LGBT Cities: Columbus, Ohio

Few destinations are as welcoming as Columbus, Ohio. Experience Columbus is spreading the word (publishing a targeted website and e-newsletter, “Out in Columbus”) that LGBT attendees will find the city a good fit for both business and pleasure. Bolstering the CVB’s efforts is a large, thriving hometown LGBT community. To wit, take a walk through German Village and Short North Arts District, where all are free to enjoy cool shops, eateries, galleries, parks and playgrounds while holding hands. Foodies, take note: A walking tour of Grandview Avenue is worth skipping breakfast for, as Columbus’ offbeat restaurant row can sate your culinary desires for an entire day.

Better yet, both neighborhoods are a short stroll or free CBUS ride from Greater Columbus Convention Center, which will grow to 75 meeting rooms and 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space—plus earn LEED certification—when a $125 million expansion wraps in 2017. Columbus accommodations include 4,000 guest rooms downtown (2,100 either connected or adjacent to the convention center), all close to the hopping nightlife in the LGBT–friendly Arena District.

BEEN THERE* > LGBTQ Health Equity Conference (2015) North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (2015) Gay Softball World Series (2015; 2010) Ohio State Bar Association LGBT Diversity and Inclusion Conference (2015; 2013) TransOhio Trans & Ally Symposium (2015) North American Gay Volleyball Association Labor of Love Classic (2014)

DONE THAT** Columbus Arts Festival (June) Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade (June) Ohio State Fair (July-August) Independents’ Day Festival (September)

*Been There is a list of LGBT-friendly events held in this city in recent years. **Done That is a list of annual events put on by the community with LGBT-friendly components or all-inclusive elements and attendees.

Click here to find five other cities perfect for LGBT groups.