Tips for Las Vegas Fun

A coworker who has never been to Vegas is going there this weekend, and he asked me what’s worth doing there. He didn’t want to sit at a slot machine all day. Having been there a few times, I put together my list. Maybe it’s worth sharing here too, so here is my Las Vegas list:

Food:

  • The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s is the advertised as the biggest and best spread on the strip.
  • Although the best meal I’ve had in Vegas was The Buffet at Wynn.
  • Del Frisco’s Double Eagle is a prime steakhouse that only has a few locations nationwide, one of them just off the strip in Vegas. I’ve eaten at a Del Frisco’s Double Eagle on three occasions and they were all excellent, memorable meals.
  • Similarly, some of the best regional fast food joints have Vegas locations: Smashburger, Shake Shack, Fatburger, In-N-Out, and Sprinkles. If you don’t have a Shake Shack in your town and you’ve never tried it, well then by all means get yourself to Shake Shack while in Vegas.
  • Peppermill. It’s a diner/coffeeshop that is open 24 hours and hasn’t changed decor in about 40 years, right down to the smoky mirrors in the waiting area. It’s the perfect place to get a cup of coffee and a stack of pancakes at 5 AM.

Casinos:

  • My favorite casino floors are Bellagio, Mirage, Paris, and New York New York. I really like New York New York.
  • My favorite sports books are at Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, MGM, and Caesars. The Mirage has the most comfortable chairs.
  • The Mirage has the volcano waterfall that erupts a couple times per hour. Its impressive at night. The Bellagio fountains are so great, but it gets crowded on the street. Treasure Island has these pirate ships outside the front entrance and the ships attack each other, but it was closed when I was there last year and don’t know if that’s reopening.

Activities:

  • New York New York casino has a roller coaster, which is like $15 a person to ride. Mandalay Bay has a massive aquarium that’s like $20 a person. Stratosphere is the space needle looking casino on the far North end of the strip. It’s got a few thrill rides at the top of the tower that I am too chicken to attempt.
  • CSI The Experience is at the MGM. The “BODIES” exhibit was at the Luxor when I was there last. Star Trek: The Experience has unfortunately closed forever.
  • High Roller is the massive Ferris wheel. Each car holds 20-25 people and it gets you some 500 feet up, so pretty cool view.
  • Pole Position Raceway is the largest indoor go kart track in the country and this place is for real. Machine Guns Vegas is a gun range with AK47s and M4s, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Shows:

  • Cirque du Soleil has several shows in Vegas, the two most well known (and longest lasting shows) are “Mystere” at Treasure Island and “O” at the Bellagio. I’ve seen them both and they are both worth all the money you want to spend on good seats. Not sure there’s such a thing as a bad Cirque du Soleil show.
  • David Copperfield, Penn and Teller, & Terry Fator all have their own theaters. A handful of Broadway musicals like Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages are always playing. If you go to see Carrottop please don’t tell me. The big thing in Vegas right now is, if you can believe it, Britney Spears, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here is a big list.  And on the strip are several fashion malls with places to buy discounted show tickets. Tix4Tonight is a name I remember of one of them. Basically last minute ticket brokers where you can get seats 50% of so.

Misc:

  • The city runs a bus line called “The Duece”, it’s a double-decker bus that just runs up and down the strip 24/7. A 3 day pass is like $25 so if you want to hit up half a dozen places on the strip it’s the easiest way to get around.
  • I wasn’t even going to mention Hoover Dam, but it’s super impressive if you’ve never seen it.
  • Don’t try to be a morning person. The city wakes up at night and most of the casinos don’t even get buzzing until midnight.
  • And rule number 1 of Vegas is if someone tried to hand you something, for goodness sake don’t take it. It’s either a flyer for hookers or someone’s mix cd.