Because the start of the weekend in Vegas calls for celebration, consider adding a few of these Friday must-dos to your summer bucket list.
1. Get Centered for the Weekend
Trust us, you’ll need plenty of rest before gearing up for a weekend in Vegas. Might we suggest a mid-morning refresher at the Strip’s newest retreat, the Spa at The Linq? Along with the usual massages, facials, and body treatments, the space offers a salt room to clear your head and plenty of high-tech amenities, like iPod hookups that let you play your own music during treatments.
2. Start Your Staycation Early
If you’re a local, be a tourist in your own city at one of Vegas’ decidedly untouristy vacation spots, like the scenic resorts village at Lake Las Vegas.
3. Grab a Drink on the Patio
Looking for a spot to hunker down in the shade for a few hours? Our vote goes to Rhumbar at The Mirage, with its seemingly endless selections of premium rums, cigars, and hookah flavors.
4. Hit Vegas’ Best Friday-Afternoon Pool Party
Come Friday afternoon, cut out of work early for Ditch Fridays, the Palms Pool’s weekly bash that entices partygoers to start their weekends during weekday hours. Expect hosts with varying degrees of celebrity status (Chumlee from Pawn Stars, the cast of Vanderpump Rules) and the kind of off-the-wall debauchery that can only happen in Vegas.
We’re especially partial to the house margaritas, $2 oysters, and $5 quesadillas at The Forum Shops’ Border Grill.
6. Catch the Hottest New Show in Town
Over at Mandalay Bay’s Light Nightclub, it’s all about Luhrmann. Wednesday through Monday nights at 8 p.m., the multilevel space hosts the immersive production For the Record: Baz, tying in songs and dialogue from three of the trailblazing Australian director’s most popular films: Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and The Great Gatsby. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… you won’t want to miss this.
7. Experiment With a New Restaurant (or an Old Favorite)
Up next on our list are Downtown’s new Therapy restaurant (PICTURED), Mochiko Chicken on the Westside, and El Dorado Cantina, just a couple of blocks from the Strip—and of course, there’s always the 24-hour Peppermill for those late nights when all you’re craving is a Reuben on rye.
8. Go to a Major Concert…
With so many top-notch artists stopping in Vegas this summer, it’ll be hard to choose which ones to see. From Fall Out Boy at Mandalay Bay Beach on August 7, to Aretha Franklin at the Colosseum on August 14, to D’Angelo at the Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea theater on August 21, there’s something for music lovers of every age and preference on the calendar.
9. …Or Head to an Under-the-Radar Spot for Some After-Hours Entertainment
There’s hardly a shortage of blockbuster shows in Vegas, but you won’t find some of our favorite places to hear live music in any guidebook. Check out The Label at Palazzo for jazz and retro tunes—many of them played by musicians from Bob Anderson’s Sinatra reenactment show, Frank: The Man. The Music., performed next door—every night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., or head off the Strip to Tuscany Suites’ Piazza Lounge for local talent that rotates each night of the week.
10. Make Your Way to the Roof
Vegas might be short on rooftop bars, but the ones we do have are must-see nightspots. Set a few blocks back from the Strip, VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub at Rio offers a panorama of all of the area’s major sights, while the Stratosphere’s new Radius rooftop pool (PICTURED), located on the hotel’s 25th floor, is a less intimidating alternative to the top of the famous tower. Away from the Strip, meanwhile, you’ll find us at Fremont Street’s Commonwealth or the Pool Deck at Downtown Grand.