi; special rate packages, and (nice) pet-friendly.

At longtime local favorite Orton Terrace (606 Orton Ave; 800-323-1142), your hosts Roger and Mago offer hotel rooms and apartments with kitchens at nice rates. It's a short walk to Sebastian Street Gay Beach and their pool and deck are clothing-optional and open 24 hours. Tiled walkways sweep through lush gardens. Breakfast is served in the common room, where there's also guest computer access.

The exclusive Pineapple Point (315 NE 16th Terrace; 888-844-7295) near Las Olas Boulevard in Victoria Park, has vast grounds, verdant with lush and tropical foliage, and the restored splendor of 1930s architecture that houses their one and two bedroom suites. All amenities expected by today's sophisticated gay traveler are provided, including an on-site gym with physical training.

The Royal Palms Resort (2901 Terramar; 800-237-7256) is one of the world's best known and loved gay resorts. The gated compound with exotic flora has hot tub and pool where clothing is optional, and their large, sunny rooms are luxuriously appointed and meticulously maintained. Staff is attentive, not intrusive, and the Royal Palms standard of excellence has received many awards.

On the Sunrise Boulevard side of Victoria Park, Schubert Resort (855 NE 20th Ave; 866-763-7435) all-male, clothing-optional private men's resort. recently had a multi-million dollar renovation, highlighting their retro charm and style. The tropical grounds are enclosed, for comfortable sunning au natural by the pool, or a soak in the ten-man Jacuzzi.

Villa Venice Resort (2900 Terramar St; 877-284-5522) all-male resort two blocks from the beach with sociable events like poolside cookouts.

Windamar Beach Resort (543 Breakers Ave; 866-554-6616) a few blocks from Sebastian Street Beach, gets plenty of sunshine throughout the day too, if you prefer to relax in their clothing optional tropical garden retreat. Day passes allow locals to use the heated pool, so it gets quite sociable. Breakfast is served here daily and a "BYOB Happy Hour" lubricates things each weekend afternoon.

There's a sexy vibe at Worthington GuestHouse (543 N Birch Rd; 800-445-7036), one of gay Fort Lauderdale's most popular all-male resorts and connected to the next door Alcazar Resort. Their pool and deck get plenty of sun throughout the day, and the gay beach is just few minutes walk away. This clothing-optional restort is all about having a good time.

For additional Fort Lauderdale area accommodations click here.

Nightlife
At the heart of the social gay scene in Fort Lauderdale is Alibi (2266 Wilton Dr). This local treasure, a.k.a Georgie's Alibi, helped turn Wilton Manors into the major gay destination it's become for both regional locals and visitors from far and wide. The many events, the killer drink specials and the great food - each is a part of the magic. But it's people that people come for, and they arrive in droves. The restaurant serves from 11am until closing daily, and their outdoor patio has great ambience.

Across from Alibi, Atomic (2234 Wilton Dr), until recently known as Boom, serves a cocktail crowd in the evening, then turns into a multi-level, high-energy dance club until 3am. Thursdays through Saturdays are busiest.

Serving the tastiest burgers in town at amazing prices, Bill's (2209 Wilton Dr) grew up to become more than an average neighborhood bar. Their four bars, include the upscale Mustang Lounge, a VJ to keep things moving on the dance floor (especially on Growl Fridays), games and special stage events. There's always something happening at Bill's and and there's free parking too.

If naked men make your day, the guys at Boardwalk (1721 N Andrews Ave) has dancing hunks, and guest porn stars such as the Visconti Triplets of this November. Badpuppy users get intimate views online. Amateur New Meat Tuesday contests, and Sunday Latino Fiestas are highlights in their every-night events calendar.

The Corner Pub (1915 N Andrews Ave) is Wilton Manors neighborhood bar with pool table, beer specials and basic food.

Cozmos (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd), Club Oz is a gay club with cabaret and piano cocktail hours, then 18-plus dancing. There are amateur strip contests for cash prizes, and every night their own very provocative male Cozmos Dancers get up close and personal.

