I recently got back from Las Vegas where I spent about three/four days with friends for my 'bachelors trip'. I was just wondering what people's opinions are on LV as a travelling destination. Who would you go with to Vegas - friends or family or both?
I first visited back in 1999 on a road trip with three friends of mine. We were touring all across different western states and we ended up staying in Vegas for three days as a 'rest stop'. Back then we decided that the first one out of the group to get married would receive a 'free trip' to Vegas so I decided last year it was about time I lay claim to that trip
Obviously we enjoyed ourselves, otherwise we wouldn't have gone back. Strangely enough, I think I enjoy the surreality of it more than any other part. I am not really big on gambling and wouldn't go there for that so that doesn't help much I guess for my perceptions.... This time we got an upgrade to the penthouse suite at the MGM Grand for free (still don't know why but we didn't complain!) which helped make the trip a VERY pleasant one too I have to admit!
Anyway, just thought I would hear what other Vegas goërs think about it...
I actually went to Las Vegas in 2001 with my family. They were in Los Angeles for a wedding, and I joined them about 5 days after they all got there. They came to pick me up from LAX and then we drove to Vegas straightaway! Despite the 9 hours of constant travelling I did that day (5 hours by plane, 4 hours by car), it was the most wonderful experience I have ever had!
I used to scoff at Las Vegas when I was younger because of its kitschy surreality, but when I got there, my perspective changed immensely! I remember driving in the Nevada desert for hours, and then finally seeing what seemed like a small cluster of buildings. Once you get there... you are absolutely bowled over by its beauty and opulence! We stayed at the Four Seasons on top of Mandalay Bay for 3 days and it was fantastic! The food was spectacular and not too expensive, the House of Blues being my personal favorite because of the Creole mustard (I'm a mustard fan... go figure). Although I couldn't gamble (I was only 20 at the time), the casinos' decor was something to see for sure... so long as you didn't step on the carpet! The weather was a bit stuffy because we were there mid-August - 40 degrees celsius! But coming from Canada, I could not complain!
I could go on and on forever... after all, I have listed Las Vegas as one my favorite cities! But if I could suggest something to people.. PLEASE NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK OF GAMBLING AND LAS VEGAS ITSELF, PLEASE GO AND SEE IT!!!!! It is an experience you will not forget! From escalators on the streets to indoor rainstorms (at Aladdin), from indoor skyscapes changing colour every half hour to make it seem like the day has become evening to gondola rides and roller coasters... omg too many things to say! Go and experience it for yourselves!
P.S. You gotta love the themed hotels! And the quietest casino is definitely the Bellagio.
I have never been to Vegas, but about a year ago 2 of my friends and I made a pact to go to Vegas once we all are 21 over New Years. So far one of those friends eloped and moved to Banff, so she's out of the question now (and I just found out that she's expecting, so she's REALLY out of the question). But as far as I know, my other friend is still keen on going. I guess it is just curiosity for me- and the want of a memorable New Years, who knows. (So far the one that topped that list was the one I spent in Amsterdam with college friends.) Whatever the case, it will certainly be an unforgetable party! We deffinately want to stay in one of the big hotels on the strip on New Years Eve and maybe the nights before and after.
What would you guys (or anyone else) recommend doing or seeing there (besides gambling or the shows)?
I have been to Las Vegas a almost 10 years ago when I was 16, so I don't remember a lot. I still remember that I was very impressed by the city, you enter the city after a long ride in the middle of nowhere through the desert, and then you see suddenly al those lights and luxury. It's really incredible how a city can be so alive in the desert.
I also remember that Las Vegas was really cheap compared for staying over and for food, probably to attract more people to gamble. One evening we went to have dinner at the mirage hotel, it was a buffet with contained all you could dream, all kinds of exotic fruits ond other delicious things...
When I was there it was also very hot, like 40 degrees, but luckily we had a swimming pool at our hotel (I don't rememer which hotel it was, but it was definitely not a big one).
