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Vegas Basics

If you're planning a trip to Vegas in the near future there are a few basic
things you should know. First things first, walking shoes are a must for any
trip to Vegas. You will probably be spending a lot of time on your feet and
will need shoes that can handle standing in lines and walking quite nicely.

Second, the weather in Vegas is fairly predictable. You are likely to
experience rather cool nights, particularly during the months between October
and April so bring some warm clothes. You should also be prepared for a lot of
sunshine and pack copious amounts of sunscreen in order to protect your skin.

Remember that the times around holidays are often the busiest times in Vegas if
you want to avoid the higher prices and larger crowds you should avoid booking
during these times. And if those are the times you absolutely wish to stay and
play in Vegas you should make plans and book well ahead of time to make sure
you have your first choice in accommodations.

It is important to remember that Vegas is indeed a desert town and that you
will need to drink plenty of water and moisturize more than you might be
accustomed to. This is a much drier climate than many people experience in
their day-to-day lives and the heat and dryness can sneak up on you for a
double whammy if you aren't prepared.

If you're a golfer, you've found heaven and should come prepared. This means
you should bring your best clubs along with you and be prepared to play a few
rounds. You should probably also bring a nice set of dress clothes in order to
catch some of the great shows that are always playing in Vegas.

While Vegas is famous for big spenders, it is quite possible to spend thriftily
and have a nice vacation for two at around $100 per day. At the other end of the
spectrum, big spenders can drop thousands on one meal very easily. Pay attention
to the places you are considering before you enter if you are on a limited
budget.

If you're planning to stray far from your hotel or resort, it's a good idea if
you plan to rent a car or drive your own. The distances here can be quite
conceiving and you can easily loose track of time while enjoying yourself
inside the many casinos.

Vegas is almost as famous for weddings as it is for Casinos. If you are hoping
to get married Vegas style you have a lot of styles from which to choose and
you are not by any means alone. More than 122,000 couples apply for marriage
licenses in Vegas each year. The licensing fees for marriage in Vegas is around
$55 (this is the current rate, keep in mind that this rate is subject to change)
and then there are the fees involved for the chapel you use, the services
offered, etc. You can choose to go as informal and small or as bold and lavish
as you can afford.

One of the most important things to remember about Vegas is like the new
commercials claim, "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas". So let your hair
down and have some fun during your time here and be sure to make plans for your
return trip.

This can be a wonderful vacation experience for you whether you are planning
marriage, a golf smorgasbord, a gambling festival, to see your favorite act, or
just to spend time with the family hanging out around the pool. Your trip to
Vegas is what you make of your trip to Vegas. I suggest you have as much fun as
possible. Enjoy the sights, watch the shows, enjoy the many great buffets, and
spend some time at the hotel spa relaxing and rejuvenating as you prepare to go
back home and face the outside world yet again.

Tips for the Las Vegas Traveler

To get from the airport to your hotel in style, you may consider taking a
limousine. The airport also runs a shuttle service and there are several taxi
services you can employ.

Remote check in has become quite popular. If you are staying at Paris, MGM
Grand, Bally's, Caesar's Palace, or the Flamingo, you are able to check in once
you get to the airport. They give you your room key at the airport and you can
go straight to your room without the hassle of waiting in line at the front
desk.

There are several free guides to tell you what is going on at any given time in
Las Vegas. "What's On" magazine will tell you about all of the buffets, shows,
restaurants and malls in the area. It also has multiple ads for tours for the
Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Death Valley.
Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Because of the dry air of the
desert setting, you can lose more fluid than you think. Always stop and get some
water or a drink every few hours to rehydrate yourself.

Always be careful with your purse or wallet. This is especially true around
crowds. At the Fremont Street Experience, there are a lot of people standing
around and it is a pickpocket's heaven. Somebody may accidentally bump into
you. Check your pockets afterward.

Don't try to walk from Fremont Street back to the strip. You will walk through
area where there are not a lot of people even in the daytime. Ladies, be
especially careful.

When crossing the street, make sure to use the crosswalks. You can be fined for
not following the sign. Also, wait for the WALK before you cross. Local people
will fly down the strip and you could be injured. Many of the people driving
cars are also tourists who are sightseeing while driving and not paying
complete attention to the road.

Tips for Playing in the Casino

The first thing you should do when approaching a game or table is to see what
the minimum and maximum bets are. Watch if you go to the same one several
times, they change these limits Thursday through Sunday sometimes. Also, if the
bet limits are too high, try the downtown casinos. They are routinely lower than
the strip casinos.

Throw out the mindset that the dealer wants you to lose. He is a working guy
just like you and it is just a job to him. Help him out by tipping him when you
can. You will find he will be helpful in changing coin or explaining the game to
you. They want you to win, after all, the more you win, the better the tip will
be.

If you find yourself in need of chips, go to the table and place your money on
the table surface. Never try to hand the dealer the money, they will not take
it. It could be considered as a bribe. When you place it on the table, they
will pick it up and ask you what you want.
Be careful of the free drinks offered in the casino. They will give you all you
want for free. They want you to be intoxicated and drunk. They want you to keep
playing and, hopefully, losing. They do have juices and soda for free as well.

If you are at the table playing a hot game and need to leave for a few minutes,
just ask the dealer to "cover your chips." If you need to get some fresh air or
take a quick trip to the bathroom, they will cover your chips with a cloth and
watch them for you. This is quite helpful if you don't want to lose your spot
at a table where you are having a good run. Don't abuse the privilege and don't
be gone longer than half an hour.

Vegas for the Eternal Planner

Are you a gambler? Seriously, do you take your chances on everything or are you
a careful planner? Do you through caution to the wind with solid faith that
everything will work out in the wind or do you try to control every aspect of
the environment around you. I've noticed that in this world there are those
that seem born to gamble, to take chances and take risks and those that agonize
over he slightest and smallest of decisions often second guessing themselves
into oblivion and back again before ultimately deciding to do that which they
truly wish to do.

There are people who are far too capricious with lady luck and those who harbor
no illusions about her fickle nature. Whichever type of person you are, there is
a game for you to play in Vegas. Yes, even those who don't gamble and aren't
willing to risk a single penny can find something fun and fabulous to do and
enjoy during their stay in this great city.

Vegas is beginning to transform itself from "Sin City" to a more respectable
place to have and bring children. There will always be the shows that this city
is so famous for but they are often tempered with afternoon magic shows, clowns,
and music reviews that honor performers from innocent (and not so innocent) days
gone by. Where else on earth could you see Elvis Presley walking next to Marilyn
Monroe and Diana Ross? Where else on earth can you see a clown walking around
almost (if not) 24 hours out of each and every day? There are so many strange
and wonderful things to see and do in this city that even if you've never set
foot inside a casino and still have no intentions of doing so, there are still
many, many things you can find to keep you entertained and happy.

In addition to the many shows, the shopping in Vegas is almost as good as it is
in Milan, New York, and Paris. There are thrill rides that are decidedly not for
the faint of heart and great shows and experiences to keep all members of the
family happy and entertained for days to come. There are museums, state parks,
and the beautiful backdrop of desert scenery. There are weddings on every
corner and new beginnings at every turn. This is a city of infinite
possibilities that go far beyond the doors of any casino.

If you're not sure what you'd like to do in Vegas, my first suggestion is that
you find a spa that will let you hide out from the world for your entire first
day. Allow yourself to be pampered and primped and treated completely and
utterly like the prince or princess you are deep down inside. Once you've begun
to really relax and are ready to think about the many options that abound.
Consider your budget and choose your activities according to your spending
abilities. There are actually enough free activities in Vegas to keep you busy
for at least 3 days if not 4 or more (depending on your interests and how many
of the paid adventures you'd like to participate in).

Beyond that, the problem for many lies in deciding how much money to spend
where and how much money you are willing to leave up to fate, lady luck, and
the mad, mad whims of man.

The Vegas Experience

Vegas stands out like a jewel across the desert. The bright lights can be seen
from great distances and act as a beacon bringing in droves of visitors in
search of riches, romance, and a myriad of other goals year after year. If the
lights weren't enough from a distance, once you've entered Vegas you will
discover that the lights and sounds are even more pronounced up close and
personal. Vegas is probably the ultimate experience in sound and light. If
you're not hearing the chinking of slots or music from the Elvis impersonators
you are hearing chapel bells from someone getting married along the strip.

Whether you are coming to Vegas for the casinos and hopes of finding fame and
fortune, the fabulous shows and big name headliners, the wonderful food that is
one of the biggest sins to be found in this city, golf, marriage and happily
ever after, or the nightlife that has earned Vegas the title of 'Sin City'. You
are well on your way to an experience you are unlikely to forget.

While Vegas has not always been thought of us an appropriate vacation
destination for those with families, this city is really trying to mend its
ways and foster a more family-friendly reputation. They are even developing
resorts and hotels with kids and family entertainment in mind. From theme park
like atmospheres to everything in between the Vegas hotels of today are
marketing to a much younger audience.

If you haven't checked out some of the newer hotel and resort experiences in
Vegas, perhaps now is the ideal time in which to do so. There are so many fun
ways to enjoy your time in Vegas that the problem isn't choosing which casino
to visit or which hotel you want to stay in, it's deciding which attractions
you must see and which attractions you can actually live without.

In order to attract visitors hotels and resorts are going to further and
further extremes and levels of competition. Some of these hotels have even gone
to the extent of bringing thrill rides into the mix in an effort to attract new
guests and thrill seekers. If it isn't rides that are being offered it's the
biggest shows and brightest stars to perform for your pleasure. With the tight
competition among casinos for your business it's hard to imagine just how much
money these hotels and casinos are bringing in each and every year but you can
rest assured they wouldn't be constantly building, upgrading, and offering more
and more features and services if it wasn't a highly profitable endeavor for
them.

The fierce competition among hotels and casinos is good news to some extent for
you as a potential guest. The tightness of the competition keeps the prices
relatively affordable and allows you to pick and choose which hotel you want
according to the services and amenities they offer rather than by the prices of
the rooms. In fact, if you find another hotel that you aren't as interested in
for less money, try bartering with the hotel you prefer. It is very possible to
get a lower price by going back and forth between two or three competing hotels.

Saving money is a great idea in Vegas, the more money you save on hotel
accommodations, the more money you'll have to spend on the entertainment of
choice. Also consider some of the 'perks' offered by hotels when considering
the price of the rooms. Some of the perks will include complimentary breakfast
buffets or lunch and dinner buffets. Compare the price of buying breakfast to
the price difference in the room before you make your ultimate decision. Some
of them offer show tickets or discounts such as buy one get one free offers for
attractions that may have been on your itinerary at any rate. It's always good
to shop for the best bargain and Vegas is one of those cities where it can't
really hurt to ask for a better deal.

The Sexy Side of Vegas Shows

If you've never been to Vegas or experienced one of the many Vegas shows that
are available to behold, let me be the first to tell you: they are not created
equal. People will choose to see shows for many different reasons and there is
no right or wrong reason to see any Vegas show unless you are simply determined
to hate it from the beginning. Even then you might find yourself to be either
mildly or wildly surprised.

I would be remiss if I didn't take the time to mention some of the wonderfully
sexy shows that are prominent in Vegas at the moment. There are quite a few and
will appeal to audiences on different levels and for different reasons, well
some of them will at any rate while most of them offer universal appeal to
certain members of the audience it is important to remember the statement I
made earlier, not all shows are created equally and it doesn't really matter
how beautifully endowed the members of the cast are if the show has no wit,
humor, drama, or interesting points about it.

Les Foiles Bergere is one of the best examples of a classic Vegas style show or
at least my interpretation of what a Vegas style show should be. This show
literally sizzles with its sex appeal and is a great show to kick
off your stay in Vegas. You'll be ready to roll the dice after seeing this show
for sure. There are generally two shows offered. The 7:30 show is covered so
that all ages can enjoy the show all others feature topless numbers and request
that audience members be 16 and over. The show can be seen at 7:30 and 10:00 on
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Tuesday and Friday offer one show
only at 8:30 and Sundays are dark. This is a can't miss show and a real hit for
the Tropicana Las Vegas.

If you want to go even more darkly erotic, John Stagliano's Fashionistas is
definitely the route you should take. This is a very erotic experience
everything about this show simply sizzles. Not only is the choreography and
costume design stellar, this show has some of the best music to be found in
Vegas with songs by Evanescence, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Lords of Acid, and
Crystal Method.

La Femme, playing at the MGM Grand is a rather unique show, even for Vegas, in
that it literally celebrates that artistry of the nude. The overall affect is a
stunning visual display of light, color, sound, flesh, and dance. You must be 18
or older to attend this particular show and there is a dress code for the
performances, which is business casual so come dressed appropriately. Shows are
Wednesday through Monday at 8:00 and 10:30 pm. If you want to see the ultimate
water cooler show, this one is definitely the show to see.

There are so many shows in Vegas that it would be virtually impossible to
mention each and every one. These are each excellent examples of the sexiest
shows that Vegas has to offer. Only you can decide what you are comfortable
seeing and if you're curious try one of the shows that offers an optional
covered showing rather than making yourself uncomfortable or putting yourself
in the position to be uncomfortable. The main purpose of going to Vegas is to
enjoy yourself. Do what makes you happy.

The Romance of Vegas

A trip to Las Vegas is an experience of its own. No matter what time of year
you visit there will be some manner of climate that will be new in some way,
shape, form, or fashion to those who are visiting. There will be some star in
the night sky that seems a little less bright when compared to the glam and
glitz that defined Las Vegas and what has become known as "The Strip".

Your trip to Las Vegas will be no more or no less than you make it. The problem
with gambling destinations such as this is that if you spend your entire
allotment of funds in the first few hours you are in for a very long and quite
boring and possibly hungry vacation. Self control is not what this particular
city is famous for and yet it requires a great deal of self control in order to
really win at the games that are most often played in this city.

From the bright and glittery nightlife full of dancing girls, flowing booze,
and the eternal ringing of the slot machine, Las Vegas is a city that was quite
literally built on broken dreams. If you do not realize this going in, the
chances are rather great that you might learn the lesson the hard way. This is
in no way whatsoever meant to discourage your from visiting or from taking the
gamble in the casinos. That is after all the main attraction for a visit to
this city. The warning is a friendly reminder that in all things moderation is
not really all that terrible a thing. If you're going to risk at all, at least
wait till you're getting ready to head out of town rather than doing it your
first night in.

Las Vegas has a deeply interesting history to it, the kind of history that
legends are made of. There have been Hollywood movies, a great deal of novels,
hints, and innuendos and even more plain out speculation on some of the central
characters that have come and gone during the process of building this
glittering desert icon. Beneath the lights and the glitter lies a heart that
built this oasis from the desert sand.

If you get the chance during your visit find out all you can about the history
of this city. I think it will make the trip that much more meaningful to you
and might romanticize your time in the city a little bit too. Plus, for your
guys, the girls love a good story and if you can woo them with grand stories of
Vegas lore, then perhaps you will find a little luck of your own during your
visit.

Through the years Las Vegas has had both vocal critics and outright devotees,
they've legalized prostitution, kept gaming alive and well where others had
failed to do so and stood against and corrupted more local and national
government officials than anyone might ever care to admit. If one had all the
facts about this city and it's oh so interesting history I would certainly love
to read this tell all book.

Even more than the past, the presence of Las Vegas is raising many eyebrows
across America in disdain while others look on with rapt attention. From the
gambling and the dancing girls, the bright lights, the games, the gold, the
glam, and the glitz there are people that love it with the equal intensity of
those that hate it. I guess some things about Vegas will never change.

I would choose to visit Las Vegas over many American cities because its history
isn't painted as lily white. This is one city that lives in sins and relishes
that fact about itself. While some may call it 'Sin City' I prefer to think of
it as a city that is unburdened by the sins of its past. When you think about
it, those that are simply passing through commit most of the sins of Vegas.

The Natural Beauty Surrounding Vegas

The first thing most people think of when thinking of Las Vegas is the strip.
Bright blinking neon lights, loud music, and spotlights are more of what people
envision in Vegas than wide open spaces, natural park like settings, nature
watches, and the beauty of the desert at sunset. Of course that is if you can
get a little ways out of Vegas otherwise you'll never notice the sun going down
for all the bright lights.

Granted most of these beautiful places to visit are fair distances from Vegas
but if you are this close to them it would be a shame to miss out on their
beauty for the sake of a car ride. The first one I'd like to mention is Bryce
Canyon National Park. It is actually in Utah and about 270 miles from Vegas.
The fee to enter is $20 per vehicle but the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
The views you will see are worth every mile and every penny. You should also be
on the lookout for some of the wildlife particularly the Great Basin
Rattlesnake, bald eagles, and golden eagles. There are beautiful flowers that
often bloom in the spring and early summer months if you happen to be visiting
at this time it's worth keeping an eye out.

The Grand Canyon is about 300 miles southeast of Vegas. This is another beauty
that is well worth seeing if you have a day free or even really to make a
priority of. There is a fee to bring your car into the park and you should
check to see exactly what the current rate is before making the drive. For most
people any fee is well worth experiencing this piece of American legend and
lore. You can also opt to take one of many tours that will take you around the
canyon and some that will take you to the bottom and back up again. If you are
truly brave you should also consider one of the helicopter tours.

