Despite its Bible Belt location, and Republican home-state, Gay Dallas has one of the most vibrant queer communities you are ever likely to encounter. Diverse, genuinely warm, creative and just a little wild – the ‘Big D’ will not disappoint…
One of the biggest cities in the United States, Dallas is a larger-than-life metropolis filled with cowboys and cheerleaders, conspicuous consumption and money. But there is also note-worthy architecture, a flourishing arts district, sophisticated dining and distinctive neighbourhoods worth exploring.
Of these the Oak Lawn gaybourhood with its gay and gay-friendly bars, restaurants and stores centred along Cedar Springs Road will be the most interesting to queer travellers – but the down-and-dirty Deep Ellum, revitalised downtown, upscale Bishop Arts District and low profile North Fitzhugh are also worth exploring.
With more than two dozen gay bars and clubs to chose from, you’ll never be bored in Dallas – no matter what day of the week you are visiting. Central Dallas – and especially the Oak Lawn neighbourhood – is a tolerant, open-minded haven in otherwise deep-red Texas, which has cultivated a very active and visible LGBT community.
Here cowboys, gays, hipsters, artists, and energy sector business types all live, work, and play in harmony – creating the multicultural ambience that makes Dallas just so irresistible.
However, politics can still be a touchy subject as gay acceptance, and the overarching socially conservative zeitgeist in Texas is complicated. We found people in Gay Dallas were welcoming and by-and-large accepting, but ‘the Christian question’ does pop up. We found Dallas has distinct dual identities – that of a diverse, innovative, big-business urban energy powerhouse and that of a conservative town, deeply rooted in Christian faith.
This perceived threat from this ‘conservative right’ forces queer people in Dallas to “take politics more seriously” than those of other gay-friendly cities like Madrid, San Fran, Tel Aviv, or Melbourne.
In many ways, however, this activism and vigilance make the LGBT community of Dallas just that much more connected and lively with a proliferation of gay events, venues and organisations for queer people to lean on each other. So you can begin to understand what a paradox Gay Dallas represents in that its vibrant queer scene is a reaction to the hostilities of its surroundings.
For those wanting to lets their rainbow shine, Dallas today has plenty of loud dive bars, tranquil Happy Hour patios, and cocktail spots to explore. Later at night, there is also a vast range of gay dance clubs where drag queens, cowboys, leather daddies, butch lesbians, and dance freaks all come together to live and be free.
All this – along with world-class attractions, an innovative food scene, and fascinating history, and you too will decide Dallas makes a fabulous albeit slightly unconventional gay holiday destination. So grab your best glitter cowboy boots and get ready to party in the Lone Star State…
Are you relocating? This guide will help travelers discover the queerer side of the city. However, if you are lucky enough to be considering a move here, we recommend reading our article about moving to LGBT Dallas or getting in touch with a local gay realtor. They can happily give you no-obligation advice and all the information you’ll ever need to know about your new city. And if you then want their help to find your dream home, you are guaranteed fair, equal, and honest representation. No surprises or awkward conversations necessary!
Are you relocating? This guide will help travelers discover the queerer side of the city. However, if you are lucky enough to be considering a move here, we recommend getting in touch with a local gay realtor. They can happily give you no-obligation advice and all the information you'll ever need to know about your new city. And if you then want their help to find your dream home, you are guaranteed fair, equal, and honest representation. No surprises or awkward conversations necessary!
Gay Dallas Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Dallas Texas
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Dallas
Being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city, and generally, gay tourists will simply want to check out the top things to see in Dallas during the day! While central Dallas is relatively safe and liberal, we would still advise gay travellers to take precautions concerning public displays of affection – especially later at night. San Fran, Key West or Seattle, this is not.
If you are exploring more rural areas of Texas – well, be aware that most of the state is far more conservative. Don’t be too concerned; however, as hospitality in the South is just as important as church services, and we found most people in Dallas and Texas to be warm, sweet and welcoming to visitors.
There is so, so much to explore in this fun city, but here are just a few of our favourite things to do in Dallas! Fair warning, however, you are almost certainly going to want to rent a car…
Top Highlights Of Dallas
- Sightseeing Tour of Dallas – See Dallas’ highlights without getting lost with a guide and learn about the city’s history and culture as you go. Travelling with a guide who provides insider knowledge as you go, you’ll check out attractions such as Pioneer Plaza, Dallas City Hall (designed by I.M. Pei), the Dallas Arts District, and Dealey Plaza, where JKF was shot. Plus, choose a morning or afternoon departure time to fit this tour into your schedule easily. The perfect introduction for first-time visitors to Dallas.
