Las Vegas has plenty of places to enjoy a cocktail or some other adult beverage after a long day at MAGIC Las Vegas. Some, however, are more distinctive than others. Here are five spots that offer unique Las Vegas experiences and the opportunity to capture some Instagramable moments guaranteed to make even the most seasoned Vegas visitor wonder where you’re imbibing.
The Golden Tiki: Located in a strip mall in Chinatown, just a few minutes from the Strip, this tiki lounge transports you to a Polynesian island — or at least a theme park replica of one. Owner Branden Powers has packed it with more memorabilia and kitsch than a Disneyland attraction (some of it reportedly came from decommissioned rides at Walt’s theme park). Pose for a selfie on the giant clam shell. Check out the collection of shrunken heads of various Las Vegas celebrities. Try to find Hunter S. Thompson’s hunting knife. But be sure to order one of the delicious tiki drinks first. 3939 Spring Mountain Road, 702-222-3196, thegoldentiki.com
Ghost Donkey: Tucked in the back of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ new high-end food court, Block 16, this bar might easily be dismissed as a fire exit, were it not for a small festive donkey logo. Walk through it and you’re transported into a festive bar bathed in a red glow, with icicle lights hanging from the ceiling and disco lights dancing on the walls. Mezcal cocktails are the house specialty, but make sure to try the truffle nachos. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-698-7000, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
Foundation Room: Operated by the House of Blues, this clubhouse for members of its charitable foundation doubles as a nightclub in the sky adorned with relics from India and the Far East. Arrive closer to sunset, however and it has a mellow, lounge vibe. It’s also the best time to grab a spot on the balcony and take in one of the best views of the Strip just as the marquees begin illuminating Las Vegas Boulevard. Enter through a set of private elevators near the entrance to Mandalay Bay. Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-632-7631, mandalaybay.com
Double Down Saloon: Get away from the glitz and glamor and revel in Las Vegas’ seedy underbelly at its premiere punk rock bar. The decor is dingy, with a hefty dose of graffiti. The house specialties are a bacon martini and a collection of liquor bottle remnants known as “ass juice.” The music is loud and obnoxious. In a city built on fantasy and illusions, this is as legit as it gets. 4640 Paradise Road, 702-791-5775, doubledownsaloon.com
Corduroy: Downtown Las Vegas has plenty of hip and trendy drinking spots. But for something a little retro, head to Corduroy for a flashback to the ‘80s. From the DJ booth decorated with refurbished classic audio to the restroom walls plastered with the pages of hair-metal fan magazines, this place strives to be anything but modern. Ask the bartender for a Screaming Viking, a sly reference to the classic sitcom “Cheers.” Then snap a photo in the sole nod to millennials — a strobe-lit selfie booth. 515 Fremont St., 702-553-2548, corduroylv.com