Although we have been to Las Vegas before, we were with family the first time. This time, we got to really explore the strip and found some things that we loved and hated. This list might prepare those who have not been before. We had a great time, lost a lot of money to the slots (and tables), but we had a good time!
Loved: No matter where you go, there’s always something to see. Whether it’s the women making out on the street, the linebacker man in high heels, the bum holding up a sign asking for dog cookies, the flashing lights, the guy getting arrested, the girl doing the ‘walk of shame’ (watch Sorority Boys if you don’t know what this is), the bands performing near Imperial Palace, the Bellagio fountains, the Mirage volcano, Treasure Island pirate show… Mario and Luigi, Elvis (two working together)… there’s always something to see.
Hated: Stay away from the breakfast buffet at Bally’s Sidewalk Cafe. My husband and I went in search of cheaper breakfasts than $15.99 buffets. We could have eaten at McDonald’s again but we were sick of it. So we stopped at Bally’s, which had a $11.99 buffet. Well, it was the most disgusting food I’ve ever eaten, and every table around us complained as well. Scrape up that extra four dollars per person and go to a nice buffet. It’s worth every cent, TRUST ME.
Loved: The food at the Mirage. We stayed here, and thought we probably wouldn’t eat here because all the restaurants looked pretty expensive. Well, we ate at Cravings, the buffet, BLT Burger, and California Pizza Kitchen (or something like that) and all three restaurants were spectacular. Pay the extra buck or two and you’ll be amazed by the quality of food you can get.
Hated: We went on a weekend that happened to be the same weekend as some international techno concert, so 250,000 teenagers and young twenty-somethings were in town. No matter where you went, the strip was packed with kids that couldn’t handle their alcohol and obnoxious drunks. Of course, Vegas is a primary setting for this type of behaviour, but for adults. I don’t want to party with kids.
Loved: If you can play Blackjack or Roulette, play the tables. Not only are many of the dealers nice, some of them are lucky (as was the case when we played at Mandalay Bay). We won about $400 from $40. Then, of course, we lost it all again. Point is, you may lose your money quicker than at slots, but you can also make it quickly. And you feel like you have more control than when you are feeding money to a computer that knows it just paid out 34 spins ago. Another benefit of playing the tables is that you get to meet people. Learn about them. You may just make a friend!
Hated: That we could not find used casino cards at any gift shop. We looked and looked and only found some at the ABC Store in the mall beside Treasure Island. Even then, they did not have any Mirage cards. We do have plenty from our first trip, but they get sticky and hard to handle, so we wanted a few more.
Loved: The gift shops had a lot of great things! They’re always getting new stock in, so it seems, so nothing we bought this time was anything like what we bought the first time. Found a great stuffed piggy bank that oinks with LV logo on the side, a few great shirts, etc. But buy your souvenirs in the shops on the street rather than in the hotels. You can save a few bucks here and there.
Loved: That everyone was very polite to us. Las Vegas knows that it survives on its tourists, so it makes you feel welcome.
Loved: That you can get free drinks for playing at the casinos. Yeah, you give a tip, but the cost of the drinks is still WAY less than what you could get anywhere else. $1 for a rum and Coke or a screwdriver or a beer is damned good compared to the $6 or $7 you’d pay elsewhere.
Hated: The layout of Caesar’s Palace. Seriously, my husband and I walked about 5 miles inside that hotel trying to find the big fish tank, not knowing it was in the Forum Mall. We walked in circles, back and forth, upside down, and sideways. Finally, we gave up. On the last day, we had enough time before our flight that we decided to really look for this thing. We did find it, but after hours of searching over the entire weekend. And the funny thing is, it was RIGHT BESIDE our hotel.
Loved: Waking up early to hit the casinos. At 6-7am, there are very few people in there. In Las Vegas, it’s nice to have a break from people.
Hated: All those people that want to show you their hotel so that you can get free tickets. If you have three hours on your three or four day trip to give up, fine, go ahead. But they were the worst on Monday, the day we were leaving. Maybe there were just too many people in town before and we slipped past their radars. But on Monday, with less visitors, we were an easy target. “Oh, are you married?” “Oh, is this your honeymoon?” “Oh, are you here for the concert?” “Will you do a back flip off a monkey’s shoulders to win two thirty-dollar tickets and two free buffets at Bally’s?”
Loved: Our room at the Mirage was gorgeous. The BEST BED I have ever slept on. The TV was huge, the room was huge, and contemporary. The one downside was that there was no coffee maker in the room. Probably because Starbucks was just downstairs, making $3.00 profit per cup.
There are probably many more things I can think of, given time, but hopefully this list will offer insight to anyone that has not been to Vegas or hasn’t been there in a while. If you want to add anything to this list, please do. I’d love to hear your opinions!!