One of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country since the 1990s, the southwestern Florida city of Naples might not be the most popular destination for gay tourists, but it does have a few gay-friendly establishments.
You can dine and dance at the city's only gay bar and restaurant, the Bambusa Bar & Grill, or you can head over to the popular seafood restaurant Real Macaw, which has a pretty big gay following in the area.
Even if it's not one of the most popular gay destinations in Florida, Naples makes for a great tourist destination regardless. Naples has a population of just around 22,000 but is home to some 320,000 residents in the surrounding metro region. It's an attractive, temperate beach destination along Florida's scenic Gulf Coast, and a western access point for exploring the immense and naturally stunning Florida Everglades. It's also the base for getting to beautiful Marco Island, which is home to some elegant hotels, golf resorts, and nature preserves.
Bambusa Bar & Grill
The residents of Naples are generally welcoming to all types of people, but if you're looking for a specifically gay-friendly establishment in the city, you'll feel right at home at the Bambusa. Bambusa Bar & Grill draws plenty of "family" to its karaoke nights on Fridays and Mondays, and Bitchy Bingo on Sundays. This is an excellent restaurant, too, serving far above-and-beyond the usual pub fare, with well-prepared and healthful renditions of a number of pasta, chicken, seafood, and veggie dishes. There's also an extensive martini selection, the kinds of tropical drinks that immediately spring to mind when one pictures a breezy evening in Florida, and a reasonably priced wine list.
Bambusa is the only current gay bar in Naples (Snappers closed in 2016), but Naples also has a terrific seafood restaurant with a very strong gay following, the Real Macaw. This festive spot with live music on weekends and an inviting patio serves creatively prepared Florida-Caribbean-inspired cuisine, such as Trinidadian crab cake and snapper with bananas in phyllo dough.
Other Gay-Friendly Destinations Nearby
While you'll certainly enjoy the beach and attractions of Naples regardless of your sexual orientation, but there's also a number of popular gay destinations within driving distance of Naples, Florida.
Just 45 miles north, Fort Myers has a gay bar and nightclub called Rascals. If you're around during October, Fort Meyers also hosts the annual Southwest Florida Gay Pride celebration, which also takes place in Cape Coral. Another two hours north of Fort Meyers, you can also visit the popular gay destination city St. Petersburg. The Grand Central District of the city offers a number of nightclubs and bars geared toward the LGBT community, and there are a number of gay resorts along the coast nearby.
Continuing on, you can make your way to Tampa and Ybor City, which are also great destinations for the LGBT community. Featuring the third-largest population in the state, this metropolitan area has several bars, nightclubs, and gay destinations worth checking out including Bradley's on 7th and The Castle.