View Full Version : Must-Do for First Trip - All Suggestions Welcome!
10-20-2009, 07:17 PM
My mom, boyfriend, and I are leaving in about 3 weeks for our first trip to Vegas, celebrating my 21st birthday!:dance3:
By now, all the basics are set in stone. Airfare is booked, hotel is booked (MGM Grand). Now I'm compiling a list of must-do activities. Favorite casinos? Special drinks? Fabulous dining? I'm eagerly anticipating whatever suggestions you have to offer!
I've included the basics thus far - Bellagio fountains, Mirage volcano, etc. Now I'm looking for some first-hand unique experiences. Thanks in advance! :thumbsup2
10-21-2009, 01:30 AM
Maybe a show? Our favorite is Mystere. We've seen "O", Mystere, Blue Man Group, Lance Bourton, another Circ one can't remember the name, it was terrible, it was very sexual and weird, we didn't like it and although no longer available the departed Danny Gans and Sigfred & Roy
There is great shopping in the outlets (our fav is the one near downtown) and outside malls
In case you don't know, parking at the hotels is free, it's just usually a very very long walk to get anywhere. You can also valet everywhere for free, but you need to tip. The hotels are farther apart then they appear, so the best thing is to either use the monorail and special walkways, etc. that go between certain hotels or to do segments and park in each segment you wanna do.
Eat eat eat. Bellagio seafood buffet is our fav by far. We've been to vegas alot and its always a must. MGM is huge. Take notice of the carpet, it will help you get around, you'll know what I mean when you get there. The lion habitat there is really cool and you can hold a baby one and take a photo. Emerils in MGM is also really really good. It was kinda expensive, but so worth it. Check it out online. The wine angel place in the Mandalay is also really good but expensive too The buffet there is also good. When we go to vegas, we usually just eat 2 meals a day.
Sign up for the players cards at the hotels you play in. You get perks for future visits. Once you go, its like DLR you'll always want to go so beware.
Have fun and happy birthday!
10-27-2009, 09:30 AM
i recommend the beatle's "love" as a starter cirque du soleil. familiar music makes for a better show if you're not familiar with the cirque du soleil style, IMO.
definitely take advantage of mgm's free poker lessons (IIRC they are mornings...maybe 11am?). they have a dealer teach you the ropes and run a few practice hands. (if you actually wanted to play poker, try a tournament or there is low stakes poker at the excalibur with video tables.)
i love the buffets at the wynn and bellagio for the amazing variety and quality. the king crab legs in the evenings are pretty exceptional as well. i also enjoyed the buffet at paris when i went 2 years ago.
i enjoyed kokomo's at the mirage and bobby flay's mesa grill at caesar's palace for non-buffet options. there are so many great food options in vegas it's hard to go wrong. it just depends how much you want to spend.
definitely take your time and wander around the nicer casinos: wynn, bellagio, paris is also fun. and the malls are unbelievable at caesar's palace, venetian/palazzo and planet hollywood shops (with the indoor rainstorm).
10-27-2009, 03:59 PM
Take comfotable shoes you will do a great deal of walking.
Take a bathing suit it may be warm enough to hang by the pool.
Wander around the Casinos, it fun to compare them. If anyone in your party is into sports check out the Sport & Race Books at the Casino and place a wager.The ones at MGM. Mirage & Ceasars are our favorites.
For food I second Emeril's at the MGM we have always done dinner there.The cafes at Spago's in the Forum shops and Postrio in the Venetian (both are Wolfgang Puck eateries)are good.The Cafes are less expensive then their regular dinning rooms.
Another suggestion is lunch on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris.You can check the Belliago fountain show while eating.If you are there on a weekend go to a brunch buffet.
Enjoy I'm proof you don't need to gamble to have a great time in Vegas:goodvibes
10-30-2009, 03:44 PM
A couple of things I forgot::idea:
Beware of people at the exits at the Casinos & in front of stores on the Strip asking if you need tickets for a show or made plans for the evening.They want you to come to a timeshare pitch.We always say we already have plans.
Il Fornio in NYNY across the street from the MGM Grand has a good bakery were we would get breakfast pastries & juice. We also had dinner there and enjoyed the pasta dishes so much that we went to the one in San Diego when we went there the next year.The NYNY food court area has a couple of good places and looks like a NYC street, not a mall food court.
BLT Burger in Mirage is also a good spot for a bite.They do veggie, turkey, lamb & salmon burger not just beef
Don't forget sunscreen.I got a burn on the back of my legs in late March once
NYNY 2003 2004 2005
Mirage 2006 2008
10-30-2009, 05:10 PM
I second seeing Beatles Love. I've seen all the Cirque shows in Las Vegas and this one is my favorite.
I do mostly higher-priced dinners when I'm there. I like Picasso at the Bellagio and B&B at the Venetian the best. Other places I really like are Mesa Grill at Caesars and Tao at Venetian. My favorite breakfast is at Bouchon because they have made to order beignets with chocolate sauce and raspberry preserves; I have to have those every time I go to Las Vegas.
