Through educational opportunities through my employer I earned an almost-all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas. I leave in one week. I've never been to Las Vegas. I've spent hours scouring the internet for tips, advice, coupons, best places for everything imaginable. I've read every hub on the subject here on HubPages.
What else can you tell me about Vegas that I really need to know before I go?
Only one week to go?!? How exciting!!!! Just remember to stop when you're ahead....keep track of time....have plenty of fun.... don't get too attached to the one arm bandit -- it will steal you blind!!
Cirque de Soleil is a great troupe of performers. If you haven't watched a performance before, you should. The link for their Vegas shows is http://promo-www.cirquedusoleil.com/las-vegas/home.html
It's extremely hot there, so be careful in the sun -- hot and dry so drink lots of water.
Have a terrific trip!! I couldn't think of a better person than you to have this opportunity! Take lots of photos and videos!!! Bon voyage!!
Thanks, Beth! Great advice!
I have seen "Alegria" and written a hub about it. Part of the package my employer paid includes tickets to "Mystere". I love Cirque du Soleil!
I think the Texas heat will have semi-prepared me for Vegas. It's been over 100 degrees here quite a few days this summer. However, I am aware that Vegas heat is a dry heat where we have a bit more humidity in ours.
I plan to come back rich, but I don't intend to break the bank to do it. I have gambled a few times in neighboring Louisiana and I have never spent more than $100 playing.
You have better restraint than most!
The shows are really good too. You might want to take a trip/tour to the Grand Canyon. I believe they opened the clear platform last year -- you stand on a glass platform that hangs over the canyon. It looks exhilarating!
If I think of anything else, I'll post it.
I really wanted to take in the Grand Canyon while there, but it's a 3 hr drive away one way. I don't want to spend a whole day of my Vegas trip there. I'd rather take a separate trip and REALLY take in the Grand Canyon properly. I'd just be rushing it I'm afraid. Yes, the skywalk is now open. I've heard mixed reviews about it.
Yes, you need more time for the canyon. You need a whole day to sightsee, sit down on a rock in the middle of nowhere and sing "Home On the Range" and meditate on what the hell we (humans) are.
It's absolutely beautiful!!! You really, honestly can't take it in. It's too grand, too incredible. It took me about thirty minutes to comprehend I wasn't looking at a painted canvas. You'll love it!
Since my husband won't fly and my company is paying for two people to fly, that's the reason my daughter is going with me, but my husband is actually driving the almost 2000 miles to get there. But, his main objective IS the Grand Canyon. But, he too wants to spend a bit of time there. He doesn't work, so he has the time to spend on it.
I expect it to be utterly breath-taking. However, I also find Vegas to be breath-taking but for different reasons. When I think of Vegas, I think of Elvis and the Rat Pack and imagine what it must have been like "back in the day". However, I also appreciate the technological advancements and can appreciate the high-tech lights and over the top hotels, etc. The gambling is secondary to the sightseeing I plan to do.
My 17 yr old daughter is going with me. We plan to do some shopping and sightseeing. We are planning to ride out to Red Rock Canyon since it's only 10 miles outside of town. It'll be our mini-Grand Canyon.
We took the drive to the Grand Canyon last year from Vegas. It was an awesome experience and very worth the drive.
Traveling with a 17 year old to Vegas:
1. See the laser show downtown every hour on the hour starting at 7 pm.
2. Go to the top of the Stratosphere for the rides and the view.
3. The Luxor has some virtual rides that are cool.
4. The mall at Planet Hollywood is very good.
5. Fountain show in front of the Belaggio is something to see.
6. Caesar's Palace forum shopping is awesome. There is lots to see there.
Have fun. Vegas is my favorite city to visit! I took my kids there when they were 6 and 10. They had a great time and we stayed at the Excaliber where the whole lower area is a kids arcade.
I know you're right about the trip to see the Grand Canyon being worth it. I still think I'd be better off going on a trip specifically designed around the Grand Canyon so that I could take it all in.
I think I have all of the activities you named on my "to do" list. The Bellagio fountains have been on my bucket list for a long time. I have had a tough time deciding where to shop and the Planet Hollywood mall sounds perfect. We do plan to visit Glitter Gulch/Downtown/Freemont Experience too.
