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Airport Transfer for first time visitor
As you come out of the arrivals building into the heat outside you will feel for the first time that you have truly arrived. The airport is located at the end of the Strip but there is not much that can be seen at first. The fleet of stretch limos parked outside will however give you an insight into what you might expect. We even saw a stretch range rover that looked more like an army assault vehicle. And then we saw something that would be familiar to any Londoner…. could it be, surely not here, yes it is, we’ve flown half way round the world and one of the first things we see is a bloke in a Manchester Utd football shirt!!
A good tip for the first time visitor, unless you are in a hurry, is not to get a taxi from the airport to your hotel but take one of the shuttle buses that ply their trade outside the arrivals area. As well as being cheaper, you get a free tour, especially if you are staying downtown and get dropped off last. Depending on where you are staying this is likely to take some time but you will get some great views and it will give you an idea of the geography of the Strip.
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Who would drive in a place like this?
The streets are big!
If you're a tourist here and you've driven here on your vacation then just leave your car at the hotel!
There are plenty of ways to get around Las Vegas - Monorail at one end, lots of hotel buses and shuttles run between different areas, there is a local bus service as well. If you are brave you could even walk!
Fly or drive. Flights are...
Fly or drive. Flights are relatively inexpensive and the drive can be a straight through shot depending on where you're coming from.
Walk when you're on the strip. You'll be more inclined to walk in and check things out versus when you're driving. Plus it can somethimes take you about 40 minutes to get from one end of the strip to the other.
By bus or car, I've done...
By bus or car, I've done them all. If you drive I suggest that you leave your vehicle in the hotel ramp until you leave. There are plenty of other ways to get around while your in Vegas.
One of the cheapest would be by the trolley or bus that runs along the strip. I usually take a taxi because it's a lot faster.
If you are flying into Vegas and if your wanting to hit the casinos right away I suggest getting a taxi. If your on a budget than take the shuttle. It will take you some time to get to your hotel with possible stops along the way to other hotels.
Save money then u can shop more
There isn't any need to take a taxi in Las Vegs if you are on the Strip. The buses run 24/7 and they are usually 10 min apart and only a couple of bucks. Plus you get to meet the locals this way.
Think about it -the taxis are in the same traffic jams as the buses so why spend 10 x's more.
The monorail may be fast but i find too much walking involved when i reach my destination as the rail is at the back of the casinos & some are huge & by the time u get there, it would have been faster by bus not to mention your weary legs. Check map first.
Also if u want to go to a giant Factory Outlet, the MGM has about 4 daily trips to Primm, Nevada.
It costs $15 but free if stay at the MGM. It is on the border of Nevada & California- i have a picture of one foot in Nevada & one in California. The prices are much more reasonable than on the Strip.
Also, u should go to Fremont Street your first nite to buy all of your gifts & souvenirs-lowest prices in Vegas. Then what u can't get there, you can purchase elsewhere- you'll be mad when u see all the stuff later that you could have bought there cheap. While there, admire the 3 block $70 million lite & laser show in the sky while shopping- from 7pm til 12M. Bus driver will tell u where to transfer around the Stratosphere to get to Freemont.
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Around the strip
The best way to enjoy the sights of the strip is by foot. The strip is designed to be pretty pedestrian friendly with bridges going between certain hotels (such as between New York and MGM, as pictured) because the roads are so big and dangerous. Some parts of the strip even have outdoor escalators! If you're ambling about then do it by foot but if you are aiming to be somewhere then take the monorail because things on the strip appear to be alot closer than they are and you'll tire yourself out! We hopped off The Deuce on our way back from Fremont St with the intention of seeing The Sirens at T.I. we thought we were a minute or two away from T.I. but turns out we were ALOT further away than we expected!!
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Getting Around Las Vegas - My POV
I've never been ripped off by a cab driver in Vegas, but like in any city, you should know the approximate distances between places like your hotel and the airport if you plan to travel by taxi. Because traffic on the Strip is so heavy, taxi drivers will oftentimes take you around the back ways and even down alleys. Don't feel bad about speaking up or asking the driver where (s)he is taking you if it looks like you're going the wrong way.
It's a good idea to check with your hotel to see if they have an airport shuttle. Some hotels (the Station Casinos and the Arizona Charlie Casinos) have both airport and local shuttles to sister properties.
Usually we catch a Bell Trans or Gray Line shuttles from the airport to our hotel if out hotel doesn't have a shuttle or if we arrive outside of hotel shuttle operating hours. Prices range from about $10-$20 RT depending on where you're going.
If you need to get out to Henderson or Lake Mead, it'll be tough to find a shuttle and taxis are expensive - about $40 in a direct line on the freeway with traffic to Sunset Station from McCarran Airport. The best thing to do is rent a limo for $35 and up (you can bargain sometimes) for an hour and get to your destination in style. If it looks like you have extra time, stop by a grocery store and stock up on snacks or drinks.
Vegas has a great public transit bus system, but we only catch it in the winter, because it's just hot in the summer :) You can go anywhere you want for $1.25 each way generally.
