Las VegasWe've all seen the commercials. Las Vegas is the ultimate guilty pleasure, and what happens there stays there. It’s a neon playground for adult fun. From wedding chapels to posh nightclubs, flashing slot machines and one-of-a-kind shows, Las Vegas has it all.
The Hottest Nightclubs in Vegas
No visit to Sin City would be complete without experiencing the exceptional nightclub scene. Vegas is home to some of the most fiercely entertaining clubs in the country. Pure is a chic nightspot without equal. This massive club is located inside Caesars Palace, and features a young, hip crowd. If you enjoy celebrity sightings, you’ll spot quite a few stars on the dance floor. The outside area features amazing views of the entire strip.
Club Tryst at The Wynn is another first-class nightclub that can’t be missed. With stunning cocktail servers, walls of framed mirrors and a massive indoor waterfall, Tryst is a slice of classy club heaven. If you’re searching for a memorable evening in a plush, decadent dance club -- and have nailed the too-cool pout -- the bottle service at this posh nightspot is truly worthy of jet-set royalty.
Vegas also has nightclub venues that cater to those who enjoy a more laid-back night on the town. The Voodoo Lounge is a relaxing, elevated spot at the Rio that features dramatic, high-altitude views of the city. Taking in a Vegas sunset as the city goes from daytime slumber to late-night illumination is an incredible experience. If you get to the Voodoo Lounge before 8 p.m., you can avoid the cover charge and watch Vegas come alive over a Johnny Walker Blue. Bring extra cash, though, because the comfy ambiance and elevated views do come at a price (but it's totally worth it).
Risque is another sophisticated lounge that caters to an upper-crust clientele. Located inside Paris Las Vegas, Risque is an Asian-themed nightspot where fine wine and borderline-formal attire reign supreme. Private balconies, couches, ottomans and sofas provide an intimate, soothing setting for parties of any size or nature.
Catching a Show in Las Vegas
Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capitol of the World, and this title is certainly well-deserved. The hottest shows in Las Vegas vary from year to year but there are always a plethera of shows to choose from -- featuring musicians, magicians, Elvis impersonators and comedians -- every night you spend in Vegas, you’ll be faced with some tough entertainment decisions.
Celine Dion’s show “A New Day” at Caesars Palace won’t be around much longer. Her last show is December 15th, 2007. If you want to see the chest-pounding diva before her final curtain call, you need to act fast. Bette Midler is slated to replace the Canadian crooner in February 2008.
R&B lovers should catch Toni Braxton’s sultry show at the Flamingo. If you prefer a concert experience from the old school, check out Elvis impersonator Steve Connolly at the Fitz or the new Rat Pack is Back act at the Greek Isles.
Comedy and magic acts can be found in abundance in Vegas. Carrot Top, Penn and Teller and David Copperfield work packed crowds night in and night out. Productions like Monty Python’s Spamalot and Mel Brooks’ show The Producers are also extremely popular. For an offbeat evening, Cirque du Soleil shows are always a big hit. You can take in one of these top-quality shows by yourself, with a date or bring the whole family.
If you prefer an adult-themed entertainment experience, visit Forty Deuce inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. This intimate club showcases skilled dancers who bring a classic, steamy Vegas vibe back to the city. The performances at Forty Deuce are reminiscent of classic burlesque entertainment -- a Las Vegas favorite since the 1930s.
Premium Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos on the Strip
The three-mile Las Vegas strip is home to more hotels rooms than any other spot on Earth. The strip features primo five-star Las Vegas hotels like the Bellagio, the Venetian, the Ritz-Carlton and Mandalay Bay. The Wynn, opened in 2005, has arguably the most luxurious accommodations in Sin City. This 215-acre, $2.7 billion resort boasts the only golf course on the strip, which was designed with ultimate precision and creativity by Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio. The Wynn has a casino that caters to every type of bankroll, and shopping options that rival Rodeo Drive. For a ritzy, country club experience in the heart of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Wynn can’t be beat.
Hotels and Casinos off the Vegas Strip
Although the strip has tons of hotels and casinos to choose from, there’s a wide variety of other resort and gambling options located off of Las Vegas Boulevard. Fremont Street in downtown Vegas was the spot of the first Las Vegas casino developments in the 1930s. If you’re traveling to Vegas on a budget, you will find friendlier room prices in this nostalgic corner of the city. Places like the Golden Nugget and Golden Gate Hotel and Casino offer guests affordable accommodation options and a taste of old-Vegas flavor.
The Las Vegas Hilton is located about 1,500 feet from the strip at the corner of Paradise Road and Riviera Boulevard. This massive hotel, resort, casino and convention center features the largest sportsbook in Vegas. Whether you want to wager on sports, get lessons on how to play popular casino games or listen to the sounds of Barry Manilow and Earth, Wind & Fire, the Hilton is definitely worth a visit. The Hilton even has excitement for Sci-Fi fans, with the Star Trek Experience drawing in geeks from all over the world.
If rock 'n roll ambiance and high-stakes gambling are what you’re searching for, check out the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino adjacent to the original Hard Rock Cafe. You can't miss the gargantuan Fender Stratocaster guitar emerging out of the hotel on Paradise Road. The Peacock Lounge inside the hotel is a stylish room that features high-stakes blackjack and poker tables, and the Fender Room has high-stakes slot machine options.
Vegas on a Budget
A trip to Vegas can be an expensive mission, but there are still ways to enjoy Sin City when you’re traveling on a budget. Las Vegas deals are everywhere on the Internet. If you book your vacation as a package deal, you can save money on hotel accommodations and Las Vegas flights. Save money by staying in a hotel off the strip. Boulder Strip, the area that extends from Fremont Street towards the city of Henderson, has plenty of affordable hotel and casino options like Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino and the Boulder Station Hotel and Casino. It’s a good idea to gamble in casinos that are far removed from the center of the city. Casinos that cater to local residents have smaller table limits and higher payouts. This is especially true for travelers that enjoy slot and video poker machines.
Outside of Vegas
Sin City has endless entertainment options, but there are also places of interest located outside of Vegas. Integrate outdoor recreation into your Vegas trip by visiting the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Hiking, fishing and swimming will be a nice change of pace from the poker tables. Red Rock Canyon is another excellent place for hiking. The site features otherworldly geological rock formations that have to be experienced in person. For picnic and camping excursions, the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, a sprawling outdoor paradise formerly owned by Howard Hughes, is just a short drive outside of Vegas.
Vegas has experienced a few image changes over the years. The place has gone from mobster-haven to family resort to adult playground. As corporate cash flowed into Sin City, Vegas took a Disney-like turn. Disney Vegas had its shot, but the real Vegas is back and it’s as sinfully enjoyable as ever.