When planning a visit to Las Vegas, one of the most important choices to make is when to take your trip. The simple fact is that Nevada is a desert. It gets hot in the summer - often over a 100 degrees fahrenheit. Most hotels and restaurants are air conditioned but once you step outside, the heat can be oppressive. If you want to avoid the discomfort or the risk of your car overheating on a road trip, make sure to plan your visit for the cooler months.
A unique option for transportation around the city is the Las Vegas Monorail. Tickets can be purchased for a single ride, or all day, or for multiple days. Several stations are located inside of major hotels and casinos along the strip from the Sahara to the MGM Grand. This makes it a great way to travel the city without spending large sums on cab fares.
If you are looking for tips on where to stay, it obviously depends on your budget. For those looking for a cheaper option, I would recommend the Ellis Island Hotel and Casino. This hotel used to be part of the Super 8 Motel chain but has recently been renovated with newer furnishings and has become an independent hotel. I stayed here and it was clean and family friendly. It isn’t on the strip but it is within walking distance of the strip.
For those with a larger budget to spend on accommodations, the Paris Hotel and Casino is lovely with gorgeous Parisian stylized shops and restaurants. The Paris hotel has the added benefit of being on the strip with an easily accessible Monorail station.
Another big upside to the Paris hotel is that one of my favorite restaurants, the Hexx Kitchen and Bar, is located inside. Hexx offers brunch daily, along with dinner, dessert, and drinks at a fairly reasonable price for hotel dining.
The absolute best dining experience you can have in Las Vegas, however, comes with a breathtaking view. The Top of the World restaurant is located more than 800 feet above the Los Vegas strip at the top of the Stratosphere Hotel. The food is just as fantastic and decadent as you would imagine, with a stunning 360 degree view of the city. The dining experience is certainly one of the more expensive meals you can partake in when visiting Las Vegas, but in my opinion it is well worth the hefty price tag. If you can only do one pricey thing, this would absolutely be my pick.
One food spot that we were eager to try on our last trip to Las Vegas, but ran out of time to visit, is Holsteins, which specializes in burgers and over the top milkshakes. If you have the chance to eat here, let us know if the food is as delicious as it looks in all its pictures.
If you are in Vegas to gamble, there is one important warning to those who have asthma or other breathing conditions. While most public places in the United States no longer allow smoking indoors, nearly all of the casinos still permit it. You will also need to walk through casinos to get to your hotel room or to watch a show you have booked so take into mind that there are only a handful of non-smoking hotels and casinos, where smoking is prohibited within the building.
Non-Smoking Hotels and Casinos:
Concerts arenas themselves, however, are usually smoke-free environments, which is great news since enjoying a concert or two is a fantastic way to spend your trip. Las Vegas has some world famous acts. If you do plan to see a big name act or concert, like Celine Dion or Britney Spears during their Vegas-only shows, make sure to book tickets well in advance because they often sell out fast.
There are a variety of performance styles you can watch, though. Magic acts, comedy routines, and the classic Las Vegas impersonators are more affordable than big concerts, but are still great entertainment.
Cirque du Soleil is a fantastic choice for those who want twice the bang for your buck. Flying acrobatics are combined with musical extravaganza tributes in Michael Jackson One by Cirque du Soleil and The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil. If you are looking for some risque fun, Zumanity Cirque du Soleil offers adults-only cabaret-style gymnastics.
Las Vegas truly does have something for everyone.
You may be surprised to know that Sin City also has activities that are family friendly. Kids can enjoy observing, and in some cases for an additional price - interacting with, animals. Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, located at the Mirage, is a retreat from the bright lights of the strip where you can see several species of large cats up close and watch a dolphin show. For an additional fee, there is the option to play and even paint with the dolphins! Mandalay Bay gives you a more in depth view of aquatic life with their Shark Reef Aquarium. You can book some amazing additional adventures, like diving with the sharks, if you are so inclined.
For those who find shopping therapeutic, there is also plenty of retail therapy available. Designer brand shopping lines the strip and the interior of most major hotels. Kids and adults alike will enjoy unique shops, like the yummy M&M store.
The list of activities and entertainment to paint the town red in Las Vegas is too long to specify but if all of those possibilities are still not enough adventure, there are day-trips to occupy your time too. The Hoover Dam is a feat of American engineering and construction that spans the border of Arizona and Nevada state line, and it’s worth a tour. The Grand Canyon likewise resides outside of Las Vegas, and makes for an interesting excursion that can typically be purchased both online and through major hotels. Experience the natural wonder from a helicopter or the skywalk - a glass and steel suspension bridge that extends four thousand feet above the canyon.
Enjoy a trip to this exciting city. And please leave us a comment if you have any questions or suggestions for visiting Las Vegas, Nevada.