Vegas Travel Guide and Tips
Las Vegas is a city like no other! But if you're new to Vegas or don't have a local to "show you the ropes", things like how much to tip or gambling for the first time can be confusing. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your Las Vegas trip.
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Weather in Vegas
Spring and autumn are always beautiful months to travel to Vegas. The weather is warm and breezy and the sky is sunny almost every day. (Although still cool enough at night that we recommend you pack a jacket). Taking a stroll down Las Vegas Blvd to see the sights, eating at an outdoor restaurant, or spending the night at one of the nightclubs that offers an outdoor patio are favorite activities during these months. Spring and Autumn is when weather in Las Vegas is most inviting, but don't dismiss Summer or Winter.
Summer is hot and can get well over 100 degrees. But yes it is a dry heat, and that does make a difference. (Imagine it being 100 degrees in Florida!) We always recommend drinking lots of water especially if you are outside as you can get dehydrated pretty quickly. A popular way to cool down during the summer is the pool parties in Vegas. It started with Rehab at the Hard Rock hotel and now because of the enormous popularity of Rehab, many other hotels such as the Venetian, MGM Mirage, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay are opening up their own pool parties. Visit our Vegas nightlife page for more details and a full list of Vegas pool parties. Also during the summer, the 4th of July holiday is always popular in Las Vegas and the strip always has amazing firework shows.
Winter does get pretty cold, but rarely dips below freezing. Do pack warmer clothes and a jacket especially if you plan to be outside at night. Las Vegas is still warmer than most of the country during the winter season, but we're not the tropics either. You'll rarely see snow in the city but the mountains have snow sometimes all the way into summer. Mount Charleston is a great place for skiing or snowboarding during the winter months. During Christmas the hotels are decked to the hilt, and many Vegas visitors will spend a day or two just touring the hotel casinos. Don't forget about Christmas Shopping in Las Vegas, Vegas offers some of the best shopping in the world! Right after Christmas is New Year's and there's no better city to bring in the New Year than Las Vegas!
Save money by partying during the week!
No doubt about it Friday and Saturday nights are always the hottest nights to party. But because they are the busiest they are also the priciest. Many Vegas nightclubs are still rockin' the house but table reservations with bottle service are often a little less as well as limousine service. You'll have an amazing time dancing the night away Wednesday nights at Body English or partying at the sexy Ultra Lounge Cathouse on Madame Mondays, but you'll be spending less cash than if it were a weekend. Limousine service in Las Vegas is also in less demand during the week and often offers better rates.
For more tips on getting the most out of Vegas nightlife visit our nightlife page.
Gambling in Vegas
Sitting down at the Black Jack or poker table for the first time can be pretty intimidating. Most Casinos do offer free lessons on many of the games so take advantage of it. You'll also find most dealers are very helpful and are typically happy to give you gambling tips, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
If you plan to do a lot of gambling take the time to apply for a Player's card. It may come with some free play or a chance to win a big prize, and you can earn points towards free stuff! You'll also find applying for a player's card at one casino will work at several other casinos as well.
And don't forget Nevada is the only state in the union that allows legal betting on all major individual sporting events, so take advantage of it at the sports books!
Free Shows and Attractions
Don't forget to take advantage of the free shows and attractions Las Vegas has to offer! Many of these shows can be seen on our Limousine strip Tour package, a fun and exciting way to explore the city. Here are the most popular free shows and attractions in Las Vegas:
Fountains at the Bellagio: A spectacular water show choreographed to music plays in the quarter-mile-long lake in front of the Bellagio hotel. The Fountains at the Bellagio run Monday - Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight and Saturday and Sunday, noon to midnight. The fountains run every half-hour until 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes after that until midnight. The Fountains at the Bellagio are one of the many free shows you'll see on the Limousine strip tour. Another great way to enjoy the fountains is eating on the outside patio at Mon Ami Gabi, the French restaurant located at the Paris Hotel right across from the Bellagio Fountains.
Sirens of TI: Located in front of Treasure Island and also referred to as the "Pirate Show" The Sirens of Ti are especially popular with kids but adults enjoy it too! An entertaining action packed show including sexy sirens, Pirates, swordplay, pyrotechnics and acrobatics. The Siren's perform daily, 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. This free show is very popular on the strip so you may want to get there a little early so you can get a nice spot with a view. The Sirens of TI at Treasure Island are one of the many free shows you can see during the Limousine strip tour.
Volcano eruption at the Mirage: The Volcano is currently closed for renovation and is scheduled to reopen in October 2008.
Freemont Street Experience: The main draw for visiting down town Las Vegas is the Freemont Street Experience which blends vintage Las Vegas with high tech wonderment and live entertainment. The biggest draw of the Fremont Street Experience is the Viva Vision canopy and light show. The canopy towers 90 feet above the ground and spans the length of five football fields. Featuring more than 12 million LED modules and 555,000-watt sound system, the light show attracts tourists and locals alike. The light show at Freemont Street Experience is one of the many free shows you can see during the Limousine strip tour.
Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand: Through glass walls visitors can watch these big cats play, feed and sleep. If you're lucky you can catch trainer's hand feeding and playing with these majestic animals. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, the staff switches the lions from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m and the lions are not on display during that time.
Fountain Shows at Caesar's Palace: During your shopping trip at the Forum Shops make sure to stop by the Fountain Show at Caesar's. This fun show uses lifelike animatronic figures to recount the myth of Atlantis. Behind the Fountain is a 50,000 gallon saltwater aquarium with over 100 species of ocean life. Each day from 1:15 to 5:15 you can watch as a diver feeds the tropical puffers, flounder, sharks and the rest of the aquarium's inhabitants. At the west end of the Forum Shops is the Festival Fountain show, featuring an animatronic discussion between Bacchus, Venus, Apollo and Pluto as well as a laser light show.
Streetmosphere at the Venetian: Numerous street performers from Italian opera singers, acrobatic performers, living statues, to costumed actors entertain guests for free as they shop at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Masquerade Village at the Rio Hotel: This show is currently closed for renovation and expected to reopen sometime in the spring of 2008.
Lake of Dreams at the Wynn Hotel: Lake of Dreams is a visually stunning free show located inside the Wynn hotel. Lake of Dreams is an environmental theater that uses a wide man-made waterfall as the backdrop for a nightly performance of light, water, music, and computer graphic imagery. The technological and aesthetic success of Lake of Dreams has won it the 2006 ARCHI-TECH Magazine AV Awards Grand Prize for Best Project Over $1 Million.
Tipping in Vegas
Las Vegas is a service-based city and runs on tips. It's always a good idea to have some cash on hand (especially several $1's). It may seem that you are constantly handing out cash, but remember, everyone here is working very hard to make sure your Vegas trip is exceptional. Here are a few guidelines on tipping in Las Vegas. They are not hard fast rules and no one will complain if you tip more. You may be pleasantly surprised about who will go the extra mile for a little bit extra in tip.
Valet parking attendants: The typical tip for valet parking attendants is $1 to $2 when you drop off and pick up your car. If you want your car left upfront, be prepared to tip higher, anywhere between $10 to $30 depending upon how busy it is. Often during busy season and special events held at the hotels you may pull up to valet parking and be told the valet is full. You will often find $20 will magically make a parking space appear just for you. (Again you may have to tip a little more than $20 when it's crazy busy, but spending the extra cash typically comes with an added bonus of your car being up front. Not only is your car safer but when you're ready to leave youîll get your car pretty quickly. This is priceless when you've had a long night of partying or it's during cold weather).
Bellmen: Bellmen usually receive $1 a bag. If you ask your bellman for some extra assistance or your bags are extra heavy, an additional tip is recommended.
Front desk clerks: Tipping the front desk clerk is a good idea if you are trying to receive a hotel room upgrade. Tipping is up to your discretion but anywhere between $20 and $50 should help in getting an upgraded room.
Cocktail waitresses: If you're gambling drinks at the hotel casinos are comped. But don't forget to tip the waitress (even if you're not winning) we suggest about $1 to $2 per drink.
Cigarette Girls: Usually between $1 to $2 is sufficient, depending on how much you buy and how many times you want her to return.
Dealers: The tip for dealers is really up to you, they can range anywhere from $1 per round to as much as you want to tip. Many Vegas gamblers feel pretty generous after a winning streak!
Keno and bingo runners: A dollar or two every few rounds is suggested but again you can tip as much as you want.
Change person: Many people forget to tip the change person, but many of them live off tips too. A dollar or two is fine; unless you've just won big then it doesn't hurt to be a little more generous.
Room service: Unless a tip has already been added to the bill, the standard is 15 to 20% of the bill.
Waiters and Waitresses: Most people know the standard for tipping waiters and waitresses is 15-20% depending on the level of service. Just don't forget to tip a few dollars at the buffet tables, along with the server that's keeping your drinks filled.
Maids: We'd recommend $1 to $3 a day for the maid service in your hotel room, unless you're extra messy, then you may want to tip a little more.
Pool attendants: A dollar or two for the cute bikini clad pool attendant handing out towels is recommended. Unless you really want to get her attention, then you can tip a little more.
Limousine driver: The standard tip for a limousine driver is 20% of the charge and may already be added to your bill, but tipping above and beyond is always welcomed graciously. Maneuvering a huge Hummer Limousine or F650 truck Limousine through Las Vegas Blvd on a busy night is no easy task. Besides the driving skills and getting you to your destination on time, your Limousine driver often has priceless information on the best restaurants, nightclubs and gentlemen's clubs.
Exotic dancers: These lovely ladies receive tips anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred or even more. How much you tip is entirely up to you, but don't ever show up to a strip club with no cash in your pocket or ogle one of the girls all night without walking up to her and tipping. Remember exotic dancers work entirely on tips.
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