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: At the Golden Tiki, guests can enjoy a big dose of kitsch, potent tropical drinks and a lively nightlife scene.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Golden Tiki ofers a Happy Hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m., with deals like $4 draft beer, $8 cocktails and snacks like coconut shrimp and crab rangoons for under $8.
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 food, the Fremont East area is full of restaurants.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Few Las Vegas bars can match the creativity and quality of the ever-changing drink menu at the Downtown Cocktail Room.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Downtown Cocktail Room doesn't serve much in the way of food, offering only snacks, but the East Fremont area is full of terrific restaurants.
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: One of Las Vegas' newest nightclubs, Zouk offers well-known artists and top-shelf mixology to go along with its vibrant décor.
Terrisa's expert tip: Be sure to check the events calendar ahead of your visit to see who'll be playing during the time you're visiting. Recent headliners have included Post Malone, Ludacris and Tiesto.
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 vibe 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: Each of The Chandelier's three levels offers a distinctively upscale experience as well as the novelty of sitting inside a chandelier.
Terrisa's expert tip: Don't miss out on one of The Chandelier's expertly crafted signature drinks. Whiskey Business, Finishing School and We're All Mad Here demonstrate this bar's acclaimed mixology.
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 decor 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 in Downtown Las Vegas offers a speakeasy-style cocktail experience with a retro, vintage ambiance.
Terrisa's expert tip: Although The Landry Room doesn't charge a cover, there is a two-drink minimum as well as a mandatory $6 per person popcorn purchase. Aside from the popcorn, there's no food service.
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, including their very popular pizza. 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: For live music, expertly made cocktails and an invitingly dive-ish vibe, you simply can't go wrong at The Sand Dollar Lounge.
Terrisa's expert tip: The Sand Dollar recently added another location at the Plaza hotel in Downtown Las Vegas. The new spot has the same welcoming ambiance as the original, with music, artisanal pizza and pool tables.
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: At Hakkasan, guests can explore the five levels of entertainment offered at this vibrant, energetic club.
Terrisa's expert tip: Club goers who want to stop in at several nightclubs may want to buy the Las Vegas Party Pass, which offers access to a select group of clubs from Thursday through Sunday. The pass works for Hakkasan, Omnia, Jewel, Tao and Marquee, and costs start 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: With its interactive chandelier and incredible Strip views, Omnia offers its guests a memorable evening full of drinking and cocktails.
Terrisa's expert tip: Omnia hosts the Strip's only dedicated Latin nightclub experience, Deseo Latin Sundays. Everything from the music to the décor has a Latin theme on these Sundays.
Circa Resort and Casino is the first new hotel in Downtown Las Vegas in decades, and the property keeps setting a high bar with its food and beverage choices. At its swanky Legacy Club Rooftop Cocktails, this new resort pulls out all the stops. Overlooking the city from a perch on the hotel's 60th floor, Legacy Club combines a bit of Old Vegas with the magnificently modern aesthetic that the hotel has become known for. The club's centerpiece is a display of 1,000 ounces of gold, or 500 custom gold bars, but its enduring appeal comes from its incredible view and its talented bartenders. In addition to a full bar, menu highlights include a build-your-own Old Fashioned. Look for a variety of hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and wine.
Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Legacy Club Rooftop Cocktails offers guests an elevated cocktail experience, literally and figuratively.
Terrisa's expert tip: Serious cocktail enthusiasts will want to take advantage of the monthly Craft Cocktail Series, which gives attendees the chance to learn how to make three classic cocktails. Each month highlights a different spirit.
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 offers guests an elegantly designed, spacious club with the hottest DJs and all the standard nightclub features, like bottle service.
Terrisa's expert tip: A dress code is enforced at XS, which prohibits torn, cut-off, baggy and stained clothing as well as athletic wear, tank tops and work boots. When Night Swim is in season, appropriate swimwear is required and nothing see-through or risqué is allowed.