You may be in Las Vegas, but you'll feel like you're in the tropics at The Golden Tiki. The drink menu features a hearty array of powerful and affordable drinks. This is the place to find drinks like the Mai Tai and Singapore Sling, along with generously sized bowls of Scorpions or Zombies that are meant to be shared. There's a backstory here, a fun tall tale about a pirate named William Tobias Faulkner and his search for gold. The themed interior includes thatched "roofs," an abundance of paintings featuring scantily clad ladies, and, of course, tiki gods. The Golden Tiki is located in Chinatown, just a short drive west of the Strip.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: A night at the Golden Tiki will transport you to a tropical paradise, complete with strong drinks, music and plenty of kitsch.
Terrisa's expert tip: Happy Hour at the Golden Tiki is daily from 4 to 7 p.m. Look for deals like $4 draft beer, $8 cocktails and snacks for $8 or less.
Once you successfully navigate the front door at the Downtown Cocktail Room--commonly known as DCR--you'll find a warm and inviting space, a good, old-fashioned bar. More importantly, you'll get to sample some of the drinks. The music doesn't drown out conversation here, and the custom-made cocktails are worth talking about. Fresh ingredients, including homemade bitters, are a specialty here. The menu ranks the complexity of each original cocktail and includes wine, beer, punch and absinthe. A "hidden" bar is also located within DCR: Mike Morey's Sip'N'Tip. Look for the entrance to this secretive place in the alley by the bar. And while DCR itself doesn't serve much in the way of food, the Fremont East area is full of restaurants.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Downtown Cocktail Room is one of Las Vegas' best bars, with a trendy ambiance and expertly created cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: You won't find anything more than light bites on the DCR menu, but you'll find a variety of excellent dining options in Downtown Las Vegas. Carson Kitchen, for example, is only a short stroll away.
Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World Las Vegas is a must-visit destination for those looking for a memorable nightclub experience. The 36,000-square-feet venue includes three areas: Capital Bar, Empire and the main room, also called Zouk. Capital Bar is a high-energy space featuring an LED canopy and top-notch mixology. Empire offers an eclectic mix of music, VIP seating, a dedicated bar and a center dance floor, all under four spectacular chandeliers. The main room is where the real party is happening, with DJs spinning the latest hits and dancers keeping the energy at high levels. The main room features two main bars and a 1,0110-square-foot dance floor surrounded by VIP banquettes. No matter which part of Zouk you're in, you're sure to enjoy great drinks and danceable music.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: With an impressive array of technology, top DJs and expert bartenders, Zouk brings a new take on nightlife to Las Vegas.
Terrisa's expert tip: Resident artists include Deadmau5, Tiesto and DJ Ruckus. Check the online events calendar for specific dates and to see other what other performers are featured.
Not surprisingly, one of the city's most striking bars is found in one of the city's most talked-about resorts. Conceived by renowned design and architecture firm the Rockwell Group, The Chandelier is an architectural wonder that combines more than 2 million crystal beads (the largest quantity of beads used in one installation in North America), three luxurious bars and exclusive music all within one three-story space inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Each floor houses its own unique bar experience where guests can enjoy interactive light shows along with their signature cocktails. The bottom floor offers a high-energy atmosphere that merges seamlessly with the surrounding casino, while the heart of The Chandelier provides a more swanky and sophisticated experience, and the top of The Chandelier gives guests a view of all that's going on below.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: For a truly unique nightlife experience, it's hard to beat having a drink inside one of The Chandelier's three levels.
Terrisa's expert tip: The We're All Mad Here cocktail, served on the Chandelier's middle level, is one of its most well-known beverages. This tasty gin drink changes colors while being mixed and comes with an edible tag that makes your tongue tingle.
The Laundry Room Las Vegas looks like a speakeasy from another time, and it acts like one, too. Hidden inside Commonwealth in Downtown Las Vegas, it only seats 22 people at a time, so you know you're in for a treat. The cocktails are hand-crafted, and guests have 27 signature drinks to choose from, as well as an assortment of whiskey. Their experienced bartender will make sure you find the perfect drink for your taste, and the vintage, prohibition-era décor will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Reservations are required, so be sure to plan ahead - you can only communicate with The Laundry Room via text. If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, The Laundry Room Las Vegas is the place for you.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Laundry Room offers guests an exceptional experience with its vintage design, delicious cocktails, and limited seating.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Laundry Room doesn't charge a cover, but there is a two-drink minimum, and a $6 per person popcorn purchase is required. Also, the gratuity is automatically included in your bill.
