Places to See, Things to Do, Cheap Hotels
"had to take a shot at this cute dude who works at"
Try to see Ceasar's Palace, this casino resort is another must see. One that has been around for years but nevertheless their malls, with the changing sky ceiling from day to nite, is impressive, and the Roman architecture and daily events. Check it out. The costumes of the employees are cool too, like this guy!
"huge statue in Ceasar Palace Lobby"
3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
the Desert Passage is one humongous shopping mall inthe back of the roperty and it's really not much to write home about. the big attraction is some sort of "rain" display where water falls from the ceiling into a reflecting pool below. We guess it's for all those people who never ever see rain in nature.
"Places to Visit and Things to do:"
A.J. Hackett Bungy - If you're not quite up to skydiving, but you can't wait to soar through the air, this is the place for you. You can bungy jump off a 201 foot tall tower. 810 Circus Circus Drive. Phone (702) 385-4321
Circus Circus Grand Slam Adventuredome Theme Park - Opens daily at 11am. This theme park offers thrilling rides in a climate controlled atmosphere and has been voted the most popular theme park in Vegas. Park entry is free but you will need to purchase ride tickets inside the park. For free Circus acts several times a day, you'll need to venture inside the casino.
Community College of Southern Nevada Planetarium & Observatory - View the stars and learn more about our universe at the public presentations every Friday and Saturday offered at this observatory. After the last show each night you can use the Student Observatory and examine the heavens.
The Fountains of Bellagio - Nothing is stranger or more fascinating that a huge lake in the middle of the Nevada desert. But that's just what you'll find in front of the Bellagio. Even better, several times an hour the water comes alive and puts on a show reminscent of the synchronized swimming spectacles of the 40s. There are several different shows for your viewing pleasure, and the breeze of the lake is fantastic when the desert heat has you down. Free.
Hoover Dam - Just 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, this impressive engineering feet is worth a trip. The Visitors Center is open from 8am to 5:45pm. The dam is particularly crowded during the summer, and reservations are recommended if you want to take a tour. Traffic can also cause you an hour or so delay during this busy time.
Desert Princess Cruise - If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more relaxed version of the dam and Lake Mead, consider taking a cruise on this 19th century sternwheeler.
Dolphin Habitat/Secret Garden - The Mirage - Learn about dolphins and enjoy the garden like environment at this hotel/casino.
Ethel M. Chocolates Factory & Cactus Garden - Learn everything about chocolate making when you take a self-guided tour of these facilities. After you've had enough sweets, head over to the cactus garden for a view of these plants in their natural environment.
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving - Here's a way to skydive without jumping out of a plane. Experience the sensation in this 21-foot vertical wind tunnel. 200 Convention Center Drive. Phone: (702) 731-4768
The Flying J. Cookery - This truck stop attracts celebrities and locals alike. If you're looking for biscuits and gravy that's second to none, this is the place for you. Exit 46 off Interstate 15. 702-649-2001
Fountain Show in the Forum Shops at Caesars - Experience history as the Roman statues in this area come alive for an eight minute show every hour on the hour. Runs between 11am to 10 pm, 7 days a week.
Gameworks - When you've had your fill of the lights and the sounds of the casino, head over to Gameworks and see what else those lights can do. Lose yourself in the huge variety of virtual reality games or test your skills against the 75 foot rock climbing wall. For those who'd rather watch than participate, there is a lounge area for those over 21. One caution, prices can be steep for arcade games -- most virtual reality games cost $3.00 a ride. However, you're likely to spend far less here than you would at the casinos, and you're guaranteed to have a good time. Several pricing packages are available to make the fun more affordable, and sometimes you can find discount coupons. (Even though ours were expired, they honored them anyway.)
Imax Theater -Luxor Hotel - You haven't seen a movie until you've see one that's been shot in an Imax format. Whether in 2 or 3D the sharp picture and amazing scope of these films will blow you away.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Motorsports Complex - Visit one of the 24 racing venues, take a tour of the track, or become the driver you've always dreamed of being by taking one of the many racing school classes.
Las Vegas Museum of Natural History - The animated dinosaurs and live-shark exhibit are favorites at this museum devoted to giving people an appreciation of wildlife.
Lion Habitat - MGM Grand - This free exhibit is a great way to pass the time while your friends wait in line for the buffet. Watch the lions play with 2 trainers who amuse the lions with keys and balls. The transparent walkway allows you to walk under the lions when they're resting or sleeping for an incredibly close up view. Pictures are available with the lion cubs for $20.00 each. The only drawback to this fantastic section is the canned lion roar over the jungle soundtrack.
