If I were to describe Las Vegas in one sentence, I would call it an amusement park for adults. The Las Vegas Strip, a 6 km main road along which you can find multiple casino-hotel complexes, is peculiar and bizarre, for the lack of a better word. Each hotel is themed, with topics varying from Ancient Rome, to New York, Paris, or Venice. You could easily spend the whole time in Vegas without stepping out of a network of hotels, seeing daylight, and feeling the 40°C scorching sun on your skin. Everything you need, from grocery shops to casinos, restaurants, and entertainment, is contained within the AC-cooled bubble of interconnected hotels. You will even get a fake sky and water channel flowing through the hotel premises.
Funny fact, all the hotel-casinos are actually located in Paradise, an unincorporated town adjacent to Las Vegas City. You can still say you have been to Las Vegas, as both Las Vegas City and Paradise are located in Las Vegas Valley. And if you wonder why it is not one city, the answer is simple – taxes 🙂
If you have money in Vegas, the sky is your limit. There are unlimited possibilities for you to spend a lot of cash, from gambling to fancy dinners, parties, and entertainment.
Las Vegas is the most famous because of the ever-present casinos. There is not a single hotel that is not a casino at the same time. My only complaint about them is that people can smoke inside, making some casinos unbreathable.
The sad truth about gambling is that the house always wins. That does not mean you cannot have some wins, but the longer you play, the higher chances are that you will return with nothing. Therefore, before we sat down to play, we set ourselves “rules of engagement”. We had the upper limit of how much money are we willing to part with, and we assumed that that money was already lost. If we won, great; if we didn’t, it is ok too. We also made a deal that once we reach 100$, we will withdraw the money and start again with a small bet.
But what did we play and how expensive were the games?
Slot machines take up most of the casino floors. For us, they were the least fun; we never won, even slightly, and we managed to part with 5$ in only 43 seconds 🙂 Most of the machines took 1$ or more as the minimum bet, though we found a couple accepting 25¢.
Our favorite game was called “Craps” – a dice game in which players bet on the outcomes of the roll of a pair of dice. We managed to spend quite a lot of time playing it for 20$. We won almost 100$ in one sitting and then lost some while trying again. We were playing on automatic tables with a 5$ minimum bet, as human-staffed ones were 25$ minimum, which was too much for us.
My boyfriend got sucked into “Blackjack“. He managed to get up to almost 300$, and then he lost it all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Similarly to Craps, the machines were 5$ minimum bet, while human-staffed cost 25$ and more. We found a few devices for 25¢, but they were tough to locate.
However, out of all the places we tried, we had the most fun at arcade games. The kid games were a lot of fun, and we had a blast! You could exchange the winnings for some toys, making us lucky owners of two emoticon key chains and some candies.
Wherever you turn your head in Las Vegas, you will see commercials for some shows – from comedy, magic, and Chippendales to acrobatics. If you’re visiting Vegas, you should absolutely make time to see at least one show.
As we only had time to see one show, so we picked “Ka” from Cirque du Soleil. I knew Cirque du Soleil from a traveling Cirque show, which is always excellent, but what I saw in Vegas left me speechless for the first time in my life. The aerial stunts, the acrobatics, and the music were incredible, but the construction and usage of the stage blew my mind.
Vegas is hosting six unique Cirque du Soleil shows and if you want to know more, check their website.
Vegas is home to many restaurants. We ate in several places during our stay, but the most memorable was the Heart Attack Grill. Let’s say it like that: been there, done that, never again 😀
Heart Attack Grill restaurant is known for serving the most unhealthy meal possible, and I confirm; that it was the most greasy meal of my life, and I only had a milkshake and fries 😛 The milkshake came filled with chocolate cake and a bar of butter sunk within. Burgers come in many variations, from Single Bypass Burger to Octuple Bypass Burger, with insane 20k calories!
If you failed to eat your whole meal, the sexy dressed nurses would whip your butt, and some customers suspiciously volunteered to be spanked several times 😛
They have an ongoing “promotion”; if you weigh over 350 lbs or 160 kg, you will get free unlimited food; however, you must be first weighed in front of all the restaurant customers.
If you want to see unforgettable views of Las Vegas, a helicopter trip will surely deliver. It was crazy how many helicopters were flying over Vegas one after another. From my googling around, it is also possible to take a helicopter tour and fly over Grand Canyon.
High Roller is a giant Ferris wheel facing the Las Vegas Strip. It is not the cheapest attraction – we paid around 40$ for the ticket, but the views were exceptional. While marveling at Vegas’s size and looking at all the illuminated hotels, we were lucky enough to see the Bellagio fountain show when we reached the top.
The trip to Vegas would not be completed without visiting the iconic Vegas sign.
Many photographers in the area were willing to take your photo for a small tip.
You can find a lot of free shows happening all over the city. Among them are the Pirate Show at Treasure Island, Volcano Eruption Show, Atlantis, and the Fountains of Bellagio. They happen quite often, so you will most probably encounter at least one of them while just strolling around.
Walk down the Strip
One of the free activities you can do in Las Vegas is to walk through all the hotels and see their interior design. Each hotel has a distinct theme, so you will be transported to a different world the second you step in.
Let’s start with Bellagio – one of the higher-end hotel casinos.
The hotel is famous for the Bellagio Fountains show – a breathtaking water and music show. It didn’t matter how many times I watched it; I was blown away each time.
After watching the Bellagio Fountains show, head inside the Bellagio to the conservatory & botanical garden located near the lobby. The conservatory changes with the seasons and uses real flowers to create spectacular decorations.
When you step into Caesars Palace, you will move in time to ancient Rome, or at least every single piece of decoration will scream so. Caesar was one of the most exciting hotels to go through, filled with statues and other references to ancient Rome.
While you walk around, check out Caesar’s pool area and the Fall of Atlantis show – a fire and water animatronic attraction.
Canals surround The Venetian from the outside, but you probably wouldn’t suspect you can also take a gondola ride through Grand Canals inside the hotel on the second floor!
Take a walk through the fake streets near the artificial canals under a pristine fake blue sky, and enjoy the amusement park atmosphere of this intriguing hotel.
New York – magnificent from the outside, full of small alleys inside is home to Cirque du Soleil show called “Mad Apple”. What also makes this hotel stand out is a steel hyper roller coaster – The Big Apple Coaster stretched in between hotel buildings.
Check out the arcade at the entrance to the rollercoaster. We didn’t manage to get there but saw some pictures online 🙂
Have you ever wanted to sleep in a pyramid? Now is your chance! Vegas has everything, including an imposing pyramid hotel called Luxor, with a light beam illuminating the night sky.
For some reason, I was really hyped about spending the night in the pyramid, don’t ask me why 😀
If you ever wanted to sleep in the castle and feel like a princess (or prince), you would probably be interested to hear that Vegas has you covered. I present you Excalibur, a big fake castle straight from a cartoon!
Out of all hotels, we liked this one the best. It was not the breathtaking interiors of richly decorated passages or artificial canals but an arcade game area where we had a blast.
In most of the casinos in Vegas, you can use one of two loyalty cards: M life Rewards Loyalty Program for MGM Resorts and Caesars Rewards from Caesars Entertainment.
The more you spend on entertainment, gambling, and food, the more rewards you can redeem.