USA, NV: Top 10 Las Vegas Travel TipsIf you’re heading to Las Vegas anytime soon then check out what you need to know before you go – not just which casinos offer the cheapest drinks or the best paying slots but the places and things over and above the standard casino offerings. There has never been a better time to visit ‘the city that never sleeps.’
AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER: ©Shane Boocock 2014
If you’re heading to Las Vegas anytime soon then check out what you need to know before you go – not just which casinos offer the cheapest drinks or the best paying slots but the places and things over and above the standard casino offerings. There has never been a better time to visit ‘the city that never sleeps.’
Casino Hotels: Right now it’s such a good time to travel to Las Vegas because the NZ dollar is so strong and in the past few years there has been an incredible amount of hotel/casino development, which means that room prices are definitely competitive. Here are my crème de la crème choices of Las Vegas hotels each with their own wow factor: for 5-star options check into Wynn, Encore, Bellagio, Aria Resort, Vdara, The Venetian or Caesars Palace. For 4-Star casinos step into: The Mirage, Treasure Island or Planet Hollywood and for 3-Star casinos retire to your suite at Ballys, Flamingo Hilton or Harrahs Casino and Resort.
Shop Till You Drop: Buy an additional suitcase in Las Vegas as you'll be in shopping precinct heaven. From bargains to bling and boots to bathrobes Vegas stores stock everything. Clothes and electronics are considerably cheaper in the factory outlets in Vegas and there are three huge outlets within 30 minutes of the Strip (Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas, Premium Outlets of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Outlet Centre). Three other fabulous shopping venues that you can’t go past are: The Forum Shop in Caesars Palace, and Grand Canal shops at The Venetian, Fashion Show Mall and Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood.
Clubs and Pool Parties: For nightclub fans some of the hottest hot spots in town are, TAO at The Venetian, Tryst at Wynn, XS at Encore, Pure at Caesars Palace, LAX at Luxor, Jet at The Mirage, Ghost Bar, Rain and the Playboy Club at Palms and Haze at Aria. Believe the rumours about the pool parties in Vegas, which are electric and often sexy. When DJ’s are spinning tunes rent a cabana and get ready to party hard. Check out TAO beach at the Venetian, the amazing Encore Beach Club, Rehab on Sundays at the Hard Rock Hotel, Ditch Fridays at Palms Pool and Wet Republic at MGM Grand. If you want some R & R go to Relax on Mondays at the Hard Rock and Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace.
Showtime Cabaret: Above all you must see a show and see why Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the world! From big name pop acts to Blue Man Group to Broadway performances and of course the sensational Cirque Du Soleil there is something for everyone and all budgets. On top of the permanent shows you also have a myriad of artists who make Vegas a priority stop on their world-wide tours, think Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and Beyonce to name a few. Our only suggestion is to pre-book and check what shows will be on when you’re in town as they sellout fast.
Spa & Wellness Resorts: Vegas have a plethora of high-end spa options where the ultimate satisfaction is to relax, refresh and regroup. Spas in Las Vegas are as varied as the resort hotels and casinos that house them. The Bathhouse at Mandalay Bay, Spa Bellagio and The Spa and Aria will make you think you’ve died and gone to spa treatment heaven. Just remember to tip the spa masseurs’ as this is after all, one of the best pampering experiences you’ll ever enjoy.
Vegas and Beyond: If booze, bars, baccarat or Barry Manilow are not enough to get your adrenaline pumping then don’t forget to visit one of the natural wonders of the world - the Grand Canyon. There is a coach tour option but it means an overnight stay, however, a helicopter or plane flight allows you a minimum of 4 hours from ‘door to canyon floor to door.’ For a similar yet much less expensive experience you can also self-drive out to nearby Red Rock Canyon, about 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
Free Shows and Attractions: Vegas is brimming with free entertainment like the dancing Bellagio Fountains every half hour from 3 pm – 8 pm and every 15 minutes until midnight, or the Sirens of TI, the exploding volcano at The Mirage and the world’s largest chocolate fountain at Bellagio. Add to that most casinos offer free entertainment nightly form regular stage show acts while you sit at the bar or card table. If you want to get closer to the stage just remember to tip the waitresses well and they will often find you a prime spot to sit and watch the show.
