We all know Las Vegas as Sin City, but odds are—if you’re a millennial— gambling might not be your speed. But if 24/7 debauchery is indeed your thing, there’s no place better than Vegas. And considering the fact Nevada recently legalized recreational cannabis, locals and tourists alike are taking full advantage of the new laws.
That said, the city can be overwhelming, that’s why we tracked down some popular places, and some hidden gems, to make your Vegas trip a memorable one. (Note: Because cannabis consumption is illegal in casinos and hotels, be mindful of where and how you do it. If you’re willing to risk it, make it inconspicuous)
Where to Go to Drink
Where: The Cosmopolitan
What: An upscale bar
Why it’s Great: There’s a giant freakin’ chandelier, to start. It’s three stories. Both the bar and the chandelier. It’s worth going just to ogle the 2 million crystals on the thing. Each floor has something for a different group. The first floor is for the fancy casino-goers, who flit in and out. The second level, “Inside the Chandelier,” which is literally inside the thing, provides a craft cocktail bar. Finally, a sophisticated lounge can be found on the top floor, removing you from all the casino fuss altogether. At the Chandelier, you pick your own poison.
Herbs & Rye
Where: 3713 W Sahara Ave
What: A restaurant and award-winning craft cocktail bar
Why it’s Great: Situated firmly across the Las Vegas freeway from The Strip, Herbs & Rye has been credited with helping to usher in a new age of craft cocktail bars in Las Vegas. It’s won numerous awards, including “Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar” from the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation in 2016. It’s unassuming on the outside, almost to the point you wouldn’t believe its accolades, but that’s not unusual in Vegas. The bar is upscale, but not excessively fancy; think of a prohibition-era speakeasy style melding of worlds.
Where: Corner of N Main and Fremont St
What: A raucous bar with a history
Why it’s Great: Admittedly, I think I probably wouldn’t have stayed at Bar Prohibition for more than a drink. Once a watering hole for The Rat Pack, this bar on the floor of the Golden Gate Casino Hotel is busy, full of people walking in from “The Fremont Street Experience” just outside. However, if you’re into old Vegas history, it doesn’t get more historical than a true prohibition era bar, one that was once frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra. Worth going for the history.
Where to Go to Pick Up
Where: 2320 Western Ave
What: A dispensary, cannabis kitchen, and museum
Why it’s Great: In keeping with the “more is more” atmosphere of Las Vegas, Acres is part cannabis kitchen, part museum, part dispensary. In the dispensary, you’ll find a selection of high-end cannabis products, including beautifully packaged brands like BINSKE and in-house brand ROVE, accommodating every consumption method you can imagine. For those who want a non-medicated souvenir to take home, they also have apparel from many top brands as well. But Fridays or Saturdays are the best days to make an Acres stop. A rotating group of vendors hosts a cannabis farmer’s market from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in a part of the building called “The Underground.” Expect great deals and a large selection.
Where: Just off the north end of the Strip
What: A really, really big dispensary
Why it’s Great: The largest recreational dispensary in the world, you can’t go down the strip without hitting an ad for Planet13. Luckily, its location is just past Treasure Island when you’re heading north on the Strip, so you won’t have to go too far to get to the 112,000 foot complex. You won’t have to worry about a crowded check out, though—just head to one of any 45 cash registers. This dispensary, which Leafly called “The best overall dispensary in Nevada” in their year-end list, is a must-see for any enthusiast who wants to see how far legal cannabis has come.
Where: 2550 S Rainbow Blvd, #8
What: A more chill dispensary
Why it’s Great: If you want good product, but don’t want to be totally overwhelmed by your experience, The Source is the place to go. It’s great for beginners and veteran smokers alike, and the clean decor and knowledgeable staff are the reason this place so often referred to as one of the best dispensaries in Las Vegas.
Where to Go While You’re Stoned:
The Bellagio Fountain
Where: Outside The Bellagio
What: A water show set to music
Why it’s Great: Whether you’re a big fan of the Ocean’s movies, or just like to watch pretty water shows, the Bellagio fountain show is legendary for a reason. The fusion of light, water, and music are engrossing, and perfectly timed (you’ll never see it miss a beat.) Maybe you think you’re too old for a water show, but it’s hard not to feel a sense of awe at the fountain’s beauty. Las Vegas is just Disneyland for adults anyway.
The Mirage Volcano
Where: In front of the Mirage Hotel
What: A (fake) erupting volcano!
Why it’s Great: You don’t have to risk your life to see a volcano erupt, or even travel anywhere outside of Vegas. The Mirage Hotel welcomes everyone to come see their volcano erupt. Soundtracked by Mickey Hart (formerly of The Grateful Dead,) this attraction is right on the Strip and goes off at 8, 9, and 10 p.m.—perfect for before or after a show.