The Strip monorail just opened up this summer. We rode it a few times when it was free and in its development stages - they used to use old Disney monorails. I think it's a gimmick - a good one - to get people in the casinos - yeah, you avoid the street crowds, but you have to walk through a good deal of hotel property to get to the boarding station at most sites.
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Great Transportation System!
Vegas has a great transportation system! Although my mom has a horror story of waiting for a cab at the airport for over 45min. I have never had a problem getting to, around or away from Las Vegas.
Taxis are the easiest way to get around. You are never more than 50 feet from the nearest cab no matter where you are at. All the cab drivers that I have experienced are always very nice and polite. Even the one's that are in a bad mood are very polite about it. They are very helpful and have all the inside info about their city. So ask for their advice and any suggestions they might have.
From the airport use the Grey Line Shuttle to get to your hotel. You can purchase tickets at the airport or better yet order them with your travel package and you will get a discount. Taxi service from the airport to the strip is very reasonable.
There are a lot of ways to get around in Vegas. There are free monorails that run from the MGM to Balley's. From Excalibur to the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Or from the Monte Carlo to the Bellagio. There is a trolley service that runs the entire strip with over 15 stops for under $2.
We start out by taking the monorail to a different part of the strip. Then walk to where we want to go. After several hours of sight seeing or when our legs are about to fall off, we grab a cab back to the hotel. Most fares will average $8 to $10.
The mistake that we made was to walk everywhere, forgetting how big the Strip was! So - in order to make the most of your time at Las Vegas, i would suggest using the public transport, whether it be the monorails or the buses or by taxi!!!!!
We flew in on Southwest...
We flew in on Southwest Airlines.
We rented a car and had a blast!! Bring a map though! Las Vegas is huge and you'll wear out your walking shoes trying to do the Strip by foot. I'd suggest taking advantage of the tremendous free parking and driving from sight to sight. Even then we did, in fact, walk a lot.
There are also lots of busses but if you use them a lot, it does add up and we found renting a car to be much more economical - not to mention the fact that it gave us such freedom!
Taxi's vs. Monorail
Take the taxis in Vegas. Even if you go to two or three different places a day, it will cost you only about $20 including the tip since it's all so close. The monorail goes to most of the hotels and the stratosphere and it can cost about $10 for unlimited use per person per day or $3 per person per ride. I just found the taxis more convenient if you're in groups of 2-4.
Along the Strip, there is the...
Along the Strip, there is the 'Cat Bus' - a cheap alternative to sightseeing trolleys. Plus there are two monorails connecting casinos - one starts at the MGM Grand and takes you near Cesars Palace, the other one runs along the outer strip in order to connect the Mandalay, Luxor, Excalibur....
Travel by foot whenever you...
Travel by foot whenever you can. (Easy for me to say -- I was there in February.) It's the best way to people watch and see the sights.
There's a perfectly good bus that will take you from the strip to downtown and back again, but it can get awfully full (watch your purse or your wallet) and, as a result, may pass right by you as you wait.
I don't think taxis are allowed to cruise the Strip for fares. If you need one, get the doorman at the casino to help you. If you're in a hurry, tell the driver to use the access road, not the strip -- it's much faster and cheaper.
AFTER YOU LAND...
At the airport, right outside the doors at 'Baggage Claim', you'll see people in line to buy a shuttle ticket. Buy a $7.50 round-trip shuttle ticket to your hotel on the Strip.
Use half the ticket when you arrive and the second half for the day you depart. The clerk will explain how the return shuttle ride works.
Once on the Strip, if you plan on visiting the different hotels, take advantage of the free tram rides that connect certain hotels to one another. This will keep you off the sidewalk and out of the hot sun. There is a tram that connects:
(1) Mandalay, Luxor & Excalibur
(2) Monte Carlo & Bellagio
(3) Mirage & Treasure Island
(4) Bally's & MGM
These trams help you 'beat the heat' and get you up & down the Strip more efficiently. Use them at every opportunity to conserve your energy, because hotel-hopping can be very draining. (Combine this with buying cold water at the hotel gift shops along the way and you'll be 'cool' all afternoon.)
There is also a $2 city bus you can take, the CAT 301. This bus runs along the Strip and makes plenty of stops along the way. This bus is great to zip you back to your hotel at the end of the day. (For more information, see my 'Transportation' suggestion #2.)
Taxi cabs are also readily available, especially on the Strip in front of each hotel.
i have planed trained...
i have planed trained auotmobiled and even bussed in to vegas, due to the proximity of vegas to where i live, a ten hour drive to there is a blast because i am usually with my friends, sometimes newcomers and along the way we can talk up some excitement! otherwise, fly in. its quicker, you can check your baggage at the airport in some cases, and you can start having fun in sin city quicker!
i prefere to walk everywhere on the strip. the sweltering heat in august doesnt bothe me because were only minutes from an airconditioned casino. the monorails are a plus as well. the strip is a pedestrian friendly place to be. the new walk ways offer a great photo-op place. by the way the venetian spent $4 mil on theirs.
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