Las Vegas offers some of the best dining experiences, gambling and gaming, salons and spas, natural landscape and LGBT events in the world. Whether you’re visiting Sin City for business, pleasure or a little of both, the entertainment capital of the world welcomes you with a limitless supply of casinos, attractions, activities, nightlife and restaurants. A simple walk down the Strip will have you in a sensory overload from the dizzying array of over-the-top lights, sights and sounds of this city that never sleeps.
Today’s Vegas is not all gambling and showgirls but that is certainly one of the main draws. In fact, Las Vegas is often considered one of the best budget gambling destinations because you can often find incredibly low hotel midweek rates at nice properties. The hotels and resorts of course know that they may lose money on the room but will make up for it in entertainment and gaming spend. The best part is that no matter your taste or style, there’s literally something for everyone. Your vacation could include relaxing cocktails in a poolside cabana and a spa appointment at your luxury resort or an adrenaline-pumping zipline ride and helicopter tour followed by all-night partying at some of the best nightclubs. No matter how you decide to spend your time here, just remember that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
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Table of Contents
1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels in Las Vegas
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Las Vegas
5. Restaurants & Cafes in Las Vegas
6. Las Vegas Gay Bars
7. Las Vegas Gay Clubs & Parties
8. Las Vegas Cruising Bars
9. Gay Events in Las Vegas
10. Day Trips from Las Vegas
Although Las Vegas is a 24/7 oasis in the desert, it’s not always pool weather. In fact, it can get quite chilly in the winter months (Dec – Feb) with lows dropping into the upper 30s and highs in the upper 50s and 60s. On the other hand, summer months (June – August) are no stranger to daytime temperatures over 100 degrees. The best times to visit are the spring (March – May) and fall (September – November) shoulder seasons when temperatures are more moderate. Before booking, be sure to check the city’s tourism board convention schedule as this can greatly impact the room prices at certain hotels. You’ll also find the best deals on rooms from Tuesday to Thursday as Vegas is a popular weekend destination.
There are two areas to consider when booking a place to stay: the Las Vegas Strip and downtown. The Strip is most popular and usually more convenient for shows and attractions. For a break from the hustle and bustle, downtown Vegas is just a short ride North and typically offers a more low-key atmosphere. Although there are gay pool parties, drag shows and restaurants catering to the LGBT audience, the hub of gay bars and clubs is in the so called “Fruit Loop” located just off the Strip where you’ll find a chilled-out local gay scene.
Transportation & Airport Transfer
McCarran International Airport is the main commercial airport serving Las Vegas and is located in Paradise, just 5 miles south of downtown and right alongside the Vegas Strip. It’s so close, that you can often enjoy amazing birds-eye views of the dazzling hotels and attractions when you take off and land. Terminal 1 handles domestic flights while Terminal 3 is newer serving international and some domestic flights as well.
There are several options to get to your accommodations from the airport including bus, shuttle, taxi, rideshare and car rental. We recommend using a rideshare like Lyft or Uber to get to your hotel and get around the city. At Terminal 1 rideshare pick up is located on level 2 of the parking garage. At Terminal 3 rideshare pick up is located on the Valet level of the Terminal 3 parking garage.
For both rideshare and taxis, it’s only a 10 to 15-minute drive whether you’re staying on the Strip or downtown (north of the Strip). Rideshare and taxis are similarly priced and will cost you anywhere from $15 to $30 depending on the distance to your hotel and time of day/traffic.
There are also a few bus routes that serve the airport and make stops at some of the major resorts like the SAHARA, Desert Inn, Flamingo and Tropicanna. Additionally, there are a handful of shuttles that go to and from hotels and resorts. Inter-city shuttles are available as well. If you’re planning to do a day trip you may want to rent a car. The McCarran Rent-A-Car Center is located just 3 miles south of the airport and there is a shuttle you can take to and from.