Long appreciated by locals, the Sand Dollar is the place to be for great blues and rock--and to catch the occasional star. The décor is simple, the music toe-tapping, and the clientele friendly and down-to-earth. According to regulars, the lounge frequently beats out venues on the Strip as the best place to hear live music. Lack of pretension, low cover charges, and late-night hours are just part of what keeps The Sand Dollar popular. The cocktail menu features some creative originals, plus a selection of paired shots and beers, as well as usual bar standards. Food is also available. Live music happens from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. and sometimes later. Check the online events calendar for details on upcoming performances.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Sand Dollar's welcoming dive-bar vibe includes live music and hand-crafted cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Sand Dollar's pizza goes beyond red sauce and pepperoni. Check out their menu to see all they offer, like the vegetarian Night in White Satin, with three kinds of cheese, peppers, basil and seasonal vegetables.
Hakkasan Nightclub is an all-encompassing nightlife experience, presented in five levels filled with a variety of experiences and atmospheres. The stunning space gives guests a reason to explore beyond the main floor, and every level has its own energy. The 10,000-square-foot club offers plenty of space to wander through and enjoy. Guests can see everyone from Calvin Harris to Tiësto performing at the club, and celebrity guest hosts appear frequently. Music is usually EDM, Hip Hop and Top 40. Hakkasan was created through partnerships with several leading international design firms, including Gilles & Bossier from Paris and New York's 212 Design, to offer guests an amazing experience.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The large, luxurious Hakkasan Nightclub has five levels of entertainment and bars to explore.
Terrisa's expert tip: If you plan on hitting several clubs, you may want to invest in the Las Vegas Party Pass. The pass gives unlimited access to Hakkasan, Omnia, Jewel and Tao and starts at $99.
Omnia at Caesars Palace gives party-goers 75,000-square-feet to dance, drink and mingle. This multi-level venue encompasses a sexy lounge, a high-energy main room and a rooftop garden that offers fabulous views of the Las Vegas Strip. Omnia was designed to be an interactive experience, and its LED chandelier is certainly a part of the action, ascending, descending and changing to the music. Look for antique mirrors, leather seats, and a large dance floor presided over by some of the best-known DJs. Since Omnia's opening, its combination of design features and great dance music have made it popular with critics and guests.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Omnia's sleek design, top DJs and breathtaking light shows come together for an evening full of dancing and fun.
Terrisa's expert tip: For the closest parking to Omnia, guests can self-park in the parking garage or use the valet at the Coliseum. Weekend costs for self-parking start at $15, and valet ranges from $20-$40; weekday costs are slightly lower.
XS provides a lavish club environment around Encore's sparkling pool. Decorated in rich gold, black, bronze and browns, and filled with thousands of individual light sources, XS takes its design inspiration from the human form. XS's large size gives you plenty of places to dance and drink, including outdoor VIP cabanas and a large circular dance floor inside that's surrounded by VIP tables. The best DJs and performers stop here, like Chainsmokers, DJ Diesel, Diplo, Alesso and Kygo. An events calendar is available online so guests can check ahead to see who's performing. In summer, guests can also enjoy XS Sunday Night Swim, when the club gets in the pool to party for the night.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: XS is the largest club in Las Vegas, but guests will probably remember its elegant design and big-name DJs and acts.
Terrisa's expert tip: XS enforces a dress code, which prohibits torn, cut-off, baggy and stained clothes, as well as offensive designs, swim wear, sweatpants and work boots. Check ahead if you have any questions about what to wear.
The entrance to TAO gives guests an interesting introduction to the club: it's lined with bathtubs filled with rose petals, and sometimes the tubs feature models clad only in the petals. For several years it's been one of the Strip's most desirable nightlife destinations and a haunt of A-listers in the sports and entertainment worlds with its Asian-inspired ambiance. The atmospheric club is adorned with Asian artifacts, décor and statuary, and soft lighting sets the scene, along with alluring performance artists. Over the main dance floor sits the DJ booth, raining down house, hip-hop and R&B over stylish patrons. An outdoor terrace and multiple bars ensure there are plenty of places to hang out.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The exotic, Asian-inspired design of TAO provides the perfect atmosphere for an exciting night out with friends.
Terrisa's expert tip: Be sure to check Tao's online event calendar ahead of your visit to see who's playing on the night you plan to visit. You can also reserve tables and buy tickets online.