Where should I go in Las Vegas?
March 16, 2004 7:57 PM   Subscribe

Las Vegas for 4 days. Where should I go? (More inside)
posted by jeremias to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm partial to playing the kino lounge at the Bellagio.. Also the Hard Rock has a nice pool scene, as well as my favorite, the only place near the strip with nickle slots.

Yet to be honest, the best time I ever had was doing late night karaoke at game zone..
posted by jazzkat11 at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2004

First time? Make _sure_ you see the Bellagio fountains. They're the most amazing show in all of LV.

Other than that, the Luxor has great craps tables all hours of the day.
posted by esch at 8:24 PM on March 16, 2004

Double Down Saloon a block from the Hard rock.. Enjoy !!
posted by stuartmm at 8:46 PM on March 16, 2004

If you have a car, and get sick of the casino scene, you should check out the Ethel M. Chocolates factory. They give a cool free tour (with a free sample!), and they have a desert garden and a natural waste disposal plant that you can walk through. The latter sounds kind of nasty, but it's actually a neat little habitat, with lily pads and such. Plus, Ethel M. chocolates make nice inexpensive gifts for those poor saps that missed the trip.

Also, if you're in Vegas, you owe it to yourself to see Hoover Dam. The tour there isn't nearly as cool as it used to be, due to security concerns, but the dam itself is probably one of the most amazing man-made things you'll ever see.
posted by vorfeed at 8:55 PM on March 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

also very close to town and good for a break is Red Rocks.

And vegas has some of the best people-watching in the world--you can just sit anywhere and enjoy (or be amazed or horrified, depending).
posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on March 16, 2004

Are you a gambler or a sex tourist?
posted by crazy finger at 9:12 PM on March 16, 2004

Go to the Palms if you like to gamble and look at extremely hot people of either sex. I really liked the Aladdin buffet and wouldn't miss it the next time I visit. The Bellagio fountains are a can't miss. For late-night eating, Grand Lux Cafe at Venetian is probably better than anything else on the strip. If you get sick of gambling, the midway games at Circus Circus are cheap and the prizes are great for the cost per game.

A couple tips:
-If you are flying into the airport and are using cabs, tell them "Don't take the tunnel"... its a sleazy ripoff that some cabbies do. The shortest distance is on city roads, not the freeway. It will save you several dollars in cab fare.
-Bring chapstick and lotion. I'm from Florida so the heat didn't bother me, but the dry air turned me into a scaly lizard. Also, carry a bottle of water with you, otherwise you will be at the mercy of the casinos selling you $2/cup sodas. Have a great time!
posted by gatorae at 9:31 PM on March 16, 2004

Where are you staying? I worked for Park Place Entertainment for a year (now Ceasars, Inc. I believe) writing all their webcopy. So I've stayed at Caesars, Bally's, Paris, Flamingo, and Hilton. FWIW, Flamingo is a good deal -- great mid-strip location and renovated rooms. However, not the best place to people watch.

If buffets are your thing, Bellagio's is hard to beat. Paris' isn't bad, but Bellagio's is still the best. If you have $$$ to spend, I'd recommend the show Cirque's "O" also at the Bellagio. Hard Rock has a great pool, and the circle-bar at the center of its (smallish) casino is a meat-market (not sure if you're looking for that or not).

Airplane tours of the Grand Canyon are also available. Most casinos will have information (you could check out vegas.com for specific info). Prices will vary so shop around.

Also, it's March Madness. Bellagio, MGM, and the Hilton have some of the most comfortable sportsbooks if you want to catch a game.

Ditto gatorae's comments. Bring lots of water! Or, if you have a car, venture off the strip to a grocery store and buy some there, lest you fork over two bucks for 16oz of h20.

Finally, if you're new to "gaming" I'd advise you spend your first night at some of the cheaper casinos -- Slots O' Fun, Barbary Coast, and the Stratosphere come to mind. You'll find lower table minimums there. You're better off learning blackjack at a $1 table than a $5 table.
posted by herc at 10:18 PM on March 16, 2004

My only advice is to avoid the strip clubs. I mean the girly places. I know, maybe you're thinking you'd never go in for that anyway, but once you're in Vegas the tempation to do trashy things you wouldn't do normally is all around you. My advice, don't do it on a lark, don't do it on a dare, don't do it on a boat, don't do it with a goat.

I've been to a couple in LV (always with bachelor parties - such fun) and they suuuck. Think $10 drinks, fake boobs, and lots of loud men. If you're not pissing money, you're just wasting space, and your presence will be very unwelcome. Quite unlike the one strip club I've ever been to elsewhere, which was laid back, roomy, well-lit, hospitable, and actually entertaining.
posted by scarabic at 11:33 PM on March 16, 2004

Also try the Fremont Street Experience
posted by Tarrama at 3:16 AM on March 17, 2004

Four days is one day too many to take in Las Vegas.

You MUST do the Star Trek show though - it's a hoot.

And the New York New York rollercoaster at night.
posted by skylar at 3:32 AM on March 17, 2004

Response by poster: Much thanks all. I'm staying at the Stratosphere (which is a totally arbitrary decision as someone else is paying for the room).

