Las Vegas

Inspired by the "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" attitude, and that it usually happens after dark, nightlife impresarios keep dipping into their vast pockets to create over-the-top experiences where party-mad Visigoths—plus, well, you and me—can live out some wild fantasies. The number of high-profile nightclubs, trendy lounges, and sizzling strip bars continues to grow, each attempting to trump the other to attract not just high rollers, but A-list celebrities and the publicity that surrounds them.

Many of the newest clubs even have gambling. Though, we ask, Why bother when you can lounge beside the pool by day and bellow at the moon by night while dancing half clad at a club until noon the following day (when it's back into the pool you go)?

In the late 1990s, once the Vegas mandarins decided that the "family experience" just wasn't happening, Sin City nightlife got truly sinful again, drawing raves from clubbers worldwide. A wave of large dance clubs, such as the Luxor's (now-defunct) Ra, opened their doors, followed by a trendy batch of cozier ultralounges—lounges with dance floors and high-tech amenities.

The game of one-upmanship has continued—recent additions that have kept the city hopping include Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay and the mammoth Hakkasan at the MGM Grand. What's more, bawdy 1950s-era burlesque lounges are continuing their comeback with a gaggle of clubs now dedicated to the art of striptease.

Few cities on Earth match Vegas in its dedication to upping the nightlife ante. So with all these choices, no one—not even the Visigoths—has an excuse for not having fun, however you define the "f" word.

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  • 1. Freezone

    University District | Bars/Pubs

    An egalitarian mix of (straight and gay) men and women congregates at this 24-hour bar with a dance floor, pool tables, karaoke, and video-poker...Read More

  • 2. Herbs & Rye

    West Side | Bars/Pubs

    Classic cocktails are the name of the game at this bar off the Strip and worth the cab ride. Each cocktail comes with a story and quite a show...Read More

  • 3. The Chandelier

    South Strip | Bars/Pubs

    True to its name, this swanky lounge sits in a chandelier with 2 million crystal beads, making it the largest chandelier in town (and, perhaps...Read More

  • 4. Atomic Liquors

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    This Downtown bar owns the oldest liquor license in the state and used to be the place to watch atomic blasts. The Rat Pack and Barbra Streisand...Read More

  • 5. Badlands Saloon

    East Side | Bars/Pubs

    Consider the "Badlands" a 24-hour haven for local gay cowboys. It's decorated with a mock-log-cabin façade and offers cubbyholes in which regulars...Read More

  • 6. Beauty Bar

    Downtown | Bars/Pubs

    This charming little Downtown joint, spun off from a popular Manhattan watering hole, is laid out like an old-fashioned hair salon, complete...Read More

  • 7. Casa Fuente

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    This full-service cigar shop reproduces the decor and atmosphere of El Floridita, Ernest Hemingway's favorite Havana watering hole. Its sophisticated...Read More

  • 8. Double Down Saloon

    Paradise Road | Bars/Pubs

    The grand poobah of Vegas dive bars, the Double D is a short walk from the Hard Rock Hotel and a long, long way from Paradise—although a sign...Read More

  • 9. Flex

    West Side | Bars/Pubs

    A small, neighborhood-oriented club for men, this 24-hour dive bar sometimes has floor shows, banana-eating contests, and entertainment (think...Read More

  • 10. Frankie's Tiki Room

    West Side | Bars/Pubs

    You want Polynesian tiki-bar culture, Vegas-style? You want grass huts, carved wooden furniture, and cocktails such as the Green Gasser, the...Read More

  • 11. Hit Bar & Lounge

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Located next to the high-limit area on Monte Carlo's main casino floor, the swanky and intimate Hit Lounge doubles as the classroom where members...Read More

  • 12. Lagasse's Stadium

    North Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Jumbo video screens on the walls, more than 100 high-def TVs, and delicious down-home cooking (from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse!) are all...Read More

  • 13. Napoleon's Dueling Pianos

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    This baroque Paris piano bar can get loud, but it's all good fun. Free performances nightly at 9 pm. ...Read More

  • 14. Nine Fine Irishmen

    South Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Don't be surprised to see patrons break into impromptu bouts of step-dancing at this authentic Irish pub inside New York–New York. It's so authentic...Read More

  • 15. Rí Rá Irish Pub

    South Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Like the Statue of Liberty, this pub was constructed in Europe, then shipped over piecemeal and reassembled in Mandalay Place (yes, Lady Liberty...Read More

  • 16. The Bourbon Room

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    You wanna rock? Head to this model of the Bourbon Room from neighboring show Rock of Ages for all the hair metal your head can stand to bang...Read More

  • 17. Backdoor Lounge

    East Side | Bars/Pubs

    For those of you who believe that Latinos are the sexiest men in this galaxy (if not the surrounding galaxies, as well), step—or dive—into this...Read More

  • 18. Brendan's Irish Pub

    West Side | Bars/Pubs

    Drams taste more authentic at this slice of Ireland inside the Orleans Hotel. The pub imports bottled and draught beers, including Guinness...Read More

  • 19. Heraea

    West Side | Bars/Pubs

    This is no ordinary sports bar; behind the televisions showing ESPN nonstop are concept and food choices that are openly geared toward female...Read More

  • 20. Priv

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Despite a brief shut-down in 2009 for serving minors, Privé, located inside Planet Hollywood, is back and better than ever. With go-go dancers...Read More

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