“You haven’t been to Vegas?!” –everyone exclaims when I say I am yet to visit Las Vegas. Finally, Flabbergasted. A little astounded. And, undeniably, a bit awed. That’s how I would sum up my first few hours in Las Vegas. Undoubtedly this place has its own style – a little more of a hangover style. I had my long weekend well spent with all possible fun and frolic events.
I am writing this for those who are visiting Las Vegas for the very first time.
Where to crash @ night?
We booked our hotel rooms through hotels.com in Stratosphere in the north end of the strip.
Yes, it is a bit far from the strip but a big thanks to all the mode of transportation in Vegas. And of course, not a lot of sleeping is done in Vegas, you are actually looking for a space to rest your body for few hours. This place is a home to restaurants, shows, and gambling galore and thrilling rides.
If you stay in stratosphere, you get to visit the observation deck on the 105th floor for free unlimited times and also one ride if you buy, other rides are free except the sky jump. Observation deck gives you a total view of the sparkling Vegas skyline. You got to try the Xscream and Big shot which is totally scary and pumped up rides. Got guts? Go ahead and try sky jump similar to bungee jumping and insanity ride.
Where to grab a bite?
Hungry? Never miss Bellagio buffet. We reached at 9 am in the strip, and without any doubt we went to Bellagio Buffet. The spread is awesome & mouthwatering. My friend rightly said, leave space for dessert at the end because it’s worth it. The buffet costs you $30.33 on a weekend and $24.99 on a weekday. But worth a try and money!
Most of our dinner and breakfast were the street foods. And if you really have a craving for Indian food, you can try Tamba near Harley Davidson Café. You can relish the Indian delicacies here. The Tamba lunch buffet costs you $13.99
What to wear for a winter trip?
Plan to take a pair of comfortable shoes or sneakers for the stroll through the strip. It is a tough time here. You tend to walk more as your aim is to cover as many places as you can on your first trip. Take couple of sweaters as it can get cold.
What are the modes of transportation?
Monorails are a blessing to Las Vegas tourists. We took a 3 days pass for 28$ per person which gave us complete liberty to roam from one end of the strip to the other.
Tram: Tram services are free from Excalibur to Mandalay Bay. In between, there is a stop for Luxor. It is basically hop in and hop off.
Bus Services: Bus services in Vegas is called deuce. They too have daily passes. We did not try bus services as we had a lot of convenient trips in monorail.
What are the most sought after free things to do Las Vegas?
- Bellagio fountain in front of Bellagio hotel: starts at 8pm in the night. It is a treat to your eyes.
- Volcanoes at Mirage: Volcano show at Mirage casino and hotel is really a wonder in Vegas. The show is at 8pm in the night and lasts for 10 minutes.
- Flamingo Habitat: Enjoy your day or evenings with the beautiful flamingos at Flamingo Casino & hotel.
- Free wine & whiskey tasting @ Vom Fass: if you have an interest towards the various natures of wines, whiskey and oils, try out the wide range of products in Vom Fass located at Venetian near the Tao’s night club. The free tasting class in on Thursday, Friday & Saturdays at 7pm.
- Fremont street experience: A few miles from Stratosphere is a strip of old Vegas. This has been turned into a great place to walk around. One of the major attractions is the lit up canopy with nightly light shows. Plan your visit to Fremont Street before 10 pm.
- Hershey’s chocolate world: This is the world of chocolates and for the kids in you. You will find all the Hershey’s product and this place would be more appealing to families with kids. Personally we did not enjoy much.
- Stroll the strip till midnight.
- Enjoy other people spending money on the gambling. This would be a treat to watch. Never you know, may be you will leave Las Vegas with a jackpot learning the tricks and tips from experts.
- You can not watch Cirque du Soleil for free of course, but the KA Theatre in MGM Grand opens its doors to the public every Tuesday between 11 a.m and 11:30 a.m. for the ultimate insider tour of the mechanics of this $165 million production.
- If you are visiting Las Vegas during the weekends, never miss the Carnival-like parade of dancers and acrobats in fabulous costumes that dance down the Rio’s main course hourly during the Masquerade in the Sky at Rio. It starts at 7.30pm.
Looks like I pretty much covered my travel experience in Las Vegas. Of course, I have not mentioned much about the shows as the show details are available readily online if you search for it.
Only one piece of advice I would like to give, if you have plenty of days to be spend in Vegas, do not buy tickets online. You might as well go to Vegas and buy tickets from half price shops called Tix Tonight which sells show tickets for half price. The shows includes O by Cirque Du Soleil, KA by Cirque Du Soleil, Le Reve etc. They also have dinner buffet coupons from certain restaurants. Tix tonight shops are located near Bally’s. Harley Davidson Café, Venetian, Caesar’s Palace etc.
A gist of my tour to Vegas would be that “You really do not have to travel around the world to view the Canals of Venice, the Eiffel tower, the statue of liberty, the pyramids of Egypt, the Caesar’s palace, you just have to visit these luxurious and magnificently structured hotels which are amongst the top 25 hotels in the world”.
My heart leaps with excitement when I think of going back to Las Vegas. There is plenty of bash and illusion in this so called Sin City.