- The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – With 66 acres of beautiful grounds to explore, there’s no shortage of surprises here at one of the world’s top botanical gardens. There are also unique rotating displays four times a year, delivering breathtaking colour for visitors from March through November.
- Wine & Chocolate Happy Hour Tour – A 2 1/2 hour walking tour stops at three winery tasting rooms and three chocolate specialty shops along historic Main Street. Experience a variety of wine, chocolate and cheese pairings with wines from Texas and around the world and chocolate from local chocolatiers.
- Frontiers of Flight Museum – A world-class aerospace museum memorialising the pioneers of flight, from the 1920s, 30s, World War II and to the jet/rocket age of today in Dallas/Fort Worth.. the Aviation Capital of the World!
- Southfork Ranch and the Series Dallas Tour – Walk in the footsteps of the actors from the hit television series ‘Dallas’ on this tour of Southfork Ranch, where the show party takes place. Join a guide and a small group of 11 people or fewer to explore the grounds of the historic home, including a guided train ride through the property and a chance to see real Texas Longhorns.
- Dallas CityPASS – Discover the vibrant city of Dallas and gain free entry to a range of top attractions with a Dallas CityPASS. Every booklet includes free admission to the intriguing Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and the Reunion Tower. It is valid for nine days, allowing you to explore the city at your convenience. Choose to enjoy free admission to either the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum or a visit to the Dallas Zoo.
- Best of Fort Worth Historical Tour – Immerse yourself in the history of Fort Worth on this half-day historical tour from Dallas. Listen to your guide detail the history of the city’s birth in the 1840s to current day while travelling with a small group of just 15 people or fewer. Round-trip transportation is included from a centrally located meeting point, so you skip the hassle of renting a car from Dallas.
- Dallas Museum Of Art – One of the largest art museums in America, located in the arts district of downtown Dallas. The museum collection is made up of more than 24,000 objects, dating from the third millennium BC to the present day.
- Six Flags Over Texas – With so many choices, where do you begin? From pulse-pounding roller coasters to gentler options, entertaining shows and seasonal events this 212-acre (86 ha) theme park has it all. The first-ever Six Flags Theme Park with today has 45 attractions including 13 roller coasters and three water rides.
- Historic Downtown McKinney Food Tour – Explore the eateries and culture of McKinney’s historic downtown on a half-day food tour. Sample more than a dozen dishes including wood-fired pizza, gourmet sandwiches and chocolate, locally brewed beer, and wine. Soak in the sights between stops on a walking tour that proceeds at a leisurely pace with all food and drink tastings included.
- SEA LIFE Aquarium Dallas – Discover an incredible underwater world with a ticket to SEA LIFE Aquarium Dallas, where more than 5,000 sea creatures reside. See a horseshoe crab, marvel at translucent jellyfish and stroll beneath sharks in a transparent sea tunnel. Various talks and feedings take place throughout the day or take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about conservation and animal rescue efforts.
- Dallas’ Reunion Tower GeO-Deck – Get a bird’s eye view of Dallas during your visit to the Reunion Tower’s geO-Deck, where you’ll get 360-degree views of the epic urban landscape. Venture out onto the indoor/outdoor observation deck, check out sites from high-definition telescopes and see the best of this Texas city day or night!
- Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza – Discover the intriguing history of John F. Kennedy on a guided audio tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Explore the exhibits at your own pace with a pre-recorded audio guide and delve into the life, times, legacy and political achievements of one of America’s most popular presidents. See personal photographs of the Kennedy family; watch fascinating documentary footage to gain further insight into the political figure’s assassination, and learn about the crucial actions of a man that shaped the USA profoundly.
- Nasher Sculpture Center – See one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Take a guided, small-group tour of the facility, located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection showcases over 300 masterpieces and rotating exhibits as well as special exhibitions drawn from other museums and private collections.
