The readers of gay destination guide Out Traveler have named Las Vegas, Nevada their Favorite American City to Visit for 2013; it beat out even San Francisco, California, which took second place.
“Are you shocked?” Out Traveler asks in its announcement. Other nominated cities included Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Portland, but voters decided that “there’s no denying Las Vegas is Disneyland for adults, and not just straight ones.”
Though marriage equality has yet to make its way to Nevada (meaning that unfortunately, queer geeks will have to find an Enterprise parked elsewhere if they want to have their wedding on it), Las Vegas has been consciously increasing its gay-friendliness over the last few years. Out Traveler said the city has been adding “adding cosmopolitan touches that we can’t get enough of,” including hotels and casinos from the world’s biggest names in architecture and interior design, the best spas outside of Los Angeles and New York, a fantastic downtown area, and an amazing local music scene.
Las Vegas is also becoming known for its LGBT-oriented pubs and clubs; the Pride events every June are also sponsored by the area’s biggest names in entertainment. The city is also home to an incredible LGBT center, which has outgrown four locations since it opened in 1992; its most recent move to a new storefront in Commercial Center was sponsored in part by casino companies like Caesars and MGM.
Activities aimed at LGBT travelers are many and varied; casino resorts such as Luxor’s throw gay pool parties in warmer months (yes, the city does get relatively cold during winter) and the shopping centers are something to see—not just for the stores, either, with attractions like the world’s largest Ferris wheel in progress.