We visited some of the bigger hotels, MGM, Luxor, Caesars palace. It's really amazing those hotels, when you enter luxor it's like you are in egypt, or when you enter caesar's palace it's really like you are in one of rome's ancient palaces I remember I also put one dollar in a jackpot, and I won four dollars, but couldn't gamble more because I was only sixteen and some security guys where telling me ofcours I shouldn't be there
It was for me, at that time, one of the highlights of the places on the west coast of US we visited and it's definitely a city one should see at least ones in his lifetime I plan to go back one day
Things to do in Las Vegas OTHER than gambling and the shows:
I found the hotels to be attractions on their own! The ones on the strip are mostly internationally themed hotels although others exist that are just plain amazing! Mandalay Bay has a south east asian feel to it; the Luxor is ancient Egyptian; the Paris hotel, New York New York, and the Venetian are close replicas of their respective cities. Ceaser's Palace is definitely roman and the Forum is a MUST SEE for shoppers and non-shoppers alike. Aladdin has an arabic vibe to it, and the mall is spectacular, equipped with a small water pond where it periodically rains (it actually rains water indoors!)! Treasure Island has an outdoor pirate ship fight every night. The Bellagio is really opulent with an indoor garden that changes every season I believe and an outdoor water show. As you can see, the hotels are as entertaining as the shows!
Restaurants are amazing in Las Vegas! We didn't have too many days to stay there but we did eat out a lot and I can tell you that coming from Montreal, where we have AMAZING restaurants, I have never eaten such AMAZING food in my life! Every hotel has its own restaurants and they are usually tied in to the theme, although you can find a wide variety as well. Chains like The Rainforest Café, Hard Rock Café, and the House of Blues can be found as well as restaurants, bistros and cafés unique to Las Vegas. And don't expect to bust your budget either. As Tingo mentionned, food can be found for relatively inexpensive prices in Las Vegas.
Another thing to do in Vegas is SHOPPING! The hotels have lots and lots of stores, ranging from the standard mall stores like the Gap to unique theme-oriented shops (e.g. Bali Trading Company with south east asian merchandise at the Mandalay Bay) to upscale boutiques like Gucci and Prada. Like I mentionned before, Ceaser's Palace and Aladin have unique malls that will be sights in themselves.
Other than that, you will find different types of entertainment in different hotels and complexes in the city. New York New York has a roller coaster that goes indoor and outdoor the hotel. There is the Space shot(that's what it's called if I'm not mistaken) - another ride, which is like the opposite of the Tower of Terror in Disney World, cause it shoots you up into the sky. There are arcades and rock-climbing walls and plenty plenty more to do!
Anyway, it seems insane to have this much info about Vegas, especially since I was there for 3 days only! But I did fall in love with it and its surreality and I will be returning this summer! I cannot wait! It's an experience not a vacation!
I have to agree with travelover; Vegas is a great destination even if you don't care at all about gambling.
The hotels are all attractions, piece for piece. I still think the Venetian is my favorite; their color changing ceilings that are painted to look like the sky are soooo cool. I just had my pictures from Vegas printed and you just can't see how good those ceilings look in real life when you see it on the pics The pirate show they used to have at Treasure Island was much better than the one they now had imo. The newest one involves all kind of singing and although there are still ships 'firing' canons at each other, the old show was much more fun than this one that was really lame. Still would recommend everyone to go see it though; there aren't many places on earth where you can see a show like that for free on a 4 lane road. The water show at the Belagio is always awesome!
They also just opened an outlet mall a couple of miles from the strip which is really good if you are into shopping. Cheapest prices I have ever seen and a good mix of brands and styles.
Food? Don't even get me started on that !!!
One annoying thing is the folk on the street that are handing out (pushing into your hand) flyers all day, most of which is x rated. Reminded me of south east asia more than anything else!
hmmmm . .. thanks guys! That gives me something to think about! The trip will not happen until both of us are 21, so that will be not this New Years but next. We'll probably have to start planning/reserving a good half or full year ahead of time because Vegas (especially the big casino hotels on the strip) fills up quickly. We want to stay in one of the big hotels for at least one night, maybe New Year's Eve, so booking the room far in advance will be a good idea. Any recommendations?! I'll most likely be posting closer to the real planning date to get more info/feedback . .. but I'm curious right now, nonetheless!
I went to Vegas for New Years Eve Y2K... For work officially just in case the world ended, but it didn't so I got to enjoy myself. One thing to do is still go to the casinos for the shows... I forget which hotel it is that actually has two real life...(Vegas real life) Pirate ships that battle it out twice a day. There is the roller coaster at New York New York, and countless other stuff. There is also the M and M factory and either a coke or pepsi plant on the strip there that give pretty neat tours. Just some thoughts. Don't forget it's a reasonable drive to the Hoover Dam and a not as reasonable drive to Lake Powell too.. if you're into that sort of thing.
vegas is just pure insanity! the whole thing that you have no idea what time of day it is inside the casinos is mad. i went with my friend for a few days in sept last year, it was so cool. the bad thing is...when u win, u end up putting the money back in again....or at least i did anyway! oh well, nevermind!