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Love lit up Las Vegas as this gay couple's adventure unfolded in pictures

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers in Las Vegas
Courtesy World Mappers

Las Vegas exceeded the expectations of World Mappers' Simone and Marco, and they captured it all. Follow along as they explore all that the city has to offer for the very first time.

This story is brought to you by our partners at Visit Las Vegas.

Simone and Marco, the globe-trotting couple behind the LGBTQ+ travel guide World Mappers, concluded their honeymoon by taking their first trip to Las Vegas. As they spent time strolling the Strip and exploring the Seven Magic Mountains, this couple quickly fell in love with what the city had to offer. Follow along as Simone and Marco experience all of Las Vegas, sharing every moment they captured with their cameras.

What drew you to the iconic Excalibur Hotel and Casino?

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Courtesy World Mappers

Staying at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino was a top priority on our Las Vegas itinerary. Simone had always dreamt of sleeping in a castle, making this choice even more exciting for us. While the hotel boasted numerous dining options, we were drawn to a unique experience: "Tournament of Kings." This immersive dinner experience adapted from the tale of King Arthur was nothing short of spectacular. As we settled into our seats in the medieval-style arena, we were transported back in time to the age of chivalry and knights. The meal was served in true medieval fashion, with hearty fare fit for royalty. We were treated to a feast of succulent roasted chicken, tender beef ribs, and flavorful vegetables, all served without utensils to enhance the authenticity of the experience. The food was delicious and satisfying, perfectly complementing the lively entertainment of jousting knights, thrilling sword fights, and majestic horses. It was a dining experience unlike any other, where we not only indulged in delicious food but also immersed ourselves in an unforgettable spectacle of medieval pageantry.

What was it like experiencing the SlotZilla Zip Line at Fremont Street Experience?

The SlotZilla Zip Line at Fremont Street Experience was absolutely exhilarating! We went up 11 stories to soar from the world’s largest slot machine, and we felt on top of the world. Choosing between the Zip-Zilla zipline and the Super-Hero Zoomline—where you can fly “superhero” style versus seated—was challenging, but we opted for the lower zipline that made for a relaxing ride above the Fremont Street crowds. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we'd recommend everyone try this unique activity when they visit.

Did New York-New York Hotel & Casino embody the spirit of the Big Apple?

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Courtesy World Mappers

New York-New York Hotel & Casino immediately made us think we were at the heart of the Big Apple. The towering 150-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty greeted us, adding to the electric atmosphere. At the same time, the twelve intricately crafted skyscrapers that make up the resort brought to life the bustling energy of the city. But the real thrill came when we decided to brave their rollercoaster, The Big Apple Coaster—a 180-degree rush of excitement that left us breathless and exhilarated. It was one of the most heart-pounding and crazy experiences we tried and we managed to snap a picture-perfect memory of it against the NYC backdrop.

Share your experience at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and its likeness to Venice.

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Courtesy World Mappers

As we stepped into The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, it felt like we had been whisked away back home to Italy so strongly that we had to remind ourselves where we were! The Italian-themed resort, with its canals, gondola ride, and stunning art reproductions, resembled Venice so closely that you couldn’t tell the difference. It was incredible being able to experience this all in Vegas. Watching the expressions of the couples aboard the Gondolas, we could tell that it was an enchanting experience to share. Even though we didn’t get the chance to ride in a Gondola, we managed to capture a romantic moment during this experience without having to put our authentic queer selves aside.

Tell us about how your photos of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas left the French in awe.

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

Courtesy World Mappers

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is another landmark that does not go unnoticed. Upon arriving, we realized that the photos online didn’t do it justice. As one of the city's premier attractions, this half-scale replica of the iconic Paris landmark soared 46 stories high, offering a bird's-eye perspective of the glittering city below. From the moment we laid eyes on it, we were in awe of how real it looked. We even had French guys commenting on our Instagram stories about how identical it was to the real Eiffel Tower in Paris. While there, we got to savor delectable French cuisine at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, ordering from a menu that features their star Beef Wellington and other classics like Escargots and Foie Gras. With a bird’s-eye view of the Strip and the Fountains of Bellagio lit up in lights, we soaked in the enchanting ambiance with every bite. Our expectations of Las Vegas were high, but this managed to leave us speechless.

How was Luxor Hotel and Casino a dream come true?

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at Luxor Hotel and Casino

Courtesy World Mappers

Stepping foot into Luxor Hotel and Casino felt like entering a realm of ancient wonder. For Marco, Egypt has long been a passion as he studied Archaeology in college. So, arriving at Luxor and seeing the 30-story pyramid gave us shivers! The interior of the hotel was sensational as well, but once we approached the grand entrance, it amazed us seeing the iconic Pyramid and Sphinx. And at night, when the ray of light illuminated the tip of the Pyramid, it was simply breathtaking. For brunch during our visit, we enjoyed the casual atmosphere and hearty food from The Buffet at Luxor's carving station. Then at night, we savored the premium tequila and decadent south-of-the-border fare at Diablo’s Cantina, immersing ourselves in flavors from around the world while surrounded by vibrant Mexican art. In the beginning, we didn’t think it would be possible for Las Vegas to offer so many activities, but we were wrong. These hotels are pulling from landmarks all around the world, so it feels like a fantasy when you can go from Egypt to Paris, and then to Ancient Rome. That’s what we loved the most.

What intrigued you about the Seven Magic Mountains art installation?

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at Seven Magic Mountains

Courtesy World Mappers

Venturing beyond the Las Vegas Strip, we also made a stop to check out the vibrant colors of the Seven Magic Mountains. Standing tall in the middle of the Ivanpah Valley, these towering pillars of stacked boulders reached heights of over 25 feet. This art installation was at the top of our bucket list as we were fascinated by how magical the location felt given that these giant, colorful rocks were located in the middle of the desert landscape. We couldn't help but marvel at the beauty and wonder of it all.

Simone Salton & Marco Girardi of World Mappers at the Las Vegas Sign

Courtesy World Mappers

As a queer couple, Las Vegas swept Simone and Marco off their feet, surpassing their wildest expectations. It offered them more than just entertainment; it was a place where they could embrace their true selves without reservation, allowing them to feel comfortable expressing their love out in the open.

There is no shortage of fun when it comes to traveling to Las Vegas all year round. To plan the perfect vacation for yourself and your family, check out Vegas' LGBTQ+ guides and suggestions for your next trip.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Nic Austin

Branded Content Editor

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.

Nic Austin is passionate about providing a platform in media for the LGBTQ+ community. He strives to tell stories about his community through the leading LGBTQ+ publications in the country. His mission is to amplify marginalized LGBTQ+ voices through partnerships with prominent brands and leaders in our community.


A graduate from NYU Tisch, Nic Austin has always connected with the written word and its ability to change minds. He has applied this love for writing to analyzing LGBTQ+ media and how the LGBTQ+ community has been represented on screen. Before working as an Editor at equalpride, Nic Austin was the Editor-in-chief of The Queer Queue and the co-host of both The Queer Queue Podcast and The Queerly News. In his spare time, Nic Austin writes film criticism while enjoying the mountain views of Denver, Colorado.