Las Vegas’ commitment to inclusivity is reflected in the diverse range of LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, ensuring that visitors feel welcome and respected. / Photo by Pexels.com/ camrainey

My Pride Journey to Las Vegas

Las Vegas, known for its vibrant and inclusive atmosphere, embraces LGBTQ culture with open arms, making it a thriving hub for the community. Iconic events like the annual Las Vegas Pride Parade and Festival bring together people from all walks of life to celebrate diversity and unity. Las Vegas Pride is typically in early October, so it’s a good idea to start planning your trip now!
The city’s commitment to inclusivity is reflected in the diverse range of LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, ensuring that visitors feel welcome and respected. Beyond the nightlife, Las Vegas hosts a variety of LGBTQ-focused community organizations, support groups, and cultural events that contribute to the rich tapestry of the city’s inclusive ethos. Whether exploring the famous entertainment offerings or participating in community-driven initiatives, LGBTQ individuals and allies alike find a warm and accepting home in the vibrant tapestry of LGBTQ culture in Las Vegas.
Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to stay at the Bellagio. Its iconic fountains have fascinated me for decades. The hotel stands as an epitome of luxury and sophistication, offering an unparalleled experience that seamlessly blends opulence, entertainment, and fine dining. From the moment you step into the grand lobby, it’s evident that the Bellagio is committed to providing a world-class stay, especially when you glance at the ceiling adorned with Dale Chihuly glass sculptures.
I stayed in a recently renovated room in the Spa Tower with an unobstructed view of the Strip and the fountains. The attention to detail is evident in the tasteful decor, plush furnishings, and modern amenities. Beginning at 3pm on weekdays and noon on weekends, the choreographed water show set against the backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip is a mesmerizing display of artistry, combining music, light, and water in perfect harmony. It sets the tone for the exquisite experiences that await within the Bellagio.
The Bellagio is also home to the famous Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a lush oasis that undergoes seasonal transformations, displaying stunning floral displays and thematic installations. This botanical escape provides a serene contrast to the lively atmosphere of the casino and the bustling Strip. During our stay, the staff was completing its new Springtime exhibition, which gave us Alice in Wonderland vibes.
For those seeking entertainment, the Bellagio offers the spectacular “O” by Cirque du Soleil, a water-themed extravaganza that complements the hotel’s overall theme. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is another cultural gem within the hotel, featuring rotating exhibitions that display masterpieces from around the world.
Although it is possible to never leave the hotel, we wanted to experience other MGM Resorts properties, so we headed to LPM at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for dinner. LPM offers an exquisite dining experience that effortlessly marries Mediterranean charm with the vibrant energy of the Strip. From the moment you step through the entrance, you are greeted by an ambiance that strikes a perfect balance between sophistication and conviviality.
LPM’s interior is a visual feast, adorned with chic decor, warm lighting, and an intimate atmosphere. The combination of contemporary design elements and classic French accents creates a welcoming space that feels both elegant and comfortable. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or seeking a romantic dinner, LPM’s ambiance sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.
LPM’s menu is a culinary triumph, highlighting the rich and diverse flavors of the French Riviera. The emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients is evident in every dish. We began our meal with a variety of appetizers, including the Yellowtail Carpaccio, Escargots, and the signature Burrata prepared with heritage tomatoes and basil and topped with white truffles. For our main courses, we decided to focus on seafood entrees, so we tried the Lobster Risotto and grilled Chilean Bass. Both were prepared to perfection and paired very well, if you are looking to share entrees.
Of course, one of the biggest attractions of Las Vegas is the Strip itself. Spend a few hours meandering through each hotel and taking in the Vegas vibe. There is no other place in the world quite like it.
If you are in the mood for a little adventure, head to Area15, located about 10 minutes from the Strip. Area15 is an immersive entertainment complex that blends art, technology, and entertainment in a unique and captivating way. Boasting an otherworldly exterior and a dynamic interior, Area15 is home to a variety of innovative experiences, including interactive art installations and virtual reality adventures. Its anchor tenant, Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, is a surreal supermarket-like environment filled with mind-bending art and hidden mysteries. The venue also hosts concerts and live events, including Beyond Brunch, a variety show hosted by drag queen extraordinaire Andrew Ryan. The two-hour spectacle includes a wonderful buffet and performances by talented acts ranging from hoop dancers to Cirque-style entertainers. The show is well worth the price of admission; it is not your typical drag brunch.
Head to The Sphere, Las Vegas’ newest concert venue. Rock icons U2 opened the venue with a 40-night run, but guests can purchase tickets to Darren Aronofsky’s multisensory film, Postcard from Earth.
For a trip down memory lane, especially if you were born in the ’70s or ’80s, check out Retro by Voltaggio at Mandalay Bay. The restaurant owned by Top Chef stars Bryan and Michael Voltaggio takes diners on a nostalgic journey through time, blending modern culinary techniques with comforting flavors reminiscent of classic American dishes set in a retro-chic environment. The space is adorned with quirky memorabilia, neon accents, and a colorful palette that captures a sense of nostalgia without feeling overly kitschy, creating a welcoming environment for diners to unwind and enjoy the culinary adventure.
Retro by Voltaggio’s menu is a playful exploration of classic American favorites. We started our dinner with the Deviled Eggs with smoked trout roe along with the Beet Steak Tartare, which was incredible. Next came the Bluefin Tuna Ceviche served over coconut crushed ice. For our entrees we tried the Trout Meuniere, which was served in a lemon and caper sauce, as well as the Lobster Thermidor with lobster waffles — yes, you read that correctly. It was as delicious as it sounds.
Save room for the dessert cart, which contains innovative creations that satisfy the sweet tooth. Whether you’re a fan of nostalgic flavors or simply seeking a unique and enjoyable meal, Retro by Voltaggio is worth the visit.
After dinner, catch a performance of Michael Jackson “ONE” by Cirque du Soleil, also at Mandalay Bay. The show is a captivating tribute to the King of Pop that seamlessly blends the magic of Cirque du Soleil with the timeless music and iconic choreography of Michael Jackson. From the moment the lights dim to the final bow, the show is a high-energy, emotionally charged celebration of the legendary entertainer’s life and legacy. This isn’t your typical Cirque du Soleil show and is more like a concert featuring all of Michael’s greatest hits, memorable dance moves, and state-of-the-art production. I felt like “ONE” is the type of concert Michael would have wanted to perform if he were still with us.