Floyd Lamb Park is open each day from 6 in the morning until 7 at night. This
park is located about 20 miles from the strip in Vegas. It also has four fully
stocked ponds, a barbecue area, and is home to some very interesting fossils
and remains. The fossils and remains that have been identified here include the
following: bison, mammoths, camels, giant sloths, and horse among other animals.
This area became a state park in 1977 and visitors who have a fishing license
for Nevada may fish in any of the park's ponds but there is a limit of three
fish per person.

Lake Mead is another great area nearby in which to enjoy the great outdoors of
the Nevada desert. Lake Mead is a man-made lake and the 16th largest of its
kind in this hemisphere. This lake was created by the Colorado River and the
Hoover Dam and is about 1.5 million acres (I don't know about you
but that figure to me is actually staggering). This area is a very popular area
for boating, swimming, and as wildlife observation area.

If you love the great outdoors there are plenty of places to get out there and
enjoy nature in and around the Las Vegas area. You can do a lot more than view
wildlife in any of these parks and each one offers something special to those
that visit. I would hope that you could enjoy them all, however I would
recommend that you spend at least one day of your trip outdoors in nature
somewhere.

The Cultural Side of Vegas

You wouldn't think Las Vegas would be the cultural treasure chest is really is,
especially upon first glance when you can't really see beyond the many casinos
and bright twinkling lights that it is most famous for. You don't expect to
find the vast number of museums in Vegas that you will find in other
tourist-oriented cities. You would think that the real estate in Vegas has been
earmarked in most cases for more profitable ventures than museums. There are
however, a number of museums in Las Vegas that are very well worth mentioning
and exploring if you have the time during the light of day.

The first of these museums worth mentioning is one that is probably quite
unique as far as museums go. It is the Atomic Testing Museum. The museums is
located at 755 E. Flamingo Rd. Adults admission costs $10 per person and
children aged 7-17 command the price of $7 the lessons and the history that can
be learned by visiting this particular museum are priceless so this really seems
like a small price to pay.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the home to the Carroll Shelby Museum. Shelby
had a distinguished career driving cars and breaking land speed records before
moving on to do other things in his career as a result of health concerns. When
this happened he turned his sites from racing and rested them on design. The
fruit of his design labor was one of the fastest production line cars ever and
arguably one of the most stunning cars ever made-The Shelby Cobra.

One of the other fabulous Museums that Las Vegas has to offer is the Lied
Children's Discovery Museum. Children of all ages can find activities to enjoy
at this particular museum. This museum has a lot to offer in educational
experiences that are cleverly disguised as such fun. This is definitely worth a
visit if you're in the area and the $8 admission fee for adults and $7 for
children is not that steep when compare to similar institutions around the
country.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is another great museum to enjoy during
your time in Vegas. This museum is another that is a great destination for
children, big and little alike. The Marine Life Gallery features a 3,000-gallon
habitat to some of the ocean's most fascinating marine life. The price for this
museum is very reasonable at $7 for adults and $3 for children aged 3-11. It
gets even better if you go to the museum's website and print off a buy one
adult admission get one free coupon. This museum presents a great way to spend
the day with the family in Las Vegas.

Another great museum to visit for a lighter side to life is the Liberace
Museum. This museum is a tribute to the man names "Mr. Showmanship" and
displays some of his rather than flamboyant costumes along with some of his
precious antiques, his custom car collection and his pianos. This is not so
much of a learning experience as a celebration of a man that lived his life as
dazzlingly as the jewelry he so enjoyed wearing.

These museums represent fun and fabulous ways to spend the day with your family
while vacationing in Las Vegas. The museums are certainly not the only family
friendly activities you can enjoy together, they are quite often the most
educational ways to spend the day. You have to admit however, that some of
these museums are quite unique to the area and well worth the minimal costs of
admission. Along the strip you can find the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, which
is a collaborative work between the famed Guggenheim Museum in New York and the
Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The fact that they are working
together on this project allows them to share artifacts and exhibits that are
well known around the world. Enjoy the taste of culture amidst the glitz and
glam and have fun while you learn new things each and every day during your
stay in Vegas.

Indoor Fun to Beat the Desert Heat

Vegas has become so famous for its casinos and its nightlife that we often
forget that there is a thriving city full of people who call this city home.
There are businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers, and average Joe citizens who
live in this city and have little or nothing to do with the casinos at all.
There are entertainers and artists that live far beyond the world of the famous
Strip that Vegas more often than not brings to mind.

Vegas is a city that has a cultural center, a religious community, families,
and family activities. It is a city in the desert that sees more than its share
of sunshine while being particularly vulnerable to rain. It's a city that is
famous for it's neon brightness while there are corners of this city that are
far removed from that world that is almost as foreign to its citizens as it is
to its visitors.

Don't overlook the cultural treasure trove that can be found in Vegas by
limiting your experience to the Vegas Strip and the offerings of the many
casinos. So there is much more to this wonderful city to see and do and enjoy.

If you are looking for some great ideas to enjoy during your stay, perhaps you
will find some here or at least find inspiration for your own ideas. One thing
to remember about Vegas is that you are in the desert and it is sunny most of
year. Even if it isn't necessarily warm outside it's a good idea to avoid being
outdoors whenever possible or to be sure you are liberally applying sunscreen
and using other means to protect your skin from the ravages of a desert sun.

Here are some of things you can experience during your time in Vegas if you are
willing to seek them out: King Tut's Tomb, the car collection at the Imperial
Palace, Chaos at Circus Circus, Gameworks by Steven Spielberg, The Imax theatre
at the Luxor, In Search of the Obelisk at the Luxor, Las Vegas Sportspark, Lied
Discover Children's Museum, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, Merlin's Magic Motion
Machines, Pioneer Saloon, Pirates 4D, Star Trek the Experience, and the Sunset
Stampede just to name a few. The best news of all however is that there are
constantly more and more activities and adventures being added to the
offerings. This means that there is never a shortage of things to see and do
while visiting Las Vegas so there's never a valid reason not to come back.

This list is a short list of only indoor activities; you can find a much larger
list of things to enjoy if you consider the many things that can be experienced
outside under the desert sun. There are other attractions that will also keep
you indoors as well. There are actually quite a few museums in Las Vegas; there
is M&Ms World, The Lion Habitat at MGM and the White Tiger Habitat at the
Mirage. There's also the canal at the Venetian, which is also home to
"Streetmosphere," where live actors delight and entertain you with songs and
other revelry.

You will find many rides and adventure parks indoors in Las Vegas as well.
People find that the desert heat can be a real joy killer for a day out in the
sun and indoor adventure parks fair much better while delivering entertainment
that is far superior to many of its outdoor counterparts. If you're looking for
a great way to spend a day indoors, there's no shortage of wonderful things to
do and see in Vegas so there's really no excuse. In addition to all the things
I've mentioned above, Vegas is home to some of the most splendid shopping in
America so be sure to pack your two best friends Visa and Master Card and bring
them along for the ride. Also keep in mind that there is plenty to do in the
great big world outside these walls and consider the great fun you can have
exploring the desert climate of Nevada.

How to Really Break Even in Vegas

If you're thinking about a Vegas Vacation you are probably thinking about
casinos. Most people who have ever gambled harbor no fantasies of striking it
rich when going and playing in casinos. Most of us know the ultimate goal is to
go in, play a while, have some fun, get some comps, and go home with about what
you walked in with.

Many who gamble on a regular basis no to only bring in a certain amount of
money and to not mix gambling money with money that is earmarked for other
things. There are a few things that those who are new to the world of gambling
can do in order to avoid spending more than you intended. Anyone who has spent
much time in a casino will tell you that it is easy to get your money mixed up
and end up spending every dime you walked in with thinking you had more money
hidden elsewhere.

That being said there is a profound difference in a casual gambler and someone
that is willing and expecting to come in and make a hefty investment in the
casino. These investments sometimes pay off big time for those who can afford
to lose the money. They also can end up costing them big time and taking a
while to recover. I recommend starting light.

Hopefully these tips will help you go home with a little money in your pocket.
1) Set a spending limit for each day and night of your stay. This sounds simple
enough but it you'd be surprised at how difficult this bargain you've made with
yourself can be to keep. 2) Bring only that amount of money into the casino
with you and bring it in cash. 3) Lock all other ATM, Debit, and credit cards
in your room safe along with any traveler's checks and other cash that you
have. This prevents the temptation to get one more twenty or fifty until they
are all gone. This sounds like a little bit of overkill and people often think
they have plenty of self control but there is something about a casino, I swear
you sometimes loose every bit of common sense you had when you walk in the door.
This prevents you from getting in over your head and taking desperate measures.
4) Set a time limit for your casino fun and when that time limit is up for the
evening/day get up from the table and leave the casino whether you are on the
hottest winning streak of your life or not. Winning streak ultimately end at
some point it is better to leave on a high note and have a little extra money
to play with the next night (or better yet to take home with you). Leaving at a
set time prevents you from getting over tired and making poor decisions based on
the altered state of being sleep deprived. 5) Win and lose graciously. It will
earn you a lot more respect from staff and the other players and you may find
them wishing you luck because of your graciousness. In Vegas you can never have
too much luck but woe to those whose luck has run out.

Believe it or not, these five things can save your more money and win you more
friends than almost anything other than a super hot winning streak.

Great Vegas Shows for the Family

While Las Vegas is known for many of its shows and not all of them family
friendly, it's great to know that there are still a few shows going on that
offer a little something for nearly every member of the family. Even some of us
grown up viewers aren't as interested in the shock value of many Vegas shows and
prefer much tamer forms of entertainment when enjoying our downtime from work
and responsibility.

If you never outgrew a love of magic or if you have children of your own that
you are hoping to introduce to the wonderment that illusion can bring then
Lance Burton, Master Magician has just the show for you to see. He performs at
the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Tuesday through Saturday. After
you've seen the show, be sure to enjoy the magic of the Monte Carlo.

If you loved the Rat Pack, there is no show in Vegas you'd rather see than the
Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey, and Dean, which shows at the Greek Isles Casino
on Saturdays through Thursdays. This is the way to see the Rat Pack back in
action and remember the great music and entertainment of days gone by. While
this is a family friendly show, children must be over the age of five in order
to attend.

If you are a product of the 70's and remember ABBA and other musical
experiences long gone by you'll have a true appreciation for the magic of this
love story that is built around the music of ABBA, which is playing at Mandalay
Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. You can see the show Sunday through Thursday
at 7:30 and on Saturdays at 6:00 and 10:00 PM. This is another show that
requires children be at least five years of age in order to attend.

Legends in Concert at the Imperial Palace offers a great night of entertainment
with impersonators to the stars of today and days long past. This is not a
lip-synching show but actual singer and dancers impersonating the best. Sit
back, watch, be amazed, and see if you can tell the difference. This show is
friendly to children age 2 and over and is a show that is generally very well
enjoyed by children of this age. You can watch at 7:30 and 10:00 PM Monday
through Saturday.

Treasure Island is offering the wonderful show of Mystere by Cirque du Soleil.
This show has delighted audiences around the world and is sure to please even
the most difficult to impress in your group. Watch as colors explode right
before your eyes. This act consists of 72 dancers, singers, and acrobats along
with a somewhat misguided clown. Enjoy this show with the family for a
wonderful night of entertainment. This show plays Friday-Tuesday with shows at
7:30 and 10:30.

Caesar's Palace presents Celine Dion to the delight of her fans everywhere.
This show plays at 8:30 Tuesdays through Saturdays and is open to children and
adults 5 years and older. This show is more than just an ordinary concert, it
is a musical experience led by one of the best in the business. If you have the
time, this is one show that absolutely should be on your itinerary.

It really doesn't matter what particular music tastes and preferences you have,
there is probably a show somewhere in Vegas that will appeal to the music that
you hold dear. If you have family with you on your Vegas excursion you owe it
to the entire family to find a show that you can all enjoy together. If you
have youngster in your group there are shows that you can very much enjoy
together, the problem is that these shows will most likely be without loud
music as there is a fear of damaging the ears of little ones with loud noises
often involved in the musical venues.

Good Family Fun in Vegas

If you are looking for some fun things to do in Las Vegas with or without the
family, this should keep you busy for the better part of your travels. Keep in
mind that Vegas is a city about lights and action most of the attractions will
have on or other if not both of these elements. Enjoy the bright lights of this
big city and have as much fun as you can possibly muster during your stay.

The High Roller at the Stratosphere Hotel is a roller coaster, which at 909
feet above ground is the world's highest (keep in mind that competition is
fierce among coaster makers and that is subject to change). This roller coaster
consists of more than 800 feet of track and offers some sharply banking turns at
around 32 miles an hour for your coaster fun and enjoyment. The cost for one
trip on this coaster is $5 and passes may be purchased for the day (height
restrictions apply).

The Nevada Zoological and Botanical Park is another great way to spend the day.
While this is by no means the world's largest zoo it is a nice place to take
your kids and visit the wildlife (well some wildlife that isn't located on the
strip at any rate) of Las Vegas. Some of the animals you might see include
chimpanzees (usually a hit with the little ones), emus, ostriches, wallabies,
and flamingos. You can also choose to take a full or half day eco tour of the
desert. These tours give you the opportunity to learn to the view the desert a
little bit differently and are a great educational experience disguised as fun
for your children.

What would a stay at the Venetian Hotel and Casino be without a gondola ride?
You do not however have to stay at the Venetian in order to experience this
pleasure, nor do you have to venture a transatlantic flight. For an authentic
gondola experience you only need to travel as far as the Venetian Hotel and
Casino. You will float under bridges as your gondolier serenades you with the
sounds of Venice. You can choose and outdoor gondola ride when the weather
permits. The outdoor rides are only marginally less expensive and are still
quite nice (they might even be preferable on a chilly desert night). Children
12 and under are very inexpensive passengers and if you are traveling with your
partner you can opt for a romantic 2 passenger gondola for an added fee.
Reservations must be made in person and can only be made the same day beginning
at 9 a.m. for the indoor gondola ride and 10 a.m. for the outdoor ride.

If you're old enough to remember the commercials that asked if it was live or
it was Memorex then you will understand that reference when it comes to Madame
Tussauds Las Vegas. Where else can you play a round of golf with Tiger, sail
the seas with Captain Jack Sparrow, marry George Clooney, become a playboy
bunny, and sing along side The King? You will see some of Hollywood's brightest
stars both living and living memories at Madame Tussauds have fun meeting your
favorites. This is a must see stop on your trip to Vegas and will have the
entire family rolling with laughter, be sure to bring the camera along for this
one.

Vegas might have been a little slow to see the light, but this city is really
working to make this a fun place to be for the entire family and it is slowly
building a nice selection of activities that don't directly involve gambling or
the casinos. The casinos, recognizing good business sense when they see it have
been the pioneers of many of these family oriented activities in hopes of
encouraging more guests to come back to the city. Be sure to check out all the
wonderfully fun things there are to do with the family during your Vegas stay.

Fabulous Vegas Freebies

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of freebies and living frugally.
What self respecting Vegas visitor would ever pay full price if they didn't have
to or leave this great city of chance without getting something for nothing. One
of the best services I can provide my fellow man is the ability to share these
fabulous free finds with anyone that is interested in what I have to offer.

This is better than a 'tell all' book on who did it and why isn't it? The
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers a delight to the eyes of the
beholder. It is a true delight to all the senses to see the sights and inhale
the fragrance of these gardens that display seasonal highlights in plants,
flowers, and produce. Each season offers new delights to the senses and there
is no admission fee to view these beautiful floral arrangements. This is a
great place for a photo op to help you remember your time in Las Vegas.

Have you ever seen water dance? If not, then while you're visiting the
Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio, you'll want to stick around long enough to
witness the fountains of Bellagio. These shows consist of more than 1000
fountains that are literally dancing in choreographed unison with light to the
music (you may be surprised or quite possibly impressed by the extent and
variety of the music play list for this particular show). This is also free to
witness and occurs every half hour or so after 3:00 PM throughout the week and
after noon on the weekends.

If you're looking for more great fun that is free for the entire family to
enjoy, head on over to Circus Circus for Circus Acts-this show is free to watch
and provides the audience with the thrills and chills of the big top day after
day. You can watch different acts as they perform throughout the day at the
half hour mark between the hours of 11 AM and Midnight.

Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall offers a stunning display of water and laser
lights daily at 2:00, 6:00, 8:00, and 10:00. This show is called "Sunset
Stampede" and takes place in a 9-story atrium that hosts a natural habitat of
live trees, greenery, waterfalls, and trails.

Another great free attraction in Vegas is the Masquerade Show in the Sky. The
show is free to watch, if you choose to participate by riding one of the
floats, the cost is $12.95 (that is subject to change). This experience is very
reminiscent of Carnivale in Brazil. The floats are literally suspended from the
ceiling for the sake of this show which is considered one of the best free
shows that Vegas has to offer.

Perhaps one of the most interesting freebies is the Silverton Hotel and
Casino's Aquarium. This attraction is completely free to the public and a
fascinating thrill to children big and small (even mom's find this one
fascinating). Enjoy watching both salt water and freshwater fish in their
natural habitats and enjoy the ambiance of your surroundings.

The Sirens of Ti is a great sexy pirates tale that shows at Treasure Island TI
daily as the weather allows. This is one great show that the kids, especially
little boys that think pirates are the bomb and big boys that enjoy watching
ships sink and sirens do what sirens do, will all agree to enjoy together.

