DETAILSFort Lauderdale

Sunday, May 15, 2005

GETTING THERE: JetBlue flies nonstop from Dulles to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for $153 round trip. United, Spirit and other carriers offer rates for less than $175 from Dulles and Reagan National (prices tend to run higher in the peak winter season). Taxis into the city run about $18, but since the attractions are spread out, you're best off renting a car.

WHERE TO STAY: There are more than two dozen gay hotels and guesthouses scattered around the city. Most cater largely to men, but women are welcome as well.

The Royal Palms (2901 Terramar St., 800-237-7256, ) is a deluxe 12-room property two blocks from the beach with large, nicely furnished rooms with kitchenettes. Rates for doubles, including buffet breakfast and cocktails, start at $179 a night. Around the corner is the Grand Resort and Spa (539 N. Birch Rd., 800-818-1211, ), an attractive 34-room property with a full-service spa, pool, hot tub and complimentary buffet breakfast. The rooms are spacious and the garden lovely. From May 1 to Dec. 22, standard doubles start at $95 a night.

For budget travelers, the 10-room Alhambra Resort (3021 Alhambra St., 877-309-4014, ) has basic but clean rooms. The gay beach is a couple of blocks away. Doubles go for $69 a night between May 16 and Dec. 15.

Prefer larger properties? The Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel (312 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., 888-627-7109, ) is gay-friendly and right across from the beach. Doubles start at $89 a night.

WHERE TO EAT: Galanga Thai Kitchen & Sushi Bar (2389 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-202-0000) serves superb Thai specialties and seafood in a romantic setting. The curries and sushi are particularly tasty. Dinner for two, with a couple of beers, will run around $65.

Hamburger Mary's (2449 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-567-1320, ) has a lively, campy atmosphere and way-above-average burgers and fries. Lunch for two runs around $20. The Floridian (1410 E. Las Olas, 954-463-4041), with solid diner fare, is the place to be on Sunday mornings. A platter of eggs, toast and coffee runs around $20 for two.

For a splurge, you won't go wrong at Trina (601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., 954-567-8070, ), in the new oceanfront Atlantic Hotel. The grilled fish and chicken dishes are best. If the prices (around $110 for a dinner for two, with dessert and a couple of glasses of wine) are too steep, pop in for a tropical cocktail.

CLUBS: Georgie's Alibi (2266 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-565-2526, ), a casual sports and video bar, is an excellent place to start the night. Beers run for around $4. If you're up for dancing, slide over to Boom (2232 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-630-3556), a few doors down, where the music is good and the crowd eclectic.

On Sundays from around 5 p.m. on, the Babylon T Dance (111 SW Second Ave., 954-522-0733, ) is the party to catch, with hot dancers on the bar and cool music. Admission $5 before 7 p.m., $7 afterward. Drinks run around $4.50.


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