Gay Guide to LAS VEGAS

It’s one of America’s top holiday hot spots for gay travelers! Las Vegas is so hot its sizzling! From top-rated restaurants with breathtaking views to savor, chocolate shops, romantic attractions and relaxing couples’ spa treatments, Vegas indulgences last long into the night.

Gay Las Vegas

Las Vegas hosts some of the most colorful LGBT events in the US, from Pride to the sexy Hustlaball.

Las Vegas Strip

The Strip and all its Las Vegas attractions can keep you occupied for days, but don’t be afraid to explore beyond!

Our Insiders Guide to Gay Las Vegas

Las Vegas was built for pleasure plain and simple. Tourists flock here in droves every month lured by the glitzy casinos and glamour of this psychedelic city of sinister delights and outrageous entertainment.

Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Vegas has been catapulted in just 70 years from a rural backwater of only 1,000 inhabitants, to a lavish resort that attracts 35million thrill seekers and high-rollers lured by the bright lights of the famous ‘Strip’. A walk down the strip takes in the skylines of New York and Paris, the Pyramids of Egypt and the canals of Venice complete with gondola rides.

Las Vegas’ fortunes began to change with the legalisation of the Nevada State gambling laws in 1931, which set the ball rolling for the development of what would become the cities Las Vegas Boulevard. Marriage and divorce laws were also relaxed, creating the basis for the “Sin City” allure.

The city’s first casino, the Flamingo Hilton, was first opened in 1946 by Mafia don Ben ‘Bugsy’ Siegel with mobster funds. Unfortunately poor Bugsy was caught skimming off construction funds and, unable to pay them back, was unceremoniously whacked and the precedent was set; Las Vegas is still definitely not for lightweights.

In the popular imagination this city always held the allure of larger than life, forbidden, unrestricted and risqué experience, with just sufficient hints of danger, attracting millions from more conventional hometowns to this “magic kingdom” for adults.

  • Everyone loves a show!

    Cirque Du Soleil has outdone itself with several permanent shows now being performed in Vegas: Zarkana at Aria; The Beatles Love at the Mirage,  Michael Jackson One at the Mandalay Bay; “O” at the Bellagio; Kà at MGM Grand; Zumanity, (Cirque’s most erotic/sensual show), at New York New York; and Mystère at Treasure Island. Essential! Book your shows in advance!

Where to party in LAS VEGAS?

Bars come and go quickly in Vegas. One off night club events and parties change regularly. The city is constantly re-inventing itself, each venue and location trying to out-do and outshine the competition. 

The Gay Scene

The gay scene in Las Vegas is growing stronger every year and the annual pride a celebration offers a host of parties and pageants. The Night Parade in downtown is a glamorous, glittering spectacle that is a tribute to the kitsch city. Other big annual gay events include the Matinee Las Vegas Festival with 8 parties and 20 DJs over a four-day Memorial Day Weekend.

The city continues to add attractions to satisfy the ever-growing number of gays who flock there each year. Same-sex couples holding hands in the glittery casinos and circuit boys dancing the night away at the most popular bars and clubs are increasingly common sights on the Strip.

The majority of the Strip’s attractions stretch along Las Vegas Boulevard from Sahara Avenue to Russell Road. This is where you’ll find the massive resorts that feature battling pirate ships, exploding volcanoes and roller coasters that whiz around scale models of the New York skyline.

The Strip remains the city’s primary draw, but gay visitors to Sin City can experience something entirely different, and equally worthwhile, only a few blocks away. North of the Strip is downtown Las Vegas, a throwback to the city’s early days. Here you can gawk at many of the city’s original casinos along pedestrian-only Fremont Street. Now called the Fremont Street Experience, it features a four-block canopy covered with twinkling lights.

Locals are quick to point out that gays have successfully integrated into mainstream Las Vegas. Although there isn’t really a gay neighbourhood, the majority of the city’s gay bars and clubs are clustered around the Fruit Loop, on Paradise Road near East Harmon Avenue, and the Village Square Commercial Center, on Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway.

