Jump to content

Going To Vegas, Any Advice?


Recommended Posts

Ladies and germs,


I am planning on taking my wife on a surprise trip to Las Vegas at/around the end of June.


Never been, never flown, and looking for advice about either. Mostly I don't want to get arrested at the airport or make a major gaffe at the hotel/SPAMMER-BEWARE.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were there the end of June through the beginning of July last year. It was a great time. We stayed at the South Coast, Its about 2 miles south of the main show but still on the same road. Only half of the rooms were finished at the time and the price was right. Should I mention the buffet? I think it was about $12 for supper.


Being from the midwest it came as a shock when we walked out of the airport at 2 AM local time. It was still over 100 degrees! Don't believe that cra# about "Its a dry heat". It's just da## hot! But we loved it.


Another thing we noticed was that all of the back yards as well as the neighborhood itself had brick walls around them. Talk about locking in the heat.


We DO recommend the heli tour of the Grand Canyon. It was about $200/person for 3+ hours but well worth it. The history we learned about there and back. The movie scene locations. The final scene in Thelma and Louise. The Mars movies. I had no clue.

You have to drive through Death Valley, its surreal! 122 degrees! The poor rental car, it was all it could do to cool the interior to about 90. The colors the different kinds of rocks the different looks! You gotta see it.


We drove from SPAMMER-BEWARE to SPAMMER-BEWARE just to see the different styles and try the food. If you like french food go to the Paris.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm from the midwest as well. Over in the yummy Illinois. I am shocked at some of the costs as well as how much there is to do.


The Mrs. and I will be going without the kids. We're going to stay on the strip, and perhaps tour Hoover or the Canyon. I keep forgetting the Grand Canyon is so close.


Since we're going when it's so hot, we'll probably just relax in the casinos and take a walk up and down the strip. I don't want to plan much since the point is to relax.

Edited by dirtvoyles
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The kids will love the rollercoasters at New York, New York, and the pirate show in front of Treasure Island and the fountains in front of the Bellagio. There is a fun kid-friendly section in Circus Circus. There is a great rollercoaster and Bounce (or is is blast) ride at the top of the skyscraper one (can't remember what it is called.)


Vegas is an interesting place. There is tons to do. There is a lot you can SEE for free, but if you want to DO anything, it will cost some big bucks. (Seems like roller coaster rides average about 10 bucks per ride per person.)


If you like that kind of thing, you should catch some of the family-friendly shows. There is a fun dinner show at the Excalibur where you get to eat a meal with no utinsels then see a horse duel/show in the arena. (Big hit with the kids, in general.) There is also a Cirque-du-Soleil show (ensure you get the family-friendly one, if you are taking your kids).


Hope you have a great time. Don't spend it all in the "hotels" (trying to avoid the spam filter) wasting your money on the one-armed bandit (remember Danny Ocean: The house always wins), and get out and have fun doing some fun things that will make some great memories for your family.


I highly recommend Hoover Dam. Grand Canyon is fun, but its not like it is right across the street. (It's about 120 miles from Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon; The bus tours usually give this one between 8-12 hours, it seems, to go there, spend time, and come back.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang. I was skimming his post and thought it said "with kids". This is what I get for reading the forums while I'm supposed to be paying attention during my sprint planning meeting at work.


Well, I hope the advice is still helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm figuring up and down the strip the first day, and then some "hotel" sitting that night. That will get us acclimated.


Then a Dam tour or whatever the next day and a half. Mostly it is so my wife and I can be adults and do whatever we want.


I appreciate every suggestion you guys want to offer. After all, I'm a virgin gamer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When are you going and where are you planning on staying? Any idea what your cup of tea might be in terms of activities?


Some thoughts.....


Go see Red Rock Canyon and/or Valley of Fire. Also Hoover Dam if you've never seen it, with a spin around the Lake Mead park. Go in the morning or early afternoon before traffic gets stupid, and check with your hotel concierge regarding any construction traffic delays there might be that day. If you drive across it and park on the Arizona side you won't have to pay for parking.


Grand Canyon helicopter tours are cool. If you do one go with Maverick Helicopters. They are some nice folks and they have the best helicopters. If you don't want to fly, you can drive to the Hualapai Indian reservation on the west rim in about 2-3 hours. There is about 14 miles of dirt road involved, which is typically against your rental car TOS, but there are plenty of tour companies that go. I went again a few weeks ago and it's getting crowded and expensive, so it's not really one of my top choices anymore.


Check out the old casinos on/around Fremont Street downtown. Everything is cheaper and you that old Vegas feeling. Go at night of course so you can see all the hideous neon they have to offer. Fremont Street also has the canopy of lights show thing at night, which is interesting in a tacky kind of way. 777 Brewery at Main Street Station is good for drinks and food.


Bellagio fountains and conservatory. Mirage volcano. Walk through Wynn and Venetian just to see them. TI pirate show is crap now that the property is trying to be adult-oriented. The tough guy pirates have been replaced by female singing and dancing pirates. I would pass. NYNY rollercoaster is an overrated cash cow, but if you must ride it try to scam some free tickets from the front desk people. Last I checked a single ride was in the range of $13+.


If you like shopping check out Caeser's Palace Forum Shops and Aladdin's Desert Passage. There are good outlets just off I-15 at Charleston, and even bigger ones down in Primm, 30 miles south.


