Be dazzled by the captivating world of drag shows in Florida! From the widespread fame of RuPaul’s Drag Race to the ongoing discussions about state laws, drag queens and drag kings have become the talk of the town. They effortlessly command the spotlight, bringing a radiant sparkle and showcase the stunning beauty and positive impact of drag as an art form within our local communities.
Not only do drag shows bring revenue into restaurants and clubs to help boost the local economy but many drag performers, like South Florida’s Athena Dion (@athenadion), partner with charitable organizations to support a number of worthwhile causes. Florida is even home to the nonprofit, Rose Dynasty Foundation (featured photo), which is dedicated to giving back to the community through its annual drag queen pageant and various other events.
In addition to helping the local community, drag shows are just plain fun to watch! And Florida is one of the best places to catch a memorable performance. Florida drag queens bring the heat and glam from coast to coast, as our state is home to some of the most vibrant drag shows in the United States.
Read on to learn more about drag’s rich history, as well as the best spots in the state to see your favorite drag performers. If you are a drag performer or know one who should be on the list, please use our drag performer submission form.
Background of Florida Drag Queens
From the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to today’s TV shows, drag performers have long been entertaining audiences. Drag emerged in the United States around the 1800s, and by the early 1900s, drag shows were being performed in cabarets and theaters across the country.
Throughout the 20th century, you could find drag queens in vaudeville and burlesque shows, on television, and in movies too. The US Army even raised funds during World War II with a film in which male soldiers played both female and male roles – costumes and all.
Drag shows in the state are said to have originated in Miami in the 1940s when drag queens would entertain eager tourists in secret clubs. Unfortunately, drag performers had a slow start in Florida, with the passage of anti-crossdressing laws in the 50s. However, by the 1990s, the shifting culture of the state, as well as the flamboyantly funny, South Beach-based film, The Birdcage, helped usher in a renewal of interest in drag shows.
Today, you can go nearly anywhere in the state and you won’t be far away from a drag show. From Pensacola to Key West, drag queens and kings are taking the stage to wow audiences with incredible costumes, dance numbers, acrobatics, and more.
Florida Drag Shows and Drag Queens By Region
Drag Shows In South Florida
Be sure to stop by the Palace Bar in Miami Beach. A local favorite for three decades, this world-famous venue offers drag shows and drag brunches seven days a week and boasts a roster of nearly two dozen drag queens, including the popular Tiffany T. Fantasia (@tiffanyfantasia). They even saw one of their own queens, Malaysia Babydoll Foxx (@foxxy_doll), grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race!
Neighboring Fort Lauderdale is no stranger to the drag scene. Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar in Wilton Manors features an exciting variety of drag shows, including cabaret and karaoke nights hosted by beloved queens like Missy Meyakie LePaige (@missymeyakielepaige) and T.P. Lords (@tplords). And Lips Drag Queen Show Palace takes drag to another level with lively dinner theater shows six nights a week.
Wherever you find drag queens in South Florida, you’ll also find high-energy performances, colorful costumes, and unforgettable shows. Start planning your South Florida stay today!
Drag Shows In Key West
The shows at Aqua Nightclub, voted best in Key West, feature some of the most colorful and entertaining acts around. Jessica Deveraux (@jessicadeveraux), Epiphany (@epiphanygetpaid), and the legendary Maya Montana (@missmayamontana) are just a few of the cast of talented queens known as The Aquanettes.
Don’t miss the fun at 801 Bourbon Bar in Key West. Their cabaret is the longest running drag show in the keys, and is hosted by Sushi (@sushikeywest), of CNN “red shoe drop” fame. They also offer weekly drag karaoke, as well as charity drag bingo nights.
La Te Da’s weekly cabaret shows dazzle audiences with spectacular performances five days a week, but still keeps a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The reigning queens, Randy Roberts and Christopher Peterson, put on all-live shows filled with musical showstoppers and side splitting comedy. Looking for a bed or a bite? La Te Da also has a hotel and restaurant.
