How to "do" Las Vegas; King Papa's Vegas Hub
What Vegas is...
We all know who, what, when, where, and why...Vegas. Vegas is the greatest city on Earth, and as such, there are millions of webpages on this topic. The purspose of this hub is to give some interesting little know facts about Vegas, as well as some Stylish tips on what I like to do when I go to Vegas.
Vegas, "Vegas", is the most populous city in the
state of Nevada in the United States and an
internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and
entertainment. Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city
in 1911. With the growth that followed, Las Vegas became
the fastest growing American city founded in the 20th century; Las Vegas is
one of the most populous cities in the American West.
People often confuse “Vegas” with the unincorporated areas of Clark County that surround the city, unless you’ve been downtown (Old Strip) or to the Stratosphere hotel, you’ve never actually been to Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Strip is 4.5-mile (7.2-km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is mostly outside the city limits, in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester. And for those of you wondering, no, prostitution is not actually legal on The Strip, although it is quite prevalent :)
Las Vegas is know as The Entertainment Capital of the World and the title is not unearned. Vegas is famous for massive and lavish casino resorts, the unrestricted availability of alcoholic beverages, and adult entertainment, Sin City, has it all!
Several ways to "do" Vegas...
Ways to do Vegas…
I live in Phoenix Arizona which is only a 3.5 hour…I mean a 5 hour drive to Vegas ;) That being said, I make it up there many, many times a year. I have been there and done just about everything in Vegas over the years and that makes me a quasi-expert on the town. These are my personal ideas on the ways to “do” Vegas and some tips to save yourself time, money or just to have a better time on the town!
The “Rock star"
This is the Vegas from the movies. See: The Hangover. People spend ungodly amounts of money in Vegas, because this is one of the few cities where, for a price, you can do almost anything! Get a fantastic suite and live it up! Drinks are free at the tables while playing, but there are more bars, lounges and clubs around than you can count. Hit the bar, drink like crazy and have a blast. To be a true rock star you have to gamble, learn the rules so you don’t look like a chump. And lastly, hit a lounge for free music and dancing, or try to get in to a nightclub. On weekends Vegas has many free lounge bands that play decent to terrible music...but they have a dance floor. Lounges have a lower volume than the clubs so you can talk to more people make new friends or hook up! I said above; "try to get into a nightclub"; they're usually pretty packed on the weekends, but well worth the wait and the cover charge!
The stylish way to go for a room in my opinion is with a suite at the Bellagio over looking the strip and fountains. I’ve had one in the rear too over looking the most beautiful pool area you can imagine, also a great place to stay. I’ve stayed at Bellagio multiple times without a suite as well as Wynn, Encore, MGM, Mandalay Bay (nice places); I have had a suite at Sahara, Riviera, Luxor and Mandalay Bay but the quality of the basic room at Bellagio and the suite as well make this my favorite place to stay!
Learn how to play craps. Craps is easy once you know how to play but it can look very intimidating if you don’t. I say to learn this game because it has one of the best odds of any game in town...plus it just looks hella cool! The craps table is always the loudest wildest group of people in the casino partly because when one person wins, the whole table wins, but also just because that’s the way the game has been forever, people get loud and cheer!
Paris, Bally's and Caesar’s Place all have free lounge acts that are pretty decent. Caesar’s has a bar called Cleopatra's Barge that is free to get in, usually has live bands and gets pretty wild!
As far as clubs go, Tao at the Venetian is world class and beautiful too. It's in the Venetian Grand Canal Shops which has several cafes and patisseries to get a snack or coffee to keep that energy level high. Also check out Pure, at Caesar’s Palace. This is another fantastic venue, multiple levels, great music and world class DJ’s, plus if the club sucks you can head over to Cleopatra’s Barge! Grab one of the many free publications that post who’s in town to see who’s spinning at each of these clubs as well as others.
Transportation: Gotta go Limo!!!! You can rent limos from almost any Vegas Strip hotels, if you drop enough cash on the dice table, the place may pick up the tab on a limo for you!!!! There are also many independent companies that offer limo service.
The first timer, or the person who wants to relax and see the sights. I play multiple parts when I go to Vegas, as most people will. Saturday night, I am the rock star! I like to get all done up and go hit a club every trip. But with the ever changing skyline of Las Vegas, there’s always something new to see! I make it a point to go somewhere and see at least one place or show that I haven’t seen before. So Sundays are my usual tourist day; shows, malls, art exhibits, hotel remodels/expansions, new hotels, really old hotels that I forget about, circus acts, you name it! There are soooo many things to see…that even I haven’t seen it all ;)
Any of the Cirque du Soleil shows are awesome. Google it, for more info on the history and art that is a Cirq show…but trust me they’re great. Cirq shows are on the pricey side though, the frugal tourist won’t like the price tag.
There are some cheap shows too, in Planet Hollywood there is a show called “V”. It’s a variety show that has a sampling of many different acts (juggling, magic, comedy, acrobatics, etc.) It’s pretty good and tickets are only in the $30 range…well worth it. There are other cheap shows around as well as events to see like "Bodies" at Luxor, and "Titanic" both are very affordable and can offer a few hours of quality enjoyment.
