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9 buzzing places like Las Vegas

Sin City is not the only place to party, eat and gamble your night away.

The Strip is a place of excess and luxury, proudly wearing the tagline, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But there are many other destinations that offer unique gaming and entertainment getaways. Whether it’s letting your hair down on a man-made island in Dubai or taking in the beauty of Niagara Falls, here are nine alternatives to Vegas that cater to everyone from couples to families with children.

Niagara Falls

Image: Niagara Falls Tourism

1. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most photographed waterfalls. Get up close and personal with this magnificent natural landmark, sitting about 90 minutes from Toronto on the American and Canadian border. You don’t even have to leave Canada to have a Vegas-style experience. Make the most of your vacation by visiting the surrounding attractions and hitting up the casinos.

  • Top casinos: Casino Niagara, Fallsview Casino Resort, Seneca Niagara
  • Must do and see: Skylon Tower, Niagara Falls helicopter ride, Niagara Skywheel, Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region
  • Stay at: Embassy Suites by Hilton. The closest hotel to Niagara Falls offers panoramic views of the Falls from each guest room. Rooms average $255 per night.
Check hotel prices in Niagara Falls

Atlantic City

2. Atlantic City

The seaside gaming and resort capital of America’s New Jersey coast, Atlantic City is also known as the “Las Vegas of the East”. The main boardwalk provides easy access to resorts, casinos, fine dining spots and shopping.

  • Top casinos: Caesars, Golden Nugget, Bally’s, Borgata, Resorts Casino Hotel
  • Must do and see: Lighthouse tours, amusement parks, dolphin watching, Atlantic City Boardwalk
  • Stay at: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. This upscale casino resort overlooks the marina and features fine dining options and live shows. Rooms average around $250 per night.
Find flights to Atlantic City

Skyline of Gold Coast, Australia

Image: Tourism Australia

3. Gold Coast

Australia’s Gold Coast is home to the world-renowned beaches that make up Surfers Paradise. It also features international theme parks, lush rainforests and award winning restaurants and bars.

  • Top casino: Jupiters Hotel & Casino
  • Must do and see: Theme parks, Surf, Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk, Nightlife
  • Stay at: Q1 Resort and Spa. This luxury hotel is located inside Australia’s tallest building and feature stellar views of the coastline, multiple restaurants, two pools and a full-service spa. Rooms average $160 per night.
Find flights to the Gold Coast

Macau skyline

4. Macau

Just a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, Macau is a paradox of old and new. On this small peninsula you will find giant casinos, extravagant malls and luxurious villas, as well as signs of its former Portuguese colonization in the buildings and cuisine.

  • Top casinos: Venetian, Grand Lisboa, Sands, MGM Grand, Babylon Casino
  • Must do and see: See the House of Dancing Water show, eat Portuguese cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes, explore the Ruins of St. Paul
  • Stay at: Hard Rock Hotel Macau. Live like a rockstar in premium rooms furnished with contemporary decor and see the on-site House of Dancing Water show. Rooms average around $250 per night.
Find flights to Macau

Monaco aerial view

5. Monaco

The second-smallest independent state in the world, Monaco is where the wealthy come to play. While some people choose to stay and play in the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, others flock to the Mediterranean city, which is an easy train ride from Nice, France, to see the Grand Prix raced on city streets.

  • Top casinos: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Cafe de Paris, Sun Casino, Monte-Carlo Bay Casino
  • Must do and see: Monaco Grand Prix, Ballet and Theatre, Monaco-Ville, Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium
  • Stay at: Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. This luxury resort hotel in the heart of Monaco gives travellers a choice of city or courtyard views. Prices average around $732 per night.
Find flights to Nice, France

Dubai skyline

6. Dubai

Dubai draws in tourists with its ultramodern architecture and happening nightlife. In Dubai, you can stay on man made islands in the shape of palm trees or world maps, and while gambling is illegal here, there’s enough to see and do that you’ll hardly miss it.

  • Top 5 beaches: Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, JBR Beach, Sunset Beach, Al Mamzar Beach
  • Must do and see: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Palm Jumeirah, Dinner in the desert.
  • Stay at: Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This 5-star luxury hotel is built in the unique shape of a wave and overlooks the Arabian Gulf. With more than 16 dining options to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. Rooms average $337 per night.
Find flights to Dubai

Amsterdam sign

Image: IAmsterdam

7. Amsterdam

The capital of Netherlands is a rich tapestry of culture, history, art and architecture. Experience the city as a local by bicycle, or catch a boat along their picturesque network of canals that have earned this city its nickname as the ‘Venice of the North’.

  • Top casino: Holland Casino Amsterdam
  • Must do and see: Museums, sculpture parks, Canal cruise, Eat raw herring, Tulip Museum
  • Stay at: Amsterdam Marriott Hotel. This luxury hotel is set in the heart of the city, providing easy access to dining options and museums. Rooms average around $394 per night.
Find flights to Amsterdam

New Orleans

Image: New Orleans Tourism

8. New Orleans

New Orleans is a melting pot of food, culture and music with French, African and American influences. Whether you’re visiting for a taste of the Mardi Gras parade or exploring history in museums, there is something for everyone in this southern US city.

  • Top 5 places: Harrah’s Casino, Treme, Jackson Square, Audubon Zoo, French Quarter
  • Must do and see: Mardi Gras World, Nightlife, Museums and Cultural Arts, Nightlife
  • Stay at: Loews New Orleans Hotel. Just across the street from Harrah’s Casino, this luxury hotel has picture windows and original local artwork in every room. Rooms average $243 per night.
Find flights to New Orleans

Carnival Cruise Ship

9. Cruises

Cruises offer a wide range of things to see and do, with pools, health clubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment shows. These floating resorts go all around the world and have something for everyone whether you are 3 or 93.

  • Top 5 cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean
  • Must do and see: All-you-can-eat buffets, nightly entertainment, casinos, health club and spas, children-friendly programs
  • We recommend: The Carnival Cruise Line is the world’s largest and most popular cruise line with destinations all over the world. It offers a Las Vegas-style experience and more.
Go to Carnival Cruises via Cruise Direct website

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