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Las Vegas - You Have to Go at Least Once - Everything that happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

Updated on June 29, 2015

Las Vegas Airport Welcome


Excalibur Hotel


Viva Las Vegas and the Excalibur Hotel

Where in the world do you get free drinks 24/7? Vegas! Where in the world is entertainment available almost everywhere for free? Vegas! Las Vegas entertainment is what it's all about. Viva Las Vegas! There’s more but I think you get the point, Las Vegas, Wow! I was first introduced to Las Vegas by my sister-in-law who loved to gamble. She wanted to go to Vegas and thought it would be fun if a small group of us went – so, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, daughter and her husband and my 17 year old son went and we loved it. We went back two more times we loved it so much. I thought I was the only one who called Vegas “Disneyland for a adults” but I found the quote on a web page about Vegas.

Our first trip to Vegas started when we looked out the plane window and saw Vegas below us, only one mile from the airport. We got off the plane and while we were searching for our luggage my sister-in-law was winning $250 on an airport slot machine! There are slot machines everywhere, even in convenience stores.

Everyone knows about the beautiful hotels and lights and glitz but if you haven’t been to Vegas you might not realize there is lots to see and do that doesn’t involve gambling. Actually statistics say most people who go to Vegas only gamble 3.9 hours per day. Pretty impressive considering it’s a gambling town. But there’s so very much to see. Hotels in Vegas can take your breath away. We haven’t been to Vegas since 2001 and I know since then hotels have been torn down and new ones built, that’s what Vegas does, constantly updating in a way only Vegas does. The Vegas strip is a 4.6 mile stretch of land lined with fabulous casinos/hotels. Vegas weather is very hot in the summer but comfortable other times of the year.

On our first trip we stayed at the Excalibur. There were two reasons for that. First, it was one of the cheapest places to stay in Vegas and second I’m a big fan of King Arthur so why not stay at the Excalibur Las Vegas! New York New York is on one side of the Excalibur and the Luxor is on the other. It’s located right in the heart of the strip so it had lots going for it. The upper levels of the Excalibur contain the buffet, restaurants, and shops. There’s also a downstairs “dungeon” which is actually a game room. As with all Vegas hotels there are shows, a pool, and ‘lounges’ for drinks and entertainment. All of this in one hotel. At the time we were there there was also a Merlin and the Fire Breathing Dragon show, free, outside the hotel, nightly. An animatron Merlin battled an animatron dragon before a very large audience. Speaking of nights, knights in shining armour, damsels in distress and various minstrels wander around the hotel. We spent some time playing video games in the dungeon and attended the Excalibur show, “Tournament of Kings” a true medieval show which consisted of a show, jousting, fireworks and more. A three course dinner was served medieval style with no utensils and most of the show you were yelling “Hoozah!” It really made you feel you were back in time.

Las Vegas Buffets

Vegas turned me into a buffet connoisseur. Las Vegas buffets offer food from everywhere around the world! As we walked around Vegas we visited many buffets, one better than the next. Endless rows of food just there for the taking! Remember, these are my opinions. We decided the Excalibur had the best breakfast buffet. Since we ate so much at breakfast, we rarely ate lunch. At first our favorite dinner buffet was the Luxor, which is still excellent, but after our second trip we found out about the Rio Suites buffet. Did I tell you we spent most of our time touring the strip on foot? The Rio is off the strip so we found it through word of mouth. This incredible buffet includes everything you can think of from Lobster to corn on the cob, choices of American food, Sushi, Chinese, Italian, Seafood, Mexican, Carvery Roast Ham, Beef etc! I think it is only a dinner buffet but you shouldn’t go to Vegas without eating there at least once.

Mandalay Bay Hotel Aquarium

Mandalay Bay aquarium
Mandalay Bay aquarium

Monte Carlo Hotel Entrance


Vegas Hotels Worth Seeing

Back to our foot touring. At the time we walked the length of the strip...we didn’t realize how long it actually and we didn't care but I can say we slept well the night we walked it. The other point to consider is the hotels are so large they look a lot closer than they actually are and the distance from the street to the hotel entrance can be considerable as well. Each hotel has its own interesting theme. We’ve already talked about Excalibur. New York New York is a heartwarming experience for any New Yorker. In addition to the New York landmarks, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty, there is a roller coaster outside of New York New York. Inside is like being outside in old New York. There are tenement buildings, street-side cafes and Central Park with lights. Needless to say, all of the shows, restaurants, and shops, not to mention pools and spas, are part of all of the hotels.

