(USA Today)-- If you're a fan of country music, or of escapes to Las Vegas, chances are you know about the lineup of performances, parties and charity events surrounding this weekend's 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards show co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
For the second year, these two country superstars are lending their combined on-camera skills and comedic antics to the show. The pairing is perfect for the rowdy crowd, especially with the added interest of true competition between the two in nominations for wins in three of this year's categories. Shelton had a record year and has risen to superstar status due to his popularity on NBC's The Voice.
Since rehearsing, hosting and performing require endless hours, it's no surprise both of these guys name the show's host, MGM Grand, as the top place to stay. You will see them pop into familiar haunts like Centrifuge Bar in the casino, or according to Luke, he'll wind down "wherever a blackjack or craps table has an opening." He loves to play and favors MGM Lofts, with its access to truly private dining at the exclusive MGM Mansion.
When not staying at the MGM, Luke and his wife Caroline choose the quieter, nearbyFour Seasons. They rave about its dining choices, but also try to squeeze in reservations at their favorite Asian-influenced restaurants Blue Ribbon Sushi at The Cosmopolitan, Nobu at Caesars Palace and Andrea's at Encore.
Since its 2013 opening, Andrea's has been a celebrity hotspot, and its recently-added adjacent lounge – VDKA – has up-and-coming artists like Dustin Lynch sharing the Bryans' belief it's the top table to reserve in the city. If you want to see famous faces offstage, booking here's a sure bet. Hollywood 'A-listers' love it too, so you never know who will be at the next table.
Always loyal to country, Shelton says his entertainment of choice is popping in to see Shania Twain's Still the One show at Caesars Palace or Soul2Soul with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Venetian. Faith and Tim wrap up this series the weekend of April 12, so if you want to see why Shelton keeps going back, score tickets right now.
It's also likely that watering holes near these venues will get a bit of Shelton's hard-earned money post-performance. A bit more liquid courage than usual might even be on the agenda beforehand, as Shelton's scheduled duet with Shakira -- on top of his other duties for this weekend - is one of the most anticipated happenings of the ACM Award experience.
Just this week, Shelton made history with an 11th consecutive No. 1 hit, with Doin' What She Likes, which he will perform on the show. Because both he and Luke Bryan are nominated for Entertainer of the Year – fans vote until near the end of the CBS live broadcast -- personalities and performances from both will be in high gear.
Vegas has always been a playground for musicians of all genres, but the first week in April draws lots of famous faces, along with a slew of fans and industry insiders.
It's a true celebration, and spring reunion for stars making the stop before returning to tours and studios, one that they take full advantage of. Just like everyone else, when they aren't crooning for a crowd, top artists will be enjoying Sin City.