At Cubby Hole (823 N Federal Hwy), Fort Lauderdale's men's bear bar all are welcome. With 14 years in business they're most famous for their burgers and other tasty fried foods, but have Wednesdays night spaghetti specials too. This no-attitude neighborhood bar has juke box, 50 cent pool games, video games, HDTV and all day two for one specials that keep things busy all day. The Hurricane softball team hangs here too.

Another friendly neighborhood bar, the Depot (1243 NE 11th Ave) screens sporting events, has karaoke every Wednesday and Sunday, and features comedy nights each Tuesday. Weekdays noon to 9pm are 2-4-1 time, and on Sundays there's Bingo, and a pizza party, plus cheap beer buckets all day and night.

At Dudes (3270 NE 33rd St) the young male go-go strippers are often more engaging and personable with customers than at similar bars elsewhere, with lap dances and steamy shower shows. Every day happy hours are 2-9pm and again after midnight, also with male dancers.

11 Nightclub (1116 W Broward Blvd) has special gay dance nights and star performer events.

Hombre Bar (2500 West Oakland Park Blvd) is a men's cruise bar just west of I-95 with a crowd of leathermen and bears; underwear and jock specials and a bootblack on duty Fridays and Saturdays.

Intoxiskate at Gold Coast (2604 S. Federal Hwy) continues an every Tuesday night gay roller-skate tradition of decades, with cheap skates, cheap beer and cocktails, and frequent theme parties. A mostly young, energetic mix, 8pm to 2am.

Sean David's Johnny's (1116 W Broward Blvd) gay male stripper bar has shows from 6pm every night with up to 60 house dancers each week, ages 18-24, from all around the world. The Sunday amateur strip contests are the biggest of their kind in Florida. Hot male porn star appearances here include BelAmi's Ralph Woods, and recent guests the Peters Twins.

Living Room Nightclub (300 SW 1st Ave) downtown Fort Lauderdale's 11,000 square feet of interactive and sensory pleasure in three distinct areas, for partiers of all inclinations, but gayest on Fridays.

The Manor (2345 Wilton Drive) is a new complex with restaurant, martini bar / lounge, internet coffeebar, sports bar and nightclub on two levels. They have live entertainment, performances, and a mixed and somewhat younger crowd here than at most Wilton Manor gay clubs. Saturday and Sunday brunches are served here too.

Matty's on the Drive (2426 Wilton Dr) has something for everyone, with diverse music, pool table, darts, celebrity shows, a huge screen for Wii games and "the Drive's most fabulous Happy Hour" until 10pm on weekdays.

In their pink building, Mona's (502 E Sunrise Blvd) will quickly put you right at home playing pool, the "train game" or just kicking back outside in Lisa's Background with affable bartenders. Drink specials throughout the week draw both "arounders" and out-of-towners. Customer appreciation extends even to pets who have an annual pageant here! On December 26 their annual "Grab-bag," gives away wrapped presents, and over $4000 in cash.

The Naked Grape Wine Bar (2039 Wilton Dr) has good wine, cheeze nibblies and a relaxed atmosphere with plush and comfortable seating for a mixed crowd.

New Moon (2440 Wilton Dr) stylish women's lounge with dancing, live music, and performers like Bitch! with a fierce violin and sharp wit, to rock in the holidays.

PJ's Corner Pocket (924 N Flagler) a new location for this diversity welcoming interracial bottle club (byob) and wine bar.

The Levi/Leather and uniform cruise bar Ramrod (1508 NE 4th Ave) has a non-stop rotation of leather, fetish and kinky events, bear nights plus undies and bulge contests. A Leather Werks leather shop is also on site.

Scandals (1509 NE 4th Ave) is Wilton Manor's country-western bar, with line dancing and lessons, karaoke and lots of pool. Wedesdays variety shows feature live entertainment, comedy, and dancers.

Sea Monster (2 S New River Dr W) has returned, with Noche Latina Fridays, Women's Saturday, and a big weekly gay Sunday night T-Dance with performers, circuit toys and go-go gods.

