Until recently, Austin had one gay bathhouse. However, Midtowne Spa (5815 Airport Blvd.) closed in summer 2016. The club had been 15 minutes north of downtown, near Highland shopping mall and just north of the Hyde Park neighborhood. The sizable facility was part of one of the nation's largest gay-bathhouse chains (with branches in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Milwaukee, and Hollywood/Los Angeles/Wilmington). Austin's Midtowne Spa had been popular and drew a mix of people, including some students from the nearby University of Texas.
The nearest bathhouse to Austin is the ACI-Alternative Club, 90 minutes south in San Antonio.
Keep in mind that Austin also has a popular clothing-optional park, Hippie Hollow, that draws plenty of gay men for cruising, sunning, and other fun. Overt sexual activity is not permitted, which isn't to say you won't find guys here engaged in discreet fun, if you look hard enough—this sort of activity tends to take place around the very end of the pathway that skirts the lakefront to your left, from the parking area. As you walk far enough (maybe 10 minutes or so), you'll start to see more nude sunbathing.
Hippie Hollow is 20 minutes west of the city, on the picturesque shores of Lake Travis, which is actually a dammed section of the (Texas) Colorado River.
Gay Clubs Outside of Austin
However, there are several bathhouses and clubs within close proximity of Austin. In Houston, around two-and-a-half hours east of Austin, you'll find Club Houston, the city's only gay bathhouse. The facilities include a state-of-the-art gym, steam room, dry sauna, outdoor heated pool, and sundeck. Meanwhile, three hours north of Austin, Dallas also has gay bathhouses. Club Dallas is a multi-level spa that features a gym, locker room, steam room, sauna, whirlpool tub, outdoor pool, and sundeck. It is located just 10 minutes south of Uptown's Oak Lawn gay nightlife area in Dallas.
If you're up for a road trip, both of these Texas bathhouses offer clean, safe alternatives for the LGBTQ crowd.