Just up the coast from Dade (Miami) and Broward (Fort Lauderdale) counties, Palm Beach County is the state's second largest in area, and it's also home to the fast-growing city of West Palm Beach, the posh coastal Palm Beach resort communities, and the small city of Lake Worth (pop. 36,000), as well as several other notable communities (Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, and Wellington). Lake Worth, which is situated along the coast and lies just 10 miles south of West Palm Beach, has steadily become one of the county's hubs of gay and lesbian culture. In late March, Lake Worth's pretty Bryant Park is the site of PrideFest of the Palm Beaches, the Gay Pride event for all of Palm Beach County - the dates this year are March 19 and 20, 2016.
Check out the West Palm Beach and Lake Worth Gay Nightlife Guide for tips on where to dance and mingle in Palm Beach County.
Note that Palm Beach is about a 40-minute drive north from Fort Lauderdale to reach Lake Worth, and roughly a 2.5-hour drive southeast on I-95 and Florida's Turnpike from Orlando. It's also a 90-minute drive north of Miami, where the Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival takes place less than a month after PrideFest of the Palm Beaches - the date this year is April 8 through April 10, 2016.
PrideFest of the Palm Beaches is organized by Compass, the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Palm Beach County, in Lake Worth. The two-day event, which draws some 12,000 attendees, takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20, at Lake Worth's Bryant Park (off Lake Ave. at S. Golfview Rd.), from noon until 6 pm each day. Pridefest tickets cost $10 at the gate, or you can buy them for just $8 at a variety of location around the area, including Rooster's and Mad Hatter gay bars.
There's also the Palm Beach County Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, in downtown Lake Worth (kicking off at Lucerne Ave. and North M Sts.) at 11:30 in the morning. More than 140 local businesses and organizations partake of Palm Beach Pride, and there will be a number of musicians performing throughout the weekend.
Some of the area's more popular gay bars like Rooster's in West Palm Beach will be especially busy and fun during Pridefest weekend. For more on the Lake Worth and Palm Beach gay scene, consult regional gay publications like Hot Spots Magazine and South Florida Gay News. Also helpful for general tourism information on the region is the GLBT site produced by the county's official tourism office, Discover Palm Beach County.