While driving through the deep south, you might need to find a gay oasis in the midst of southern culture. Eureka Springs is that town. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is a historic Victorian town with a booming arts scene and over fifty gay-owned businesses. Don't be fooled by the lack of rainbow flags hanging from the buildings: Eureka Springs is gay enough to boast three Diversity Weekends a year instead of just one Pride fest. Most of the downtown businesses are gay friendly, including the bars and clubs. The town is laid back and accepting of all sorts of wild behavior. It is easy to navigate Eureka Spring by foot, but there is also a trolley that goes to all the hot spots. Another common way of hitting the bars is to rent an inexpensive limo for the evening.
The gay press is gaga over Eureka Springs. Gay Traveler hailed our charming ‘burg “among the five best small gay cites.” The Advocate touted us as “the gayest small town in America.” And Out Smart Magazine enthused, “on par with Key West, Provincetown and Palm Springs as a gay vacation paradise.” Those of us who live, work and play here know this already (but we still like hearing it.) Eureka Springs is an oasis of inclusiveness and diversity. We love who you are — and we love sharing our town with you, your friends, your partners, your spouses, and your families! Eureka Springs has become a hot LGTBQ destination in the mid-South region, in large part because we have three annual Diversity Weekends — Spring, Summer and Fall.
As the locals are fond of saying, “One Pride weekend isn’t enough for us.” People flock here from all over the country to take part in our celebrations. They love to dress up, parade in the streets, eat, drink and dance the night away, and maybe even sleep a little. (Check in with the Out in Eureka Facebook page for news on this year’s Diversity Weekends.) Our city is so gay-friendly that we have no exclusively gay bars, clubs or hangouts. There’s no need. Every one of our hangouts pride themselves on being welcoming to all. Nevertheless, there are a few establishments that get high marks from LGBTQ locals and visitors alike. Some are gay-owned, some not. Here’s a list of suggestions located in our historic downtown or very close by.
- The Rowdy Beaver Den; Live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Late night menu until 3:00 a.m.
- Henri’s Just One More; A ‘hoppin' little martini bar, grill & Dance Club, and the locals' favorite post-parade hangout!
- Eureka Live Underground; Diverse bar with the largest dance floor in Eureka!
- The Stone House; Great wine, cheese and friendly conversation.
Eureka Springs welcomes various visitors, no matter the differences. Though there are no exclusively gay bars or clubs, below are a couple of places where you can enjoy the nightlife, including live music or drag shows.
Located in the heart of downtown, Eureka Live touts itself as “The Most Diverse Bar in Eureka Springs,” offering karaoke, weekly DJ dance parties, and drag shows every Friday and Saturday. Though the food menu is limited to appetizers, they have a beer garden open on the weekends. They also claim to have the largest dance floor in Eureka Springs. They are not open every evening, so check their website for more information.
Missy’s White Rabbit Lounge has live music and holds LGBTQ meet and greets on Diversity Weekends.
If you’re looking for a variety of things to do and to be accepted for who you are while traveling in rural America, Eureka Springs is an excellent choice for a stop. It’s a pretty and historical town renowned for its inclusiveness.