Las Vegas is a heckuva place.
If you had asked me back when I first turned 21, I would have told you that I had no interest in going to Las Vegas. Gambling?! Waste of money. Buffets?! Gross. Glitz and themed hotels?! Cheesy. No thank you. Then somewhere on the way I started having a little more fun and you know what? Las Vegas is a heckuva place. It's still ridiculous, but it's a fun ridiculous and I didn't learn my lesson: After a good 6-8 hours in the casino, I was actually up $5. Time to start planning the next trip.
saw the real Las Vegas. What I visited was more Las Vegas® and Old Vegas, which is the strip and downtown. Outside of these Disneylands, I'm sure that there is a far different side of Vegas, both good and bad. The next time I'm here, I'll have to spend more time off strip, where I suspect that there are some truly great local places, but for anyone headed to Vegas, here's my basic advice:
1. Forget that the monorail exists, and go public transit. The monorail is both not that useful because it drops about a quarter mile from the strip and not the best example of monorail technology. The bus, on the other hand, is a good deal. Be sure to pony up the $2 for the 24 pass for less stress.
2. From the airport, just take a cab. The shuttle buses are slightly less expensive ($6 per person), but a cab for two or more people is going to be less expensive.
4. Bring cash with you. ATMs in the hotel will run you $5 per withdrawal and less expensive ATMs are hard to find (There's one here for $3, here (4th floor, and broken when I tried), and supposedly one here, just in case).
5. Do have fun. If you decide to play, don't feel shy about asking the waitresses for a drink (but do tip $1 a drink) and make sure you're comfortable losing whatever you put up. Set a limit and stick with it. Shows are good too, but shop around for the best price. Tix4Tonite managed tickets for us to Love! at about a 20% discount (but better deals may have been about). Whatever you like to do, do it.
After the break, more pictures from everywhere, including the Stratosphere and a couple of other restaurants! Keep reading!