- Dallas Cowboys Stadium Tour – Explore the Dallas Cowboys’ state-of-the-art football stadium. One of the most expensive sports venues ever built, the stadium boasts enormous video screens and deluxe amenities. Follow your guide through locales including the press box, private suites, locker rooms, post-game interview room, and even onto the field. If you love visiting gay sports bars, you’ll probably have an interest in this.
Gay Things to Do In Dallas
- Leather Masters – The top kinky store in Dallas specialising in BDSM and leather pieces with pieces for men and women. They offer their own unique designs and a great manufacturing department should you need something custom. Due to the change of atmosphere in Deep Ellum, they are currently moving to a new location which is yet to be announced.
- Cathedral of Hope – The world’s largest LGBT church located in Oak Lawn with a membership of over 4,000 local members. The postmodern cathedral was custom designed and is worth visiting regardless of faith – if only to see the 78-foot bell tower commemoration of HIV/AIDS victims. No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here.
- The Strip on Cedar Springs – Home to a diverse array of retail, nightlife, restaurants, accommodations and services, many with a strong queer focus. This vibrant and popular neighbourhood is also home to many community events and celebrations. It would be impossible to experience gay Dallas without stopping off here.
- Lucky’s Café – Gay Oak Lawn’s favourite diner, serving traditional home cooking with farm-fresh ingredients. In fast-paced and every changing Dallas, people seem to keep coming back to Luckys. Maybe it’s because they partner with local and regional farms. Or perhaps it’s because their menu offers delicious home-style favourites like chicken fried steak or buttermilk pancakes. Personally, we think it’s the ’50s-style throwback vibes, incredible service and respite from the chaos outside.
- Hunky’s – Another popular spot for gays on the Cedar Springs strip offering old fashion hamburgers, hot dogs, patty melts, shakes and cute boys.
- Condom Sense – A chain of boutique adult novelty stores in Dallas. You can shop here for over 8,000 unique adult products for lovers such as vibrators, novelties, lubricants, and massage oils. With three locations, including one on Cedar Springs Road, and some of the friendliest staff in the adult sex toy industry, this is the place to go for all your playful needs.
- Tape Lenders – A small independent video store providing Hollywood rental and gay adult and erotica. Their selection also includes magazines, adult toys, leather, aromas, lube, and a wide array of products to make the bedroom more pleasurable — part of the Texas Cedar Springs community since 1982.
- Skivvies – The USA’s largest men’s underwear store with dozens of name brands and hundreds of styles! Established in 2000 to sell the latest in fashion to the residents of Dallas and inspired by a combination of high fashion and new street trends. The place to go for the best gay underwear brands!
Annual Gay Events In Dallas
- Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade (February) – A spring festival and parade celebrating Mardi Gras with an Oak Cliff twist. The largest and most diverse annual event held in Oak Cliff where everyone from schools and churches to service organisations and neighbourhoods, celebrate with New Orleans flare. Not to be confused with Sydney Mardi Gras, there is also an elite Oak Cliff Masquerade Party held along with Dash for the Beads races.
- Texas Bear Round-Up (March) – The Dallas Bears’ Texas Bear Round-Up began circa 1995 with a hand full of Dallas Bears members coordinating their first event. The event was attended mostly by the Bear community in Texas. A small event with lots of fun, fur and frolic that has since grown wildly in numbers and purpose. Today the Texas Bear Round-Up is a large Bear family reunion and fundraiser weekend celebrating the bear community and those who identify themselves as bears, cubs, otters, and their admirers. Expect plenty of entertainment, dances, fun events, pool parties shopping, fun, and to make many new friends with over 1800 attendees.
- Dallas Purple Party (May) – The Purple Foundation raises funds for those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS; and improving the overall quality of life, health, and wellness of the Dallas LGBT community. Purple Foundation’s premier dance fundraiser, Purple Party Weekend, is a sensational weekend of dance events featuring electrifying visual performances and music by some of the world’s most popular DJs. Purple Party Weekend attracts dance-music lovers from all over the world and is the largest nonprofit, all-volunteer charity dance weekend in the United States. In addition to Purple Party Weekend, Purple Foundation produces several quarterly dance events at various Dallas venues.
- DFW Sisters Red Dress Party (May) – The biggest party of the year organised by the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence! Join the crowds in your best/sexiest, barely legal red attire and go a little crazy with the sisters. There is also a silent auction and sister swag available during the event, with all funds raised going to supporting their charitable causes throughout the year.
