Best Vegas bachelor party ideas
At the Palms Casino Resort, outlandish enclaves are just an elevator ride away, including MTV Cribs-style suites where the bedrooms and living spaces are supplemented by private pools, personal bowling alleys and even your own basketball court. Inside the Hardwood Suite, you can live out NBA fantasies on a half basketball court complete with locker room, scoreboard and entertainment screen. Not much of a baller? Consider the Kingpin Suite with its two bowling alleys or the 6,500-square-foot Sky Suite, where a pool leans out over the edge of the building and a team of butlers tends to your every need. Of course, rolling like a rock star doesn’t come cheap. But this is Las Vegas. Go ahead and live a little.
If you’ve ever harbored a Top Gun fantasy, well, grab your aviators, Maverick. Sky Combat Ace is the closest most of us will ever come to feeling the rush of a fighter pilot dancing through the skies. Book the Top Gun package, then get behind the controls and, with the aid of an instructor, undertake aerobatic maneuvers like torque rolls, tail spins and the hammerhead stall (that’s the one where the plane points up, stalls and drops backwards toward the earth). But don’t stop there: Sky Combat also offers air combat experiences, where you can ride along or pilot during simulated aerial dogfights and low level bombing runs.
Nightclubs don’t come more epic than those on the Vegas Strip, and the current king of the party landscape is Omnia, a 75,000-square-foot behemoth from Hakkasan Group that hosts top-tier musical talent like Calvin Harris, Nervo and Kaskade. Hit the main room dancefloor to bounce with the masses under a kinetic chandelier or splurge on a table and lay back in the cut while scantily clad servers ply you with Red Bull and vodka. When you need to catch your breath, step outside onto a terrace overlooking the Strip or slip into Heart of Omnia, a sexy lounge where the intimacy is contagious.
Solid ground is for suckers, especially when you have neighbors like the Grand Canyon, which stretches 277 miles long and plummets up to a mile deep in nearby Arizona. Seeing the natural wonder from the air is an unforgettable experience, but landing inside the canyon’s walls for a champagne toast and picnic snack is the icing on the proverbial cake. Hop a bird with Maverick Helicopters and cruise over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on your way to the canyon, then be back on the Strip in time for happy hour.
Las Vegas was a bit late to the craft beer revolution, but now that the movement has arrived it’s going gangbusters. Taste what the locals are cooking with a Downtown beer crawl. Your journey kicks off at the Arts District’s Hop Nuts Brewing, where the taproom pours 20 beers at a time, including house creations like Hop Hellion and Saizon de Lemondrop. Then mosey over to Banger Brewing for a free tour, taste signature brews like the El Heffe jalapeño hefeweizen or Perfect 10 American Pale Ale with a side of fully loaded Mexican fries. Finally, stumble over to local staple Tenaya Creek, where the taps pull year-round favorites, seasonals and guest pints from regional friends like Uinta and Crafthaus.
Seeing a Golden Knights game at the T-Mobile Arena isn’t just another hour of skating and sticking. It’s hockey a la Las Vegas, complete with celebs on the Jumbotron, “Viva Las Vegas” and a little extra glitz thrown in the mix. And when the puck stops spinning, you’re still on the Strip. Which might make a Golden Knights match the best pregame in town.
Cirque du Soleil’s enchanting spectacles have long been the dominant entertainment force on the Strip, but they’ve helped give birth to something a bit more… naughty. Absinthe is one part circus, one part pelvic-thrusting comedy show, performed inside an intimate spiegeltent, where the acrobats are often teetering above your head. The ring-leader Gazillionaire’s explicit jokes set the tone, but the performers steal the show with killer dance moves, high-wire daring and other acts that are equal parts astounding, arousing and just plain strange. You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, you’ll uncontrollably blush. This ain’t your mama’s Vegas show.
Want to rub elbows with poker elite? Enter the Bellagio, the grand dame of Strip resorts where novices and legends alike come for serious and casual games while sipping complimentary Manhattans and negronis. The sans-smoking poker lounge has 40 tables and is open 24/7, with table side dining and plenty of action depending on when you show up. Grab your friends for entry-level games starting from $4/8 limit and $1/3 no-limit Hold’em, or do your best high roller impression inside the uber-exclusive Bobby’s Room where minimum buy-ins can start around the cost of a year’s college tuition.