Thank you so much!! Hopefully, it'll inspire a few hubs when I get back as well. I plan to take photos.
We will be staying at the Mirage and part of the activities included are the Secret Garden and Seigfriend and Roy stuff there.
Things you should see in Las Vegas are the Bellagio fountains. You can buy a pass to the top of the half-scale Eiffel Tower across the street and see them. They are spectacular at night.
Luxurious hotels include the Bellagio and the Wynn hotel. These two plus the Venetian all have art galleries that usually exhibit very famous works. If you are staying at the Mirage, head down a few blocks to the Fashion Show Mall. It is magnificent without being too pricey. The Secret Gardens in the Mirage are fun to see, BTW.
An upscale restaurant you shouldn't miss is Hugo's Cellar in the basement of the Four Queens downtown. It is not cheap, but it is definitely worth it. Their salads alone are amazing, and they have magnificent steaks, duck, crab legs and lobster tails. While downtown, check out the overhead light show every hour on the hour in the evenings.
My favorite buffets include the Bellagio's, Paris, and a Sunday champagne brunch in Balley's. Balley's is expensive but VERY much worth it.
New York, New York and the Luxor both are fun places to visit with lots to look at and do. Across the street from NYNY is a Coca-Cola exhibit with memorabilia from Coca-Cola, a recording of their memorable commercials, and samples of colas from other parts of the world.
In the Venetian is a Madame Tusseau's (sp?) Wax Museum. You can also take a gondola ride.
If you like to gamble, I have found the Stratosphere and the El Cortez downtown to be the places I've had the most luck. They are not elegant, but I've won a little money there.
A tram runs parallel to the Strip, and it is cheap and convenient. I recommend avoiding the taxi drivers whenever you can--they will try to take you the long way and run up the bill--even if you know where you're going out there. I once told a cab driver exactly how I wanted to get somewhere and the first thing the guy did was turn in the opposite direction.
Las Vegas is a great place and I could go on about it all day. I did write a hub about five of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas.
I haven't been there for awhile and I really miss it.
Thanks, Mike! I have run across others talking about Hugo's Cellar. We do have plans to go to the wax museum. I love that it's interactive. The ones I've been to are not. For two nights (that I'm paying for) I'm staying at Sam's Town on the Boulder Strip. I've heard that the odds are better on the Boulder Strip than they are downtown and on The Strip. Hopefully, I'll strike it rich those first two days before I move over to the Mirage.
I have rented a car for the first couple of days because I want to go out to Red Rock Canyon. Once we're staying at the Mirage on the Strip I'll turn the car back in. It was cheaper to rent the car for two days than it was to pay cabfare to the Boulder Strip from the airport! I read about how the cabdrivers do exactly what you said happened to you. If I'm going to throw money away it better be on a slot machine instead of a cabdriver! LOL
Thanks for the tips! I had read your hub. I read probably 50 hubs on Vegas one weekend recently.
Your daughter might enjoy Circus Circus, which in my childhood, was the place to take anyone too young to gamble. They have a theme park, as well, with roller coasters and such.
M&M World and Coca Cola Themed places on the strip...not sure of exact titles. My parents took the kids in the late 90's, and they still talk about the fun at M&M World.
Ethel M is off the beaten track, has a desert garden, and a factory tour.
Hoover Dam is neat, and they are close to completing the new bridge, the longest expansion bridge in the country. Hubby has been out to see it various times, I can't wait to see it! There is quite a tour and museum for the dam, but it does freak me out a bit due to height. I have vivid memories of a sick feeling when I visited as a child, and looked over the wall...hated heights from then on.
Boulder city has some small museums and films related to the building of the dam.
Red rock has Bonnie Springs and Old Nevada. Bonnie Springs includes a petting zoo. I have never actually been into Old Nevad.
I think Mandalay Bay may have a Shark Attraction.
Would be definitely worthwhile to check with a visitors center (lv convention and visitors authority)...you'll have to research, not sure where they all are.
Fashion Show Mall and Ceasars for some fancy shopping options, outlet malls close by, too.
Although I think it would be nice to see some of the ritzy expensive shops, the outlet malls are more my speed.