Anyone know of cool pools, do you have to prove you're a guest at a hotel to sit at the pool side?
posted by jeremias at 3:48 AM on March 17, 2004

I found the Liberace museum to be great, and was like a microcosm of Las Vegas. Vegas was my first trip to the USA; thank goodness I followed it up with a jaunt to Seattle and San francisco, or I'd still believe that vegas was representative of the whole country.
posted by Pericles at 4:36 AM on March 17, 2004

jeremias - you usually need a room key to access hotel pools, but if you can get to the pool at Mandalay Bay you'll be very happy.
posted by vito90 at 6:25 AM on March 17, 2004

Last I heard, the Mandalay Bay pool is open to guests only and security guards check for room keys. You could book a single night there just for pool privileges though, but that'll be one pricey swim.
posted by Tacodog at 7:08 AM on March 17, 2004

i have to make another plug for the guggheim vegas which partners with the hermitage.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:28 AM on March 17, 2004 [1 favorite]

I'd try it -- the worst that can happen is that they turn you away at the door. Once in you'll never be asked to show a room key (unless you try charging a drink to your room). Just waltz in like you own the joint, and if they ask at the door, claim to have left your key in the room. Mandalay, Hard Rock, and Caesars have pools worth sneaking into.

Will you have a car? If not, make note of which casinos are connected by trams. The Stratosphere is kind of at one end of the strip, and it can be a looong walk from there to say, Bellagio. But you could hop a cab to Treasure Island, which is connected to Bellagio, which is across the street from Bally's, which offers a tram to the MGM Grand. Also, there's a public bus, as well as a private bus that looks like a trolley, that goes up and down the strip for $1.25. Cabs can quickly drain funds in Vegas.
posted by herc at 7:32 AM on March 17, 2004

There were a whole bunch of really good ideas the last time this was Asked. The suggestion of Valley of Fire State Park was sounded really good.
posted by majick at 10:51 AM on March 17, 2004 [1 favorite]

Treat yourself, if you can, and see Cirque de Soleil's O at the Bellagio. It's something you just can't see anyplace else.
posted by JollyWanker at 5:38 PM on March 17, 2004

Breakfast at the Peppermill.
posted by Dick Paris at 5:43 PM on March 17, 2004

Don't go to the California Hotel which has had over 1000 cases of the Norwalk virus recently, still ongoing. In fact, my friend who has lived and worked in many of the hotels in Vegas says he wont eat at them, the locals usually avoid them. Kind of like cruise ships with millions of people coming and going its near impossible to keep sanitary. Most of the workers are underpaid and the city is lax on health codes because of the politics of who runs the city.
posted by stbalbach at 6:10 PM on March 17, 2004

I second the recommendation for the Star Trek ride. It's at the Las Vegas Hilton, and they just opened a second ST ride that has interactive Borg running around and standing next to you and stuff.

I have stayed at the aforementioned Hilton, the Rio, the Flamingo, the Venetian, Luxor, and New York New York. My favorite of those is the Venetian, because the rooms are gorgeous, but it's expensive. The best value was the Flamingo and the Hilton - they both have reasonable rates. There is also a funny little casino next door to the Flamingo - I forget the name at the moment - which has really low table minimums and nickel slots. And TCBY frozen yogurt, yum.

The downtown casinos at the Fremont Street experience are great fun, and have inexpensive drinks and low table minimums.

And if you have a car, drive about 30 miles towards the California border on I-15 and you'll get to Primm, which is a little town on the border with three casinos and an outlet mall (discount shopping, yay!). My personal favorite of the three is Buffalo Bill's, which has a roller coaster, a water ride, and an arcade if you get tired of gambling. Oh, and it has a western theme. Themed casinos are good.
posted by bedhead at 8:32 PM on March 17, 2004

very, very cool:

Nevada State Museum

700 Twin Lakes Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89107
(702) 486-5205

From May 11, 2003 to June 2004, the museum hosts "Neon Unplugged: Signs from the Boneyard," featuring 30 signs from the Boneyard's open lot. The exhibit includes the entrance sign to the now-imploded Dunes hotel, the "R" taken from the now-remodeled Sahara and more.
posted by matteo at 11:08 AM on March 18, 2004 [1 favorite]

Here's what I did in Vegas after asking the last time:

Stayed at the Hard Rock. Great place to eat an easy meal and gamble. Room was fairly nice, if inelegant, and affordable. Great dealers at the tables. Inconvenient being off the strip, though.

Saw many of the casinos. Bellagio and Paris are don't-miss. Do catch the water shows out front.

Cirque du Soleil "O" was wild. Got tickets standing on line, day-of. Not cheap but nothing in Vegas is. Also saw "Mamma Mia," which was pretty good considering I'm used to shows on Broadway proper.

I ate most of my meals low-key. I'm told Nobu is excellent (also at the Hard Rock) but it was closed for Christmas when I was there.

Expect to spend spend spend and try not to think about it until you get home.
posted by werty at 12:47 PM on March 18, 2004

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