Free entertainment is often the best entertainment that can be found. There are
so many things to do and see that cost literal fortunes. It is nice to know that
there are so many thrilling adventures available for little or no cost to
explore while visiting Las Vegas. If you spend wisely, you will discover that
you can enjoy the better part of most days filled with activity without
breaking your wallet or becoming close personal friends with any creditors.

More Fantastic Vegas Freebies

If you're looking for some great free things to do in Vegas, there are some
amazing treats for you and the family awaiting. Many casinos in an effort to
bring in more and more business are offering elaborate shows free for the
family in an effort to bring more warm bodies into their casinos and out of
their competitors. This is a win win situation for tourists and locals alike
who are seeking entertainment that will leave a little money in their pockets
to spend at the casinos (which is exactly what the casinos were hoping for).

One of the great shows that is available free to families is the Fall of
Atlantis Show at Caesar's Palace. This particular show is a laser, water, and
light show that features wonderful animatronics action. Also notice that the
show's platform is actually a salt-water aquarium. You can see divers feed the
fish each day at 1:15 and 5:15 while another staff member is on hand to answer
any questions you may have and explain a little about the facility. You can
actually take a tour of the facility at 3:15 each day. Enjoy watching the gods
as they entertain you rather than us entertaining them.

The Cambridge Community Center offers a free movie and popcorn each Saturday at
1:00. Each week a different movie will be shown and children under 12 must bring
an adult to keep them company. You can check out which movie will be playing by
checking out the posting on Friday.

Another great Vegas freebie is daily performances of the Hawaiian Marketplace
Island Performers. These performances take place throughout the day from 11:00
am until 10:30 pm and feature wonderful dances that will remind you of the
island. See hula dancers, fire and knife dancers, musicians, lei makers, and
animatronic birds. The performances are free and take place at the Hawaiian
Marketplace.

For the Elvis fan in all of us you can see Pete Vallee perform as Big Elvis
from Monday to Thursday with shows that take place at 3:00 and 5:00 pm at the
Barbary Coast Casino. The admission for this show is free and he brings in
quite a crowd with his vocal talent and heartfelt renditions of Elvis' ballads.

M & M World should need no introduction. It is a wonderful and yummy place to
visit. More importantly it is a free place to visit. This museum is open Sunday
through Thursday from 9 am until 11 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9 am until
midnight. This really is a neat attraction to visit and is much more than
initially meets the eye. Take a stroll, look around and make sure you see all
there is to see or you just might miss something fantastic.

For another sweet freebie, you really must make plans to visit Ethel M's
Chocolate Factory. The admission for this self-guided tour is free as is the
first sample, but who can eat just one chocolate? Be sure not to leave this
tour empty handed, as you'll be kicking yourself once you get back to the room
and have a craving for something sinfully sweet. In addition to the chocolate
factor is the Botanical Cactus Garden that is open from 8:30 until 7:00 daily.
Another great thing to see on this particular tour is the Living Machine, which
as waste-consuming ecologies that turns 32,000 gallons wastewater each day into
water that is clean enough to use for irrigation purposes.

The Marjorie Barrick Museum of History, which is located on the University of
Nevada Las Vegas Campus, is another place to go and learn while being
entertained. Admission is Monday through Friday from 8:00 until 4:45 and on
Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00. Admission is free and the museum is closed on
all state and federal holidays. This museum offers a great display of Western
culture and the history of ancient Mexico.

No matter what your specific interests are there are plenty of wonderful things
to see and do in Las Vegas that do not put a strain on the pocketbook at all.

Las Vegas Hilton: Luxury at its Finest

The Las Vegas Hilton is one of the more luxurious offerings on the Vegas Strip.
This hotel has a lot to offer its guests by way of luxury and amenities
including several packages that are amazingly generous by comparison to most
other hotels along the strip. If you aren't seeing a package that is appealing
to you be sure to call and see if you might be able to negotiate a more
suitable package.

In addition to world class accommodations and a fully functional casino the Las
Vegas Hilton also has some of the best shows running along the strip. Current
acts include the likes of Barry Manilow and Menopause the Musical. Future acts
include big names such as Johnny Mathis and the Asian Fusion concert series.

Perhaps the most famous attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton however is the Star
Trek Experience. The experience is completely out of this world and will have
you flying through space in a completely immersive experience that even those
who weren't serious fans of the show can appreciate. This is like nothing
you've ever experienced before or are likely to enjoy again. There is also a
museum that is home to many items from the television series as well as the
movies. This is a great addition to your vacation experience even at the rather
hefty price tag it commands ($34.99 for adults and $31.99 for children as of
this writing and subject to change). If you're going to splurge on one thing
during your stay at the Las Vegas Hilton I highly recommend that this be that
one thing. There is also the Nemesis Package, which will allow for a reduced
rate when purchasing tickets for the Star Trek Experience along with a
two-night hotel stay.

Keep in mind if you're actually coming to Las Vegas for the gambling and not to
go Trekking through the galaxy, the casino offers tournaments rather regularly
and you should really check to be sure there isn't a tournament that interests
you during your stay or around the times you are considering your stay.

It is fairly safe to say that while there are many fun things to do in Vegas
these hotels and casinos would really appreciate your business in the casino
seats rather than watching the shows, riding the rides, and playing the games.

The Las Vegas Hilton also has a full service spa and offers some attractive spa
packages to its guests. You'd be doing your body a favor to check out the many
packages that are available and combining them in order to get the maximum
value for your spa dollar along with your spa visit. You might also consider
trying to work a spa comp into your package when booking your room. You'll
never know unless you ask.

There is all manner of shopping at the Las Vegas Hilton and you should be able
to find nice gifts for others as well as a few nice gifts for yourself. If you
don't find what you're looking for here you are close enough to other shopping
opportunities, if you drag yourself away from the spa that is that it's no
serious problem to go out and find those perfect gifts, trinkets, and tokens of
your good time while visiting Las Vegas. Of course, you simply must visit the
Barry Manilow store while you're here and have fun playing with all the nifty
toys inside. You also never know when you'll find that perfect gift for friends
and family and this store may be the ideal place to look.

If you're looking for a completely luxurious experience for you stay in Las
Vegas there are few places that will suit you better than the Las Vegas Hilton.
The good news is that you can arrange for your luxurious treatment to be had at
a fraction of the price it would cost elsewhere if you pay careful attention to
the specials that are available and book accordingly.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino Brings Magic to Life

If you are harboring thoughts of bringing the family for a Las Vegas vacation,
then perhaps you should seriously consider a stay at Excalibur Hotel and
Casino. This hotel will have you feeling as though you've stepped into the
fairy tales of your childhood. From the moment you cross the threshold from the
outside world to the charmed existence of life in the hotel you will find that
you have truly been charmed and are leading a somewhat enchanted existence.

Not only is there the magnificent casino to enjoy, there is also the wonderful
pool, links golf, the castle walk for your shopping pleasure, and the midway
where you can play all kinds of fun and exciting arcade and carnival games.
Perhaps one of the most memorable and impressive of offerings is the Tournament
of Kings dinner show. This show is offered nightly at 6:00 and 8:30 and you will
eat in the manner of those in medieval times, without utensils while watching
the evil wizard Mordred as he invades the evening festivities. This show is
quite enjoyable and relies heavily upon audience participation.

Dining in the hotel and casino can be quite the adventure without the
assistance of horses and actors as there are several dining options including
the Roundtable Buffet, The Steakhouse at Camelot, Regale Italian Eatery,
Sherwood Forest Cafe, and how could we forget Sir Galahad's Pub and Prime Rib
House?

If you're looking for the fairytale wedding of your dreams, then Excalibur has
the package for you. You can even elect to rent medieval costumes in which to
get married. There are many different packages available to fit various budgets
and wedding needs. Wedding packages vary in price from around $400 plus $55 for
the cost of the minister to around $1575 plus the cost of the minister. These
are all rather basic packages and do not include extras such as costume
rentals, extra poses for the wedding photos, or video and candle services.

Before your big day make sure you make liberal use of the spa services
available at Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Of course this is a great
idea even if you are just hoping to relax while on vacation. You remember
relaxation right? That is what you did on occasion before you had children. You
should definitely get the royal treatment that is available through the spa and
enjoy every minute of your visit. Some of the spa services offered at Excalibur
include: facials, wraps, Aveda facials, and various massages. There are add on
services that can be purchased and packages available. This is a great way to
spend an hour or three before your big day or any day.

Once you've finished getting pampered at the spa, step on over to Kristina's
Salon and get primped. You can enjoy everything from manicures to full service
hair styling services. Whether you are preparing for your big day and saying "I
do!" or simply for a romantic evening on the strip this is a great place to
begin.

Excalibur also offers full service catering and convention services. Whether
you are hosting a wedding reception or a company convention we have the
facilities as well as the expertise to keep everything operating seamlessly
behind the scenes so that all eyes will be on the things that are important.
Projections and profits for the corporate conventions and the bride and groom
for wedding receptions.

Excalibur Hotel Casino can meet almost any lodging and accommodation needs for
those staying and playing in Las Vegas, more than that we can provide a great
'fairy tale' atmosphere for your family vacation or just your big trip in
general. If you haven't given proper consideration to the idea of staying here
during your visit, I highly encourage that you do-especially if you have a
little princess in your party that you are trying to impress.

Eating Cheap in Vegas

A Las Vegas vacation for many people is an experience to enjoy 24/7 food,
drink, and gambling. In fact that is the very reason that many people visit
Vegas and it is also one of the main reasons that the city of Las Vegas and the
gambling empires that have been built, crumbled, and been rebuilt again and
again have had many of the rocky rides that offer more bumps, dips, twists, and
turns than you will find on many of the roller coasters that also inhabit this
great city.

Las Vegas has so much more than that to offer its visitors. Gone are the days
when gambling was the sole income of casinos or that casinos were the only
businesses in town. Vegas is dressing up a bit in recent years and working oh
so slowly and diligently towards changing its image.

This city of bright lights and empty promises is quickly becoming a city that
offers world-class entertainment and excitement to its residents and its
visitors. Las Vegas has some of the best dining on the planet. Many of the
wonderful dining experiences are associated with the casinos of the area but
they would not be as successful as they are if there was not a reason to keep
the tables full. Diners don't tend to dine if the food isn't good and a for a
restaurant a bad review will travel around the world three times before ten
good reviews will make it once. This means that the world-class fine dining
restaurants really must earn their stripes in order to bring in the business
required in order to stay in business.

I personally tend to look for the dining bargains and that is what this
particular article will focus on. There many great places to eat in Vegas that
will not have you busting open your piggy bank. Now my guy is a steak and
potato kind of man so I always try to look for a good steak bargain. For him, I
love Arizona Charlie's Boulder Sourdough Cafe. Here you can get a 14-ounce
Porterhouse for $7.99 this includes soup or salad, choice of potato or rice (5
pm-11 pm), veggies, and rolls. You can also get spaghetti and meatballs for
$6.49 and Chicken Penne Primavera or fried chicken for $6.99. This is good food
at its best at a price that easy on the budget.

This is just one of the many places a person or family can get a relatively
good meal inexpensively. Not all great bargains involve steaks but there are
many great food bargains to have. Be aware of coupons you may find around town
offering two for one food purchases or dollars off of entree purchases. It may
not seem like much or two but if you can manage to save $2 per two people for
10 meals during your stay, that adds up pretty quickly to $40 that could buy a
little time on the slot machines or tickets to one of the many great shows.

Cheap dining by no means indicates a lack of quality. While it may not be as
sophisticated as some offerings, you might find that a lot of the cheaper
places to eat actually have far superior flavor to many of the more expensive
dining experiences and it's just nice to get away from buffet food once in a
while during your Vegas stay. You can only endure so many buffets before they
all begin looking, and tasting just alike.

Circus Circus Family Fun Vegas Style

Circus Circus Las Vegas boasts of being the most kid friendly hotel in Las
Vegas. With its big top attitude and its indoor amusement park it very well may
be. In addition to being the most kid friendly hotel on the Las Vegas strip
Circus Circus Hotel is also the fifth largest hotel in the world. Of course
this is at the moment and that is subject to change at any time.

The beauty of this particular hotel doesn't lie so much in its size or even the
circus like atmosphere. The charm lies in the fact that it was something new and
relatively untried along the Vegas strip. Rather than build to suit the gamblers
they were hoping to attract, this particular hotel was wise enough to offer
something new and untried by appealing to families with children rather than
solely to gamblers.

The gamble seems to be paying off in a city that is known for both its hits and
its misses. Other hotels and casinos are also working to cultivate the family
friendly image that Circus Circus has basically proven. Not only did this hotel
build The Adventuredome Theme Park they also decided to make accommodations even
more family friendly by accommodating RVs at the Circusland RV Park. This offers
a great place for families to stay that might not otherwise grace the theme
park, hotel, or the casino.

Don't forget that there is a casino involved and that is the primary purpose of
this gigantic hotel, resort, and theme park. The casino makes the expense of
building it all very much worthwhile and brings in big business of its own each
and every day. In grand Vegas style there is also the requisite onsite shopping
and of course full service of wedding options in addition to a wedding chapel
and banquet facilities in which to hold the reception of your dreams. The
shopping at Circus Circus offers everything from ultra exclusive boutique shops
and salons to stores such as Under $10 and the trading Post, which offers fad
jewelry and other kid friendly gifts.

This hotel has a somewhat unique concept that sets it apart from the many
others along Vegas' strip. If you are traveling to Vegas with the family I very
much recommend at least checking them out and comparing prices and packages with
the other hotels and resorts in the area. Keep in mind that comps are like money
in the bank particularly when they involve food or activities that you were
planning to do even without the comps. So you may be able to negotiate a much
better deal even if you're paying a couple more dollars a night by having free
parking, complimentary meals, or tickets to events, shows, or attractions.

Now we're on to my favorite part of the discussion. Dining options. Circus
Circus does not disappoint when it comes to offering variety to its guests. In
addition to The Steakhouse, there is The Garden Grill, Mexitallia, Pink Pony,
Circus Buffet, Pizzeria, Westside Deli, and Barista Cafe. The food offerings
accommodate varying budgets and familial needs by offering some kid friendly
dining choices to visitors and guests as well. The good news however is that if
these restaurants aren't appealing to you there is another hotel, casino, or
restaurant next door that has different fare to offer.

If you are looking for a great place to stay in Las Vegas along with the family
there are very few hotels that will offer the overall environment of fun and
wonder that you will find at Circus Circus. In addition to the wonderful rooms,
the great food, the casino, and The Adventuredome Theme Park you will find that
the shows here are as kid friendly and entertaining for the entire family as
the atmosphere in general. This is a great vacation destination anywhere. 
Considering the fact that it is in Las Vegas and it is very nearly the perfect 
vacation retreat for those with children.

Vegas Weddings for all Tastes

Vegas is almost as famous for weddings as it is for some of its more
questionable roots and activities. In fact there are wedding chapels on almost
every corner and in almost every major casino on the strip and beyond. There
are themed weddings, elegant weddings, simple weddings, alien weddings, and all
kinds of weddings in between. Other than gambling, it seems that Vegas knows the
most about weddings.

If you're planning a wedding, thinking about a wedding, or simply want to avoid
a wedding and would like to run away and get married, might I suggest one of the
many wedding chapels in Vegas? It takes all kinds of people to put together a
fairy tale wedding however it can be done in Vegas in a matter of minutes.
There are even wedding chapels in Vegas that will rent you costumes in which to
get married. There are also those that rent the dresses and tuxedos for the more
traditionally minded among you.

There are all kinds of wedding packages that can be ordered from the plain Jane
and simple Sue wedding packages that offer no frills and no fun to those with
more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. Where I come from there
are plenty of sticks to be shaken. From professional photography to full
service spa packages before the wedding for the bride and the bridal party
there are all kinds of luxurious wedding touches available to those that are
willing to pay for the service offered.

Vegas is probably the only city in the world that has professionals dedicated
to throwing bachelor and bachelorette parties for brides and grooms to be. It
really does beat all you've ever seen and more than most have ever dreamed of.
While many people had dreams of fairy tale weddings and mom and dad paying for
it, there are just as many who have had romantic dreams of getting married in
Vegas since the very first time they heard it mentioned in movies or on TV.
There are those that want Elvis impersonators singing as they share vows and
others that want him to officiate the services. With so many tastes and wedding
wishes, Las Vegas has come through with shining colors as far as making dream
weddings possible for all those who enter.

It would seem that in Vegas, no wedding request (as long as it is legal) is out
of the question. From the simply elegant to the outrageously campy there are
chapels of love for all persuasions from pink fuzzy carpet and candles to
outrageous dungeon looking rooms and all kinds in between weddings have been
performed for many different walks of life and to confirm commitments for all
manner of people and relationships from many countries around the world. Vegas
is one of the easiest cities in the world in which to get married and all kinds
of people take advantage of that fact for a quickie wedding. The one rule is
that all parties must be of legal age and must be consenting. Consent is quite
recognizable on your wedding day in most cases.

If you're planning a Vegas wedding, you are not alone and I wish you the
absolute best of luck as you begin your new lives in this infinitely
fascinating city of many dreams.

