Las Vegas after dark: Strip away your inhibitions in Sin City

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- So you've played 18 holes a day for the last few days, eaten at some fine restaurants, seen some shows. Now you're ready for the seedier side of Las Vegas after dark.

Olympic Garden
Olympic Garden has some of the most aggressive dancers around.
Olympic GardenCan Can Room in Las VegasCheetahs club in Las Vegas

Don't be bashful, admit it: you're ready for some strip clubs.

There are around 30 legal and semi-legal strip clubs in Las Vegas, depending on which ones have opened and closed and which ones have been busted for going too far.

Don't be surprised if you don't meet your future wife here; this is a business. The average dancer makes around $85,000 a year and the top ones can make as much as $250,000. Pardon them if they don't laugh at your bad jokes.

We'll give you a tour of which strip clubs to try out and a few to avoid.

The Good

Club Paradise is one of the classier joints in town. There is a cover charge with a two-drink minimum, and those with a Nevada I.D. get in free. Club Paradise has good, loud music and caters to a mostly white-collar crowd. You may notice many of the assets aren't exactly real, but the architecture is fabulous; they have some of the most voluptuous dancers in Vegas.

The club has two, large video screens showing soft-core porn. Lap dances cost $20. Unescorted women allowed. Also, they have a full-service restaurant.

Olympic Garden, just past the Stratosphere. Be forewarned, they have some of the most aggressive dancers around, and Vegas strip joints are different from others, in that your hands - and the hands of the lapdancers - aren't restricted. But, if you go too far, you will get tossed. There is a separate VIP room, if you have the money. Speaking of money, you can spend a lot here. Male dancers on weekends.

The oldest club in town, the Can Can Room is fully nude and features a XXX star every week. You can get a private show with the star of the week in one of its Fantasy Theme rooms.

The Sapphire is the world's largest strip club, located behind the Stardust Hotel and Casino. It's open 24 hours a day, is topless only, and serves alcohol. The cover charge is usually $20 and the women frequently outnumber the men.

The Palomino bills itself as the only "all-nude club in 27 states that serves alcohol." The women aren't all over you here - as if that's an advantage - and you have to ask the maitre d' for the lady's attentions. Attached to the club is Lacy's Lounge where the cover charge is cheaper and the women are mostly from The Palomino. The advantage here is you can walk into the Palomino without paying a cover.

The Library doesn't have many of the world's literary classics, but it does have very friendly women and a shower room. Located off Interstate 95 in the southeast part of town.

Play it Again, Sam is known for its great service, and locals get in free with a two-drink minimum. There is a restaurant-like atmosphere, with a free, all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, booths and video poker. Good variety of dancers.

Cheetahs is also topless and serves no alcohol. A good locals spot.

Deja Vu and Little Darlings have the widest variety of totally nude girls and lap dancers in town.

Wild J's is known as one of the friendliest clubs in town.

The Bad

Centerfold, Girls of Glitter Gulch and Larry's Villa, which is a local, beer joint where not much dancing goes on.

Also, steer clear of the clip joints that exploit tourists who think prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. You'll be taken for hundreds of dollars before you realize what's going on, which is when they send in the bouncers.

Something different

At A little off the Top you can get a haircut by a "barber" in lingerie.

If you're too lazy to travel, Vegas Exotic Dancers promise they can get you a dancer in your room in 20 minutes.

There are at least two swinger clubs in Las Vegas, the Red Rooster, a long-time swingers club that allow losers, err, I mean single men. There is also the new Hide n Seek club.

Second-hand smoke

General tips: Take a taxi or hoof it - you don't want to be drinking and driving in this town with its heavy traffic. Also, if you're a clean-air freak, you might be better off staying away; most clubs are smoke-filled.

Call ahead for room rates because prices can soar if there is a big-name act in town. If you want to mix gambling with ogling, poker machines are better than slots, most agree, because you at least have choices. Also, be prepared to tip almost every time you turn around.

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Larry's Villa

    Jimmy Johanson wrote on: May 19, 2013

    Beside people dealing drugs in the bathrooms and smoking pot in the parking lot I guess it is ok.....Not to mention the female manager constantly grinding her teeth and rolling her eyes at 1 am, it is a site to see. Overall, it is pretty good experience if you are coke head and a meth addict.