- Dallas Pride Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade + Music Festival (June) – The most significant annual LGBT event held in Dallas, recently moved somewhat controversially, to June and away from Oak Lawn to Fair Park! A fabulous celebration of queerness and diversity, while still embracing its political roots, it remains to be seen how these changes will affect Dallas Pride going forward. Either way expect plenty of rainbow flags, wild parties and glitter realness. Make sure you have your best pride outfits ready henny…
- Dallas Southern Pride (September) – The official annual celebration for Black lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer individuals to come together and celebrate who and what they are along with the essence and spirit of Black culture and richness. There will be a series of events and parties that include an Official Kickoff Party and Ball, as well as thousands of attendees. Dallas Her Pride is the official women’s host of Dallas Black Pride.
- Oaklawn Halloween Block Party (October) – A major events on the Dallas queer calendar that culminates in a fabulous party on the 3900 block of Cedar Springs. The event has featured a costume catwalk, with live commentary, music, food, beer and other refreshments along with a live DJ and performances! Admission to the street party is free.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Dallas Texas
In this relatively liberal city, you will not find any significant hotel that isn’t gay-friendly.
Being gay-friendly is about creating an environment of inclusiveness, where all people are treated equally, and diversity is welcomed and respected. Elegant design, helpful staff, and excellent value for money never hurt anyone, though! You won’t have to hide your same-sex relationship or sexuality when you check-in at any of these fabulous hotels — but you don’t have to declare it either.
While there are no exclusively gay hotels in Dallas, hotels in the Downtown are generally the most popular with gay guests wanting to explore the sites. For the ultimate experience of the LGBT nightlife scene in Dallas, we recommend staying in the Oak Lawn gaybourhood, which has a few hotels that are walking distance from the cities best queer nightlife. Otherwise, we recommend finding a hotel that is as central as possible to minimise travel time during the day or to the best nightlife spots after dark.
There are hundreds of other good hotel options in Dallas if you don’t find what you are looking for, but we are confident you’ll find something here for you. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying, or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Dallas as something for everyone!
- Warwick Melrose ☆☆☆☆☆ – Our favourite gay hotel in Dallas, this gorgeous hotel is supremely located in the Oak Lawn gaybourhood within walking distance to the best bars, clubs, shops and more. Nearly a century of Texas tradition radiates throughout this landmark hotel with a rich and fascinating history steeped in local culture and heritage. Built-in 192, the 184 guest rooms, 21 suites and extraordinary Presidential Suite have been beautifully updated while retaining their old-world elegance. Many accommodations offer the best views to be found in Dallas and all rooms further a legacy of comfort, style and glamour highlighted by some of the most famous names in history. From the vintage opulence of The Library piano bar to memories created in the Grand Ballroom, the impeccable Warwick service calls to mind an era when travel truly meant something special. Intimacy with a hint of grandeur. Classic yet contemporary. Warmth and luxury blended seamlessly. This is one stay you will never forget.
- Daisy Polk Inn ☆☆☆☆ – A historic bed and breakfast in the very heart of Dallas Oaklawn gaybourhood. The accommodations are warm and period-appropriate in the main house, built in 1910, while the cottage, built-in 1904, provides contemporary decor. At the Daisy Polk Inn, a continental breakfast is served complimentary and includes coffee or tea, juice, fruit and a house-made pastry of the day. Should you prefer a more substantial meal, you are welcome to order a full breakfast from the á la carte menu.
- Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek ☆☆☆☆☆ – A luxurious Uptown Dallas hotel tucked away in an exclusive oasis close to the gaybourhood. Originally a private residence, meticulously restored interiors honour the hotel’s heritage, and thoughtful, modern amenities make it the premier destination among Dallas luxury hotels. It also happens to be very popular with queer travellers who are looking for a unique hotel close by, but not in, the local gay scene.
- W Dallas ☆☆☆☆☆ – Big & Bold. Just like Texas. If you are interested in a gay-friendly hotel without being in the heart of the scene, this Dallas outpost of the fabulous W Hotel chain could be just the answer. After a day exploring Dallas, get in your workout the 24/7 gym or make a splash in their refreshing pool. Need a quick bite? Comfort food and local brews are served onsite, while The Living Room Bar is the perfect spot to hang out in Victory Park after hours. Spectacular views of downtown await in most rooms and suites, all of which boast signature W beds, internet TVs and Bliss bath products. With incredible design and plenty of unique perks, the W Dallas will be a stay like no other.