Vegas Shows are Big Draw for Tourists

Other than gambling, one of the first things that many people think of when
they think of Vegas are the many shows that are available to watch. Vegas rakes
in a fortune each year off the shows that are offered each and every night.
There are major headliners and limited appearances that make the shows the
wonderful draws for tourists and locals alike to spend a night out on the town
and the shows, dinner, and ultimately the casinos.

The goal in almost every effort put forth by the casino parent companies is to
get more bodies in the casinos. The more warm bodies that are warming the seats
the more money that is filling the coffers. The casinos like to bring in the
money and they are willing to spend a little in order to make a lot. The acts
that are highlights in this city are well established for the most part and
enjoy their celebrity, their fame, and most often for the headliners, the fact
that there is some sort of permanence to their existences and they are not
required to travel and spend countless hours on the road away from their
families and loved ones.

You will find the ultra famous rubbing elbows with those who are barely known
and occasionally some impersonators. In Vegas and most of them are only too
happy to be living the life they've chosen in this great city of lights. If you
have the opportunity to check out one of the many shows in Vegas I believe you
will find that these shows are amazingly well put together and quite
entertaining. This isn't your small town little theatre or your community
college stage. These shows are professionally done and in business to make
money-and make money they do.

The shows bring in clients from all walks of life and financial backgrounds you
will find the rich and famous sitting next to the middle class in the audience
and all will be either laughing, crying, or cringing together. The shows are
designed to elicit different responses from the audiences and to appeal to a
wide cross section of the population.

If you are in the market for a Vegas show it is recommended that you book
around the time or at the same time you book your hotel reservations in order
to be sure you can get the tickets. Many of these shows sell out months in
advance and for months at a time. The more popular the show the bigger price
the tickets will demand and the bigger following the shows will have.

I also encourage you to take advantage of some of the free opportunities and
events within the casinos where the shows you are planning to see occur in
order to get an idea of the lay of the land before the time your show is
scheduled to start. You should probably be early for the shows you wish to see
and plan to stand in line a little while.

While shows are one of the biggest draws for people to visit Las Vegas and some
people plan their entire trips just for the sake of catching one show, keep in
mind that there are plenty more things to do in Vegas than simply watching a
show or two. Take advantage of the many opportunities for entertainment that
await you during your Vegas vacation.

Vegas Magic for the Family

One thing you may or may not have noticed about Vegas is that shows are more
often than not, not made for family viewings. In fact, many of the most popular
shows are decidedly not appropriate for children and younger audiences. Vegas
has often become synonymous with sin or at the very least sex. While that is
something that most definitely draws the box office dollars it is not something
that makes watching shows in Vegas easy if you have children. Magic shows,
however are usually a fairly safe bet from great entertainment and less adult
oriented content.

One thing that is certain about children and shows though is that most children
not only love magic, they also find it utterly and completely fascinating. David
Copperfield is one of the most recognized names when it comes to magic and
illusion. Your children will be delighted from the first act through the end of
the show. This is one show that you won't have to worry about sending negative
messages to your children nor will you have to worry about being bored for the
sake of your children with this show either. His show may ultimately be the
start of something magical in your own children, you never know. Check with the
MGM Grand for show nights and times as this show plays two weeks every month but
those weeks vary.

For a little more Xtreme Magic you should check out Dirk Arthur's show at
Tropicana. This show has no age restrictions and the costs are $29 for table
seating and $34 for booth seats this show has all kinds of wildlife from
beautiful women, lavish dancers, Bengal tigers, a white tiger, and leopards.
This show is a very exciting show that displays the art of illusion in a rather
extreme form (kind of like extreme sports, this is extreme magic). Show times
are 2 and 4 pm Saturday through Thursday.

For a little more magic, the Rick Thomas show at the Stardust Hotel has a
little bit of magic for everyone. From the exquisitely choreographed moves and
the help of a few showgirl type dancers he has created one of the best daytime
shows in Vegas. Not only is Rick Thomas an excellent magician and illusionist
he is also an extremely talented showman. And anything that can keep the rapt
attention of little ones (in addition to their quiet) is a really good thing
while on vacation. You can catch his show Thursday through Tuesday at 2 and 4
pm in the Wayne Newton Theatre of the Stardust Hotel.

While these shows are hardly inclusive of every magic act playing in Vegas
these acts are very much the ones worth mentioning. If you haven't seen any of
these guys perform you really have no idea what you've been missing. David
Copperfield is truly the Master but he very well may have some serious
competition along the horizon.

Magic is one of those things that the child in all of us never really manages
to outgrow. We see it in brief moments when we hold our children for the first
time, when we see their eyes light up on Christmas, when we feel the beauty and
perfection of one perfect snowflake. Magic is all around us and so easily
missed, there is nothing quite like visiting one of these shows to remind us
not only of the magic we're missing each and every day as well as the wonder
that we left behind somewhere in our own childhoods.

Vegas for Animal Lovers

Wildlife is something that big and little kids from all over the world find
fascinating. Whether the wildlife is marine, mamma, reptilian, or bird in
nature-even insects, kids find intriguing and love to explore. In Las Vegas
there are many casinos that not only offer shows that center around animals but
also offer shows where animals are the stars. This is one of the few cities in
the world that will offer quite the variety of fun, adventure, activity, and
fantasy to its visitors. It's a good idea to sit back and enjoy as much of that
as floats your boat while you're here.

Some of the great animal offerings you can explore and enjoy while visiting Las
Vegas include the Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park. This zoo makes up
in quality what it lacks in size. This is a relatively small zoo but offers
some rare offerings that make this zoo very much worth visiting. Among the
rarities at this particular zoo is one of the last families of Barbary apes in
the U.S. In addition to these creatures, enjoy watching wallabies, flamingos,
chimps, emus, and exotic reptiles.

Zoos aren't the only businesses in the business of housing animals. It seems
that many museums are cashing in on this act as well. Even if some of the shows
are offered free the casinos are definitely cashing in on the big rewards that
hosting these animal acts offers. The Mirage is home to quite a selection of
animals among the offerings here is a White Tiger Habitat at the Mirage. These
magnificent creatures are extinct in the wild. Visitors to this free exhibit
are fortunate to be able to view them in their snow-white surroundings (this
allows them some degree of security and the ability to 'blend in' with their
environment).

In addition to the White Tiger Habitat, the Mirage is also home to the Mirage
Aquarium. This aquarium is home to more than 1000 animals (60 species) that
ordinarily would call coral reefs their home. The coral reef within the
aquarium is one hundred percent artificial and there is no actual coral reef in
this aquarium at all.

The Mirage is also home to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. I guess you
could say that really do love their animals over there. The goal of this
project is not only to provide a safe environment for dolphins but also to
educate visitors on the important roll in the ecosystem that these wonderful
animals have. The admission to the Secret Garden is $15 for adults. For $500
you can become a trainer for the day if you are over the age of 13. This is a
wonderful experience for those that are willing to pay the price.

Mandalay Baby Shark Reef offers glimpses of some rare and not so rare marine
life. There are free aquarium experiences around the city but none of them
actually quite compare to the scope of the Shark Reef, which is one of the
largest exhibits of its kind in North America. The Shark Bay is open daily from
10 am until 11 pm and adult tickets are $15.95 while children's tickets are
$10.95 (4 and under may enter free). This is probably one of the best things to
do and see in Las Vegas and well worth the price of admission.

This is only a small taste of the wonderful animal centered activities and
events that take place in Vegas each and every day. Animal lovers beware, there
is much to see and do here.

Side Splitting Vegas Shows

If you're looking for a great laugh, a great drama, a great show, then Vegas is
definitely the way to go. One of the great things about Vegas is all the other
great things you get to do while waiting on show time. This is a great city for
vacations and you rest rather secure in the knowledge that you can taste a
little of the sin in Sin City without getting your hands smacked. At least you
can always look. While the shows mentioned here will be rather tame when
compared to some of the racier Vegas shows they are still quite edgy and great
fun for everyone in the audience

The first show worth mentioning is one that is appealing on so many levels. The
Sopranos last Supper is a musical comedy that offers a four course dinner.
You'll laugh, you might cry, you'll have a little wine and crack some jokes.
It's entertainment at its best with an intimate cast of 20 and a captive
audience. Seriously if you're looking for a great Vegas experience this night
of singing, dancing, and Italian food in an audience participation driven show
is a great way to enjoy just that. Tickets for this splendid dinner and show
start at $95 and are a real bargain when you consider all you're getting for
your money. The show lasts a little over two hours and your sides will probably
be a little sore from all the laughing and dancing. Show time at Aladdin is 6 pm
Thursday through Tuesday and Wednesdays are dark.

The Las Vegas Hilton is home to Menopause the Musical. If you're looking for an
irreverent look at growing older as women in the world of today, then look no
further. This show has won rave reviews all over the world as one of the most
honest looks at life before, after, and surviving "the change". This is
definitely a must see for every woman facing--ahem--29 in Las Vegas.

If you want a glimpse of dysfunctional America check out Tony N Tina's Wedding
playing at Rio. This show plays nightly at 7 pm and it might be a good idea to
warn you that you aren't merely watching the show with this one. You are the
show! For the price of your entertaining the actors you'll get to have a nice
meal, dance a few dances, drink champagne, toast the lovely couple and have a
little cake. If you've ever been to a big Italian wedding you know just what to
expect so sit back and bring your funny bone.

With so many wonderful selections for family fun, adult oriented, and sometimes
just plain grown up fun it's often hard to pick and choose between so many
wonderful shows and experiences and settle on one or two that you feel is
absolutely the must see show or review that you won't regret not having taken
the time to see during your stay in Vegas. Of course you could always go ahead
and make the reservations for your next trip and make plans to see the shows
you missed this time. The problem is that there are so very many shows and only
a limited time that you will be around to see them-and for some a limited amount
of money in order to fund the tickets. Pick and chose and be happy with the
choice you made. Focus on the wonderful shows you saw and the great time you
had and you'll find that you forget about the ones that got away over time.

See the World in Vegas

Las Vegas today is offering many of the wonders of the world on a much smaller
scale to its visitors. There is really nowhere else on earth you can go and see
all the sights and witness the thrill of the experience that is Las Vegas. With
so much to do and see it's a wonder that anyone ever gets sleep in this great
town. Look below for some of the many places to go and sights to see in Vegas
that will quite literally have the world at your feet.

Paris Hotel and Casino Las Vegas presents the Eiffel Tower Experience. Quite
literally this is a replica of the famed Eiffel Tower of Paris built at 1/2
scale. You can ride to the top of the tower and enjoy a view of the city from
460 feet above ground while pinpointing other landmarks that you may wish to
try next.

Rio Suite Hotel offers the Masquerade Village Show in the Sky. This show is
designed to bring the thrill of Rio's Carnival to Las Vegas visitors. This is a
great show to witness or in which to participate. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and
revelry that are unmistakably Carnival. This show is free to watch and costs
$12.95 to participate.

Luxur Hotel and Casino takes you In Search of the Obelisk. This adventure takes
you on archaeological digs searching for Pharaohs. This is a great adventure and
takes you not halfway around the world. There are height restrictions for this
ride so small children might not be best suited for this particular experience.

You can experience the thrills, chills, and spills of the Grand Prix at the Las
Vegas Mini grand prix. This park is a fun day for the entire family and even
features an Adult Grand Prix with Sprint Kart tracks that have high banks and a
more authentic experience. This is a great way to have fun and invite a little
friendly competition among family members.

If you'd like to experience Venice without traveling halfway around the world
then you should really experience the Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The highlight of your Vegas Venice experience should be one of the Gondola
rides that you can take. You can book a private 2-person gondola for a romantic
excursion while being serenaded by your gondolier.

While at the Venetian you can also check out the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum,
which will have some of the best offerings from around the world in order to
enhance your experience. You should also take the time to enjoy the beautiful
Venetian inspired architecture of the hotel and casino while you're visiting in
order to prolong the experience.

The Mirage offers a volcano for guests to experience. While this isn't quite
taking your around the world, most of us do not get to experience the sight of
a volcano morphing from peaceful waterfalls into streams of molten lava. This
is definitely a must see show in Vegas and is free to the public. You can see
this show from dusk until midnight every 15 minutes.

If you want an experience that will take you even further away you should try
the Star Trek Experience at The Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino. This will
not take you to another country per se, but it will definitely take you into
another world. Enjoy this encounter with alien creatures and an introduction to
the future. Then take a stroll through the museum, which is home to some
wonderful memorabilia from the television show and the movies.

Just remember that you are on vacation to get away from it all. Isn't it truly
neat that you can literally do that and so much more in this unique and
intriguing city? You can travel to different countries, experience different
cultures, and literally go out of this world without ever leaving the city
limits of Las Vegas. Who could ask for more in a vacation experience?

Some Dreams are made of Vegas Bachelor Parties

Men around America dream of having the quintessential Vegas bachelor
party-there are few men who manage but many who share the common dream. The
good news is that girls today are demanding equal rights as far as fantasies go
and have decided that what is good for the goose is good as well for the gander.
In other words more and more women are also deciding to hold their bachelorette
parties in Las Vegas as well. This is really good news for Las Vegas as this
process is bringing almost as much money and as many guests as the weddings
have in the past. Not quite as much but it's a pretty good share of both and a
great boon to the economy.

There are even services cropping up all over Las Vegas that provide services,
decorations, planning, hosting, and the execution of these events for brides
and grooms to be alike. Remember, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" and
this is the one last hoorah before you take that long walk down the aisle. The
most important thing to remember is that most of these parties are all in good
fun and really leave nothing to tell.

The most important aspect of bachelor or bachelorette parties for most is that
one last night of getting together with old friends, making new acquaintances,
and cutting ties with the single lives you are preparing to leave behind.
Whether you are just getting together with friends for drinks or heading off to
visit all the strip clubs along the strip for one last time it is safe to say
that Vegas knows how to throw a bachelor party.

One of the most important things to remember about your bachelor or
bachelorette party in Las Vegas is that you should probably book your room
before you go out partying so that you are certain you have a place to stay
when all is said and done. It's always a good idea not to stray too far from
your room if you're going to be drinking and having fun but this is a once in a
lifetime kind of event so it's forgivable as long as you aren't driving, if you
have a little too much to drink. Just make sure that you are able to find your
clothes, the ring, and a quick shower the next morning.

Some of the parties that are the most fun do not involve leaving the room or
suite that you book. You can almost always find strippers that specialize in
bachelor parties and will be willing to come to you rather than going from club
to club to club. Unless of course you are hoping to experience a little more
variety among girls than hiring one or two would provide.

When you think about it, Las Vegas really is the perfect city for a bachelor
party. You are in close proximity to drinking, gambling, girls, sex, and lots
of ribbing from the guys. If you really are a great best man or maid of honor
you will have put a lot of thought into what will be done during the bachelor
party. Of course, the idea is to send your best friend off into wedded bliss
with one last night to remember. It doesn't have to include girls, who's
kidding, of course it does. The thing to remember is that it's the best man's
job to make sure there is no evidence of impropriety.

Make sure you're all having a great night, you're all safe and sound, and that
your friend makes it to the chapel on time tomorrow and you might all survive
the bachelor party experience. Las Vegas will always be the ideal place to go
for brides and grooms alike as they face their upcoming vows and gather with
friends as single men and women one last time. While there is something
somewhat sad about the process there is also something wonderful about the
upcoming future and bright possibilities that lie ahead.

Leaving Vegas Happy

Winning in Vegas isn't about going home rich; it's about not going home broke.
You've probably heard many horror stories about people loosing it all their
very first night in Vegas. The sad truth of the matter is that it happens quite
often because it is so terribly easy to do. Casinos have many tricks (whether
deliberately contrived or accidentally achieved) that help you make poor
decisions as a result of slightly impaired judgment. The bells and whistles of
casinos are fun for the first few hours, after that they tend to become dull
and mind numbing. You'll even find that those who have been at the casino for a
while will show slower and less enthusiastic responses to jackpots after a few
hours. This is part of the process. We become number and mindlessly feed our
1's, 5's, 10's, 20's, 50's, and 100's into the machines and loosing count along
the way.

Casinos are also kind enough to allow many people ups and downs along the way.
They are quite smart in doing this. Many people find that they can get pretty
far ahead early on and then are surprised to suddenly find themselves falling
behind at an alarming rate. When they have you is at the moment you put yet
another bill into the machine intending to get back the money you lost. Most of
us manage to get back our original investment but decide that we want what we
had won earlier and end right back at the bottom again starting the entire
process over. Don't do that, I can tell you it hurts the next morning when
you're kicking yourself for being stupid.

This of course brings me to my next point. Ever see a sunrise from the inside
of a casino? Me either, but I've walked out into the blinding light of day
before. It's very easy to loose track of time in a casino. It's dark in there
and the only lights are quite often from the slot machines and blinking neon
signs. There are no indicators for the passage of time and unless you are clock
watching, which most of us are not when we're having fun, it is quite easy to
lose many hours of time and find yourself suddenly very tired and making poor
decisions and taking risks you'd normally not take rather than cashing out and
going back to the room for the night. This is another one that generally hurts
when you wake up.

In order to avoid things like this set a vibration alarm on your cell phone and
have it buzz you when it's time to go. Only bring in a certain amount of cash
into the casino and when that's gone it's gone. Don't go back to the room and
get more money or make costly trips to the ATM. Those trips will suddenly add
up and find you with no true idea of how much money you've spent or have left
in your bank account.