Hoover Dam is one of those icons that would be nice to see, but it's not high on my list of things to do.
My daughter is interested in a vintage clothing store there that is supposedly the largest in the world. That sounds kinda fun.
She thinks she's too old for Circus Circus and the M&M place. However, the girl is a chocoholic so I bet she won't be able to resist the M&M place. I've heard about the Ethel M factory too.
I've read about the Shark exhibit too. That sounds fun too.
Circus Circus tends to be like a carnival arcade inside, but then, I haven't been in years, so who knows! The one in Reno was a great Friday night distraction in my college years.
Bellagio gardens are supposed to be really neat.
Town Square is another shopping area, I've only been through there at night, several years ago, and I don't remember well what stores were there, but it's more outdoorsy, versus the indoor mall type of setting.
Someone above mentioned Excalibur...they used to have a dinner show that had an interesting medieval theme, I never went, but some friends loved it. From their website, it looks like it's this one: http://www.excalibur.com/entertainment/ … kings.aspx
Oh, and Springs Preserve is supposed to be pretty neat. Hubby saw a lot during construction, thought it was neat, friends have been there and raved. There's supposed to be an interesting flash flood simulation, and galleries, gardens, and trails, a Wolfgang Puck Cafe.
It's off the beaten path, a bit. http://www.springspreserve.org/index.html
All of you should write hubs on this if you haven't already!
LOL...trying to get my brother to do so, I don't want to, haven't spent much time there in recent years, and I don't like modern Vegas at all...I like to steer clear, and stay on the outskirts when I visit my family!
Lake Mead used to have a dinner cruise, by the way...don't know if they still have it, the Dixie Queen, I think...went for our anniversary once, and it was nice.
When I was little, my parents would drive us down the strip at night to look at the lights, just to get out for a bit...nowadays, it's much too crowded to do that, and not at all suitable for my little ones.
Oh, yeah, the shark exhibit! That is at Mandalay Bay and is wonderful. The House of Blues is there, also.
The one time I went to Las Vegas it was only for two days and that was back in 2004! So I can't really offer better info than what the others have written here. But one thing's for sure, you'll have lots of fun! Hope you'll have a nice trip KCC!
• Don't take the cards and fliers from people on the streets. They are hussling and pimping.
• Don't drive down Las Vegas Blvd at night unless you want to stand still in traffic for at least an hour
• Absolutely DO see the water/light shows at the Bellagio Fountain. If you can walk for a couple of miles, start toward the north end of the strip and make your way south. I usually start at the Mirage, catch the free Pirate/water show there, and start walking south.
• The Forum shops at Ceasar's Palace are the best. Make sure you make your way all the way to the end, where Cheesecake Factory is. There is a HUGE aquarium of salt water fish, and often see scuba divers in it feeding and caring. Also at the fountain there is a show about Roman mythology, about every hour. My favorite thing is to get my favorite cheesecake there, and walk down to Bellagio and watch the water/light show. It's extremely romantic and absolutely captivating. Make sure you have a camera or even take movies.
• There are malls in a lot of the big casinos. The best ones, in my opinion are: Ceasar's, and Venetian (catch the opera singers while there), Fashion Show Mall (north end).
• There are GREAT shows on the strip. I've gone to several. If you want to spend the money, then go to one of the cirque du soleil shows. La Reve is fab. Mystere is terrific, "O" is fab, and so many more. If you want a variety show, one of the very best family shows on the strip is Donnie and Marie. They are top rate performers. (Don't bother with Phantom. It's tired and old and the costumes and sets upstage the tired actors. People leave in droves during the performances.)
The old casinos at the very north end of the strip (like Circus Circus) tend to be very seedy and probably not where you want to be most of the time. But it's different for everyone. Stratosphere is fun to see. By Golden Nugget (further north) there is an outdoor strip mall. I suggest that if you're going to bring back souveniers, that's one of the better places to go. The prices are better there than the big new casino malls.
There is an outlet mall further north, beyond the strip. It's pretty typical of what you would find in most outlet malls. Nothing unique to Vegas there. But some people live for that kind of thing.
If you want to hike, head to the west hills to Red Rock. Amazing stuff. For a fab tour of green and sustainable in a desert, go to Las Vegas Spring Preserve. Check it out online. Fabulous place.
