In recent years, Nashville has emerged as one of the most progressive and LGBT-friendly cities in the south. If you plan to attend Nashville Pride this year, don’t miss your chance to support LGBT-owned establishments, as well as those that welcome the LGBT community with pride. Many destination-worthy bars, restaurants, dance clubs, and galleries can be found within a short walk or drive from Hotel Indigo Nashville.
Here are some of Nashville’s can’t-miss LGBT essentials:
Food & Drink
Just a short drive away from Hotel Indigo, gay-friendly bars and restaurants line Nashville’s Church Street district. Here you’ll find the popular chef Arnold Mynt’s hot spot Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, which offers Asian-inspired dining with favorites like red curry shrimp, Asian wonton nachos and craft cocktails. Church Street is also home to Tribe, a gay-friendly cocktail bar that offers great martinis and a jam-packed entertainment calendar.
In East Nashville’s bustling 5 Points district, Lipstick Lounge is popular among the ladies. Although it’s Nashville’s only lesbian bar, everyone is welcome in this relaxing family-owned atmosphere. Enjoy a stiff drink while you take in live music, karaoke, dancing and games.
Just behind Hotel Indigo in Printer’s Alley is Skull’s Rainbow Room. Though not a gay bar but LGBT-friendly, Skull’s draws a diverse crowd with live jazz music, twice nightly burlesque performances and an extensive menu featuring classic dishes such as filet mignon, prime rib and rack of lamb. After your meal, transition to the bar for a specialty cocktail and live entertainment.
After your night out, you’ll need a good brunch to recover. The Southern Steak and Oyster serves up traditional southern fare, like shrimp and grits or steak and biscuit Benedict. Wash it all down with a blood orange mimosa.
To check out Nashville’s flourishing drag scene, visit Play, where drag performers take the stage Wednesday through Sunday nights. Sometimes the drag portion of the evening ends early, but the party lives on with a giant dance floor in the back.
While it’s not exclusively an LGBT club, The 5 Spot has always welcomed everyone through its doors. Drop in for the weekly Monday Night Dance Party or catch up-and-coming bands almost every night of the week. This cozy club gets packed quickly — especially on dance party nights. Luckily, the cold beer is always flowing.
One weekend a month, The Basement East hosts the Queer Dance Party, a high-energy night of dancing with a $1 admission fee. On other nights, Basement East hosts mid-sized bands or cultural events like The Nashville Moth storytelling series.
Visit 5th Avenue of the Arts to browse some of Nashville’s most popular downtown galleries. Here you’ll find two of the most popular galleries in the city — Rymer Gallery and Tinney Contemporary Arts.
If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path shows, check out The Arcade, a covered alley filled with small galleries and specialty shops, as well as restaurants.
Showcasing innovative artwork in a refurbished cigar factory, Oz Arts Nashville is one of the most unique gallery spaces in the city. Whether it’s performance art, digital installations, or traditional mediums like painting or sculpture, the goal is to inspire curiosity in art-lovers of all ages.
In Hillsboro Village, Hey Rooster General Store is filled with beautiful home decor items, Nashville-made food products and gifts, prints and high-end apparel.
While you’re in this quaint neighborhood, cinema lovers should visit The Belcourt Theater, Nashville’s only independent theater. Originally opened in 1925, the theater has since been refurbished, but many original design elements remain. Bringing in festival films, documentaries, and classic cinema masterpieces, The Belcourt always has something inspiring on the calendar.
While you’re exploring the city, check out some of Nashville’s incredible wall murals. Through the Nashville Walls Project, artists have added dozens of murals to the city’s downtown buildings and alleys. You’ll spot guitars, wildlife, word art and colorful portraits all over the city — the perfect backdrop for a selfie.