LAS VEGAS: Brighten up your winter with a trip to Las Vegas!
Las Vegas here we come! Have you always wanted to try your hand at the casinos in Las Vegas? Well, here is your chance! Top quality lodgings and hotels are slashing their prices and inviting you to stay with them during your winters break in the gambling capital. There is a vast array of residences to choose from to make your stay affordable and we make booking simple.
When to visit based on priceSummer months find the best rates in Las Vegas mainly because of the heat. You can also find super low rates in October and November.
Key attractionsLet’s face it; the main attraction is the Vegas casinos, both “The Strip” as well as “Old Vegas” downtown. With outstanding shows like knights in shining armor fighting on horseback at Excalibur, to Siegfried & Roy and their Bengal Tigers, it’s always Showtime. During the evenings, the light show outside the Bellagio Resort is spectacular.
Try not to limit yourself to just one or two casino’s, but rather take the tram system that travels’ up and down the Las Vegas Strip, because every casino offers something unique.
Having funFor excitement other than the dice on the table, why not spend some time at Adventuredome, the 5-acre indoor amusement park inside Circus Circus? There’s fun for the entire family or just you two honeymooners. Make sure you test your nerve on the El Loco Roller Coaster.
Spend some time in Old Town Las Vegas, especially the Freemont Street area. From the evening Viva Vision Light Show at night, Slotzilla, a 12-story slot machine inspired Zip Line you will be entertained. You can also take a guided tour and learn the sinister history of Las Vegas, and maybe even a secret or two of where the bodies are buried.
For the golfers who are looking for excitement on the greens, there are some excellent golf courses in Las Vegas, including the championship course at the Winn Resort. Keep in mind, especially during summer months, that the best t-times are early in the morning, so plan ahead.
ShoppingIf your pockets can afford it, there’s nothing quite like shopping or just strolling around the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. Another upscale shopping adventure is The Grand Canal Shoppes with both men’s and ladies apparel shops, as well as the new Armani Collezioni men and women’s apparel store.
If your taste in shopping is more tailored to malls and discount shopping, Las Vegas offers that too. The Fashion Show Mall offers main department stores, like Macy and Nordstrom’s, but also much smaller jewelry, children’s fashion and other stores for your shopping pleasure.
One of the best day trips is also one of the most experienced sites, Hoover Dam, less than an hour from the strip. This is an experience that you just have to live, not see in a book. Standing on top of this monster is amazing, and taking the elevator down to see the inside is insane. This visit will give you great opportunities for a killer “selfie”.
Another excellent day trip is to travel out west of Vegas and visit the Red Rock Canyon in the famous Mojave Desert. You can choose to see the spectacular sights by car or by bike on it’s 13 mile scenic loop. Along the way, you’ll have a chance to see bighorn sheep, waterfalls and ancient Indian petroglyphs.
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Days Inn Las Vegas at Wild Wild West Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, NevadaA stay at the Days Inn Las Vegas will award you savings that you can spend them in the casino....ViewRooms from$19.00
La Quinta Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport North ConventionPerfect for business travelers or companies holding a meeting, or just Las Vegas visitors wanting to be near the Las Vegas Convention Center....ViewRooms from$45.00
Alexis Park All Suite Resort, Las Vegas, NevadaYou might really get another hotel with the same low rate, but it may not be as nice as the Alexis Park, nor have the extra room in your suite. For...ViewRooms from$58.00
Travelodge Las Vegas Airport North/ Near the StripThe Travelodge at Las Vegas Airport North is an excellent location and can save you a bundle of cash, that maybe you will turn into a bundle of cash....
Tropicana Las Vegas - a Doubletree by Hilton HotelYou may not be in Cuba visiting the famous Tropicana Club but staying in this four-star resort will make you feel like you are....ViewRooms from$39.00
Arizona Charlie’s Boulder-Casino Hotel, Suites, & RV Park, Las Vegas, NevadaWhy not stay just off “the grid” of Vegas, yet close enough to jump in whenever you want to....ViewRooms from$29.00
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Local expert's tips
Exciting Las Vegas upcoming Events to start planning for
October 5th-8th is one of my favorite events because it focuses on my two key food groups, food and wine. It’s the festival of festivals, where luxury is everything at the beautiful SLS Las Vegas Casino and Resort. This celebration of all wine and food highlights the best wines and food you have ever tasted or sipped. Celebrity chefs serve their specialties paired to fantastic wines. One of the key things about this event is that all proceeds will go to a major charity.
This year in November is an event that has been happening for the past few years in Las Vegas, “Cigar Aficionado’s Big Smoke Las Vegas Weekend”. From Friday November 17th until late night November 19th 2017 the Mirage on Las Vegas Blvd. will celebrate their 22nd “Big Smoke”, and hundreds of cigar smokers await this event anxiously each year. This is the opportunity to experience some of the finest handmade cigars, along with some of the very best of the best premium spirits anywhere. Pair those two with some pretty awesome local food specialties, exotic cars and delicious models showing them off, and why would you ever want to forget this? Attending this event will put you in the same room with some of the most notable and famous celebrities as well. Keep in mind that you just don’t know which stars might show up, and surprise, it isn’t always guys.
Although Las Vegas is considered part of the “Old West”, the one time each year that it truly takes that distinction seriously comes in December. Specifically December 7th until December 16th, 2017, cowboy hats, jeans and spurs will invade Las Vegas along with thousands of fans of the rodeo. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo comes to Sin City, and it’s the largest western rodeo event hands down.
Lets start with what many feel is almost, and I stress “almost” as exciting as the rodeo days, is the Vegas Cowboy Christmas held each year. This is one of the best and largest display and sales of everything cowboy and western. You can buy leather couches complete with longhorn horns, barbwire wine bottle holders, and a complete western outfit, custom made, and so much more. Christmas shopping has never been this exciting for those of us that live the cowboy life, or dream of it.
Getting your tickets for seats during the Rodeo days ahead of time is key to the best seats, but don’t fret if you don’t get them until arriving. You can get tickets from “scalpers” but not highly recommended. Better than that is visit the ticket office and inquire about seats that are being released at last moment by ticket holder’s last minute. I have personally scored some excellent seats last minute, and sold the tickets in bad locations, for what I paid for better ones.
Now for some money saving and safety tips to make this a fun and lasting excellent memory. First off, don’t even think about jay walking in Las Vegas, because if you don’t get run over and killed, you will probably get cited and fined, big time!
Don’t even think about renting a vehicle! Instead use the Monorail to get up and down the Vegas Strip. If you want to go downtown take a cab or shuttle service, because first the money you save on rental, parking and gas will pay for el mucho drinks and gambling. As far as that cab ride, it is not “required” in Vegas to tip cab drivers, only if you really want to.
Chilling with the family in Las Vegas, best family pools
One of the top resort destinations for families is the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. For entertainment they will love the 1.6 million gallon “Shark Reef Aquarium” where they can get up close and personal, behind glass of course, with sharks, sea turtles, piranha, crocodiles and much more. This resort hotel offers over twenty restaurant options, with plenty of children’s menus and favorites available.
And then there is the giant pool, with not only a large format wave pool, but also the “lazy river “ride for the whole family.
Another really awesome “child friendly” chiller is the Golden Nugget & Casino for families. There’s a pretty sweet arcade, always a fascination for kids, along with their famous “Shark Tank” where not only do you have a pool, but a massive water tank where you and the kids are shot down three stories surrounded by sharks on a water slide. When the youngsters burn up all their energy, they can head to the restaurants for burgers, fries, hot dogs or pizza at the hotel’s “Grill”.
Mandalay Bay is another family favorite hotel resort, mainly because of the five different pools on the complex grounds. Add to that waterfalls, grotto’s, misting showers and you have hours of wet entertainment for the family. For total family fun, you can take the kids to the David Copperfield magic show, because, what kid doesn’t like magic? End the day with dinner at the Rainforest Café, and guide those exhausted children upstairs to bed, so you and your lady can hit the tables.
You just may want to jump off the strip and head to one of the newest waterparks in Vegas for a day. We are talking Cowabunga Bay, what takes you back to the good old day of the 1960’s. Featuring over twenty-five water slides, including a 35,000-square-foot wave pool, and you will have a time getting your children to leave.
The Flamingo Resort offers a pretty fine pool complex that includes waterfalls, waterslides, as well as a special “kiddie pool” for the little ones. For the adults, you can lounge in a private cabana sipping a cold one while keeping an eye on the kids.
My personal favorite any day is the MGM Grand, and its five elegant pools in garden environment. There are waterfalls, bridges, fountains, and even a lazy river experience. For a pleasant surprise, why not rent your children river rafts for their voyage down the river?
Another water park adventure you might want your kids to burn of energy is Wet n’ Wild Waterpark. For that matter, don’t leave yourself out of this deal, because there’s lots designed to cool you off too.
Then there’s the pool complex at the Tropicana Resort and Casino, always a favorite, with a very impressive water complex. With multiple pools, lagoons, waterfalls in lush tropical setting, this five-acre water complex is so very “family friendly”.