The Stratosphere Observation Deck
Where: The top of the Stratosphere Hotel
What: An observation deck, and more
Why it’s Great: Going up to the observation deck on top of The Stratosphere, you’ll be on the tallest observation tower in the United States (it stands at 1,149 feet). Floor-to-ceiling indoor enclosures make this deck a good way to view the beautiful, legendary lights of Las Vegas either intoxicated or sober. If you happen to be sober, there are rides at the top of The Stratosphere too, including an exhilarating, yet terrifying bungee jump. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Where to Go When the Strip Gets Overwhelming
The Neon Museum Las Vegas
Where: Off N Las Vegas Boulevard, right near Heritage Park
What: A museum
Why it’s Great: Pouring over the past iterations and old signs of Las Vegas at the Neon Museum was probably the highlight of my trip. You know what made it even better? Edibles. Taking a manageable dose of edibles and walking through the museum a few times was incredible. I probably could have sat and stared at the buzzing, blinking bulbs on the Fitzgerald’s sign for hours. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their work, giving even more life to the experience. Ask them about any sign and they’ll have interesting facts about it, or spend a little extra cash to take the tour and you’ll get the full history of Vegas, mob ties and all, through neon signs.
Where: The Middle of Nowhere
What: A ghost town
Why it’s great: This one will require a roughly two-hour car trip and an interest in ghost towns, but the end result was, in my opinion, worth it. Rhyolite was a wild west boomtown that sprang up in 1905, close to the NV/CA border. Once so big that it had 3 trains running through it, Rhyolite was abandoned to nothing more than a few crumbling buildings. You can go all the way up to—and take a peek inside—of some of them, but not all. Abandoned mine shafts in the mountains can also be seen from the town. You also get a sense for how life in Nevada was for gold miners or just people trying to pass through and make their name in the early twentieth century. It’s as beautiful as it is far away, and the views of the Mojave desert from the highway alone are enough to make you feel in touch with something much, much larger than yourself. (There’s also a nifty open-air museum with a few sculptures just outside of the town).
Where: The Arts District
What: An antiques shop
Why it’s Great: There are plenty of antiques stores in Las Vegas, but Antique Alley has something for just about everyone. It’s also located squarely in the middle of Las Vegas’s Arts District, which is a beautiful place to peruse on its own. At the shop, I almost bought a pair of vintage Rolling Stones tickets, while the person I was with had their eye on a wooden sign with a parrot painted onto it. You’ll find multiple different vendors, each with a slightly different niche. If there’s something you want to collect, be it an old Shell pump or Al Capone’s signature, Antique Alley probably has it.
Where to Go For Food
Makers & Finders
Where: The Arts District
What: Café during the day, Latin-American restaurant at night
Why it’s Great: A place I stumbled onto after a ridiculously bad case of cottonmouth forced me out of Antique Alley, Makers + Finders is everything you’d expect from a modernized café. With plenty of meat and plant-based options, there’s a menu option for anyone who walks in, and at night the café fare turns into creative, healthy latin food. The coffee is great, which is to be expected from a place like M+F. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you absolutely have to get the Hibiscus Iced Tea. I’m not a huge iced tea fan, much less hibiscus flavored, but I took a chance and it absolutely paid off. Not only did it get rid of my cottonmouth completely, but it was hands-down the best iced tea I have ever had. Bonus points for the fact it’s served over crushed ice.
Where: Multiple Locations
What: Mexican-American food
Why it’s Great: Ah, Nacho Daddy. With three locations—the Strip, Downtown Vegas, and Summerlin—what was once a local favorite has ballooned into a wonderful stop for out-of-towners. Particularly ones with the munchies. And given the slogan “Never a dry chip,” who could resist? I went to Nacho Daddy twice while I was in Vegas, and I attest to both the fact that their slogan is accurate, and that their food (other than nachos) is pretty damn good too. I’m too much of a baby to try their scorpion hot sauce, but it’s available for the more adventurous palate. What’s more, they’re home to “The Original Scorpion Shot,” a shot comprised of Patron Anejo, lime, a salted rim and…a pickled scorpion.
Le Village Buffet
Where: The Paris
What: French food, buffet-style
Why it’s Great: Vegas is famous for its buffets, and I meticulously combed through them to decide which were worth of my time. The Le Village buffet, which takes multiple French cuisines and sets them in a small fake town—hence the name—blew my expectations out of the water. Once you get there, be seriously prepared to eat. Don’t overload your first plate, pick the things you want to eat most and get them first. Then, do another go-round and pick up everything you missed (like their always-in-stock crab legs). Finally, pile your plate high with every pastry imaginable at their dessert station. Congratulations—you did Vegas right.
Heading to Toronto? Take a weed friendly tour of our High City Guide first.