In central Wilton Manors Sidelines Sports Bar (2031a Wilton Dr) state-of-the-art sports-themed bar, is the area's most popular gay bar of it's kind. Sixteen flat-screen HDTVs screen the most exciting games, and there are pool tables, dart boards and a football table for time out. Sunday Beer Bucket specials take place from noon to closing.

Smarty Pants (2400 E Oakland Park Blvd #101) fun neighborhood bar has owners who instigate and join in the games, piano cabaret shows and other nightly goings on.

Stable (205 E Oakland Park Blvd) is also a leather-Levi, country-western hangout with Monday drag, Tuesday underwear contests, free Friday buffets, and erotic dancers other nights.

The dance destination Torpedo (2829 W Broward Blvd, seven blocks west of I-95) has seven gay nights a week, and you can dance or relax in their cruisy video parlor until dawn.

With an older crowd Tropics (2000 Wilton Dr) piano bar lounge has nightly entertainment, cafe, terrace and pool table.

VooDoo Lounge (111 SW 2nd Ave), one of the area's largest dance clubs, has eclectic furnishings as diverse as their crowds and music mixes. Wednesdays here are for women, Fridays draw a smart and trendy crowd; on Saturdays there's House, Hip Hop and Latin music; and Sundays feature top drag performers and Hip Hop on the patio bar.

Restaurants & Cafes

Beefcake's Grill (1721 N Andrews Ave) at the corner patio of Broadwalk bar has indoor and patio seating, and specializes in wraps, cheeseburgers and salads. For Movie Madness they play two new movies each Monday at 9pm and 2am.

Galanga Kitchen & Sushi Bar (2389 Wilton Dr) with stellar Thai fare and sushi is considered to be one of the best Thai restaurants in Broward County and they deliver.

Herban Kitchen Restaurant (2823 E Oakland Park Blvd) "Home of the complete dinner," with fresh bread, soup, salad and more. You might think your mother was in the kitchen.

At Hi Life Cafe (3000 N Federal Hwy) the cute young team greets all the Fort Lauderdale regulars at this upscale bistro where Zagat's ratings are "top 40" for their worldly American cuisine.

At Humpys Pizza (2144 Wilton Dr) has pizzas, paninis and pasta for eat-in or deliveries convenient to all the local hotels.

There's always a crowd at Java Boys (2230 Wilton Dr) for their many varieties of coffees, hot and cold libations, and sweet treats.

For breakfast, lunch or dinner, La Bonne Crepe (815 E Las Olas Blvd) serves distinctive crepes, waffles and french toast topped with fresh fruit, plus eggs, meat and potatoes , bagels and smoked salmon at sidewalk terrace tables.

Lips (1421 E Oakland Park Blvd) also with locations in San Diego, and New York offers the ultimate in drag (show) dining, serving from 7:30pm.

Maracas (3001 N Federal Hwy), Mexican bar and grill, there's a live DJ on the patio every Monday for Boys Night South of the Border, and great Mexican food all week long.

Rosie's Bar and Grill (2449 Wilton Dr) is a local institution for casual dining indoors or out on the large covered outdoor patio; open daily with a fat new menu.

Stork's Bakery Coffee Cafe (2505 NE 15 Ave, and 1109 East Las Olas) brings a bit of Viennese coffeehouse bistro style to Florida, with soups, sandwiches, pastries, salads, cakes, tarts, tortes, mousses plus fine wines, imported beers and, yes, coffee.

Sage (2000 Harrison St) Cafe & Oyster Bar has casual ambience and good French country cuisine at decent prices.

Tropics (2000 Wilton Dr), with the "best brunch in south Florida" has been voted "best restaurant" seven years in a row.

The Victoria Park Diner (1730 E Sunrise Blvd) is a Greek kitchen with lunch, dinner and breakfast all day, seven days a week from 7am, and they deliver.

For more Fort Lauderdale area restaurants click here.

Shopping
For sexy underwear and trendsetting beach and swimwear Audace.com dazzles, and not only at the crotch, with t-shirts, jeans, belts, shirts and accessories as well. Formerly with a store on Wilton Drive, they now sell from their website.

Bottoms & Tops (2244 Wilton Dr) sells designer men's apparel "without designer prices," in addition to accessories that scream gay.

