A Group Travel Guide to LGBTQ+ Destinations in Orlando
Miami and Fort Lauderdale may be famous for their bustling clubs and LGBTQ+ scene, but those busy beach cities may not be for everyone. If you’re planning a group trip in Florida and looking for a queer-friendly destination, set your sights on Orlando. The central Florida city has a strong LGBTQ+ community and is the perfect place to travel during Pride Month, for a friend’s weekend getaway, or even for a destination wedding.
As you plan your time in Orlando, consider booking a minibus or charter bus rental to keep your group trip running smoothly. With a bus rental from Florida Charter Bus Company, you’ll have a designated ride to and from every stop on your itinerary! You won’t have to worry about putting miles on personal vehicles, organizing a carpool, or waiting around for multiple rideshares for your large travel group. Shuttle to Orlando’s LGBTQ+ hotspots on your own time with a private ride and personal driver. Call the Florida Charter Bus Company team at 321-206-6444 to book your transportation.
If you need some ideas on what to add to your itinerary, keep on reading!
Things to See and Do
As a major tourist destination, Orlando has a lot to see and do year-round. Groups traveling during June and October will also find a variety of Pride events across the city. Check out these seasonal events and year-round activities to add to your itinerary:
Gay Days at Theme Parks
Gay Days started at Walt Dinsey World in 1991 as a dedicated day for LGBTQ individuals, their families, and friends to enjoy the park as a safe space. In recent years, Gay Days has extended into a 6-day event at Disney and other nearby theme parks like Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld have followed suit. Groups traveling by charter bus will find designated oversized parking areas available at each theme park.
Come Out with Pride
Unlike most of the United States, Florida’s major cities tend to celebrate LGBTQ Pride outside of the historic June Pride Month. Come Out with Pride is the city’s largest Pride event, and it’s been held annually every October since 2005. The parade and festival attract more than 175,000 attendees from around the country and make up one of the largest celebrations in the region.
The Orlando area has several performance venues with entertaining shows that you should consider adding to your itinerary. Groups who love music can check out the Orlando Gay Chorus. The diverse choir typically performs at The Rosen Event Center and aims to bring communities together through song. Are you more into theatre? Check out shows at local performing arts spaces like Mad Cow Theatre and Orlando Repertory Theatre.
Rosen Event Center
Address: 11184 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836
Phone: (407) 387-2740
Mad Cow Theatre
Address: 54 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 297-8788
Orlando Repertory Theatre
Address: 1001 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 896-7365
Pulse Interim Memorial
Having fun on a group trip is usually the top goal on everyone’s mind, but it’s also important to take time to reflect. The Pulse Interim Memorial was established to remember and honor the 49 innocent lives lost during the June 12, 2016 attack at Pulse Nightclub. Although the current memorial is temporary, it serves as a space to spread love and healing for survivors, families of the lost 49, the LGBTQ+ community, and supporters. A permanent memorial and museum are in the works to be opened in 2022. Visiting the current memorial is free, but donations are highly encouraged to support the onePulse Foundation.
Address: 1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806
Charter bus parking tip: Limited street parking is available in the area along S. Orange Avenue and Esther Street.
Places to Eat
Orlando has plenty of queer-owned restaurants to support! When your group gets hungry and is ready to take a break from exploring the city, grab a table at one of these eateries:
This iconic restaurant was actually started in San Francisco’s famous gayborhood The Castro. Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando is located downtown, just a few blocks from Lake Eola. Grab some classic burgers and fries for lunch, or reserve tickets for their famous drag brunches and cabaret show dinners.
Address: 110 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (321) 319-0600
Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Pom Pom’s is a queer- and woman-owned cafe that serves up creative sandwiches, comfort foods, and a variety of handcrafted teas. Many items on the menu are vegetarian-friendly and also Asian-influenced, paying homage to owner Pom Moongauklang’s heritage. Pom Pom’s is relatively small and is often crowded since it’s so popular! Large groups may want to call ahead to inquire about how busy the restaurant is or order to-go meals.
Address: 67 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 894-0865
Se7en Bites was opened in 2013 by partners Trina Gregory-Propst and Va Propst. The restaurant’s delicious pastries and Southern-influenced fare became so popular that it soon upsized to a larger space in Orlando’s hip Milk District in 2016. Even in a bigger space, lines are still out the door for their delectable biscuits and gravy, chocolate pecan pies, and fried chicken. Keep in mind, Se7en Bites is exceptionally popular for weekend breakfast and brunch, so expect to have a long wait.
Address: 617 Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0727
Places to Shop
Orlando has wonderful local businesses to choose from for any of your shopping needs. From vintage clothing stores and record shops to businesses filled with handmade home goods and artisan jewelry, Orlando has plenty of stores where you can find something you love. Organize your shopping itinerary by district and leave the navigation up to your bus driver. If you’re planning to stop at several shopping areas, you can securely store your shopping bounty on your charter bus.
Here are just a few LGBTQ-friendly local shops to add to your itinerary:
College Park Main Street District
Curated collections of locally-made gifts, home goods, and accessories.
Address: 2812 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: (407) 988-3630
Upscale consignment shop with luxury goods including clothing, jewelry, and perfume.
Address: 2110 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804
Audubon Park Main Street District
Boutique store offering vintage clothing and retro home decor.
Address: 3106 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (321) 300-6957
Park Avenue CDs
Music store with a wide selection of vinyl records, CDs, and merch spanning all genres.
Address: 2916 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 447-7275
Mills 50 Main Street and Winter Park District
Quantum Leap Winery
Local eco-friendly winery with a tasting room and wine on tap.
Address: 1312 Wilfred Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 730-3082
Luna Mosaic Arts
Arts and crafts supply store that hosts workshops and sells pieces from local artists.
Address: 813 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 930-0750
Where to Enjoy Nightlife
From chic rooftop clubs to Christmas-themed bars, Orlando has a busy and unique nightlife scene. Whether you’re partying it up on vacation or you’re celebrating a birthday, reserve a minibus rental with a pro driver to serve as your DD all night. Although beloved spots like Pulse and Parliament House have closed their doors, there are still quite a few gay bars and LGBTQ-friendly locations around Orlando. Get ready for a fun night out and have your bus driver shuttle your group to these nightlife spots:
Named for the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City, Stonewall Bar opened in 2007 and has been a nightlife staple for Orlando’s LGBTQ community ever since. This laidback bar has three dancefloors, a second-story patio, pool tables, and drink specials you can’t beat. Stonewall also hosts weekly events like drag performances, open mic nights, and karaoke.
Address: 741 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805
Phone: (407) 373-0888
If dancing the night away is on your agenda, Southern Nights is where you want to be! This inclusive club has multiple lively rooms and a patio with DJs spinning a variety of music all night long. Southern Nights hosts special nights throughout the week, including themed dance parties where guests are encouraged to wear costumes, drag shows, and recurring events like Girl The Party every Saturday.
Address: 375 S Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 412-5039
Savoy is the perfect bar for groups who want to relax, have a few drinks on the patio, snack on pub bites, and play pool. Weekends are always the busiest nights, and you’ll find musical performances, go-go-dancers, and drag queens gracing the stage.
Address: 1913 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: (407) 898-676
Plan Your Group Trip to Orlando Today
Whenever you’re ready to book your transportation for your Orlando trip, a Florida Charter Bus Company rep will be happy to help. When you call, you’ll be able to request a bus outfitted with amenities to make your trip as comfortable as possible. Call the Florida CBC team at 321-206-6444 to find the best type of transportation for your trip to Orlando’s LGBTQ+ hot spots.
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