Did I mention the Luxor? Never been to Egypt? The Luxor will take you there. The building itself is a large pyramid with Pharaohs and sphinx located outside. Inside is like walking into Egypt. It’s a little dark and sandy inside with sarcophagus, more sphinx and ancient artifacts throughout. Staff dress like pharaohs and Cleopatra.

Sort of behind the Luxor is Mandalay Bay. The Shark Reef Aquarium is unreal with sharks of all kinds, jellyfish, sea turtles, piranha…there’s also a ‘beach’ with a wave pool in the back of this hotel. It is a beautiful hotel. This is a luxury hotel with art for viewing in the lobby. MGM Grand’s main attraction is a glass sided lion habitat. You can walk under and around the lions. When we were there the hotel theme was The Wizard of Oz but I understand that it has been changed to Art Deco to appeal more to adults.

Caesars Palace is truly a palace! Here there is obviously a Roman influence. Male staffers walk around dressed like Roman gods, some with short skirts, all with excellent physiques. Caesars pools are “Garden of the Gods” spacious and stately. There are shows at the Forum Shops of the Talking Statues. These really have to be seen to be believed. The show goes on every hour on the hour. While it is difficult to hear what they are saying, just watching them is an experience (including the laser lights) and behind the fountain they occupy is a saltwater aquarium. P.S. Wolfgang Puck has a restaurant here. There are statues everywhere and gloriously opulent fountains in the Roman tradition. Lots of marble here.

Weather and Deals

Did I mention the weather in Las Vegas? November, December, January and February can get cold, down to 39 degrees, but hover around 40 - 41 degrees. The rest of the months range in the high 50's to 60's. However, I must say July and August can get pretty hot. Vegas is aware of this and has built enclosed, connecting walkways between many Vegas hotels. While the Vegas strip is the most popular place to stay, don't rule out the 'off strip' places. You can get some great deals! Speaking of deals even the big hotels offer some great deals. Of course the economy is hurting right now but I recently saw a deal for Circus Circus at only $29 per night and the Excalibur from $24 per night! (Can you see why we stayed at the Excalibur?) Many offer additional incentives like kids eat free, two-for-one coupons, special deals on shows, buffet passes and so on. So, if you think Vegas is expensive it is only as expensive as you want it to be. If you want a luxurious hotel with lots of amenities you can find it, but you'll pay for it. If you want to gamble your money away you can, but if you want to enjoy Vegas on a budget you can do that too!

Shops nside the Venetian Hotel
Shops nside the Venetian Hotel
Gondola rides inside the Venetian Hotel
Gondola rides inside the Venetian Hotel

Vegas in your pocket

More Hotels

There's nothing like a Vegas hotel! Did I mention the Ventian Hotel which is a destination unto itself? Being inside is like being outside in Venice. Truly a great place to visit! There are so many hotels with so many FREE attractions, there are dancing fountains outside of the Bellagio, natural wildlife habitat in the Flamingo, the volcano at the Mirage, and more. There are other attractions as well. One of my favorites is M&M World, what chocoholic wouldn't love thousands of M&Ms in a real variety of colors. Oh, and let’s not forget the Freemont Laser Light Show downtown. While you’re downtown go to the Golden Nugget Hotel to see the worlds largest gold nugget.

Remember, all drinks are free when you are playing the slots or at the tables in all hotels (but don’t forget to tip the waitress.) I always bring home some free cups, these aren’t ordinary cups they are the large cups used to hold your quarters at the slots. I haven’t even scratched the surface of Las Vegas! I haven’t mentioned the Stratosphere or the Sahara or Riviera, not to mention the new hotels that are built every year. Remember too, Vegas constantly rebuilds itself by tearing down old hold hotels and replacing them with new. As if that weren't enough it finds places to build new hotels were none have been before. So even if you've been to Vegas if it's more than two years ago, you might not recognize the landscape if you go back. It's like a living thing! Visit Vegas and see for yourself.

