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Las Vegas Travel Tips

Las Vegas Photo info
Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

Keep in Mind...

  • Prepare for desert weather Vegas can get extremely hot during the day, but nighttime breezes (and casinos' air conditioning) can be pretty chilly. Be sure to bring a jacket.
  • The house always wins No matter how well your winning streak is going, it's bound to come to an end at some point. Remain both optimistic and realistic.
  • Bring the kids Before you scoff at the thought of a family trip to Vegas, bear in mind that many of the casinos have kid-friendly attractions (like aquariums).

Sin City, America's Playground, the Entertainment Capital of the World ... all worthy names for this Nevada hotspot. Think of Vegas as a theme park rather than a city — it can awe as much as it can overwhelm, and that's part of the appeal. This is a city where inhibitions are not welcome: Every night, Las Vegas draws pleasuremongers to the brightly lit Strip like moths to a flame. While you may not want to go as far as to re-enact "The Hangover," you certainly don't want to leave without experiencing a bit of "Viva Las Vegas." Just remember: What happens here, stays here.

But gone are the days when Sin City appealed only to bachelors and brutes. Today, Las Vegas as a destination is just as malleable as it is ostentatious in that you can mold it into any type of vacation you like. You can opt for the traditional high-roller getaway complete with all-nighters at the blackjack table or PURE Nightclub. Or you can take a different approach to Sin City and indulge in its luxury spas, high-end shopping and gourmet restaurants. Las Vegas also makes a great jumping-off point for outdoor activities, such as hiking in Red Rock Canyon or visiting the Hoover Dam. And though you may not believe it, this city even has attractions for kids: Underage travelers will get a kick out of a Cirque du Soleil performance, the Bellagio Fountain show and the Neon Museum.

How To Save Money in Las Vegas

  • Do your research There's no shortage of online deals on flights and hotel rooms, so be diligent about making travel plans and save the spontaneity for after you've checked in.
  • Ditch the car Traffic on the Strip can be mind-boggling; you'll be better off relying on public transportation and your own two feet. Note: If you're cabbing into the city from the airport, make sure to tell your driver to take Swenson Street — it's cheaper than using the airport tunnel.
  • Cut yourself off Winning feels amazing, but there comes a point when the tables start to turn. Decide how much you're willing to spend at the casinos before you arrive in Vegas, and make sure to stop yourself before Lady Luck robs you blind.

Las Vegas Culture & Customs

People tend to visit Las Vegas to release their inhibitions, win (or, most likely, lose) their money and sample the carefree life. It's a place for escapists, promising to keep your vacation secrets (remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas). Be prepared for nonstop entertainment and pure, American-style debauchery.

But that doesn't mean you can go buck-wild and get away with it. Hotels, casinos, restaurants and clubs will expect you to behave appropriately, and those who don't follow the rules won't be let off easy. If you're smart and exercise common sense, your stay in Las Vegas should remain safe and enjoyable. As far as safety is concerned, you should take some extra precautions when on the Strip or in a casino. Cash and alcohol run wild, often placing travelers in compromising situations. Don't overindulge in alcohol, and keep your winnings to yourself to avoid attracting unwanted attention. When on the Strip, never walk alone in the evenings, be mindful of the busy road and follow all street signals and applicable laws.

You should also note that many establishments (including high-end restaurants and nightclubs) enforce dress codes that may require you to wear semi-formal attire. Be sure to check before you plan your outfit for the evening.

Believe it or not, there is more to this town than bustling casino floors and questionable decision-making: Las Vegas caters to a wide variety of travel types with its host of fine dining establishments, world-renowned entertainment and even family-friendly activities. While you're here, take some time away from the casino floor to get to know the other sides of America's Playground — learn about its history at the Neon Museum, enjoy its surroundings at Red Rock Canyon or try a different type of play at the casinos' aquariums, zoos and amusement parks.

Las Vegas Dining

One thing's for sure: There's no shortage of choices in Las Vegas when it comes to finding something to eat. You'll find everything from high-end French fare to budget-friendly burgers jockeying for your taste buds' approval. The celebrity chef craze hit Las Vegas by storm, with some of the world's most famous chefs — including Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse — establishing kitchens in Sin City. As a result, the city boasts some of the best dining in the United States; according to the tourism board, Las Vegas is "the biggest thing to happen to food since salt." What's more, Las Vegas boasts more master sommeliers than Los Angeles and New York City combined, ensuring that whatever meal you choose will be paired with the perfect libation.

Many of the big-name restaurants along the Strip come attached to high price tags, but you don't need to spend a fortune to eat well here. Sin City caters to foodies of all budgets with restaurants offering menu items at a variety of prices. This city is also king of the all-you-can-eat buffet, with food lines featuring everything from pizza and Chinese to crab legs and gluten-free cuisine. Try the Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan for a culinary tour of Asia, or head to the buffet at the Bellagio for evening caviar service. Whatever you're craving, you're sure to find it at one of the buffets along the Strip, so come hungry.

You might also like...

  • Atlantic City Atlantic City
    • The East Coast's version of Sin City
    • Plenty of kitschy attractions for kids
  • Aruba Aruba
    • Lots of casinos to choose from
    • Not to mention beautiful beaches
  • New Orleans New Orleans
    • One of the ultimate party cities
    • Plenty of cultural attractions
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