Although Florida's capital city is home to thousands of progressive students at Florida State University and Florida A&M University, it might shock some to know there are no gay bars in Tallahassee.
This doesn't mean there isn't plenty to do and see that's LGBTQ-friendly in this northern Florida city—the city even hosts a fairly large Pride celebration called Tallahassee PrideFest each April.
However, while the handful of gay bars that used to populate Tallahassee closed down due to financial difficulties between 2010 and 2017, some of the city's other bars still offer special gay nights, and many of the city's restaurants, cafés, and shops are quite LGBTQ-friendly. Among them, All Saints Cafe, Black Dog Cafe, and the Cypress Restaurant are the most openly gay-friendly.
LGBTQ-Friendly Establishments Near the Capital
In the artsy and hip All Saints neighborhood, the All Saints Cafe (903 Railroad Avenue) is a gay-friendly, quirky little spot that's open 24 hours, occasionally has live entertainment, and is an all-around nice venue for hanging out with friends or meeting new ones. All Saints serves Italian sodas, espresso drinks, and light food (with an emphasis on vegan fare), and lots of college students spend time here before heading over for drinks at the nearby Fermentation Lounge.
Overlooking lovely Lake Ella, Black Dog Cafe (229 Lake Ella Drive) is a cozy and attractive little coffeehouse and vegetarian restaurant with a deck. Also near Lake Ella and serving fresh and creative "build your own" quesadillas, stir-fry bowls, wraps, soups, and salads, 1 Fresh Stir Fry Grill (1820 North Monroe Street 850-422-2111) is a popular, reasonably priced option that welcomes all.
If you're looking for some of the most creative and artfully prepared food close to downtown, consider dining at Cypress Restaurant (320 East Tennessee Street), which specializes in Southern-inflected regional American fare. Notable options include a salad of bacon, blue cheese, and roasted Brussels sprouts; a pulled-pork double stack with corn cakes, peppered slaw, and pickled-peach barbecue sauce; and Florida shrimp and grits with country ham, shiitake mushrooms, and an orange-thyme-bourbon jus.
Other Florida Destinations for LGBTQ Travelers
Although Tallahassee is a generally-accepting community, its absence of gay bars and clubs might make it less appealing to some LGBTQ travelers. Fortunately, there are several cities in Florida that provide a more thriving and robust nightlife scene for gays and lesbians.
Panama City Beach to the west is home to Splash Bar and the No Name Lounge while both Orlando and Tampa to the south are full of gay bars, clubs, venues, and even bathhouses. Miami, Jacksonville, and Pensacola are also popular destinations for gay tourism.
However, central Florida may be the ideal destination for LGBTQ travelers as Orlando and Tampa both have several options, including hotels and resorts that welcome all orientations openly. Bradley's on 7th and City Side are among the most popular destinations in Tampa, and you can stay at the nearby Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg if you're looking for an LGBTQ-friendly accommodation.