TOP 5 OUTDOOR DRINKING SPOTS IN VEGAS
With spring here and pool season swinging into view, we’re fast approaching peak season for Las Vegas.
The late spring window of May/June is arguably the greatest time of year to visit Las Vegas. Outdoor bars and restaurants are all opening, pools are dusting off their winter renovations, and the weather is close to perfect – warm enough to be outside all day, but not the baking 110 degree July desert heat.
But throughout the Vegas summer, nothing beats a night of drinks outdoors and in recent years, the city has witnessed a nice increase in the number of nightlife venues offering patios and terraces to guests.
Today, we run down top 5 Vegas outdoor drinking spots. Taking into account both outdoor views/atmosphere and overall nightlife experience, we rank in ascending order:
5. Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay)
A surprise entrant to kick off our list, Foundation Room is less of a nightclub than a destination. Perched on the 57th floor of Mandalay Bay, Foundation Room is a small lounge with a long balcony offering the most spectacular view in the entire city.
A bold claim, sure. And while the venue itself isn’t really a premier nightlife destination by Vegas standards, the view alone is enough to make the cut.
This is THE view in all of Vegas. Used by local news outlets as a backdrop of the city, it’s as good as it gets (with honorable mention to Ghostbar at Palms).
Since Mandalay Bay is located at the very southern end of the Strip, you get a complete, unobstructed view of the entire city looking north.
Foundation Room isn’t the spot to schedule a full night, but we do recommend it as an excellent stop for predrinks and/or meeting friends before a night out. The unforgettable view is the perfect start for a memorable night out or a romantic night for drinks – and an iconic view of Vegas to commemorate any occasion.
4. Drai’s (The Cromwell)
We reviewed Drai’s shortly upon opening last year, and it’s an interesting addition to the mid-Strip area. Drai’s is a half-indoor, half-outdoor club that functions both as a daylife/nightlife venue, with its outdoor pool half known as Drai’s Beach Club and its indoor half known as Drai’s Nightclub.
This is a similar setup to Marquee at Cosmopolitan with one major exception – the entire venue is open. There’s no wall between the pool area and the indoor area, so the entire club opens up to a large, outdoor view looking west toward Caesar’s and Bellagio.
The club is about a dozen floors off ground level so while it’s not the highest view in town, it is nonetheless impressive.
It would probably rank even higher on our list if the venue offered permanent outdoor access. Sadly, outdoor access is restricted to certain nights so while patrons can always see a wide view of the city, they cannot always enjoy drinks outside.
3. XS (Encore)
XS is one of the best and most popular nightclubs in all of Vegas. It offers a medium-sized indoor club, regularly featuring world-renowned DJ’s such as Avicii and Alesso.
More notably, it has an absolutely enormous outdoor pool and patio. Located at ground-level, it has the largest outdoor area space of any nightclub in the city.
It’s a guaranteed good time on any weekend night, but is best known for its amazing Sunday nightswim parties. If you’re looking for a wild Vegas nightlife atmosphere and want to be outdoors or even want a nighttime pool party, XS is undoubtedly the spot for you.
Sunday nightswim parties at XS have an atmosphere unto themselves. Two separate bars, one poolside and one circle bar in the center, with walkways set over and alongside a lagoon-style pool. It all blends amazingly well into a wonderful mix of an outdoor summer night party in a carnival-style atmosphere under the night sky, with an extra shot of Vegas adrenaline thrown in.
We should note – a huge amount of outdoor space at XS is dedicated to table reservations. Standing room is at a premium, so we advise planning ahead if you have a large group.
2. Surrender (Encore)
Also located on premises at Encore, Surrender is the smaller, more chilled out older brother of XS. Both properties are similar in their layout, with an indoor club opening up onto an outdoor lounge/pool setting.
Surrender is smaller because much of its outdoor space is taken up by the Encore pool. (This is the area that functions as Encore Beach Club by day, and transforms into an outdoor club at night.)
With less size and a more chilled out atmosphere than XS, you’ll find a lot more space to move outdoors here, and spend much less time waiting for drinks. Wait times for drinks at XS can be staggering on crowded nights, but Surrender boasts a much bigger, better, more crowd-friendly bar setup with two separate bars at the front and back of the pool – enough to handle demand on even the busiest nights.
Finally, with more standing room and less space dedicated to reserved tables, visitors have considerably more room to roam and drink under the night sky, making Surrender an ideal choice for a night out with a large group of friends.
1. Omnia (Caesar’s) – [Terrace Bar]
Opening in Summer 2014, Omnia replaced Pure, formerly the flagship club at Caesar’s. Pure occupied a prime piece of real estate overlooking the Strip. It was only logical to keep the same spot for Caesar’s next nightlife venture – and they didn’t disappoint.
Omnia is technically three separate venues in one, with something for everyone – a main indoor club with a dance floor, a hip-hop club, and the now famous terrace bar, formerly the rooftop bar of Pure.
It is here we turn our attention, to RLB’s number one spot for outdoor drinks in all of Vegas. This may come as a surprise to regular Vegas visitors, because of how low off the ground the Terrace Bar is – only three stories off ground level.
For that reason, you’d think the view couldn’t compare to others, but Terrace Bar manages to pull it off and then some.
The Terrace is right on the edge of Caesar’s property, and faces south towards Cosmopolitan and Aria. It has the good fortune of being situated prominently in the middle of the Strip with no large buildings or structures around, offering a completely open view.
Though you’re only a few stories of the ground, the view is amazing and probably the most photo-friendly nightlife backdrop in the city. You end up with the feeling you’re at a giant outdoor deck at a party on the Vegas Strip, a feeling that’s tough to beat.
Omnia combines a great view, nightlife, and an amazing outdoor atmosphere with a buzz, all neatly rolled into one, rounding out our list in the top spot.
Note: Omnia is among the newest clubs in town and we can say, it DOES not disappoint. That said, it is not surprisingly one of biggest hotspots in town, making admission no easy task unless you prepay for a large table reservations or are in the know with some staff.
If you happen to be in a large group of guys such as a bachelor party, plan ahead. Even those who prepay online for a specific night can encounter some level of wait time.
Note: Bottom photos courtesy of Yelp.