The Manhattan Express - Set in and through the New York, New York hotel, this premiere roller coaster is the first to include a roll that makes you feel the way a pilot does during a barrel roll in an airplane. True devotees will have to try it, but at $10.00 a ride, the coaster feels a little flat and unexciting. $5.00 re-rides are offered to all, but there appear to be few takers. If you stay at the MGM or the New York, New York, you'll probably get a coupon book that offers half priced rides. At $5.00 it's worth the trip, $10.00 is questionable. You'll find better monetary value playing at the arcade that surrounds the coaster or heading down to the reasonably priced (and highly atmospheric) food court below.
Masquerade Village - Rio Hotel - This carnival atmosphere combines shops, food, entertainment, and a parade above the casino floor. There are 4 themed parades daily, and guests may ride on the floats.
M&M World - Little more than a chance to buy any variety of M&M product, devotees still manage to cart out merchandise by the ton. Fans particularly enjoy the opportunity to purchase M&M's in any color they can imagine. One caveat -- the Ethel M Desert Bar on the upper level is more interesting in your imagination than in reality. Picture the desert bar at your local buffet and you'll get the idea.
MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park - This outdoor theme park is attached to the casino and features rides, games, food, and entertainment. Open during summer only.
Nevada Zoological Foundation - A great place for you to view exotic and endangered animals and let younger kids enjoy the petting zoo. For those who really want to understand the habitat, the zoo also offers half-day or full-day jeep Desert Eco-Tours.
Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort - See a remnant of the original adobe fort built by the first Morman settlers.
Piero's - This in-spot for locals fills up quickly. If you're looking for personalized attention, it's the only place you need to be. Reservations recommended. 355 Convention Center Drive.
Shark Reef - Mandalay Bay - Swim with the fishes (well almost) as you walk underneath them in this exciting exhibit. A plexiglass tube enables you to experience the ocean without risking your life or having to wear scuba gear. $12.95 for adults, $9.95 for children.
Star Trek: The Experience - Las Vegas Hilton - Beam aboard this Enterprise re-creation for a heavenly experience.
Stratosphere Tower - Enjoy the observation tower, the roller coaster, and the free fall style Big Shot at heights you've probably never experienced before.
Theaters of Sensation - Venetian - Go back in time, head to Venice, or go underwater with these 3D motion rides.
Treasure Island Show - Treasure Island - Journey back to a time of outlaws as you watch the battle between the British Navy and a rouge band of pirates in front of Treasure Island every 90 minutes. (starts at 4pm daily.)
Budget Suites of America
1500 Stardust Rd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/732-1500 or 800/752-1501
An excellent and nearby alternative to the Westward Ho (often crowded with conventioneers, slot-club members, and tournament players) is this sprawling complex on the corner of Industrial and Stardust roads. Every room here is a minisuite, with a living-dining room, a small separate bedroom, and a full kitchenette; the TV sits between the living room and bedroom. Weekly rates offer a good discount; rooms are least expensive on the second and third floors, and cheaper if you bring your own linens and towels. The Frontier, Desert Inn, Stardust, Riviera, and Circus Circus are all within walking distance. AE, DC, MC, V. 639 rooms. Pool, spa.
Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino
Stateline, Nevada 89019
Phone: 702/382-1212 or 800/386-7867
This is one of the three Primm family hotel-casinos 40 miles west of Las Vegas on I-15 right at the California state line. It opened in August 1994 to join Whiskey Pete's and the Primadonna. The trio of casinos are a little world all their own, connected by a free monorail (across the freeway between Pete's and Primadonna) and a free elevated train (between Bill's and Primadonna). A free Ferris wheel fronts Primadonna and a flume ride (admission) meanders through the casino and around the grounds of Buffalo Bill's. But the main attraction here is Desperado, as ferocious a roller coaster as you're likely ever to ride: a 225-foot 60-degree drop, during which your car reaches speeds of 85 miles per hour. To get people out here from Las Vegas, Bill's has to make it worth their while, and does so with $21 rooms, very inexpensive food, and excellent funbooks; a family of four would be hard-pressed to spend $100 for an overnight stay, even if they did everything there was to do. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 1,238 rooms. 4 restaurants, lounge, pool, casino, showroom, RV park.
