Going Out: Las Vegas

There are few cities as universally attractive to the adult traveler as Las Vegas, which is particularly attractive to the gay adult traveler. With gallons of glitz and more glitter than the floor of Elton John’s closet, it’s no surprise, then, that gay people from around the world flock to the desert to play. While gambling may be the city’s lifeblood, it’s the shopping, shows and luxury accommodations that make Las Vegas truly fabulous.

There is no hotel in Vegas that does fabulous like the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. This five-star resort is The Strip’s crown jewel. It’s also one of the gay-friendliest properties in the country. In fact, the Wynn hotels have their own dedicated “Pride Concierge” that caters exclusively to LGBT guests.

However, if you do feel like leaving your room to eat, you won’t have to go far for the best in Vegas cuisine. Wynn features several award-winning restaurants like the hip Botero, and nothing helps you recover quicker from a Saturday night than Sunday brunch and mimosas at the Wynn Country Club. After brunch you can walk down the hall for some amazing shopping.

Inside the Wynn and Encore resorts are boutiques from some of the world’s top designers. The Alexander McQueen store is a must stop for all gay fashionistas. There you will find everything from iconic McQueen scarfs to the latest in heels and ready-to-wear items for both sexes. If that’s not enough, there are two Chanel shops, Cartier, Hermes, and Dior.

A more budget conscious shopping experience can be found just across the street at the Fashion Show mall. Department stores Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales all have a presence. The two-story Forever 21 is a recommended destination for young gays who want to stay hip without breaking the bank. Fashion Show is massive and holds almost any mall shop you can imagine. Highlights include: Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Apple, Marc Ecko, Michael Kors, Coach, and Puma.

If you haven’t maxed out the credit cards already, gambling is a great way to spend some time after shopping and before the night begins. Las Vegas offers a wide-range of games and atmosphere to satisfy any gambler from the casual slot-player to the poker champion.

The hippest place to play is the ultra-mod casino floor of Planet Hollywood. This casino seems specifically designed with the younger, cooler gambler in mind. Pop music videos play throughout the floor making Planet Hollywood essentially a video bar with craps tables and slot machines.

Gambling is not the only form of entertainment in Sin City. Las Vegas offers a wide-variety of shows for all ages, predilections, and sexualities. Perhaps the greatest spectacle currently playing in Vegas is Le Reve at the Wynn Ballroom. This water-based, in-the-round performance is a one-of-a-kind acrobatic extravaganza. The La Reve VIP Indulgence Package comes with exclusive seating, bottomless champagne, strawberries, and a peek behind-the-scenes. It’s well worth the price.

Visitors looking for some good, old fashion topless fun with a little celebrity camp thrown in should be sure and check out Peepshow starring Holly Madison. The show, starring reality T.V.’s favorite playmate, features little plot and lots of boobs. The dance numbers are cute - barring a slightly disturbing one that focuses on 500 gallons of “milk” - and Holly is just adorable.

There’s also some male eye-candy and hottie Josh Strickland provides his talent as the lead male vocalist. Whether you are into topless celebrities or just want to escape, head to Planet Hollywood and check out Peepshow.

Even when the shows end late there is still plenty of Vegas to do. The club scene is hopping with ultra-lounges and more traditional fare. The only gay-club on The Strip is Krave and while it often has a high cover, the fun inside is worth the price. Another anchor of the gay scene is Piranha Nightclub with its hot dance floor and trendy lounge. Vegas has a bar for almost every scene. Levis & leather lovers will enjoy Eagle and Buffalo and country fans should stop by Charlie’s.

Las Vegas is a city of change and evolution and the LGBT traveler has not been left behind. Almost every major casino, hotel and attraction reaches out to gays in one form or another. If you’re interested in Las Vegas Pride, be sure to visit during September.  Events start with the Pride Kickoff party and culminate with Las Vegas Pride Night Parade and Festival.

Las Vegas also has tons of direct flights and hotel deals making it a perfect choice for last minute vacations. The city is open year-round and there is plenty to do no matter when you visit.

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