Visiting Las Vegas
Visiting Las Vegas is a city everyone should experience at least once. It can be incredibly affordable if you do your homework. I booked an all inclusive package which included flight, hotel and theater tickets on a large travel portal, some great sites include Orbitz and Expedia. I went for four days which ended up being the perfect amount of time because by the end of the fourth day I was exhausted and dehydrated from the heat and the copious amounts of drinking.
The one thing I can say about Visiting Las Vegas is that you don’t get what you don’t ask for. We went for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday and booked ourselves at the Mirage. The Mirage is a great hotel because it’s right in the middle of the strip. The strip may look small from a plane, buts it’s far from tiny, walking from one end to the other is tedious and can take up to an hour. A few days before our departure I contacted the hotel and requested an upgrade to a tower room and a complimentary bottle of champagne. I had read that the tower rooms at the Mirage were the best because they were larger, had a separate shower and tub, and had a few additional amenities that the deluxe rooms didn’t have. Our plane was late landing because some chump got held up at the border so we ended up arriving an hour later than I had told the hotel. My boyfriend had heard that slipping the desk clerk a twenty was a sure fire way to get an upgrade but to my pleasant surprise this wasn’t necessary as the Mirage had already upgraded us as per my request and also followed through on the champagne.
I can’t comment too much on the gambling in Vegas as I am not a big gambler and typically stick to video poker but we did hit up O’Shea’s and Casino Royale multiple times because the drinks are dirt cheap, obviously free if you’re gambling but regularly $1 beer and $1 for margaritas. There is also a beer pong table at the back of O’Shea’s that will surely keep you entertained for hours.
With regards to good eats on the strip, there is tons of selection and it can be done on the cheap. I hit up Stripburger in the Fashion Mall on the North end of the strip which proved to be a good choice. If you hit this burger joint make sure to try the atomic cheese fries, they are deadly. The highlight of my trip was likely the Charlie Palmer steakhouse in the Four Seasons. This was recommended to us as a great steak place and they happen to have a very affordable cut of the week special which comes as a set menu with a different cut of meat every week combined with a variety of sides and bottomless wine pairings…that’s right you heard me…bottomless wine pairings. I must say I was very impressed by this place. The food was delicious, the ambiance was nice, the service was attentive but not intrusive and the wine pairings were well thought-out. The chef even brought us out a few complimentary extras between our courses and a crème brule with a candle for my boyfriend’s 30th. Although this place is located at the end of the strip I suggest you give it a shot, you won’t regret it.
I also did some research on the best buffets in town and coming out on top was the buffet at the Wynn and the Bellagio Buffet. We waited a ridiculous amount of time to get into the Wynn on a Sunday morning and although there was a wide selection and the food was decent, I’m not sure it was worth the $40 each. Some other great spots to chow down are Il Fonaio in the New York New York hotel which was recommended to me by a friend. The portion size was good and it was inexpensive. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Bouchon in The Venetian. Although this was on the pricier side, the food was absolutely scrumptious. I would also highly recommend Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant in the Paris Hotel and the American chain, the Grand Luxe Café, located in the Venetian. There are also a lot of great happy hours on the strip where the restaurant will do half price apps and drinks for a few hours in the late afternoon or early evening so keep an eye out for those opportunities.
If you are going to go outlet shopping in Vegas, which I highly recommend as most of us can’t afford anything at the stores on the strip, you have three options. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets North, Las Vegas Premium Outlets South and Fashion Outlets, Las Vegas. I opted for the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North as it has a better selection of designer stores and it is easily accessible by bus from pretty much anywhere on the strip. The Las Vegas Premium Outlets South is also easily accessible by bus and the Fashion Outlets, Las Vegas is about 45 minutes away. Regardless of where you go shopping, make sure to google and print out the voucher for the VIP discount coupon book which can be picked up at customer service desk at any of the various outlet centers. The VIP coupon book can also be used at the Fashion Mall on the strip. I think I ended up saving over $150 with the coupon book.
I also recommend hitting the old strip which just happened to be on the way back from the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North. It’s a great chance to check out the old Vegas hotels like the Golden Nugget, the drinks are dirt cheap and it’s a great place to people watch as there are tons of interesting characters. I would avoid buying mixed drinks on the street because I question if there is in fact any alcohol in them but I would highly recommend the booths selling beers in various plastic mugs shaped like footballs or cowboy boots. Once you buy the mug it’s dirt cheap to fill it up and you have a great keep-sake to take home with you. I bet I looked very classy with a giant plastic cowboy boot sticking out of my purse the whole day.
Visiting Las Vegas Nightlife
If you are going to go clubbing on the strip, I recommend contacting the clubs in advance to get on the VIP list. Although the VIP list doesn’t apply after midnight, if you can make it before then you can save a lot of money. Some great clubs are XS’s open concept club at the Encore, Tryst’s waterfall that streams into the Wynn’s club or Pure the home Pussycat Dolls and an incredible view of the strip at Caesars. I also recommend checking out the various pamphlets available at the various hotels in the strip, they have tons of useful coupons for sightseeing along the strip.
Just remember, you can either go through your cash like water in Vegas or Visiting Las Vegas on the cheap is still possible if you do your homework and come prepared, you just have to know where to look.
Visiting Las Vegas? Check out these deals:
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