Whoever came up with the slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” had probably just finished a mancation. Vegas is best mancationed over a long weekend, because this 24-hour city is built to make sleep not the next option, but the last resort. Vegas rose from the desert custom-designed for sybarites, both the pleasure-seeking and those seeking the finer things in life, as well as the gaudy and seedy. So, it offers a heady mix of temptation, excess and carnality. It’s also patently masculine and sensual, crammed with over-the-top, non-stop stimulation and bright shiny things -- all key ingredients for a wild, whirlwind manly escape.
Why not start your Vegas mancation with golf -- what Mark Twain described as “a good walk spoiled”? You can cheat on your score sheet on a lush desert course on the outskirts of town, of which there are dozens. Or, test your long ball under the gaze of the strip at the Wynn Las Vegas. After a day in the sun, perhaps sipping your favorite drink from a flask, you’ll be energized to hit the city as the sun ignites the sky in the only lightshow bigger than the Strip.
The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower is definitely the best place to develop a fear of heights with a collection of insane, one-of-a-kind thrill rides. Start easy with the highest rollercoaster in the world, 909 feet high, then get launched 160 feet to the big pole atop the hotel with your legs dangling on a ride called Big Shot. With your adrenaline glands on overload, seesaw over the edge on the X Scream ride. Now that your eyes are bulging and stomach is churning, get dangled completely over the edge while spinning in a chair, on the Insanity ride. If there’s anything left in you, then “SkyJump” the entire 108 stories from the top of the tower to the ground, on a high-speed descent wire. OMG!
As if the Stratosphere thrills weren’t enough, and the card sharks lurking weren’t either, there are real sharks -- as well as rays, turtles and lots of fish -- at Mandalay Bay. You can dive in the Mandalay Bay aquarium, which is probably the most unique mancation thing to do. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter at the clubs later on.
After gambling, Vegas rocks the club scene. And in this town, nightlife rules the day. So follow the bachelorettes to the dance floor from the high-end beats at the Bank Nightclub at Bellagio to the swanky world of Surrender nightclub at Encore. Every casino and hotel comes with its signature digs to get your groove on. If you’re going to get the party started with your buds, skip the lines by getting VIP passes from your concierge.
If you’re going to see any show on a mancation, stick with comedy and magic shows. Those are guy things. Zumanity with your buddies won’t strike a chord like Penn & Teller. Avoid shows that involve singing or orchestral music.
First mancation tip: slots are for sissies. Ding, ding? Does that sound manly? Heck, no. Stop by the information center of a casino to find out when they offer tutorials on how to play the various games. Craps offers the best odds and is easy to learn. And throwing dice surrounded by Vegas-dressed women will slot itself into your memory for a long time. Especially as the stacks of chips get higher.
Author Ty Sawyer hits Vegas about 10 times a year… and he’s not saying a thing.