Monorail – To quickly and easily get from one end of the Strip to the other, consider taking the Las Vegas Monorail to avoid the traffic and crowds. Its route stretches 3.9 miles from the SAHARA Las Vegas Station to the MGM Grand Station with 5 stops in between. Get tickets →
Gay Hotels & Accommodation in Las Vegas
Wynn Las Vegas – located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, the Wynn boasts 5-star accommodations with serene and stylish luxury rooms and suites. Guests can see headline acts at the theater, enjoy several entertainment loungers, eat at restaurants catering to any cuisine you desire, relax at the pool and spas, shop designer brands, try your luck at the casino and play around at the championship golf course.
Encore – luxury resort, casino and hotel connected to its sister resort, Wynn Las Vegas. Guests can see headline acts at the theater, enjoy several entertainment loungers, eat at restaurants catering to any cuisine you desire, relax at the pool and spas, shop designer brands, try your luck at the casino and play around at the championship golf course.
Luxor – situated near the southern end of the strip, this iconic pyramid-shaped hotel features unique pyramid rooms with slanted windows as well as rooms in its two soaring towers. Like most resorts in Vegas, on-site amenities are almost endless offering shows like Blue Man Group, a variety of restaurants and cafes, pool and cabanas, spa, salon and casino.
Flamingo – with its signature pink neon lights, the fabulous Flamingo has been a staple on the Las Vegas Strip since 1946 and is near the Flamingo/Caesars Palace Monorail Station. Many of its rooms have been recently renovated featuring a minimalist design with playful touches. Guests can enjoy the adults-only pool with waterfalls, the casino, shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race LIVE!, many restaurants, a spa, luxury shopping, nightlife and a salon.
MGM Grand – just a five-minute walk from the MGM Grand Monorail Station, this resort and casino hosts star-studded events at the MGM Garden Arena, performances like Cirque du Soleil, restaurants featuring celebrity chefs and outstanding nightlife. Rooms and suites are modern and well-appointed and the resort features a spacious casino, spa, salon, pool complex with a lazy river and pool-party atmosphere.
There are many sites for apartment rentals including Airbnb and Vrbo. Both companies have inclusive policies and support the LGBT+ community. Prices are generally comparable to budget hotels, especially if you’re willing to get a room in a shared apartment.
There are even a few LGBT-oriented booking sites like misterb&b where you can rent a room from a local gay host. Founded in 2014, misterb&b is not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking site for rooms, apartments and homes. Similar to AirBnB, Vrbo and Booking.com, misterb&b is an online service, but it allows you to from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings. Understanding the gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and apartment sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid.Special Offer! Sign up with misterb&b and you will receive a free $10 credit to use on your first booking!
Sightseeing & Activities in Las Vegas
Fountains of Bellagio – a stroll down the famed Las Vegas Strip isn’t complete without stopping to enjoy this iconic show of artfully interwoven water, music and light. The best part is that it’s free for any visitor to admire. We recommend stopping by at night when the spectacle is in full effect every 15 minutes.
The Mob Museum – located in Downtown Vegas, this is the place to learn about the history of gangsters that once ruled the streets with organized crime. Your entrance ticket provides access to all the exhibits including movies, mob artifacts illustrating gangster history and more. Get tickets →
Nighttime Helicopter Ride – what is more stunning than birds-eye panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip at night? On your helicopter flight, you’ll enjoy a feast for the senses as you take in breathtaking views of the Bellagio Fountain, the Luxor’s laser beam and the Stratosphere Tower. Book tour →
Nighttime Bus Tour – If you prefer something more down to earth, see the dazzling city of lights on an open-top bus tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown. Highlights include the light show of the Fremont Street Experience, the eruption of the Mirage volcano and the dancing Bellagio fountains. Book tour →
Zumanity – a sexy and provocative show by Cirque du Soleil, this erotic thrill ride is part burlesque and part cabaret with high-energy acrobatics for a seductive twist on reality. Taking place exclusively at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, enjoy your choice of seating options and evening showtimes. Get tickets →
Chippendales – this sexy performance may have been created with the ladies in mind, but we don’t mind admiring the 12 hunky male dancers performing a variety of erotic, yet tasteful routines for the hollering audience. The venue at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is intimate with several seating options. Get tickets →
Aussie Heat – putting their very own spin on seduction, the cast of chiseled and bronzed down underbodies are all talented break dancers, freestyle and hip-hop dancers. Not just another male strip show, this humorous and sexy performance features dancers who can strip, not strippers who can’t dance. Get tickets →
Gay Shows & Activities in Las Vegas
Drag Brunch at Senor Frogs – a whole new take on brunch in Las Vegas. This is a hilarious comedy of fabulous drag queens in a highly interactive show featuring stars from Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Brace yourself for wigs and swigs at the hottest drag brunch in town at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. Get tickets →
Ru Paul’s Drag Race LIVE! – making its debut in 2020 at the Flamingo Las Vegas, this is your chance to see your favorite Drag Race queens in this performance based on the Emmy Award-winning reality show. Get ready as the all-star cast takes you on a journey through a live drama-filled season of Drag Race. Get tickets →
Restaurants and Cafes
Mr. Mamas – there's breakfast and then there’s breakfast at Mr. Mamas, a diner with American home cooking. After a late-night out on the town, this is our stop for breakfast classics like their famous Cali Omelet, Mama’s Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, french toast, pancakes and giant cinnamon rolls.
