LGBTQ-Friendly Travel Guide to Lake Worth Beach

Travel Guide to Lake Worth Beach

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Lake Worth Beach, located by the tranquil Lake Worth Lagoon and part of the larger Palm Beaches region, is a versatile destination appealing to all sorts of travelers, including the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or a history aficionado, Lake Worth Beach offers a mix of experiences to cherish. Its charm lies in the perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, historical significance, and delectable dining options.

The beach welcomes sun-seekers and snorkelers alike, while the downtown area bustles with artistic energy, showcasing local talent through galleries and street art. History buffs can explore the historic district and visit the Lake Worth Historical Museum, while foodies can savor diverse cuisine options. 

In this travel guide, we’ve organized your Lake Worth Beach adventure into key sections to help you plan your visit effectively. 

Beach entrance to Lake Worth Beach

How to Get There: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Getting to Lake Worth Beach is a breeze, whether you prefer planes, trains, or automobiles.

By Plane: Arriving by air is a hassle-free option, thanks to the proximity of Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). Located just a short drive from Lake Worth Beach, PBI offers a convenient gateway for travelers coming from various destinations.

By Train: Lake Worth Beach is well-connected to nearby cities through the Tri-Rail commuter rail service. If you prefer a scenic journey or are traveling from nearby locations, this rail network provides a convenient and eco-friendly transportation choice.

By Automobile: For those who enjoy the freedom of the open road, Lake Worth Beach is easily accessible via major highways like I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike. These well-maintained routes offer straightforward and direct access to this charming beachside destination, making your road trip an enjoyable experience from start to finish.

How LGBTQ-Friendly is Lake Worth Beach?

Lake Worth Beach, Florida, has earned a reputation as a welcoming and LGBTQ-friendly destination, making history by declaring it the first official LGBTQ+ sanctuary city. This designation reflects the city’s commitment to inclusivity and tolerance. South Florida, known for its progressive values compared to other parts of the state, has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ rights for decades.

Palm Beach Pride – Presented by Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center, Palm Beach Pride is a family-friendly two-day festival and parade held in Bryant Park in Downtown Lake Worth Beach. The event features vendors from across the country offering information and merchandise, with a focus on local performers and talent. Attendees can also enjoy a variety of refreshment options, including food trucks, vendors, and specialty beverages, as well as elements like the Pride Parade, a Youth village, and activities for senior community members.

Compass Community Center – With nearly 35 years of dedicated service, the Compass LGBTQ+ Community Center stands as the longest continuously operating LGBTQ+ Community Center in South Florida, serving the entire Palm Beach County. As a vital resource hub, Compass offers an inclusive and supportive space where individuals from all walks of life can access a diverse range of empowering programs, resources, and community events in Lake Worth Beach. Committed to fostering connection and support, Compass provides essential services and resources for LGBTQ+ individuals and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

History of Lake Worth Beach

Lake Worth Beach, has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1913. Originally known as “Lake Worth,” the city was named after the nearby Lake Worth Lagoon, which itself was named after General William J. Worth, a military commander during the Second Seminole War.

Over the years, Lake Worth developed into a coastal community known for its diverse culture. It became a popular destination for tourists and residents, drawn to its beautiful beaches, cultural events, and historic neighborhoods.

One significant development in Lake Worth’s history occurred in 2019 when the city officially changed its name to “Lake Worth Beach.” This name change aimed to emphasize its coastal identity and highlight the city’s stunning beachfront, which has long been one of its most iconic features. It also aimed to distinguish Lake Worth Beach from other municipalities with similar names in Florida.

Today, Lake Worth Beach stands as a welcoming community that continues to evolve while preserving its historical charm. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy the city’s beautiful beaches, thriving arts and culture scene, and a wide range of recreational opportunities, making it a beloved destination along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Welcoming Accommodations Near Lake Worth Beach

When it comes to accommodations, Lake Worth Beach offers a variety of options to suit your preferences and budget. You can choose from charming boutique hotels, beachfront resorts, cozy bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals.

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach – This Four Season Resort Palm Beach offers a luxurious and tranquil retreat near Lake Worth Beach. Nestled along the pristine oceanfront, it provides guests with world-class amenities, impeccable service, and breathtaking views, making it an idyllic destination for relaxation and indulgence.

Hampton Inn West Palm Beach-Lake Worth-Turnpike – Located in Lake Worth Beach and conveniently close to the Turnpike, this Hampton Inn offers comfortable accommodations with easy access to the attractions of West Palm Beach. With modern amenities and friendly service, it’s a top choice for both leisure and business travelers exploring the South Florida region.

Mango Inn Bed and Breakfast – This B&B is a charming retreat that offers cozy accommodations, a serene tropical garden, and a delicious breakfast to enhance your stay. Experience the perfect blend of comfort and hospitality in our tranquil oasis, situated moments away from the energetic attractions of Lake Worth Beach.

