“My tips for a buddy going to Vegas his first time”
Saskatchewan · 115 forum posts
#1 of 23 ·
As promised, here are a few ramblings on what to see / do while in Las Vegas this weekend. As you will soon discover, the craziest Las Vegas experiences will arise from just going with the flow. Therefore, don’t spend too much effort sticking to an agenda. Have a few ideas for the day, and just go with whatever happens. Therefore, if you only use one or two of my tips, the lunch hour spent typing this won’t be wasted ……
Las Vegas Bars / Night clubs:
Firstly, there is definitely a difference between Vegas lounges / regular bars and the Vegas mega nightclubs. Honestly, I been to most of the large nightclubs in Vegas, and they are all the same. That is, they are tough to get into (unless you are with some women), expensive (cover charge starts around $30 for guys (plus tips for the bouncers), drinks that average around $15, and these places are loud (ie, next to impossible to get into a conversation with anyone). But, you are in Vegas, so you gotta see at least one just for the experience. The nightclub scene changes so quickly in Vegas that is hard to tell what will be busy one night versus another. Some that are very popular (that I have been to) include Tao (in the Venetian), Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay), Pure (in Caesars Palace ), Vanity (in Hard Rock), Bank (in Bellagio), Haze (in Aria), and LAX (in the Luxor). These places don't open till 11:00, but the lineups start earlier. You really can't go wrong at any of these clubs on a Friday or Saturday night (they will all be busy). So, meet a few women, ask where they are off to, and stick with them!!
If you want to find out the latest tips on what's hot for nightclubs, or how to do the VIP thing at nightclubs, the best website for reference is www.jackcolton.com
Personally, I prefer hitting the 'fun bars'. They have more of a party crowd. And it is easier to meet people ;-) The places I usually hang out are as follows:
- Dueling Piano Bars @ NYNY, Paris. or Harrah's (our fav is in NYNY called the 'bar at times square'. We go there everytime in Vegas to party).
- Voodoo Lounge @ Rio (I love starting my night here. I go around 10:00pm. stick there for a few drinks, and leave around midnight (usually with a few new friends in tow). They have live music indoors, and a huge outdoor patio with DJ's. The bar is on the top floor of the Rio, so incredible views of the city.
- Margaritaville @ Flamingo (good for food, and has live 80's music and dancing in evening)
- Rockhouse @ Imperial Palace (this place starts playing music at like 11:00 am, with 2 for 1 drinks all day. Great place to go for a few drinks in the afternoon, or even to stop by in the evening. They have beer pong in the afternoon too!
- Carnival Court @ Harrah's (live music and dancing in the evening)
Since you are staying at Planet Hollywood, make sure you checkout the "PBR Rockbar" in the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile. It was fun to stop by in the afternoon. It has a great patio, sports bar, good burgers, etc. And daily happy hour is 3pm - 6pm (2 for 1 well drinks, $3 drafts). We also been to Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood for eats (it was ok, but won't be going back).
Worst Bar in Vegas:
- Coyote Ugly (at New York New York hotel). Don't get suckered to go here. Everytime i goto NYNY, I always get cornered by some guy giving free passes to Coyote Ugly, and I always go. That is always 30 minutes of my vacation I will never get back.
Things we would do if we were going this weekend:
- Whenever we goto Vegas, our first stop is ALWAYS the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the early evening. We like their restaurant called the "Pink Taco". Great lively crowd, and lots of eye candy;-) It is a Mexican restaurant, so great margaritas and Mexican food. It does vary a bit in attendance (can range from very packed to much less so). We also like the 'Center Bar' at the Hard Rock. TONS of hotties. We even do a bit of gambling at the Hard Rock just because we love the scene.
- We always make a point to get to Freemont Street. It is best in evening with all the light shows, live music on the street, and crowds. Not sure if you will make it out there. but it is definitely something to see and experience. If you happen to be there late in the evening and want to hit a nightclub, the best is "Gold Diggers" in the Golden Nugget hotel. We also love the gambling in Freemont (cheaper craps, better odds for Black Jack and Slots, etc).
Talking about Freemont Street, if you wanna check it out, coordinate it with a stop at the strip club called "Olympic Gardens" or "OG" for short. It is on the way to the Freemont Street area. I think it is the best value strip club in town. Last time we went, we hit happy hour (I think it runs from 3 - 6 pm everyday), with no cover charge, and $3 beers. We had so much fun we went back in the evening (the prices and cover charge go up in the evening depending on how you do it. read on).
Some tips about the OG or other Vegas strip clubs:
- if you are gonna go in the evening, call the strip club and prearrange it with them. They will send a complimentary limo to get you, and give you free cover charge. You can find the number for the host at Olympic Gardens on their website. They also have other deals on their website you can read about (like bottle service, VIP service, etc), that all need to be prearranged via a call for the best deal. Last time we were there,
we paid $300 for 10 of us, and that included a limo ride to strip club, free entry, VIP booth that will fit us all, two 1 liter bottles of alcohol, and all the required mixers for the alcohol.
