Dallas, home to the nation's sixth-largest LGBTQ population, is bursting with bars, restaurants and neighborhoods that celebrate diversity. The Oak Lawn area, at the center of the LGBTQ community, is worth a trip all on its own, but there are plenty of other places to visit while you are there.
Here are some LGBTQ-friendly destinations to check out while visiting Dallas.
Picnic in the Dallas Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Stop by Eatzi’s, a European-style market, to pack your picnic for the Dallas Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The arboretum has a very gracious policy and allows ticket holders to bring food and beverages into the park. Inside lies 66 acres of pure picnic bliss. Offering tons of seasonal entertainment, the arboretum draws crowds with several special events each year, especially the springtime Dallas Blooms, the largest floral festival it the Southwest. Check the schedule for evening concerts on the lawn during warmer months and enjoy the breeze off White Rock Lake.
Stroll through the Bishop Arts District and soak up the charm
Tucked away, south of downtown, guests are in for a real treat in the Bishop Arts District. Once one of Dallas' best hidden treats, this former warehouse area sits in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Southern Dallas. It's home to more than 60 boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and galleries, making it one of Dallas' most unique (and not-so-secret) districts.
Enjoy the finer things in the Dallas Arts District
Head to the Dallas Arts District, the nation's largest urban arts district, spanning 19 contiguous blocks, and home to eye-popping architecture and incredible museums. Wander through the Dallas Museum of Art, where you can step into five rooms recreated with furnishings and art from Coco Chanel's 1927 Mediterranean Villa La Pausa. Walk to the Nasher Sculpture Center, where the quiet ambiance of their outdoor sculpture garden will provide a moment of escape and relaxation. After that, if you are feeling a performance, the symphony, opera and theaters are always up to something new.
Pamper, spoil and indulge
Dallas does luxury really well. Guests should definitely indulge in one of the fantastic spas or shop at one of the many high-end, luxury fashion retailers. Home of Neiman Marcus, Dallas knows a thing or two about fashion. After you stroll through the original Neiman’s, visit NorthPark Center or Highland Park Village for an elevated fashion experience. And after you are exhausted from all of the trying-on, go and rest and relax at one of the city’s top spas, such as the Spa at the Joule.
Experience the cuisine and nightlife
Bon Appetit has named Dallas “Restaurant City of the Year” and for good reason. Dallas has long been known for having some of finest restaurants in the country. Just ask any local or your concierge for his or her favorite recommendation and they will steer you in the right direction. After that? It’s time to party! Make it a night to remember in Oak Lawn, the heart of the Dallas LBGTQ community and nightlife for more than three decades. Get your boots scooting with dance lessons at the Round-Up Saloon, boasting the best-looking cowboys for 34 years. Ready for round two? Join the rollicking dance party and drag shows at Dallas Woody's or enjoy live music at Sue Ellen's.
Photos Courtesy of Visit Dallas