For lunch, I like Cafe Ba Ba Reba at Fashion Show Mall, outside seating for people watching or either Zefferino or Canneletto at the Venetian on St Marks Square for more people watching. Mon Ami Gabi is also fun.
I'm not a big gambler but if I do gamble, I probably like MGM the best. It's huge and offers so much variety. My least favorite is the Bellagio; I like the rooms and dining options here but not the casino.
Even if you don't want to shop, I'd recommend walking through the Forum at Caesars and the Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. It's just so pretty and different looking.
I hope you have fun. I was there this past weekend and the weathe was gorgeous.
11-02-2009, 08:05 PM
As with Disney, Vegas can be overwhelming to a newbie. You are staying at MGM at the south end of the strip. I reccommend that you rent a car. Most cars come with a GPS and it makes it really easy to find your way around. I say skip driving on the strip whenever possible. The east/west and north/south roads are easy to figure out. To me, a car is the easiest and quickest way to see as much as possible in a short time. For instance, if you wanted to go the Treasure Island for their pirate show, I would park at the Fashion Mall and access the pedestrian bridge over to Treasure Island. Because you are already parked and you are close by, check out two of the most beautiful hotel/casinos on the Strip, the Wynn and the Venetian. Many will say that you can walk everywhere or catch a cab. STOP! Walking seems easy enough in Vegas, But don't let the neon lights full you. ALL DESTINATIONS ARE FURTHER AWAY THAN THEY APPEAR. I can honestly say that the sign for Mandalay Bay is nearly a quarter of a mile from the casino door. The walk from the MGM to Planet Hollywood might just take 30 minutes. As for cabs, remember that you can't hail a cab on the street. You need to go to a hotel and possibly stand in line (usually not a long wait). But you have to keep a cash reserve for cabs (don't forget tipping). On the other hand parking is usually free at most properties. If you don't like traveling through parking garages, try valet. Most valet parking is by tips only. My last piece of advice is that Vegas is best enjoyed at night. Do what you want in the day, keep it light. Reserve yourself for the night. I don't care if you drink or not, or even if you don't gamble. Go where the people are. Check out Ceasars at 1 in the morning. Its a wild place to people watch. Then skip over to Bellagio and take note of the class of people over there. It's fascinating to see a 50 year couple from the Midwest wearing shorts and hawiian shirts belong side some wannabe "player" from the west coast with a girl on the arm who's dress barely covers her bottom and her fake breast are proudly on display. Its all a hoot.:woohoo:
11-05-2009, 03:39 PM
If you have a chance, go to Freemont Street. It's kind of an older version of Vegas, but it's pretty neat to see for the first time. My dad and his wife are Vegas veterans, and on the last trip we took them to Freemont Street and they absolutly loved it. It has cheap drinks, cheap food and some slot machines even spit out quarters still. :) They also have a type of light show that it done on a huge LED screen over the street. It's a pretty cool experience. (Just be sure to go at night, it's a much better experience at night!!) They have a place called the Bayou that has some really good drinks. There's about 20 different flavors of margaritas. (If they ask you if you want an extra shot, just beware that it will make the drink REALLY strong!)
We live 3 hours away so we're able to visit often, and I still love the Bellagio fountains, so I would definatly check that out. During the day and at night is worth the view.
If you like seafood, the buffet at the Mandalay Bay is really really good! The last few trips we went, the Excalibur had a few specials on their buffet (25 for the whole day and a buy 1 get 1 offer). Not sure if they still have that, but the food is pretty good there too and has a wide variety.
We tend to just walk up and down the strip and stop at whatever catches our eye. The casinos are beautiful lit up at night. If it's not a long wait and fits in your budget, you can consider going to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris for a view of the strip.
Just remember you don't have to do it ALL! Just enjoy yourself and have a good time!:thumbsup2
11-05-2009, 06:08 PM
You must split aces and 8's. ;)
11-09-2009, 04:18 PM
Hi we're going to Vegas in a couple of weeks. We were there once for a very short stay and didn't go downtown. Where do you park if you visit downtown?
11-09-2009, 07:20 PM
Every hotel has parking and there are five city
lots including a a 1,400-space parking structure
at the eastern end of Fremont Street.
You must split aces and 8's. ;)
This is the greatest Vegas tip ever! :)
11-10-2009, 05:17 PM
Thanks everyone, for sharing the tips and experiences! We're leaving Thursday morning and I cannot wait. I've printed out this thread. Good reading material for the flight. :goodvibes
I'll post a report when I get home!
Split aces and 8s. Always. Got it. ;)
Looks like I'm a little late to chime in ... but my best advice is that if you are going to gamble, please-please-please find out how to play the game first. It really sickens me to see people sit down at the BJ tables, and gamble their money away without knowing how to play the game!!! Why don't they just drive down the strip and toss the money out the window!!!
Also, agree that you should join all the player's clubs ... they usually give you freeplay and/or other items. You'll be eligible for perks on future visits ... we were just there for 6 nights and got 5 of the nights comped!!!
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