Looking for other accommodations? Plan your Key West stay today!
Drag Shows In Tampa Bay
Drag shows in the Tampa Bay area are not to be missed! From brunches to charity bingo to a dedicated drag show venue, you’ll find a variety of drag shows to enjoy.
Southern Nights Tampa in Ybor City delivers regular drag shows every Friday and Saturday, hosted by house diva Jade Embers (@jadeembers), as well as drag competitions on Wednesdays.
Also check out the Diva Royale Drag Show, which offers a unique combination of dining and drag performance. Enjoy the delightful Drag Queen Diva and her celebrity Diva Drag Queens, including Madonna and Nicki Minaj. Diva Royale will even bring the show to your doorstep with private events! This show is so popular you can find its sister acts in Orlando and Key West.
Quench Lounge in Largo is known for its weekly drag shows. With a wide variety of entertainment, ranging from Big Gay Trivia hosted by Miranda to showtunes karaoke with the lovely Rockell Blue (@rockellblu), there’s a show for everyone’s taste. While in Largo, you will not want to miss the chance to experience the energy of The Lady’s Room and witness firsthand the remarkable talent and charisma of both the host, Mister Cister, and the dazzling drag queens and drag kings who grace the stage. The Lady’s Room is one of the few lesbian bars in Florida.
Be sure to follow Tampa Bay favorite, Brianna Summers (@brianna_summers0320)! She hosts a variety of events in St Petersburg, Tampa and beyond, including drag brunches at Neptunes and The Salty Nun in St. Pete. Brianna also co-hosts the popular Drag Talent Show at Enigma, along with DJ Greg Anderson, who is a regular at local drag events.
Cocktail St. Pete brings the heat with their Fresh Start Drag Showcase, hosted by Adriana Sparkle (@adrianasparkle_) and Aquarius (@sirmeow). While you’re in the neighborhood, check out the various drag events at Zoie’s, the recent winner of Watermark’s WAVE award for favorite local food and drink. Don’t miss their Dine n’ Drag nights, featuring local queens like the amazing Angelique Young (@dncndiva). Additionally, their monthly cabaret variety shows showcase a number of local performers including drag king, Mister Cister (@mistercister).
Further south, Sarasota has two regular drag queen bingo offerings at popular local haunts, McCurdy’s Comedy Theater with Beneva Fruitville (@benevaf) and the Bahi Hut with Georgia.
Ready to discover what Tampa Bay has to offer? Plan your trip today.
Drag Shows In Southwest Florida
Though mostly known for its quiet beaches and retirement communities, Southwest Florida is no stranger to the drag scene! You’ll discover a treasure trove of quality acts when you visit this travel destination.
The Standard Restaurant in Fort Myers offers two locations with wildly popular weekly drag events, including drag queen bingo nights and karaoke brunches. Many of their drag shows benefit local charities. Another neighborhood favorite, Rascal’s Bar, holds monthly drag events showcasing the talents of many queens and kings.
Down in Naples, Bambusa Bar offers two drag bingo nights and a drag cabaret every week. It’s also the perfect place to catch local darling Alyssa Lemay (@missalyssalemay), along with her Bambusa Babes at their Saturday night shows. On the first Sunday of every month, you can refuel with a delicious drag brunch at CAVO Lounge, hosted by resident favorites like Lisa Renee (@mislisarenee).
Want to see what else Southwest Florida has to offer? Check out our regional travel resources.
Drag Shows In Central Florida
The drag scene in Central Florida brings the heat with a wide range of fabulous events!
National Bearded Empress Emeritus, Bearonce Bear (@bearoncebear), hosts a drag brunch the first Saturday of every month at The Dog House in Tavares, also featuring the popular Natalia Taylor (@natalia_at_nite.).
Drag shows at Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando are a must-see, with five different events a week. “Gayme” night is always a hit. And you can’t miss their award-winning Sunday Broadway Brunches, hosted by Orlando’s sweetheart Mimi Lierre (@mimilierre) and Angel Sheridan.