Crowds can be thin during the week, but the bars and clubs are usually packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Both the Fruit Loop and the Village Square Commercial Center are a short taxi ride (or a 15-20 minute walk) from the Strip. While each of Las Vegas’ gay bars has a unique flair to it, most have gambling and inexpensive drinks in common. There are all sorts of machines on which to try your luck, and “busts” at nearly every club on certain days and times. You can drink, cruise and gamble 24/7 in most places here.

  • Getting Here

    McCarran International Airport, is roughly three miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip and about five miles from downtown. Many taxi companies serve LAS and fares are set by the Nevada Taxicab Authority. Most hotels offer a shuttle bus to and from the airport.

  • Getting Around

    The best way to take in The Strip’s many attractions is by foot. A number of walkways take pedestrians over busy Las Vegas Boulevard and nearby streets. The double-decker Deuce Bus is a great way to travel between the Strip and downtown. It costs $6 for two hours, or $8 for a day pass, and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    The Las Vegas Monorail will convey you in cool comfort back and forth along the Strip. Tickets may be bought online or from machines located at the stations. They also offer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7-day passes.

    Las Vegas itself is quite spread out, so a car is necessary for any excursions beyond the Strip, downtown and their immediate surroundings.

Piranha Nightclub

Piranha is the longest surviving super-gay club in Las Vegas.

Freezone

Freezone is popular at weekends. Thurs boys night!

Fun Hot Ranch

Fun Hot Ranch is attracts Bears and Men looking for men!

Hustlaball Events

Events like Hustlaball host special parties at The Eagle.

Bars that have stood the test of time include, Badlands Saloon for country music, weekend beer and liquor busts, domestic-drink specials Monday through Thursday. Bastille on 3rd is Las Vegas’ first gay bar, cozy, intimate, pub/bar with an eclectic mix of locals and tourists, happy hours 11am-2pm and 4-8pm.

Charlie’s plays host to a variety of dance classes and hoedowns, funky disco nights, Drag Bingo, Diva and underwear nights and go-go boys. Eagle is the famous leather -influenced bar with busy underwear nights: strip-off for free drinks.

Freezone in the Fruit Loop, has dancing, go-go and shot boys, drag shows and karaoke with a popular Thursday Boys Night. Fun Hog Ranch is a men’s club with leather guys and bears. Cheap drinks attract early drinkers before the dance clubs.

Krush is the Wednesday through Saturday gay club, nightly DJ, go-go dancers, drag bingo and karaoke. Pirahna offers high-energy dancing until dawn, underwear contests, go-go dancers, drag shows, Boylesque cabaret and burlesque performances. The club hosts regular Latin nights and special theme parties.

The Entourage Vegas bills itself as the “hottest and safest playground in Sin City” 65 rooms, 60 lockers, dry sauna, indoor Roman-style pool, gym, Jacuzzi, dark room, sling room, huge, cavernous steam room maze; Mondays all-night dancing boys.

Be sure to pick a gay-friendly spa. Spa + Salon at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas specifically trains their staff and offers same-sex couples therapies

Ready for a little pampering? Choose from 51 treatment studios, including three deluxe couples studios at Qua Baths & Spa inside Caesars Palace, where you can also experience snow falling from the ceiling in the one-of-a-kind Arctic Ice Room!

Where to stay in LAS VEGAS? TOP TRENDING HOTELS.

Elaborate themed hotel casino resorts such as the Venetian, the Paris and Circus-Circus, offer at true escape from reality. Others, modern and high-tech, include the Wynn, a trendy celebrity hangout. The hotels truly are a sight to behold with 18 out of the world’s largest 21 situated in the city.

Mandalay Bay

Hotel with a beach?

Situated directly on the Las Vegas Strip, this resort features an 11-acre beach, Shark Reef Aquarium and a casino and a gay friendly reputation. Five swimming pools complete with a lazy river and a real sand beach are all featured at the Mandalay Bay beach. Private poolside cabanas and a full-service spa are also available. Check rates now!