- The Highland Dallas ☆☆☆☆ – Originally opened in the 1960s as the Hilton Inn Dallas, this newly reimagined lifestyle hotel is as distinctive and exhilarating as the city it calls home. Discover a rich abundance of contrasts: Historic mid-century architecture infused with modern energy and décor. Upscale yet thoroughly unstuffy ambience and service. Sophisticated luxury merged with a casual, live-in-the-moment spirit; all created to delight passionate queer travellers seeking a unique adventure with every stay. High end without a trace of highbrow…
- The Joule Dallas ☆☆☆☆ – A luxury hotel housed in a revitalised 1920s neo-Gothic landmark building in the heart of Dallas’ central business district. With dramatic art installations, unique retail boutiques, a world-class spa, intelligent design, award-winning food and drinks and some of the best service in town, The Joule is seen as the cultural epicentre of downtown. Adjacent to the Dallas Arts District and the flagship Neiman Marcus, the hotel is perfectly positioned when guests finally do venture out of the hotel’s communal embrace.
- Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown ☆☆☆ – Once the site of the Dallas Opera House and a sophisticated department store, the mid-range hotel is a registered National Historic Landmark located in the heart of the Main Street district. Throughout the hotel and guest rooms, you will find artwork and thoughtful details that spotlight this neighbourhood’s connection to both theatre and fashion. An onsite bar and bistro is offering seasonal, local fare for breakfast or dinner, colourful rooms and a well-equipt gym. For those travelling with animals, you can be sure this pet-friendly boutique hotel in Dallas will roll out the red carpet for your fur baby too!
- Aloft Dallas Downtown ☆☆☆ – Open spaces, open thinking and open expression thrive at Aloft Dallas Downtown. After a long day or night, retreat into these loft-inspired accommodations, featuring urban décor, complimentary Wi-Fi and marble bathrooms. Mix and mingle with friends over cocktails and delicious cuisine at the trendy onsite bar or find an assortment of grab-and-go meals and beverages at their Pantry Concept. Maintain your fitness regimen with a lap in their incredible outdoor pool or why no go for a full workout in the 24-hour fitness centre, complete with free weights and cardio equipment. Whether travelling for work or play, allow Aloft Dallas Downtown to offer a contemporary experience you won’t soon forget – and all at very affordable prices given its location and style. This probably explains why Aloft is so gay-popular.
- Deep Ellum Hostel ☆☆☆ – While there are no hostels in the gay area of Dallas, we can recommend a stay at this brand new boutique hostel in the quirky Deep Ellum district known for its vibrant street murals, modern art galleries and indie music venues. Opened in summer 2018 after completing a major renovation of this historic building this hostel has had the chance to design everything from scratch and to include as many comforts of home as possible. The hostel offers a mix of private suites and dorm rooms. Dorms feature custom-made heavy-duty bunk beds and all promise bedside outlets with USB plugs, reading lights, mini-fans, and built-in storage lockers underneath. Breakfast is included for free, and you will also get access to their happening bar, a shared kitchen, a lounge and a book exchange, plus a vinyl player and record collection.
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Dallas Texas
As the second biggest city in Texas, you would expect to find a whole host of gay bars and nightclubs here to choose between – and luckily, Dallas does not disappoint.
There are countless options to dance the night away with Britney & Ariana, watch fabulous drag, enjoy refined cocktails, try a boot-scootin’ honky-tonk or gawk at delicious go-go boys. Even better, most of the clubs in Dallas lean heavily toward “get drunk and have a good time” rather than the whole “not dressed well enough for our establishment” scene.
This is not a place to peacock – but instead, Gay Dallas is where you can grab a casual beer, strike up a conversation, and make new friends- or more!
Southern Hospitality is alive and well here!
Gay Dallas doesn’t just draw in the out-of-state tourists but plenty of people from more conservative/rural areas of Texas experimenting with gay life for the first time.
There is also a growing professional class that flocks to Dallas as well, leading to a scene that has undergone several changes in recent years. As a result, Dallas’s gay scene has grown up and now offers an intriguing mix of upscale post-gay venues, dive bars, rainbow nights, and fabulous queer raves. Those who have visited in the past will be happy to hear that long-running institutions such as JR’s, the Dallas Eagle, Round-up Saloon, Station 4 and Sue Ellens continue to thrive and still manage to draw in the crowds.
