Summer invites thoughts of lazy afternoons at the beach, just as the beach summons up visions of gaggles of gym-toned bodies flirting and frolicking in the sand on carefree summer days. That said, it’s no secret that all beaches are not created equal and, even more importantly, that some beaches are more, shall we say, popular with the boys than others.
Where to go and when is the eternal question of summer. So, with that in mind, we have come up with an answer—a list of 10 beaches that combine beauty of all varieties, both human and natural, with a happening scene that will ensure that wherever you are in the sticky, hot months ahead will also be where the boys are.
Poodle Beach | Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
For residents of the the Mid-Atlantic States, Rehoboth Beach is one of summer’s most popular gay escapes and Poodle Beach, located at the south end of the town’s mile-long boardwalk, is the place to head upon arrival for a healthy dose of fun in the sun. Adding to its appeal is the fact that this frisky stretch of coast is also just minutes away from Baltimore Avenue, which is considered the heart of gay life in Rehoboth Beach and home to Aqua Grill, one of the city’s busiest gay bars. Beach? Cocktails? Follow?
Super Paradise Beach | Mykonos, Greece
Given that Mykonos is Europe’s oldest gay summer destination, is it any wonder that it is also annually home to one of the season’s hottest beaches? Remotely located miles away from the center of town, Super Paradise Beach is anything but isolated from the gay buzz of Mykonos. It is, in fact, the quintessential gay summer beach scene. Clothing optional in some areas, nude-only in others, with all-day parties, pools, restaurants, bars, platforms for dancing and full “beach service.” the only thing obligatory at Super Paradise Beach is fun.
Fire Island Pines Beach | Fire Island, New York
When gay New Yorkers feel the urge to escape the blistering heat of the City, many head to Fire Island, which has been one of the East Coast’s gay meccas for decades. If only for a spot of sexy fun and relaxation at Fire Island Pines Beach or for one of the summer season’s scene-y events—ranging from club blow-outs (like Ascension) to chic little fundraisers attended by a selection of well-heeled potential Mr. Rights—Fire Island Pines Beach is long-time favorite of the boys of summer.
West Beach | Brighton, United Kingdom
The seaside brings all the London boys to Brighton’s West Beach, where the temps may not be the most reliably warm but the bordering oceanfront town is reliably one of the gayest in all of Great Britain. Buoyed by its thriving gay scene and multitude of gay bars, Brighton more than earns its reputation as the gay party capital of the UK. But, don’t let the weather fool you, with a string of its more popular gay nightspots like Charles Street and Legends peering out over the beach, the city offers its own special brand of heat at night to make up for the occasionally cooler days. Besides, who says all the fun that happens at the beach has to happen on the beach?
Black’s Beach | San Diego, CA
Like most of the beaches on this list, San Diego’s Black’s Beach isn’t exclusively gay, having first established itself as one of the nation’s most famous (and infamous) nude beaches. With that understood, there is a gay end (the north end) of Black’s Beach and it regularly attracts the pretty sun-kissed crowd that is Southern California’s stock-in-trade. (That is, those brave enough to manage the somewhat treacherous trek to get to it).
Barceloneta Beach | Barcelona, Spain
If Spain knows how to party, Barcelona knows how to live. There are more than a few great gay beaches in Barcelona that celebrate the city’s laid back vibe but there’s just something special about Barceloneta Beach. It’s a full-on party, with weekends so packed that the sands of the beach are almost completely obscured by rows and rows of tanned bodies. The collection of restaurants and bars that commingle with this section of beach helps to ensure that once you arrive, you’ll have little reason to leave (apart from a very good-looking one, of course).
Herring Cove | Provincetown, Massachusetts
P-Town is arguably the gayest city on the eastern seaboard and Herring Cove, its premiere gay beach, is ground zero for summer fun of all stripes. At the gay west end of town and ostensibly clothing optional (though nudity is technically illegal), Herring Cove offers a plethora of pleasures and a non-stop scene. If the sheer beauty of Cape Cod, the prospect of a flirty dalliance in the dunes or old-school gay camaraderie don’t leave you seeing rainbows, the sunsets for which this beach is famous might just do the trick.
Hilton Beach | Tel Aviv, Israel
Hilton Beach, so named because of its location just below the Hilton hotel in proximity to Tel Aviv’s Independence Park and the ultra cruisy Gan Ha’atzmaut Park, can perhaps best be described as a man swamp in summer (in the best possible way of course). Drenched with ripped, sun-worshipping Israeli boys in skimpy swimsuits designed to emphasize their assets, the summer heat is no match for the white-hot boys that flock to this prized strip of sand (particularly during Pride).
Es Cavallet Beach | Ibiza, Spain
Two rainbow flags fly high above the gay section of Es Cavallet Beach to herald the meeting point where the 24-hour party people gather for their version of R&R after late nights of clubbing and carousing around Ibiza’s legendary nightlife scene. Famously clothing optional, this white sand slice of gay paradise on the Mediterranean is the ultimate cool down spot for the boys of Ibiza.
Marina Piccola | Capri, Italy
Its long history as a refuge for gays and lesbians only adds to the Isle of Capri’s enduring allure as one of the most sophisticated and sexy summer destinations on the continent. Given its diminutive size in conjunction with this fact, the whole of the island is pretty gay. However, when it comes to mingling on the sand with the boys, Marina Piccola is the destination of choice.