The Bellagio

Stylish Classic

Set behind the famous Fountains of Bellagio, this luxury Las Vegas Strip hotel and casino offers an upscale day spa, multiple dining options and elegant rooms with marble en suite bathrooms. The Cirque du Soleil show “O” is on site.

The richly-decorated rooms of the Bellagio are equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and electronic drapes. Soft bathrobes, a minibar and an iPod docking station are included. Check for rates!

The Aria

Sublime Shopping

Set on the Las Vegas Strip, ARIA Resort and Casino at CityCenter Las Vegas features a 150,000-square foot casino, 16 restaurants and on-site entertainment. Showcasing stunning city views, all rooms boast corner views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

All rooms include a stocked minibar and a one-touch room control system that allows guests to quickly customize room features like lighting and temperature. The en suite bathroom offers plush robes, a glass-enclosed shower with bench and a soaking tub. Check rates now!

What to See & Do in LAS VEGAS?

While gambling is still the No 1 business on the Strip, Las Vegas has diversified over recent years with excellent shopping, great theme parks and some excellent shows and entertainment. Stars from Jennifer Lopez to Celine Dion have residency shows that sell out week-in, week out! Also on offer is skydiving, helicopter rides, driving race cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and horseback riding in nearby Red Rock Canyon.

Cirque du soleil gay vegas shows.

No trip to Vegas would be complete without a show! Cirque Du Soleil has more than 7 running!

Hoover Dam Las Vegas

Don’t miss the chance to explore! Visit the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Helicopter Tour Grand Canyon

The best way to see the Grand Canyon is via Helicopter!

Freemont Street Experience

One of the best free light shows in town at Fremont, also close to the gay bars!

Sights worth seeing!

Hotels in Vegas are more than just a place to sleep! They provide you with a world of entertainment, all with the aim of keeping you within their 4 walls! But don’t be afraid to explore other hotel offerings!

Whilst at Caesars take a break watching the animated statue show every hour from 10am until 11pm and the street performers at the Venetian around St Mark’s Square. Visitors can even take a break with a gondola ride around the hotel’s waterways and should see the painted ceilings in the main casino and the galleria which is just off to the side of the main casino room.

If you like roller-coasters there are some spectacular rides that should not be missed. The New York New York, Sahara and Circus Circus resorts have indoor rides whilst for a once in a lifetime ride don’t miss the ‘High Roller’ and ‘Big Shot’ on the roof of the Stratosphere Tower.

The observation deck of The Eiffel Tower at the Paris give some excellent views of the strip and is a great way to see the Bellagio fountain shows after dark. For a real treat you can eat at the restaurant at the top of the tower although this is one of the priciest in town.

Another highlight is the Fremont Street Experience which is one of the best free lightshows in town. The canopy over the Fremont Street mall is an enormous screen with over 2 million light bulbs which plays out a fantastic light show every night at dusk until 11pm. For another breathtaking view of the cities extravagant lights the south end of the strip has pedestrian bridges from which there are superb views of the whole of the strip, especially at night.

Vegas really is a feast for all of the senses and there are some great entertainments that are either free or well worth the minimal charges. Don’t miss….

Luxor Hotel Light Show Las Vegas

  • The laser show from the Luxor Hotel which can be seen from outer space and the Pharaoh’s Feast buffet for under $10.
  • New York, Now York at 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South for a stunning recreation of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.
  • The Mirage hotel and the spectacular volcano which erupts at regular intervals.
  • The free Fountain Show in front of the Bellagio shoots off every 30 minutes from 3 pm to 7 pm and then every 15 minutes until midnight. (The routines often vary from one show to the next.)
  • At Mandalay Bay, you can see killer sharks up close at the Shark Reef exhibit. You walk through a glass tunnel that cuts right through a massive aquarium tank containing sharks, rays, and hundreds of other exotic fish.

Beyond Las Vegas

If you can pull yourself away from the roulette wheel for half a day, rent a car and tour Hoover Dam and Lake Mead (27 miles southeast on U.S. 93). Together, the two attractions pack a wallop: Lake Mead is one of the world’s largest man made lakes, at 116 miles long; and the Hoover Dam (1939) is considered one of the architectural marvels of the world. Avoid the bus tours — they can be an expensive waste of time.

