Favorite American City to Visit: LAS VEGAS
Runner-Up: SAN FRANCISCO
Are you shocked? Sin City overtook LGBT favorites like Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland, and San Francisco (the latter of which took second) to be named Favorite American City to Visit. There's no denying Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults, and not just straight ones. Everyone is equal in Vegas, as long as they have money to spend (kidding! mostly).
Las Vegas has been moving in a more gay-friendly direction in past years, adding cosmopolitan touches that we can't get enough of. From high-caliber restaurants and chefs, new casinos and hotels created by some of the world's best architects and interior designers, the best spas between L.A. and New York, a homegrown music scene that spawned The Killers and Imagine Dragons and the first-ever Life is Beautiful festival, and a reinvigorated downtown drawing hipster residents and visitors from L.A. and San Diego.
But in not just a general sense, but in very specific ways is Vegas becoming a town LGBT travelers can whole-heartedly embrace. Though the "largest gay club in the world" stumbled, there is no shortage of watering holes and dance arenas for gays and lesbians. The city's Pride event is sponsored by the area's biggest employers and many of the casino companies and their employees, from MGM to Caesars to Wynn, have given money to Vegas's phenomenal new LGBT center. The casino resorts are not shy about encouraging queer travelers, and many have gay-themed pool parties in the warmer months (Luxor's fete is a highlight). Of course, we can't forget the diva factor, from Britney to Celine to Elton to Michael Jackson, that reigns supreme in the city thanks to numerous Strip residencies. There are many things to look forward to, including new properties and shopping meccas, fresh downtown happenings, and a possible return of the Liberace Museum.
Click here for more Vegas, and here for the full list of Out Traveler Awards categories and nominees.