Having grown up in Las Vegas, I’ve taken countless friends and family members on custom tours of the city. Here are my recommendations for an unforgettable Vegas vacation.
Where to Stay
With over 150,000 rooms, there are plenty of choices when it comes to finding a place to stay. Travelers looking for luxury can’t go wrong with The Encore at the Wynn, while the Luxor is a good choice for the more budget conscious. As with many tourist destinations, room rates tend to be less on weekdays.
The Latest Attractions
Vegas is finally cashing in on its history with organized crime. The daughter of reputed mob boss Sam Giancana is working on The Las Vegas Mob Experience, which opens in December 2010 inside The Tropicana. Las Vegas mayor and former mafia defense attorney Oscar Goodman is helping to open the rival Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, which opens in March 2011.
On the Strip
The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace feature 160 shops and restaurants set along an indoor avenue designed in the spirit of Roman architecture. Gondola rides are available on the waterway that flows through The Venetian, and the roller coaster at New York, New York offers a heart-stopping ride. My personal favorite attraction is The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, but simply taking a walk down the famous Las Vegas Strip provides an excellent afternoon’s entertainment.
No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a show. “O,” the Cirque du Soleil production at the MGM and The Blue Man Group at The Venetian are great choices for contemporary shows, but if you’re looking for a classic Vegas showgirl, try Folies Bergere at The Tropicana.
Beyond The Strip
There’s more to Las Vegas than The Strip. The Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas is home to some of the city’s oldest hotels and casinos. The canopy that covers part of Fremont Street features a light show several times a night.
The best nightlife can also be found off The Strip. The Palms is home to The Ghost Bar and Rain in the Desert. The Ghost Bar offers an amazing view of the city at night.
A Few Last Words of Advice
If you’re planning to gamble on your trip, set a gambling budget before you leave home. A good rule of thumb is to never gamble more than you can afford to lose.
Planning a winter trip? Las Vegas is known for it’s scorching summers, but the winters are much cooler. Temperatures can drop into the 30s overnight but usually climb into the 50s or 60’s by the afternoon.