I don’t think either Ashley or I had been to Las Vegas since we had turned twenty one. The last time I was there when I was fourteen and I’m pretty sure Ashley was like eight so this is pretty much a new experience for both of us.
The first thing we realized was how damn hot it is when we landed! We came from Chicago where it was, like, 80 degrees to a place where it is 105 degrees. This makes walking, in a city where you basically walk everywhere, sometimes a pain in the ass.
Luckily most casinos in Las Vegas are connected in some form or another and your time outside is limited.
We stayed at the MGM Grand right at the south side of the strip across from New York, New York and adjacent to the Tropicana. The crazy thing about all casino/hotels in Las Vegas is that no matter what time you go downstairs, there are people pulling away at slot machines or even at a table. It is definitely a 24 hour city.
Eating Around Vegas
One of the best things to do in Vegas, we found, was eating! There are dozens of food options, even within the casino’s, ranging from low budget food courts to more spendy restaurants.
One of the places we were excited to eat at was the Bacchanal Buffet in Caeasar’s Palace. This buffet is known for being one of the best around so obviously we had to check it out.
We went during the brunch period so were able to extend our two-hour stay into the beginning of the lunch offering, taking advantage of a couple of different sets of options.
One of popular items at the Bacchanal Buffet is the crab. There is a dungeness, king and snow during the brunch period. One good thing to know is that, while they are out on ice in general, you can request hot crab from the people working behind the counter and they will set you up with a plate of crab they pull straight out of the water.
The dessert area is also pretty outstanding as far as buffets go. The photo above is not even part of that area but just represents some of the breakfast sweets that are available. There are also fresh juices available as well.
There are unlimited mimosas for just $15 extra per person. When we were there it was $59 per person for the buffet. I’d recommend going during lunch or dinner as you have more options. We went on a Monday afternoon and there was no wait but I read there are days when the wait is quite long.
Another fun thing to do is to just wander around checking out the different hotel/casinos. There are elaborate setups in each one, each with their own theme.
One common sight are the indoor displays, recreating outdoor scenes, so you can have these views 24 hours a day.
With food comes drink. And drink in Vegas is a sport. As pictured above in the fierce beer pong competition.
The great thing about the city is, you can have zero shame walking down the street with one of those long, 64oz yard drinks without worrying you feel like a tourist because everyone on the strip is! So give in and enjoy.
The Flamingo is home to the “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” bar in which you can play beer pong with the purchase of a $21 pitcher of beer. This is one of the better deals around.
When it comes to gambling, you really don’t need to know much, other than the casinos are nearly always going to win. If you come out ahead, then you got lucky. If you are after low minimums, stay away from the more popular hotels. The Flamingo and Tropicana are both home to a few $10 minimums for various games, and $5 mins are found throughout the smaller areas. These are safe bets for at least prolonging your stay a bit without breaking quickly.
This trip was the ultimate tourist-on-holiday trip. And I loved it. Both Ashley and I are excited to go back and it’s a great diversion as long as you set limits and don’t get carried away in the excess of the city. But really that’s almost part of the allure isn’t it?