Lucky 7s: Where to eat, drink and play in Vegas

If you're any kind of best man, you'll ban everyone on this bachelor-party trip from playing the slots. Using the Lucky Sevens metaphor is acceptable, however, so long as it refers to lists of seven places to eat, visit and experience in Vegas.

7 Places to eat

Hofbräuhaus. This Bavarian beer hall across from the Hard Rock screams "bachelor party! " Within minutes, you'll find yourself singing with the oompah band, stein in hand. The only question is whether you're onstage or on top of a table. Entrees from $16. 4510 Paradise Rd., 702-853-2337, hofbrauhauslasvegas.com .

Mix . Because this restaurant is atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, the view is nearly as good as the food. The lamb will have you hating the chef because once you leave the restaurant, you know you'll never eat lamb that good again. Entrees from $39. 877-632-7800, mandalaybay.com .

Alizé . At the Top of the Palms Casino Resort, this is another place with breathtaking views to complement the mouthwatering food. Entrees from $34. 702- 951-7000, andrelv.com .

Lotus of Siam . Tucked away in some random mall off the Strip east of the Sahara Hotel, this Thai restaurant is worth the cab ride. There's no Vegas glitz here, just a quiet, unassuming atmosphere with brilliant dishes. Lunch and dinner with entrees from $7.95. 953 E. Sahara Ave.; 702-735-3033, saipinchutima.com .

Terrace Point Cafe . For casual dining, this round-the-clock spot with American cuisine at the Wynn wins. The sunny atmosphere is perfect for your group and you can look out on the pool and gardens. Entrees from $14. 702-770-3463, wynnlasvegas.com .

Snacks . At some point, your crew will wind up spending a few hours in a sports book watching and betting on games. Make it happen at the Bellagio, so you can enjoy this sandwich and salad deli. Sandwiches and salads from $8. 888-987-6667, bellagio.com

Cravings . Even with all the fine-dining choices, eventually you'll just want to hit a buffet and hit it hard. Start with Cravings at the Mirage. Breakfast, lunch and dinner; average check $30. 702-791-7111, mirage.com

7 Places to hang out

Ghostbar . Made famous by those crazy "Real World" kids on MTV, this trendy indoor-outdoor bar and sky deck on the 55th floor of the Palms is the place to rock out. 702-492-3960 or 866-807-4697, palms.com .

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino . Is there a better scene or a more Vegas thing to do than party at the Hard Rock? Probably not. The place is small, but the experience is unmatched. The Sunday "Rehab" pool parties will have you channeling your inner Amy Winehouse. 702-693-5000, hardrockhotel.com .

eyecandy sound lounge and bar . Mandalay Bay was already a hip spot to chill, day or night. But with this new high-tech twist on the classic Vegas cocktail lounge in the middle of the casino floor, Mandalay just got hipper. 702-632-7777, mandalaybay.com .

Baccarat Bar . A classy open lounge centrally located on the casino floor at the Bellagio, this is the perfect place to drink like gentlemen with friends and watch pretty women walk by. 888-987-6667, bellagio.com .

Pussycat Dolls Lounge . This burlesque room at Caesar's Palace is pure Vegas: sex appeal, booze, music and famous people. In between the shows, head out to the new Pussycat Dolls casino, where blackjack hands take longer to play because of the distraction caused by scantily clad dealers. 702-731- 7873, pcdlounge.com .

Carnaval Court . The only outdoor gaming area on the Strip. Part of Harrah's, Carnaval offers outdoor blackjack, bottle-flipping bartenders (think Tom Cruise in "Cocktail") and live music. The cool, fun vibe makes you forget you have to pay for drinks at these tables. 866-462-5982, harrahs.com

Drai's . Hard to believe a nightspot in a 24-hour city such as Las Vegas markets itself as the after-hours hot spot. But Drai's does it, and it does it well. Don't let the location - Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon (formerly Barbary Coast) - fool you. 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-737-7801, drais.net .

7 things to do

The fast and the furious . Live your life a quarter-mile at a time at Pole Position Raceway, an indoor go-cart track with carts that reach 45 mph. No matter how old you get, go-carting with friends always rocks. Temporary membership, $5, race, $25. 4175 S. Arville St., 702-227-7223, racep2r.com .

Too fast, too furious . Driving 160 mph without breaking the law can be exhilarating - and completely scary. So choose between getting behind the wheel or riding shotgun at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Speedway. Ride-along, $109. 800-237-3889, 1800bepetty.com .

You want to see helicopters? Most of the time, your hotel view is the top of a parking garage or a delivery entrance for trucks. So, the best way to really see the Strip at night is from above. Get an aerial view of the Vegas lights with helicopter night flights over the Strip. Maverick Helicopters' Vegas Nights ride, $99 a person, 888-261-4414, maverickhelicopter.com ; Papillon's Neon Nights Express, $83 adults, 888-635-7272, papillon.com .

Tee it up . There's worthy golf in the desert? There's worthy golf in the desert! Play a round at Rio Secco Golf Club (greens fee from $150) or The Revere at Anthem (Concord or Lexington course, fees from $130), and you'll agree. Most courses rent clubs, which alleviates travel hassles. lasvegasgolf.com .

900 feet high and rising . This is just plain insane, which is probably why the Stratosphere Hotel calls it "Insanity - The Ride. " They strap you into this mechanical arm and spin you around the top of the tower hotel - 900 feet high - at up to three Gs. And you're face down! Or play it safer with the X-Scream teeter-totter and Big Shot, which fires you up another 300 feet at 45 mph. It's $10.95 to go up the tower, then $9 for Insanity; all three rides, plus trip up, $24.95. Tickets at 702-380-7711; stratospherehotel.com .

The Royal Shave . Most top-tier hotels offer classic barbershop services, but make your way to Bellagio's salon for the 45-minute Royal Shave. It goes like this: hot towel, warm shaving cream, a double shave with the straight razor, followed by pore cleansing, another hot towel and a botanical mask. It could be considered more manly than growing a beard. Reservations, 702-693-8080; bellagio.com .

Off-roading . Funny thing: A town built in a desert has plenty of sand around. Natural by-product: Off-roading. Up to four people can strap on a helmet, harness themselves into a dune buggy and race across the desert for a few hours. Four-seat buggy from $499. 866-728-4443, sunbuggyfunrentals.com .

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