Make sure you are prepared for the heat. It's still over 100º there a lot of days.
I go to Vegas at least once a year for the shows and all the other stuff off the strip. Have a WONDERFUL TIME!!! If I was there, I'd be your tour guide! LOL
Ok, if you haven't written a hub on Vegas, you need to! This is great advice.
I'm in central Texas and we've had 100+ all summer long. The heat I can stand. Not sure about the dryness though. We'll see.
I have rented a car for the first 2 days I'm there, but it's really only so I can go out to Red Rock Canyon and get us from the Boulder Strip where we're staying to go and do a bit of shopping. I plan to do most of my sightseeing on the strip once I'm at the Mirage for the final 3 days of my trip. I will have returned the car by then. I've heard about how bad the traffic is on the Strip.
Not sure if you saw my earlier post here, but I love Cirque du Soleil shows. We have tickets to Mystere and I'm looking forward to it.
I love Donnie & Marie and would love to see them, but I doubt we'll make it to their show. My room used to be plastered with Donnie posters. I still have all of my albums.
Thank you for all your great advice and yes, I wish you were there to show me around, you sound like a great tour guide!
I think you'll find the heat in Vegas is a little more bearable, but maybe the first couple of days will take getting used to. I find humid heat just zaps me and I feel so lethargic. Not nearly so much in super dry heat. Make sure you keep enough water with you, and maybe keep a sport drink handy to replenish the electrolytes. People don't realize how fast they get washed out of the body in dry heat.
I've heard that people who wear contacts sometimes complain that the dry heat dries out their eyes too much. I don't wear glasses or contacts so I should be ok in that area. However, I do tend to get a dry nose because I'm a nose breather rather than a mouth breather like many people. I plan to take some nose drops in case that's an issue. Better check the "no-no" list for the airline though.
The temps are supposed to be down a bit after the next few days. Mid 90's or so...should be much more tolerable.
Don't even bother driving in on The Strip. The traffic moves slow and when you get to where you're going you'll have to deal with parking, valet, etc, which is always a big hassle. Instead, to move around on The Strip and even up to Fremont Street buy a pass on the "Deuce" bus. You'll see stops for it on either side of the strip and you can buy a day pass for like $7 or a multiple day pass for a little bit more. The double-deck buses are air conditioned and will get you around a lot faster than walking.
Must see places in Vegas:
The fountains a Bellagio (obviously). For like $80 you can eat at Paris across the street and get a great view of the fountains above street level.
Inside the Venetian. There is a small shopping mall but what you really need to check out is the canal with the gondola rides. I think it's like $20 for a ride. There's Venetian music and the ceiling is painted to look like a beautiful blue sky.
Fremont Street. This is old Vegas. It's not nearly as classy as the new places on the strip, but you'll find all sorts of good deals on buffets here and it's really something you should experience. You get a great feeling of the way Las Vegas was from the 1940's right up until the 1980's when the mob started getting pushed out and the big corporations moved in.
Thanks for more great advice! I really am looking forward to experiencing a bit of that old Vegas feel. I have this image in my mind of what it must have been like back in the day. I plan to take in the Freemont Experience and visit the hotels in Glitter Gulch/Downtown to try to capture that.
The bus idea is great. I've got the schedules, prices, etc. for it and the monorail.
I know I want to see the gondolas at the Venetian, I'm just not sure I want to spend $20 to ride them. We'll see.
This is a pretty useful thread for me, I am actually heading to las vegas with my wife, mother in law and brother in law for a few days for his twenty first birthday, no doubt we will be checking out some of the great sights of vegas!
You should take the Hoover Dam tour and bring plenty of water and your walking shoes. It's actually a fun tour and a good way to beat the heat.
If you have the time, eat in Henderson, its a suburb but less than 3 miles from the strip. It's where the locals eat and play so its much cheaper. My aunt and uncle live in Henderson and I just visited there last year.
The Sopranos Last Supper was the most fun show we went to. It's an interactive show so if you go, be prepared to participate. You will have a blast. Oh, its at the Tropicana <-----click it
The dam just doesn't excite me. It's iconic...but not something I'm dying to see. The Grand Canyon is, but I want to do it separately another time.
