Wanted: Vegas Travel Tips

My travel schedule has me plunking down in Las Vegas this week with 24 hours to kill. I’m looking for advice: what should I do?

I’ve been to Vegas probably 8 or 10 times in the last 5 years, but it’s always been for one kind of work or another, and I’ve never had much free time. I often don’t even leave the hotel. While blackjack is okay (see here) and we had fun writing about the Caesars Palace sportsbook (see here), that stuff gets old fast for me.

The best time I ever had was writing about the Jews of Vegas. (Among other things, I got to talk with Mayor Oscar Goodman.) But that’s been done.

So I’m asking you: what are some interesting, unusual, worthwhile things to do in Vegas?

Keep it legal, people. And thanks for the help.


OJ

try sports memorabilia collecting

Nathan

I've lived in Vegas my entire life. You have limited time, so all you really have time for is a few highlights:

Drinks: If you're a beer and/or whisky fan, visit the Freakin Frog on Maryland Parkway. About 150 varieties of beer, another 200 varieties of whisky. Great atmosphere. There's a new tequila bar that recently opened at the Monte Carlo (sorry, can't remember the name) that's got a lot of great eye candy. If you are feeling VERY adventurous you could go to the Double Down at Paradise and Harmon (punk rock dive bar within 1000 feet of almost every gay club in the city).

Shows: Matsuri is a Japanese-import comedy show at the Sahara that's a LOT of fun. Zumanity is in my opinion the best of the Cirque de Soleil shows here.

Dinner: Firefly is an excellent tapas bar. The Capital Grille inside the Fashion Show Mall is EXCELLENT, especially the lobster bisque. Guy Savoy at Caesar's Palace is supposed to be truly amazing, but to be honest it's outside my price range so I've never been there.

Strip Walk: this is a tourist must. I recommend you get a drink, and start walking north on The Strip from the New York New York. Since you can legally carry your alcoholic beverage with you and there are several outdoor bars that you can stop at it's easy to walk and drink. You'll want to see the fountain show at The Bellagio and the pirate at TI if you can.

That's just a few ideas.

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jen_chan, writer SureFireWealth.com

Well, you can go and check out the animals they have there. Surprisingly, Vegas has a lot of aquariums and animal habitats. I don't know if you would find it interesting but it should be different from seeing the same old people and the same old neon lights, right? You can check this site out and browse for yourself. http://www.visitlasvegas.com/vegas/play/attractions

Jess

The Liberace museum, while it badly needs a new curator and some paid staff, is a worthwhile thing to see. And, of course, there's the Star Trek Experience, fun even if you're not a Trekkie (but nigh-spiritual if you are).

Geoffrey

If you've been to Vegas that many times, you know that there's nothing worthwhile to do there other than drinking, dining, gambling and sex. OK maybe Cirque du Soliel.

Although, if you're into biking, how about mountain biking in the desert or the Red Rocks?

http://www.lasvegascyclery.com/tours_rentals/mountain_bike_day_tours.htm#

http://www.looktours.com/red-rock-canyon-bicycle-tour.html

If you're looking for nightlife, try Tryst at the Wynn or Light at the Bellagio. I'm not even going to comment on all the fun you might have at the Spearmint Rhino. Good luck!

discordian

see Penn & Teller.
Definately worth while.
And then see if they'll do a Q&A.

EK

Take a helicopter tour of the strip. There seems to be a large supply of helicopters just waiting to take people up and over the entire town at all hours of the day (and night).

I'm sure it's not cheap - but hey, you're Stephen J. Dubner.

Bill

Unusual? Vegas? I guess you could just stay in your hotel room.

Frat

Visit the Bunny Ranch brah!

Will

Building on EK's comment, try a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. You can take in the strip on the return trip.

Also, if the helicopter doesn't get your adrenaline going sufficiently, try the carnival rides on top of the Stratosphere -- particularly the "free fall" one. My palms get clammy just remembering it.

And if you are interested in an awesome Vegas history story not told as often as the Bugsy or Winn story, check out wikipedia on Stratosphere founder Bob Stupak.

VJ Porter

One of my favorite oddball things to do is to take a lap around the carnival at Circus, Circus. I play the silly games. For about $10 you can entertain yourself for an hour and come away a winner. You can't say that for anything else you'll do in LV!

Raj Pandravada

Here's something I did when I had a few hours to kill in Vegas - I drove down to the Hoover Dam. I know, it seems like a boring thing to do on your own, but you'd be surprised at the happiness one gets at looking at great engineering, albeit alone. Plus, it's only about 45 minutes away. Take a few pictures, learn about the people who built the dam and their beloved dog, and WALK across time zones. A word of advice - check out the quaint souvenir store in Boulder City, NV...you get some interesting Native American artifacts, if that's your thing.

julie

I've only been to Vegas once - a trip I didn't really want to take. The one thing I would have enjoyed doing there, I didn't actually get to do but maybe you can: go see Prince at the Rio. Sure to be a show to remember.

Colin

If you've never shot a gun (or even never shot an automatic rifle!), then check out one of the many shooting ranges. All are a short taxi ride from any casino on the strip. Its great fun.

notchris

the hoover dam in a great recommendation. also, there are some great bikhram yoga studios where all the strippers go to work-out.

Katherine

Go hiking in Red Rocks! Clear the sensory assaults on your system and enjoy some great scenery. Only 30 minutes from Vegas and many trail options for newbies to experienced hikers.

http://www.hikinglasvegas.com/index.htm

James

Worthwhile: The prix fixe at Rosemary's on Sahara. The Texas BBQ shrimp are to die for.

Interesting/unusual: the water reclamation system at Ethel M's Chocolate factory and cactus garden. (It not terribly far away in Henderson).

DHT

Go rent a submachinegun. There are at least three different indoor gun ranges that rent them. But they overcharge for the ammo, so it'll be pricey. You can easily run up a few hundred dollars if you aren't careful.

You might be better off taking a 1-day class from FrontSight: http://www.frontsight.com/Courses.asp They have handgun, shotgun, rifle, and Uzi classes. Highly recommended!

Chloe

http://www.yelp.com/lasvegas

Kevin

Definitely take a trip to Pahrump. You want interesting - you'll get it there.