Of interest to many families, especially the parents, is you can float about with the kiddies, then drift over to sip a cocktail at the poolside Blackjack Tables. As with many other Vegas pool complexes, here they also rent a floatable raft for both the children and mom and dad, resting up from last night’s casino action.
Let’s check out some of “The Best” Las Vegas has to offer
Your next best is Carnevino with its influence from Italy, and rest assured, an excellent red wine list to help you enhance that already prime steak. Your choice of steaks include a dry-aged bone-in Ribeye aged ninety days, to a steak named “Reserva” aged 240 days. Well, you did say price didn’t matter?
Finally you have SW Steakhouse where Japanese Wagyu is the king of the house. They feature an entire page of the menu to just the cuts of Wagyu, but there are also some awesome steaks from a domestic Snake River Farms. If I may give some advise, don’t order the “poblano bacon mac n’ cheese” as an appetizer, because you can’t stop and it will kill the appetite.
If you’re not in the market for one of those $300 steaks maybe we can direct you to the best buffet’s Las Vegas has to offer. The buffets and free drinks used to be the draw to Las Vegas years ago, but lost their glamour, until now during their comeback. The Buffet at Wynn is one such line that you can be sure will provide tasty treats. They are featuring 100+ new dishes, including Guinness braised ribs, and slow cooked meats and Southern Barbeque. The buffet at the Wynn isn’t just a grab and go, because they now offer with that buffet, endless pours of beer, wine and cocktails.
Another great newer buffet in Vegas and appropriately named, is Wicked Spoon, which I can tell you really isn’t a typical buffet. This my friends is a “Fine Dining Experience Buffet”, where you don’t go to “chow down”, but taste things you will never find elsewhere. For instance, how about duck tacos or bone marrow? The different choices on this food line are served up “small plate” style, but oh so good.
Now for the ultimate experience for couples or a bunch of guys, and definitely budget minded, how about grabbing a brew and burger and enjoying the best comedy clubs.?
Comedy & Dolls offers a bit of the old Vegas with a bit of comedy mixed with burlesque and lets just say sex. You will definitely come out with sore abs after laughing for a hour or so.
Probably the best of the best in comedy is the Brad Garret’s Comedy Club, and once the show starts you will find out who the owner/comedian is. The character known as Robert from “Everybody Loves Raymond” is the one. Located in the basement of the MGM, this small, crowded and very popular club is the way to go.
Finally, if you are planning a romantic interlude, special anniversary or just in love and feeling the need to impress, we have you dinner choice.
Restaurant Guy Savoy located in Caesars Palace with prove the point to your special person, under the expert kitchen guidance of Chef Julien Asseo. Please remember that this is that place, where if you have to look at the bill before placing your “Gold Card” down, you shouldn’t be there.
What’s new and shaking in Sin City for adults?
Of course, one of the first businesses in the Las Vegas area announcing their excitement, and announcing a new business near the “strip”, has to do with the legalized prostitution in Nevada. That’s right, the infamous “Bunny Ranch brothel will be opening a “Raiders-themed brothel near Sin City.. One can only wonder how big the “sports bar” TV’s will be?
One of the hottest new additions to the Las Vegas pool scene is the strictly adult “Bare Pool” at the Mirage Resort and Casino. Everything about this fantastic pool and its associated cabana services emphasize VIP, and comes without additional charge, once you get past the “entry fee”. From fancy cocktail service to exotic frozen fruit, popsicles and smoothies, it’s all about chilling and just having fun. And as the name suggests, this is a private European-style sunbathing experience, so the only thing missing is clothes.
When you and your partner are looking for a sensual “Vegas style” show, we have the experience for you. Regretfully, many of the Vegas clubs have gotten rid of their showgirls and dance lines, everyone that is except the Luxor. In their sixteenth year, Luxor’s “Fantasy” is still going strong, awarded almost every year the “Best Showgirls” and “Best Topless” shows awards. They perform fifteen different numbers on stage and fear not, these shows are really great for both singles and couples alike.
Caesars Palace offers a quite excellent show also, especially as an “adults only” performance. Absinthe combines sensuality and semi-nudeness with a carnival atmosphere, aerial acrobatics and risqué burlesque. The comedy portion of the show will make you laugh till you cry, the burlesque wow you with the beauty of the human form, and the aerialist’s cause you to hold your breath.
Guys, if you and your buddies are hitting Vegas and looking for a little adult entertainment during the day, you might take a cab to the Sapphire Strip Club, a very popular men’s destination. If spending your bankroll along the stage isn’t your thing, bring your suit along and hit the new pool behind the club. Because it’s a function of the club, it has become one of the hottest new hangouts, mainly because the dancers rotate out to the pool during the day. As one might expect, it gets quite hot poolside.
How can we not talk about romantic dinner for two while investigating your Las Vegas experience? There are two fantastic and very romantic restaurants we want to suggest for you. The first is to take your partner to Paris, France, to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, and dine overlooking the city lights below. If you are true gentleman, you will have pre-ordered a fresh bright red rose and bottle of fine Champagne ahead of time when making reservations.
Our next suggestion is the complete opposite, with a dark romantic feel of the old Las Vegas, at Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens downtown Vegas. Here the restaurant presents a bright red rose to your lady, on the house. This is gourmet dining at its best, and the service is fantastic.
If you choose Hugo’s, you will already be downtown, and therefore can check out the Freemont Street Experience. This is now the ultimate adult playground, where anything goes, and spend some time, you’ll see just about everything imaginable.
Depending on what you had for dinner, you might try the Zipline over the crowd below, or not?
Visiting Las Vegas and staying on budget, is it really possible?
Definitely plan to eat a couple meals in your picks of the fantastic restaurants in Vegas, but also plan to hit bargain food joints also, because food can really “eat away” that budget. There are still some excellent buffet choices in Las Vegas, and they offer super selections for brunch or lunch. Paris, Rio and Caesar’s are the three offering quality and quantity food selections at a terrific price.
You should also pick up some of those booklets in the hotel lobby that contains discount coupons for area restaurants. These discounts can really add up to savings to that budget.
Traveling the strip by Monorail is free between the Mirage to Excalibur, and a bonus is air-conditioned. There’s also the Deuce Bus line that runs the strip as well as Freemont Street, offering a day pass for only $8 a person. If you plan to travel around town for a few days, then the 3-day pass of $20 is a bargain.
All Vegas casinos have reward programs, which you sign up to for free. Many offer points gained when you gamble, as well as discounts at their restaurants. Do your research and you can easily find a full steak dinner for under $8.00,
Vegas “happy hours” are well known, but did you know that if you time your eating habits a bit differently, you could eat like a king and queen for half price? As the busiest dinnertime is between 8pm and 10 pm, most casino restaurants offer happy hour from 4-7 p.m. If you belly-up to the bar and order, you can order dinner at some excellent low prices. My top choices include Eiffel Tower in the Paris, and Jean-George Steakhouse in the Aria.
Hot Ladies Tip: If thinking about hitting one of the classy nightclubs in the evening, make sure when that “promoter” outside tries handing you a flyer, you take it. They usually will get you free into the club.
Before going into a hotel’s dance club, which usually carries a entry fee, check for a special line for hotel guests that get in for free. Also, because drinks inside are boosted up on price, get your on the casino floor before entering.
If you want to experience an awesome show for free, head down to Freemont Street and the “Experience”, after dark. This show features 550,000 watts of concert music, and over 12 million lights.
Hot gambling tip: Stay away from the slot machines if you have any hopes of a big win, because they have the worst odds. Instead, find a table game you like, and enjoy one of the free “learn to play” sessions. You just might get “Vegas Lucky”. If you must play a slot game, try playing one at the bar in the casino, because if you are actively playing, your drinks are free.
If you really want to see the top sights of Vegas, we suggest buying a Las Vegas Power Pass, offered for 1-5 day passes. Starting at $85 you get to experience the Stratosphere Observation deck, roller coaster in New York, New York, Bellagio Arts Museum and much more.
Top Tips for keeping on a budget during your 2017 Vegas Vacation
If you want to hit a different area like old town, be smart and take a cab. If you add up the amount of bucks it would cost you for a daily rental car, gas and parking, you could take a Limo everywhere and still be cheaper than renting a vehicle.
You may already be aware of the “Player Club” concept at casinos, but never really thought of them as a “cost savings” option. In fact, they can be, not only for gathering points you can use for gambling dollars. These points can be used as dollars at restaurants, discount room rates and you may even get free tickets to a show because you are a member.
As Las Vegas is well known as a place to gamble in casinos, and alcohol flows freely as well, that’s another place to look at saving money. Smart vacationers realize that sitting at a casino bar paying for your cocktails can really suck up your vacation monies. The fact is, as long as you are actively gambling, your drinks are free. Well, sort of, because the house knows the more you spend the more they get. The “trick” is to sit at a machine long enough to get that drink, and then wander about looking for entertainment. If you plan to sit at a game for a while, you might want to tip that cocktail waitress with a $5 first to get her attention, and she will serve you well.
