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What to Know Before Visiting Las Vegas

What to Know Before Visiting Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the gem of the Mojave. But before setting foot in Sin City, it’s best to come armed with plenty of local info. 

There are few cities in the world like Las Vegas. It’s a place that’s well-known for casinos and shows and no less for clubs and restaurants. All of this is packaged in architecture that ranges from stunning to that highly questionable (and potentially comical) taste.

One thing is for sure: the city will leave you with lasting memories. If you’re visiting Las Vegas, here are some things you need to know first.

1. Must-Know Restrictions

While Las Vegas is trying to become more family-friendly, the city is still geared toward adults. There are, of course, activities for underage people, but many are age-restricted. 

Casino dealers will check for a valid ID. So will the security at the bars. This means there’s not much to do in those places if you’re underage.

Minors can’t legally drink. They also can’t be on the street unaccompanied after 9 pm. Unless for family weekends, it’s best to wait until you’re 21 to visit Las Vegas.

Speaking of drinking, feel free to do so outdoors if you can legally drink. A few places in the US allow drinking in the open, and Las Vegas is one of them. The only limitation is that the beverage container should not be made of glass.

This freedom doesn’t mean disorderly conduct gets overlooked, though. Those that go stumbling around the streets causing trouble will find themselves facing charges and fines. Also, it’s forbidden to have an open drink container while driving a car.

2. Where to Stay on a Budget 

The most famous Las Vegas hotels have extravagantly high-priced accommodations. But there’s still a wide range of other options. There are places suited for every pocket – from budget rooms to elite lofts.

The location of your hotel is something to consider when planning for a budget. Cheaper accommodation that’s too far from key sites might turn out to be more costly in the long run. To avoid transportation costs, it’s best to find a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

3. Beware the Notorious Taxis (And Lack Thereof)

There’s no chance of hailing a Las Vegas taxi on the street. This isn’t a figure of speech but a legal fact. It’s because cabs and other transportation services can handle passengers only in designated areas. As these areas are usually at the casinos, prepare to wait in line.

And once you get a taxi, beware of long-hauling. It’s quite common for Las Vegas cab drivers to take the longer route to build up the fare. If you’re riding from the airport, pay attention when the driver asks you if it’s your first visit – it might not be just innocent small talk. The best way to counteract long-hauling is to get familiar with the route beforehand.

4. Before Painting the Town Red

While the desert climate brings scorching heat, the interiors are fiercely air-conditioned. This means you’ll need to wear light clothes outside to cool you off. But it would be a good idea to wear something warmer for casinos, shows, and dining.

Some venues also have strict dress codes, so it’s best to pack accordingly and come prepared.

An example of places likely to have dress codes is Las Vegas nightclubs, places of extreme fun. Here you can experience exciting dance parties with light shows and celebrity DJs. Finding a good club will make your night feel too short.

But a counterweight to the fun is waiting in line for hours and not getting in at the end. To avoid this, stop by the concierge desk at your hotel first. You could get a good recommendation, a discount deal, or even get on the guest list.

5. Time to Indulge in Amazing Entertainment

Many visitors spend the majority of their time in the casinos. However, gambling is hardly the only thing worth your attention while there. That’s why you should plan your time and budget for at least one of the world-class shows.

Whatever performance you enjoy the most, Las Vegas has them all. Some of the most famous entertainers play in the city’s venues. Concerts, magic shows, comedy nights, and plenty more are available nightly. It would be downright wrong to miss out on the experience.

Aside from seeing the popular shows, you can also enjoy amazing food. In the past few decades, the Las Vegas restaurant scene has really taken off. Fine dining is becoming a staple of the city on par with gambling. You’ll find celebrity chefs in their restaurants all over Las Vegas.

Although buffets, cafeterias, and fast-food joints are still there, they don’t have the same allure. So if you’re spending some time in Las Vegas, reserve some of your budget for a unique dining experience.

Of course, Las Vegas casinos are famous for a reason – these can easily mesmerize and occupy your mind. They have much to offer when it comes to games and ambiance. Free cocktails, soothing music, excitement, and the notable absence of clocks will make the time fly.