Twisted Tuesdays (@twistedtuesdaysorlando), the region’s hottest talent contest, takes place at Southern Nights Orlando and is hosted by the delightfully androgynous Axel Andrews (@axelandrews88).
While you’re in the area, stop by Savoy Orlando for Wednesday bingo, hosted by Chantel Rashae (@), and stunning drag shows every Friday and Sunday night, featuring local favorites like April Fresh (@aprilfreshdrag) and Destiny’s Fantasy (@destin.2.b).
Want to experience one of these spectacular Central Florida drag shows? Plan your stay today!
Drag Shows In Space Coast
Drag shows on the Space Coast are out of this world! From Daytona Beach to Melbourne, you’ll find an array of stellar performers and venues.
Illusions Drag Show in Daytona is a delightful combination of comedy, burlesque, and fine dining. Queens entertain crowds with celebrity impressions and stunning performances.
Enjoy sky-high entertainment when Hamburger Mary’s Daytona Beach hosts their monthly drag brunch at Sky Rooftop Bar. Keep an eye out for local favorites like Aaliyah Nouveau (@aaliyah.nouveau).
Just down the coast, The Dunes Cocoa Beach is a new, inclusive bar and restaurant that hosts monthly drag brunches featuring local favorites like Kitana Gemini (@kitana_gemini) and the performers of Haus of Mystic (@hausofmystic.entertainment).
You’ll feel like part of the drag family at The Twisted Rooster in Melbourne, which offers a friendly atmosphere and multiple shows a week, including bingo and karaoke nights. Patrons can enjoy watching a variety of entertainers, like King Sparkles Capri (@king_sparkles_capri) and Anita Bettername (@anita.bettername).
If you’re ready to explore the Space Coast, use our regional map to find accommodations and more!
Drag Shows In North Florida
North Florida is a quieter part of the state for drag events, but they’re still aplenty. Despite recent legislation in Tallahassee, performers and audiences are still coming together to embrace the joy of drag performances.
Jacksonville’s most popular LGBTQ nightclub, Incahoots, brings thrilling shows six nights a week, featuring performers like Miss Glamorous 2023, Sofia Andrews (@sofiaandrews) and Miss Gay United States Icon 2023, Jordyn Sinclair.
St. Augustine is known for its rich history, but did you know the city also has a vibrant nightlife? Many local breweries partner with House of Prism, a local LGBTQ organization, to host drag queen bingo events throughout the year.
A quick trip inland will bring you to University Club, Gainesville’s first LGBTQ bar. It’s a great place to catch an amazing drag show and see local favorites like Rachel Boheme (@thequeenofenvy)!
Find more travel tips for your Northern Florida vacation.
Drag Shows In The Florida Panhandle
If you think the Panhandle can’t handle drag. Think again! This region has a number of drag shows to offer!
The beloved Fort Walton Beach coffee shop, The Sound Cafe, offers monthly drag brunches featuring the fabulous drag queens and kings of the Haus of Delphinium (@hausofdelphinium).
In Pensacola, The Cabaret is a popular drag show venue known for presenting a variety of spectacular events. Some of the popular performers here include Kendyll Michaels (@kendyllmichaels) and Dee Ranged.
Splash Bar in Panama City is famous for its spectacular drag shows and celebrity cameos, including contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race like Season 12’s Jan Sport (@janjanjan).
In Tallahassee, 926 Bar & Grill, one of a small number of LGBTQ friendly bars in town, features drag shows as a part of their Friday Night Dance Parties and monthly Latin Nights.
Ready for a visit? Use our Panhandle travel guides to help plan your stay!
Whether you’re living large at an electrifying drag pageant in South Florida or taking in a casual weekend drag brunch in the Panhandle, you’re destined to have a fabulous time.
Drag shows in Florida are a timeless treat and a staple of our state’s entertainment industry. Show your support for the drag queens and drag kings in Florida by visiting a show near you soon!
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.