For some people, the whole idea of ‘Sin City’ is a little cliché. And so it often proves, when Las Vegas doesn’t turn out to be quite the place you expect. For those who get it, Vegas really is heaven on earth in every way. For others, it has a habit of coming across as a little…well, manufactured in the extreme.
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly not for everyone. You can always play Cleopatra online slots from your pyjamas at home. If not though, where should you go for the same kind of gambling and general buzz Sin City is famous for?
Contrary to popular belief, Las Vegas isn’t the only place in the world with fantastic casinos and the kind of 24/7 lifestyle that’s borderline intoxicating. So if you’re looking for the perfect place to party, gamble and eat to excess just because you can, the following 10 Las Vegas alternatives come highly recommended:
First up comes maybe the most obvious entry of all – Atlantic City or the New Jersey coast. Pretty much the East Coast’s interpretation of Las Vegas, all the action is centred around a main boardwalk that boasts gorgeous views day and night. Just a few of the outstanding casinos to check out in Atlantic City include Resorts Casino Hotel, Borgata, Bally’s, Golden Nugget and Caesars. The dining opportunities are second to none, as are the endless boat trips and excursions from the marina for a little wildlife watching at its best.
Slightly further afield, Australia’s Gold Coast is the place to head if looking to combine the most idyllic and extraordinary beach life in the world with superb 24/7 entertainment. Award winning restaurants and bars, stunning rainforests, international theme parks and of course, the equally famous Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Along with being an absolute paradise for surfers (hence the name on the famed strip of coastline), it’s the kind of region that caters to all tastes and preferences – regardless of what you’re looking for.
If Niagara Falls has made it to the list of places you just have to see in your lifetime, be sure to combine it with a stay in fabulous Toronto. The city lies no more than around 90 minutes from this remarkable waterfall, which sits in a region packed with endless entertainment and casino action. Plus the fact that it is right on the border between the United States and Canada means you get to check out two countries for the price of one! Just a few of the casinos you’ll really need to check out during your trip include Casino Niagara, Fallsview Casino Resort and Seneca Niagara. Plus, it is more than worth indulging in a guided tour or two, in order to see the Falls at their very best.
Heading a little (or a lot) further east, Macau has long been compared and contrasted with Las Vegas for its association with casino gaming and gambling on every level. But what makes Macau entirely unique is the way in which it brings together the super-modern and the ancient so seamlessly. Historic buildings and timeless culture blend right in with the endless shopping malls, gigantic casinos and modern way of life that keeps Macau buzzing 24 hours a day. Head over to the Venetian, Grand Lisboa, Sands, MGM Grand or Babylon Casino for every western casino classic, along with a fair few variations you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
What Monaco lacks in size it more than makes up for in exclusivity. Suffice to say, it isn’t the type of place you can expect to head with pennies in your pocket and live the local lifestyle. Still, even if you base yourself as far away as Nice, it only takes a quick train ride to head into Monaco for an afternoon or weekend. It goes without saying that the local highlights are Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Cafe de Paris, Sun Casino and Monte-Carlo Bay Casino – don’t expect to pay less than around $1,000 per night for a decent room in the heart of town.
By contrast, Dubai provides visitors with the opportunity to live a millionaire’s lifestyle, without having to go overboard with the spending. The only difference being that across the UAE as a whole, gambling remains illegal! Nevertheless, you can still expect the same kind of 24/7 buzz and atmosphere you’d expect from a weekend in Las Vegas. Spend your trip wasting as much time as possible on Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, JBR Beach, Sunset Beach or Al Mamzar Beach, enjoying some of the most decadent cuisine served up anywhere in the world!
Right at the heart of the Netherlands lies another city famed for its ‘sinful’ leisure tourism scene. The difference being that with its unofficial handle of the ‘Venice of the North’, Amsterdam combines absolute hedonism with incredible culture, history, architecture and beauty. The Holland Casino Amsterdam represents the best place to head for a spot of gambling, but most of the city in general doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘closing time’.
Often highly underrated by those who have never experienced it for themselves, New Orleans is one of the most quintessentially unique and captivating cities anywhere in the world. Particularly if you head over at the time of the Mardi Gras parade. Either way, the rich culture and unparalleled nightlife of New Orleans make it exactly the kind of place that’s worthy of stopping by. Be sure to check out Harrah’s Casino, Treme, Jackson Square, Audubon Zoo and French Quarter while in town.
9. Biloxi, Mississippi
Not too far away, Biloxi could be a prime candidate for America’s best city you’ve never heard of. Along with eight incredible casinos running 24 hours a day, there are A-Lister packed live shows throughout the year, an extraordinary dining scene and the most idyllic subtropical climate imaginable. The total package you’d expect from Las Vegas, only with the removal of the chaotic crowds and the addition of unbroken views of the Gulf Coast from your hotel room.
Last but not least, if you genuinely cannot make your mind up as to where to head, why not consider a cruise? These days, cruise liners are less methods of transportation and more floating interpretations of Las Vegas in their own right. Most packed with the kind of 24/7 entertainment that puts most modern cities to shame. From world-class nightly shows to Michelin-Star dining to some of the best casinos on land or on sea, the contemporary cruise experience really can be amazing!