“Vegas, baby! Vegas!” Almost everyone knows these famous words spoken by Vince Vaughn in the movie Swingers. These words really capture the excitement and anticipation that a trip to Las Vegas elicits in tourists on their way to Sin City. If you are heading to Las Vegas for the first time, or whether you are making your 100th trip, this guide will clue you into all of the things that make for the best of Las Vegas.
Best Places to Stay
The Mirage’s main draw is their pool, which is the best pool on the planet. It is so enormous that it has over 1,200 lounge chairs available for guests. You can lounge by the pool, which is a huge meandering pool surrounded by lush foliage. There are two separate waterfalls. Sexy cabana boys and cocktail waitresses will bring you cool drinks while you bask in the sunshine. You can also lounge in the pool on a bench that runs along the edge. There is a water slide. It is truly an oasis in the middle of the desert. Only guests of the Mirage can use the pool, so book a room and enjoy the best pool in the universe.
If lying around poolside all day is not your cup of tea, then you should instead stay at CityCenter. This is a beautiful community center that is home to loads of world-class art, ARIA Resort, and Casino, Mandarin Oriental, the amazing Crystals entertainment and shopping district, Vdara Hotel, Harmon Hotel, and Veer Towers.
These attractions all join together in beautiful plazas filled with beautiful landscaping. For the best experience, stay at the ARIA. It contains 4,004 guest rooms, featuring 568 suites. All rooms feature breathtaking views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, letting guests absorb the wonder of the Las Vegas skyline in all of its glory. CityCenter caters to a more upscale crowd. If you enjoy fine dining, modern art, and sophisticated gaming, CityCenter is the place to stay.
Best Free Stuff to Do in Vegas
Las Vegas is an expensive town. Between all of the gourmet food and the shows and the taxi rides and, of course, the gambling, many times your wallet can get to feeling a little light. At times like these, it is great to have some free activities to fall back on.
Here are the best free things to do in Las Vegas.
Fountains Show at the Bellagio
This is perhaps the greatest experience in Las Vegas. 1,214 fountains shoot water into the air in time to music and a light show. Some of the fountains shoot the water 460 feet up into the air. This is one of the best free activities, not just in Las Vegas, but in the entire world. Shows run from 3 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and noon to midnight on the weekends. Shows are every half hour until 8 p.m. and then every 15 minutes after that. The shows are constantly changing up the pattern of the lights and fountains, as well as the music.
Fremont Street Experience
Located downtown on Fremont Street, this light show on the overhead canopy is a wonderfully unique experience. The shows start at 8 p.m. and run every hour, on the hour. At the beginning of the show, a conductor will tap his baton, and suddenly every light on Fremont Street is plunged into darkness. It is a very surreal experience in this city of blinding lights. Then the music and lights flood your senses, and you are swept up in the show. These shows are so engaging that many people are moved to sing along with the music.
Best Place to Relax and Unwind in Las Vegas
If you blow through a lot of money at the tables, you may feel the need for some relaxation and stress relief. This is where the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at the Venetian Hotel comes in. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub is world-renowned as one of the best spa experiences anywhere. When you feel the need to unwind from the hectic Vegas scene, you can come here to be pampered like a king or a queen. Get a massage or body treatment to soothe your troubles. Then get a makeover to look fabulous.
Have Fun in Vegas
Remember, being in Las Vegas is all about having fun. Make sure and have a budget before you go. Blowing all your money at the craps table the first day will ruin your trip from the start. Take some time each day to unwind and relax, and make sure and get out of the casino once in a while to experience all that Sin City has to offer.
Things to See and Do Off the Strip Las Vegas Strip
Travelers going to Sin City are often enticed by the flashing lights and fervent nightlife. While it’s certainly easier for tourists and out-of-towners to stick to the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard), visitors can liven up their stay by indulging in some of the gems off the Strip, where all the locals go.
Off-Strip Hotels and Clubs
Want to party in the “Real World” suite at the Palms? Looking to meet some cool celebrities at the Hard Rock? Want to spend the night in style at The Red Rock Casino or Green Valley Ranch? All these trendy Vegas hot-spots can be found off the strip, with the latter two easily accessible by car. Boasting nightclubs, casinos, luxury shops, and upscale spas and restaurants, Sin City caters to those looking for an exciting vacation and those longing for a relaxing week in the desert. Looking to not break the bank at the hotel check-in? There are a plethora of hotels in the area with major deals during the week (and even the weekend) that are easy to get to. Not looking to drive? The Las Vegas valley has public transportation to get travelers throughout the city.
Las Vegas and Beyond
Not only does Las Vegas expand beyond the main boulevard, but there are also many treasures right outside the city. Have a love for the outdoors and hiking? Red Rock Canyon is 15 miles west of Las Vegas and boasts multiple creeks and canyons for those interested in seeing the desert at its best. Featuring white and red sandstone cliffs and hills with peaks over 8,000 feet, Red Rock Canyon is a spectacle to be seen. Looking for some cool air to counter the stifling summer sun? Mount Charleston sits 35 miles northwest of Sin City and is easily accessible by car. Featuring campsites, lodges, biking trails, and cooler weather, Mount Charleston is a great place to get away and relax when the city becomes a little too much.
Think Like a Local
Close to two million people live in Sin City, so it’s got to be more than showgirls and blackjack tables. Just like most New Yorkers don’t hang out in Time’s Square, Las Vegas locals avoid the Strip as much as they can. The Las Vegas valley is home to hundreds of restaurants, theaters, comedy clubs, bars, night clubs, and the like. Forgo the usual tourist walk from Mandalay Bay to Treasure Island. Instead, rent a car and drive to local neighborhoods like Summerlin and the Lakes, or head out to Henderson, the nearby city to the southeast which is home to Green Valley Ranch and some other great Vegas spots. Websites such as Vegas.com have information about concerts, shows, and events, along with local spas and eateries worth trying. Feel free to talk to locals and ask for recommendations. There is so much to see and do in Las Vegas; it’s just waiting to be found!