LGBT Cities: Austin, Texas

By Marc Boisclair, March 31, 2016

If watching the sunset at Congress Avenue Bridge, viewing a million bats soar into the evening sky, was all LGBT attendees accomplished outside the meeting room in Austin, Texas, then their visit would prove memorable. But flying mammals aside, the Lone Star State’s capital has plenty more to round out an itinerary. For starters, Austin’s core is designed to host group business. It’s home to Austin Convention Center, a slew of meeting hotels, restaurants and special event venues. After dark, downtown lights up with varied kinds of entertainment, led by the bars, dance clubs and live music in and around Sixth Street. It’s a hard scene to beat on a warm night, of which Austin claims many.

Heading north on Congress Avenue, you’ll find two other worthy stops: the Texas Capitol, Bullock Texas State History Museum (where the state’s story spreads across several fascinating floors, with event space to boot) and The University of Texas at Austin campus. Another downtown must is a night out for ribs—beef and pork, specifically. There is no shortage of barbecue spots welcoming LGBT groups. Across the Colorado River, Austin gets bohemian in the SoCo district, where pubs, cafes, burger joints, antique stores and retro shops line South Congress Street.

BEEN THERE* 
Contemporary Relationships Conference & Expo (2016)
Human Rights Campaign Austin Gala (2016)
North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Gay Softball World Series (2016)
HavenCon (2015)
International Association of Gay/Lesbian Country Western Dance Clubs Convention (2010)
Out & Equal Workplace Summit (2008)

DONE THAT**
Carnaval Brasileiro (February)
South by Southwest/SXSW (March)
Rodeo Austin (March)
Austin Pride Festival and Parade (August)
Austin City Limits Music Festival (September-October)

*Been There is a list of LGBT-friendly events held in this city in recent years.
**Done That is a list of annual events put on by the community with LGBT-friendly components or all-inclusive elements and attendees.

Click here to find five other cities perfect for LGBT groups.

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