Money Magazine named Columbus among the top LGBTQ+-friendly destinations for millennials in 2020, but don’t just take their word for it, book a trip for summer 2021 and check out some of the city’s highlights.
Long Street Entertainment Area
Slammers has operated on Long Street in downtown Columbus since 1993, designed to be a safe space for patrons to be able to be themselves. As one of the city’s longest operating LGBTQ bars, it’s now one of only 15 lesbian bars left in the entire country. This classic sports bar operates with a laid-back mentality, offering delicious pizza and ice-cold drinks for all. Multiple pool tables overlook a large sunlit patio that is often filled with the sounds of live music and the call-and-response of trivia nights.
From one of the city’s oldest LGBTQ spaces to its newest, District West opened its doors right next to Slammers in late 2020. Helmed by local legend Virginia West, drag mother to Ru Paul Drag Race Season 11 Miss Congeniality Nina West, the night club has gained acclaim for hosting COVID-safe drag shows. Designed as a space for the entirety of the LGBTQ community, visitors can expect to see people of all races, creeds and orientations featured on stage.
Columbus’ Italian Village, just east of the acclaimed Short North Arts District, offers a mix of residential and commercial businesses that have experienced a renaissance in recent years as new life was given to old buildings. Seventh Son Brewing, one of the early neighborhood inhabitants, is a local craft brewery making a wide range of beers and seltzers. Following a recent renovation, their space offers two patios and an event space. Across the street, local restauranteur Cameron Mitchell opened Budd Dairy Food Hall, an incubator space for vendors offering diverse cuisine options to refine and grow their concepts. Keep moving along the 4th Street corridor where the neighborhood sits and be sure not to miss delectable pastries from Fox in the Snow Café or LGBTQ-friendly dive bar St. James Tavern.
Columbus Crew SC Stadium
Opening July 2021, 2020 MLS Cup Champions, Columbus Crew SC, will have a new home in downtown’s Arena District. The 20,000-seat stadium will be part of a larger mixed-use development named Astor Park behind Huntington Park, home of Triple-A Baseball’s Columbus Clippers. Unique features will include a continuous wraparound roof, a 360-degree concourse, event space, a standing section - along with two patio decks and a “Nordecke Beer Garden” (a first for Major League Soccer) - and a brew hall that will also be open on non-match days.