Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer. If you haven't already, it's the perfect time for making a break for the coast and getting as much Vitamin D as possible. (Safely, of course! Sunscreen is key!) Where, though, does one go if they're looking to live out and proud, and to feel safe while doing so? Well, there are a handful of safe, queer beaches in the States that you should visit ASAP. Yes, there's Fire Island, the idyllic stretch of sand along Long Island that is a legendary queer haven. But if you haven't made your Labor Day reservations for an Airbnb already, you're not going to get the experience you want. (I've got firsthand knowledge here!)
So, look elsewhere, because elsewhere is usually where the most exciting things happen. Hey, maybe elsewhere spells a trip to Hawaii. There is, after all, a premiere queer beach in Maui. Read on and start booking. There's still time to squeeze as much outta that summer life as you possibly can.
The People's Beach at Jacob Riis Park
There's nothing more relaxing and spontaneous feeling than taking the subway (and bus) to Riis. If your LGBTQIA friends aren't at Fire Island during the weekend, you'll find them here. It's a haven of body positivity, good vibes, and one of the most communal beach experiences you'll come across. Seriously. Bring a big blanket and some extra snacks—you'll want to share with all your new friends.
Located at 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway Park, New York.
Will Rogers State Beach
Say hello to Los Angeles' most LGBTQIA-friendly beach. Situated in Santa Monica, Will Rogers is accessible via mass transit (Santa Monica Blue Bus 9) and is within walking distance of plenty of places for post-beach margs.
Located at 17000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, California.
Think drag queens can't function at the beach? Think again, sweetie. Rehoboth is Delaware's tiny queer beach town that could. This isn't the beach town you escape to for your Spring Breakers fantasy. Rehoboth is polite, quiet, and peaceful. The small town caters to all identities and provides an ample number of options to wind down come nightfall—if you're not at some bonfire already.
Located at 1103 S Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
What better place to kick back in your birthday suit and gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge than Baker Beach, San Francisco's premier nude beach. Clothing is, of course, accepted, but when at Baker...
Located at Gibson Rd, San Francisco, California.
A queer beach exists in Maine, and it's found in Ogunquit, just an hour or so outside of Portland. When the temperatures climb, you best believe Canadian and Northeastern LGBTQIA people descend upon the seaside town. It's become something of an international LGBTQIA resort destination; however, compared to Fire Island and Baker Beaches, it's still a secret to us in the States. No matter, though. That just means you'll have more space for TLC and an easier time making your way to the bar at Maine Street.
Located at 135 Beach St, Ogunquit, Maine.
Provincetown (P-Town) is a Queer Destination. It's the Fire Island away from Fire Island, full of free spirits and the most colorful human beings. Grab a bevy of your besties, rent a car, and drive. A weekend in P-Town is one filled with unbridled joy and celebration. Oh yeah, and there's a beach for, you know, when you need to take a break from the bustle of P-Town's sidewalks and main drag.
Located at Province Lands Rd, Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Located on the island of Maui, this tiny LGBTQIA oasis gets the party started every Sunday with its weekly daytime celebration complete with fire dancers and drum circles. [Insert getting lei'd joke here]
Located at Makena Rd, Kihei, Hawaii.
Sebastian Street Beach
If Miami is for going big or going home, Sebastian Street Beach is that home. Rent an umbrella for the day, lay out, and fear not what you're missing down in Miami. Sebastian Street Beach is big enough to feel like you're away from home but small enough to still feel comfortable. Sure, it's a see-and-be-seen culture, but you're in Florida and, well, welcome to the scene.
Located at N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Chicago may not be near an ocean, but its Hollywood Beach certainly maintains the beach mentality. Head to the southern part of the coast for all things LGBTQIA, including the ever-Instagrammable pier.
Located at 5800 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, Illinois.