You can quite easily win at the casino game on your trip to Vegas as long as
you remember that you are playing at a casino and making a conscious decision
not to be played by the casino. Common sense will help out some but avoiding
traps is the difference in spending your 'mad money' at the casino and going
home busted or spending your next few paychecks at the casino long after your
vacation is over.




Tipping in Las Vegas

Being the money making location Las Vegas is, it only makes sense that everyone
is out to get their share of the pie. Tipping is expected in certain
circumstances and venues. Here is a list of people and tips they are expecting
to receive:

* Hotel bellhops get $1 per bag, unless man bags, then $2-3 per bag.

* Chamber staff get $1-2 a day, unless you have a pet or made a big mess.

* Tip the doorman or concierge only if they have given you specific information
  about something you want to do or see.

* Valet parking attendant should get $1 every time you get your car.

* Restaurant servers get 15-20% of the bill.

* Bartenders get 10-15% of the total bar bill.

* Coat room attendants get $1 per article of clothing.

* Cab drivers get 10-15% of the fare.

* Skycaps at the airport get $1 per bag, unless you have many bags, then $2-3 per
  bag.

* Barbers and Hairdressers get 15-20%.

* Ushers at movies get no tip.

* Gas station attendants get no tip.

If a theater has maitre d' seating and you want to upgrade your seat, tip him
$15-20 per couple. But have your money ready, because they get annoyed if they
have to wait. You may also tip with chips from the casino where the show is
playing.

Dealers in the casino get a few dollars if you had a big win or if they helped
you by explaining how to play and what to do.

Remembering to tip can also get you unexpected results. The cab driver may take
you the scenic route. The concierge may work harder at getting those hard to
find concert tickets. The chamber staff may grant special requests that they
normally wouldn't do.

Thrill Rides in Las Vegas

The Stratosphere Hotel has possibly the most scary thrill rides in Las Vegas.
The rides are on the 109th floor of a 1,149 foot tower. They have three
outrageous rides you can choose to ride. One is the High Roller. This is a
roller coaster that goes at the fastest speeds possible as it races around the
track that seems as if it is suspended in midair. The second is called the Big
Shot. Hold onto your stomach, this is a free fall ride that sends you 160 feet
up in the air on a 228 foot tower and plummets you back down again. You sit in
an open car and it will appear that you are dangling over the strip. The third
ride is the X-Scream. This giant seesaw device propels you over the side of the
building and lets you dangle there weightlessly before bringing you back to
safety.

At the Sahara Hotel, they have a roller coaster that loops around in front of
the hotel. They call it Speed: The Ride. It takes off through a hole by the new
NASCAR Cafe in the hotel and goes around the loop, under the sidewalk and up a
250 foot tower where you are weightless for a few seconds. Then you ride the
coaster backwards through the whole track

The Cyber Speedway boasts a NASCAR vehicle about three quarters of its normal
size. You can choose to race around the Las Vegas racetrack or race through the
streets of Las Vegas. At the end, you get a computer generated report to tell
you how you did.

The Adventuredome at Circus Circus is an amusement park with several rides for
the kids. They do have a roller coaster that races through simulated Grand
Canyon mountains. They have several other swing rides and a mini-golf game.
There is a small arcade where you can play video games as well before you hit
the Midway.

The North Strip of Las Vegas

The north end of the strip is known for its inexpensive hotels. There are
several to choose from and some are older hotels that have been around since
the 1950's.

The Riviera was the first high rise hotel opening in 1955. Liberace and Joan
Crawford hosted the ceremonies. This is an adult oriented hotel and they advise
against bringing your kids. They have many wonderful shows such as Crazy Girls,
and An Evening at La Cage. Splash has ended its run at the hotel. It is located
right across the street from the Circus Circus.

The Circus Circus is definitely a hotel for families and welcomes kids. They
have circus acts that perform over the casino floors which the little ones can
also watch from the second floor. There is the Adventure Dome complete with
roller coaster and other exciting rides on the second floor too. They also have
a midway arcade that is quite popular.

A little further down the strip and you will find the Sahara. This hotel has a
huge roller coaster wrapped around the front of it as well. Inside they have
quite the Nascar collection above the eatery. They have cars, shirts, posters,
autographed pictures, and keyrings. This hotel is done in Moroccan decor and
Arabian Night themes.

The Stratosphere is a unique hotel due to its awesome size. It is 1,149 feet
high. The building has 109 floors. On the top floor, there are three rides for
the adrenalin junkie. They have the High Roller which is a roller coaster that
goes around the outer rim of the top of the hotel. The Big Shot which is a free
fall ride that sends passengers back and forth at 45 mph, also at the top of the
hotel. And the last is called the X-Scream. This gives you the feeling of
falling off the side of the building from 109 stories up.

The Forum Shoppes at Caesar's Palace

The Forum Shoppes have been described as a little bit of Rome married to Rodeo
Drive and painted with Spielberg and you have an elegant retail space to shop.
You enter through a forty eight foot archway. They have also painted a
Mediterranean sky that the light changes as the day goes on. A goddess of
fortune welcomes you under the central dome.

Opened in 1992, the Forum Shoppes are a 250,000 square foot shopping paradise.
The architecture takes us back to between 300 BC to 1700 AD. There are
animatronic statues of Bacchus, Venus, Pluto, and Apollo playing the lyre. It
is a seven minute show with dancing water and a laser-light show. An extension
was added in 1998 called the Roman Hall. This hall houses a 50,000 gallon
circular aquarium that includes shows involving fire (it does get hot, so stand
back), dancing water and animatronic figures that tell the story of the rise and
fall of Atlantis.

They have many shops in the Forum. There is a shop for every taste and
interest. Just to name a few: Houdini's, Louis Vuitton, Ann Taylor, Gucci,
Versace, Antiquities (a movie memorabilia place), Fendi, Armani, and FAO
Schwarz (a toy store). In addition to shopping, there are several restaurants
to get a meal and take a break in. Perhaps the most famous is Wolfgang Puck's
Chinois. There is also a Planet Hollywood and a Cheesecake Factory.

There was a second expansion that opened right onto the strip. They added a
three story glass entrance and 175,000 more square feet of retail stores. The
shops are open until 11 PM on Sunday through Thursday and 12 Midnight on Friday
and Saturday.

Take a whole day here just to browse or see the animatronic shows. This place
has a lot to offer and the aquarium has seats nearby so you can just sit and
relax watching the fish after an exhausting day of shopping.

The East Strip in Las Vegas

These are hotels near the Convention Center and most are chain hotels with a
couple of exceptions. Look around for a good deal in this area and see what you
can find.

The first hotel that is in this area is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It
boasts 657 rooms and has plenty of Hollywood and music industry memorabilia. If
you like having the casino close by, you will appreciate this hotel. The lobby
borders around its casino. The hotel also has a great pool setting. Several
pools joined by some sandy beach and a lazy river.

The Las Vegas Hilton is about two blocks off the main strip. Barry Manilow
performs here at present in the Headliner Showroom. Also out front, you will
find a statue of Elvis Presley outside the doors, and as you walk in, you will
see one of his sequined jumpsuits. He played over 837 sold-out shows at the
hotel. Also, you will find the Star Trek Experience here. You may even run into
some Borg, Andorians, or Klingons. They have several packages to choose from and
in one behind the scenes tour, you get to see an actual bridge set used in "The
Next Generation." They have hundreds of props, paraphernalia, and articles of
clothing from the television series and the movies.

There are several chain hotels that you can stay at relatively cheap if you
don't need the casino glamour and all its casings. There is the La Quinta Inn,
Residence Inn by Marriott, Best Western Mardi Gras Inn, the Emerald Springs
Clarion Hotel Suites, Fairfield Inn, and a Motel 6. All of these offer clean
rooms, a bath, in some cases, a suite with a living room area and some have a
continental breakfast.

Strip Clubs in Las Vegas

The mentality of "Something for Everyone" even extends to the strip club
business. If you walk down the strip at night, there will be people handing out
flyers for the clubs. Taxis also have a sign in their cabs about different
places.

The Palomino is one of the oldest clubs outside the city limits. Since they are
outside the city limits, they are one of the few clubs that have both total
nudity and serve alcohol. It has two levels where the featured dancers do
themed dances with specific props and music.

Glitter Gulch is located right in the center of the Fremont Street Experience.
They have basic shows where the women wear long gowns and slowly take them off
to reveal just a G-string. This is also one of the places due to its
convenience, you can visit, check it out, and leave if it is not to your liking.

The Sapphire Club is the largest strip club in Las Vegas. It has 71,000 square
feet of nakedness. This one is different from most. It is not only friendly and
clean, it is modern and you won't find any attitudes here. They have giant
television screens so you can keep an eye on what is happening on the other
side of the room. The upstairs rooms are posh and very expensive.

Cheetah's is a widely known strip club. It was used as the background set for
the movie "Showgirls." Renovations have been made since then and the only
familiar sight in the club is the big stage where the dancers perform. This is
considered a sporty frat bar and usually the age group seen here is 21 to 40.
Eight television sets line the walls and the club does a good business during
major sporting events.

Travel Tips

Emergency Services can be reached from anywhere in the United States by dialing
911. To reach the Nevada Highway Patrol, dial 647 on a cellular phone.

Parking your car may take some fancy footwork as you are not allowed to park on
the strip at any time. If you can find a parking lot or a garage to leave your
car in, that would be the best bet. You avoid paying the fees for the garages
if you use the valet parking at the hotels.

If you are staying in one place for several days, you might consider doing your
own laundry. Of course, there are clothing and drug stores everywhere in case
you did forget something. So don't pack your suitcase to the brim. Save room
for all the souvenirs you will be bringing home. Use fabric softener sheets to
keep your clothes smelling fresh in the suitcase.

Make a little bag of things you find you might need on a trip. Your list might
include pens, pencils, safety pins, sewing kit, and some stamps to mail your
postcards.

If you are running late the morning of your departure, call down to the front
desk and see if you can delay your check out time. In most hotels, the check
out time is noon. For a small fee, they may add a couple hours to the time so
you don't have to rush around.

Bring a couple of pairs of comfortable walking shoes on your trip. There is a
lot of walking inside and outside the hotels even if you ride the bus to each
one. Make sure you have broken in your shoes so you will not be suffering later.

When you get to your room, no matter if you are only staying for an hour, place
the dead bolt on the door. Thieves will stop at nothing to get your valuables.
Most hotels have a coded safe in each room so you can feel safe in leaving your
extra money or jewelry in them.

Top Attractions in Las Vegas

There are many fabulous things to do besides gambling in Las Vegas. Whether it
be a show or shopping, you can always find something to do if you look for it.

The hotels are the best attractions in Las Vegas. Hotel hopping can take the
better part of a week to see them all. That is just a simple walk through from
one side to the other. Plan on at least a day in your favorite ones just to see
all the sites. But be forewarned, some that look small on the outside are huge
when you get in the door.

Shark Reef at Mandelay Bay Hotel will take about one to hours to visit. Here
you will see all kinds of sea life and reptiles. They have everything from
crocodiles, pirahna, jellyfish, sharks and even some baby rays you can touch.
They also have an underwater tunnel you can walk through to see the sharks and
other fish swimming above you.

Star Trek: The Experience and Borg Invasion 4-D is definitely worth a visit if
you are a hard core Trekker. You may even run into some Klingons, Borg, or an
Andorian. They have a behind the scenes tour where you can see a bridge used in
the television series "The Next Generation." They also have you "beam" from a
cargo bay onto the bridge. The tour also includes viewing of some of the
paraphernalia, props and clothes used in the series.

The Stratosphere Thrill Rides are not for the faint of heart. They are located
up on the 109th floor of the hotel. They have the High Roller, a roller
coaster, The Big Shot, a free fall ride, and the X-Scream, which is a dangling
teeter totter that suspends you off the side of the building.

Some Quiet Things To Do in Las Vegas

If you want to get away from all the noise and people, but don't want to leave
Las Vegas itself, there are several things you can do for a quiet afternoon.
Here are a couple places that you can go and see something different.

The Double Down Saloon has cocktails, a wild jukebox, and bizarre mural work by
local artists. Mingle with some of the local folks or, if you are lucky, you
might spot the occasional celebrity that visits.

The Chinatown Mall is an Oriental type of place with some good restaurants,
fascinating shopping, and some unique items. Everything has a background of the
Far East as its theme.

The Arts Factory has a a gallery with first rate collection of art pieces. They
have parties the first Friday of every month to help showcase the local artist's
work.

The West Sahara Library Fine Arts Museum building is one of the few buildings
that is built to Smithsonian specs. It is an urban building that accentuates
its space and art work perfectly.

The Guggenheim/Hermitage Museum was a venture between St. Petersburg, Russia
and the Guggenheim. Located in the Venetian, it is right by the front door and
has an outside entrance. There is some sculpture and glass pieces in the museum.

King Tut's Tomb and Museum located in the Luxor Hotel is a reproduction, full
scale, of King Tut's tomb in Egypt. It includes the antechamber, annex, burial
chamber, and replicas of all the treasury inventory. King Tut was discovered in
1922 in the Valley of the Kings. All of the tomb and its accouterments were
handcrafted by Egypt artisans using the gold leaf, linens, tools, and ancient
methods.

If you want to spend a nice quiet hour or two on your own, check out one of
these destinations.

Side trips from Vegas

If you get tired of the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, there are several side
trips you can take to get away. Most of these include driving to Henderson or
surrounding counties to see what is out there.

The Ethel M Chocolates is about six miles from the strip. They offer free tours
and it is better to go on a weekday when they are operating. Ethel Mars began
her candy making in the early 20th century and these became famous candies: 
M&Ms, Milky Way, Mars bars, 3 Musketeers, and Snickers. The tours last about 
ten minutes and is made up of viewing stations explaining the chocolate making 
process. You get one small chocolate sample at the end.

Ron Lee's World of Clowns is also located in Henderson. The store features
clown figurines and some Disney figures. The tour offered take you around to
watch as the workers mold and paint the clowns. Be sure to hit the gift shop
which offers high quality clown figurines.

Grand Canyon tours are offered in Las Vegas. You can spend a full day on a
touring bus and go to see the majestic canyon and be back the same day. You can
also choose two or three day trips. The prices usually include the tour through
the national park, a flight over the canyon, and lunch. Some excursions include
hiking as well.

Hoover Dam is visited by 2,000 to 3,000 people every day. If not for this
architectural and structural creation, there would be no Las Vegas. Built in
1931, it took 5200 workers doing twenty four hour days to get this dam built by
1936. That was two years ahead of schedule and fifteen million under budget.
There are tours conducted and they go down 561 feet into the belly of the dam.
You can see the giant turbines and go outside and look back up at the huge dam.

Shopping in Las Vegas

For the best shopping experience, your best bet is to start out at the Forum
Shoppes at Caesar's Palace. It is a huge shopping mall covering three floors at
one end of the hotel. They have every kind of shop you can think of plus a few
more. You can go from Houdini's, a magic shop, to Gucci for clothes. They have
a Planet Hollywood inside and several other chain restaurants. There are also
some living statues that come to life every hour to tell about a Roman myth.
They have seats so if you are tired from shopping, you can rest a while.

Next up is the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. Head to the second floor
and take in all the amazing scenery. The second floor is made to look like
outside in Venice complete with gondola rides. High and medium-end brand names
are found here as well some expensive trinket shops. There is everything from
Banana Republic to Ann Taylor.

Fashion Show Mall which is almost right across the street from the new Wynn Las
Vegas Hotel is a much more fitting Vegas type of mall. It holds 250 shops,
restaurants, and service stores. They have valet parking and will even offer to
hand wash your car while you are having fun shopping. Some of the stores in this
mall include Sak's, Nordstrom's, Macy's, and other high-end retailers. You can't
miss the place either, it has a huge circular object on top of it that looks
very much like an UFO.

Boulevard Mall was the largest around until Fashion Show Mall came along. With
its 144+ stores, it took up 1.2 million square feet. It has several anchor
stores likes Sears and JC Penney as well as Dillard's and Marshall's. You can
find almost anything you are looking for at reasonable prices. It it a
medium-end mall and has several eateries you can eat and take a few minutes to
rest.

Places to Stay Outside of Las Vegas

Luxury resorts aside, you may want to stay somewhere far away from the noise
and lights and glitter of the Las Vegas Strip itself. There are two resorts in
Henderson which is about a thirty minute drive from the strip.

The Ritz-Carlton is located on the shores of Lake Las Vegas. The style is that
of an Italian resort with its marble fixtures and lake views. They have a
health club and a spa. You can sign up for all sorts of activities such as
stargazing, desert and mountains hikes, tai chi, and fly fishing on the lake.
They offer yoga classes and you can play golf on three different courses. Right
next door to this fabulous resort is an Italian village with over forty shops
and restaurants for your shopping and dining needs. If you are worried about
how to get back and forth from this quiet setting, they do have shuttles that
run back and forth to the strip until two in the morning.

The Green Valley Ranch Resort is about fifteen to twenty minutes from the
strip. Kids and families are always welcome here. They have a multiscreen movie
theater and the health club for exercising is free to use. The pool area is part
lagoon and is in a weird geometric shape to support all the shallow places and
the lounge area. In an adjoining building is the casino and gaming areas. They
follow and old school theme and they have a variety of restaurants to dine in.