Most likely, you already know that the proverbial house always wins. That’s why every additional hour spent on the casino floor will mean less money in your pocket. Rather than limit the time and fun, plan a gambling budget – set a limit for spending and walk away once you get near it.

If you want to make the most out of your visit, plan your gambling expenses daily. That way, you’ll be safe to spend some time at the tables or the slot machines every day. The thrill will be there, but your funds won’t disappear overnight.

Return to Explore More of Las Vegas

Since visits to Las Vegas can be intensive, many trip advisors cite four days as the perfect visit length. If that seems short, it’s because there’s too much to see and enjoy.

However, no Vegas vacation will be long enough to discover everything the city has to offer. That’s why the best way to experience Las Vegas is in more frequent, shorter trips. 

You’ll get to recover from the overload of splendors, and the gem of the Mojave will be there for your next visit.

Trip Ideas

How to Plan a Day Trip to the Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

How to Plan a Day Trip to the Grand Canyon National Park

Stunning and vast, the Grand Canyon is an attraction that takes weeks to explore. But with a good plan, you can experience much of its beauty in one day.

The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous natural wonders of the world. That’s why every year, millions of visitors come here to marvel at the expansive, ancient geological formations. Not to mention the many animal and plant species, as well as historical sites and museums.

If you’re planning a day trip to the Grand Canyon, you’ll have to consider the location’s vast size. After all, it stretches for over 270 miles in length and is almost 20 miles wide in places. In other words, it’s impossible to see it all in a day. 

That’s why to make the most of your trip, you’ll need to consider which part of the park you’ll be going to, as well as choose the activities that can fit in a day.

In this article, you’ll find out how to prepare for the visit and how to plan your day trip to the Grand Canyon.

1. Choose the Location

Grand Canyon National Park has four main locations – the North and the South Rim and Grand Canyon West and East. Every location is fascinating, but you’ll need to choose just one for your day trip.

In the Grand Canyon West area, the most attractive hotspot is the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The bridge that’s shaped like a horseshoe is suspended above the Colorado River and offers a fascinating view. However, it might be too short of an experience for a whole day trip.

The Grand Canyon South Rim is likely the best option, as it’s the classic and most recognizable area. It’s also the most accessible of the four and is open every day of the year. You can easily reach the Grand Canyon South Rim from Phoenix, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, or Williams.

Every hour is precious for a day trip, so it would be best to find accommodation near the canyon the night before. If you decide to start the visit from one of the aforementioned cities, keep in mind that it will take around five hours to drive to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas or Phoenix, and about an hour and a half from Flagstaff.

2. Prepare Practically

For the most comfortable and pleasant day trip, you should prepare well for your visit to Grand Canyon National Park. While the South Rim is welcoming to all visitors and is relatively safe, you’ll enjoy the trip to the fullest if you pack and plan with practical considerations.

To start with, comfortable and durable walking shoes are essential. You’ll spend a lot of time walking around the canyon so make sure to wear shoes and socks that won’t start troubling you after a couple of hours.

If you’re visiting the Grand Canyon during summer, make sure to dress appropriately. While the weather might be hot, the area will likely be windy and the temperature difference between open space and shade can be quite noticeable. It’s best to dress in layers you can easily take off, and a hat could prove precious under the hot Arizona sun.

Going along with the protection from the elements, you shouldn’t forget a sun protection cream. Make sure to pack a couple of water bottles to refill along the way. You can find water stations throughout the park, so your bottles will never be empty.

There are gorgeous picnic spots along the way, so packing some lunch for that purpose is a great idea. If the weather forecast for the day isn’t favorable for a picnic, or you’d like to save more time for hiking, bring some snacks.

3. Find a Nice Hotel Near the Grand Canyon

When exploring the canyon, you likely wouldn’t want to waste several hours traveling. That’s why you should consider staying as close as possible to the area.

Hotels inside the National Park are the more costly options, and there are usually no vacancies unless you book plenty of time in advance. But if you stay at one of the Grand Canyon Village hotels, the stunning location is worth the trouble.

