Known for exciting shows, incomparable nightlife and endless parties, Las Vegas and New Orleans are the masters when it comes to showing travelers a good time. However, which city does it best? The Live Entertainment Capital of the World and The Big Easy host distinctly different atmospheres, but one thing they both excel at is having fun. Whether looking to make memories along the neon-lit Strip or join an impromptu parade along the steps of Bourbon Street, both cities offer an array of secret hot spots and must-visit attractions.
From famous crooners to incredible acrobatic shows, Las Vegas has been the home of memorable performers for years. The Las Vegas Strip has an array of venues where you can catch world-famous musicians perform nightly. Caesars Palace continues to host iconic names like Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias and Elton John, perfect for seasoned music lovers. Your love of 90’s nostalgia can be fed at The Axis, a frequent performance spot for Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and Jennifer Lopez. For a more unique experience, Cirque du Soleil hosts various shows along the Strip including acts of illusion with Criss Angel and acrobatic tributes featuring the music of Michael Jackson and The Beatles.
While New Orleans may not have a star-studded lineup of performers on retainer, it makes up for it with historic venues and live music around almost every corner. The French Quarter boasts famous Jazz clubs and popular concert halls, where the music stylings of touring artists and local performers can be heard every night of the week. Local staples like Preservation Hall, Rock ‘N’ Bowl and Maison offer a rotating calendar of musicians that will have you tapping to the beat. Just steps from Bourbon Street sits Frenchman Street, a relaxed neighborhood with outdoor performances varying from Jazz, Latin, Blues, Reggae and everything in-between.
The Flavor of the City
From crawfish with a kick to robust Cajun dishes, New Orleans offers a selection of restaurants that will have you salivating from the start and stuffed hours after you’ve finished. Discover where Cajun and Creole food entered the mainstream at Chef Paul Prudhomme’s famous K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. True downhome cooking is waiting at Mosquito Supper Club, and a romantic outdoor setting can be found at Café Amelie. End your tour of New Orleans cuisine with powdered beignets and café au lait at the iconic Café Du Monde.
Instead of one signature cuisine, Las Vegas’ variety of restaurants has made the city a jack of all trades in the culinary world. With rows of restaurants including famous eateries owned by celebrity chefs and hidden gems, Las Vegas will surely have something to delight your culinary senses. Combining local styles and worldly dishes, Andiron Steak & Sea tantalizes taste buds each day. Cowboy-cut ribeye steaks and smoked brisket can be found at Freedom Beat, the ideal restaurant for American classics. Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar and Gordon Ramsay Steak are both owned by celebrity chefs and can be found along the Strip. Having trouble picking one type of cuisine in a single meal? No problem. Las Vegas is home to multiple buffets, where you can fill your plate with almost anything.
Live in the Nightlife
Your regular club and bar experience is nothing compared to what Las Vegas has to offer. The city’s unique venues will leave you with great stories you can take home or leave on the Strip – it’s up to you. Drink, dance and mingle at Skyfall Lounge, featuring a rooftop setting where you can meet with friends and make new ones. Frankie’s Tiki Room and Commonwealth are brimming with personality and offer a break from the usual bar scene. Ready for a real nightclub? Look no further than Hakkasan and Marquee, popular among locals, tourists and celebrities alike.
Like an Instagram photo straight from your newsfeed, New Orleans nightlife offers a picturesque setting with a lively atmosphere. From classic pubs like Pat O’Brien’s to the continuously revolving Carousel Bar & Lounge, The Big Easy has a watering hole for every interest. Bars such as Howlin’ Wolf and One Eyed Jacks host a devilishly good time, with everything from burlesque shows to live music. If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, plan to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras, an all-day carnival celebration in the streets of the city.
Speaking of the streets, both cities allow people to enjoy alcohol in an open container outside of bars and venues. However, each state has rules about how alcohol can be consumed in public. In New Orleans, alcohol must be consumed within a plastic cup on the sidewalks. Las Vegas shares a similar law that prohibits the use of glass containers when consuming alcohol publicly. Regardless of where you find yourself, remember to always drink responsibly.
Adrenaline Pumping Entertainment
Roll the dice with lady luck in the various casinos surrounding the Las Vegas Strip. Feel like James Bond as you work the tables of elegant casinos such as The Venetian, The Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace. Unique gaming spaces that are exciting can also be found along the Strip at MGM Grand, The D Las Vegas and The Mirage Hotel and Casino. Centrally designed, each of these casinos offer easy access to select venues, nightclubs and restaurants, making it easy to transition between adventures.
Although casinos aren’t at the same level as the Las Vegas Strip, The Big Easy offers equally impressive entertainment through its many sports venues. The massive Mercedes-Benz Superdome hosts professional football games where you can catch every tackle and touchdown in person. Plan your trip around basketball season and witness professional ballers take the court at The Smoothie King Center.
Adventure and Education are Steps Away
The past comes alive in New Orleans at the many historical sites and museums within the city. Layfette Cemetery has been the inspiration for literature and movies, with its hauntingly beautiful design and famous inhabitants. Also surrounding the city is The National World War II Museum and The Audubon Aquarium of Americas. Read up on the history of the French Quarter at The Cabildo, a must-see museum overlooking Jackson Square.
Las Vegas offers equally unique attractions including one-of-a-kind excursions and interactive exhibits. See the past light up at the Neon Museum, a boneyard of old Las Vegas hotel signs that are refurbished and viewable along a walking path. Other popular destinations include Marvel’s Avengers Station, showcasing exhibits of your favorite Marvel superheroes. Your group can also visit Madame Tussauds Las Vegas and take selfies with realistic wax figures of celebrities.
Book Your Getaway
Ready to experience the nightlife and entertainment these cities have to offer? Check out New Orleans and Las Vegas vacation packages, and find exclusive rates on flights, accommodations and car rentals with Vacations by Marriott.