A slew of recommendations about glitzy, trashy, action-packed, unexplored, campy, and generally thrilling ways to spend your days and nights in Sin City. Hit the ATM and follow us.
You’ll have no problem stuffing your face and spending your money in Vegas, but make sure to hit the desert, maybe take some psychedelics, and appreciate the city’s full splendor outside the casinos.
Taji tries to win big at the casino but somehow ends up in a haunted clown hotel and a brothel.
Zero-proof cocktails, driving race cars, helicopter rides, and much more fun for a booze-free trip to Vegas.
Fear and loathing, beers and ghosting.
When it comes to historic jeans and workwear, Brit Eaton is the guy. We follow him into Nevada's mines to find denim gold.
Las Vegas dining is more than just casino buffets. Here are the mind-blowing food carts, strip-mall surprises, paycheck-obliterating sushi spots, and other culinary wonders scattered across Sin City.
Steve Chu samples some of Las Vegas’ most classic food and entertainment attractions, and learns about the history of Vegas.
Steve Chu indulges in some of the most expensive and extreme offerings around Las Vegas – the kind you can only enjoy in Sin City.
Steve Chu explores all things Las Vegas Strip – adjacent and lesser known, where he experiences the more “local” side of Sin City’s food and entertainment.
Vegas partying is more than just the Strip. Think sweaty sex parties, dive bars of the illest repute, Chinatown’s hidden treasures, a clown motel, and so many other ways to have the night of your life. You can always recover with an IV drip in your hotel room—we did!
17 bars, six games of pool, and an unknowable number of Miller Lites later, I finally tracked it down. But I could never have prepared myself for what I found along the way.
A local overcomes his skepticism of Chinatown to embrace karaoke, hand-pulled noodles, and mochi donuts.
If you’re trying to hit a “lifestyle event,” here’s everything to know about where to go, what to wear, and how to act.
Want to know where all this shit actually is? We mapped every spot in the Vegas guide for your navigational ease. Click around and find out—then go get after it already.
We put together a slew of glitzy, trashy, under-explored, and action-packed ways to get off the Strip and have a killer time in Vegas. Hit the ATM and follow us.
Over five days I recently spent in Las Vegas, God knows I wasn’t always seeing things clearly, given the mind-bending, dice-hurling, martini-slugging barrage that was my trip. But I quickly found that the best approach was exactly that kind of freewheeling one. So I surrendered to the city and bopped along on a new frequency, one attuned closely to the trashily divine heartbeat that regulates this bedazzled desert paradise.
In Vegas, it felt right to shuck off my real-life primness and let my surroundings dictate my days. I applied CoverGirl concealer to my third eye and walked without abandon into the mirage. Once, this meant I drank an amaro floater on a frozen piña colada poolside at a ritzy hotel, which my colleagues snuck me into with a fake key card after I spent all morning at a sex party. Another day, we teared up while blaring “More, More, More” from a white Camaro convertible on a drive through Red Rock. Inside those millennia-old canyons, I felt pleasantly mortal. I thought of everyone who’d looked at the sandstone before I arrived on the planet, and all who will after I traipse off of it… while also screaming along to disco music with my friends.
The best, though, was searching for a view of a lunar eclipse outside the pyramid-shaped hotel where I stayed, and, inside of it, meeting Carrot Top, the prop comedian and crown prince of Vegas. Mr. Top was very gracious! In his rhinestone-plastered dressing room, I admired a dreadlock in his hair that he’d fused together with earring backs, rubber bands, and the plastic beads children string on yarn necklaces. Las Vegas is full of fucked-up treasure. You only have to let go in order to see it in the right light.
Figuring out an agenda prior to a trip to Las Vegas is a tricky proposition, given that the city doesn’t always make sense from the outside (or even when you’re in it). In Learning From Las Vegas, a pioneering 1972 architecture book by Denise Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, and Steven Izenour, the writers notice that photos of the Strip are illusory. “Las Vegas daylight makes the polychrome temples stand out proud and clear in the desert. This is a quality hard to catch on film,” they write. And besides: “Las Vegas is better known for its night light than its daylight.” Even when everything about the place seems blatant, what you actually find there has the tendency to shape-shift, depending on your vantage—and, of course, your luck.
OK, so why in the name of Siegfried & Roy would VICE go to the trouble of making you a guide to such an unpinnable place? Because it’s so, so much fun, and, yes, so meaningful, when you actually go and chart your own path through the scuzzball glitz and technicolor sand. And we want to show you proof.
While all of us at VICE trust you to freak what you feel, here’s our fucked-up treasure map. (You might find it especially useful because Vegas is a bachelor party/business conference–strewn obstacle course that you only have a few days to explore.) Though we clocked many hours in Las Vegas’s mega-casinos, we chased down plenty beyond the bright lights: ratty watering holes; convivial orgies; dirt roads hovering over the city to reveal those wavy, opulent views of the Strip. We learned that winning in Vegas can mean hitting it big at the tables, like when senior staff writer Katie Way and I ran around bellowing, “We’re PRINTING money!” after—sorry to brag—we won $40 on roulette. But the true payoff of visiting Las Vegas, whatever you do there, is feeling totally and sheerly alive. (Even when that’s mortal in a bad way, which is to say hungover and still out, ordering a hotel-lobby hot dog at 5 a.m.)
Some people expect Las Vegas to be depressing. I did! It wasn’t. Whether I was surrounded by ancient rock formations or the slutty coconut smell wafting around the blackjack tables, I felt lucky in the ultra-sense. But luck was just one piece of it. The main thing I hope you take away from The VICE Guide to Las Vegas is how to allow yourself to feel not only lucky, but free.
Blowing on your dice,
Amy Rose Spiegel, deputy editor, VICE