LGBTQ vacay in the Sierra
Whether you’re in the area for one of the many special events or just hoping for a laid back break from the hustle and bustle, Reno and Lake Tahoe have just the LGBTQ experience you’re looking for.
In 2016, Build Our Center, an LGBTQ nonprofit group, opened a community center that has been years in the making. Our Center is the hub supporting education and advocacy of the LGBTQ community. With ongoing events and programming, the center is dedicated to promoting awareness, acceptance and providing a welcome environment for residents and visitors to celebrate sexuality and equality.It is at 175 S. Wells Ave. Visit ourcentereno.org for a calendar of events and more information.
Reno and Lake Tahoe host a variety of events geared toward the LGBTQ community. In the summer, Northern Nevada Pride supports the efforts of Build Our Center. This is the area’s newest and most inclusive pride celebration. By working with local businesses, Build Our Center has established this sustainable, annual event showcasing art, creativity and diversity in the region.
The Snowball Gay Snow Festival is scheduled each spring at Northstar California. This locals’ favorite offers lodging, gear rental, lift ticket discounts, fun themed winter activities and gay après-ski and dance parties throughout the weekend.
Hotel hot spots
If you’d like to stay in a nongaming hotel in the center of the action, check out Whitney Peak Hotel, which houses Basecamp, an indoor/outdoor climbing mecca, the CARGO concert and entertainment venue and restaurant Roundabout Grill.
Does a casino property fit your fancy? Check out Grand Sierra Resort. There's an outdoor pool, weekend entertainment and concerts inside the Grand Theatre, table games and slots galore, rocking nightlife and Lex nightclub complete with go-go dancers performing in an indoor pool setting.
Up at the lake, be sure to swing by Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa. This property was recently renovated and touts amazing views. There also is a killer spa, on-site restaurants and evening entertainment.
Grab some grub
Reno and Lake Tahoe host delicious dining options. Here are a few to check out:
The Imperial Bar and Lounge is a centrally located pub serving tasty pub-inspired food. The raw warehouse atmosphere complemented by modern amenities and giant roll-up windows offers a fun experience. Try the baked macaroni and cheese, fried pickles and Imperial burger for a culinary treat.
For traditional New York-style pizzas, head to Noble Pie Parlor. These oven-fired pies uphold the principles of incredible pizzas alongside craft beers. Order build-your-own calzones and fried polenta with meatballs, marinara, pecorino and basil to satisfy any comfort food craving.
Up at the lake, stop in Driftwood Café. Serving locally brewed coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice, this place is sure to hit the spot after a fun night out -- more on that later. Folks rave about the wacky waffles and giant half-pound burgers at this lakeside eatery.
Out on the town
Head to a number of bars and clubs enjoyed by the LGBTQ community. The Cadillac Lounge is a low-key gay bar with bites, pool tournaments, drag queens and karaoke nights. And Carl’s – The Saloon is known as the gay community center serving alcohol and fun.
Five Star Saloon, nestled in the heart of Reno’s Riverwalk District, is the oldest gay bar in Nevada. This party spot has live deejays, a dance floor and dance poles to get your groove on. A quick walk down the street will lead to The Patio Bar in a cozy refurbished house with (you guessed it) a back patio open to guests, as well as a pair of pool tables, TVs set around three public rooms and a lot of fun.
With several establishments catering to the LGBTQ community, Reno and Lake Tahoe are sure to make your trip memorable.