About six miles from the South Rim, Tusayan has several hotels on the more affordable side. The town’s very close to the canyon and the accommodations are pleasant, especially when staying for one or two nights.

You can also look for a place to stay in Williams or Flagstaff, both over an hour’s drive away from Grand Canyon. Naturally, there’s a broader assortment of hotels there, but reserving a couple of hours for the drive to the canyon and back might be wasteful for some.

4. Create Your Itinerary

A comprehensive schedule will help you get the most out of your day trip to Grand Canyon. If you’ve decided on visiting the iconic Grand Canyon South Rim, there are several key locations and activities to consider.

First, you should make the morning hours count. Catch the sunrise from a viewpoint in the canyon or go on an early helicopter ride. The ideal place for sunrise is Mather Point, as this will give you a wonderful early preview of the canyon.

The earlier hours when the sun is low and the air is cooler are most convenient for hiking. This is the perfect time for walking to some of the hiking hotspots, such as Cedar Ridge or South Kaibab. There are also tours led by Rangers to ensure you won’t get lost.

You can explore the Visitor Center after your hike. If you didn’t have a picnic yet, you could also grab lunch at the center. You can then go to the Trail of Time after a sumptuous meal and check out the fascinating viewpoints.

For a perfect end of your day trip, have your dinner and go stargazing. The night sky is beautiful and the view is spectacular.

Have a Memorable Day at the Grand Canyon

A well-planned day trip to the Grand Canyon will be a magical experience. It will leave you full of impressions and lasting memories, and you’ll likely want to return to the natural wonder of the world. 

The beauty and expanse of the Grand Canyon will be there waiting for you no matter when you can go back.

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Trip Ideas

10 Best Activities for an Unforgettable Las Vegas Adventure

10 Best Activities for an Unforgettable Las Vegas Adventure

Few cities are as vibrant as Las Vegas. Here’s what you can do day and night if playing cards or hitting the slots aren’t your primary concerns. 

Often associated with gambling, Las Vegas went hard at work to rebrand itself as a family destination. Fortunately, the city’s efforts paid off – it now caters to far more than those who want to beat the house.

Sin City is a tourist hotspot with many activities to offer, from indulging in its infamous casinos, seeing gorgeous scenery, to going on amazing rides and attractions. It’s hard to choose which activity to indulge in during a short visit, so here’s a list you can use as your guide.

1. Check Out the City’s Skyline

There are so many spots to go to if you want to take in the views of the city, but the Las Vegas High Roller is one of the best places to do so. The Ferris wheel towers over 500-feet above street level and has multiple cabins that can hold up to 15 people.

You’ll get to enjoy a different kind of wheel ride that lasts 30 minutes – it shows you an incredible 360 degrees view of the skyline and features a bar service. It’s one of the top things to do in Las Vegas on your first day there.

However, the city’s most important observation point is at the Stratosphere Casino. It’s the home of the country’s tallest free-standing observation tower.

2. Explore Nature

Most people go to Vegas for its casinos. But did you know that just outside downtown Vegas is where you’ll find one of the most gorgeous desert sceneries?

Go on a 12km loop around the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It’s a National Park with many hiking trails, breathtaking scenery, and ideal spots for photo ops.

Be mindful of the local wildlife, with the likes of scorpions, snakes, lizards, and other critters freely roaming around. Bring plenty of water and get ready for an unforgettable outdoor Vegas adventure.

3. Learn About the Mob

You may have heard that the mob built and shaped Las Vegas. So, why not find out whether that’s true, and more, at the Mob Museum?

Going on a tour here for a couple of hours is, in fact, one of the most exciting things to do in Las Vegas. 

You’ll get to learn about the connections between the criminal organization and the city’s history. You also uncover facts about infamous figures in that period, what they did, and how the law enforcement agencies caught up with everything. 

4. Tour the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

Its five rotating displays provide different floral shows that offer jaw-dropping experiences. But keep in mind that this exhibit changes throughout the year. 