The gay scene in Dallas is primarily centred around the Oak Lawn gaybourhood – at night anyway – with almost all of the cities queer bars being located here. Of these, most are located on a short strip on Cedar Springs Road, making it easy to bar hop. Clubs don’t get going until around 11 pm on weekends, but during the week, most bars have fun events to tempt you in, and they seem to be working! Just remember last call here is 2 am.
A good game plan is to mix-and-mingle at one of the more relaxed gay bars early and check out the rapidly improving Southern Comfort dining scene before heading out for a night in the clubs. Whether you are an indie kid, party girl, urban cowboy, or dance freak, we are certain Gay Dallas will not leave you disappointed…
Gay Bars In Dallas
- Pekers – A long-standing gay dive bar in an Oak Lawn strip mall offering friendly conversation and strong drinks. The biggest highlight here has to be the Totally Twisted Karaoke held every Friday and Saturday night, but there is also all-day Happy Hour specials otherwise from Sunday to Thursday.
- Rose Room – The Southwest’s premiere show bar for gender illusion, hosting multiple drag shows upstairs at Station 4 on the Oak Lawn Strip. Always fabulous, with a mix of talented performers who specialise in glamour, comedy, and ensuring you have a good time. With a drag stage that features a digital background and special effects – the Rose Room is always our favourite spot for Drag Show in Dallas. Open nightly Thursday through Sunday.
- Alexandre’s Bar – An upscale bar on the Oak Lawn Cedar Springs Strip with a warm, neighbourhood vibe conducive to conversation. There is a fun assortment of live entertainment including Broadway Showtunes and Cher-E-Oke, incredible cocktails and a team who really want to ensure you have a memorable night.
- Cedar Springs Tap House – Am LGBT sports bar, tap house and restaurant located on the Oak Lawn Strip proudly ensuring absolutely everyone is welcomed with open arms. The Tap House serves the local queer community as a simple hangout and safe haven while providing incredible pub fare, craft brews, mixed drinks and TVs tuned into most major sports games.
- Dallas Eagle – The premier Leather-Levi-Bear bar in Dallas, similar to other Eagle bars around the world. A fun space to hang out, with bartenders frequently only in their underwear, but not a hardcore leather spot with most patrons not dressing up. Check their Facebook page out for weekly theme nights, leather contests, BDSM social and charitable fundraisers – the dance floor is crowded either way on weekends after 11 pm. There is also a gay men’s store inside selling jocks, lube, leather gear and more. They are located on the edge of Oak Lawn, a ten-minute drive from most of the action.
- Woody’s – A friendly neighbourhood gay bar on Cedar Springs Rd with affordable drinks and a fun line up of weekly events including everything from show tune sing-alongs to comedy nights. The terraces and outdoor balconies in the style of New Orleans are particularly inviting for people watching and conversation.
- Zippers – A relaxed gay bar filled with gorgeous go-go boys every night they are open. And the older men who come to admire them. There are drag shows, open mic and show tune extravaganzas throughout the week. A bit of a mixed bag spot, but they have stiff drinks, no cover and did we mention the rotating offering of sexy men removing their clothing for your viewing pleasure.
- Grapevine Bar – A beloved neighbourhood gay dive bar that has been a core component of the Oak Lawn gay scene since 1996. Small and friendly, but with a fabulous rooftop patio, the Grapevine is also known for its eclectic furniture, and stiff cocktails served in quirky, mismatched glasses, just like their patrons. Truly unique and an experience not to be missed with everyone from prom queens to drag queens being welcomed here.
- Liquid Zoo – An Oak Lawn queer bar that has a very ‘Cheers’ vibe in that everyone was welcoming and the locals all seemed to know each other. In the early evening, Liquid Zoo doubles as a restaurant but becomes a bit more of a bustling tavern at night, filled with colourful characters, cluttered décor and pitchers of beer.
- Hidden Door – A well-established watering hole for bears and their admirers with a comfortable patio, darts and pool tables along with cheap drinks. Close to the central gay bars of Cedar Springs Rd, the patrons and staff of Hidden Door are exceptionally welcoming and ensure you can get in amongst all the shenanigans.
