Las Vegas - Hints for the tourist?

Mrs. RickJay and I are jetting off to Vegas today. I’ll check back in at 4 or so to see if this got any responses.

We’ll be staying in Fitzgerald’s (it was the cheapest) on Fremont St. and will be in Vegas for four days. Any recommendations for the best places to go, the best casinos, the best shows, good deals you know about? Cheap eats?

I’ve always thought that Vegas was a gangster’s vision of paradise. Lots of ‘action,’ plenty of floozies and flashy styling right down to the doorknobs.

That said, go on the tour of Hoover Dam. It is one of the engineering marvels of the modern world. Do not miss the public restrooms at the top of the dam. Done in brass and malachite marble, they are monuments to when civil engineering and art were still happily married.

Bring a camera and photograph all of the massive neon displays. They are fast fading in favor of much cheaper lighting methods.

Look for casinos that offer $1.[sup]00[/sup] shots of Benedictine brandy and French Cognac.

Most of all, forget about walking away rich. As Honeur de Balzac once said:

“The fastest and safest way of doubling your money is to fold it in half.”

Check a few hotel lobbies and/or convenience stores until you find a copy of “What’s On Las Vegas” ( ) or one of the other free tourist mags. These all have really in-depth listings of attractions, restaurants, shopping, casinos, etc, as well as maps and things to do if you plan to spend a day out of town. It’s published weekly and so has current listings of who’s showing where, as well as who has new lounges, who has remodeled, who has a new restaurant, and so on. It also sometimes has coupons for attractions. [A good one to check out is a mini-museum in the Tropicana. They have a huge collection on display of chips/cards/ashtrays from old casinos. Tons of photos and video footage (there’s a whole section on Vegas disasters like the MGM fire and blowing up the old casinos to make way for new ones.) as well as oddities like the Vegas performer’s paycheck stubs from back in the day.]

I don’t have to tell you not to miss Fremont street because you’re going to be right there. I will warn you that they seem to pretty much roll up the street after the last light show at midnight and things get pretty shady, so be careful: the freaks really do come out at night in Las Vegas.

Not to miss on the strip: I really like the NY/NY casino for the design and the way they’ve incorporated the restaurants into a little “mini-city” in the back. They also have a window off one of the bars where you can walk up and order booze. They need that in every city! The best bathrooms on the strip that I’ve seen are the ones just off the lobby area, across from Il Fornaio and the bridge to Central Park.

Also: the Bellagio fountians. If you’re feeling spendy you can have dinner in one of their restaurants which they’ve cleverly all designed to face the fountains. Amazing!

For a superfancy dinner: The restaurant at the Four Seasons is wonderful. (The name changes every so often…I think it’s currently called: “Steak.”)

If you get a chance, swing up a couple blocks off the strip and check out The Palms casino. A really interesting “contemporary” feeling casino. It’s a little overcrowded now with the younger set because of it being featured on MTV’s “Real World” this year, but still worth a gander. There’s a swinging lounge called “Ghost Bar” up on the top floor with an amazing view of the strip, as well as a patio with a glass floor inset so you can look down and make yourself ill at the height, lol.

Don’t try to see everything at once for sure. My husband and I go at least once a year and never run out of things to do!

the breakfast buffett at the bellagio is AMAZING–so worth it! there are really nice shops in the bellagio, if shopping is something you’re looking to do while you are there. (i’ve never understood why people would go on vacation to go shopping, but, different strokes for different folks, right?) also, seeing the volcano errupt outside the mirage is pretty neat–that happens every 45 minutes or so after dark. new york new york is a very fun casino, and the layout is super cool–you’ll get a kick out of it. and, the 9/11 memorial outside the new york new york was really nicely done.

i was in vegas about a month ago, and was not impressed, at all, with the palm. the wait to get into the ghost bar was hours upon hours long, and the crowd that was already waiting in the line did not look like the kind of folk i wanted to be with in an extremely crowded bar (real young, real done up, real ‘meat market’ feel).

the rio is a fun place to walk around, and they have an incredible seafood buffett (usually over an hour wait, though). mgm grand has the rainforest cafe, which is always fun, and studio 54, which is a great club ($20 to get in, unless you are female–we got in for free!)

i agree with voguevixen, don’t try to do it all at once. everything there is fun, in it’s own way, so the way to do it is enjoy it all, one minute at a time…

…i’m jealous, i wanna go! HAVE FUN! :smiley:

Just remember–in the long run, the house always wins.

My older brother rented that out for about 5 hours for his wedding reception last June … it was AMAZING. The view, the setting, everything.

In order to match that, my wedding (still in the looking-for-a-girl phase) better be at the top of the Eiffel tower or somethin’.

Four days, huh? Do everything. No sleep. None. If you’re cheap (like me) I recommend the Sarah. Cheap tables (dollar blackjack and $2 craps) and great drink service. The penny slots are a great way to get smashed for a few bucks. I would also check out the rides on top of the Strat. The roller coaster sucks, but the free-fall thing is great. Nice views, too.
You HAVE to go see the lounge act at The Plaza, which (I think) is right next door to where you’re staying. Go here to read all about it. Actually, I would recommend the whole cheapo vegas site for good info about Vegas. Have fun!!

Wish I were going with you.

Indulge yourself in a show or two, though I wouldn’t recommend Siegfried and Roy these days–it’s gotten very expensive and has a lot more bells and whistles than actual “show.” Ditto for the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana; used to be a much nicer show.

If you’re feeling particularly geeky, try the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton.

May Lady Luck smile upon you.

I’m not sure what 4 your time is, but maybe this will catch you. Really, there’s too many good, fun things to list, but I’ll tell you a few of my favorites.

Go see Ronn Lucas at the Rio. He’s a ventriloquist. I know what you’re thinking. No way am I going to see a ventriloquist. This is what I thought, too, and never would have gone on my own (I was just following along with the family). But this guy is really amazing. He’s super funny. And he’ll make you think even his bare hand is alive and talking to you. It goes to show you how somebody who’s really good at something can make you change your mind about that thing. I never would have thought I’d enjoy a ventriloquist that much.

If you are even the slightest bit geeky, go to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. Being transported is the best part.

I second seeing the Bellagio fountains. Very romantic, esp. at night. In fact, most of the free stuff like that along the strip is worth seeing. The volcano at the Mirage, the pirates at Treasure island. You’ll know when there’s about to be a show b/c people will start gathering around. Just walking thru themed casinos in general (Venetian, Aladdin, etc.) is fun.

If you like coasters, the Sahara’s is good (a great take-off experience) and so is the New York Coaster. As lighting tool says, I’ve heard the coaster on top of the Stratosphere sucks (I’ve never been on it) but I can attest that the “Big Shot” ride is awesome, and the views up there are spectacular.
So, there’s just a few suggestions.

Have fun. You’ll have to let us all know how it went.