You will also find a variety of common hotels off the main road as well. They
have Motel 6, Super 8, EconoLodge, and Budget Inn's. They also have one place
called Terrible's. It is named for the owner who is nicknamed Terrible. The
place is about ten minutes from the strip. It is not as expensive as some of
the chain motels.

Mid Strip Hotels in Las Vegas

Mid strip hotels have a big shopping theme for the most part. There are a lot
of shops in these hotels mentioned as well as other attractions.

The Bellagio has an eight acre lake in front that represents the Lake Como
village that the hotel was named after. In this lake, about every hour, you can
view some impressive water ballet and choreography. At night, it is lit up and
put to music for an even better show. The shops in the Via Bellagio offer the
current trends and clothiers such as Prada, Gucci, and Armani.

Caesar's Palace which is right across the street from the Bellagio has a Roman
decor and some of the staff wear gladiator outfits. The 4,000 seat Coliseum was
built just for Celine Dion who performs two hundred shows each year. The Forum
Shops cover three floors at one end of Caesar's and they have something for
every taste and interest.

The Venetian Hotel is elegance and sophistication. The rooms are done in
Italian marble and have glass showers and deep tubs. The second floor houses
the Grand Canal Shoppes and these are laid against a beautiful backdrop of sky
and fluffy clouds to make you think you are outside. They also offer gondola
rides though the hotel.

The Mirage Hotel is located right across the street from the Venetian. They
also own the Treasure Island right next door. The first thing you will see when
you ride the moving sidewalk to the entrance of the hotel is the tiger habitat.
Siegfried and Roy house several of their white tigers in this enclosure. Their
CRAVINGS restaurant has a breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet that encompasses
every taste out there. Their shops are minimal as they have opened a rain
forest exhibit full of palm trees and waterfalls. The one main attraction here
is the volcano that is located out front. It goes off after sunset every 15
minutes and incorporates a colorful light show as well.

Magicians in Las Vegas

There are many different kinds of shows you can go to see. Some are hard core
magicians and some are just jokesters that do magic. Most have night shows up
to six nights a week.

Lance Burton, who performs at the Monte Carlo Hotel, is original in his act as
well as charming. He starts the show with precise close-up magic. In one show,
he tossed a bird in the air that became confetti in front of everyone. He moves
onto bigger illusions and his act is extremely good. He also has a juggler in
his show that can juggle a chainsaw, a peanut M&M, and a beanbag chair.

Penn and Teller are two magicians you don't want to miss. The ever quiet Teller
usually always winds up being the guinea pig to the ever boisterous Penn. They
perform magic tricks and then take the time to explain how they are done. They
also do juggling, make really off the wall comments, and do some really mean
stunts. The stunt most want to see is Teller catch a bullet in his teeth after
Penn shoots him.

Criss Angel became famous through his "Mindfreak" television show. He is
located at the Luxor Hotel and performs at others in Las Vegas as well. He has
done the Houdini trick "Metamorphosis" with no curtain. He has cut himself in
two and put himself back together. Criss also shows his mentalist abilities
when he asks people to think of certain objects or numbers.

Mac King, performing at Harrah's hotel, is one of the best afternoon shows you
can see. He is famous for close-up magic that really defies your eyes and
brain. Mac's show is perfect if you need something for the kids right before
dinner or another show. He is not very expensive and is an consummate performer.

Kid Attractions in Las Vegas

Those visitors under 21 may look around Las Vegas and think the place has
nothing to offer them. They are not old enough to gamble or enjoy some of the
nightclub shows. If they look around, there are several attractions that they
can enjoy despite their young age.

Head down to Circus Circus and catch some of the circus acts that go on all day
over the casino floors. There is also the midway arcade and the Adventuredome on
the second floor. This is an amusement park complete with mini golf and a roller
coaster ride.

The Mirage Hotel has the white tiger exhibit and the Secret Garden of Siegfried
and Roy. There is also a dolphin habitat where you can watch the dolphin swim by.

The Excalibur has the medieval pageantry and a whole basement level with arcade
and video games. The Tournament of Kings is one of the nice shows for kids as
you get to see a medieval joust and get to eat like they did in King Arthur's
days -- No forks or spoons here, use your fingers.

Gameworks is also a basement level arcade and game center. It is quite easy to
find on the strip, just look for the big Coca-Cola bottle and the M&M shop. It
is located underneath these two shops. They have batting cages,
motion-simulation rides, video games, and air hockey.

For toddlers and young children, you might try the Lied Discovery Children's
Museum. There are plenty of interactive games for them to engage and play. They
could feed a wooden sandwich to a snake and a human to see how they both use
nutrition. There is a mini grocery store, a radio station, and a music/drawing
area. They can also pla basketball in a wheelchair to see how it is to be
handicapped.

Hoover Dam

If not for the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas may not exist. Construction began in 1931
and the workers needed ways to relax on their days off. 5200 laborers were
assembled and proceeded working twenty four hours a day. The dam was finished
in 1936. It helped conserve water for electrical, industrial, and irrigation
purposes. The dam has become just one of the world's major electrical
generating plants that provided surrounding towns with a low cost and clean
hydroelectric power. The $165 million Hoover Dam paid for itself by selling
electrical power to the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada.

660 feet at the top tapering to 45 feet where the road crosses at the top, the
dam is a massive curved wall. It is 726 feet tall which is about the height of
a 60 foot skyscraper. The dam holds back 9.2 trillion gallons of water. This
water is kept in Lake Mead, a reservoir facilitated by the construction of the
dam. There are four intake towers on the lake that drop the water down about
600 feet to help drive turbines and create power.

The visitor center opened in 1995 and is built upon a three level circular
structure with a rooftop overlook. You will enter into the Reception Lobby
where there is a gift shop and you can purchase souvenirs of your visit to the
dam. They carry photographs, articles, videos, and other paraphernalia relating
to the dam and the people who built it.

There are thirty minute tours of the dam that leave every fifteen minutes.
These tours go down about 561 feet into the bowels of the dam. You will see the
massive turbines and even get to go outside on the downriver side for a look
back up at the massive structure.

Casino Games

No matter what your skill level or monetary disposition, you can always find
something you can play down in the casino. Las Vegas has everything from Penny
Slots to $10,000 bets on the blackjack table.

Blackjack is an easy game to start playing. You get two cards to start and
then, on your turn, can request more until you get to 21 or close to it. Then
the dealer will play his hand. If he has less than you do, you win.

Roulette is another simple game to play. You can bet on a number, red or black,
or if the number will be odd or even. If the ball lands on where you placed your
chip, you win.

Slot machines can be fun, but you can lose your money fast playing these games.
They have some with just one line to match up the icons. Some machines have up
to five lines to match up for you to win. These also cost extra. If you place a
quarter in a nickel slot, you can get five one line plays or one five line
plays. It can get very confusing, but after you play a couple of times, you
will get the hang of it.

Poker is another casino game that you will find interesting. Although don't
just jump in and join. Be sure to read the minimum bet at these tables as well.
You get two cards face down and go through a series of betting after getting up
to five cards to build the best hand you can. They also have Video Poker which
is you against the computer.

The best thing is free classes. If you see a game you want to play, but you are
unsure how to get started, go to the front desk of the casino and find out when
they hold classes. Most hotel casinos will give classes on all the games and
how to play.

Bringing Money with You

The US money system is quite easy to learn. We have several denominations of
bills: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The coin system is equally as
simple. We have a penny (1 cent), a nickel (5 cents), a dime (10 cents), a
quarter (25 cents), half dollar (50 cents), and several $1 coins (Sacagawea,
the silver dollar, and the new gold President dollar).

Foreign exchange bureaus are not easily found in the US so make sure you have
your money converted before your trip. Some banks may exchange it for you at a
fee.

Traveler's Checks in US denominations are accepted everywhere in the US.
Foreign checks are quite difficult to exchange. There are three that are widely
recognized here in the US. They are Visa, Mastercard, and Thomas Cook. Be sure
to keep the serial numbers written down in a safe place in case yours are lost
or stolen. To exchange them for US cash, you will need your driver's license
and/or your passport for identification.

Credit Cards accepted in the US are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diner's
Club, Discover, and Carte Blanche. Some Vegas vendors may also accept
international cards such as enRoute, EuroCard, and JCB. Most businesses will
have a sticker in the corner of their door to let you know what they will and
won't accept. Also, some businesses may require a minimum ten dollar purchase
before they will accept the card.

ATMs can be found on almost every block in the US. Make sure your PIN number is
well out of sight and don't place it on the back of your card. You can only get
US currency out of the ATMs. If you are not with the bank you are withdrawing
from, expect to be charged $3 or more for the transaction. One way to get
around the fee is go to a grocery store and buy something and get cash back.
Fees are not usually charged then.

Blue Man Group in Las Vegas

Only in Las Vegas would you find a group of hairless and non-speaking guys that
are blue. The Blue Man Group is really a fantastic show. They use PVC pipe as
their drums, beat on drums that are filled with milk or paint, and their facial
expressions throughout the performance tell the story perfectly.

A branch off the Cirque du Soleil circuit in New York, these guys slipped
through the side door. But this is no repeat of Cirque du Soleil. There are no
acrobatics or aerial maneuvers in this show. There are just three blue guys
making lots of noise and sometimes a lot of messes.

It doesn't sound very Vegas, but it is just another end of the color spectrum
that is also used by Cirque du Soleil. They wrap themselves up in a blue suit
and then paint their faces and hands blue. They don't talk at all during the
hour and half shows, but you can see in their expressions and eye what they are
trying to get you to see or do.

They also let audience members in on the fun. They will choose a volunteer and
take them on stage to beat the drums or pipes, and during some shows they
encase the volunteer in a cocoon and then paint it blue.

They do perform for minor audiences. At the Autodesk convention in November of
2006, they did a show at the Venetian for about 8,000 attendees. Most of these
people came out of the show saying how good it really was. Most also said that
they would attend the live show if they had a chance.

Usually by the end of the show, the audience is roaring with laughter and
amazement. Well worth the ticket price to see and you will most certainly be
scratching you head in wonder as you are leaving.

Best Pools in Las Vegas

Swimming in the summer sun can be a wonderful experience after a long day of
shopping and casino play. Most of these pools have hot tubs as well.

Caesar's Palace has a 4.5 acre Garden of the Gods that includes fountains and
statuary. They four Roman-styled pools and two jacuzzis. The Venus pool is top
optional, so be sure to check that out. The 2001 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
Issue was shot here so you may have seen it many times.
Mandelay Bay boasts the best pool in Las Vegas. It has a wave pool with actual
sand beaches. It is an excellent way to relax and enjoy the evening.

The Hard Rock is the choice for the younger party crowd. It has underwater
music, a hair salon, a spa, and swim up blackjack. The poolside cabanas are
nice grass shacks and include refrigerators, phones, and misting systems.

The Bellagio has an exceptionally elegant pool area. It has a number of smaller
pools and citrus trees that have created a very Mediterranean look. You can even
reserve a pool for the evening to come and relax. Invite your friends to join
you too.

The Venetian Hotel has several pools that are heated. Also, on the fourth floor
of the Venezia tower, they have four more pools. Two of which are jacuzzis and
heated. A wonderful place to relax in the summer or winter.

The pool at the Green Valley Ranch Resort is also a winner. It has foliage, a
sandy beach, and gambling in the water. Because of its distance from the Strip,
it doesn't get as much business.

Perhaps the best pool to get wet at, but not swim in is the Mirage Dolphin
pool. They have several dolphins you can see and they are working at breeding
some more. You can come down and toss a ball to the dolphin and the will bring
it back as well as give you a splash just to get you wet. Playing with a
dolphin is enough to make anyone's day.

1980s and 1990s in Las Vegas

AS the 1980's began, Las Vegas seemed to be booming once again. McCarran
airport had just started a twenty year, $785 million expansion plan. Siegfried
and Roy started in their own show, "Beyond Belief," that ran for six years at
the Frontier. They played a record breaking 3,500+ shows to sellout crowds
every night.

Steve Wynn opened the Mirage Hotel in 1989. It had five story waterfalls,
lagoons, and tropical type foliage. The hotel was fronted by a fifty foot
volcano that erupted nightly in a explosion of color. He also invited Siegfried
and Roy to come and headline his hotel.

The 1990's brought us the Excalibur that along with the Circus Circus was
bringing the family attitude to Las Vegas. With its pageantry and medieval
background, the hotel was perfect for kids. Also in the 1990s came the Luxor,
the MGM Grand Hotel and Treasure Island.

In 1995, Fremont Street was completed and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
opened. It was billed as the first rock and roll hotel. 1996 brought the Monte
Carlo and the 1,149 foot Stratosphere Hotels. The New York New York arrived in
1997 with its Manhattan skyline and scale size replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Between the years of 1998 and 1999, the CEOs of Las Vegas took a look at the
growing town and decided to change the look from family vacation place to
luxury resort capital. Hotels that were opened after this time reflect this
attitude. The Bellagio, Venetian, and Paris Las Vegas were all built to follow
the trend. Now they see other hotels are also making expansions. The Luxor,
Caesar's Palace, and Mandelay Bay have all added in another tower that has
created hundreds of rooms for even more tourists to enjoy.

1960s and 1970s in Las Vegas

The 1960's brought the debut of the slot machines. Some of these machines would
accept up to a $500 token. The jackpots grew over time from $100 to $10 million
today.

The Rat Pack was in town filming Ocean's Eleven. The rat pack was chairing a
summit meeting at the Sands Hotel. The group included Frank Sinatra, Dean
Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter :Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

The building boom took a brief rest when the El Rancho burned down in 1960. It
wasn't until 1966 that another hotel was built. The Aladdin was opened and was
quite an exotic Arabian Night type of hotel. Howard Hughes burst into town in
the late 60's and went on a shopping spree of land and hotels costing more than
$300 million.

The Circus Circus opened in 1968 and Las Vegas had become a family destination
as well. With the circus acts over the casino floors, adults and children could
partake in the shows. Elvis Presley returned in 1969 to the International
showroom and his fans had grown up enough to enjoy the show.

In 1971, the Union Plaza, a 500 room hotel, opened at the head of Fremont
Street. Merv Griffin started taping his shows at Caesar's Palace. He made the
city a little more famous by bringing it into people's homes each night on the
television.

1973 saw Siegfried and Roy's first show open at the Tropicana. They would turn
women into tigers in their show "Folies Begere." They became world class
illusionists in their own right.

The 1970's also brought two major disasters to Las Vegas. The first was a flash
flood that hit the main strip and wound up costing more than $1 million in
damage. The second was that gambling was legalized in Atlantic City and this
took a lot of tourists away from Las Vegas. Dollar slot machines were brought
out at the end of the decade.

1940s and 1950s in Las Vegas

Bugsy Siegel started out in Las Vegas in the 1940s. He took some already
existing properties and just added to them. In 1941, the El Rancho Vegas was
built among these properties almost right across the street from where the
Sahara Hotel is located now.

Las Vegas was promoted as the Wild West combined with glamour. Hollywood's
connection helped the town grow and become a playground for celebrities. In
1947, Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel and its showroom boasted many headline
entertainers. There were Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson.

Hotel growth was phenomenal during the 1950's. The town was moving from a
frontier type to an entertainment type of place. Entertainers such as Charlie
McCarthy and Edgar Bergen brought an elegance with them and builders started to
add golf courses and tennis courts to the hotels. In 1952, the Binion Horseshoe
Club would opened and would later become famous as the home of the World Poker
Series. In 1955, the Showboat Hotel opened that not only had the best buffets
in town, but also had a bowling alley and twenty four hour bingo games.

In 1956, Elvis Presley appeared at the New Frontier, but his fans were too
young at the time to appreciate the shows. In 1958, the 1,065 room, 10 million
dollar Stardust hotel was opened. The show that opened there "Lido de Paris"
was the longest running show ever in Las Vegas.

Competition for tourist monies also brought sporting events to the town. The
1950's saw the start of the PGA Tournament of Champions for golfing. Also, the
wedding venue took off and Las Vegas became a popular destination to go and tie
the knot. A lot of celebrities sparked this takeoff in weddings getting married
there themselves. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward are just one of the couples
that took advantage of the chapels in Las Vegas.

Staying Downtown in Las Vegas

The Downtown area of Las Vegas is also called Glitter Gulch. Centered around
Fremont Street, this was the first section to build hotels. The Fremont Street
Experience has revitalized the whole area again. This experience includes a
laser light show and a Neon museum which houses signs of hotels and casinos
from days past.

First opening in 1946, the Golden Nugget was the first hotel designed for
casino gambling. So named because of the 61 pound Hand of Faith gold nugget
that is on display. They have a delicious buffet and a top rated health club
for their guests.

The Four Queens which opened in 1966 was named for the owner's four daughters.
It only had 120 rooms at its opening, but it has evolved into a major downtown
hotel. To get a feel of Old Las Vegas, take a trip to this historic hotel.

The Fremont Hotel opened in 1956. Wayne Newton started his singing career in
the old showroom. The Fremont Street Experience can be heard up until midnight
in some of the rooms.

Main Street Station is decorated in the fashion of early twentieth century San
Francisco. It opened in 1966 and is a mere three minute walk from Fremont
Street. Inside the lobby, you will find ornate chandeliers and tin ceilings.
Outside there are stained glass windows and wrought iron railings. This hotel
is definitely themed for the Old West.