- JR’s Bar & Grill Dallas – Established in 1980, JR’s is one of Gay Dallas’s most famous watering holes, and the inspiration for like-named clubs in Houston, Washington D.C., and Denver. It has been remodelled and enlarged three times, evolving from a narrow, one-story bar to the multi-level 3-bars destination it is today, located in the heart of Oak Lawn. A hub for all Dalla’s gay action with cheap drinks, a friendly crowd, upstairs patio and plenty of room to mix and mingle makes JR’s a perfect choice – no matter the day or time.
Gay Nightclubs In Dallas
- Club Stallions – A strange BYOB gay strip club in North Dallas with dark and moody vibes. Think black walls, fluro red lights and hot boys in various stages of undressing culminating in a sleazy dungeon feel. Opinion is sharply divided about Club Stallions locally, but either way, you will need a membership as is a private club. Membership is $50, which includes membership fees as well as membership for one year. After the first time, there is a $30 fee each time you visit.
- Kaliente – A popular gay Latin nightclub proposing cold beers, shots, stiff cocktails and hot nights of dancing with DJs, events & other entertainment. Open until 2:00 am in Oak Lawn, so you can keep the vibe going until it’s scandalously past your bedtime. Just outside of the gaybourhood, though the cover charge in addition to paid parking means you might be dissuaded from club-hopping here.
- Marty’s Live – An LGBT nightclub with various drag shows, hip-hop nights and sexy go-go dancers six nights a week. They also host a lesbian night on Tuesday’s with female dancers. Rather run-down with weak drinks, but can be a great time depending on the night. If you are at Liquid Zoo across the street already, you should stop by.
- Havana Lounge – A restaurant-come- gay nightclub on the Cedar Springs Strip that brings the essence of Cuba to Dallas. And by this we mean you are going to be slightly confused, surrounded by hot guys and everything is run-down. The cover charges include food vouchers, and the music is mostly Latin/ Hip-Hop mixes with other genres through in at the weirdest moments. Anything goes here.
- Magnum Dallas – The newest LGBTQ+ nightclub in Oak Lawn, Inside is spacious and high-tech nightclub perfect for dancing to today’s top 40’s or the latest high-energy electronic dance music. Chances are you’ll also find yourself lusting over the hot male entertainers on show nightly, with everything from football jocks and muscle men, some inked to the max, to the occasional twink thrown in for good measure.
- Round-up Saloon – A rooting-tooting gay country-western dance hall fuelled by tequila and offering up line-dancing lessons, special events star and a truly Texas experience. One of Gay Dallas’s most beloved spaces for over 34 years, the Round-up Saloon always ensuring you a clean and friendly atmosphere, where you can kick up your heels and feel at home in any of their six bars. Dancing, conversations, cruising, cocktails or more are all on offer here, and you should not leave town without at least one visit.
- Station 4 – A mega gay club in Dallas offering 24,000 square feet of fun, with 17 bar service areas, a thundering sound system and moveable light show. Pump up the volume and dance the night away with the best DJ’s in Dallas! Afterwards, you can cool off outside in the enormous patio, or catch a drag show in the legendary Rose Room. There is just so much to explore here, S4 is the biggest queer hotspot located right in the heart of Oak Lawn.
- Sue Ellen’s – Yes, we can hardly believe it either, but our sisters in Dallas are lucky enough to have this fabulous bi-level lesbian nightclub complete with fibre-optic lighting and high def video screens, Newly renovated, Sue Ellen’s also has an open door patio, private lounge areas, busy dance floor, live music and a game room. So, ladies, delete your dating apps for the night and get out there. You never know, maybe this is the spot where you very own lesbian romance fantasies come true…
- Tin Roon – A infamous gay nightclub/strip club in Dallas with a busy bar and rotating roster of exotic male dancers. The Tin Room can be a little trashy, but we just loved the hot dancers – though they can be quite pushy in trying to arrange private dances.
- The Pavilion Lounge – The only gay/straight friendly club out in Oak Cliff where everyone is welcome. Not particularly central for travellers, but if you are staying out this way the Pavilion Lounge is an unassertive, long-standing local watering hole famous for the cold beers, strong cocktails and Kamp karaoke nights.
