Sun, Fun and So Much More: Why We're Headed to Miami in 2021

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday January 30, 2021

Azucar Ice Cream Company in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
Azucar Ice Cream Company in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.  (Source:VisitMiamiLGBTQ.com)

We're shaking up our Magic 8-Ball and predicting that 2021 is going to be a year to remember — this time for all the right reasons. Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway or an extended stay to reboot, refresh and revitalize, Miami and its surrounding areas deliver world-class hotels, plenty of outdoor activities, culture, diverse dining options and a vibrant LGBTQ community waiting to welcome you with open arms.

"Miami, and especially Miami Beach, have long been recognized by the international LGBTQ community as a welcoming and inclusive destination to live, work and play," says Richard Murry, founder and president of The Murry Agency, a Miami Beach-based public relations firm with a niche specialty in the LGBTQ market.

The LGBT Visitor Center (sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) is a one-stop-shop for last-minute itinerary suggestions such as hotels or activities as well as a hub for special event information and local queer publications.

Here are some of EDGE's hot tips to make Greater Miami your ultimate winter playground.

Plenty of Perks Without Breaking the Bank
Hotel Gaythering  

Plenty of Perks Without Breaking the Bank

It's an ideal time to score great Miami vacation packages as the tourism industry begins to emerge from pandemic hibernation. Here are some of our favorite hotel picks. (Click here for even more options.)

Hotel Gaythering — The name says it all! This boutique hotel in the heart of Miami Beach features a modern, industrial design, plenty of perks like complimentary beach gear for the day, free bike rentals and a secure garage. And for those who like to express themselves in a body-positive manner, the clothing-optional men-only self-spa features a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

There's plenty to look at beyond fellow guests, with original art showcased throughout the property. When you want to unwind after a day (or night) of fun and frolic, the well-appointed rooms feature premium bedding and bath products.

Experience even more of Miami by dividing your vacation between two properties. Here are three of the Miami's newest hotels to check out.

AxelBeach Miami — Known globally as "heterofriendly," Axel Hotels has been a mainstay of the LGBTQ community since its first property opened in Barcelona in 2003. Axel's new 160-room property on Collins Avenue is steps away from the beach and features an Art Deco interior, Sky Bar outdoor space featuring pool, bar and food service, and wellness & fitness center with massage services.

Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach — Located on the edge of Sunset Harbour, one of Miami's emerging neighborhoods, Hotel Palomar is within easy walking distance of some of Miami's best shopping districts, including Lincoln Road, Sunset Harbour Shops and Espanola Way. Make a splash at the rooftop pool, then unwind in one of the 96 guestrooms designed in a soothing palette that celebrates the sand and sea.

Greystone Miami Beach — This historic 1930s property has just been reimagined for the 21st century while still retaining its Art Deco elegance. Sérêvène — the on-site Japanese izakaya meets French rotisserie restaurant by Executive Chef Pawan Pinisetti — is one of Miami's most anticipated culinary openings of the year. Be sure to stroll around the neighborhood to explore more of Miami's Art Deco history.

Take It Outside
Wynwood  (Source: VisitMiamiLGBTQ.com)

Take It Outside

As we acclimate to traveling once again, many vacationers are seeking outdoor, socially distanced activities. Fortunately, Miami's sunny skies and temperate weather provide the perfect backdrop for a stress-free vacation. There's plenty to explore whether you're a beach lover or culture connoisseur.

A Day at the Beach — Whether you're looking for a secluded enclave or a sandy spot with a view of your fellow sunbathers, Miami has some of the best beaches in Florida. Bikini, one-piece or trunks? If your choice is "none of the above," head to Halouver Beach, the only nudist beach in Miami. 12th Street Beach is another "semi-official" LGBTQ beach (recognizable with plenty of rainbow flags) and near the famous Palace Bar on Ocean Drive.

Miami's Art and Soul — Head to Wynwood to discover outdoor art on a scale that will take your account to a whole new level. The Wynwood Walls feature more than 40 internationally renowned street artists.


Get Wet — Whether you're an adventure-seeker or simply find the ocean waves soothing to the soul, water sports and water activities throughout Miami abound. Playtime Watersports celebrates 25 years as one of the premier operators, offering everything from day cruises and parasailing to private yacht charters. If you'd prefer to avoid the waves, head inland to the Miami Watersports Complex where you can wakeboard, water ski, wake surf, water tube and so much more on a 90-acre freshwater lake.

Take a Hike — Prefer to remain on solid ground? Everglades National Park (an easy day trip) offers 7,800 square miles across the region's rugged landscape. Oleta River State Park is great for biking, while Matheson Hammock Park (just south of Coral Gables) showcases mangroves and hardwood forests as well as planned green spaces by legendary landscape architect William Lyman Phillips.

Outdoor Dining From Morning 'Til Night
Outdoor dining at La Mar.  (Source: VisitMiamiLGBTQ.com)

Outdoor Dining From Morning 'Til Night

Sunny days and cool nights make Miami a go-to for the best restaurants with outdoor seating.

Snag one of the Ocean Drive outdoor tables at The Betsy South Beach for breakfast at LT Steak & Seafood, where you can kick off the day with a cold-pressed juice, pastry basket or hearty Betsy Breakfast.

For lunch, track down one of Miami's food trucks. Some of our favorites include Mz. Cheezious for inventive riffs on grilled cheese; Amaize for Venezuelan stand-outs like arepas and cachapas, and Moty's Grill for Mediterranean fare.

Save your appetite for a blow-out dinner at La Mar, chef Gastón Acurio's plentiful Peruvian fare at the exquisite Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key. Made-to-order ceviche comes in more than a dozen variations followed by stunning seafood-centric main courses such as Whole Fish Nikkei or Planchaza, a tasting of jumbo prawns, scallops, calamari, and octopus with antichuchera sauce and chimichurri.

When the Sun Sets, Head for the Roof
Miami boasts plenty of rooftop bars that offer craft cocktails, city views, ocean breezes and so much more. We love newcomer No. 3 Social in Wynwood and Sugar on the 40th floor of East Miami, but our hearts never stray far from The Roof Top Bar at The Palace, Miami's legendary drag bar and restaurant for more than three decades.

Want more Miami travel ideas? Visit VisitMiamiLGBTQ.com.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.

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