Downtown Fremont Street & Stretch Hummer Ride: At night Vegas is truly amazing and if you, you’re friends and family want to turn heads then there’s no better way to get around than in a pimped-out 14-seater stretch Hummer whilst sipping Champagne or ice cold beer – it just screams Rock Star! Make sure you rent a hummer with your mates and cruise to the amazing Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas. This free nightly show and its 12.5 million lights covers five blocks, which will be sure to amaze and brighten up your evening . . . taking a few ‘selfies’ inside the Hummer is a must.
Protein on your Plate: In Las Vegas assume it's going to be a long day and an even longer night, so you’ll need some sustenance to get you through each 24 hours. Vegas is jam-packed with dining options for every taste and budget, so in most casinos head to the immortal Vegas icon — the food buffet. Some of the outstanding ones include the breakfast buffet at the Wynn, Bellagio, Treasure Island and Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood. For casual dining head to Diablo’s Cantina, Pink Taco, Mon Ami Gabi, Tacos and Tequila and well-priced Fiamma Trattoria & Bar at MGM. Finally if you want to really indulge don’t miss, Sushi Samba at Palazzo, SW Steakhouse at Wynn, Aureole at Mandalay Bay or take a seat at the bar-only dining Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand.
Adrenalin Adventures: For thrill rides don’t miss the Manhattan Express Rollercoaster at New York New York and for all you serious adrenalin junkies take a trip to the top of the 1,149 feet (350.2 m) Stratosphere Tower where you’ll be catapulted, dropped and spun on the external rides. Also from the Stratosphere experience SkyJump Las Vegas, a controlled free fall that lets you jump off the 108th floor of the tower at a scream-inducing speed. If you are into ‘pump action’ adrenalin adventures head over to Machine Gun’s Vegas where you can ‘finger trigger’ to your hearts content with anything from a AK47s to a Magnum 44! Go ahead make your day!
Gold Courses: If you are a golfer this will make you ‘green’ with envy. Believe it or not there are 29 public golf courses in and around Las Vegas, then add to that another 10 private courses inside the Las Vegas limits, and another eight outside the city limits and you’ll be shouting ‘FOUR’ for weeks to come.
Six Stats and Facts:
1. Nevada is one of seven states in the USA that does not have state income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income.
2. Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport became the nation's eighth-busiest passenger?airport in 2012/13 and number 23rd in the world, with 41.7 million passengers.
3. The movie "Casino" is based on the history of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal of the Stardust. In the movie the Riviera was used for the interior shots and the Landmark's porte-cochere for the exterior shots.
4. Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas city district. Don't listen to anyone else who would like to convince you otherwise. Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas or any other part of Clark County.
5. The original Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and is made of wrought iron pieces, which are fastened together with 2,500,000 rivets. The one in Vegas is made from welded steel and is stronger structurally and has "fake rivets" to duplicate the look of the original.
6. Las Vegas is currently in the middle of a drought, yet there are seemingly wasteful water features like fountains, waterfalls, the four-acre lake at Wynn Las Vegas and the 10-acre, 27 million gallon lake and Fountains of Bellagio. Well, fret not, as the water used in these water features is "grey-water". Grey-water is the reclaimed water from the sinks, bathtubs and showers of hotels, which is then filtered, cleaned and chlorinated.
Las Vegas Tourism
Las Vegas Discounted Show Tickets
Machine Gun Vegas
Stretch Hummer Rentals
Casinos and Hotels Websites:
Aria Resort: www.arialasvegas.com
Caesars Palace: www.caesarspalace.com
Hard Rock: www.hardrockhotel.com
Mandalay Bay: www.mandalaybay.com
MGM Grand: www.mgmgrand.com
Planet Hollywood: www.planethollywoodresort.com
Treasure Island: www.treasureisland.com
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