It might seem weird to post this as part of my Travel Blog but honestly if you have never been to Vegas its nice to have a few clues as to how to handle it and soak it all in all at the same time. It can be so overwhelming that you might find yourself frustrated.
The first and best piece of advice is dont stay in Vegas more than THREE whole days. It can wear you out and you might even get bored with the “Vegas Scene” by then. But that is just my opinion of course and others might tell you something different! 🙂
Vegas is as you would expect, its big and flashy and expensive and unique in all ways. There are your high-end hotels like The Wynn and The Encore at one end of the strip, which is where Brad and I prefer to stay and there are your lower priced and older hotels like The Palms, The Flamingo, Circus Circus, Harrahs. There are also the new City Center Hotels, Aria and Vdara. I just got back from Vegas with my daughter and three girlfriends, we were celebrating my daughters 21st b-day together. We stayed in the new Vdara hotel. Its new and nice and the rooms are big BUT the hotel does not have a casino or a restaurant. It has a bar and a small deli like place where you can get coffee and bagels. The drinks in the bar are pretty expensive 14.00 or more a piece. But the rooms were reasonably priced and since the hotel is new its nice and clean and smells good.
The rooms are like condos with full kitchens, stove, sink, microwave, fridge, etc. And we had a room with a full view of the strip and the city.
It is connected to the Bellagio so its easy to just walk the walkway and get into the other hotel if you want to tour it or see the fountains at the Bellagio, which run ever 30 minutes, it’s a must see while in Vegas! http://www.bellagio.com/amenities/fountains-of-bellagio.aspx
Its pretty easy to get a cab in Vegas and you can walk the strip and walk to most places but if you are on one end of the strip and you need to get to the other the cab is the way to go. It is about 12.00 from one end to the other, or a few dollars for a few blocks.
You can step outside your hotel and there is a taxi stand right there where someone will whistle for one quickly! No need to call one or make an appt, its pretty much like NY where cabs are everywhere and easy to take.
Each hotel in Vegas has its own personality. Every casino is the same but different. They all have different smells (yes smells) different atmospheres, and not every hotel or casino is for everyone. We used to like to stay at the MGM and gamble there but then it got run down because MGM is in bankruptcy and the rooms and service were just awful and for some odd reason people starting bringing their little kids there and the place was crowded and loud with families. So we stopped staying there and we pretty much don’t gamble there anymore.
Some of my favorite hotels are The Wynn, The Encore, The Ny Ny, Bellagio, and The Monte Carlo. But everyone has their favorites and of course your budget will def determine where you can stay. Each hotel has a buffet for dinner, lunch and breakfast. You have to determine if a buffet is for you and if you can really eat all that food! Sometimes the hotels will give you free vouchers or a dollar amount off or percentage off for a buffet then it’s probably worth it.
Each hotel has something like a Starbucks, or a Starbucks, places for sandwiches, bagels, etc. And usually has a few nice restaurants. You can easily travel to another hotel for the dinner or meal of your choice. Dont be afraid to explore all the hotels to find what you really like.
The casinos are smoking and NON smoking, for rooms as well as gambling. The filtration system in the casinos is really well done so you don’t really smell or see smoke of course, unless you are gambling at a table that is smoking and someone right near you lights one up. But be aware that you do have the option to gamble in a non-smoking section.
The liquor laws in Vegas are pretty flexible you can walk the streets with a drink, etc. Even in the airport you can order a drink in the restaurant and take it with you to the gate, that is not an issue.
Each hotel has a pool or many pools. If the weather is nice the pools are open, period. So no matter what time of year it is, if its sunny and warm you can swim or lay by the pool. Each pool has towels and a bar or multiple bars so you can get drinks, or beers, or buckets of beer, water etc. Its pretty nice!
If you want to see a show in Vegas my suggestion is be flexible if you don’t want to pay full price for something like a Cirque show. Go to the half price ticket booths outside some of the hotels and get a show and dinner. You will have to look at the board to see what is available, but chances are there is something there you want to see and the ticket prices are much lower than online.
Dressing for Vegas: Well its pretty open to anything but mostly people go to Vegas and like to wear their best. They like to dress up for dinner, dresses, suits, jackets, slacks etc. Even in the casinos, esp the nicer ones its good to dress up. Vegas has that old feel where people used to look their best and it feels good to dress up! Of course you can easily wear jeans or shorts while touring the strip or shopping. Just be prepared to sometimes change your clothes two or three times while you are there. You will want something to wear to breakfast, for walking, for dinner and a show and maybe for dancing or partying later on. whew! 🙂
There are lots of dance clubs in Vegas like ROK and Studio 54. If dancing is your scene than you should def check out this nightlife.
There are piano bars and tons and tons of bars like Coyote Ugly in the NY NY hotel.
Be prepared to pay a cover for MOST bars and clubs. And its a pretty hefty cover sometimes 45.00 but usually in the 20.00 range. Be prepared to show your ID if you look young you will get carded at the bars, the casinos and sometimes even just walking through the casinos to get somewhere else in the hotel.
If you win money at the casinos remember you MUST cash in your ticket or chips at THAT casino you cannot use those chips at a different Casino. Each Casino has its own chips and money alloted to it so don’t walk away with a 500.00 ticket from one hotel and think you can cash it somewhere else, you can’t.
There is TONS of shopping in Vegas to the cheapest souvenirs to the most expensive shops like Prada, Gucci, Cartier etc. So be prepared to shop and shop and shop! Its pretty fun and the malls are nice. There is a huge one at the New Planet Hollywood complex and a large shopping center at the Encore complex.
You can buy jewelry in Vegas, there are lots of shops! Brad bought me a beautiful diamond ring there for my 40th b-day and he has purchased a watch there but for the most part the shops are pretty expensive.
Vegas is about having fun and just being yourself. There is no time limit, most things except the malls are open 24/7. Dress up, feel free and have fun!