Las Vegas is open, and it’s the perfect place for LGBTQ+ tourists to visit this year. Whether you're dying to go on a road trip or take advantage of low airline prices, planning your stay at VisitLasVegas.com and booking now gives you access to the most generous packages to make the most of your stay. The city has already put in place Vegas Smart health and wellness protocols like social distancing, self-check-in kiosks (where you can print your own room key), occupancy limits, increased cleaning protocols, and mask requirements to keep your well-being top of mind. As more Americans get vaccinated, Vegas is expecting tourism to bounce back later this year (another reason to responsibly go now instead of going with all the crowds). Here are some of Out Traveler’s favorite places to stay with the top things to do while visiting Las Vegas:
Splash into Las Vegas with a Lux and Plush Escape at Luxor Hotel and Casino
There are lots of reasons to stay at MGM Resorts International’s iconic 30-story pyramid Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, but one of them is their gorgeous sapphire blue pool. For any gay that is looking for their ultimate Showgirls or Burlesque moment, be sure to check out Fantasy. Lauded as one of the top shows on The Strip, the notorious revue is equal parts sexy and glam—and will be sure to have you begging for more!
Feel the Fabulous Las Vegas Flare at Flamingo Las Vegas
It's no surprise that a hotel built around pink flamingos has drawn queer visitors for decades. As the company that supports the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to guarantee LGBTQ+ protections, the Caesars Entertainment property creates a welcoming environment for all LGBTQ+ travelers. With newly refurbished rooms, Flamingo Las Vegas is refreshed and ready for visitors. Additionally, the RuPaul's Drag Race LIVE! show is expected to return to the Flamingo Las Vegas this August, featuring an all-star cast in an original production starring some of the world’s most famous queens, including Aquaria, Asia O'Hara, Derrick Barry, Eureka O’Hara, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Shea Couleé, and Yvie Oddly.
Feast on World-Class Cusine at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers LGBTQ+ welcoming luxury and nightlife at its Marquee nightclub, and foodies revel in the two dozen restaurants, including Momofuku (David Chang's award-winning Asian-American restaurant), Milk Bar (the highly-acclaimed bakery), STK (above, a new take on the traditional steakhouse), Jaleo (spectacular Spanish tapas that are bursting with flavor), and zuma (modern Japanese cuisine and award-winning cocktails).
Appreciate the Stars of Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
The unforgettable Encore at Wynn Las Vegas recently racked up more honors, garnering five stars in the 2021 Forbes Travel Guide Awards. The luxury property has hosted numerous LGBTQ+ events over the years, making it a favorite among Out Travelers visiting Las Vegas.
Check Out the Ultimate Swim-in Theater at Circa Resort and Casino
Chill in one of Circa Stadium Swim's six pools on three different levels or lounge poolside while taking in sporting events and other entertainment on the massive 40-foot tall high-definition screen.
Revel in the Entertainment Capital of the World
Usher, the first new Strip residency announced for 2021, kicks off his run at Caesars Palace in July. Those traveling now can catch The Purple Reign: The Ultimate Prince Tribute Show at Westgate Las Vegas or Australian Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur Hotel & Casino. Later this year, Barry Manilow, Cher, and Paula Abdul have all hinted they may be back, too. With wide range of venues, including the T-Mobile Arena (above, which hosts Justin Bieber this June and My Chemical Romance in October), regardless of when you book, you can be sure that you'll find a show that will transport you.
Take to the Skies with Helicopter Sightseeing Tours
Viewing the Entertainment Capital of the World from the air provides a unique vantage point on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The flight may take just 15 minutes, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience well worth the price.
Get Outdoors and Visit Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon
A popular day trip from Las Vegas involves driving (either on your own or with a tour) the one-way 13-mile scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. You can even stop for a hike to just enjoy the incredible view. Another gem to visit is the Hoover Dam, providing a stunning vista of the Colorado River and Lake Mead.
Find Community and Nightlife in the Fruit Loop
Centrally located in the Las Vegas Fruit Loop (a collection of LGBTQ+ businesses), the Freezone nightclub has been thriving since 1996 as a favorite among lesbians for its weekly ladies night. If you're feeling snatched for the gawds, gay club Piranha has been aptly described as a “drag queen’s rumpus room.” The shows are chic and entertaining while the dance floor is always burning up, especially on Latin nights.
Indulge in Luxury Leveled Up at The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort
For those looking to get the best of both worlds with upper echelon old world splendor and modern refinement that innovates comfort, The Venetian Resort—and its accompanying tower, The Palazzo, where "luxury beyond measure" is a lifestyle—is as opulent as it is warm. Voted "Strip Restaurant of the Year" by Desert Companion, The Palazzo's signature Mott 32 infuses the absolute best of Cantonese, Szechuan, and Beijing cuisines. For anyone that is a happy hour enthusiast, diving into The Venetian's and The Palazzo's sophisticated bars that are full of award-winning mixologists is an absolute must. Just stop by Electra Cocktail Club (featuring one of the largest mezcal collections in Vegas), Rosina Cocktail Lounge (for those seeking seductive riffs that innovate bartender classics), and The Dorsey Cocktail Bar (heaven for anyone that will sample a selection of scotch, bourbon, and rye whiskey) if you're looking for a taste of excellence that is totally worth the buzz.
Come Back to Embrace Your Inner Cowbow at Big Horn Rodeo
After you've gotten a taste of Las Vegas this spring and summer, come back for the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association’s Big Horn Rodeo's return to Las Vegas, September 17−19, 2021. The event brings LGBTQ+ cowboys and their fans together for a rodeo where men and women compete in the same events. Unlike other rodeos, at Big Horn there are women bull riders and men who barrel race.
Vegas is Waiting For You, Kween
The only thing missing from Las Vegas is you. The city that declares it's fabulous on its welcome sign is the perfect destination to feed all of your travel fantasies. So, what are you waiting for? Explore VisitLasVegas.com to plan your trip today.