Kelly the Culinarian: My Las Vegas Touristy Travel Tips

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Las Vegas Touristy Travel Tips

I've been to Las Vegas twice now on two very different trips. The first was for fun and I stayed at the Monte Carlo, which is on the southern end of the strip. This time, I went to Vegas for work and stayed at the Encore, which is on the north side of the strip and for all purposes, in an entirely different Vegas. While it's still fresh in my mind, here are my impressions of what I saw, ate and drank, and how I'll do things differently on my own dime.

I will ... stay on Fremont Street. This is "old Vegas" and what I think of when I picture Vegas in my mind. A little dingy, way tacky and totally over the top. Think $8 prime rib dinners and painted ladies walking the street. I've never stayed that way before, so it's worth a try. I'm also not a club goer or high-end boutique client, so this is way more my speed.

I will not ... spend more than $50 a night on a hotel. My room at the Encore was the most incredible experience ever. Nothing can compare. Plus, you don't spend that much time in the room. It's a place to sleep.

I will ... hit Ellis Island again. On the advice of Maureen and Eric, I walked my happy butt the 1.5 miles from my hotel to Ellis Island, which is a casino and brewery off the strip behind Bally's. With the player's card, you can get an $8.99 steak dinner that was phenomenal. And if you play $1 in the slots, you get a dollar off your meal. So I gambled a bit, enjoyed some of the establishment's beers, then had a delicious dinner for less than a round of drinks at the Encore.

And Ellis Island said, LET THEM EAT STEAK
I will ... gamble at older/off strip casinos. It's not as crowded, the drinks are faster to arrive and the perks are generally better when you sign up for their players' card.

I will not ... do the VooDoo Zipline at the Rio. I got it on Groupon for $21 for two, which is about what it's worth. It gave me an excuse to walk to another part of the strip, but it was so freaking lame and fast and not nearly as thrill seeking as I anticipated. You zipline from one of the Rio buildings to another over their pools. It was underwhelming, to say the least.

The view from Voodoo was the highlight
I will ... try the Slotzilla Zip Line on Fremont St. This looked worthwhile. The lines go the length of Fremont Street under the lighted awning. You can sit upright for $20 or take in the sights face down for $40. It looked to be moving fast and was the view I envisioned I would get with Voodoo.

I will not ... do The Buffet at the Wynn. It was over hyped and nothing about it really stood out. I feel like I had to do this for the full Vegas experience, but I don't get why people think so highly of this particular buffet. If this is the best Vegas buffet, as the accolades state, I'm sad for Vegas.

I will ... try an off-strip buffet. I went to Main Street, which is a casino and brewery off the strip. They had a buffet for $12. For that price, why the hell not. I bet the food is all the same, too.

What are your Las Vegas travel tips and tricks of the trade?

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