At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, home of several NASCAR races each year, you can spend the day behind the wheel of vehicles straight out of a Hollywood action flick: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Porsches, all gassed up and ready to go. Book a session with Dream Racing, who will put you in a simulator before you saddle up and buckle your safety belt. Then hit the track and hold on tight. With an instructor riding shotgun, you’ll satisfy your adrenaline addiction but never feel out of control.
More into beers than bottle service and powerboats than pool parties? Grab your bros and book a pontoon or some jet skis for a day on Lake Mead. The manmade reservoir surrounded by rough desert is a welcome break from the Strip’s piped-in scents and round-the-clock slots. Bring some snacks and a few six packs, then spend the day cruising the lake, exploring hidden coves and having lunch on the beach. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
Las Vegas spas are a cut above, and the Wynn and Encore boast luxurious enclaves where the casino clamor gives way to calming sounds and soothing treatments. Surrender to some man pampering—a massage and maybe a straight razor shave—then return to the action feeling a little more awesome.
It holds the Guinness World Record for highest commercial decelerator descent (which is Guinness speak for absolutely terrifying). It starts from an official height of 829 feet. It reaches speeds of over 40 miles per hour. It tests your nerve before you ever step off the ledge. It is the SkyJump, a controlled free fall from the top of the Stratosphere tower that’s less violent than a bungee jump, but just as thrilling. For an additional $30, the groom can take home photos and wrist cam footage from his trip back to Earth, so everyone can hear what he sounds like shrieking in utter terror.
Beyond the glittering Strip, the rest of Las Vegas is an outdoor adventure waiting to happen with lofty peaks and narrow canyons all accessible within an hour’s drive. Head north to Mount Charleston to escape the heat with some elevation among the ancient bristlecone pines or west to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, where desert scrambles and dozens of trails beckon. For a more unique experience, consider Goldstrike Canyon near Lake Mead, a five-mile roundtrip trek that includes climbing over boulders using fixed ropes and ladders on your way to natural hot springs and a refreshing dip in the Colorado River. Bring lots of water and remember that the trail is closed during the summer when the temperature can get deadly hot.
Channel your inner lumberjack at Axe Monkeys, a range dedicated to the old-school art of chucking low-tech weapons at wood. Reserve a lane or two, absorb a quick safety briefing, than grab an axe, step to the line and throw. Not only is pitching an axe a pretty good rush, but the learning curve is steep, so you’ll be nailing your attempts in no time. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, upgrade to ninja stars, throwing knives or even metal player cards. You’re just one martini and a good suit away from 007 status.
What Las Vegas lacks in coastline, it makes up for in poolscapes, over-the-top aquatic playgrounds where you can dance to an A-list DJ, lounge on a semi-submerged lily pad, hang at the blackjack table or even dig your toes into the sand. Hit Encore Beach Club for a barely dressed, booze-infused splash bash or head to Mandalay Beach, where guests float the lazy river, ride the wave pool and plant towels on the sandy shore. There’s a poolside casino for gamers, a topless adults-only area and nighttime concerts during the summer. Surf’s up.
Scrub the word “diet” from your vocabulary. While in Vegas, your paleo/low-fat/portion control proclivities need not apply, and your best bet for feeding a crowd is the buffet. The modern Vegas buffet isn’t a sad chafing dish affair. Gone are the tubs of tortellini and vats of limp vegetables, and in their place you’ll find fresh, interesting fare plated individually and often cooked to order. For the most creative mix, head to Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan, where you’ll find spicy mac and cheese, kung pao cauliflower, even bone marrow. Wash it all down with unlimited house wines and Modelo beer for an additional $15.
Sin City is famous for its strip clubs, party pads where beautiful women take the stage and welcome bachelors to the back room for some private attention. From casual dives to mega clubs and everything in between, the city is a buffet of barely dressed women used to showering gentleman with affection. Hit the venerable Spearmint Rhino for a high-end time or spend a day at the Sapphire Pool & Dayclub, where strippers mingle with guests poolside and you won’t have to ask your buddy to rub sunscreen on your shoulders.