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9 buzzing places like Las Vegas

Sin City's not the only place to party, eat and gamble the night away.

The Strip is a place of excess and luxury, proudly boasting the tagline: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But many other destinations offer unique gaming and entertainment getaways as well.

Whether you’ll let your hair down on a man-made island in Dubai or take in the beauty of Niagara Falls, venture to one of these nine alternatives to Vegas that cater to everyone from couples to families with children.

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1. Gold Coast

Australia’s Gold Coast is home to 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
  • Key attractions: Theme parks, nightlife, surfing, Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
  • Stay at: Q1 Resort and Spa. This luxury hotel is located inside Australia’s tallest building (to the top of its spire) and features stellar views of the coastline, multiple restaurants, two pools and a full-service spa. Room prices start at $156.
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2. Atlantic City

A seaside gaming and resort hub in New Jersey, Atlantic City is also known as the “Las Vegas of the East.” The main boardwalk provides easy access to resorts, casinos, fine dining, shopping — and the beach.

  • Top casinos: Caesars, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Bally’s, Borgata, Resorts Casino Hotel
  • Key attractions: 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 start at $402 per night.
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3. Macau

Only a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, Macau is a paradox of old and new. On this small peninsula, you’ll find giant casinos, extravagant malls and luxurious villas, as well as remnants of 16th-century Portuguese colonization in its architecture and cuisine.

  • Top casinos: Venetian, Grand Lisboa, Sands, MGM Grand, Babylon Casino
  • Key attractions: See the House of Dancing Water show, eat Portuguese cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafés and explore the Ruins of St. Paul.
  • Stay at: MGM Macau. This 5-star resort literally has a gold-tired exterior, setting the stage for total luxury within. It has an amazing art collection and a cylindrical aquarium in the center of the lobby. Rooms start at $229.
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4. Biloxi

Head to Biloxi, Mississippi if you love gambling and your travel buddy loves art, history and the beach. It’s got 24-hour casinos galore — plus white-sand beaches, a Georgia O’Keefe museum and plenty of deep south flavor.

  • Top casinos: New Palace Casino Point Cadet, Beau Rivage Casino, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, IP Casino Resort
  • Key attractions: Beauvoir — Jefferson Davis’s house, Biloxi Lighthouse, Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of art (designed by Frank Gehry) and of course the Mississippi Sound
  • Stay at: Beau Rivage Resort and Casino has an onsite night club, spa and 24/7 front-desk service. Rates start at $177 per night.
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Cook Islands

5. Monaco

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

  • Top casinos: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Casino Café de Paris, Sun Casino, Monte-Carlo Bay Casino
  • Key attractions: Monaco Grand Prix, Le Ballet de Monte-Carlo, Monaco-Ville, Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium
  • Stay at: Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. This luxury resort hotel in the heart of Monaco gives travelers a choice of city- or courtyard views. Prices start at $511.
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6. Dubai

Dubai draws in tourists with its ultramodern architecture and happening nightlife. Here, you can stay on man-made islands in the shape of palm trees or world maps. 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
  • Key attractions: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Palm Jumeirah, dining in the desert
  • Stay at: Jumeirah Beach Hotel. With a dozen restaurants to choose from, this 5-star luxury hotel is built in the shape of a wave and overlooks the Arabian Gulf. Rooms start at $233.
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7. Amsterdam

Experience “Venice of the North” like a local by bicycle — or catch a boat along the picturesque network of canals that earned this city its nickname. Amsterdam has art, history, culture — not to mention euphemistic “coffeeshops” offering cannabis-friendly spaces to tourists ages 18 and older .

  • Top casino: Holland Casino Amsterdam
  • Key attractions: Museums, sculpture parks, Canal cruise, Tulip Museum. Remember to eat some raw herring while you’re there.
  • Stay at: Amsterdam Marriott Hotel. This understated luxury hotel is set in the heart of the city, providing easy access to dining options and museums. Rooms start at $271.
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8. New Orleans

New Orleans is a melting pot of food, culture and music with French, African and Cajun influences. Visit in February for a taste of the Mardi Gras parade or explore its history in museums any time of year.

  • Top 5 places: Harrah’s Casino, Treme, Jackson Square, Audubon Zoo, French Quarter
  • Key attractions: Mardi Gras World, nightlife, museums and cultural arts
  • Stay at: Loews New Orleans Hotel. Just across the street from Harrah’s Casino, this luxury hotel has gorgeous views and is within walking distance of some of the city’s best pubs and nightclubs. Rooms start at $139.
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9. Cruises

Cruises offer pools, health clubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment shows — all at sea. Plus, many cruise ships have casinos tucked away beneath the decks.

  • Top 5 cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International
  • Key attractions: All-you-can-eat buffets, nightly entertainment, casinos, health club and spas, children-friendly programs
  • We recommend: Carnival Cruise Line owns the world’s largest cruise ship and offers a Vegas-style experience with your choice of nightly entertainment and never-ending fun and games. Rates start at less than $100 per person/per day and include all-you-can-eat dining.
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Bottom line

If you’re looking for casinos that set the heart pumping, nightly entertainment, glitz and glam — these places like Las Vegas will deliver.

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Room rates were sourced from in January 2020. We used Sept. 6-7 as a general guide to generate per-night cost.

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