Tacos El Gordo – don’t let the line out the door intimidate you (we promise it’s worth it). For authentic tacos at hole-in-the-wall prices, this is our go-to in Vegas. From carne asada to al pastor, you really can’t go wrong. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a taco with tripa (tripe) or tongue and pile it high with your choice of salsas and toppings.
Bruxie – home of the fried chicken and waffle sandwich, this casual restaurant throws out conventional sandwich-making wisdom as fluffy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside waffles take the place of bread. Roll up your sleeve and grab extra napkins before digging into waffles fit for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Le Cirque – this restaurant embodies the fun, whimsical and colorful nature of Cirque du Soleil with an elegant and celebratory fine dining atmosphere. Amuse your taste buds with exquisite and bold French cuisine that’s paired with selections from a coveted wine list and attentive service.
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – with a delectable selection of steaks and fresh seafood that’s flown in daily, Joe’s is best known for their Florida Stone Crab claws. This is a favorite for special occasions as the phenomenal food is only complemented by superb service and a classic steak-house atmosphere.
Chin Chin – a Las Angeles Chinese favorite, Chin Chin has made its way to New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Vegas. Stop by for the generous portions, reasonable prices and wide menu including sushi, bao and the popular Chinese Chicken Salad and tasty Dim Sum and Then Sum all served in a contemporary atmosphere.
Gay Bars and Lounges in Las Vegas
Badlands Saloon – located in the Commercial Center area, this local country-western bar is a lowkey gay watering hole attracting a male 30-something crowd. It’s perfect to meet friends for a drink before heading out for the night. Drinks are cheap and there are daily happy hours as well as weekend specials.
The Garage – one of Vegas’ best neighborhood gay bars, here you’ll find a friendly, local crowd, video poker, slots, pool and a variety of other bar games. The attractive staff are all outfitted to fit the garage theme and the bartenders pour heavy while the drinks are cheap. Check out daily happy hour 11am – 7pm with 2-for-1 drinks.
Charlie's Las Vegas – it’s always a party at Charlies! Head over for the drag queen shows that are in your face and stay for the cowboy servers and sexy gogo boys. There’s a different theme every night with daily drink specials like $3 Long Islands on Sundays and Guys in Underwear Drink Free on Wednesday nights. Get out on the huge dance floor, shoot some pool and win big at the slots with locals and tourists alike.
Las Vegas Eagle – here is where you can show off your wild side. This no-frills neighborhood gay bar is best known for The Original Underwear Party on Wednesday nights. Join the party, sing some karaoke and dance with Vegas locals. Drink specials and stiff cocktails make for an affordable night out.
Phoenix Bar & Lounge – locally gay owned and operated, this spacious gay bar has an easygoing lounge-atmosphere offering karaoke, pool and a dance floor. Stop by for daily happy hour specials and special events like drags shows, video bingo, trivia and guest DJs.
