Gay & Lesbian Walking Tour

By: Jodi Mailander Farrell


LGBT men and women have made and continue to make significant contributions to the history of Miami Beach and its historic preservation movement.

Their historic treasures and hot spots are highlighted on the Gay and Lesbian Walking Tour, which stops at key spots that mark the contributions that lesbians and gay men have made to Miami Beach over the years. The $20 tour is held on the fourth Saturday of each month, starting at 5 p.m.

Stops include the Palace Bar on Ocean Drive (home to drag shows and brunches) and Casa Casuarina (Gianni Versace’s former mansion), as well as the Breakwater Hotel, where Bruce Weber shot a photograph that was used in a famous advertisement for Calvin Kein Obsession.

LGBTs played a major part in the resurrection of South Beach’s treasured architectural history. Leonard Horowitz, one of the co-founders of the Miami Design Preservation League, was an out gay man, and many of the supporters of the preservation movement in its early days were gay or lesbian. Gary Farmer, another openly gay man, opened the Strand Restaurant in 1986, a "mixed crowd" restaurant that became an important part of the revitalization of Miami Beach.

The walking tour is a collaborative effort between the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Miami Design Preservation League, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

It starts at the Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Dr. , Miami Beach.


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