New York can have its Broadway. We've got Elton, Jersey Boys and Britney, b*tch! Paris can keep its lights. We've got some of the most breathtaking sights this side of the rainbow. And no one's going to tell us that an oasis called Sin City isn't going to be friendly in all the right ways.
Wynn and Encore have “pride concierges” to point you in the right direction, but every hotel goes gaga for the gay dollar. The Luxor has a weekly LGBTQ pool party ever summer. And the Hard Rock Hotel is located near the infamous Fruit Loop, home to some of the best LGBTQ-friendly hotspots like Piranha and Freezone. Shop, dine, see the shows, stay and play in style at Mandalay Bay, Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, NY-NY, and dozens of other hotels – all while feeling secure to be you. And for that extra dose of pride, pop into a wedding chapel to tie the knot!
Q: Can I get married in Vegas?
A: Yes you can! The wedding capital of the world is now truly for everyone. Bring your partner, your friends and even that one family member whose face you really want to rub your relationship in and get married the way Elvis intended. From The Gay Chapel of Las Vegas, the city's only gay-owned-and-operated chapel, to the massive Strip hotel accommodations, wherever you go in this city you’ll find a priest, minister or rabbi ready to walk into a bar and make a serious statement about your love.
At many local chapels, couples can choose from themed wedding packages including beach party, disco, Egyptian, Gothic or Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding. Services are available including limousines, flowers, photography and video. Some even have pink Cadillacs to carry you away. And the major Strip hotels can put together an all-inclusive event for your ceremony that’ll make every straight couple on your guest list jealous – like they aren’t already.
For more information on these chapels, visit the VEGAS.com guide to wedding chapels. And remember, we may be Sin City, but don’t let anybody call you sinners – at least not until you get back to your honeymoon suite.
Q: Where can I stay to be close to the LGBTQ scene?
A: Where can't you stay? Vegas is quickly becoming the go-to locale for LGBTQ excursions. And our ever-expanding community means you're always close to the action – no matter what kind of action you're looking for. But if you want more specifics, try these:
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is closest to the Fruit Loop and local favorites like Piranha and Freezone as well as hotspots like Alexis Park and Rumor Boutique Resort. But the scene is ever expanding. And if you'd like to be closer to the Strip, you've got several great options.
Tropicana Las Vegas will have the Xposed! Pool party and has always been a friend of the family. And Wynn Las Vegas and Encore offer many amenities aimed at giving the LGBTQ traveler the best experience possible.
Q: What are the best LGBTQ clubs?
A: We like to think they're all the best. But if we have to choose:
Piranha is a cool combo of darkness and sparkling life. The two-story lounge effortlessly merges dance floors, a pool table, a fish tank and an outdoor patio into a club that spans descriptions. They've got drag shows, drink specials and a sound system so powerful that it may, possibly, make some of the seats vibrate… We won't say how we know that.
Freezone is across the street from Piranha and bridges the gap between a local bar and a hot nightclub. When the dance floor isn't hosting drag shows, the stripper pole and mirrored walls are open to any patrons who thinks they're capable of taking a spin – it's harder than it looks.
Share is a popular spot and worth the journey from the Strip and the Fruit Loop. Downstairs you'll find a dance floor central to the action and hot, sweaty gogo dancers that are never shy about being in the middle of it all. And upstairs has intimate private tables. On Fridays, the room transforms into a big top of sexiness with Stripper Circus, dubbed the "Dirtiest Show on Earth."
Be sure to check out our full list of LGBTQ clubs to find the spot, or spots, you find most intriguing.
Q: What are the best bars?
A: There's a lot great LGBT bars in Las Vegas, but rather than give you a list, we thought we'd break it down by theme.
A sports bar: The Garage is off the Strip by Flamingo and Maryland Parkway. With sports on the screens, dart boards on the walls and assorted games around the room, the Garage is an attitude-free establishment featuring two-for-one specials and much more. And if you've got tattoos, check out Marked Up Mondays to get drinks for your ink.
A country bar: Charlie's Las Vegas is the only LGBTQ country bar in Las Vegas. But believe us, it's enough. There's no better place to corral yourself a cowboy – or at least let one pour you a strong and affordable drink. Every Thursday Charlie's holds free line dance lessons from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. On Monday nights enjoy karaoke, on Tuesday nights join in bingo (and get a free shot every time the bingo calling drag queen screws up) and on Sunday nights watch "Charlie's Amazing Drag Revue" with JewDi Vine and Michelle Holliday.
Dive bars: Funhog Ranch has your desires for leather and Levis covered, even when the leather and Levis barely cover anything at all. Cheap drinks, a great mix of patrons and no last call keep the party hopping as long as you can keep going.
Snick's Place is the oldest gay bar in Las Vegas, just don't make any old jokes to the bartenders. The quaint hole in the wall opened in 1976 and still has the feel of a gay bar, a neighborhood bar and a neighborhood gay bar all rolled into one. Happy hour specials Monday - Friday from 2 - 4 p.m. and 2 - 4 a.m.
Outlying/neighborhood bars: Las Vegas Eagle is a leather and Levis bar that's famous for its "Underwear Parties" on Wednesday and Saturday nights. It may seem a little odd for a leather and Levis bar to feature underwear parties, but it's sexy people in their underwear, so we're not going to question it. If, for whatever reason, that's not your thing, you can also partake in karaoke contests on Tuesday or Thursday evenings or indulge in bagels, bloody Marys, mimosas and other treats on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Flex and Goodtimes Bar & Nightclub are two great bars located west of the Strip. And Spotlight Lounge and Badlands Saloon are east of the Strip in a commercial center with Entourage Bathhouse and Hawks Gym. All four bars are open 24 hours and feature happy hours and friendly atmospheres.
Q: What shows/attractions should I see while I'm here?
A: If it were up to us you'd see everything. But we know you've got finite amounts of time and money. So here are a few options:
If you're looking for something a bit more sophisticated, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts features outstanding performances from musical and stage legends in their Reynolds Hall and exceptional acts in their intimate Cabaret Jazz room.
Somewhere in the foggy middle ground between sophisticated delights and tawdry trysts lies Britney Spears residency at Planet Hollywood.
And when it comes to drag, no one does it better than Frank Marino and his talented cast of female impersonators in "Divas" at the LINQ Hotel & Casino.