North America

Vegas your way … any way!

The famous Las Vegas sign

As you walk through the cavernous lobby and you hear the bells of the slots and see the glitter of the adjacent casino, you can feel the adrenaline and anticipation …

Whether you been to Las Vegas or not, the first thing you don’t do when you arrive is unpack!

So chances are you are going to first ‘visit’ your room, and then utter these (famous or infamous) words “Honey … I’ll be right back”. And after a brief elevator ride, you are in the midst of it all!

So OK, have your fun for a few minutes, but there is more to Las Vegas than the allure of returning richer than you left.
Las Vegas has “grown-up” since the days of “Founder Father” Bugsy Siegel envisioned a gambler’s mecca in the middle of a dessert and completed construction of the Flamingo Hotel. So you are in for a great and no doubt memorable vacation is you know more about visiting Las Vegas before you leave home. (And forget about returning “Richer than you think”)

While you are in Las Vegas for three, four or more days, you can satisfy your Foodie Fantasies, see Vegas on the edge, be a Downtown Hipster or Vegas Socialite, revert back in time to Retro Vegas, listen to the High Notes or get married again (legalities may or may not apply but you’re in Vegas baby!).

The point is that, whether you have been to this vacation hot spot numerous times or you are hyper-ventilating about your first trip, take advantage of the multitude of things to see and do and you are all but guaranteed a remarkable experience. In fact, many of the things you see and do will be seared in your memory bank almost forever! Vegas is just that kinda town …

The first rule about Las Vegas is … Do not be intimidated. The glitz, glitter, hotels and people appear to be daunting but look around; everyone on the sidewalk is thinking what you are thinking! You will very quickly learn that all you have to do is ask, and you queries will be answered …

So, aside from the gaming choices and thoughts of returning home richer than when you left, here’s what you will want to do, and not necessarily in this order.

See some shows. And if you are starry-eyed, try and see two or three headliners. You can plan in advance and see who’s appearing where and when by visiting lasvegasshows.com or showslasvegas.com. If you would rather wait until you arrive, several ticket sellers along the Strip sell show tickets, and some are discounted the day of … and BTW, yes you will want to see Celine Dion and her new show but try and purchase tickets in advance. As well, for those fifty years plus, or those that want to see what the fuss was (still is) all about, catch LOVE performed by Cirque du Soleil, a show celebrating the Beatles.

Dining is big in Las Vegas. During at least one night of your stay, have a look at a Zagat or Fodor’s guide, or ask anybody (especially the hotel concierge) about where your favourite dining preferences are. The dining varieties and restaurants attract foodies from around the world.

Take a day to sightsee. But don’t see the sights the mundane way! After all, you are in Vegas! You can visit a few of awe-inspiring and renowned ‘attractions (Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon) by car, or better still from the air. Do not take a bus. It’s tedious (remember – you are in Las Vegas and splurge is the word). If you rent a car, get a rag-top and take in the sun and the sights. Getting around is easy, but expect traffic. Or, open your wallet a bit wider and take a tour in a helicopter. You won’t forget it and chances are it will be the second thing you tell your neighbour about after arriving home. (The first would be fibbing about how you did at the casinos!).

Spend quality time at the hotel pool. Great water, great service and you are, after all, on vacation and will want to just ‘chill’ for a bit under the hot Las Vegas sun.

If you are not the sit around type, arrange a golf tee time. And even if you are not an avid golfer, playing a Las Vegas golf course is an experience in and of itself. If you are an avid golfer, choose a course where the pros have played. It gives you bragging rights and the third thing you can describe to your neighbour.

There are numerous tour operators that provide packed air / hotel trips (often the most cost effective way to get to Las Vegas) to Las Vegas for various durations, and you can check with a Uniglobe travel agency for more information.

Oh, and one last thing … pack comfortable shoes.

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