Dallas Skyline view from Reunion Tower. Photo by Andrew Collins

Dallas Gay Guide – Dallas Gay Pride 2019

A stylish destination for shopping, dining, and the arts, Dallas hosts one of the country's top Gay Pride celebrations in September

Oak Lawn: The Hub of LGBTQ Dallas

There are few neighborhoods in North America with a more lively and visible LGBTQ scene than Oak Lawn in Dallas, an attractive mix of residential and commercial blocks with a convenient location near Uptown, the swanky Turtle Creek and Highland Park districts, the trendy Design District, and Dallas Love Field, which is the region’s hub for flights on Southwest Airlines.

The five blocks of Cedar Springs Road between Oak Lawn Avenue and Wycliff Avenue teem with fun gay bars, hip restaurants, and stylish shops—and visitors can even overnight at one of the city’s most elegant historic accommodations, the Warwick Melrose Hotel Dallas, a grand 1920s stunner that’s popular as well for LGBTQ weddings, and also simply for relaxing in the famous Library cabaret and cocktail lounge.

For more on what to see and do in this vibrant city, have a look at the excellent website of Visit Dallas, where you’ll also find a very useful section geared toward LGBTQ visitors.

Dallas Gay Pride 2019

Dallas Gay Guide
The Legacy of Love Monument in Oak Lawn. Photo by Andrew Collins

A signature event for the LGBTQ community and for the city as a whole since 1983, Dallas Gay Pride takes place in Oak Lawn in mid-September and is centered around the hugely well-attended Alan Ross Freedom Parade, which next year will likely (based on the previous year’s parade) take place the afternoon on September 15, along Cedar Springs Road at Wycliff Avenue. Traditionally, the parade then proceeds north past the poignant Legacy of Love Monument at Oak Springs Road and continues to Turtle Creek Boulevard, before winding down nearby at Oak Lawn Park (at Lemmon Avenue).

Another must-attend event during Dallas Pride is the Miller Lite Music Festival in the Park, which is expected to take place the Saturday before the parade at Reverchon Park (just south of Oak Lawn Avenue on Maple Avenue). There are plenty of other events taking place throughout the week leading up, along with such popular annual features as the Family PRIDE Zone and Teen Pride, both at the Miller Lite Music Festival on Saturday. Here’s a full list of events.

Keep in mind as well that plenty of businesses in Oak Lawn and elsewhere around the city will have parties and other celebrations going on related to Pride.

Dallas Gay Bars in Oak Lawn and Beyond

As the number of gay bars has continued to fall steadily in most cities around the country, Dallas continues to have one of the highest numbers of LGBTQ establishments anywhere, in part because most of the bar owners here have work together to support each other and the community through their membership in the Dallas Tavern Guild, which is also the producer of Dallas Gay Pride each September.

Dallas Nightlife Photos, above, by Andrew Collins

Along Cedar Springs Road, and especially on the couple of blocks between Reagan and Knight Streets, you’ll find some of the most popular gay bars in the city, if even in all of Texas—standouts like JR’s Bar and Grill (fun for people- and video-watching), Sue Ellen’s (a world-class lesbian bar), Station 4 (a massive dance club with wildly entertaining drag shows), the Mining Company (a long-running drinkery with a large terrace and pool tables inside), Round-Up Saloon (your go-to for country-western two-step and line dancing), Havana (another popular option for dancing), Alexandre’s (a friendly, classy lounge with first-rate live-music acts and fine cocktails), Dallas Woody’s (a cheerful neighborhood spot), and Cedar Springs Tap House (a good bet for tasty pub fare and craft brews).

But beyond this strip along Cedar Springs Road, you’ll find a number of other very lively and popular gay bars, many in other parts of the Oak Lawn district, and a few in other neighborhoods.

Where to Stay in Gay Dallas

Whether you’re visiting during Pride or another time of year, you’ll find a wealth of appealing LGBTQ-welcoming hotels in Dallas, from ultra-swanky contemporary roosts popular with visiting actors and musicians to historic landmarks, such as the aforementioned Warwick Melrose Hotel Dallas, in the heart of Oak Lawn, with its 184 handsomely appointed rooms and suites, many with expansive sitting areas and all with roomy bathrooms accented with marble and cushy bedding.

A chic design-driven property that blends 1920s neo-gothic beauty with a posh, of-the-moment vibe, The Joule rises 20 stories above downtown Dallas and has a shimmering interior design by Adam Tihany and an astounding collection of contemporary art with works by Roger Hiorns, Ellsworth Kelly, and Andy Warhol. You can book a range of treatments in the fabulous 8,000-square foot spa, dine in see-and-be-seen CBD Provisions, sip craft cocktails in the Midnight Rambler lounge, grab a perfectly brewed espresso in Weekend cafe, browse arty tomes in the Taschen Library bookstore, or shop for fine threads and housewares at the flagship Neiman Marcus, which is right next door. The Joule is famous for its lavish custom suites and penthouses, but the compact Demi Joule room category comes equipped with such creature comforts as rainfall showers, Sferra bedding, 47″ HDTVs with Apple TV, and sleek, angular furnishings.

In the heart of Dallas Downtown Arts District, the elegant Fairmont Dallas is another gem, with such welcoming attributes as a gorgeous rooftop pool, acclaimed contemporary American dining at Pyramid Restaurant & Bar, an impressive fitness center, and grand event spaces for weddings and parties. The 545 generously proportioned rooms and suites in this 24-story mid-century tower have large windows with sweeping city views, marble bathrooms, and iHome docking stations.

Note that during Pride each September, a few different local Dallas hotels offer special Dallas Pride discounts and deals, including the Hilton Anatole Hotel, a large and nicely appointed property with extensive fitness, leisure, and dining facilities in the nearby Design District; the handily located DoubleTree by Hilton Love Field; and the reasonably priced and modern Hyatt House Dallas Uptown, whose large suites all have kitchens and are ideal for longer visits.