Gay life in the city
The American capital has a sizable gay and lesbian community. It hangs out around the DUPONT CIRCLE area, home to various gay and gay-friendly bars, clubs, and restaurants. You'll find that a large number of the people you meet is not originally from the city. In most cases it was their careers that brought them to Washington, and you'll see mostly young professionals at the most sophisticated bars and restaurants. Pretty much anywhere you go you'll see well-dressed crowds, more restrained and less edgy than at similar places in New York or Los Angeles. But don't think than means "boring," as the city has quite a number of attractive venues, in both style and ambience. Look for them for a night of cocktails or on the dancefloor, and you'll have a night out as enjoyable as in any other major American city.
The most stylish gay bar in town is Halo, with its two levels becoming packed on weekends. Its mojitos and tropical drinks are excellent, to be enjoyed late in the afternoon when the place opens or later at night. The background music consists of jazzy lounge and electronic beats, while a live DJ makes the selections on weekends.
It's huge, it's cruisy, and the destination for those who worship leather. Special events include pool tournaments and shirtless happy hour.
With a funky design and DJs mixing electro, pop and 80s remixes, this bar/club is really a comfortable lounge with space for dancing. Every night is different, with some featuring videos and others drag shows, whole the sweet Martinis are available any day.
Black Fox Lounge
This classy, upscale lounge is a sleek space with an atmosphere created to make you relax and enjoy a cocktail or one of the exceptional wines.
J.R. Bar & Grill
A mostly young crowd mixes with a smaller number of older guys at this fun, down-to-earth video bar. It serves as a meeting place for drinks, with nightly specials and special events such as comedy night.
This Western or country-style bar hosts regular events and offers dance lessons. So if you picture yourself line dancing with a cowboy this is a place to try. At the lounge you can also play pool, sing karaoke, or listen to a variety of 80s, 90s, and country hits.
When not sure what to choose among the different options around Dupont Circle, most guys end up here, a very popular club destroyed by fire in 1997 and later reopened to even bigger crowds. You'll dance surrounded by young and trendy gay guys who move around the three levels consisting of a lounge, restaurant, and dancefloor. If you're in town for just one night, this is the place to go, whether or not you choose to dine at the restaurant.
Formerly a famous club called "Badlands," this is currently a popular gay hotspot, especially during its weekly college nights. Other nights are reserved for karaoke, or simply drinking at more than a handful of bars. Well known DJs spin a selection of house, hip hop, and pop, while music videos are played at the lounge.
For a gay-friendly meal on Capitol Hill head to this fun restaurant serving Caribbean and Mexican cuisines, while on the second floor, a piano bar offers live music and a good choice of drinks.
As you can tell by the name, this is a German-inspired place, serving German and American cuisine. The crowd is a gay and straight mix, dining on the patio outside when weather permits.
Washington's lesbians have been hanging out here for almost four decades. It's located on Capitol Hill, and you'll meet women of all ages and styles. It's a casual, fun place with a pool table in the back and a small dancefloor.
The Crew Club
This sauna includes a full gym and tanning services in addition to a Finnish sauna and a large steam room.
Carlyle Suites Hotel
Washington Court Hotel