Valley of Fire State Park (58 miles northeast on I-15; 702-397-2088) is a stunning desert overlooking Lake Mead. Several petroglyphs (cave drawings by the area’s early Native Americans) from thousands of years ago can be seen here, as well as the endless hues of red, orange, and violet of the desert landscape at sundown.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, west of Las Vegas on State Route 160, is so close to the city the skyline is visible from a number of overlooks. The park is famous for its sandstone outcroppings, prehistoric sand dunes and dramatic cliffs along the 65-million-year-old Keystone Thrust.

Red Rock Canyon’s unique attractions include prehistoric pictographs, found near Willow Spring Picnic Area. Archaeologists speculate that the tribes who once lived in the canyon put their handprints on the rocks to announce births. The tribes’ origins, however, remain a mystery.

More than one million people visit Red Rock each year, but that number is dwarfed by the hordes of visitors to the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most popular national attractions. The park is a five-hour drive from Las Vegas, but a handful of companies offer helicopter tours from Boulder City that land inside the canyon, within the Hualapai Indian Reservation.

The flight from Boulder City takes roughly 35 minutes. It passes over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before making a 3,500-foot descent into the canyon.

Shopping & Dining in LAS VEGAS

You can find every brand of clothing and every type of cuisine your heart desires in Las Vegas. Here are our top recommendations!

Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood is the perfect way to spend an afternoon of retail therapy!

Bardot Brasserie at Aria is one of our favourite, high class but low fuss places to eat in Sin City.

The Forum Shops at Caesar's

Top designer stores can be found at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s

The Perch

A breakfast/brunch inspired cocktail? Fun starts early here.

Shopping & Dining are reinvented in Las Vegas!

Las Vegas is a shopaholic’s dream where you can buy just about anything at malls and outlet centers throughout the city. The casinos all have shops, some of the best around. Some must-sees include: Fashion Show Mall (3200 Las Vegas Blvd S), one of the largest shopping malls in the USA; Las Vegas Outlet Center (7400 Las Vegas Blvd S); and Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood (3667 Las Vegas Blvd S).

The Village Square Commercial Center (953 E Sahara), an open air shopping mall built in 1960, has over 150 unique shops & restaurants. It has plenty of parking, and several gay bathhouses, shops, bars and the community center are located here too.

The Forum Shops at Caesar’s (3570 Las Vegas Blvd, S), around 160 specialty stores and fine restaurants, Fall of Atlantis animatronic show; Louis Vuitton, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Cartier and Gucci fashions and an Apple store too.

Known around the world for its top-rated restaurants, Las Vegas is a culinary paradise. The greatest names in the kitchen, including Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Giada De Laurentiis and Michael Mina, operate establishments here, and spots such as Bardot Brasserie at Aria and Lago at Bellagio offer exciting options . For something special check out the restaurant Joël Robuchon at The Mansion at MGM Grand.  Those with a sweet tooth should visit Payard Patisserie and Bistro at Caesars Palace!

Carson Kitchen doesn’t take reservations so get here early to snag a table at this en vogue new restaurant. Eat, has made quite the name for itself as a great breakfast joint. Mingo Kitchen and Lounge is a gay favorite has playful food and cocktails.

At park on Fremont, try to snag a table outside in this trendy spot where, from brunch to dinner, a beautiful crowd eats comfort food like a chicken and waffle sandwiches.

And if you’re in the vicinity of The Cosmopolitan Hotel, search out Secret Pizza, their tribute to the classic New York pizza joint, which is open until 4 A.M.

Finally check out The Perch! Located in the Container Park this sunny spot is the perfect place for an afternoon pick me up.  Las Vegas likes to get its buzz on early. Lucky for us, the Perch’s new breakfast shots make day-drinking even more fun with a fresh spin on early-bird faves. Pair a shot with the warm monkey bread smothered in butter and brown sugar, or chicken and waffles, fried to a perfect golden brown. At $5 a pop or $12 for three, these shots equal boozy-brunch heaven.

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