Hot gambling tip: Although I’m not an expert, I have been told that odds are much better at the video games located when you enter casino doors. There are always a group of them you almost walk into.
The Brunch buffets are still a great place to save money and get some great food. Most open at 11 AM, and depending on when you went to bed, can be either breakfast of lunch. For staying on budget for dinners, there are awesome awesome food courts around with “cheap eats”.
One very important suggestion for those who plan to hit the tables is your “gambling budget”. Its highly suggested to plan a daily budget of how much you can afford to loose for each day, and stop when that budget is empty. Probably the worst thing you can do is to visit an ATM with your debit card! Just don’t bring it to the gambling floors.
Top 5 “To Do’s” in Las Vegas during your vacation
Of course you need to take a drive and check out Hoover Damn for some great shots and a tour of this magnificent sight. Take the elevator down and check out how massive this damn is as you walk across it. The nice thing about this area is that every day is bright and shining.
For the lovers visiting Las Vegas together for the first time, or tenth, there’s nothing that tells her or him that you love them than a gondola ride in Venice. Of course, you’re actually in Las Vegas, but can get the same effect, at the Venetian Resort, in a two-person gondola on the canals. Be sure to book your ride ahead, and make it at dusk for sure.
Now that you have a peaceful, quiet and relaxing ride, there’s something in Vegas to really get your heart pumping! The Stratosphere Tower enjoys the highest freestanding tower in the U.S., and in itself is a heart stopper. But that’s not all you get to experience. You need to get strapped into the open car and fly at 1,149 feet from the strip below. If this isn’t enough for you, you can also enjoy “Sky Jump”, where you actually get to jump off and free-fall some 800 feet. Whether on camera or just bragging rights, it’s well worth it to experience.
As Las Vegas really got where it is today from organized crime and the mob, you owe it to yourself to visit The Mob Museum. It’s located within the former courthouse near Freemont Street, and houses twelve different exhibits of different influence by the mob. You’ll learn about such notable people as Bugsy Malone, Al Capone, Eliot Ness and J. Edgar Hoover. A nice advantage to visiting the Mob Museum is that within walking distance, you can also explore the Neon Museum, and experience all the original neon Vegas signs within the outdoor park, and a awesome selfie experience.
Las Vegas Winter Adventures excluding gambling and the “Strip”
Another fun adventure without the heat of summer is doing a horseback trail ride in the world famous Mojave Desert, and not being worried about survival! Easily find trail ride companies that offer these rides through deep canyons with the Red Rocks bluffs high above. Again, be at the ready because you will probably see coyotes and perhaps wild burrows on your trail.
Hot Tip: No matter what time of year, adventures beyond the strip and in the desert surrounding Vegas require lots of drinking water.
If you have the time to drive out to the Hoover Dam, by all means, this is a spectacular site to visit. Take the elevator down and learn the history of this dam and its construction. It’s also a super destination for some selfies.
If you can plan a day with some “side-trips” we have some excellent suggestions, ghost towns in the area. One that is close by is the Chloride Mining Town just to the south of Highway 93. This mining town got its start back in the 1860’s and flourished into the early 1940’s when it basically died. The town came back to life again in the 60’s for health reasons, and has a handful of residents. It’s a fun little town and a super place to grab lunch and visit an old ghost town.
The Rhyolite Ghost Town is another great visit, with an entire 1904 town still standing and vacant for your viewing pleasure. At it’s peak of gold boom, this town had over fifty saloons! A great place for taking photos, and beware; there might be a ghost or two in them.
Then there’s the Pioneer Saloon that has appeared in many Hollywood movie, along with some exceptional “star” visits. The original saloon is open for a cold one and a bartender who will fill you in with history. In the winter months, the saloon is still heated by the original potbelly stove. Be sure to ask the barkeeper about the poker games that led to the bullet holes in the wall!
No matter where you vacation these days, you seem to fins a zip-line or two, and Vegas is no different. While visiting in cooler months especially, a visit to the top of the Red Mountain (you need to hike to the top, so be in shape and carry water), and zip down over 1800 ft. of line going up to 60 mph! If you desire adding a little more pizzazz to this ride, try hitting it on a “full-moon ride”.
Las Vegas “must do list” even on “spur of moment” visit
For adults that truly believe what you see and hear in Vegas, stays in Vegas, another must do of all Vegas shows is Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. A true “adult show” there are showgirls, raunchy skits and language, comedy and oh so entertaining fun. A great way to relax with a cocktail, and watch your stress fly out the door.
Another icon of Las Vegas is its High Roller Ferris wheel, located in the Linq Promenade, the tallest of its kind in the world. They advertise this ride as the “Happiest Half Hour in Las Vegas”, for many reasons. It’s also a spectacular way to see the city, again especially after dark. It is truly a half hour ride, so bring your camera and or GoPro for some spectacular shots. Recently a couple took this ride to a whole new level, choosing to join the “mile high club” on the half hour ride. This of course led to their arrest for various expected charges, so beware, not everything that happens in Las Vegas, stays there.
Here’s something to do not many are aware of, buts it’s awesome! For those who visit and are Certified Scuba Divers, and find a great room rate at Mandalay Bay, you get a special bonus with that room. You get to dive in their Shark Reef Tank and swim with Sand Tiger sharks, not your average docile shark. Will make quite the “selfie “if you can get someone to take a photo of you in the tank.
Finally you just have to spend some time downtown and enjoy the Fremont Street Experience. From free concerts, vintage hotels, mega digital screens and and super sound system, this is party heaven. And did we tell you about Zip-lining over the crowds below?
Tips for family vacation in Las Vegas with smaller kids
Fun fact: If Scuba Certified, the hotel allows couples to get married in the tank.
The next destination for both young and
adult kids” is the roller coaster at New York-New York on the strip. This isn’t your standard roller coaster; in fact even the trains themselves are replicas of taxicabs. The coaster shoots around turns and drops at 67 mph, reaches 203 feet in the air, and drops up to 144 feet. If you aren’t “white-knuckled”, you can get great shots below of the surrounding strip, as well as the re-created New York harbor and Statue of Liberty. Be prepared for excitement, especially during the 180-degree spiral guaranteed to make your heart skip a bit.
Another thrill ride not to be missed if you can take it is the Big Shot in The Stratosphere Tower. Take off in the tower some 1,049 feet in the air, and for 2.5 seconds be hurled at 45 mph some 160 feet in the air. You’ll actually experience 4 G’s and weightlessness, which will lift you out of your seat. Now aren’t you glad they always check that safety harness?
For hours of fun you need to head to the Adventuredome Theme Park located under its pink dome behind Circus Circus. There’s five acres of rides and games for kids of all ages, plus miniature golf, 4-D movie theater. There’s no admission, so plan to pay for rides and games as you go. You can save a bundle especially with a few kids, by purchasing an all day ride pass.
Circus Circus is also home to free circus acts that start every day on the center stage starting at 11 AM. And before or after they can play the many arcade games in the Carnival midway.
If the little ones are in need of a “sugar boost” you’re in luck with a visit to M&M World, located next to the MGM Grand. You won’t believe the fascination in your children’s eyes as they investigate the many forms and colors made into M&M’s. You can even get your own “personalized” m&m’s.
If its waterpark time in your family, and time to cool off, you can head over to Wet “n” Wild Las Vegas, about 15 minutes south of the Vegas Strip. With over 25 different slides, a lazy river over 1,000 feet long, and a sweet wave pool, if you can’t find it here, you don’t need it.
Top exciting things to do in Las Vegas you might not be aware of
If you are a certified Scuba Diver and on your bucket list is a shark experience, have we got the deal for you! You can jump in the aquarium’s Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay if a guest there, and fulfill that goal. Think of the awesome photo op for friends and family while the watch you swim in the tank with Tiger Sharks! There aren’t many resorts in the U.S. that offer that experience, and who would have thought of Vegas as that place?
Maybe you have worked in an office all your life, but on the shelf behind you desk sits that now dull yellow metal bulldozer you have had since your sandbox days as a kid. Obviously there is a dream hidden somewhere there, and we can offer you the opportunity to visit that dream. Enter the world of real “big boy toys”, Dig This Vegas, where you can jump up into that Caterpillar Excavator or Dozer for an hour and a half, and actually dig or move stuff.
Maybe you are a duffer that enjoys the game of golf, and would love to take a lesson from Phil Mickelson or Fred Couples instructor. You have definitely come to the right place in Vegas, because their instructor, world-renowned golf pro Butch Harmon is at your service. All you need to do is book an appointment at his golf school at the Rio Secco Golf Club, and bring that bundle of cash you won at the tables last night!
Now most visitors are aware of Circus Circus, and the shows there but how many of you know that you can actually take trapeze lessons or attend a training camp in Las Vegas? Yep! It’s true, at Trapeze Las Vegas, located close to the Vegas Strip. Whether traveling as a couple of wit kids, you can all jump up on the flying trapeze, let go and flip in the air to be caught by awaiting hands. Of course, that’s after a lesson or two.