For very frugal tourist (see Frugal-ist below for more cheap travel tips) there are free shows as well. Circus Circus has free circus acts throughout the day. They’re short, but they are really good. I was practically raised in Circus Circus so I have a soft spot for this place :) In downtown Vegas, see also the Fremont Street Experience, another free show. They made the “old strip” into a giant outdoor pavilion that houses street shows, vendors and free live bands; but at the top of every hour they kill all the lights on the hotels and street to play a 10-15 minute light show above the street on the worlds largest HD screen. It’s like millions of light bulbs that make a TV screen where they play music and a video that matches. Simply fantastic for a free event!
Other great touristy stuff:
The Encore, even better than the original (Wynn), this hotel is a must see. Encore also has some excellent dinning, although very expensive.
Bellagio’s atrium. The atrium changes with the seasons and with the holidays. Christmas time is especially enchanting since it is never exactly the same each year, I go every season!
Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops. This is the largest mall in the southwest U.S. so bring your walking shoes! As the most profitable mall in America, if not the world, there are many high end and one of a kind boutiques; but there are also some “real people” stores too :) The mall is themed like the Greek Forum so the mall itself really is something to see too!
I’ve gone to Vegas and spent less money while there than I would have during a typical weekend at home. Think it’s not possible? Read on. The frugal-ist is the person who walks everywhere because they don’t want, or can’t, pay for a cab. These people also eat at the McDonalds on the strip, (despite the world class dinning around them) because there’s a dollar menu. I have been there many more times than I would like to admit, but Mr. Style Guy keeps it real :) Rooms are on the strip can be cheaper that the ones off the strip and cheap food (other than McDonalds) abounds!
The cheapest way to go on The Strip is Sahara. This place has been around forever and has hosted Elvis, Sinatra and the likes. Due to its age though, don’t expect to be wowed, Sahara may have a famed past but it is in need on some major updating. Don’t get me wrong I love the place! Rooms during the week are as low as $20 per night, on weekends I have gotten them for $50 with no comps or special promos. Sahara connects the rest of the “world” via the Vegas monorail, more on this later. There are some decent little shops in Sahara and the café is open 24 hours and is superb by any standard yet still affordable (think slightly upscale Denny’s). DO NOT EAT AT THEIR BUFFET!!! Winner of the Mr. Style Guy worst buffet ever award! It is cheap though :)
The north end of the strip is a little dead right now, waiting on the economy to pick up so Sahara has more neighbors. But in the mean time, for a decent place a little more centrally located try Excalibur, it is slightly higher on the class scale than Sahara but also more expensive.
I say “eating” as opposed to “dining” because this is the frugal section and the term fits better :) Again, I’m not judging, just compared to The Steak House in Circus Circus, the 99 cent hot dog doesn’t hold wind. Long have the days past where dollar menus were prevalent in Vegas, however, there are still some. Buffets for less than $10 are in many hotels: Circus, Sahara, Tropicana, Riviera and many more downtown that would take too long to list. Circus Circus has cheap food at The West Side Deli located way in the back by the Adventuredome. Slots-a-fun right next to Circus also has dollar ¾ pound hot dogs that are really good, pay extra for the chili and cheese, it’s worth it! Slots-a-fun also has really cheap drink prices, visit the bar for these!
There are four ways to get around town other than walking or getting a limo. Taxi is one other means of transportation...not the cheapest. The monorail, you can buy all day tickets for somewhere in the area of $13. Thie monorail is awesome, it's fast, smooth and not very crowded, the only drawback is that it only travels on the east side of The Strip, you're gonna still do some walking. The Deuce is a double decker bus that runs up and down The Strip and to downtown every 15 minutes or so. The Deuce is cool, it's only $7 for an all day pass and runs until 3am...but you cant (not supposed to) bring drinks on board. When I spend $30 on a whale bone 3ft beverage, I'll be damned if I'm not gonna drink it all! The downside to The Deuce is that it gets full and it makes alot of stops. It's cheaper than the monorail, but also slower, more crowded and the lack of beverages really irks me :) The last option is the Trolley, I think it's less than The Deuce, but I've only taken it once, so I don't recall. Either way, with the other options, this ones is my least favorite.
The Shopper's name is somewhat self explanatory...they're there to shop. There are many great places to shop in Vegas, obviously, since it is the greatest city on Earth! The tourist in me encourages me to visit these places...even though I don't buy alot :)
I am quite partial again to the Caesar's Place Forum Shops, located in Caesar's Palace. See Tourist stuff above. For an even more ritzy shopping experience, look to the shops at the Bellagio. Nothing but top notch stuff here...come to think of it I don't think I've ever even bought anything there :) Just fun to look!
There are, again, some "real" places to shop as well. The Coke and M&M stores are worth seeing at least once, get a root beer float at the Coke store's diner! Stratosphere has a decent little mall with some affordable shops in it too. If you want to venture off strip, the local's mall called The Boulevard is a very decent mall, this is a real mall though...no glitz or glamour, but still nice for a shopping experience. Any taxi-cab can get you here and there is a cab stand for when you leave as well.
Vegas Night from Above
That's it really. I wanted this Hub to be a concise to-do list of Las Vegas, and I think I accomplished that. There is so much more to the city though, I could write 10 Hubs on this, and maybe some day i will! As you may have realized by now I do love Las Vegas and can't wait to get back there!
But serioulsy, the reputation that Vegas has is blown way out of proportion, the town is really what you make of it. I've gone to Vegas and not gambled at all, and hardly drank. There is enough artsy and touristy stuff to entertain ANYBODY! You should plan a trip there right now :)
Thank you for reading my Hub, please leave a comment if you have time and of course feel free to read my other exciting Hubs!