While other parts of the country might be wet and weary this Memorial Day weekend, Las Vegas is welcoming the sun and pool season is finally in full swing. That means bikinis, plenty of booze, and wild celebrations that give the rowdiest nightclubs in town a run for their money. Whether you're a visitor or a local, our pool parties are one of the most actually fun things to do in town, so plan right, pump your fist, and dip your toe in the waters of the best day clubs and pool parties this year.
MandalayBay A big pool, big stars, and a big stage with its own parking lot Taking inspiration from the wild party atmosphere of Ibiza, Daylight is all about entertainment with a sprawling pool and massive stage featuring Rick Ross, Duke Dumont, and other headliners this summer. Thursdays are geared toward women with a "Rose All Day" theme and poolside yoga sessions by Trufusion to help your body recover after a wild night on the Strip. The monthly Eclipse night parties are a spectacle in their own right and there's even a dedicated parking and valet area, so you don't have to trudge through the entire casino from Mandalay Bay's main garage. That kind of stuff is important in Vegas.
The Mirage Topless sunbathing in a tropical environment Bare offers European sunbathing in an intimate setting with two dipping pools underneath a few secluded palm trees. That means ladies can drop tops without judgment. Just keep your cool and order one of three mojitos on the menu while enjoying the scenery.
Wynn Encore Lots of space, cabanas, and maybe even Conor McGregor The indulgent nature of Wynn resorts carries over to Encore Beach Club, where the roster of DJs includes the Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Kygo, and Afrojack, who is back after being away for a few years. You may even find yourself partying alongside MMA champ Conor McGregor, who was signed to a "non-musical residency" to host events at the Wynn properties. The 60,000-square-foot space offerings a little more breathing room than other dayclubs and has added some extra cabanas and a new bar for 2018. Nighttime parties from Thursday to Saturday help make up for the loss of Surrender -- a nightclub in the same space that quietly closed last year.
MGM Grand Pure chaos with top DJs, a giant video screen, and Champagne showers Wet Republic is going with a "Champagne Season" theme for 2018, so expect even more boozy bubble-filled showers than usual. Big name DJs like Steve Aoki, Tiesto, and Martin Garrix will continue to be familiar sights, performing afternoon sets underneath a massive video wall. Take a dip in one of two large saltwater pools and order a cranberry vodka from a 95-foot-long marble-topped bar. Or you can just hang out in one of 10 cabanas or 12 VIP bungalows and order bottle service from your model-quality bikini-clad server.
Venetian A wild rooftop party with Asian flair and food Retreat to the air-conditioned ambiance of one of 12 luxury cabanas, where you can get a massage, enjoy a Tao-tini, or even get your sunglasses professionally cleaned. Order some sushi from Tao restaurant downstairs and check out the scenery during Playboy Fridays -- a themed celebration that would make the late Hugh Hefner proud with Playboy Bunny servers, Playmate hosts, and a "Discover or Be Discovered" model search that runs all summer long. Tao Beach is also "European style" Monday-Wednesday, which means the ladies will get few complaints if they show a little extra skin.
The Cosmopolitan A year-round pool party that doesn't worry about weather Marquee Nightclub makes good use of its swimming pool during daylight hours -- even during the cold winter months when the "Marquee Dome" is erected overhead. The eight cabanas come with infinity pools and other perks but for even more Vegas indulgence, book one of 10 three-story bungalow lofts with private living quarters and an open-air party deck overlooking the pool. There's also a gaming area to blow even more money and ladies are welcome to drop their tops Monday-Thursday.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino The original Vegas dayclub, getting better every year The beach club that got the trend rolling in Vegas is marking its 15th anniversary and continues to go strong with constant upgrades and renovations. The 5-acre tropical oasis packs as many barely dressed people together as possible with sandy beaches, towering palm trees, and swim-up blackjack tables. Booze things up with pirate-themed bottle service deliveries, shotskis, Champagne showers, and Jell-O shot injectors. Watch out for the water cannons near the DJ booth.
The M Resort A locals-friendly dayclub far from the madness of the Strip Sitting near the I-15 in southwest Henderson, The M Resort cranks the party atmosphere up a notch with DayDream, a dayclub that's more for locals than out-of-towners. A large infinity pool is surrounded by cabanas, daybeds, a DJ booth, hot tubs, and other features usually associated with the Strip, but without the higher prices. Locals get free admission Monday-Friday before noon (and all day Tuesday, actually). On Saturdays and Sundays, the deal is free entry for ladies and half-price for men before noon. If you need another excuse to visit, there's a weekly bikini contest featuring up to 20 competitors on Saturdays.
The Cromwell Incredible views 11 stories above the Strip, plus pretty good food Some pools have a nice view, but Drai’s on the Cromwell rooftop has sight lines that cover almost the entire Strip. It also has possibly the best poolside dining with avocado toast, internationally themed hot dogs, and a salted caramel cold-brewed coffee frap among the menu highlights. There are two large pools on the main deck plus five smaller elevated pools that are shared by VIP bungalows. If you have the funds, you can move up to one of 15 mezzanine-level cabanas for private pools, showers, and restrooms.
Aria Cleaner, stylish, and more intimate than the average pool party Matching the contemporary image of the Aria resort, Liquid is a little more intimate and upscale than some of the other pool parties in Vegas. The comfortable wicker furniture is a nice touch and the eight massive VIP cabanas come with their own private pools, TVs, and daybeds. The drink menu has four different takes on the mojito and a deep Champagne list, ranging from $15 for a house glass to $17,500 for a 15-liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. Locals in the biz can save a few bucks on Industry Thursdays.
W Las Vegas An intimate pool deck with rooftop views If you prefer your pool parties without the big crowds, the WET Deck could be right up your alley. Found on the rooftop of the W Las Vegas, this pastel-colored retreat features North Strip views of the neighboring Stratosphere and surrounding mountains with stylish cabanas and DJs who play music tailored more for a lounge than a nightclub. Reserve a room since WET is for hotel guests only -- making it a popular staycation spot for locals.
The Flamingo Week-long dayclub packs in deals and celebrity guests The only Vegas dayclub open seven days a week, Go Pool is surrounded by cabanas and palm trees in the shadow of the High Roller wheel next door. The music is open format -- and especially fun during Throwback Thursdays. The crowds bring the energy on the weekends with celebrity guests like Mase, Ja Rule, and Amber Rose on deck to pump up the audience this summer.
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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas for Thrillist for more than three years. He is also the editor and writer for Luxury Estates International's seasonal publication and has seen his work appear in Vegas Seven, David Magazine, and Vegas Magazine. He can't decide on whether he should book a cabana with an Xbox or PlayStation. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.