Perhaps your buddies are taking you to Sin City for your “bachelor party”, and certainly they have some exciting pleasures planned for you. Something you might want to check out for your group “sing along”, should be the rooftop of the Paris Resort, and its new beer garden serving those 100 types of beer for the song.
Have a few and then enjoy a barbequed burger or steak on the outside grill, while looking down below at the Bellagio fountain and light show.
When vacationing in Las Vegas, why not gamble where locals do?
The great thing about the Las Vegas Valley is the fact that there are bars/casinos spread out everywhere that cater to the local population. They don’t offer exciting video games that lure your money out of you wallet and into the slot. Instead they offer basic video poker, bingo and sports betting. High stakes poker games just aren’t that popular with most local crowds.
These outlying bar/casinos offer video poker games right there at the bar, and in fact will often comp you your drinks if you play, and maybe your meal too.
Venture out of the strip environment, and you can get the same treatment, and save some bucks too.
One of the most popular casino hotels for locals is The Orleans located on Tropicana Blvd. They will even put up visiting friends and relatives there because of the cheaper rooms and services. The Orleans offers more video poker games with more chance of winning, as well as an awesome 5-cuisine buffet for $13.95 that’s excellent.
The Palms Casino is located just about a mile from the Las Vegas Strip, but is very popular locals haunt as well. Don’t get us wrong about the Palms; it is getting popular with the younger visitors, and especially celebrities, mainly for the Playboy Club there.
Across the street you will find the Gold Coast, which has none of the glitz of most casinos, but locals love it more for the bingo than anything else.
Some of the other ever-popular local favorites include Sam’s Town, the Suncoast Casino, Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Casino Resort. They all offer better odds, no crowds and a chance to mingle and get advice from those who live in sin city.
If you tally the votes of most local residents about where they choose to gamble and have a good time, most will tell you look to the small restaurants, corner stores, bowling alleys, bars and nightclubs. Because they are located in most neighborhoods, there’s no travel involved, no crowds and they see all their friends there. It might just be the best experience you can have “off strip”, to take a bus or taxi to a neighborhood off the strip and mingle with the locals.
Heading to Vegas on summer vacation? Here’s where to “cool off”
If you are on a family vacation with smaller children, you might want to experience the Delano Beach Club, where the pools are float tube friendly, offer small-bite poolside services and the largest “life size” chess set you have ever played.
A couple suggestions for families looking for more water activities for their youngsters would be Wet ‘n’ Wild or Cowabunga Bay.
Over the past few years Las Vegas has become not only “sin city” on the strip, but also poolside. In fact, for adults, the best parties are poolside this summer is at some of the most exciting “adults only” pools. These private “European-style” sunbathing adult pools are perfect for the adults looking to relax and enhance their “no tan line” bodies. Keep in mind that to enter one of these exclusive domains, it will cost you, and you will need to check your inhibitions at the entrance.
One of the most popular is “Bare” at the Mirage, with a runner up the Moorea Beach Club at the Mandalay Bay Resort. These adult pool clubs are over 21 only, and offer not only pool “viewing” but in the case of Moorea Beach Club, and actual beach. Just an excellent opportunity for anyone to relax and get a poolside massage.
Of all the adult pools, I find the smaller venue at the Artisan Resort with its appropriately named, “Naked Pool” the most relaxing. Beware, when the sun goes down this pool becomes one of the hottest and best-kept secrets in Vegas, and packs out.
Cooling off with the kids can be accomplished with a visit to the local ice-crème shop. For adults we highly suggest a visit to Carlos ‘n Charlie’s for their totally chillin and may we say, famously delicious frozen margarita. We guarantee you there’s nothing better than cooling off with one of these cocktails after a day at the pool.
If outdoor pools are out and you need a break from the tables, why not head over to Circus Circus and experience the super air-conditioned Adventuredome with or without kids. It provides indoor roller coasters, water rides and much more.
And then there’s always Minus5 Degree’s at Mandalay Bay, where you will instantly chill out when you walk through the door. This entire indoor bar, including tables, chairs and cocktail glasses, are made of Canadian Ice. If you can’t cool off here, you’re just to hit to handle.
Local’s money saving tips for your next Las Vegas “Extravaganza”
There are some things you can do to not let your spending run amuck.
First and foremost, don’t charge your airfare and hotel room, instead pay cash for it in full. You can certainly find excellent hotel deals online, and if you can plan your trip at different times of year, you’ll enjoy even better cheap hotel rates. That way when you return home broke like that old rake, you won’t find yourself borrowing money from your parents to pay your mortgage.
The very next thing you need to do is plan a very careful and honest budget, for food, entertainment and most important, lady luck. Of course there may be a little wiggle room on the food budget, but that’s to be expected. What you don’t want to do is exceed your gambling budget and head to the ATM for more that you didn’t plan on.
That’s where people make a big mistake, and relationships get tested.
I personally have lived by my #1 gambling rule, I bring a specific amount of gambling money, and I plan on loosing it all, every time. If I play smart, I leave with some money, still having fun, and consider what I take home as a win.
To save money and maybe even make a few bucks, know your game, whether it is the slots or Blackjack or Roulette. Online games are a good place to practice before arriving in Vegas, but another plus are the casinos that offer “beginner lessons”. A couple excellent choices for the newbie are Excalibur and Circus Circus, both a good place to start.
Hot Tip: Rumor has it that playing the slots near an entrance gives you a better chance of winning big.
For slot players you should always sign up at every Players Club in every casino you play in. Every dollar you play adds up to points that you can redeem at restaurants or even shows. Many times the casino offers bonus sign up points, so it’s really free money, which unfortunately is gone within minutes, including more from your wallet.
Another excellent way to save on Las Vegas shows is to get your tickets at one of the “Tix4Tonight booth located on Fremont Street and the Vegas Strip. Jump into line at one of these early, like when they open at 10 AM, and your reward can be 50% off.
Your food and drink budget can get eaten up very quickly in Vegas, while you might not notice. Always check prices on the restaurant menu before being seated to see if it sounds reasonable. When you order, be aware that if you are asked if you want a soft drink, it will cost about $3 a glass. Even worse, if they ask if you want bottled water, pass and take the ice water, because that bottle of water costs more than a pop. And the buffet lunches in Las Vegas are always a good choice for saving funds for better things, and forget about the “one pound hot dogs” unless you want to taste it for the rest of the day.
More to Vegas than gambling, with these big events to plan around!
The next major event is the Vegas Pet Expo that runs from May 21-May 22 at the Cashman Center. Although we all may not admit that our pets are very important to us, it’s so true. This very popular event is all about pets, featuring vendors from all over the U.S. and presenting the latest and greatest things on the market for our little friends.
Now we all probably remember times way back when, that have great memories of the days as children when the circus coma to town. Even as adults you have to admit, you can still be thrilled, and if you have booked a room in Circus Circus, you are primed and ready for this next big event. June 16-19 the Thomas & Mack Center presents the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. They will be presenting Circus XTREME, which is a blend of traditional circus elements along with "edge of your seat" spectacles. With a mix of high-wire acts, trampoline daredevils, bungee aerial skydiving display along with amazing animals is a great show for the whole family and will certainly be a highlight to your adventure.
If you plan to be in Las Vegas the first part of December, or are a cowboy or cowgirl at heart, you need to start planning your visit now. From December 1-10th, Las Vegas turns into a major Cowboy Town during the famous Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the MGM Grand. The rodeo finals themselves are awesome with some of the best riders competing, like Trevor Brazile, Tuf Cooper and Luke Branquinho the Champ Steer Wrestler. But even with all the excitement of the rodeo, there’s so much more happening in town because of it. Major Country Western music stars in concerts, many performing at the various casino clubs, and some of the wildest parties imaginable. Also every day of the Rodeo Finals, you can experience some awesome western shopping at the Stetson Country Christmas located in the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
New and Exciting for Las Vegas visitors in 2016
For the music lovers out there, especially those who love the tunes of Lionel Richie, you can hear them live in Planet Hollywood beginning this April. Lionel plans to perform at least twenty live concerts throughout the year.
For those that actually try to keep normal hours in Vegas, and can recognize “after hours”, there’s some news about three of Vegas’s popular nightclubs. A brand new nightclub will replace Body English at the Hard Rock, so you might want to check it out. Also Tryst at the Wynn is being revamped and re-named and opening by Fall. Lastly, the Aria Las Vegas nightclub “Haze” will be replaced by a new upscale club called “Jewel”, so check it out while you are there.
Scheduled to open and “drive business”, “Speed Vegas” will open its car doors in spring of 2016. This 85 –acre facility will put you in the driver’s seat of high performance cars that dreams are made of. Mercedes, Aston Martin, Porsche, Ferrari and more will be available for you to get strapped into and race around the track. This is your chance to become a high-performance race driver for an hour or so, and cross off another thrilling adventure from your bucket list.
