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Gays gone wild: ready to shake the winter blues? Skip those straighter-than-thou spring break bashes and get your groove on with the gays.

FORT LAUDERDALE-MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

Bashes

South Florida Pridefest, the state's biggest, hits Lauderdale March 10-11. Miami's sexy and sassy gay and lesbian film festival runs April 27-May 6. The sizzling after parties and cocktail mixers are as entertaining as the films themselves.

Beaches

The stretch from Fort Lauderdale to South Beach simply swims with gay sand spots. Must hits are Lauderdale's Sebastian Beach and 12th Street on Miami's South Beach; between lies the queerish north end of clothing-optional Haulover Beach.

Boy-spotting

Gorgeous gay-guy glimpses are South Florida givens, Concentrated queer congregations tend toward Collins Avenue, Ocean Drive. and Lincoln Road in SoBe, and Wilton Manors in Lauderdale.

Bonus

Just 40 miles apart. the gay enclaves Lauderdale and Miami converge for two saucy spring break destinations under one sunny umbrella. clothing-optional Haulover Beach.

KEYWEST, FLORIDA

Bashes

Local gay hot spots band together from late February to early April to create Gay Spring Break 2007. Expect 18 and over beach and toga parties, wet T-shirt contests, offshore cruises, and a huge street dance party in mid March.

Beaches

It's all about "Liz Taylor," local speak for Fort Zachary Taylor Beach; the moniker alone proves the positive permeation of pink-think on the place.

Boy-spotting

The heaviest concentration of homo haunts straddles the blocks on either side of Duval Street in Old Town, but with oodles of us all around, Key West is virtually one big gay zone.

Bonus

On Saturday. hop on the country's only gay and lesbian trolley tour for a vibrant history of the mainland's southernmost city.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

Bashes

Dual Dinah Shore rosters feminize P.S. March 28 to April 1, just before the infamous White Party rearranges the circuitry April 6-9.

Beaches

None per se (despite rumors of a gay nude beach at the nearby Salton Sea), but there are pools aplenty. If you demand the real thing, Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean are just 2% hours away by car.

Boy-spotting

If the White Party's 20,000 plus aren't enough, the Warm Sands and Arenas Road areas are hallowed homo-heavy havens.

Bonus

There are numerous outdoor adventure options in the area, from mountain-high to desert-deep, all lovingly lit by the magnificent SoCal sun. Springs [See our Palm cover story on page 40]

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

Bashes

Time your trip for when a big gay cruise ship docks, an event that always drops a party by-proxy bomb in the queer hood. Also, the Vallarta Cora Hotel hosts randy gay clothing-optional pool parties daily.

Beaches

Gay ground zero is the blue chairs (in front of the Blue Chairs resort) on Playa Los Muertos. The scene is so popular it has now spilled over into the green chairs of the cafe next door.

Boy-spotting

Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta's old town, is also the city's main gay area, with an ever-expanding community of gay and lesbian locals and expats.

Bonus

A daylong gay cruise sails to the bay's south coast once a week, and gay whale-watching excursions depart often (book both at Blue Chairs). For landlubbers, hot plates of culture and adventure await in the Mexican interior surrounding P.V.

CANCUN, MEXICO

Bashes

The Cancun International Gay Festival, an annual event offering a plethora of parties and a minicruise in the Caribbean, runs May 10-14.

Beaches

Though there's nothing close to an officially gay beach here, Playa Delfines (also called Playa del Rey) in the hotel zone's south has become Cancun's de facto pink sun-and-sand area.

Boy-spotting

Cancun's most popular (if not only) gay meeting spots are dance club Glow, Karamba Bar, and Picante Bar. All are within a few blocks of each other in Centro (downtown Cancun), 15 minutes by cab from the hotel zone.

Bonus

Nearby Mayan era wonders include Chichen Itza, the most popular excursion from Cancun, and the closer Tulum, Mexico's only extant beachfront ruins.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:CHARTED TERRITORY
Author:Allen, Dan
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Feb 27, 2007
Words:638
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