The Lady Luck Hotel first opened in 1964, but under another name. Honest John's
boasted a 2,000 foot casino. Today, Lady Luck has increased that to 30,000 feet
and they added a seventeen and twenty-five story tower for the hotel rooms.
Most of the clientele at this hotel is repeat business. This hotel is becoming
a major player in the Downtown area.

Souvenirs in Las Vegas

Finding a souvenir shop in Las Vegas is like finding a place to eat. There are
several places on every block. Some are little holes in the wall and some are
quite huge. They sell a lot of the same items, and the best advice is this,
don't buy the souvenirs at the airport. They are way more expensive, unless you
have forgotten something.

The all around best place to go and find souvenirs is the Bonanza Gift and
Souvenir Shop. It occupies the corner across from the Sahara Hotel. They have
everything you could possibly want in this store. They have old chips, dice,
cards, hats, pens, pencils, calendars, t-shirts, baby clothes, wooden trinket
boxes, tote bags, shot glasses, those famous dice clocks, old money, disposable
cameras, and batteries. You can spend hundreds in a matter of minutes, so watch
yourself.

The Arts Factory Complex is right off of Las Vegas Boulevard. They have a gift
shop carrying pink flamingos and Las Vegas related items. The tackiest item
seen was a pair of earrings with poker chips.

Also, check the hotels for gift shops for your favorite performers. The Las
Vegas Hilton has Barry Manilow. Also, at the Las Vegas Hilton, you can find a
gift shop for that Trekker in your life at Star Trek: The Experience. Caesar's
Palace has Celine Dion and an Elton John Store. On the side of Harrah's, you
can find Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville shop. The Stratosphere Tower has a gift
shop way up at the very top of the tower with plenty of souvenirs and mementos.
Circus Circus has several gift shops as you walk through the casino. They have
everything from snacks to beautiful pictures of the strip at night for framing.
You can even find decorated golf balls.

The South Strip of Las Vegas

The South Strip could be considered the expensive end. Most of the hotels on
this end are resorts and are more elaborate than the hotels at the other end of
the strip or on Fremont Street. These are hotels with huge towers and everything
from shopping to spas to convention centers. Let's take a look at the sights on
the south end of the strip.

The first hotel you will see when going north on the strip is the Four Seasons
hotel. These people do everything in a big way from the entrance way to the
cotton sheets on the beds. There is also no clanging or ringing of a casino to
overload your senses as you walk through the door.

For casino sounds that are quite abundant, follow the signs and go through the
side door of the Four Seasons and you walk right into the Mandelay Bay's casino
and gaming tables. If you walk a little further into the lobby, you will see a
huge aquarium that advertises for the hotel's Shark Reef Experience. If you
have an hour or two, go and see the wildlife ranging from crocodiles, pirahna,
sharks, jellyfish, and even some baby rays you can touch.

The next hotel you come to will be the Luxor. You can't miss this one with the
big pyramid and Sphinx sitting in front of it. This hotel is decorated with
Egyptian tones and has a unique lobby inside. The rooms go up the outside of
the pyramid and the elevator which is called and INCLINATOR actually travels at
a slant up the floors.

The Excalibur Hotel is out of King Arthur days. It is a huge fairy tale castle
complete with dragons and pageantry on the inside. Make sure to eat the
Tournament of Kings medieval style buffet complete with a jousting attraction.

History of Las Vegas

Hoover Dam actually was the creation of the Las Vegas we know today. When the
dam was being built staring back in 1928, thousands of workers came to Nevada
looking for work. In 1931, gambling was made legal once more. Fremont Street's
gaming casinos attracted the workers from the Hoover Dam.

Bugsy Siegel, the man who is credited with developing Las Vegas actually just
bought a few blocks of already developed properties. El Rancho Vegas Hotel was
built in 1941 right across the street from where the Sahara is today.
Throughout the 1940's, the El Rancho became a place where Hollywood stars came
to relax. In 1947, the Flamingo opened with Dean Martin headlining several
shows.

Hotel growth continued into the 1950's. The Riviera was the ninth hotel to open
in 1957. Liberace was a headliner at most of the shows. In 1958, the Stardust
opened and Wayne Newton fgot his start in Las Vegas.

In the 1960's, the Sands Hotel invited the Rat Pack to headline. Dean Martin,
Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford all came and
stayed there while the group was in town filming Ocean's Eleven. In 1968,
Circus Circus was opened to the Las Vegas visitors. This hotel boasted circus
acts every hour right over the casino floors.

In the 1970's, a flood causing almost one million in damage. Gambling was also
legalized in Atlantic City costing Las Vegas a lot of customers.

In 1989, Steve Wynn finally made people take notice of Las Vegas. The Mirage
opened and Siegfried & Roy took over as healiners.

As the 1990's and 2000's come and go, even more luxurious hotels will be
opening. The Luxor, Venetian, Mandelay Bay, and THE Hotel have even more to
offer guests in shopping and gambling. Las Vegas, like its hotels, will keep on
growing and making more money every year.

Halloween in Las Vegas

Halloween in Las Vegas is where the ghosts hang out or so it is said. To see
the scary side of Las Vegas, take the haunted tour. It begins at the Greek
Isles Hotel and Casinos. It is located right off the strip. You can go and
visit the haunting grounds of Liberace, Elvis, and Bugsy Siegel. The tour lasts
about two and a half hours. You will find out many dar secrets of Las Vegas.

According to a paranormal historian, there have been about forty places where
paranormal activity has been recorded. The tour itself includes the "Motel of
Death" where many celebrities have died, and Tupac's murder site. You can also
listen to stories of Elvis sightings at the Hilton and hear Liberace play the
piano for restaurant patrons.

Also on or near Halloween, there is a Fetish and Fantasy Ball. It takes place
at a different hotel every year. The ball includes erotic stage performances,
fire performances, laser and light shows, a DJ, walkers on stilts, and of
course, a costume contest. They give prizes in the sexiest, naughtiest, and
scariest costume. Early bird discount tickets are available through paypal
right now.

Performers will be announced for the program as they sign up. So check the site
daily to see what is happening.

Monster Mayhem is also a big happening in Las Vegas. There are seven haunted
houses in which all kinds of ghouls wander around in. There are crypts, creepy
catacombs, and fog filled pathways. The houses take about ten minutes to walk
through so you need to allow at least a hour and a half to get through all of
them.

The Boneyard is another scarefest. It is an above ground graveyard with corpses
and lurking ghouls. Take your time walking through this graveyard.

Best of the Best in Las Vegas

Ranking some of the many attractions in Las Vegas is quite hard to do. But
several sites have many different favorites. Here are just a few to keep you
busy.

* Best Non-Vegas Hotel: THE Hotel at Mandelay Bay.

* Best Spa & Health Club: The Venetian and the Mirage

* Best Luxury Resort: The Palms Resort

* Best Pool: The Venetian, The Mirage, and Mandelay Bay

* Best Architectural Hotel: Caesar's Palace

* Best for Conventioners: Las Vegas Hilton, The Venetian

* Best Hotel for Families: MGM Grand, Circus Circus

* Best Bathroom: The Venetian and THE Hotel at Mandelay Bay

* Best Views: Stratosphere Tower (109th floor)

* Best Rooms: Golden Nugget, MGM Grand, and The Venetian

* Best Downtown Hotel: Main Street Station and The Golden Nugget

* Best for 20-something age group and up: Hard Rock and The Palms Resort

* Best place for the Indecisive crowd: Ritz-Carlton and Green Valley Ranch

* Best Dining Experience: The Venetian and Bellagio

Take these as suggestions for your next trip and check the places out. You may
find you like one more than the other and want to stay there. Go on the web and
see what each hotel has to offer. See if they welcome children and pets. See if
the themes are within your tastes. Call ahead to see if you can get any
discounts on the rooms if you are going during the weekdays. The weekends will
always be a little more expensive. Throughout scheduling the whole trip, please
make sure you stay somewhere that you will be comfortable and don't feel out of
place in. This will lead to a great vacation experience and a more exciting
time in Las Vegas. So take out all the stops and plan an excellent vacation
that will make all your friends jealous.

Best Hotels In Vegas

In 1997, the New York New York opened and led a new challenge in for others to
keep up with them. Nobody did for almost eighteen months. You can tell the
hotel by the 150 foot Statue of Liberty in front of it. You can also see a bit
of the Manhattan skyline -- The Chrysler Building and the Empire State
Building. To top it off, it has a huge roller coaster built around it as well.
Inside, you can enter the casino through the Brooklyn Bridge, and you will end
up in Greenwich Village afterwards. The main casino and gambling areas are done
up to look like Central Park.

Caesars Palace was opened in 1966. It was built to showcase Roman History. The
Coliseum, the baths, the staff dressed in gladiator outfits all serve to remind
us what this hotel is about. It has four towers of rooms that have wall to floor
windows with the most breath-taking views you will ever find. The Forum Shops
occupy three floors and has stores for every taste and interest. From a Houdini
magic shop to FAO Schwarz's toy store, you can find a wide variety of shopping
available.

The Venetian and its twin tower, Venezia, all have suite type rooms. Most have
the bed area as well as a sunken living room complete with TV and a mini-fridge
stocked with goodies. They boast six outdoor pools and most are heated even in
the winter. The Grand Canal Shoppes on the second floor rank up there with
Caesar's Forum Shoppes. Also, on the second floor as well as outside the hotel,
you can ride in a gondola around the hotel. The second floor's ceiling is
decorated to make you think you are outside on a warm spring day. It is a very
relaxing place to walk and window shop.

Best Buffets In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the place to go for awesome buffets. Most hotels, depending on the
theme, carry their own fare on their buffets. For instance, if you go Paris
Hotel, you will see French food. They normally serve breakfast, lunch, and
dinner. Your best bet is to go for brunch around 1030-11AM and then go back for
dinner around 5PM. Buffets and brunches can run you anywhere from $5 to $58
depending on where you are on the strip.

Bally's Sterling Sunday Brunch is one of the most expensive at $58. The variety
isn't as big, but the quality is better. Unlimited Champagne, Lobster, Caviar,
Sushi, Monkfish, and even tenderloin steaks and ostrich are offered in this
eating experience.

Paris Hotel's Le Village Buffet is another expensive venture. On their buffet,
you will find food grouped according to the French Region. In Brittany, you
will find crepes and roasted duck. Alsace boasts a hearty lamb stew, where
Provence offers pasta and braised beef. Normandy has quiche and bay scallops.
The dinner buffet runs around $25.

Harrah's Hotel has a fresh market buffet. With the theme as a farmer's market,
they have big sculptures made from fruits and vegetables. There are plenty
tastes to choose from at this buffet. You will want to try the seafood, pasta,
Mexican, Asian, and American fares. Their dinner buffet runs around $17.

The Mirage Hotel has a dining buffet named CRAVINGS. They have something for
everyone -- Italian, Chinese, Mexican, American, and more desserts than you
could possibly choose from to dine on. Prime rib and seafood are also offered.
The dinner buffets here run around $15.

The Excalibur's Round Table Buffet is one of the cheapest ones for breakfast.
They also offer any breakfast food you care to eat as well as carry a large
variety of fruit juices and coffee, tea, or milk to drink. All you can eat for
$9. Dinner runs around $13.

Expensive Hotels on the Strip

The Four Seasons Luxury Hotel and Resort is located on the top five floors of
the Mandelay Bay. It has its own registration desk and driveway entrance. It
will get you away from all the noise and clash of the Mandelay Bay casino. The
service is superb here and you and your children will be so spoiled, you won't
want to ever leave the room. If you are pining for the casino sounds, you just
have to walk through the front door and you are in the casino. It is never far
away, it just seems that way due to the piece and quiet of the resort. These
rooms can run upwards of $500 a night.

The MGM Grand had added onto its its massive hotel and casino by constructing
an Emerald Tower that has about 700 rooms available. It is no longer a family
hotel. The Wizard of Oz theme that gave the hotel its identity at first has
been replaced by a lounge called TABU and several striptease shows have been
added to the show lineup. Wolfgang Puck has an eaterie here as well as Emeril
Lagasse. They also have a lion habitat that showcases two lions every hour. The
spas and swimming pools are pleasing and leave you wanting to stay in the hot
tub. Rooms here run upwards of $330 a night.

The Bellagio is a 1.6 million luxury resort. It is named for a small village in
Lake Como, but the hotel itself is anything but small. It has marble structures
and gaudy glass blown flower sculptures on the ceilings. It has a beautiful
choreographed dancing water display that is set to music. At night, when they
add in the colored lights, this is really a treat. The hotel has six heated
pools and several have gushing fountains in them. The spas and health club
facilities are wonderful and the attendants will keep you stock full of towels
or iced tea. Rooms here can run upwards up $499 a night.

City Layout of Las Vegas

The two most identified area of Las Vegas are the Strip and Downtown. The strip
is the most famous four mile road in the US. Most first time visitors will spend
most of their time on the Strip getting to know the way it works. It has the
most top hotels of any other road in the US.

The South strip is that portion of the Strip that has the MGM Grand, Mandelay
Bay, Luxor, and Monte Carlo. Don't overlook the New York New York with its
Manhattan skyline.

The Mid strip has Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, The Mirage and Treasure Island.
There is also the Venetian and the Wynn Hotel.

The North Strip has Circus Circus, the Stratosphere, and the Sahara.

The East Strip has grown up around the Convention Center and Las Vegas is a top
convention center. The major hotel located here is the Las Vegas Hilton and the
Hard Rock Hotel is becoming a major hotel.

Between the Strip and Downtown, there is a bunch of wedding chapels, pawnshops,
and cheap motels. The area is called the Gateway District. It is making a name
for itself as an artist retreat. Other signs of life are sprouting up such as
coffee shops and small cafes.

Downtown is also known as Glitter Gulch. The neon lights become brighter down
here because of the narrow streets. This area is a lot more casual than the
Strip itself. The people are more friendly and it is not as snobby a place
either. With the start of the Fremont Street Experience, the downtown area has
been coming out of the ditches. Don't overlook this area, you may be surprised
at what you can find down here. It is a little distance from the strip, but it
might make the difference in your trip.

Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas

Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" is definitely one of those Las Vegas shows that is
not for kids. So leave them with family if you are able. This is a show
celebrating human sexuality. The ushers have on t-shirts that make them look as
though they are wearing nothing. This is a better show if you sit farther away
from the stage. They have some ladies in a large glass container splashing
around. Some of the gymnastics and acrobatics are simply amazing. The clowns
still the show at times. This one is shown at the New York New York Hotel.

Cirque du Soleil's "O" is actually spelled as "eau" and is the French word for
water. This production employs a 1.5 million gallon pool where its characters
perform amazing acrobatic feats in and around the pool. This show includes much
of the sensual music, humor, and stylistic repertoire of the original show. This
show is at the Bellagio. There is also a gift shop at the Bellagio with
souvenirs from the show. These include masks, pottery and t-shirts.

Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" began in Montreal as a circus show. They show many
wondrous feats of human agility and strength. This production showcases one
amazing feat after another using contortionists, acrobats, and some aerial
tricks. You can bring your children to this one, if for no other reason, to see
the giant snail. This one is shown at Treasure Island that is right next door to
the Mirage.

The showrooms for all three shows have state of the art music and sound
systems. The budget on these shows are astronomical as they have to pay for
lighting, costumes, sets, and very high-tech special effects. They are a wonder
to watch and you will want to go back again.

Christmas in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, the casinos used to close down starting from December 10 to New
Year's Eve. It was a real slow time and there weren't many visitors to the
city. But, there has since been an increase in Christmas themed activities.

Coast Casinos, which owns Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Orleans Resorts, tries to
appeal to families every holiday season. The company has been hosting "Forever
Plaid" for the past several years and they are planning on spiffying it up a
bit for the holidays. The guys get a second chance at stardom, but this time
they have to do a Christmas show.

The Suncoast has a Polynesian style Christmas. They sing Polynesian carols and
everyone shows up in grass skirts. It has a different kind of feel to it coming
from the islands.
At the Orleans, Donny Osmond's Holiday Celebration can draw a crowd in the
35-45 age group. Some of the visitors come from around the world to see him
perform. He gives most of the money he earns to several charities he is close
to.

Wayne Newton has created a holiday show that will be at the Flamingo. The shows
include ice skaters, penguins, and several talented performers.

The Scinta family has put new life into the old-school Las Vegas entertainment.
They have a Christmas show at the Sahara that features upbeat music, impressions
and a comedy routine that has made them favorites of visitors.

You can find other light displays at Mystic Falls in Sam's Town. You can also
visit the Ethel M Chocolate Factory's cactus garden for a twist on a Christmas
tree. The Nutcracker is performed by the Nevada Ballet Theater at UNLV's
theater.

Christmas can be a fun time with the many holiday themed shows and the
attractions available. Many tourists come from around the globe to see the many
decorations and the holiday shows and pageantry.

Choosing a Casino

You came to Las Vegas to gamble, but don't know how to choose the right casino
to go to. Here are a few hints to help you make your decision. But ultimately,
you have to go where you are most comfortable. If you don't like the service,
then leave. There are always other casinos that will treat you better.
Moreover, there are more than enough to choose if one is not to your liking.

Go casino hopping. Take in all the casinos you are thinking about visiting. See
how the dealers treat people and how the wait staff is toward the gamblers.
Visit two or three and make your decision. You may find something you like,
such as penny slots in one, that you may not find in another.