The ever-popular Ling Promenade where food is plentiful will be adding two very well known and delicious restaurants to the list of fast take out. For the California In ‘n Out burgers, have no fear, they will be here in early 2016. Also, probably the very best Fish & Chips you will ever taste will be available also in Gordon Ramsey’s new shop appropriately names, Gordon Ramsey’s Fish.
Worth a look, and definitely appropriate for “Sin Cities” reputation, Eggslut will also open sometime this spring in the Cosmopolitan Resort. The restaurant will feature, as no surprise, everything eggs, from breakfast to diner.
Plan your vacation to Las Vegas, without breaking the bank!
You can eat as cheaply or as expensively as you choose in Las Vegas, so why not plan to mix it up and average out for a good budget. Hit a really good resort restaurant or two, but offset the money spent by doing that “giant one pound hotdog” for lunch, or $2 cup of shrimp cocktail maybe. There are still some good buffet’s around, but I would advise you to check out the ones at major casino’s, not off the strip, because the food is better.
Understanding that you should never buy your cocktails at the casino bars, because your drinks are “free” while you gamble. Just sit at a table or slot and order your cocktail, then move on. Why pay when “adults drink free”? Right?
If you must sit at a bar for a while, sit at one that has video poker on the bar, put some money in the machine, and as long as you play, your drinks are free. If you want to keep your gambling budget to a reasonable low and love playing cards, you might want to hit the Tropicana as it’s one of the only casino’s still offering the $5 Blackjack tables. For those addicted to the slot and video poker machines, it goes without saying that joining each casino’s “Players Club” can gain you some free points and possibly produce a big win!
Hot Dinner Tip! If your tummy is screaming for a big juicy steak dinner, head over to Ellis Island Casino & Brewery for dinner. They offer a $9.99 meal that includes a perfectly cooked 10-ounce piece of beef, potato, veggies and a beer.
For those who live close enough to drive their own vehicles to Las Vegas, and think only politicians and movie stars use hotel valet services, think again. Don’t by any means park your vehicle in a parking garage in Vegas! Use those Casino/Hotel valet services in front of the resort. All it will cost you is a few dollars tip when you come out, and you won’t have to worry about someone breaking into your car. In fact, that alone can save you big bucks.
New exciting attractions in Las Vegas for 2016
Enter for 2016, the brand new Las Vegas Arena coming to Las Vegas in the April.
This awesome endeavor will be able to accommodate 20,000 people, located between the Monte Carlo and New York- New York resort hotels. It will include a string of executive and grand suites for private parties, Las Vegas is excited to see this new arena open, which will feature concerts, award ceremonies, fights (boxing and UFC), business events and more. Some of the first to book the arena, UFC200 Ultimate Fight Showdown, Garth Brooks (Country Western Music Artist), Wayne Newton and more.
Who doesn’t enjoy a “beer garden” when visiting a major event? Hold onto your hats because mega beer company Budweiser has announced it will open it’s new Beer Park at the top of the Paris Resort with a view to die for. Not only will you have over 100 choices for a cold brew, but also the restaurant can back them up with burgers and steaks and more, cooked outside on a mega monster grill.
Everyone know the rules of Vegas, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, with this one exception that you may want on film. Due to open March 2016, and new for all thrill seekers, is SPEEDVEGAS, a new driving experience complex encompassing one hundred acres. Take your pick of provided exotic cars, from Corvette’s and Lamborghini, Porsche and others. You are only limited by how fast you dare to go, and how much cash is left in your account after gambling.
For those women who have been planning their vacation in Vegas around the Chippendale Review at the RIO, there’s another thrilling form of ecstasy awaiting you upstairs either before or after. You can get strapped into your outfit, and soar some 400 feet in the air between the two RIO Towers, and enjoy the sites below, on the new VooDoo Zipline. This is a nice way to cool off after a long day, as you soar at about 35 miles and hour, checking out what’s happening on the strip.
Forget the Las Vegas Strip, Experience Fremont Street instead
Back in the early 1900’s downtown Las Vegas was known as “Glitter Gulch” because of all the neon signs and lighting. Today the same is true, with all the signs and lights, but there are so many more exciting attractions today. Take for instance that you can actually climb a 12-story tower and “zip-line” over the entire Fremont Street and people below with Slotzilla Zip Line. There are actually two lines to choose from, a lower called “Zipline” only 77 ft. in the air for $20. Then for the real thrill seekers, there’s “Zoomline that soars at 114 ft. and a much longer ride, all for only $40.
The Slotzilla Tower is the largest slot machine in the world, featuring dice, coins, martini glass and of course two showgirls. It’s definitely a great place for a photo to remind you and your Facebook friends of this experience.
Another excellent place for your “selfie” is at Binion’s, where at 10 AM and 11 AM you can have your picture taken with one million dollars in cash. Caption for that selfie, “look what I won in Vegas”?
Now one thing you need to understand about “Old Downtown Las Vegas”, its not for the prudes at heart, and definitely not for small children. Adults and adults with older teens should be just fine, but we don’t want to mislead you. Sex is a big part of Las Vegas, and for sure its everywhere in the Fremont Street area, tasteful and not so. Expect to see many half naked women and men, some body painted, some in very minimal clothing. I’m not just talking about in clubs, but on the streets as well.
It’s all part of the Las Vegas experience, so if you’re not that kind of guy or gal, there’s always Disneyland.
If you’re staying in the downtown Fremont Street area hotels, parking won’t be an issue for you, but if not, expect trouble finding parking. You will be better off taking The Deuce, a buss that runs down the strip and ends at Fremont Street.
A canopy with its 2 million plus lights and massive sound effects covers five city blocks. During the hot times of year, you’ll be happy to be under that canopy, because it includes an awesome “misting system” to cool off those below.
The massive and very exciting light and sound show starts at dusk, around 7:30 PM, and repeats itself again at 8, 9, 10, 11, and lastly at midnight.
A couple other sights that you must visit are the Neon Museum and the Heart Attack Grill. The museum contains the history of Vegas neon lights, and is just incredible.
The Heart Attack Grill is a hospital theme burger joint serving delicious killer food like their “Flatliner” fries and “Quadruple Bypass” burgers. Of course, there are some excellent restaurants on Fremont Street where the food won’t kill you.
Doing the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas December
Ever since 1986 in the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Cowboy Christmas event has been going on. This is where you can get all your boots, spurs jeans, jewelry, furniture, artwork and much more. If you’ve arrived in town for the rodeo, but aren’t dressed for the occasion, this is the place to shop. With over 400 vendors located on 400,000 square feet of floor, you could spend days and never see everything for sale here. And, like most places on the Las Vegas Strip, there’s a free shuttle to and from the Thomas & Mack Center to get back to the action.
For entertainment there’s no shortage, because this is Las Vegas! Besides the rodeo finals, you can catch your favorite country western music star at one of the many concerts going on in the various casinos. Reba, Brooks & Dunn are together again for shows at Caesars Palace, Big and Rich at the Gold Nugget, Trace Adkins and Merle Haggard both at the Gold Nugget, and so many more.
And then there are the “Wrangler NFR After Dark Parties” around town where the action is hot and lasts all night long. Night events like Gary Leffew’s Legendary “Buck’N Ball” in the Orleans Hotel every night from 9PM “till the cows come home”.
The official NFR After Party is held each night of the rodeo at the Mirage Hotel with top music artists performing nightly from 6:30 PM until 4 AM.
And lets not forget the 5th Annual Mechanical Bull Riding Competitions at Sam’s Town Hotel. If you’ve never seen one of these mechanical bulls in action, this is the place to watch. If you think you have the balance and nerve, you could win the bucket and $500 in cash. All you have to do is hold on and stay on.
Here’s one great suggestion for attending the rodeo finals in the Thomas Mack, especially for those intending to party through the days events. Get to the Mack early before the crowds, and make friends with one of the bartenders in the lobby, especially with what you plan to drink. As the crowds get large and hectic later on, when you get his or her eye, they will already know what you want, and you can get to the head of the line, every time.
“Up in Smoke”, don’t worry, it can stay in Vegas!
Pair all this up with exhibits of the latest and greatest gold equipment, and luxury cars which one would expect to see on display in Las Vegas, and you have opportunities to experience luxury at it’s best.
Although it does cost a bit to attend this function, if you divide up all that’s included, from food, drinks and cigars, over a three day period, or for just one day, it’s not that much. The ability to enjoy complementary cigars from over twenty-five of the top premium cigar producers in the world, and if you indulge in this pleasure, you know the price of a good cigar, is priceless.
Pair that with sipping a fine glass of scotch wine as you admire and learn the in’s and out’s of something like the new Lamborghini and you’ll feel like a star yourself.
And what could be more appropriate for having a “dress-up” evening than the Cigar Aficionado’s “Big Smoke” in Las Vegas?
Now this event isn’t all about standing in a smoky room filled with people sipping wine and talking to each other. There are awesome seminars offered too on Saturday and Sunday.
Learn about the latest news coming from our government and our much-improved relationship with Cuba and how it will affect what you smoke in the future.