- The Mining Company (TMC) – A Dallas institution since 1978 though now found in a new location on the Oak Lawn Strip. TMC provides a more intimate space with a dance floor, two outdoor patios, pool tables and friendly, sexy staff. Come for the amazing drink specials and no cover, but stay for the full DJ sets, hot male entertainers and good vibes.
Gay-Popular Nightlife Spots In Dallas
- Truth & Alibi – The Deep Ellum candy shop serves as the façade to a modern twist on a prohibition-style upscale lounge. Enter through the secret door with the weekly password and you are met with cascading waterfall crystal chandeliers, high backed couches, period-defining art, and masterly crafted signature cocktails. Drink and dance the night away with some of Dallas’ top DJs playing a high energy mix of the latest hits as you sip on savoury era-inspired cocktails with unparalleled service. One of Deep Ellum’s most unique nightlife venues, and a great alternative to your typical Gay Dallas nightlife.
- The Church – A gothic-style, alternative nightclub spot featuring five separate lounges, three DJs, and a rooftop patio with an incredible view of the city. The musical landscape can include everything from Ambient Sounds, Neo-Gothic, current and classic Industrial, EBM, Electro, Dark House, and the occasional musical “surprise.”. Very eclectic, alternative, and welcoming to everyone with a host of unique theme parties, fashion shows and live music events. The Church needs to be seen to be believed.
- Parliament– An modern lounge bar concept with one of the most sophisticated cocktail programs in the world. Rooted in timeless style, Parliament derives inspiration from the barrooms and clubs of the early 1900s, with the excitement of the Avant-Garde period and the approachability of a Parisian sidewalk cafe.
- Waterproof – A fabulous rooftop day lounge and poolside experience popular with gays and straights alike. Perched on the 19th floor of the historic Statler, Waterproof boasts stunning and panoramic views of surrounding downtown Dallas. The indoor/outdoor space is a sunny urban oasis to take a dip in the pool, sip a refreshing craft cocktail, enjoy a snack and watch the sunset. As the moon rises over the city at 9 pm, swimsuits are exchanged for trendy attire, the party continues.
- It’ll Do Club – A mixed/ queer-friendly nightclub offering an underground, dark and rave type of vibe and the best house/deep house/ techno in Dallas. If you are sick of queer anthems and Top 40 hits this is one of the best places to dance the night away. Naturally, It’ll Do Club is located on the edge of the alternative Deep Ellum neighbourhood.
- Happiest Hour – Dallas’ most extensive patio bar and lounge, featuring a rooftop deck with an impeccable view and four full-service bars spread out over 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor bliss. Gay-popular but best enjoyed for its views, fantastic food, signature cocktails and wines on tap.
Gay Bathhouses & Sex Clubs in Dallas Texas
Had enough of gay cruising in Dallas – either in the bars or elsewhere? Why not explore the steamier side of this sexy town…
While French-Canadians in Montreal and Quebec City seem to have bucked the trend of closing bathhouses and gay cruising spaces in North America, Dallas has followed in the footsteps of other North American cities like Atlanta, Portland, and Boston and seen most of its gay cruising spaces close. Today, Club Dallas remains the only bathhouse in the Gay Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
If you are visiting more destinations in Gay Texas, you might be interested to know San Antonio and Dallas both have one gay bathhouse as well, but none remain in Austin. There is always the gay hook up apps, but we also think patronage of these sorts of queer spaces are important if we want to see them remain. You could also try the previously mentioned Club Stallions or the Xposed Adult Theater next door, which offers both gay/straight theatres and men-only arcade peeps
You should have no issues visiting the Dallas gay bathhouse and will be welcomed openly, though a firm ‘no’ may be required at some points to get your point across. You can read our guide, however, if you are nervous about visiting a gay sauna for the first time. So that you know what to expect.
- The Club Dallas – A chain of private saunas and gyms providing a safe, healthy and fun environment for adult gay and bisexual men with other locations in Columbus, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, St. Louis and Miami. The Dallas location is just steps from the Swiss Avenue Dart station and boasts immaculate facilities including a refreshing outdoor pool, “Cowboy” whirlpool, relaxed steam room and sauna; full equipped circuit gym and private dressing rooms. Recently renovated and open 24 hours a day, this is the best place in Dallas for quick NSA fun. If you plan to visit more than three times in 6 months, you should get the membership. Otherwise, their casual rates are best – but either way, photo ID is mandatory.