Be warned that all casinos have no windows or clocks. They don't want you to
know what time it is at any given time. If you are on a losing streak, they
certainly don't want you to break by realizing it is after three in the
morning. Take a watch with you so limits can be set on gambling time.

There is an old legend that hasn't been proven or unproven. The thought is the
casinos pump in fresh oxygen to keep the gamblers from getting tired. This may
be true as some people say they have done a long stretch of betting only to
find out later it is the next day.

Don't go to into the casino and act like a snob. Likewise, don't go in
intimidated because of the sheer enormity of the place. If you are looking for
a small place to start out, hit the downtown casinos. Stakes are lower and
people are more friendly. Payoffs are higher at some hotels. Most of them are
located downtown on Fremont Street.

Cheapest Hotels in Las Vegas

Barring any of the national chain hotels, there are several hotels on the strip
to stay at during your visit. This will also allow you the convenience of not
having to rent a car and being able to ride the buses or trolleys down to the
next hotel you want to visit.

The Circus Circus is a great place to stay especially if you brought the kids.
This hotel has a lot to offer such as the circus acts and the Adventuredome and
Midway. The Adventuredome is located on the second floor and is an amusement
park filled with all kinds of rides, a mini golf game, and its own roller
coaster. The midway also located on the second floor has dozens of video games
and simulators. Both of these attractions are for kids and adults. There is a
wedding chapel on the third floor and the circus acts perform right over the
casino floors. So if you are waiting on the kids from the park, you can watch
these acts as you play the slots or blackjack. Rooms at this hotel run $59 a
night.

The Orleans is about two blocks off the strip and has nothing around it.
However, it does have its own food court, day care center, bowling alley, and
12 screen movie theater. It also has a brand new 9,000 seat ice rink for minor
hockey games. They have a shuttle that runs back and forth to the strip every
fifteen minutes. The rooms are nice and have that New Orleans French feel to
them. They are supposed to representative of a warm Victorian parlor. Rooms run
$39 a night.

The Fremont Hotel in 1956 and Wayne Newton got his start here. Right outside
the front door is the Fremont Street Experience. The only bad thing is if you
go to bed before midnight, you will hear the sounds and noise of the Fremont
Street Experience. This hotel has a breakfast buffet and RV park. Rooms here
run around 35 a night.

Casino Money

The casino cashier is located in the "cage." Each casino only has one cage.
They have rows like a bank would. You can also set up a credit line here if
needed.

If you need change and you are nowhere near the cage, there are change booths
usually scattered throughout the casino. They don't handle chips, and are
usually in the machine areas.

There are attendants on the casino floor that can also help you with change.
Roaming change attendants are usually seen pushing a cart. Slot attendants are
in the middle of a carousel of machines. They have the buckets for holding all
your coins. Ask either of these which machine would be the best to play because
they are there every day and might know which ones are loose.

Casinos do have a color coding scheme for their chips. The $1 chips will vary.
$5 chips are red. $25 chips are green. $100 chips are black. $500 chips are
purple. $1000 chips are yellow. The important thing to remember is that while
most casinos follow the same color scheme, they do not accept each other's
chips.

Slot machines will also take US denominations of bills to play. Nickel and
quarter machines will also take US coins to play. You can only get change at
the cages and booths. The attendants will refuse to do it.

A secret that most people don't know is you can can place cash on the table if
it is just for one or two quick bets. For example, at a $2 Blackjack table, you
can place two dollar on the table for the minimum bet on each hand. You can't do
it for long, but you should be able to play two or three hands. So if you are on
your way out the door, you can still make a last minute bet.

Guidelines for Betting

If you are going to Las Vegas for the gambling, make sure you take enough money
to cover yourself if lose it at the tables. Set a limit and stick to it. It is
hard because one more play might be the big one. However, one more play and you
could lose everything.

Lower your bets when you aren't winning. If you start to losing, switch tables
or even casinos. Go where you feel comfortable and try again.
Sometimes you will spot advertisements for sure winners or big jackpots. These
are scams. Don't buy them. If anybody figured out how to beat the slot
machines, they wouldn't share it with everyone else.

Quit once you get ahead of where you started. If you up a hundred dollars, get
up from the table. Don't let greed separate you from your winnings.

Don't go into debt to make bets. If you are down to your last dollars and have
maxed out your credit cards, it is time to stop. Don't even let it get that
far. Some people have used up their savings and used their homes as collateral.
Please be careful in knowing what you can and cannot afford to wager.

The chances are you will lose most of the money you have brought with you to
gamble. The house usually has the odds on their side. Sure you might win a few
times, but they usually will get it all back and more. If you get lucky in a
short run, take the money and leave. You will be better off for it. You will
also have some coin to play another day.

Don't use the winnings from one play to increase on the next. Greed is getting
the better of you. Hold on to the winnings and keep your bets at the original
levels you started at. This way, you can build up your winnings and if you lose
all your gambling money, you still are not completely broke.

Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian

The first thing you wonder when you get to the second floor of the Venetian is
if you took a wrong turn. The shops here are made to look like outside Venice
on a warm spring day. The illusion is complete with an azure sky above and
gondola rides around the hotel. A boatman will serenade you while you take a
lazy stroll down the river. You may even meet a famous Venetian while you are
here. Marco Polo may discuss his travels or Casanova exerts his famous charm to
the ladies.

The boat ride ends at a replica of St. Mark's Square which is a central
landmark in Venice. You can also listen to strolling musicians, opera singers,
or watch glass blowers make their vases. It is the normal hustle-bustle
activity of a Venice marketplace.

The Shoppes themselves are directly accessible from the outside so you don't
have to try to navigate the casino. Walking through the casino is taking the
long way around, but you do get to view the fabulous artwork on the ceilings
and in the lobby. Even the floor of the lobby is eye-catching.

The Venetian recently added another tower to its structure called the Venezia.
This building will adjoin the shoppes at the far end to St. Mark's Square. Thus
making it easier for guests to get back to their specific tower and making it
easier for visitors to find their way around.

The shops themselves are medium to high-end brand names such as Jimmy Choo, Ann
Taylor, Banana Republic, Rockport, and a Venetian glass and paper shop. They
have a food court at one end of the shopping mall and the other end leads to
Tao, a nightclub where you must be 21 to get into.

Getting Married in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the easiest place in the world to get married. There is no blood
test and no waiting period. You can even get married at a drive-through chapel
and not have to go through all the fancy planning. Your honeymoon destination
is right down the street.

The cost of a marriage license runs around $60. You go to the Clark County
Marriage License Bureau which is open until midnight some days and then you can
go plan the most simple or extravagant wedding that you want.

Valentine's Day is the busiest day for weddings. They perform over 100 on
February 14. The ease of a ceremony is a big attraction because the wedding
chapels will usually take care of everything. Sometimes they will even give you
a limo ride to the license bureau and back. They also offer different
accessories including rings to a video of the service.

A really interesting thing to do in Las Vegas is go to the chapels and watch
the people. Stand out and watch the different brides and grooms and see how
they are attired and how their wedding goes. This may give some idea of the
kind of wedding you may want. It is your wedding however, and you need to feel
comfortable whether it is a small affair or a large gala.

Weddings can be very cheap in Las Vegas running around $500 at some place or up
in the tens of thousands. These usually will include photos, video, cake, music,
and flowers. There are specialty weddings. You can have Elvis singing or have
Elvis officiate your wedding. At the Star Trek Experience, you can get married
dressed as a Borg or Klingon. At the Excalibur Hotel, you can dress in medieval
clothing. At the Venetian, you can get married on the gondola ride.

Free Things to do in Las Vegas

There are several things you can enjoy in Las Vegas that don't cost a cent.
These can be quite and will take you all over Las Vegas.

Go casino hopping. Check out several hotels you like and see what they have to
offer. Most of the hotels have a theme and it is neat to see all the different
ways they follow that theme in their casinos and decor. You may even find
something that you really like and spend a day at that hotel. Caesar's Palace
with its casino and Forum Shoppes and Coliseum could take a whole day to get
through.

The Fremont Experience is in Downtown on Fremont Street. The Neon Museum is
also in this area. This is a facility that houses the old neon signs of older
hotels and casinos. You can also head over to the Arts Factory and browse their
art collection for free.

The White Tiger Exhibit at the Mirage is a special treat. Two white Bengal
tigers grace this habitat complete with a little river running through it so
the tigers can have a swim. These are very beautiful and majestic animals and
are part of Siegfried and Roy's magic act.

Along those same lines, down at the MGM Grand is the lion habitat. Hey have two
to three lions that you can watch walk through trees and under waterfalls.

Cruising the strip is a tourist favorite especially at night. The lights are on
and the city is quite beautiful in its neon glory. It is also fun to walk the
strip at night. You won't be alone. There are as many people on it at two in
the morning as at two in the daytime. So get out there and get some good photo
opportunities.

Free Attractions in Las Vegas

Besides gambling and costly ventures, there are many free attraction in Las
Vegas if you go looking for them. These will also get you a tour of the strip
as well.

The Bellagio Fountains are especially beautiful at night. The dancing water is
put to music and the choreography is quite mesmerizing.

The art work at the Venetian Hotel is quite worthwhile to see. The ceilings are
painted with intricate designs. The lobby floor is extremely eye catching as it
is an optical illusion. The second floor also has paintings in the ceilings
that make you feel like you are in one of the churches in Italy. If you head to
the second floor, you can go to their Grand Canal Shoppes. They have serenading
gondoliers, street performers, and living statues. You can get a feel for old
Italy here.

The circus acts at the Circus Circus Hotel are fascinating to watch. They are
usually every hour until midnight over the casino floors. After the show is
over, you can go to the Midway and try your luck with a few video games.

Caesar's Palace animatronic statues are good for a ten minute break. They have
laser light shows and dancing waters. All this and they tell the myth of
Bacchus or the rise and fall of Atlantis. There are seats all around so you can
sit and take a break and be entertained too.

The Sirens of Treasure Island have a pirate battle on the strip. But these
pirate have worked out and look pretty good. It is the Las Vegas version of
pirates in the Caribbean seas.

The Fremont Experience is another attraction you can go and view for free.
There is live music, street performers, and jugglers. They also have a great
laser and light show using some two million light bulbs.

Arriving in Las Vegas

When you arrive in Las Vegas, you will land at the McCarran International
Airport. The airport is east of the strip. Long layovers at this airport don't
have to be wasted time. Jump on a shuttle and go gambling or sightseeing before
your flight. If you can't leave the airport, there are plenty of slot machines
there to keep you busy.

The cheapest way to get to your hotel is by shuttle van. The vans will wait for
people in a marked area at the terminal. They make stops at most of the hotels.

Taxicabs are eagerly awaiting people getting off the planes. The highest amount
you should have to pay is around $20. Be careful of drivers who want to take the
quickest route. It may be quicker, but they charge by the mile, and it can be
very expensive.

To find out how long it will take you to get to Las Vegas, look at this quick
rundown. Dallas takes two hours. Chicago takes four hours. New York takes five
hours. San Francisco takes 1 1/2 hours. Sydney takes eighteen hours, and London
takes about eleven hours.

If you rent a car, make sure you follow the laws in Nevada concerning driving.
Residential street are usually 25 mph, where on major roads, it goes up to 45.
Radar detectors are heavily employed to make sure everyone is doing the speed
limit, especially in any school zones. Don't go drinking and try to drive
either. Nevade police are extremely vigilant about catching drunk drivers. You
will be considered legally drunk if your blood alcohol level is above 0.08%.

Watch for road conditions that might be hazardous as well. Look for the orange
cones or signs stating road work is going on. Local people tend to drive fast
and be discourteous.

Fast Facts for foreigners coming to Vegas

Business hours usually run from 9AM to 5PM. On the weekends, Saturdays are
usually the same, but Sundays are from 11AM to 6PM.

The drinking laws here are a little different from other countries. The
drinking age here in the US is 21 years old. You may be required to show
identification when buying alcohol.

Electric outlets are also different from other countries. The US uses 110 to
120 volt outlets, and Europe uses 220 to 240 volt outlets. You will need a 110
adapter to use your electrical appliances here in the US.

Consulates are all located in Washington DC. There are some consulates located
in the major US cities. Washington is the home of the embassies for Australia,
Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Great Britain.

Petrol is simply known as gas here in the US. One gallon of gas is equal to 3.8
liters. The gas prices in the US rise and fall especially during holidays and
summertime.

Emergency Services are reached by dialing 911 in any US city. If you have a
health issue, you may want to check ahead and know where the hospitals are
located in case you need medical help. Carry a list of medications and surgical
dates as well as your General Doctor's name and phone number.

Time is in Pacific Standard Time in Nevada. This means Nevada is 3 hours behind
New York and in most states in the US, Nevada does observe Daylight Savings Time.

Finding a public bathroom is near to impossible. You usually can go into a
hotel and find one in the lobby. Restaurants and other food places may not let
you use their bathroom unless you are a patron there. Simply buy a cup of
coffee or soft drink.

The US observes many federal holidays and this may mean several government
agencies are closed. Some of these holidays include Christmas, Thanksgiving,
Easter, New Year's Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Veteran's Day.

Family Shows in Las Vegas

There are plenty of shows for the family in Las Vegas. It isn't just for adults
anymore. Families can come here and find all kinds of things to do with the
kids. Afternoon shows and shows at night offer a chance to get away from the
loudness of Las Vegas and relax for a few hours.

The "Tournament of Kings" at the Excalibur is always a delight. The whole
family can go and have a real medieval meal and eat it with no forks or spoons.
Yes, they use their hands. Also, there is a jousting tournament to watch during
dinner. Merlin even shows up for a sing along.

Penn and Teller make a great alternative to other shows. They have a shtick
that has been perfected from about thirty years together. They also will
sometimes let you in on how the tricks or done. They do tricks and other
amazing feats with Teller usually being the guinea pig in Penn's next
outrageous idea.

At the Forum Shoppes at Caesar's Palace, there are two animatronic living
statue shows based on Roman mythology that go on every hour. These shows last
for about half an hour and give you a chance to rest in between shopping and
chasing the kids. The best part here is they're free to the public.

"In Search of the Obelisk" at the Luxor hotel is a neat presentation. It is a
motion simulator ride through a pyramid with a chase scene. Some of the shows
are 2D and some are in 3D. They have built in speakers to bring the action
right to you as well as magnificent special effects.

The Cyber Speedway at the Sahara gives you a taste of going around the track at
200+ miles an hour. For even more fun, race around the streets of Las Vegas
without hitting pedestrians in the process.

Art Museums in Las Vegas

Las Vegas does have an art scene and several places that have some awe
inspiring work. There are some galleries and some work spaces for local artists.

The Art Factory is located in the Gateway District. On the first Friday of
every month, they have a party and showcase all the local artists work with
live music, other entertainment, and live performances.

The MGM Grand took over Steve Wynn's fine collection of art. After he built his
newest hotel, the Wynn Las Vegas after blowing up the Desert Inn Hotel, he has
placed much of his artwork on display there as well. Pieces such as Picasso's
"Le Reve" and Matisse's "The Persian Robe" bring art appreciators out of the
woodworks to see what else Wynn will exhibit. Wynn apparently just set some art
purchasing records when he acquired some costly masterpieces.

Bellagio Hotel has a wonderful art gallery also owned by Steve Wynn. Some
couldn't believe he opened a gallery inside the Bellagio, but it has proved
profitable. They thought no one would go to see this gallery but they had to
relocate the gallery because of all the tourists that came through each day.
Steve Martin, the well known actor, is also a collector of art and exhibits his
collection here and at the MGM Grand as well. What they have is an exhibit of
European masterpieces from England's Chatsworth Manor. There is silver, gold,
rare books, furniture, and jewelry on display here. It is expensive to visit
but well worth the price if you are an art lover.

A different kind of art is found at the Guggenheim/Hermitage Museum at the
Venetian. This is modern art form and has one of the finest encyclopedic
collections in the world. Most of the artwork is about modern pop icons. This
is a co-venture between St. Petersburg in Russia and the Guggenheim Museum.

Area 51

If you are a X-files fan or just a conspiracy theorist, this is the place for
you to visit. Unfortunately, this area is supposed to be a secret military
facility. So getting on the base might prove to be a little harder that you
think. This secret hideaway is about 150 miles north of Las Vegas and is off
what some call the "ET Highway." It is so called because people started seeing
lights and aliens long before anybody thought about them.

Don't go thinking you will see much of anything. The topography of the land is
quite scenic. However, there are no markers, monuments, or signs pointing you
in the right direction. It is said when you get to the place where the base is
located, there are signs that warn you against going any further for threat of
bodily injury. They will also slap you with some jail time and fines.

As you ride down the road, notice the absence of animal life. The few cows you
see in the fields don't really look like any cows you seen before. Take note of
the crater holes in the earth, and you will realize that this is really a
nuclear test site and all the isolation makes sense. There are security guards
at every gate to make sure you don't get through. Take your look around and get
on your way.

There is an Area 51 Research Center you can visit. Just look for a big yellow
trailer.

There aren't any hotels or inns out this far, so unless you brought your
camping gear, you should make this an early morning trip. There aren't many gas
stations, so fill your tank before you leave. You should also bring plenty of
water for yourself and your car as you will be going through a lot of desert to
get to your destination.






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