Gay Austin Austin City Guide

With an internationally acclaimed live music scene, passionate culinary culture and sunny, outdoor allure, it’s hard to resist Austin’s overwhelmingly charming, small-town appeal. Our advice? Let Austin lure you in. Despite the city’s undeniably rapid growth and newfound popularity, Austinites remain a down-to-earth, sometimes quirky yet always hospitable bunch, proud of their roots and eager to share their city’s highlights. Austin might be the capital of conservative Texas, but this liberal haven is one of America’s most gay-friendly cities, with gorgeous gay bars, world-renowned gay festivals, and inclusive, open-minded, fun-loving vibes for all. And while the entirety of Austin is gay-friendly, a notable cluster of gay-popular establishments dot East Austin and 4th Street.

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The best hotels in Austin

Experience Texas hospitality at its finest at Heywood Hotel, an original 1925 Craftsman bungalow turned luxurious East Austin Inn. Old meets new in each of the seven rooms, where historic and uber-local elements seamlessly combine; original longleaf pine hardwood floors and one-of-a-kind handicrafts from nearby studios are but a few of the creative, bespoke details. Complimentary bicycles make it a cinch to explore the eclectic, independent shops and eateries in the surrounding Eastside. Over in the heart of SoCo (ultra-trendy South Congress Avenue) is the aptly named South Congress Hotel. Minimalist design takes centre stage here, with exposed brick, hardwood floors, and large floor-to-ceiling windows keeping things airy and bright. A bevvy of funky boutiques, vintage shops, and food trucks punctuate SoCo’s trendy streets that surround the hotel. The minibar holds a lovely collection of unique, local offerings, but it’s the idyllic rooftop pool where you’ll find us enjoying a stiff cocktail.

Photo: Ilya Ilford

Photo: Ilya Ilford

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At boutique Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, chic sophistication meets a playful musical edge to create a stay that is entirely befitting of Austin’s effortlessly cool vibes

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