Spacious Beach Bungalow – Tucked away in Lake Worth, mere steps from the beach, you’ll find this inviting Spacious Beach Bungalow, offering a cozy living room, a well-equipped kitchen, and two comfortable bedrooms. Enjoy a leisurely picnic right on the property or take a short stroll to Lake Worth Beach Park. With a location this convenient, you’ll also discover a wealth of nearby attractions waiting to be explored.


Restaurant Recommendations in Lake Worth Beach

Lake Worth Beach’s dining scene is a mix of flavors and cuisines, catering to a wide range of tastes. Whether you’re craving seafood, international dishes, or classic American fare, you’ll find it in Lake Worth Beach. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, allowing you to savor your meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

For seafood lovers, the local catch is a must-try. Freshly caught fish and shrimp dishes are prepared to perfection at various waterfront eateries. Don’t forget to try the renowned Florida stone crab, a delicacy in this region.

Benny’s on the Beach is a cherished Lake Worth Beach dining landmark offering stunning ocean views in both of their locations. Chef Hanlon’s innovative approach and commitment to quality ingredients lead to an ever-evolving menu inspired by his world travels, ensuring there’s something for every palate. 

Lilo’s Streetfood & Bar is a culinary gem celebrated for its delectable street food-inspired dishes and welcoming atmosphere, known for its LGBTQ+ friendly environment. With its creative cocktails and flavorful offerings, it’s a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts seeking unique flavors in an animated setting.

Rustico Italiano Ristorante in Lake Worth Beach, FL, is the place to be for Italian food. From traditional pasta dishes to savory pizzas, it’s the perfect place to indulge in classic Italian flavors in a cozy setting.

Malakor Thai Cafe in West Palm Beach is a beloved LGBTQ-owned neighborhood favorite in Northwood Village. Their menu features a wide array of authentic Thai dishes, from classic pad Thai to savory curries and fresh salads, offering something for every palate. With a welcoming ambiance is the perfect place to enjoy the tastes of Thailand in West Palm Beach.

Table 26 Palm Beach, proudly LGBTQ-owned, is a culinary haven known for its finest quality cuisine featuring global home-style comfort food in an upscale yet casual environment. This restaurant offers a diverse menu that caters to all tastes and is a must-visit for a memorable dining experience in the LGBTQ-owned dining scene.

Fresh Seafood Markets Near Lake Worth Beach

If you’re looking to savor the freshest catches of the day or perhaps try your hand at preparing a seafood feast, Lake Worth Beach has a few seafood markets that cater to your cravings.

Neptune Fish Market is your seafood haven, offering a variety of crab, clams, lobster, oysters, crawfish, and a diverse selection of fresh fish. Whether you’re in the mood for succulent crab legs, briny oysters, or the finest lobsters, they’ve got you covered. Explore Neptune Fish Market to elevate your seafood culinary creations

Independent Seafoods have been supplying fresh and frozen seafood to Florida’s top establishments since 1972. As a family-operated business with a history of reliable service, they take pride in offering you the highest quality seafood at competitive prices. Independent Seafoods deliver exceptional seafood, ensuring your culinary creations are always a hit.

Nightlife Around Lake Worth Beach

As the sun sets, Lake Worth Beach transforms into a hub of nightlife activity. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bar for a relaxing drink, live music venues for entertainment, or clubs for dancing, Lake Worth Beach’s nightlife has it all. Note: these bars do not cater to LGBTQ+ patrons but all are welcome to enjoy the fun.

Hullabaloo is a welcoming local gastropub that’s LGBTQ+ friendly. They offer a wide variety of craft beers, cocktails, wine, and delicious dishes created by Executive Chef Fritz Cassel. You can dine indoors, right by their open kitchen with a wood-fired stone oven and a bar with ample seating or sit outdoors on the patio. Make sure to snap a photo inside their trendy vintage Airstream camper. In addition to their delicious food and drinks, Hullabaloo hosts exciting evening events that add to the fun.

Harry’s Banana FARM is the ideal destination if you’re wanting to hang out with the townies in Lake Worth Beach, FL. This legendary 60-year-old bar in Lake Worth Beach has been serving as a beloved local gathering spot for decades. Recently named the best neighborhood bar in Pal, Harry’s is not only a testament to the town’s rich history but also a hub for community connection and camaraderie. Come and experience the welcoming atmosphere and tropical vibes that have made Harry’s Banana FARM a cherished part of Lake Worth Beach’s scene.

Rudy’s Pub is the quintessential neighborhood gathering spot where you’ll find friendly faces, great drinks, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. This pub is not only known for its laid-back charm but also for hosting fantastic live music, making it the perfect place to unwind, enjoy a drink or two, and groove to some tunes while soaking in the local vibes.

Things To Do & See In Lake Worth Beach

Nestled in the heart of Palm Beach County, Lake Worth Beach offers a vibrant blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and eclectic urban vibes for explorers and locals alike. From its pristine beaches and historic downtown to a diverse array of artistic endeavors, this coastal city presents a myriad of activities and sights, ensuring every visit is brimming with adventure and relaxation.