I saw Henderson on the map. I was even looking at hotels out that way. I opted for one on the Boulder Strip before staying at The Mirage where the convention is being held that I will be attending.
Hi, KCC, you already got some great advice here.
I just wanted to add one very profane thing, which I would have liked to know in advance anyway, when I was there: if you like to have coffee in your room first thing in the morning or late at night, as I do, then better be prepared with a water cooker, since all the hotels I have been in in LV didn't provide a small coffee/tea-maker, they want you to go outside to get your stuff.
It's not a big deal, but I love my coffee in bed in the morning, so it hit me a bit... A small water cooker made all the difference for me.
Enjoy your trip!
Perfect timing! Family, including dtrs. 15 & 20, going in late Nov. Destination actually Phoenix but w/fly into Vegas (cheaper) and spend 2 nights there at a condo hotel supposedly walking distance to strip/monorail & MGM. 21-year-old wants to see Cirque du Soleil LOVE but/w tickets at $150 each, is it worth it? Also noted there's a lion exhibit (they're treated humanely) at MGM Grand and a water & light show with other special effects at Sams Town a few miles away. The Flamingo has wildlife habitat too. Noted lots of places have cinema, bowling, etc., but like shopping, why do what you can at home? After Vegas heading to Phoenix, w/slight detour into Kingsman (where Cars was set) on old Rt. 66. Can only stay 1 night but snagged hotel room on South Rim of Grand Canyon. Hope to arrive before sunset to see it from lodge rest. & take a guided hike in the canyon (waking up in the dark-ugh) to see sunrise in Canyon & ancient Native American carvings, etc. (ah). Have been warned winter jacket/boots may be needed for this part.) Next we're off to Sedona for a night and day checking out Red Rocks, then to Phoenix for a few days, staying at Arizona Biltmore (got great deal on rooms). Flying home from Phoenix.
Any thoughts on that itinerary, other than yes, it's ambitious? Seems if you're not gambling in Vegas and have teens, there's lots to do free, which is why I hesitate about the LOVE show (even if it w/be birthday present for daughter (and then some). Has anyone seen it? This trip already costing $$. So w/only 1 full day and night in Vegas, w/you say Freemont & Bellagio Fountains are the "must sees" at night? Would you skip Venetian gondolas? (I was looking at that too). And daytime? What's good then - seems Vegas doesn't come alive until evening, and though hotel has an outdoor pool, if it's open, and even if heated, will probably still be too cold?
I really wedged Grand Canyon trip in because I've wanted to see it forever, and I didn't know when or if I'd be back that way.
Thanks for asking a question I should have KCC, and for all the great answers everyone. Have a great trip!
I'm back from my Las Vegas trip, Jonihnj. I went from the 10th-15th. I had a fantastic time and it's spawned 3-4 hubs with several more in the works. I stayed 2 nights at Sam's Town and 3 nights at The Mirage. My daughter wanted to see Cirque's Beatle show but we already had free tickets (as part of the convention I was attending) to Cirque's "Mystere". I figured one show was enough. We made it out to Red Rock Canyon and loved it. We toured the art district and took lots of photos of the artistic trafitti there, a fantastic Frank Gehry building, and visited The Attic, the largest vintage clothing boutique in the world. We had so much fun. My feet hated me though. We did so much walking.
Madame Tussauds in a great place to see. When my wife and where in Vegas we bought the combo tickets for that and an outer gondola ride at the Venetian. Grand Canyon was great and worth doing that for one day. I have been told by a co-worker that the Cirque de Soleil at Aria feature Elvis is awesome. The Price is Right Live is fun too but do not ask my wife that, lol.
I had been planning all along to go to Madame Tussaud's, but my 17 yr old daughter waits until we're there to reveal to me that she finds wax figues creepy and doesn't want to go. We never made it across the street to the gondolas either. I just wanted to see them up close and personal. Cirque doesn't put on a bad show. I think they are all worth seeing. I do intend to see the Grand Canyon, I just want to make a separate trip out of it.
I didnt know there was a Madame Tussaud in Las Vegas, the one I visited was in London. Another must visit for me :-)
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