I'm baaaaack! I was lucky enough to get most of the week off last week. I spent 5 days in Las Vegas with my whole family - my husband, my sister and her husband, my little brother and my mom and dad. We had a BLAST!! It was my first time in Vegas, and I will definitely be heading back (maybe sooner than you think!!).
A few people have asked me for recommendations of what to do… so here is my
WORTH THE CASH:
-Caesar's “Bacchanal” Buffet (if you're into buffets). $50 per person. This one is a winner. With over 500 dishes to choose from, it is a fantastic experience. Gorgeous tables and chairs, friendly staff, great atmosphere, enough room for a large party if you need it… All of the dishes I tried were delicious. They’ve got everything – seafood, Asian food, cheese bar, Asian soups, BBQ, American food, cheeseburgers, soups, Mexican food, salad bar, and a huge dessert section. One thing I REALLY liked about this buffet that is different from others is that the portions were pre-determined for you. It’s so easy to load up your first plate, and then be full… so instead, they portion everything out into what looks like super small servings. But 3 plates later, you’ll be thankful that you didn’t serve yourself. Downside: Alcoholic drinks are not included with the $50 per person price tag. For a cheaper version, try the Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. My sister and her husband love that spot.
-Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Gardens and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. $19.50 per person. This one was our unexpected favorite. For $19.50, you get access to the habitat and gardens all day (cheaper cost if you’re staying in the resort). Unlike SeaWorld, it wasn’t very crowded, and there are tons of areas to view. Because there were unpredictable baby dolphins they were showing, they couldn’t “schedule” shows, but they did a 15 minute educational time + some tricks almost every half hour while we were there. Always super easy to find a spot to watch. The trainers were very friendly and the staff answered a ton of questions we had
about dolphins. The underwater viewing was incredible, too! We also enjoyed seeing the lions and tigers, but didn’t spend too much time there.
-The Pub at Monte Carlo. (Located in the Street of Dreams) We found some cheap eats while we were there, and the Monte Carlo pub was by far the best. Their happy hour is 3-6pm Monday-Friday. Super yummy sliders and wings for $1 and beers were buy one get one. Delicious deals, can’t beat it!
-For a cheap late night happy hour, try The Café at Monte Carlo. (Located on the gaming floor) Happy Hour is 10pm-2am Monday-Friday. $6 good sized appetizers and $2 beers. Great for a nightcap or late night snack.
-BLT Burger at the Mirage. About $15 for a burger and fries. But with a twist – ever had a Blue Moon and orange sherbet float? Neither had I. Fun atmosphere and good food (make sure to try the sweet potato fries!)
-Beat the heat in the AMC movie theatre. It’s located behind the Hard Rock Café. We saw Jurassic Park 3D and had the theatre almost to ourselves.
-Book a limo to your hotel. We booked a sweet ride to our hotel (mostly because it was $6 more than a shuttle for all 7 of us) right inside the airport when we got there. Right across from baggage claim is where you snag a shuttle, but they also had limos on standby. Cool thing was that because of the way booking a limo works vs. paying for a shuttle, we had the driver/limo for a whole hour. So, he took us to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign! He was nice enough to take some family photos for us. It was a great way to start the trip.
-Cirque du Soleil : KA at the MGM Grand. Now let me say this first, KA was the first Cirque show I have ever seen. And I must say, I was blown away. The story was easy to follow, and the imagery was INSANE. If you’re a fan of the circus-act type of Cirque show, then skip this one. But, if you’re into artistic performances that leave you saying, “how the *$!& did they do that!?” then this one is for you. It features a HUGE hydraulic lift stage that starts flat, then turns completely sideways… it’s pretty amazing! Fun tip – beers in a promotional 32 ounce cup were a steep price at the theatre concessions stand, but half the price for a re-fill. Refills were also available at the MGM Sports Book. Make sure to get to your seat at least 10 minutes early – there’s always something going on in the theatre!
-Another tip - Take advantage of bad weather prices!! For the first 2 days of our stay, the weather was so bad that the Bellagio didn’t do their fountain shows (too windy) and the pool at our resort was closed. So, the following day, it was only 75 degrees, and the pool was relatively quiet. We went and inquired about renting a pool-side cabana. We found out that at our hotel, a normal day was upwards of $450. But because of the weather, $200 food/beverage minimum was all we needed to pay (check out that Cabana on the left! And we got cute private waitress, too!) Since we wanted to spend the afternoon at pool, but also needed food (and drinks, duh), we went for it. We actually didn’t meet the minimum after lunch, so they let us spend the rest on a fruit plate and beers to go! So, when the weather is bad, do things that actually rely on good weather, and ask about getting a better price because of the conditions.
-Freebies. Watch for freebies at your hotel, or call the front desk to ask what free things they have available. We stayed the Monte Carlo, and they had a free Craps lesson Tuesday-Thursday mornings at 11am with their Craps Master. After the class, he allowed us to play on the floor with lower bets than the casino usually demands. It was awesome!
Of course if I am recommending things to do, there are probably thing's you SHOULDN'T do... so here is the list!
DON’T WASTE YOUR CASH – OR YOUR TIME!
-Siren’s show at Treasure Island. It was like watching the Pussycat dolls try to act out Pirates of the Caribbean. Terrible viewing area, horrible lip synced dialogue, mediocre dancing, obnoxious costumes, awful script… At least it was free for us to watch for 3 minutes.
-We took the monorail from the MGM Grand to the Stratosphere (2.7 miles from Caesar’s). The monorail was convenient, but... It’s $18 to get to the top of the Stratosphere, and more on top of that to ride the rides. We were so sketched out by the surroundings that we decided it wasn’t even worth it. We promptly walked back to the main part of the strip.
-Starbucks. Seriously. Its Vegas, so expect all of the prices of everything to be elevated ($2.90 for a fountain drink at Subway!). But, when I went to Starbucks (because here I can get a breakfast sandwich for about $2) I was shocked to see the same stuff for $7. Yikes!
One thing I did do a little of when we were there was take video! So, here is a little mini movie of our trip to Vegas.
Got any other Vegas tips that I can use for my next trip? Tweet me @BonjourDanielle (and check out all of our Instagram photos through #KnightFamilyVacay!!)