Lake Worth Lagoon – One of the defining features of this city is the beautiful Lake Worth Lagoon, a stunning body of water that stretches for miles along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. This lagoon is a haven for water enthusiasts, offering activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating. Explore the mangrove-lined shores and keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, and a variety of bird species.

John Prince Park – For those who appreciate the outdoors, John Prince Park is a must-visit destination. This sprawling park covers over 700 acres and offers a range of recreational opportunities. Take a leisurely stroll through the scenic trails, enjoy a picnic by the lake, or challenge your friends to a game of volleyball or disc golf. The park is also equipped with playgrounds and a fishing pier, making it an ideal spot for families.

Snorkeling at Lake Worth Beach – Lake Worth Beach is not your typical beach destination. Beyond its pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, this beach is a hub for snorkeling enthusiasts. Dive beneath the surface and explore the colorful marine life that inhabits the nearshore reefs. You’ll encounter lively fish, seahorses, and even the occasional sea turtle. Don’t forget your snorkeling gear; it’s an underwater adventure you won’t want to miss.

Snook Islands Natural Area – This natural oasis covers 118 acres and serves as a wetland restoration project amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. It has created thriving habitats, including 11 acres of mangroves and 2 acres of oyster reefs along the Lake Worth Lagoon’s shoreline. Visitors can enjoy public amenities such as a boardwalk, kayak launch, and floating dock while observing local wildlife like the American oystercatcher, common snook, green sea turtle, and West Indian manatee. Parking is limited so make sure to park within Bryant Park.

Downtown Lake Worth Beach – Beach Lake Worth Beach’s downtown area is a hub of cultural diversity and artistic expression. It boasts a thriving arts scene, an array of unique shops, and a wide selection of dining experiences. Every corner you turn in this enchanting downtown area reveals a fresh adventure, inviting you to immerse yourself in its rich cultural tapestry. The community here warmly embraces individuality and creativity, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a dynamic cultural experience.

Lake Worth Beach Playhouse – For a dose of performing arts, the Lake Worth Beach Playhouse is a must-visit venue. This historic theater hosts a wide range of productions, from classic plays to contemporary performances. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local cultural scene and enjoy a night of entertainment.

Lake Worth Playhouse

Lake Worth Historical Museum – The museum, located in Historic Lake Worth Beach, offers an intriguing exploration of the city’s vibrant history through exhibits and artifacts. This museum provides a fascinating window into the community’s cultural heritage and development, shedding light on the people and events that have shaped Lake Worth Beach over time. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the area’s past, a visit here promises an educational and engaging experience connecting the present with the city’s rich history.

Bryant Park – Interested in a leisurely stroll? Bryan Park is not only a serene park with a scenic view of the Intracoastal Waterway but also home to the historic Bryant Park Bandshell. This iconic structure hosts free concerts, events, and festivals throughout the year, allowing visitors to experience Lake Worth Beach’s cultural heritage firsthand.

City Hall AKA The First Schoolhouse – Step back in time and explore the history of Lake Worth Beach at the First Schoolhouse site, where education in the town began in 1912. This initial frame building, measuring twenty-four by thirty-six feet, welcomed twenty-four eager pupils. In 1916, it was replaced by the concrete building that now serves as the City Hall, reminding us of Lake Worth’s enduring dedication to education and community.

Annual Events In Lake Worth Beach

Lake Worth Beach is host to various events throughout the year. We have already mentioned Palm Beach Pride but here is a sampling of additional events worth noting. Put them on your calendar and plan your next visit to Lake Worth Beach around them.

Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival – If your visit coincides with this annual event, you’re in for a visual treat. The Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival turns the streets of Lake Worth Beach into an open-air gallery, where talented artists transform the pavement into intricate and colorful chalk art masterpieces. It’s a unique event that draws visitors from all over.

Lake Worth Beach Bonfires – Every first and third Friday, from November through February, the Lake Worth Beach Bonfires at the Lake Worth Beach Casino & Beach Complex illuminate the sandy shores with warmth and festivity. These family-friendly gatherings offer a perfect chance for children to toast marshmallows (don’t forget to bring your s’mores kit). With live entertainment and a crackling bonfire, Lake Worth Beach becomes an inviting destination for families to enjoy.

The International Gay Polo Tournament – Held annually at the National Polo Center in Wellington, FL, this popular event celebrates the sport of polo while fostering a sense of community and promoting LGBTQ+ inclusivity. This unique tournament showcases the talents of both amateur and professional polo players, drawing spectators and participants from diverse backgrounds.

Discover Lake Worth Beach

Lake Worth Beach, Florida, is a destination that promises an unforgettable adventure, with something to suit every traveler’s interests. Whether you’re in pursuit of natural wonders, cultural experiences, historical landmarks, or culinary delights, Lake Worth Beach has you covered. Plan your trip wisely using the sections outlined in this travel guide, and embark on an enriching journey through this captivating city in Palm Beach County.

**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.

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june, 2024

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