Las Vegas Basics

What can I say about Las Vegas that hasn’t already been said? With its rise from small desert outpost to mafia gambling center to the entertainment capital of the world, this city of bright lights and nonstop action wows everyone that sets foot on the iconic Strip. It can bring you to life or eat you alive, but no matter your tastes, it’ll leave you wanting more.

 

Getting There

McCarran International Airport, located just a few minutes from the Strip, serves the city. Several hotels have shuttles to get you quickly into the action.

Las Vegas after taking off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas after taking off from McCarran International Airport

 

Getting Around

If you want to walk from your hotel to that show you booked, make sure you know the distance and give yourself plenty of time. What looks nearby could take a good 45 minute walk in the sweltering heat. Otherwise, you’ll be using a lot of taxis and/or ride shares. Luckily, each hotel has a good system with designated taxi and ride share pickup areas.

There are also monorails that can take you from resort to resort. For example, you can travel from Mandalay Bay to Luxor and Excalibur on the Mandalay Bay Tram. On the Aria Express Tram, it’s possible to get between the Monte Carlo and Bellagio with stops at Aria and Vdara. On the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, the Las Vegas Monorail goes from MGM Grand to Paris Las Vegas and further north.

 

Where to Stay

World-famous hotels of epic size and grandeur (and high cost) line the Las Vegas Strip while more modest accommodation can be found off the strip or downtown around Fremont Street. Click here to see where I’ve stayed.

 

Where to Eat

You can dine at some of the best restaurants in the world but be prepared to make reservations well ahead of your trip. Less expensive options are easy to find, such as in food courts in casinos and hotels, and a wide range of chain and fast food restaurants can be found scattered along the strip and elsewhere.

 

Entertainment

Want to see acrobats set to music? Comedians? Magicians? Top musical acts and singers? A topless revue? Ranging from kid-friendly to filthy and raunchy, you can find it in Vegas. See what’s on by visiting Vegas.com, and read about the shows I attended by clicking here.

If you don’t want to pay top dollar to sit up front and don’t mind waiting until the same day of a show, several discount ticket outlets line the strip to fill empty seats. You can find deals from 10% to 50% off on shows, dining, and more.

 

Shopping

Las Vegas is a shopper’s paradise. Several hotels have premium shopping malls built in, and outlet malls are located off the strip. Some of my favorites include the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, the Grand Canal Shoppes at The VenetianLas Vegas Premium Outlets North, and Town Square, among others.

Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

Grand Canal Shoppes

 

Sports

If you’re looking for college or professional sports, you can find that as well. The Vegas Golden Knights, an NHL expansion team, started play in October 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena. The Oakland Raiders will move to Las Vegas by 2020 to bring NFL football to the city. The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels play NCAA basketball at the Thomas & Mack Center, football at Sam Boyd Stadium, and other men’s and women’s sports.

T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

T-Mobile Arena

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