Learn about what’s actually going into your favorite cigars, and where those wrappers come from, and what they offer your senses. You will find our why its so important to keep your quality cigars in a good humidor and how it affects your enjoyment of that fine cigar.
If you have never dipped your business end of a Maduro into a glass of very fine Bourbon and enjoyed what it can do for your taste buds, then you can learn at a seminar on why Bourbon is best with a premium cigar.
These are only a few reasons to attend a Big Smoke in Las Vegas, but just being in Las Vegas is an event itself. If you book at the famous Mirage Resort Hotel where the event takes place, you are staying at one of the “Strips” finest. Even though each day at the event, there’s either a buffet of a sit-down luncheon, the hotel offers some world-class eats’ too, from sizzling steaks to burgers and pizza.
So if you choose to expand your knowledge in the world of the cigar, no worries about the rest of the world even knowing you do smoke an occasional fine leafed cigar, because we all know, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.
The Inexpensive Vacation at Caesars Palace
Beijing Noodle No. 9 – This is the place where you can get two great deals in one. They hand pull their noodles so essentially you get a free show while they make you meal. I know hand pulled noodles do not satisfy the entertainment quota for most of us but it is a rather intriguing way to spend a few minutes. If you sit at the table tops right by the noodle pullers you can eat and be entertained. Order sparingly and you will save money and be full. Portions are large enough that you do not need three entrees to be satisfied.
Absinthe – This adult show is among the best in Las Vegas and there is no way you will not walk out of the theatre without a smile on your face. During the day there are people handing out coupons for the show near the Absinthe box office. This show will change your perspective about Las Vegas entertainment.
Serendipity 3 – Big portions and plenty of the sweet stuff. Sit out on the patio and you can people watch while you eat. Do not over order because you will end up wasting food and spending too much. This is a spot where sharing really is caring.
Forum Shops – Don’t buy anything here because is very expensive but spend an entire day window shopping and you will have a great time. The Forum Shops are huge and the amount of stores, galleries and boutiques are worth a visit. Walking through the climate controlled corridor gives you an opportunity to see what people do with all the money they win at the gaming tables. (yes, most of the expensive stores seem empty so maybe people are not winning all that much)
Spago Las Vegas – Meatloaf and a glass of wine. It may seem like an expensive meal but the time you spend on the patio at Spago is worth it. It feels like a real vacation and if you split the meal along with a salad it would feel like the best cheap meal you have ever had. The people watching here is great as it seems like everyone in Las Vegas wants to walk through the Forum Shops.
Shadow Bar – Ordering a drink is on the pricey side but no more expensive than most bars and you get a good show behind the bar. Dancers are backlit on the walls behind the bar and you get to see them perform their act in a shadow. It is quite enticing and entertaining. The lounge area is worth a visit and is a good spot to both begin and end you night.
Pool – The Garden of the Gods complex at Caesars Palace is really one of the pool areas where you can get a different experience depending on where you decide to chill out and sunbathe. The main pool is spacious, the pools tucked away are quaint and the adult pool is very lively. Spend an entire day here and you’ll spend no money on gambling and you’ll rejuvenate your body for a long night out on the Las Vegas strip.
Las Vegas - Honeymoon in Vegas On a Tight Budget
With plenty of budget hotels, shows and restaurants the Las Vegas strip helps you create some long lasting memories while working as a jumping off to a life of romance and excitement with your new spouse. Sure those other super expensive places might be nice but they cannot even compare to the non stop excitement, entertainment and value found on the strip.
So how are you going to do it? Honeymoon in Vegas, done on a tight Budget
Where To Stay: Tropicana Hotel and Casino: This icon on the Las Vegas strip has all you need for a splendid Las Vegas honeymoon for a fraction of the cost of most strip properties. It is located across the street from MGM Grand and NY/NY casino and is walking distance to the center of the strip. The rooms are slightly larger than average Las Vegas hotel rooms and the pool is among the best in town. This entire property has recently been remodeled so if you knew the old Tropicana you might not recognize the place. Other good cheap hotel options include The D Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas, The Flamingo Las Vegas and Monte Carlo Resort.
Where to Eat: Happy Hour at Comme Ca is the best of both worlds. You get a good deal an a restaurant that is among the best on the strip. It can get pricey if you order from the regular menu but if you stick to the bar menu at happy hour you’ll be fine. Step out on the patio to steal a romantic kiss with a view. If you are going to spend some money on one restaurant his is a good bet and if you grab a table by the window you’ll be treated to a fabulous view with your meal. Other budget friendly restaurant options include: Five50 Pizza Bar at Aria Las Vegas, Postrio at Venetian, Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas
What to See: Absinthe is the one show that is a must when on your honeymoon. Simply because it is a little raunchy and over the top but mostly because it is dirty and vulgar. Yes, you get good dirty comedy as part of your romance package on the budget friendly Las Vegas honeymoon. You will fin dit hard not to laugh and when you leave the show you might be ready for a little action of your own if you know what I mean. Other entertainment options that are budget friendly: Jeff Civillico at The Quad and Jabbawockeez at Luxor Las Vegas.
What to do: The LINQ Las Vegas is the newest attraction on the strip that can fill your evening with budget friendly people watching and widow shopping. You can also choose to ride the High Roller Observation wheel and take in all of Las Vegas from high above or find yourself a seat at one of many bars and restaurants situated in this entertainment district. Stroll into the Polaroid Fotobar and capture a few memories of your honeymoon to take back as souvenirs or fill up on the sweet stuff at Sprinkles cupcakes. Take in some live music at Brooklyn Bowl, sample some beers at the Yard House or walk into Osheas and relive a little of old Las Vegas right in the heart of the strip.
3 New Hotels in Las Vegas
The first new addition to the hotel game in Las Vegas is the The Delano, it actually takes over the spot where THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay use to be. The new hotel is a complete rebranding and remodel of the previous resident of this space. Gone are the dark woods and modern design that had started to look dated and in its place is a new bright look. You can expect the same large rooms with separate seating areas and floor to ceiling windows that make the rooms look even larger. You’ll also get all updated furnishings so the super lux beds and the flat screen televisions go along with the spacious restrooms and comfortable yet modern furniture. Downstairs there is a new spot for cocktails and a restaurant. Upstairs MIX is still open for business with views of the Las Vegas strip that are hard to beat. You still get access to all that Mandalay Bay Las Vegas has to offer so you can have the best of both worlds.
TIP: This is the hotel you book when you want a little nicer accommodation with no casino but you still want to save money on food and entertainment. Budget properties Luxor and Excalibur are just a few steps away via monorail or the shopping area known as Mandalay Place.
Right in the center of Las Vegas Blvd. Bill’s Gambling Hall (formerly Barbary Coast) has now been transformed into The Cromwell. This boutique Hotel replaces the once super budget friendly spot with a property that is a bit more expensive. Don’t fret, this hotel is not priced in the outrageous price level as its neighbors across the street, Bellagio and Caesars Palace. Giada De Laurentis has a restaurant on the property that is more affordable at lunch than dinner and a coffee shop still has a decent breakfast option that is included with you room if you so choose. The rooms offer a super sexy modern approach to Las Vegas hotel rooms. Deep leather couches and two way mirrors accent the look of an “adults only” feel. (kids are allowed but with a two way mirror in the shower make sure to check the lighting when you are showering.)
Way down the strip SLS Las Vegas has just opened and they are offering a cool vibe with a side dish of sexy. This new property has transformed the old Sahara Hotel space and now delivers a Las Vegas party scene that will be a hot spot for some time to come. Budget friendly food options will make you visit more than once as Los Angeles transplants Umami Burger and 800 Degrees pizza both have opened at this site. Two nightclubs, two outdoor bars and a lounge scene that must be experienced are just the tip of the iceberg at SLS Las Vegas. LIFE the nightclub at SLS Las Vegas is the larger of the two nightclubs along with Foxtail. Foxtail gives you the VIP experience of an ultra lounge and LIFE just beckons you to dance. The Sayers Club is a casual yet upscale lounge with an outdoor patio that features both live music and DJ’s spinning music. The cocktail program is impressive but be wary as prices can escalate quite quickly. Midweek prices at SLS Las Vegas are very good and it will be hard to beat the quality of the Las Vegas vacation you can get here for the price that you will pay.
5 Downtown Las Vegas Bars
As you prep yourself for a night out in the revitalized part of town I would be remiss if I did not mention that you have to try Carson Kitchen on 6th and Carson. They have a fun patio upstairs and some good cocktails but it is not a bar, just a spot where the evening can get started over a few small dishes that are meant for sharing.
Once the evening is set to begin you'll be off and the spots you are visiting vary from comfortable lounges to casino bars:
Commonwealth – This spot on Fremont Street is home to some craft cocktails, craft beers and an atmosphere that says a lot about the transformation of Downtown Las Vegas. Mingle in the main room downstairs or head upstairs to where the music is going and dancing can get beyond the static lounge scene.