2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/734-0410 or 800/634-3450
You can always find a room at Circus Circus; if they don't have one for you at their own hotel, they'll locate one in another. But beware, this place is both a madhouse and a maze. Circus Circus has expanded several times over the years; now it can be hard to figure out where you're going, and you'll run into crowds of similarly confused people while you try. The registration area is in the front of the hotel under the pink porte cochere, but the room elevators are all the way at the back, necessitating a long jostling stroll (with luggage) through the casino. Upstairs you'll find painted circus tents in the hallway and some of the most garishly appointed guest rooms in Las Vegas: bright-red carpets, matching red chairs, pink walls and, on one wall, red-, pink-, and blue-striped wallpaper. The casino attracts so many visitors that drivers will find it a major achievement just getting into the parking lot. On a Saturday night the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard leading up to Circus Circus is often gridlocked; the valet parking sign reads "Full" (though you may be able to get help--for a toke) and the nearest parking space is halfway to Arizona. (If you spend a few minutes learning the back way in, from Industrial Road, and locating alternative parking, you'll save yourself a lot of grief.) Circus Circus is a favorite of families: Parents can drop the kids off at the midway to play games or watch the circus acts while the adults hit the slots; five-minute circus acts are performed every 20 minutes from 11 AM to midnight. The most recent boon to families is Grand Slam Canyon, a five-acre theme park opened in August 1993 directly behind the hotel, offering a flume ride, a roller coaster, bumper cars, laser tag, and kiddie rides. Some of the kitschiest gift shops in Vegas are at this hotel; you can buy Elvis decanters, $80 slot replicas, Vegas bells, toothpick holders, and thimbles here.
"More Cheaper Hotels"
El Cortez Hotel
600 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/385-5200 or 800/634-6703
Here is a good deal in lodging: a room for two in the downtown area for $23 a night--available on a walk-in basis only, and not on Saturday. The two floors of tiny rooms have twin beds, a small TV, and a narrow window with a view of Fremont Street. Rooms in the tower are newer, larger, and only a little more expensive--up to $40. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 315 rooms. 2 restaurants, bar, casino.
Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino
301 E. Fremont St.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/388-2400 or 800/274-5825
The decor of this 34-story hotel (the tallest building in Nevada for 15 years, until it was eclipsed by the Stratosphere Tower) perpetuates the Irish theme of the casino. The marquee is green, the bellmen sport green pants and green ties, the cocktail waitresses wear green dresses, and you'll walk to your room on--you guessed it--green carpeting. But when you reach your room, you'll find that the door is orange, the bedspreads tan, and the walls light brown--to complement the green curtains and carpets. The views are of Fremont Street or the neighboring Four Queens. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 650 rooms. 2 restaurants, lounge, spa, casino.
195 E. Tropicana Ave.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/798-0728 or 800/466-8356
Welcome to the largest Motel 6 in the United States, with 877 rooms, a pool, and a big neon sign. Rooms here look like those of any other Motel 6, but when travelers think in terms of cheap accommodations, they think of this chain, so the place tends to get booked up fast. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 608 rooms. Pool.
Stateline, Nevada 89019
Phone: 702/386-7867 or 800/386-7867
A Ferris wheel out front, a full-size working carousel, and a small bowling alley in the children's arcade are the focal points of the Primadonna's carnival theme. Like its sister properties, rooms are cheap and large, with king-size beds and cable TV, and furnishings are brightly colored. The casino gets busy, and bands play in the showroom. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 666 rooms. Restaurant, bar, casino, children's arcade.
Sam's Town Hotel and Casino
5111 Boulder Hwy.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89122
Phone: 702/456-7777 or 800/634-6371
Sam's Town is named for Sam Boyd, the pioneer gambler and owner who built a small grubstake into one of the largest casino companies--a closely held corporation of family and friends--in Nevada; he died in 1993 at the age of 86. His Boyd Corporation now owns Sam's, the Fremont, the California, and the Stardust in Las Vegas, and the Eldorado and Joker's Wild in Henderson. This property is far from the center of activity and close to the desert, which gives its Old West decor some authenticity. Indeed, Sam's excels at perpetuating the Western theme: Everyone wears garters and string ties; the food is good, plentiful, and inexpensive; and there's a big Western-wear store on the property. In July 1994 Sam's Town completed a major expansion and total renovation of the property that resulted in 450 new rooms, a nine-story glass-roof atrium complete with tall live trees, cobblestone paths, rock waterfall, and babbling brooks traversed by wooden bridges. There's also a free laser-and-dancing-waters musical show (8 and 10:30 PM). The $100 million expansion also added two new al fresco restaurants, an improved pool area, and the best sports bar in town (half-court basketball, anyone?). AE, D, DC, MC, V. 650 rooms. 6 restaurants, lounge, pool, spa, bowling, volleyball, casino, RV park.
Westward Ho Motel and Casino
2900 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Phone: 702/731-2900 or 800/634-6803