Esquire's Guide to Las Vegas

Over the next couple of days we'll be bringing you our pick of the shiniest, must-have gadgets for 2011 direct from the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But in the meantime, here's our alternative guide to Sin City (alternative in that it doesn't involve gambling, strippers, or instantly regrettable civil ceremonies).

1) Go off-roading in the Nevada desert

Little will help you exorcise the jet lag quite like tearing through the miles of sand dunes skirting the edge of the Las Vegas strip. Sun Buggy operates an hour-long dune chase (their guide leads, you follow) through some gratifyingly hairy terrain for $199 per head.

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2) Order the seafood at Michael Mina

Las Vegas has plenty of good seafood restaurnts, but Michael Mina's Michelin-starred restaurant at The Bellagio takes some beating. We'd recommend starting with the excellent tuna tartare and following it up with his signature main course, Maine Lobster Pot Pie. Mains from $36; dinner only, closed on Wednesdays

3) Head to the top of the Stratosphere

It being the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US, the Stratosphere unsurprisingly offers an unrivalled 360-degree view of a famous landscape dotted with fake Eiffel Towers, man-made lakes, pyramids and pirate ships. And if heights are your thing, you can also free-fall 855 feet from the 108th floor (while attached to a harness, obviously). Observation deck costs $16 per person. Skyjump from $100 per person.

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4) Dine at Switch

'Expensive steak house' is hardly a USP in a destination teaming with well-heeled carnivores, but Switch Steak at the Encore is as much about architecture as it is grain-fed Angus. Every 20 minutes, the entire restaurant changes shape - from the ceiling to walls to paintings - a bit like Scaramanga's kitchen-diner. Steaks from $48; dinner only, closed on Mondays

5) People-watch at Tryst

If anything encapsulates the city's unofficial motto "the right amount of wrong", it's this perpetually busy nightclub at the Wynn. If your bank balance allows it, book a VIP table close to the outdoor waterfall, from which you can enjoy an unhindered view of the best (or worst, depending on your outlook) of the dancefloor's movers and shakers. Admission costs $30

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