Whether you’ve been to Las Vegas before or you’re a Vegas virgin, the key to making the trip worthwhile is hitting the right spots. Las Vegas is a sensory experience, a playground for grown-ups, a place to do things you can’t do anywhere else. And we are willing to bet the following superlative local hotspots—plus a few can’t-miss tourist attractions—are just the ticket.
Dueling Pianos: The Piano Bar at Harrah’s
One thing they love in Las Vegas? Dueling pianos. It’s a uniquely Vegas experience and if you’ve never seen it before, you simply must. So check out The Piano Bar at Harrah’s. Two players do battle over the 88s while you drink some very reasonably priced cocktails. Everybody wins!
Steak: Carnevino at the Palazzo
Las Vegas is known as a place to get a great steak. If you’ve got a date, this Mario Batali restaurant is the perfect place to take her: reasonably priced, totally green and with beef done all kinds of ways, not just steak. Pro tip: Go for the steak-tasting option and sample the best of everything.
Blackjack Table: El Cortez
If you’re looking for great blackjack—and a killer old-school Vegas experience—look no further than El Cortez Hotel and Casino. It’s the longest continuously running hotel and casino on the strip. With a 3:2 payoff and $3 to $5 minimums on single deck, even the little guy can win big here. They’ve also got arguably the best Elvis impersonator in the city.
Poker Room: Bellagio
One look at Bellagio and you know why it’s where pros go to play. In fact, a trip here might be worth it just for the celebrity sightings. You’ll find both limit and no-limit poker here, with low buy-ins, though the tournaments start at a $500 buy-in. This is world-class poker for a man on any budget.
Sports Book: Caesar’s Palace
If you’d rather bet on sports, you’ve gotta head to Caesar’s. There’s not much you can’t get odds on here. Even if you’re not looking to gamble, sitting down and watching everyone else do it is sort of like being on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during peak trading hours.
Girly Show: X Burlesque at Flamingo
Really, what’s a trip to Vegas without a girly show? Especially X Burlesque. This is old school Vegas updated for the 21st Century. Contemporary music, video, props, sexy costuming, make-up, lighting and other erotic visualization techniques combine for a tantalizing evening you’ll never forget.
Jump Off a Building: Skyjump Las Vegas at the Stratosphere Hotel
Bungee jump like a pro from one of the tallest buildings in Las Vegas, 108 stories up. You’ll either be terrified or having the time of your life, but you’ll remember it. This is the perfect way to cap a killer weekend in Vegas, and it really can be an evening thing—they’re open past midnight all week.
Waterslide Through a Shark Tank: The Tank at Golden Nugget
Water slides aren’t just for kids—or the summer. If you’re looking for a truly Vegas-level waterslide experience, get ready to swim with the sharks, figuratively speaking. Cruise down the slide safely surrounded by some of the world’s deadliest fish.
Get Married by Elvis: Graceland Chapel
If you’re going to get married in Vegas, Elvis needs to be involved. Jon Bon Jovi did it. Billy Ray Cyrus did it. Even the writer of this article did it. Note: Elvis will only marry you if you’re already married and having a second ceremony. Otherwise, he just serenades you and the new missus. Either way, it’ll be a night to remember.