Viva Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is one of those places that EVERY person must visit after they turn 21. (What’s the point of going if you’re not 21?) I’ve now been there six times over the last three years…. and here’s why.
1. I like shiny things.. kind of like a ferret. Las Vegas is all things shiny and gaudy.
2. I’m a people person, I like to watch people… Vegas is a feeding ground for people watchers… there are just so many crazies out there. (Can you believe that probably 40% of Vegas tourists still wear fanny packs????)
3. I like to sit in 100 degree weather and watch attractive men with great bodies play pool volleyball while being served fabulous frozen drinks.
4. So many restaurants, so many shows, so many bars, so many things to see, do, eat, experience.
The problem with Las Vegas is that its overrated sometimes. It’s become the popular celebrity craze that has diminished some of the better highlights of that city. Trust me, its not worth waiting 3 hours outside Tao (at the Venetian) or Ghostbar (The Palms) just in hopes of catching a glimpse of Paris Hilton. Here are a list of some of my personal favorites and reccommendations for any person on their way to Sin City.
– Stay on the strip. Half the fun in the trip is staying on Las Vegas Boulevard. Stick with the big names, too… MGM, Mirage, Bellagio, Venetian, Treasure Island, Luxor, Mandalay, etc.
– I have stayed at Excalibur on my first trip. It’s ok if you bring kids or you’re really short on cash and don’t care about your digs Otherwise, you’ll be surrounded by screaming, running children and screaming frenzied parents. Fun place to walk around, don’t really reccommend staying.
– My second trip I stayed at Bellagio. Beautiful hotel. Very overpriced. Lovely to look at. I felt that if I touched anything, I might break it and the police would arrest me. God forbid I leave a fingerprint on the perfectly polished elevator door or something. This hotel is ideal for your status-loving upper-middle class type middle aged crowd. Or those who just want to brag that they can see the water fountain show out their window.
– Third trip was Luxor. Cool hotel. Inclinators (angled elevators) are especially fun, although the novelty wears off after the first day. The rooms seemed a little dark, and not enough lighting, but definitely a fun theme and nicely spaced out. (Good shopping!)
– Fourth and fifth trip – MGM Grand. Huge hotel. You may get lost. Tons of restaurants (all rediculously priced, but hey, you’re in Vegas.) The Lion Habitat is nice, but it seems like the Lions are drugged with a sedative or something, because they don’t do anything. MGM is a personal favorite of mine becuase the rooms are large (largest on the Strip), and you often find travel specialis which will price MGM just as competitive as Excalibur. Not as much of a theme here as Luxor, but a good bet.
– Sixth trip – Mandalay Bay. Just fabulous. Beautiful hotel, unfortunately towards the end of the strip so be prepared to walk if you want to check out the rest of Vegas. However, the hotel offers so much you really don’t ever have to leave the premesis. Lots of restaurants, great clubs, good music… my reccommendation.
It’s hard to rate restaurants in Vegas, because there are so many, and new ones opening every day with the hope of outdoing the others. Unfortunately, the land of $2.99 unlimited shrimp cocktail and prime rib have long gone. However, there still are some good finds for great deals, and great food, as well as a couple fine dining experiences that are worthwhile.
– The Monte Carlo Brewery (you guessed it, at the Monte Carlo). Full blown brewery offering great beers at great prices. You can get a full pint for approximately $5. (What a bargain for Vegas!) Try the pale lager… very refreshing. Not only is the beer good, but the food is decent (let’s say a step above Bennigans or TGI Fridays) and its priced adequately enough that you can definitely enjoy quite a few beers! (If unsure, I reccommend their burgers… large, juicy, very satisfying.)
– The Burger Bar. (Mandalay Bay). Wow. This place rules. You can choose between approx. 5 different types of beef, 10 different types of cheese, and 20 different types of toppings. Not to mention the 7 different bun/bread choices you have. (All numbers are estimates.) And for a reasonable price. Definitely a great place to stop for lunch!!!
– Pearl (MGM Grand). High priced fancy Japanese place. Sushi is great as well as the rest of the entrees. The place is just well designed, pretty to look at, and you get a decent bang for your buck.
– Aureole (Mandalay Bay). I have mixed emotions about this place. The first time I went, I was amazed. The food was heavenly, the service made me feel like royalty, and the wine list (on a computerized Palm Pilot-looking machine) was to die for. Yes, you’re paying approx $100+ a head. The second time I went, food was still great, but service was terrible. I’m young, so I think they just didn’t find me as important as the fancy-pants forty-something hotshot in his Brooks Brothers suit at the table next to me smoking his cigar. So if you want GREAT food, definitely go, but beware that the service can vary.
– Buffets. Any buffet. All buffets are typical, unless you’re looking for extraordinary (Spice Market at Aladdin or Bally’s Sunday Brunch). For the most part, you can’t go wrong wtih Bellagio, Mandalay, or MGM buffets.
– I’m a huge fan of Studio 54. (MGM Grand) The place is enormous, the music is varied, and the people like to have fun. You defintiely feel a vibe coming from the place, and you can let loose without feeling like everyone is checking you out.
– RumJungle. (Mandalay Bay). Wow. Exotic, sexy, fun. Its just worth the trip to view the decor.
– Centrifuge (MGM Grand). Fun bar where the waiters/bartenders jump on the bar every thirty minutes to do a booty-shaking dance that leaves the drinkers drooling over gyrating hips.
– Ra (Luxor). It’s a fun time. Beware – check which music is playing on which night. Certain nights are house, certain nights solely hip hop. It will not be fun if you don’t like the music playing.
– I’ve been to Light, Tao, and Pure. If you’re looking for the see-and-be-seen crowd, then go ahead. It’s long lines, obnoxious people, and intimidating security. I found that normally when you get inside, the music is mediocre, and the crowd can be just as standoffish. If you do go, I reccommend that ladies go directly to the security guard handling the exit and ask if a group of single ladies can jump the line. Its worked for me every time, and half the time I get in for free.
– My other beware – Coyote Ugly (NYNY). I’m from the NYC area. I’ve been to Coyote Ugly. I’ve seen the movie. This bar was a disappointment. It’s tiny, don’t be fooled. The girls that dance on the bar are very rehearsed, and there’s no dancing. It seems like everyone just sits there watching. Also, be careful not to lean against the rear bar… security is wierd about it.
Beware, people… drinking is NOT cheap in Vegas. Expect to pay $7.00 ber bottled beer and $10.00 for mixed drink. I reccommend the liquor stands at many hotels. For example, NYNY offers a great daquiri stand that serves yards of daquiris in great flavors at reasonable prices.
This is a small synopsis of my basic reccommendations (and rants.) You may perhaps feel different, but I think its all a matter of personal taste, opinion, and experience. Feel free to let me know if you have anything to add.
Tags:20-Something in Las Vegas