Gay Clubs and Parties in Las Vegas
Piranha Nightclub – located in the Paradise Fruit Loop, this is one of the best gay night clubs in Vegas. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by hot guys and girls as you leave your worries on the dance floor. The crowd is fun, energetic and stylish–this is the place to see and be seen. You may even catch the cast of resident queens, a few of which have competed on Drag Race.
Freezone – also in the Fruit Loop, this is a great bar attracting a mixed crowd of both guys and gals. Make your way in for one of the themed nights like Trans Unity Tuesdays, Wild Wednesdays and Frisky Fridays. Open 24/7, it’s always a good time to enjoy happy hour and see their amazing queens perform.
Gay Cruising in Las Vegas
Entourage Vegas – Las Vegas’ only gay bathhouse with over 12,000 square feet of men-only enjoyment. Guests can go for a swim in the heated pool, exercise in the gym and get hot and steamy in the sauna and steam room. There is also a jacuzzi, 60 private rooms and a maze in this erotic playhouse.
Hawks Gym – a hot spot for gay men, this is the only gay-owned and operated sauna club in Vegas. You can purchase a daily membership and private rooms and amenities include a steam room, sauna, showers and a weight room. Check their website for special events.
Gay Events in Las Vegas
Temptation Sundays at The Luxor – after Sunday brunch, make way to the Oasis Pool at the Luxor Hotel and Casino to party all day with the hottest speedo-wearing locals and tourists in Vegas. Hosted by J.Son from NakedBoyNews.com, it takes place every Sunday in the summer from 1 – 7pm.
Las Vegas Pride – hosted by the Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc, their mission is to create safe and inclusive spaces and advocate for the LGBT+ community. From its first gay PRIDE Celebration in 1983, this has evolved into a massive event taking place in mid-October every year. The parade takes place at night in downtown and the festival is held at Sunset Park featuring performances and exhibitors.
Hustlaball – Las Vegas’ biggest sex and cruise circuit party taking place in January each year. The only gay weekend of its kind in North America, its a mix of Circuit party with gay eroticism, kink, bondage and celebrity. Schedule of events include the Main Hustlaball on Saturday night, The Sexy Underwear Party on opening night and a special XXX MEN ONLY VIP night.
Las Vegas Gay Rodeo – the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association has set out to preserve the Western lifestyle and keep the rodeo alive for Nevada’s LGBT community. Go to their website for upcoming events like a masquerade ball, cowboy bingo and its signature event, the BigHorn Rodeo.
Day Trips from Las Vegas
Grand Canyon – one of the most popular day trips from Vegas, the Grand Canyon’s West Rim is only about a 2.5-hour drive from the city. It’s a scenic route taking you over the Hoover Dam and past Lake Mead and Boulder City. There you’ll find the horseshoe-shaped Skywalk Glass Bridge that cantilevers guests over the 4,000-foot drop below. The South Rim will take you about 4.5 hours and is the most visited spot of the Grand Canyon. Get there early and consider activities like hiking, river running, biking and mule rides. The North Rim is the furthest at almost 5 hours away and is more remote with smaller crowds and some of the best views. Be aware that the North rim is closed in the winter months. Book tour →
Bryce Canyon & Zion National Park – the 3-hour drive to Zion National Park in Southwest Utah is well worth the trek from Sin City. Known for its stunning orange-red sandstone cliffs that tower above the green valley floor, you’ll be in awe by this other-worldly landscape. Just an hour further you’ll find Bryce Canyon National Park (4 hours from Vegas). This visually stunning nature preserve is marked by crimson-colored hoodoos, spire-shaped rock formations that rise up from the ground. Take in the incredible natural amphitheater filled with hoodoos or take a hike down to the bottom of the canyon for a unique perspective. Book tour →
Hoover Dam – just a half-hour drive from Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel that stands over 725 feet above the Colorado River on one side and holds back Lake Mead on the other. After driving over the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, you can park and walk up to the bridge itself. Stop at the observation deck to enjoy panoramic views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River. Book tour →
Featured image credit: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
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