$1 home-made draft beers at Ellis Island C@s!n0 and Brewery, one block east of the Strip at Flamingo and Koval. Good BBQ joint there as well - $6.95 for a huge plate of chicken and ribs. I'm there almost every Tuesday, so come by and say hello.


Nine Fine Irishmen is an Irish pub at NYNY - a little pricey but the Guinness is good, the food is good (I recommend the Sausage Pail), entertainment nightly, no gaming machines built into the bar, and the atmosphere and decor is great. Also has an outdoor balcony and patio on the Strip - great place to hang out on a nice day and people watch. If you want a slightly cheaper and more laid back pub, check out McMullan's west of the Strip on Tropicana, just past the Orleans. They have the best Irish breakfast around, and pub quiz on Tuesday nights (if you're not at Ellis Island).


Head to the top of the Stratosphere on a clear day. Bring your own binoculars if you have 'em. Go just before sunset and watch the city lights come on. The food at the spinning restaurant isn't that great, so don't get suckered in. If you must though, go for lunch instead of dinner.


Social House at TI is good for food and nightlife. No shortage of clubs and ultralounges at Palms, Mandalay, Caeser's, and so on if that's your thing.


Craftsteak at MGM for dinner. Quail is good. Hanger steak is real good. All the sides are delicious. Chef's tasting menu is worth the money. If you do that, shell out the extra for the wine pairing. If you don't like steak, let me know what you do like and I can recommend something. I've eaten at a lot of places.


Check out a Cirque show if you've never seen one. Mystere (at TI) is the best all-around and a nice introduction to the genre. Ka (at MGM) is good if for no other reason than because of the amazing set and stage - the story gets a little dull in the middle, but it's definitely worth seeing. O (at Bellagio) is good, but it's pricey, slightly overrated, and hard to get tickets for. If you like the Beatles, you'll like Love (at Mirage). Not my cup of tea, but my friends all really enjoyed it. Zumanity is an adult-themed show at NYNY. Good show, but not my favorite.


If you're not into Cirque, Phantom of the Opera at Venetian is good. I've seen the Broadway production, and this one is definitely different, but not in a bad way. I saw Stomp out Loud at Aladdin and that was okay for about 20 minutes before it got boring. The Producers at Paris was pretty hysterical - and it has David Hasselhof in drag. If Howie Mandel happens to be in town he does a good stand-up comedy show at MGM. Don't bother with crap like La Femme or Jubilee.


There is always some musician or comedian or boxing match or whatever in town. Again, let me know what you're into and I'll recommend something more specific.


Some nice pools to hang out at: Hard Rock. Palms. Mandalay Bay. It's starting to get crowded now, so renting a cabana might be worth it. The JW Marriott in Summerlin is also really nice, although a bit out of the center of town.


Nuclear Test Site museum on Flamingo is interesting. Bodies exhibit at Tropicana. Art galleries at Bellagio.


Just walk up and down the Strip, stopping in and out of miscellanous places, and marvel at how ridiculous the whole thing is. Don't forget to drink a lot of water. We already topped 100 degrees last week, and humidity or no, hot is hot. I always feel bad driving down the street and seeing all those midwest tourists getting all sweaty and pink. :)


Feel free to hit me up if you're looking for something specific or have any questions about anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm VERY loosely planning so that we can just do whatever, but I have to say you are the most comprehensive guide so far. Damn natives. :)


I'm planning to stay at the Mirage. I was looking at the Bellagio, just to say I stayed there, but I think I can find a better use for the two hundred bucks. Plus, the reviews I read said it isn't worth the money.


I figure night one will mostly be spent in the room and at the Mirage SPAMMER-BEWARE doing some low-rent gambling. Day two will likely involve walking up and down the Strip getting burnt. I don't know about that night, but clubs are out of the question. Not big into the party scene. (Personally, I'd like to check out WSOP, but she wouldn't.) We like to be able to check out stuff and just wander. Maybe "people watch", whatever.


So, Saturday and Sunday morning are open, and I don't know what to semi-plan. I was thinking the Hoover tour since we love the Vacation movies and it had the hilarious bit with Cousin Eddie (yeah, we're dorks). I guess you could say we want a lazy weekend just to "be". I may pop for getting the Mrs. a spa treatment since this is for her anyway. Realistically, I'm stumped.


I don't want to buy tickets ahead of time and then we decide to skip a show. I don't want to sit in the room bored either. That's primarily why I'm polling everyone - for a well rounded list of suggestions. JackColton.com was helpful, but it is more geared for the club scene.


Please do keep the help coming. I've only got a month to make up for 8 years of not doing this sooner, and it has to be crammed into 4 days. You are all helping me immensely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hubby and I were there last March, and I second the recommendation for Red Rock Canyon. It's a very easy 20 or 25 mile trip west of town to the 13-mile scenic drive. We were in Vegas for four days and drove out twice. :)


The Sunday brunch at the Paris is wonderful!!! We also stayed at the South Coast (gotta love the $2.95 steak and egg breakfast or $1.25 pancakes, eggs, and ham!) but we walked through several of the theme hotels up on the strip.


I was surprised how much I enjoyed Vegas. Hope you have a great time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...