Bin702 at Container Park – This is not exactly super cheap but the prices are reasonable and if you have children with you they can play on the giant tree house in the center of the Container Park while you enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer. You are paying for the ambiance of this exciting development that mixes a little industrial feel with a start up community with a slice of hipster. It is a mesh of experiences that will have you pondering a move to Las Vegas. In case you are wondering, adults are allowed in the tree house and after 9pm you will not find any children inside.
Long Bar at D – Sitting right on Fremont Street this is a bar where you can get cheap beers while watching people fly by above you on the Slotzilla Zip Line. The mingle factor is high here and the crowd changes regularly. If you don’t find someone you like, wait around for 5 minutes and I am sure you can find a new friend willing to have a conversation.
Triple 7 & Brewery at Main Street Brewery – This is where you go in Downtown Las Vegas when you want great food and drink specials while catching a game on the big screens. The room is large enough to see more than one game and a seat at the bar gets you some very good drink and food specials. Happy hour is impressive for the amount of food you get for a low price and beer specials. The late night menu should have you ending your evening here and they even have affordable sushi on the menu.
The Griffin – This is the gem that you have been looking for when considering Downtown Las Vegas as a destination. Cheap beer on tap, no cover charge to get in and plenty of space to sit, stand, flirt or just chill out. If this bar was in your neighborhood you would hang out there all the time simply because it is a casual spot for a beer. There is absolutely nothing special about this place and that is why it is so special. They don’t need a theme or big name playing the music or some fancy signature cocktails. It requires that you check it out, but be aware that weekends after 11 can get very crowded. Weeknights will see a decent crowd as well.
Cheap Nightlife Options in Las Vegas
Las Vegas nightclubs aren't the only places to have a fun evening on the Strip as we have put together a list of alternatives to spending too much money on nightlife. Several spots offer cocktails and DJ music in a sexy atmosphere at a much more affordable rate. Where are these places, you ask? Right here....
Lily Bar, Bellagio: Run by Light Group, the same company behind many of Vegas' hottest nightclubs and dayclubs (including The Bank, 1OAK, Haze, Light, DayLight, Bare and more), Lily is an elegant escape with high energy--but not deafening--DJ music and mixology-level bar service. While you can get bottle service here, there is also open seating. A great place to meet someone you know, or someone you'd like to.
Mix Lounge, The Delano: Well worth the elevator ride, this penthouse lounge adjacent to the Mix restaurant offers an atmospheric bar inside and one of the best Strip views from the balcony tables. DJs on the weekends.
The Beatles REVOLUTION lounge, Mirage: To answer your first, obvious question, no, they don't play Beatles music here all night. In fact, although the mini-club was created to accompany the Beatles LOVE show at the resort, it is an entirely contemporary venue, with just a bit of the Mod spirit that the Beatles' embodied. DJ and live music here varies night to night, so feel free to ask before entering. Or just grab a drink at the Abbey Road bar outside.
Bourbon Bar, Venetian: And now for something completely different. Speaking of bars inspired by shows, the Venetian created this bar in tribute to their own resident Rock of Ages show, itself a nod to LA's hair metal glory days. Here you'll find an amazing return to the 1980s, with performing waitresses in spandex and teased hair, air-guitaring to old MTV music videos, and inviting you along. If this place doesn't make you crack a smile, you might want to consult your doctor.
RhumBar, Mirage: Across the casino floor and a world away from REVOLUTION, the stark white RhumBar is a slice of the sexy Caribbean that is almost guaranteed to please. Not only do they have one of the Strip's best rum selections, as well as a smart cocktail menu, but they also offer comfortable outdoor seating, Latin-inspired DJ music, and for those who choose, a nice cigar selection.
Gilley's, Treasure Island: More of a country fan? You'll feel at home in this replica of the Texas legend, with a big bar--stools shaped like saddles--full menu and live/DJ entertainment. Did I mention karaoke? Okay, you've been warned. Did I mention bikini bull riding? Yeah, that too. Bring your cowboy boots for stomping across the wood dance floor.
Deuce Lounge, Aria: Another Light venue, Deuce is a semi-secluded enclave on the Aria casino floor (don't miss the Christopher Walken portraits) that combines a VIP gaming lounge with nightclub ambiance and creative cocktails. Oh, and during the afternoon, it's a pretty nice place to watch a game, too.
Senor Frog's, Treasure Island: Upstairs from Gilley's but also overlooking the lagoon (great Strip views, actually), Senor Frog's is one place that definitely would never be mistaken for a nightclub. But if you're looking for a fun evening, don't count it out:
On Saturdays, the music is Latin-themed (Salsa, Cumbia, Rock En Espanol y mas), but other times they may play hip-hop, pop, 80s New Wave, retro rock... you never know. Audience participation is definitely part of the spirit here, so be prepared, and feel free to come casual--beach attire is actually encoraged. The food's not bad either.
Shadow Bar, Caesars Palace: A classic pre-club haunt, Shadow Bar on the Forum casino floor features mood-enhancing silhouettes of showgirls dancing to the DJs. Flair bartenders may try to take some of your attention away.
Secret Cheap Spots in Las Vegas
We know how it is: seems like everywhere you turn in Las Vegas, things are expensive. Not so--you just have to know a few secrets. Stick with us, we'll give you the scoop. Check out these 5 secret cheap spots in Las Vegas.
1. "Secret" or "No-Name" Pizza, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: Hungry? Of course you are. This spot might be one of the worst kept "secrets" on the Vegas Strip. Amid the hotel's legendary third floor dining level in between the Blue Ribbon and Jaleo restaurants, you will see an unmarked hallway with a lot of framed old vinyl LP covers on the walls. Walk down the hallway and you will arrive at a hidden (but popular) counter that sells New York style pizza by the slice, and even whole pies to order, with a variety of good quality toppings. Eat at the counters here or take them outside to the center lounge areas, nobody will mind. The white pizza (no sauce) is some of the best on the Strip. Cheap beer on draft here, too. Open late
2. Sand Volleyball Court, Monte Carlo: Looking for a fun, energy-burning activity for your group, or just a way to meet some people? The Monte Carlo's pool area might be one of the least appreciated among the Vegas Strip resorts--with its own wave pool, 400 foot lazy river (only one of three on the Strip), and this true rarity, a full sand-floored volleyball court, free for all Monte Carlo guests every day, as well as locals and guests of other MGM properties Monday-Thursday (locals and other MGM guests are welcome for a $10 fee Friday-Sunday, still not a bad deal).
3. Mizuya Lounge, Mandalay Bay: Wanna dance, but not to "dance music?" You might laugh at the thought of this being a "secret," since you can hear it across the casino floor, but the circular Mizuya sushi restaurant is actually one of the most raucous casino "lounges" on the Strip, with a regular schedule of rocking cover bands who earn their audience appreciation every night. No cover, and no purchase necessary--you can even stand on the outside edge of the lounge and watch, if you want--but if you can resist the urge to grab a cold one, you're stronger than we are. (Note: Mandalay also has another, more sedate Orchid lounge closer to the hotel lobby and elevators, which features softer live entertainment on weekends).
4. Fun Dungeon, Excalibur: You might be aware of the midway games up at Circus Circus, and even the arcade at New York, New York. But for some more innocent, family-friendly fun, go underground (never mind the tantalizing name) at Excalibur where you'll find classic carnival midway games, video games, interactive sports games, and lots of fun ways for kids of all ages to win prizes.
5. The Wildlife Habitat, Flamingo: Don't ask us how a 15-acre conservatory housing a huge flock of live Chilean flamingos as well as dozens of other flying and swimming species can remain a "secret," but somehow this gorgeous escape on the grounds of the Flamingo resort remains overlooked, even by Vegas locals! Ringtailed ducks, sacred Ibis, brown pelicans, swans, ducks, koi fish, turtles, hummingbirds, parrots and more can all be enjoyed among lush jungle landscaping. There are also two demonstrational feedings daily. Totally free--the animals won't even accept tips!
Bonus spot: Although it's not really a 'secret,' it's also not really pointed out: Anyone can stop and have their picture taken in front of the famous "Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas" sign (you can also arrange to be married there). From Mandalay Bay, drive South (or take a short cab ride and have the driver wait) and pull into the center median parking lot
Kids Shows in Vegas
These shows are perfect for any audience but kids in particular will enjoy them while parents will enjoy that the cost of a ticket will not necessarily break the bank. I should point out that you can find coupons for these shows around the internet and on the Las Vegas strip. The cost of the tickets fluctuates depending on when and how you purchase them.
Jeff Civillico at The Quad: If there is an afternoon show that delivers more laughs than this one I have not found it. Jeff Civillico comes on stage to juggle anything possible but then he includes the audience in his show. He then makes you laugh with his creative dialogue and his penchant for interacting with the audience. Forget that this guy can balance stuff on his head or throw multiple objects in the air and juggle them, this guy can entertain you. Look for discount coupons on the internet and at The LINQ Las Vegas and this will lend up being the best entertainment value in all of Las Vegas.