If you enjoyed this hub please vote and leave a comment...all comments and/or suggestions are welcome. Feel free to share this with your friends.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Hotels in Vegas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Merlin at Excalibur HotelLooking at New York New York HotelBrooklyn Bridge at New York New York HotelTalking Statue at Caesars Palace HotelOutside the LuxorJames Cagney's car at the Imperial Palace HotelEntryway at the Golden Nugget Hotel
Merlin at Excalibur Hotel
Merlin at Excalibur Hotel | Source
Looking at New York New York Hotel
Looking at New York New York Hotel | Source
Brooklyn Bridge at New York New York Hotel
Brooklyn Bridge at New York New York Hotel | Source
Talking Statue at Caesars Palace Hotel
Talking Statue at Caesars Palace Hotel | Source
Outside the Luxor
Outside the Luxor | Source
James Cagney's car at the Imperial Palace Hotel
James Cagney's car at the Imperial Palace Hotel | Source
Entryway at the Golden Nugget Hotel
Entryway at the Golden Nugget Hotel | Source

Elivs Presley sings Viva Las Vegas


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Your memories sound very much like mine Rajan. Much has changed in Vegas but our memories are always with us! Thanks for the reading and voting.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Mary, you brought back old memories of my Las Vegas visit. A lot must have changed since its been 14 years now. But I still remember we stayed at Circus Circus, and those talking statues at Caesars were so life like, the volcano at the Mirage, the feeling of being in Venice at the Ventian Hotel and we had a whole night at the slot machines. It was real fun.

      Voted up, interesting and awesome.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh I'm jealous Molometer! I want to go back. I know its changed since I've been there too. You'll be amazed at all the walkways and new hotels. You'll have to let me know how your trip was!!

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This was very handy. I am going to Vegas in December.

      I haven't been there since 1979. I know it has totally changed.

      We haven't booked our hotel yet so this hub was really useful.

      I'll check out the Excalibur availability.


      Voted up interesting and very useful. Tweeting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Okay Effer, you're saying I need Gamblers Anonymous ;) I know how far you are from casinos, in general, when my son went to SUNY Plattsburgh we visited the nearest Canadian casino...I won $60 and took everyone out to eat...can you tell it was a while ago?

      Suzie, sounds like you enjoyed Vegas almost as much as I do!

      Jaye, that's don't need to gamble to enjoy Vegas, there is so much to see and do.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I may have been one of the few people who went to Vegas and never gambled at all--not even a slot machine! I just didn't don't have the gambling gene, I suppose. However, I saw several glitzy shows and enjoyed them very much. There's something for everyone in Vegas.

      The "Adult Disney"--that's a great term for Las Vegas.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Oh what memories you brought back to me, THANK YOU!!! I enjoyed this so much! I decided to go there and bring my brothers, sister-in-law,my dad and his partner for my 40th brthday. I chose the Luxor hotel and loved it! We used to pass through yours most days and it looked fab! My favourite was The Venetian (I wonder why???!!!) and loved so many others. My brother had stayed at The Rio funnily enough! Oh I could go on and on . ...Vegas is a must for all in my opinion, I did the Grand Canyon in a helicopter which was a highlight I will never forget. Thanks do much for a great trip again!!! Votes and sharing:-)

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Wow...Never been to Vegas. You could sell mud to a pig farmer! It sounds so inviting.......but I have never allowed myself to I stay away. Have heard from other friends who go and have a ball....while putting a match to their 50 dollar bills...LOL!

      I'm only a stone's throw away from Casinos where I live, anyway....Niagara Falls, Salamanca, Irving.......I don't go to them either.

      Be careful Til.....If someone from Vegas reads this, you'll get recruited as a PROMOTER!! That may be just fine with you...!!

      Up and shared!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I hope you get there someday Vinaya. It really is a fun and fascinating place. No other place like it!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Vegas is one of my dream destinations. (I have actually mentioned this on hubpages security answer)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Vellur. It is definitely a fun and interesting place.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Vegas sounds like fun, voted up and awesome.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It is truly an adult playground, so much to see and much to do, not to mention all the glitz! Thanks for stopping by, it is always a pleasure to have you read one of my hubs!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      Nice one Mary- you've captured the throbbing heart of Vegas in this hub really well. Thanks for sharing - its on my ' must do' list!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I have to say Au fait, it's one of my favorite places. I was always happy if I went home with the same amount I went with! Thanks for reading and sharing!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Lots of things to do in Vegas and the immediate area! It's been a long time, but I've been there 3 times I think. The best part was winning -- not a lot, but enough to leave with more than I went with!

      Great hub! Voting UP and interesting. Sharing with my followers. Thank YOU for SHARING!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      It really is a cool place, gambling isn't it's only attraction! Glad you enjoyed my hub.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      7 years ago from Sydney

      You brought back memories! I went to Vegas with my partner, who loved to gamble. Every morning, he headed off to the Casino and I didn't see him again till dinner time (did I mention we're no longer together...wonder why?). I thought I was going to be bored to tears, but I wasn't. I started at one end of the Strip and worked my way up, visiting all the hotels. Just wandering around staring at the amazing interiors was entertainment enough! My favourite, by a mile, was the Venetian - I could've stayed there all day.


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