And, since Vegas isn’t exactly cheap, this is one of the better tourist attractions if you’re on a budget. Visiting the 14,000-square foot indoor garden is among the top things to do in Las Vegas for free and can be great, too, if you’re traveling with kids.

5. Explore the Las Vegas Strip

It’s the city’s most recognizable artery and arguably the most prime stretch of real estate. So, get ready for some sightseeing… free-of-charge!

Walking or driving on the strip brings you close to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. You’ll get to see their version of the Eiffel Tower, the Bellagio Fountains, the sphinx, and the pyramid. Even The Venetian’s famous Grand Canal is on the Las Vegas Strip.

Following the strip takes you from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere Casino and you’ll get to hit most of the city’s hotspots along the way.

6. Check Out Some Shows

Every casino in Vegas puts on a variety of entertainment acts. Guests get treated to concerts, sporting events, awards, magic shows, and so much more.

It’s part of Sin City’s draw and a staple of the local nightlife after all. 

And if you want an unforgettable Las Vegas vacation, you can double down on the entertainment factor. The MGM and Mandalay Bay, in particular, put on some of the most elaborate shows. For example, you can also catch Cirque du Soleil acts at both places.

7. Satisfy Your Need for Speed

There are more ways to get your thrills in Vegas other than gambling. If you’re looking for unique Las Vegas attractions, look no further than the Speedvegas experience.

The track offers you a chance to drive some of the fastest luxury cars in the world. Think Ferraris, Jaguars, Lamborghinis, and other auto industry gems. 

But keep in mind that the facility requires you to have a valid driver’s license and that you’re over 18. You’ll need it before they let you pick a car and put the pedal to the metal in this unique driving experience.

You can even have your kids as passengers as long as they’re over six years old. 

8. Cool Off on the Grand Canal

If Italy is too far for you, Vegas can give you a taste of Venice. The good news is that Sin City doesn’t feature the infamous Venetian smells or dirty water.

The Venetian famously recreated some of Venice’s most iconic highlights. So, why not take a gondola ride on the Grand Canal? It’s one of the top Las Vegas activities for tourists of all ages. 

And it’s not a bad way to cool off, listen to some music, or spend a romantic evening.

9. Mingle with the Pros

If you want to rub elbows with some high-rollers or catch a card tournament, then you have to visit the Bellagio.

It’s where you’ll find the city’s most popular high-stakes tables. In addition, the casino hosts the World Poker Tour and numerous other competitions.

Of course, it doesn’t matter if you can’t join a table. You’ll still run into many celebrities and pro players that you may want to see in action or ask for an autograph.

10. Go on a Roller Coaster Ride

Maybe a roller coaster doesn’t sound like a fantastic idea while you’re in Vegas. There has to be something even more exciting, right?

Well, the Big Apple Roller Coaster offers a different experience. 

Aside from the ride itself, New York-New York on the strip also has scale models of New York City’s most important attractions – the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. That means when you’re on the roller coaster, you’ll get to zoom past the faux Manhattan skyline and get some fabulous views of the city along the way.

Sin City Offers Plenty of PG Fun

You can gamble anywhere in Las Vegas, so that shouldn’t be your main focus if you want an unforgettable vacation. Remember that there’s a lot more to do whether you’re inside or outside a Vegas casino.

However, some of your best experiences, aside from winning big, are likely to happen away from the table.

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What to Do in Las Vegas During the Night

What to Do in Las Vegas During the Night

Casinos and shows are staples that don’t need special mentions. But a night in Las Vegas can be memorable for many other things as well.

The famous city of Las Vegas has much to offer – from casinos, clubs, restaurants, and many less prominent attractions. Because of the harsh heat and the appeal of nocturnal activities, the nightlife is vital to the city.

Below the surface, Las Vegas has a number of hidden gems to discover. Here are some of the best things to do in Las Vegas during the night.

1. See Shows and Take a Gamble in the Casinos

It’s best to get the obvious out of the way first. 

