Going to Vegas, need suggestions!

Howdy all. A couple weeks ago I booked a trip for me and the lady to go to Vegas. It’s the first time for both of us. We leave on Tuesday, and have three days there. We’re staying at Mandalay Bay, but beyond that, I’m really not sure what we’re going to do for our fun (no jackass comments here – I do have a couple things planned, but no need to discuss that here ;)).

We plan to gamble a little bit. Any suggestions on where? I would rather hit some of the older, seedier places instead of the brand new glitz and glamour casinos.

Also, what about shows, good places to eat, etc. ? Again, more emphasis on kitsch and camp, less on glitz and glamour.


Go hit the Star Trek experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. I thought it was very cool.

Stay away from the $4.99 seafood buffet.

Fitzgerald’s Casino, off of the Fremont Street “Experience” is an excellent place to play single deck blackjack. There is a very fine Italian Restaurant inside, as well. Complete with guy wandering around with violin.

If you can find Danny Gans, see his show. Lance Burton’s spectacular as well.

The Dolphin Races exhibit at Caesar’s is also an outstanding 3D ride.

Best Restaurant that I recall? Manhattan’s. It’s a way off the strip, but it was very nice. Almost a black tie affair there.

I like Luxor, but that may be because I’m a geek. Tons of video games, interactive movies (but they’re actually good), and the pyramid theme made it the most fun of all the crappy casinos I went to.

If you really want camp, check the billboards on the taxis for the male Joan Rivers impersonator.

Hell, I know that. Whaddya think, I’m made of money? Any seafood buffet I hit will be $2.99 or under.

…its not exactly seedy by any means, but if you want some of the older original casinos (most of those you see in the old movies and the same neon lights too) you HAVE to go to Freemont St. at night. Its one of the best things in Vegas. Its called the Freemont Street Experience its slightly off the strip. Its about 2 long blocks of the older casinos, the street is closed to traffic (walking only) and is covered by a long dome, as well as the casinos the street itself is full of kiosks and vendors and artists doing what they do and live (great) music. At night they have a spectacular light show about once an hour on the dome. Check out Binion’s casino there if you want a great steak.

If you want some of the best eating in Vegas you really should check out one of the Station Casino Buffets… $10 - $11 all you can eat (some nights all the beer too). It is also high quality food cooked by high class chefs… amazing.

Want to see an amazing show that wont be here forever, unlike sigfried and roy ect… Check out the Blue Man Group http://www.blueman.com One of the best shows I have ever seen, it is truly both spectacular and funny.

oh oh! At dusk go up to the top of the Stratosphere. I say dusk because its light enough that you can see all of the Las Vegas Valley great view then it goes dark fairly quickly and you can see an ocean of lights… very beautiful. I would say DON’T leave Vegas without going to the top of the statosphere.

For those that don’t know, I’m mouthbreather’s aforementioned lady-friend. He says he wants “kitch & camp” but I don’t think he means it :p. I, on the other hand, have a higher tolerance for that kind of stuff than John Waters.

I’m trying to get him to go to the Librace Museum with me but he’s not having any of that. Anyone been there?

I also wanted to go to the Sigfreid & Roy show, but it was $95 a pop. (Apparently I have a thing for closeted gay men, rhinestones, and white tigers…but that’s another thread).

I don’t really like female impersonators and I really hate Joan Rivers so that’s definitely a no-go. Anyway, just thought I’d lets y’all know what I had in mind, too.


I went to the website you posted and it piqued my interest enough to buy some tickets to the show. One question for you: Some of the seats had the warning “You must wear a poncho in these seats”.

WTF? This isn’t Gallagher’s side project is it? God, I hope not.

Omniscient has seen Blue Man Group before, IIRC. You might drop him a line. Or, start a BMG thread. I’m sure that the opinions expressed therein would be pretty diverse.

Good Idea, I’ll do that.


Next time, head off to Vegas with us Dopers! (We are making it an annual event!!!)

Y’know, I got a email on a package deal and I only had a small window of travel time in which I could get the good deal that I did. I will keep my eyes open for next year’s meeting. I just check out the pics from your meeting, looks like you guys had a drunk, err, I mean fun time!

Do a search and read all of the tips in MadHatter’s threads about winning at gambling.

Might be some good info there. Personally, if I went to Vegas, it’d be to do the clubs vs. the casino’s and maybe the drive through Elvis chappel :smiley:

You want seedy, baby? Hit the Gold Spike and the El Cortez, both in the ol’ Downtown part of town. Who needs Sigfreid & Roy with the people-watching show those two joints put on! They’re a cross between a 50’s Greyhound bus terminal and a senior citizen church Bingo parlor. Man, oh man, the low-rollers those two places attract!

But I think you’ve got the right idea: screw the Strip. I live in NYC, so I see enough wealth and glitz. I love Downtown Vegas where old and new, wealth and poverty, dignity and shamelessness mingle to create a strange, unpredictable netherworld.

In addition to the two casinos above, here are some other Downtown picks:

If you want cheap – but respectable, clean, spacious and well-maintained – accommodations, get a room at Jackie Gaughan’s Plaza Hotel at Fremont and Main Streets. Rooms run about $30/night weekdays (somewhat more on weekends). Ask for a room facing Main St., or you might end up with a view of the train tracks and/or satellite dishes. In my opinion it’s the best hotel deal in town, short of being comped. (FYI, my pick in Reno is the brand new Circus Circus, also $30/night.) Dirt cheap breakfast is available across the street at the Golden Gate.

If you get tired of the seedy side of Downtown, but don’t want to travel to the Strip, try the Main Street Station Casino (on Main St.). It’s decorated very, very tastefully (or, as tastefully as overfussy Gay 90’s train station interior design can be) and attracts a nice, civilized – but not James Bond wannabe – clientele; the buffet’s not bad either.

Other Vegas tips:

Star Trek Experience, as noted by another poster, is boffo.

Hoover Dam is a must-see, if you’re into “conquest-of-nature” stuff. The Art Deco architectural details of the place are as stunning as the construction job, by the way.

And the Grand Canyon is, well… grand! (If you don’t have a day to kill to see the GC, at least take a fast drive to see/hike Red Rock Canyon, not far from Vegas. It will give you a taste of the fact that you’re still essentially in the desert.)

Have a blast!

I posted in your blue man group thread.
As for the Liberace museum… I would never… I havent… ahh… I have never… ALRIGHT I went there!

When my mom and dad were in town a few weeks ago my mom really wanted to go and I had to take her. Its fairly interesting if you know who liberache was, some interesting cars. Pianos with historical importance from his collection. Then theres the waredrobe. All in all I wasn’t to blown away… the museum itself is fairly small… and not giving a rats ass about liberace didnt help any.

Here is another tip I just remembered. Taking a limo from the airport to your hotel is actually cheaper than a taxi (its like $4-$5 per person), plus you get to arrive in style!

Casino Royale, on the mid-strip between Harrah’s and the Venetian, is a fantastic place to get drunk and gamble. There’s a $1 blackjack table and a bunch of $3 tables right next to the bar, and the drinks come strong and fast.

Be sure to get a Player’s Club card, ask to be rated at the $1 table, and keep bugging the pit boss about when he’s going to comp you a Grand Slam breakfast at the adjacent Denny’s.

Dr. J

Did you get the “poncho required” seats for the Blue People show? I read that thread and it seems like a worse idea than it did when I did not know what that meant. I don’t think you should sit there UNLESS you run out of $$$ for food. Sounds like breakfast… :wink: