After checking out the Hoover Dam we were excited to head into Vegas for a night out on the town. The interstate leading into Vegas is insane. There are six lanes and people were driving incredibly fast, zipping in and out of lanes cutting each other off. I saw 5 accidents on our 20 minute drive into the city. Be careful when driving around this crazy town!
We got to the Flamingo at 3pm. It is one of the oldest hotels on the strip and is where the Rat Pack used to stay when they were in Vegas. It has its own parking garage and is basically right in the center of the strip, making it easy to go stroll around and check out all the other casinos. It was one of the cheapest hotels on the strip so we weren’t sure how nice it was going to be, but it was absolutely gorgeous.
Check in wasn’t until 4 but we figured our room would probably be ready, so we went early. Everyone else must have thought the same thing because the check in line was really long. And this was on a Monday so I can’t imagine what weekends are like. They have self-check in kiosks, which speeds it up a little except when people can’t figure out how to work the machine. Also, even after we self-checked ourselves in we still had to go wait in line to talk to an actual human being to get our sheet of discounts they give all of their guests.
We headed up to our room and were taken aback by how nice it was. Now, mind you, we had spent the previous two month staying at Rodeway Inns and Motel 6’s, so our standards were pretty low, but it really was a great room. We took some time to just relax and take showers since we had spent the previous few days camping. We got dressed in real clothing instead of hiking gear, and headed down to the lobby to find the theater our show was in.
There are all sorts of shows you can see in Vegas, like musicians, comedians, acrobats, and magicians. The more famous performers can be quite expensive so we decided to see a lesser known comedian/juggler named Jeff Cevillico. He does his show at the Flamingo and when we checked in we got a buy one get one free admission coupon to check him out. So why not? He was pretty funny. This was his early show at 6pm, so it was the family friendly version. He does a later performance that is a little raunchier and probably more entertaining for adults. It was a good time though.
After the show we decided we needed to get some food. We were originally going to do the buffet at the Flamingo but it wasn’t opened. When we drove in I saw that there was a Wahlburgers across the street. I’ve seen the show, so I thought it would be cool to go check it out. The place was packed but the service was really quick. The food was delicious but a little expensive for a burger. I guess that’s to be expected in Vegas though.
We didn’t really have a plan for our trip other than to just wander around and check out all the different hotels and casinos. So that’s what we did. We started heading in one direction and just did a loop around the entire strip. There are pedestrian walkways that go up and over the roads, which is nice because traffic is crazy.
The Flamingo has a really nice garden in the back that has beautiful fountains, a little wedding chapel and real flamingos!
There is a side street by the Flamingo that has a lot of cute shops, murals, fountains and leads to the High Roller, the giant Ferris Wheel on the strip.
Some of the hotel/casinos are very fancy and have a very high class vibe if that’s what you’re going for. The Venetian and the Bellagio are definitely two of the fancier ones.
The Venetian has gondola rides. If that’s not fancy I don’t know what is. The architecture is beautiful and there are gargoyles, so I was all about it.
The Bellagio is the one with giant fountain out front. The fountains and lights are synced to music and are really beautiful to watch.
If you’re looking for a hotel/casino with a little more fun vibe there are plenty to choose from.
Circus Circus is, as I’m sure you can guess, a circus themed casino. They put on free circus performances throughout the day and there are clowns and carnival games mixed in with the slot machines. It was a good time. Unless you don’t like clowns.
Treasure Island is another fun one to check out. It’s got a kind of Caribbean/Pirate Vibe to it. Next door is the Mirage which has a volcano and dolphins, so that’s worth checking out too.
Planet Hollywood is another pretty fun place to check out. Its very much pop culture oriented, with lots of music and movie decor.
One of my favorite hotel/casinos we went to was Paris Las Vegas. This one is Parisian themed, complete with Eiffel Tower and Moulin Rouge. There is live music on the stage in the man casino room and the people in here just seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
In addition to all of the casinos, there are plenty of shops and restaurants on the strip too. Just about any store you’d find in a mall has a spot on the strip, as well as high end places that you’d find in NYC. There are also plenty of gift shops selling Vegas merchandise.
There are also street performers, some of which are pretty talented. We even saw a couple Elvis’s. There are lots of nearly naked men and women walking around handing out various pamphlets and coupons for different attractions. The only sort of negative thing I saw was that there are a lot of homeless people sitting on the streets with coffee cans asking for money. I understand that people fall on hard times, it just wasn’t something I’m used to seeing coming from such a small town.
We ended the night back at The Flamingo by getting a drink at the bar and playing some slot machines for about an hour. Neither of us one any money, but it was fun to push the buttons. We called it a night at 3am, which was really late for us, but pretty darn early by Vegas standards.
Vegas is definitely a good time. We didn’t make it all the way around the strip because it was getting late, but there were plenty of other buildings that we didn’t get the chance to check out. I’d recommend spending two nights in Vegas if you really want to see it all. I will definitely be going back someday to spend a little more time and see a couple more shows!
Have you been to Vegas? What was your favorite part?