Budget conscious GayMart USA (2240 Wilton Dr) sells bathing suits, club-wear, accessories and lots of other fun accouterments.

Leather Werks (501 NE 13th St) continues to serve the leather community with garments, accessories and play equipment. A second store is located within Ramrod bar, open every night from 8pm.

M4M Leather (839 N Federal Hwy) offers leather and pride items with a backdrop of porn on their flat-screen monitors.

Pride Factory (850 NE 13th St) is a giant book, video, clothing, home and pride gift store that stocks adult toys and lubes too.

Ruff Riders (2205a Wilton Dr) sells active and fashion wear with t-shirts, gym wear, jackets, vests, hats and accessories -- including leather.

To the Moon Marketplace (2205 Wilton Dr) candy, sweets and gourmet food from 60 countries, especially dark chocolate and licorice goodies; also gag gifts, magazines, cards, party supplies and novelties.

Tropixxx Video (1514 NE 4th Ave) purveys adult toys and clothing, and a great selection of gay videos. Their team is smart and helpful.

Zoo Two Clothing Company (2151 Wilton Dr) offers a large selection of au courant club/party, casual, sports and swim wear.

Pride 2010

Pridefest took place Saturday and Sunday March 13th and 14th, at Jaco Pastorius Park, Dixie Highway & 40th Ct. in Oakland Park with a big lineup of performers, vendors and events. See their website for next year's dates.

Film & Theater

Cinema Paradiso (503 SE 6th St) the Broward County Film Society screens Art House movies from around the world. This is home to the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, next scheduled for October 22 through November 11, 2010.

Free movie nights at Stonewall Library & Archives (1300 East Sunrise Blvd) include Out Boys Movie Nights (also "Girls Nights") plus foreign language and classic films of gay interest, usually at 7pm. Check their website for scheduled titles and dates.

The Sunrise Cinemas Gateway (1820 E Sunrise Blvd) and Sunrise Cinemas Las Olas (300 SW 1st Ave) screen fine art, foreign and independent films, and they hosted the 2009 Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last November. No word yet on plans for 2010.

The Rising Action Theatre Company (840 E Oakland Park Blvd) "promotes diversity and tolerance with multi-cultural and socially relevant plays." If that sounds too weighty, there's plenty of campy fun onstage too. See their website.

Working out, steaming up

Club Fort Lauderdale (110 NW 5th Ave) is the largest private men's club in Florida and one of the largest in the US. With 12,000 square feet of space, they have a lush tropical landscaped outdoor pool area and clothing-optional spa, custom-designed steam room, and a sauna overlooking the pool. Multiple TV rooms throughout the club show both regular television and adult entertainment. A large state-of-the-art gym offers all the latest equipment -- and guests may work out in their undies!

The Clubhouse II (2650 E Oakland Park) private membership club has their big leather night every Tuesday, and bears and cubs come in great numbers each Thursday. This cozy old-fashioned facility has steam and dry saunas, and other facilities.

Island City Health & Fitness (2270 Wilton Dr) at the location previously occupied by Main Street Gym, sports the latest equipment, a cafe, lounge area, men's sauna, and a health and wellness spa.

Slammer (321 W Sunrise Blvd) is unabashedly proud to be a sex club. Their "you bring the booze, we've got the bar" policy, and second Thursday Leather Nights are just two ways they give more bang for your buck. This 21+ men's club for wanton pursuit of pleasure, within a sprawling facility (look for the yellow and black "321" logo), is the second Slammer location; the original is in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

Beaches
The gay beach is in front of Beach Place, just opposite Sebastian Street. Hundreds of men can be found here most any nice day, sunning, flirting, chatting, reading or splashing in the warm water.
People also gather for jogging, tennis, and "whatever" at Holiday Park (Sunrise Boulevard, on the south side, at NE 12th Avenue).

NOTE: The above information was edited in May 2010.

Author Profile:  Michael K Lavers

Michael K Lavers is the national news editor for the EDGE Media Network and managing editor of the Fire Island News. His work has appeared in The Advocate, the Village Voice and many gay and mainstream publications.

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