You probably know Greater Fort Lauderdale as a sunny beach destination in Florida. But did you know that it’s also one of the nation’s most progressive destinations? Richard Gray, Visit Lauderdale’s Senior Vice President, Inclusion and Accessibility, explains: “In spite of Florida’s House Bill 1557 being signed into legislation, we want everyone to know that travel transcends politics, and decisions made at the Florida state level do not always align with our mission and values. Greater Fort Lauderdale is a welcoming destination that has and always will continue to welcome ‘Everyone Under the Sun’ just as our slogan states. When we say ‘Everyone Under the Sun,’ we mean ‘Everyone Under the Sun.’”
If you’re planning a visit to Greater Fort Lauderdale, you can rest assured that diversity, inclusion and acceptance are actively championed as an established way of life that’s fully woven throughout the area’s 31 neighborhoods. In fact, the area’s groundbreaking marketing campaigns to LGBT+ travelers started more than 25 years ago and continue today with a social media campaign running on their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages and using the hashtags #WeAreVL and #EveryoneUnderTheSun.
Walking the Talk
In Greater Fort Lauderdale, pride is the daily way of life, and they are especially proud that Fort Lauderdale earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Municipal Equality Index. Known as the LGBT+ capital of Florida, the area is home to a thriving local LGBT+ community with the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the country. Wilton Manors is ranked the “Second Gayest City” in the United States (next to Provincetown, MA) for its thriving LGBT+ population. Its streets are lined with gay-owned businesses, bars and hotspots, each built out of love and acceptance. Sebastian Beach, a top-rated gay beach in the U.S., is found along Fort Lauderdale beach at the end of Sebastian Street. The area has also been recognized as one of the top four places for LGBT+ travelers post-COVID by TravelPulse.
It's no wonder that diversity is championed in this cosmopolitan destination: Its residents hail from 170 different countries and speak more than 147 languages. Greater Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) is a majority minority county. The largest minority group is now Hispanic and there is a large Caribbean-American population, including the most Jamaicans in the United States. The area is also home to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, which welcomes visitors to explore its history and culture with arts and crafts demonstrations and native animal exhibits.
Additionally, Greater Fort Lauderdale is an inclusive and safe destination for transgender visitors for business or pleasure and is a leader in transgender rights. The area has welcomed the Southern Comfort Conference, the largest annual trans conference in North America, for several years. African-American groups have also found a welcoming gathering place in Greater Fort Lauderdale. The Urban League, the Newspaper Publishers Association and 100 Black Men of America have met in Greater Fort Lauderdale repeatedly to plan their national social justice agendas, among many other multicultural groups.
Welcoming Thrill-Seekers and Chill-Seekers of All Ages
Greater Fort Lauderdale truly has something for everyone. Fascinating discoveries await in 31 vibrant communities, from the vast, untouched nature in the Everglades to the lively cafés and shops along Las Olas Boulevard. Beach-lovers can soak up the sunshine on 24 miles of golden beaches and boaters will revel in 300 miles of inland waterways, an offering that has earned the area its monikers of the “Yachting Capital of the World” and the “Venice of America.”
The progressive area continues to evolve as Florida’s most welcoming destination, with a thriving dining and nightlife scene and numerous new hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions. Greater Fort Lauderdale is home to some of the most celebrated hotel brands in the world, including the new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale, the Kimpton Goodland Fort Lauderdale Beach, the W Fort Lauderdale and The Guitar Hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. For a premier all-male spa-resort, stay at the award-winning The Grand Resort & Spa.