Fort Myers Area Gay Nightlife Guide

Gay bars along a street in the Fort Myers/Cape Coral region of Florida during Southwest Florida Gay Pride

Andrew Collins

Fort Myers and the adjacent and quite famous Sanibel Island region lies along southwest Florida's pristine Gulf Coast. Although it's not a major market with gay and lesbian visitors, this city of 65,000 (with a metro area of some 625,000) does have a handful of fun and lively gay nightspots, as well as numerous appealing places to eat, especially if you include the larger neighboring (and fast-growing) city of Cape Coral and the hugely popular beach resort of Sanibel Island. The region also hosts the Southwest Florida Gay Pride celebration each year in October, taking place in the city of Cape Coral.

A sprawling club with multiple bars and levels and a good-size dance floor, the Bottom Line, or TBL (3090 Evans Ave.), is in a slightly desolate, semi-industrial area about two miles due south of downtown Fort Myers. At 15,000 square feet, it's one heck of a dancing and drinking compound. The club draws a mix of gay guys, lesbians, and friendly heteros, and events include drag shows on weekends and a good variety of drinks special throughout the week.

Also extremely popular is the neighborhood gay bar Rascals (3758 Cleveland Ave.). Rascals has a number of friendly promotions, including free billiards on Mondays and a very well-attended country-western night on Thursdays. The attractive space is good for dancing, and there are some great drag shows and other parties, as well as "Bears Night Out" gatherings.

Naples, which is just 45 miles south, has great gay nightlife options. To the north, it's less than a two-hour drive to reach gay-popular St. Petersburg and Tampa, and just a 90-minute drive to get to Sarasota.