Las Vegas is something of an odd bird when it comes to gay nightlife. While most visitors focus their activities on the famous Las Vegas Strip, which is fun for everyone with its star-studded shows and glitz, gay-specific nightlife can be found in areas across this desert town and not so much on The Strip.
Hotels and Resorts
While you may spend your evenings out clubbing, staying at a gay-friendly Las Vegas hotel or resort will get your getaway off to a good start.
The stunning Wynn and adjacent Encore are extremely welcoming, and both have a Pride Concierge program designed to help LGBTQ+ guests make the most of their stay. The service is one of the only services like this offered outside LGBTQ+ resorts. A savvy concierge can assist guests with dining reservations, show tickets, nightclub advice, golf tee-times, limo transportation, and more.
The Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is both near the Strip and within walking distance of the "Fruit Loop," a small circuit of popular gay bars would be a less pricey option.
With queer-fave entertainers like Elton John, Barry Manilow, Bette Milder, Margaret Cho, Cher, Kathy Griffin, and others performing here regularly (some of them with semi-permanent gigs), and many of the city's top casinos presenting marquee shows and musicals, Las Vegas is an ideal place to pick up some show tickets and enjoy the theatrics.
There are some great shows at the trendy mainstream clubs and lounges in the Strip's top casinos—they may draw a mostly straight crowd, but plenty of gays and lesbians frequent these spots, too.
Las Vegas has a good mix of venues that cater to LGBTQ+ crowds, many of them clustered together in the "Fruit Loop," a small quadrant along Paradise Road that's also called the "Gay Quarter." A less alluring little posse of neighborhood-feel gay bars is situated in a large and rather bland shopping complex called the Commercial Center, an area that straddles the 900 block of East Sahara and East Karen avenues, a short drive east of the northern section of the Strip and a bit southeast of downtown.
- Piranha: The Fruit Loop is home to a bevy of lively gay bars, but the most popular might be this nightclub complex on Paradise Road, a festive, "scene-y," something-for-everyone establishment.
- QuadZ Video Bar: Known for friendly staff and a neighborhood bar atmosphere, QuadZ touts that it has "the best and strongest drinks at some of the lowest prices Gay Vegas has to offer." There is dancing to DJs with music videos on huge HD TV's, slot machines, pool, darts, video poker, and more.
- Freezone: Completing the Fruit Loop quadrant, a popular place called Freezone on Naples Street known for pulling in plenty of barflies—there's more of a lesbian following, here, too.
The Commercial Center should also be noted for one wonderful asset: It's home to one of the most legendary Thai restaurants in the West, Lotus of Siam, which happens to be extremely gay-friendly.
- Badlands Saloon: Badlands, on E. Sahara Avenue in the Commercial Center, is a great place for country-western tunes.
- Spotlight Lounge: The Spotlight, also on E. Sahara Avenue, draws a fairly mellow, local crowd.
Las Vegas has a handful of notable gay bars around town that make leaving the Strip for an evening both an adventure and a fun alternative with a different vibe. From relaxed lounges to leather bars, you'll find a good mix of bars with LGBTQ+ crowds.
- Fun Hog Ranch: Getting plenty of attention for owning its sense of inner kitsch, leather-fetish vibe, and cruise-y sensibility, the humorously named Fun Hog Ranch on East Twain Avenue, draws a good-natured, friendly bunch of guys of all ages and looks.
- Charlie's: For country-western dancing, by far the most popular draw is Charlie's Las Vegas on Arville Street, a close relation of the various Charlie's country bars in Denver, Phoenix, and Chicago. This is a festive spot with exceedingly friendly bartenders and hosts drag reviews, live bingo, and dancing (lessons if you want them).
- The Garage: In the same part of town is The Garage, on East Flamingo Road, a casual and quite nicely decorated (complete with a vintage-car and sexy-mechanic theme) spot with pool, darts, shuffleboard, an outdoor patio, and great drink specials (especially during the early-evening happy hour).
- The Phoenix Bar and Lounge: on W Sahara Avenue, is a 24-hour, laid-back, gay bar offering karaoke, pool, and a dance floor.
- Flex: Flex Cocktail Lounge on West Charleston Boulevard with its touch-friendly stable of randy strippers and drag shows, is a longtime bar and club offering live entertainment, billiards, and happy-hour specials with a gay-friendly vibe.
- Eagle: The Las Vegas Eagle on East Tropicana Avenue, is an old-school leather bar in a strip-mall locale with themed events, drink specials, and karaoke nights.
In Las Vegas, there are two gay bathhouses with saunas, gyms, and private rooms that cater to gay men. Both membership-only clubs are located in the Commercial Center District.
- Hawks Gym and Spa: Known as a place to work on your fitness while meeting other men, Hawks offers a day pass membership with a locker or room charge and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Entourage Vegas Bathhouse: This large, expansive complex is styled after ancient Roman bathhouses. It has an indoor heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, gym, video room, smoking lounge, private rooms, and spacious showers with free towel service. It, too, is open 24/7.
Tips for Going out in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas values gay tourism. There are annual gay events in Las Vegas including the gay rodeo, fetish parties and circuit events, the epic night Pride Parade, and the Sin City Classic, the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world, featuring over 20 sports and 6500 athletes. While these are a great draw, they also mean that favorite gay haunts will be more crowded.
- After a night on the town, don't sleep your weekend away. There's much to do including the Drag Brunch at Senor Frogs. This is the place to be on a Sunday with food, unlimited drinks, and a chance to see favorite contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- While there are no specific gay clubs on The Strip, there's so much to do including late night shopping, dining, and shows, that you're bound to meet like-minded people as you barhop and stroll through this glitzy playland. Be aware, though, that the Strip attracts people from all over the world, including conservative areas of the United States, and there will be times that the area may not feel gay-friendly.