EVER SINCE THE FIRST glittering marquee rose above the Strip, Las Vegas has been a legendary destination for business and leisure travel. And in more recent decades, it’s carved a reputation as a growing hot spot for LGBTQ travelers as well.
“You might think that a town called Sin City wouldn’t live up to its own hype,” said Jim Werner, co-owner, Fagabond.com, an LGBTQ travel site. “Well, Las Vegas is just as surreal as its high-reaching nickname. Cher impersonators. Pool parties. Feather boas. This is Vegas on a normal day.”
Much of the liveliest nightlife takes place along the so-called Fruit Loop, where a club called Piranha holds weekly events, including after-hours parties that start at 6 a.m., as well as VIP packages with top-shelf liquor. FreeZone, meanwhile, hosts events including talent contests and music bingo and — like many bars in Las Vegas — has gaming facilities on site.
Gaming, indeed, is a big draw in Las Vegas — as is the city’s varied live entertainment. Ricky Martin, among the newest performers on the Strip, performs at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo in April, June, July and September of this year. Other gay-popular singers appearing this year include Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.
Nearly every Las Vegas hotel is LGBTQ-friendly, including the MGM Grand and the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, both members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Also popular are the Hard Rock Hotel, especially close to the Fruit Loop, and the Luxor, which has a weekly LGBTQ pool party during the summer called Temptation Sundays.
For those tying the knot, Las Vegas ramped up a variety of same-sex destination wedding options. A company called Viva Las Vegas, for example, is among the companies offering decidedly destination-appropriate “Elvis weddings,” complete with a performing impersonator.
Top annual LGBTQ events in the city include Las Vegas Pride, which takes place in October with a night parade and festival. Sin City Shootout, billed as the largest annual LGBTQ sporting event in the world, takes place in January, attracting some 9,000 participants for 25 different sport competitions, from arm wrestling to water polo. To be sure, not every activity in Las Vegas is about “sin.” But there are certainly lots of temptations.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.