- Never go to a strip club in a cab in the evening. For starters, the cab driver will ALWAYS tell you that the club you want to goto is not good, or is closed, or has ugly women, etc, etc, and will recommend a different club. That is because they get kickbacks from certain strip clubs to bring tourists in. Also, if you arrive in a taxi, the strip club knows you are a tourist, and that you haven't made prearrangements to be on the list, so you will be charged a minimum $30 cover just to get in. Therefore, call the strip club directly and make arrangements with the host!
- Casino Royale (has cheap craps and blackjack, and all day deals of $1 Michelob/Michelob Light and frozen margaritas, and .75c Coors Light).
- Bill's Casino (Usually has $2 Corona's)
- O's hea's - They are famous for their beer pong tournaments.
- Freemont Street (any casino on Freemont Street will be fine)
- Anywhere. But, I love the atmosphere of the Bellagio, Aria, Hard Rock, MGM, and Cosmopolitan the best. Always lots of (hot) people, lots of gambling options, and lots of drinks flowing. Remember that drinks are free when you are gambling. just tip the waitress a couple bucks. You will be amazed at the people you will meet while sitting around the blackjack table!!
I am sure you could care less about where you are having breakfast, but here are some suggestions:
- We always do at least one breakfast at a little casino off the strip called 'Ellis Island'. You get huge portions for a great price. There is nothing fancy about this place (it is sort of a dive), but it is a taste / look of the old style Las Vegas (including the old style Las Vegas pricing). They have a steak and eggs special (that is not on the menu) for like $7.99, and their own micro beer is really good, and costs about $2. Also, they have 3:2 Blackjack (that is the best odds you will find in Vegas).
- Peppermill Restaurant. It is on the strip (close to the Rivieria hotel). The lounge side is awesome (we usually sit on that side by one of the fire pits). This place is ALWAYS busy. The food is awesome. The best thing about this place is the clientele. If you go early in the morning (like around 6:00 am) you will see tons of stippers / etc coming in for an early morning breakfast after their shifts. This is a locals hangout.
- Hash House a Go Go @ Imperial Palace - Huge great breakfast. that is all I can say.
- Most breakfast buffets are really good. It all comes down to what you want to pay. Some are around $85 or more per person, which is ridiculous. We like the buffet at Planet Hollywood (I think it cost around $25), and you can pay a bit extra for bottomless mimosa's.
Great evening dining:
Vegas has tons of places to eat, depending on what kind of experience you are looking for, and how much you want to spend. If you wanna go somewhere for eats that isn't too expensive, here are a few suggestions:
- Olive's @ Bellagio (fine dining and incredible wine)
- Mon Ami Gabi @ Paris (great for lunch or dinner. has the best view of the Bellagio Fountains if you can get a seat on the patio)
- Sugar Factory @ Paris (American bistro type food, trendy place cause it just opened about 6 months ago)
- Trevi @ Ceasars (Italian)
- Dick's Last Resort @ Excalibur's (this place is crazy. gotta see it to believe it)
- Grand Lux Cafe @ Palazzo and Wynn (casual dining)
Some more general Vegas tips:
- If you plan on gambling, get and use a Players Card. How do you think I get free rooms in Vegas.
- Drinks are free while gambling. Tip the waitress, and they come back more frequently ;-) Also, don't be scared to ask for specific brands (like Grey Goose, Crown Royal, etc).
- Buy a bottle of booze at Regina airport duty free before you go. It is always good to have some booze in the room for evening visitors ;-)
- You gotta try craps. Find a fun table where everyone is cheering, throw $100 down to get some chips, and play a bit. You will have a blast. It is much easier than it looks, especially if you just play the basic game. You can read about how to play craps online.
- When playing blackjack, the best odds for payout are the 3:2 tables. That is, for your $20 bet, you win $30 on a blackjack. MOST of Las Vegas (especially on the strip) pay less (6:7 payout is popular). Not a big deal, but I do try to search out the best paying tables if I am doing some serious gambling.
- I know you are a blackjack player, so there are some interesting blackjack games that are fun to try. One is switch blackjack (you can find it at smaller older casinos like Casino Royale, Bill's, O'shea's, and anywhere in Freemont).
- Las Vegas has the WORST taxi drivers I have ever seen. They will literally take you for a ride if they think you don't know where you are going. I have seen $14 cab rides turn into $35 because they take the long way. It may not bug you, but it ticks me off. One tip, when you get into a cab at the airport, tell him to take you to Planet Hollywood, and to NOT use the tunnel. They always default going through the tunnel, which will cost you an extra $15. Some cabs will even argue that the tunnel is faster because of a traffic jam, road construction, etc. Total B.S.
That is all I got for now. have a great trip.