With its four bars, lushly landscaped patio, huge dance floor, rocking sound system, and expansive layout, it's easy to see why gay and lesbian locals love Badlands Dance Club
(2003 K St.
, 916-448-8790) and why visitors are often surprised to find such a stellar gay bar in Sacramento. Indeed, California's capital city only has about a half-dozen gay nightspots, but they're all quite appealing, and Badlands is the standout among them, in the heart of the gay-popular Midtown neighborhood known as "Lavender Heights." Several other gay bars are within a few steps of Badlands, including The Depot, Faces, and Headhunters.