Las Vegas is synonymous with gambling and casino floors. Besides the renowned gaming tables, the venues can surprise you with additional attractions. Some offer sports bets, while others have arcade machines if you’re not up for gambling. Plus, the restaurants and buffets open 24/7.

The dazzling lights also invite visitors to pay attention to the architecture, and with good reason. Exploring the various impressive buildings that house the casinos is an adventure in itself. Some will leave you awestruck with their scope and majesty. Others might take you to a different world and setting.

Las Vegas shows are also world-renowned. Many of the greatest entertainers have performed in Las Vegas and continue to do so today. You might not participate in gambling, but visiting some of the shows is an absolute must.

2. Take a Tour

Night time is perfect for touring Las Vegas. The heat won’t bother you and the city looks much more impressive at night. There are open-top bus tours that showcase all important Las Vegas landmarks. You can also opt for the walking tours if the pace suits you better.

Some tours have themes based on the city’s history and popular culture. Others include cocktails and food. The sight-seeing possibilities are as varied as the indoor experiences.

3. Take a Ride on the High Roller

Perhaps the most breathtaking way to see Las Vegas is from 550 feet up in the air. The High Roller is an observation wheel that’s amongst the tallest in the world. You’ll be riding for half an hour in a comfortable pod that offers a 360-degree view.

For those that want an extra kick with the spectacle, champagne offers and cocktail happy hours are available. These can also come in handy if you need some liquid courage to handle the height.

4. Have a Late Night Snack – or a Whole Meal

There are plenty of places in the city that work around the clock. Las Vegas restaurants followed suit, so many of them never close. In fact, most restaurants offer breakfast meals for the whole day.

In terms of nighttime dining, you’ll find everything from fast-food to international cuisine. It doesn’t matter whether you’d like a snack or a full-blown meal – the night restaurant scene won’t let you down.

5. Be Entertained by Water and Fire 

The iconic Fountains of Bellagio work throughout the day but are most stunning at night. Jets of water synchronize with the light show, and these are all coordinated to backing tracks. The dark background will make the show almost magical.

In contrast, the Mirage Volcano bursts with explosions and spews fireballs. The show takes place in the evening hours, ensuring the massive fireworks stand out in the night sky.

You can also see an elegant, dreamlike show if you visit the Lake of Dreams. There are thousands of lights, holographic, and fog effects that play out to a musical background in front of an artificial waterfall.

6. Visit Fremont Street

Fremont Street is a pedestrian zone where you can enjoy a variety of Las Vegas content for free. It is a lot of fun and almost serves as a preview of everything the city has to offer.

Festival parades travel along Fremont Street at a scheduled time and date. There are open-air stages where world-famous artists perform from time to time. The street is also known for spectacular light shows. Finally, you can enter many casinos and hotels from Fremont Street.

7. Zip Over the Strip

There are several ziplines over the promenade. The rides are available during the evening and even late at night. You can sit upright or assume your best Superman pose while flying over other visitors. While the experience passes by quickly, it’s well worth it.

Las Vegas ziplines aren’t exactly cheap for the short time you spend on them. On the other hand, the price isn’t high enough to deter you from trying them out.

8. End the Day with a Coaster Ride

The Big Apple Coaster is open until 9 pm, and the evening is an excellent time for a ride. It features exciting twists, turns, and a massive drop. You can get a VR upgrade for your ride, but the default experience seems better. Seeing the city light up as you’re soaring around is a sight to remember.

Meanwhile, the Strat resort offers a different kind of ride they call Insanity. The ride earns its name since it spins at a great speed. The grand finale comes when you’re suspended facing down from over 860 feet. While it sounds chilling, the view is worth the adrenaline rush alone. You’ll see the whole of Las Vegas downtown and the memory will stick with you forever.

Make the Most Out of Las Vegas Nights

The Las Vegas skyline is something to admire. No matter if you see the light show for the first or the hundredth time, it’s a treat. So, resist the call of indoor attractions and spend the night outside.

There’s always more of Las Vegas to experience, day or night. Make sure to revisit the city to catch everything worth seeing and doing in Las Vegas.

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