The Soul Of Vegas: Discovering Black Culture And Community in Las Vegas

Plans to luxuriate at the world’s best resorts, spas, restaurants, and casinos might be what brings you to Vegas but don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the vibrant pulse of Black culture just beyond the neon lights. From iconic musicians holding down Vegas residencies to new parks birthed from the revitalization of a historic Black community, Vegas truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience for Black travelers. Get ready to explore the cultural richness that makes Vegas a soul-stirring destination for your next getaway.

Watch Your All-Time Favorites Playlist Come To Life 

There’s a reason why Las Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World.

It’s the only city where you can see performances by multiple generation-defining artists during the same trip. Hip hip icons, Wu-Tang Clan are giving fans another chance to catch their residency after announcing new dates this September. Other Black culture icons that will be taking over stages in the city of lights this year include New Edition, Lionel Richie, Babyface, and Jodeci.

Enjoy The Outdoors At The Historic Westside Legacy Park 

About 15 minutes from The Strip, you’ll find a gorgeous park dedicated to celebrating the soul and history of West Las Vegas. This historically Black neighborhood is teeming with stories that deserve to be shared– and that’s the goal of the recently developed Historic Westside Legacy Park. The park is not only a great place to enjoy quality time outdoors, but it’s a great way to learn more about the activists and community leaders who “left an impactful legacy and a beautifully resilient community.” Make this your go-to spot to take a break, recharge, and dig into the history of West Las Vegas.

Get Nostalgic At An R&B Speakeasy

Ever wondered what it would be like to combine the experience of an intimate Japanese listening bar, an Insta-worthy Vegas speakeasy, and R&B night at your favorite upscale lounge? Then SEVEN:45 is the speakeasy you’ve been dreaming of. This is one of the latest additions to Vegas’ renowned speakeasy culture and it adds a unique twist by curating an R&B-exclusive playlist. This Black-owned speakeasy emphasizes intimacy by limiting reservations to four people per party and having no more than 40 guests at a time. As with any good speakeasy experience, a password is required for entry but you’ll receive this information once you’ve made a reservation. SEVEN:45 also gives you a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with emerging Black artists through specialty events like their Sip and Sign with the soulful songstress Ambre, who’s been taking over the internet with her own rendition of Robin Thicke’s “Lost Without U.” These soulful, sultry vibes are waiting for you just 4 miles off The Strip.

Take A Selfie In Front Of The Last Standing Piece Of The Historic Moulin Rouge 

After enjoying the new park dedicated to the history of the Westside, swing by The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas. Here, you’ll find the last remaining piece of the first racially integrated hotel-casino not only in Las Vegas, but in the United States. The Moulin Rouge was built in the 1950s and became the first entertainment venue in Vegas to welcome Black entertainers without requiring them to use discreet backdoor entrances. While the building itself is gone, you’ll find art all around the city that celebrates the history of the Moulin Rouge.

Discover Street Art That Honors Our History

Vegas may be known for big productions on stage, but the city’s street art deserves just as much admiration and fanfare. Take a 20 minute walk from The Neon Museum to find 900 West Bonanza Road. This is a pit stop that’s specifically for the history-lovers and culture enthusiasts. This now empty plot of land is home to a lone wall covered with murals created by local artists mourning the death of George Floyd in 2020. It’s a fitting destination for these cultural masterpieces.

Other spots to find beautiful street art include the West Las Vegas Arts Center and the Odobo Collective urban farm. These destinations don’t focus on public events, but you’ll find passionate locals who are eager to share their history and mission. The West Las Vegas Arts Center has become an iconic hub for civil engagement in the neighborhood by focusing on programs that empower the youth and connect them to elders for mentorship. So it’s no surprise it became the first destination for the city’s Westside Mural Project. 

Meanwhile, the Odobo Collective serves the community by tackling food insecurity in the area. This small, yet mighty team of Black women created this sprawling urban farm so they could offer a healthy food source for the community– particularly for marginalized groups. The bright mural outside the Odobo Collective is a gorgeous representation of everything this non-profit advocates for and the Igbo culture that inspired the collective’s name, which is the Igbo word for “city” and “community.”

Get A Taste of Vegas Soul At Gritz Café 

There’s a reason why Killer Mike, Colin Kaepernick, and Dr. Cornel West have all dined at Gritz Cafe. It’s one of the very few places in Vegas to get authentic, cooked-with-love soul food that will have you wondering if your grandmother is running their kitchen. You can find this Black-owned eatery known as the “Ritz for the grits,” just a 10 minute drive from The Strip. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the classic breakfast options on the menu, but you’ll definitely want to make sure you experience that perfection of smooth, creamy and world-famous grits. For dessert, dive into their butter peach cobbler to completely transport your taste buds to The South.

Chow Down At Simply Pure For Elevated Vegan Cuisine

The only reason I won’t call Simply Pure the best food truck in Vegas for vegan foodies is because it’s a must-visit spot for ALL food lovers. Chef Stacey Dougan uses cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, plant-based ingredients to create mouth-watering meals that even meat eaters will enjoy. Swing by and find out why Usher and Bill Clinton couldn’t get enough of Chef Dougan’s nourishing and delicious recipes. Follow Simply Pure on Instagram to see where they’ll be pulling up next.

Make Spiritual Healing A Whole Vibe at Queendom Cultivation

By now, your belly and mind should be full. So, the next stop is to visit Queendom Cultivation to fill your spiritual cup. Queendom Cultivation is a spiritual wellness store that offers everything from sound baths to crystal light therapy. The ladies here create a spiritually healing experience that feels fun without compromising on impact. If you’re ready to unblock your chakras, get grounded in your highest self, and release any negative energy that could damper your Vegas trip, this is the place to go. They also offer group packages and special events to help you and your travel clique enjoy a variety of services at discounted rates.

Roll Over To Skate Rock City

Jam skating and roller dancing are such a fun part of Black culture, so it’s disheartening to show up to a roller rink just to learn that the venue refuses to play hip hop and has a restrictive dress code. Fortunately, Floyd Mayweather brought the “ATL” and “Roll Bounce” vibes to Vegas with his skating rink, Skate Rock City. This spot hosts R&B glow parties, 18+ late-night skate sessions, and rhythm skate workshops for beginners.

Vegas over-delivers on glitz, glam, and good vibes. What’s less known about this diverse city is just how rich it is in culture and history. Make this your era of entertaining, enlightening, and conscious travel by discovering the hidden soul of the city during your next trip to Vegas.