Despite its reputation for being a redneck city, Dallas is actually a really fun and accepting city. The gay community is alive and full of fabulous energy just waiting to be discovered.
The heart of the gay community is Oak Lawn. It is home to many gay-friendly restaurants, bars, shops and services. The highlight for any visitor is to get their photo taken in front of the giant rainbow B_G sign, which when you stand between the B and the G, spells BIG, meaning that everything is BIG in Dallas. What they really mean to say is that everything is big and gay in Dallas, right?
It’s a true fact that outside of Florida and California, there is a high concentration of gay adult entertainers who live in Texas. If you want a chance to meet some of them, head to the local stripper bar, Tin Room, on any given Saturday night, there’s a good chance you’ll meet up with one or two.
While there is a top 40 dance bar, S-Club, most people will start the night off at JR’s, a local gay bar serving up cocktails. Just a heads up that you should probably order a whisky drink – you are in Texas after all. Afterwards, walk across the street too Round Up Saloon. Round Up is a country-music dance bar that is packed from the moment it opens, right through the end of the night. People flock to it early in the evening to strut their stuff line dancing, and later in the night for two-stepping and let-loose swinging, jiving and free-for-all dancing.
Daytime is just as fun. The City of Dallas just built a multi-million dollar park, Klyde Warren. Here you’ll find all kinds of fun outdoor games, food trucks, water features, and concerts. It’s a ton of fun and a must-see.
Just like any other city, Sunday Brunch is popular with the gays. The best place to head to is Jonathon’s. It’s a cozy house that’s been converted into a popular restaurant serving up tasty, traditional brunch fare. The wait may be an hour, but it’s a worthwhile experience. If you’ve never had it, here’s your chance to try fried chicken and waffles.
While not in the gay district, but located just a few minutes drive away is Lockharts. It’s a must-do experience in Texas. Lockharts serves up some of the best Texas barbecue you’ll find in the city. They slow-cook beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, and chicken, creating fall-off-the-bone, tender, finger-licking goodness that you won’t be able to get enough of. Be warned, they have some fiery mac-n-cheese that will make your mouth sizzle!
For accommodation, check out the Palomar Dallas. The Kimpton property boasts comfortable accommodations, full service spa, pool and fitness centre, along with a cute lobby bar. The rates are very reasonable, and they have a long history of supporting the LGBT community.
It’s also worth noting to check in to see what’s happening at the W Hotel. There is often Friday night rooftop launch parties. The views of the city are amazing and it’s the hot spot where a lot of the younger gay business community heads to network and wrap-up the workweek.
Dallas. It probably hasn’t been your first pick for a gay-travel destination, but seriously, give it some serious consideration. They have outrageously fun nightlife, cuisine that can keep any foodie happy for any length of stay, great accommodation like the Dallas Palomar, and who knows, you might even find yourself a porn star or hot cowboy to make your weekend even more fun than you expected.