Mac King at Harrah’s: If magic and comedy are what you seek then you need not look any further than Mac King. His show is among the very best on the Las Vegas strip and when you consider that this afternoon show is priced significantly less than any other magic show you can see why the family will enjoy it. The kids will be amazed and the parents will not stop laughing. Use your ticket stub to the Jeff Civillico show and you get a discount on the Mac King show.
Tournament of Kings at Excalibur: This show is a bit more expensive than the previous two shows however you will get dinner and a show included. The action happens before you as the performers race around on horses and play the jousting game that was all the rage in the medieval times. Kids love the action and they get to eat with their hands.
Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo Hotel : The energy and the perfomances you get out of the Blue Man Group are hard to top. This is a show for all ages but those kids that can already read get a bit more out of it. This is not a kid specific show but the music and the performers make it very entertaining for most ages. I would suggest you leave the grandparents in the hotel room because the music gets loud and the beats may be too repetitive for them. This is a ticket that can get expensive but check with the Monte Carlo hotel concierge for discount coupons.
Mystere by Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island: This is the one show that is hard to find a discount for but they do exist. If you can only see one Cirque du Soleil show this is probably the one you should see and it is the longest running Cirque show in Las Vegas. Get to the showroom early because the pre-show entertainment is a bonus and plays a huge role in the overall show.
So you need Tickets for a show and you don’t want to pay full price? Don’t worry, once you get to Las Vegas you can find the half price ticket booths located around the strip. They have 11 Tix4Tonight locations so you should find one quite easily.
Downtown Las Vegas For A Cheap Vacation
Walking around Fremont Street the bright lights were once blinding and the casino action seemed to spill out onto the street. The Fremont street experience still lights up the action but the casino action almost seems to be a bit more subdued. Live music venues fill the streets and a visors fly by above the action on ziplines. Small kiosks selling trinkets and mementos fill the street and the atmosphere is far more about the overall downtown experience than just about the action on the tables in the casinos.
Visitors to Downtown Las Vegas are now experiencing a turnaround in the quality of accommodations. The D hotel recently opened and features modern rooms and a revamped look in the casino while the Golden Gate has done similar work to its property while adding an entire tower of suites. These hotels are still amongst the most affordable for Las Vegas visitors. Those visitors looking for a little more luxury can stay at the Golden Nugget which boasts its Rush Tower accommodations that rival some of the best hotel rooms on the Las Vegas strip. If you choose this property make sure to pack your swim trunks because you must hop in to the water slide that passes through a real life aquarium. Don’t worry those sharks can’t bite you.
Once you have a place to stay you need a place to play and the one thing that has not changed in Downtown Las Vegas is the affordable gambling options. Low limits and penny slots can still be found on Fremont Street. Gamblers can really stretch their dollars on this side of town as even weekend table limits stay low even as the crowds come in.
Head east on Fremont Street and experience the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas. Fremont East boasts art galleries, restaurants, bars and a real neighborhood feel that gets you thinking that you should head to downtown more often.
Don’t miss these spots in Downtown Las Vegas
Container Park – One spot where you realize that they have completely changed the way you feel about Downtown Las Vegas. Live music, food, shopping and a place for the kids to be entertained in the middle of the day.
Park on Fremont – It is a place for a drink, a bite to eat and a spot to congregate all on Fremont Street and all set in a location that could easily double as someone’s backyard.
Commonwealth – It’s a bar but it is also a great spot to just take in what is happening in Downtown Las Vegas. Sit up top and you get a sense that this is where Las Vegas visitors and locals converge and find some common ground. It can get crowded and at times seems a bit confused as to whether it is a locals bar or a tourist attraction but that is what gives it a bit more of an attraction.
Le Thai – It’s Thai food but it is one of the first places to come down to Downtown to help spark the revitalization. Hit the bar and share a noodle dish with a beer and you can’t go wrong. It does get crowded and their might be a wait but if you are just walking over from your Downtown Las Vegas hotel what does time really mean to you anyway?
Fremont Street Experience – You have to stand under the canopy of lights and take it all in. You no longer get a clear view of all the casino lights because of stages and ziplines but the over head light show does a little to help you capture the Vegas moment. The show is free and it happens on the hour as the sun goes down.
Afternoon Shows in Las Vegas
Quite often people ask about entertainment options in Las Vegas and are quick to point out that the best shows cost so much money you can’t really afford them if you are on a tight budget. While some of those statements are true if you consider an afternoon show in Las Vegas you can be entertained and you can pay less to see some high quality performances.
5 Afternoon Shows in Las Vegas That Will Not Bust Your Budget
Jeff Civillico at The Quad is not only a great deal but some of the best entertainment on the strip. His clever performance is anchored by his ability to interact with the crowd while dazzling you with his juggling skills. This is a very interactive show so don’t be surprised if you end up on the stage showing off your talents. This is one of those shows that is good for all ages and even though the kids will really enjoy it that does not mean that parents will feel as if they are being talked down to. If there is one show that works for all ages this is it.
Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s – The best way to describe Mac King is to say that someone pulled a time machine into the theatre and out popped Mac King. His show takes you back to a time before special effects and dazzling extras to make it appear as if the show you are seeing is better than it is. Mac King does not hide on the stage as things happen around him, he makes the stage come alive with magic, comedy and an approach to humor that is a lost art. I often say that this is the best show in Las Vegas and one thing is certain, you will not leave disappointed.
Nathan Burton Comedy Magic at the Saxe Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas – This afternoon comedy and magic show has a bit more edge than Mac King but it is quite entertaining. You get the traditional magic tricks along with a few surprises. Yes, you will see someone split in half and there is a good chance that a box will appear on stage and someone will vanish. However, Nathan Burton performs with a bit of flair and comedy to make some of the usual tricks slightly better. Consider the price and the presentation and you get some quality entertainment without a major strain on your vacation dollars.
Legends in Concert at Flamingo Las Vegas – If you are into tribute shows there is no need for you to look anywhere else. This show is not only a good deal but it packs so much entertainment into a performance that you’ll feel like you are stealing. You might see Elvis, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Britney Spears in one performance. These impersonators are among the best anywhere and the performance always seems very intimate. This is a family friendly show as long as you children are fans of the music and the entertainers performing.
If you are still looking for cheap shows in Las Vegas consider more of the shows at the V Theater and the Saxe Theater at Planet Hollywood and check out the shows at The Stratosphere Tower. Pin-Up and Frankie Moreno are both highly entertaining evening shows with a very good price point.
Cheap Things To Do in Las Vegas
Landing in the Las Vegas strip you will quickly realize that not everything is expensive but all the things that you want to do seem to cost a lot of money. That holds true for plenty of vacation destinations but when you consider the Las Vegas strip you have to attempt to think “outside the box” when planning your daily activities if you want to save some money and make the most of your holiday in Vegas.
7 Cheap Things To Do In Las Vegas
If you are looking for something free to do, look no further than the Bellagio Fountains and Bellagio Conservatory and Gardens. Both attractions are free and they can easily take up a good portion of your day. Walk to the front of Bellagio Hotel and watch the dancing fountain show before you step inside and peruse the gardens. As you approach the gardens you can admire the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture near the hotel lobby as well rub shoulders with the upper class hotel guests of this luxury hotel. The display at the Conservatory and Gardens changes seasonally and is open 24 hours a day.
You’ll need to eat so walk over to the Monte Carlo Hotel and walk along Las Vegas Blvd where the property has come alive with restaurants and bars. Share a pizza at 800 Degrees and get a beer at Double Barrel right next door. The pizza is the best deal in Las Vegas and the beer gets you an opportunity to sit with a view of the Las Vegas strip without paying a large price tag for the experience.
If you are a sports fan, watching a game at a Las Vegas Sports Book is an experience that you must check off of your list. You can sit at a spot like Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo but that can get expensive, instead hit one of the larger sport books like Caesars Palace or Mandalay Bay and listen to the roar of the crowd as people wager on the horses and all the games happening at that given time. Watching is free while placing a bet might make you some money.
I cannot guarantee that this is a fun thing to do but I can tell you that my wife loves window shopping at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. She can walk around this giant indoor mall for hours without spending any money. It is free entertainment and she never gets tired of it. I wait for her at Casa Fuente with a Mojito or at Spago with some meatloaf and a glass of red wine. Spend some time in the Forum Shops and you’ll see some talking statues, a giant fish tank and so many expensive shops and galleries that you’ll probably convince yourself to spend money. Don’t do it, if you need to shop check out the outlet shopping malls around the Las Vegas area for even better deals.
If those suggestions don’t work for you when trying to save money consider a long day at the pool. Going to Las Vegas should be about a little relaxation and what better way to do that than a swimming pool. Don’t forget the sunscreen and keep the alcoholic drinks to a minimum to save money. You can also hit the half-price ticket booths along the strip in order to catch a deal on a Las Vegas show. Most days there are a few shows that deliver some quality entertainment for half the price of a regular ticket. Another option for a cheap thing to do resides in Downtown Las Vegas where you can grab yourself a fried Oreo cookie and you can people watch the madness on Fremont Street.