Dance, Theater, and Music

Cirque du Soleil

"Surreal. Twisted. Genius. Must-see shows that do for theater what Dali did for painting.”—Andrew Dean Nystrom, senior editor/producer, Travel, Los Angeles Times (travel.latimes.com). Family-friendly Mystère at Treasure Island; aquatic acrobatics in the Bellagio’s O; LOVE with a Beatles soundtrack at the Mirage. Shows at multiple venues. www.cirquedusoleil.com

Harrah's

“Rita Rudner's side-splitting comedy, Mac King’s funny magic, and the best stand-ups in the biz at The Improv.”—Rick Garman. Tip: Discount same-day tickets may be available at Tix4Tonight (www.tix4tonight.com) ticket booths. Harrah’s Las Vegas, 3475 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. 800 392 2002. www.harrahs.com

Le Rêve

“No, it’s not Cirque, but it’s Cirque-like. Spend the extra bucks for the VIP package: personal TV screens, chocolate-covered strawberries, and bottomless glasses of champagne.”—Thom Wise. Dreamy, intimate aquatic theater-in-the-round. 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. 888 320 7110. www.wynnlasvegas.com

Pearl

“Manages a 2,500-person intimacy and takes mercy on your eardrums.”—Mike Prevatt. Modern rock acts, from Gwen Stefani to Marilyn Manson, fill the house; comedy and sporting events, too. Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road; tel. +1 702 944-3200. www.palms.com

Spamalot

“Monty Python quenches the Strip’s thirst for genuine wit.”—Mike Prevatt. Abbreviated version of award-winning Broadway show based on the cult movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. 888 320 7110. www.wynnlasvegas.com

The Colosseum

“Bette Midler, Elton John, and more of the biggest names in showbiz make this plush theater their Vegas home.”—Rick Garman. One of North America’s largest indoor LED screens; 4,000-seat capacity. Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. 866 227 5938. www.harrahs.com

Nightlife

Beauty Bar

“Downtown bar inside a converted 1950s beauty salon gets the stiff indie kids dancing.”—Mike Prevatt, arts and entertainment editor, Las Vegas CityLife. Martini happy hours and makeovers; tongue-in-cheek beauty pageants; bargain DJ nights. 517 E. Fremont Street; tel. +1 702 598 1965. http://thebeautybar.com/las_vegas/

Double Down

“Punk music and bacon martinis make this the quintessential Las Vegas dive.”—Mike Prevatt. Calls itself “a clubhouse for the lunatic fringe.” Bellicose attitude; awesome jukebox. 4640 Paradise Road; tel. +1 702 791 5775. www.doubledownsaloon.com

Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge

Oddly endearing, old school cocktail lounge with outlandish neon, blue-velvet couches, flickering fire pit, and retro drinks like mai tais and Blue Hawaiians. Open 24 hours. Peppermill, 2985 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. +1 702 735 4177.

Forty Deuce

Brassy jazz combos back up talented burlesque acts blazing across the stage in authentic vintage style. Ignore the bachelorette-party scene. Mandalay Place, 3930 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. +1 702 632 9442. fortydeuce.com

LAX

“Embraces the city’s see-and-be-seen trend, with theater-style balconies and a celebrity pit for voyeurs.”—Jen Leo, Las Vegas correspondent, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog (travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog). Rev up or chill in the modish Flight lounge next door. Luxor, 3900 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 262 4529. www.laxthenightclub.com

Pure

“A braggable notch to carve on your Sin City belt. Top-tier VIP treatment, whether in a curtained red room, private booth, or getting bottle service near the dance floor.”—Jen Leo. Labyrinthine layout leads to a glittering Strip-view terrace. Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard S; tel. +1 702 731 7873. www.purethenightclub.com

Tao

“Sexy beyond expectation, my favorite all-around club and ideal location for a private cocktail party. Bathing beauties covered in only rose petals sit center stage, while newbies stand mesmerized. The Tao Beach addition only makes it that much better.”—Jen Leo. Fabulously popular pan-Asian bistro downstairs. Venetian, 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 388 8588. www.taolasvegas.com

Festivals

CineVegas Film Festival

June. Burgeoning film festival attracts Hollywood heavyweights and indie auteurs. Star-studded premiere screenings at Brenden Theatres & IMAX at the Palms casino resort. tel. +1 702 992 7979, 888 883 4278. www.cinevegas.com

UNLVino

Mid-April. A three-day epicurean event celebrating food and wine, with a grand 325-label wine tasting. Tip: Buy advance tickets starting March 1. tel. +1 702 876 4500. www.unlvino.com

Vegoose

Last weekend in October. This pre-Halloween indie music festival has performance artists, celebrity impersonators, and quickie weddings, too. tel. 800 594 8499. vegoose.com

World Series of Poker

Early June to mid-July. Online poker stars face off in high-stakes pro tournaments. Free public viewing. tel. +1 702 777 7777, 800 752 9746. www.worldseriesofpoker.com

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Early to mid-December. Real cowboys come to town. Annual hoedown downtown on Fremont Street. Tip: Buy same-day and “Mad Dash” rush tickets at the UNLV box office. tel. +1 702 739 3267, 866 388 3267. www.nfrexperience.com

Share

About Las Vegas and the United States

  • Photo: Las Vegas Strip

    Las Vegas

    Get travel tips, see photos, take a quiz and more with National Geographic's Ultimate Guide to Las Vegas.

  • Photo: Colorado River flowing through canyon walls

    United States

    Explore the United States through facts and photos, related features, a country map, and more.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities




2014 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a scuba diver at Green Lake in Austria.

    See All Entries

    Browse all the submissions and check back for the winning images.