by Amanda

October 12, 2011

Ok, so remember I said New Orleans was one of my favorite cities?  Well, I think Las Vegas is my other favorite.  I’ve been twice, Cesar has been once.  We both love Vegas and are constantly talking about going back.  It’s such a fun city…there is something there for everyone (for real).

When We Went:

Cesar and I went in August.  I have also been there in July.  Both very hot.

Where We Stayed:
I stayed at The Venetian when I went.  It was great!  I think every room there is a suite.  We had a great view of the Strip.
Photo from Yahoo! Travel
When Cesar and I went, we stayed at Imperial Palace for 3 nights to begin with.  It was very no-frills and definitely nothing special.  But it was clean, and that was all that we really cared about.  If you plan on spending a lot of time there though, without venturing outside the hotel too much, I don’t think I’d stay here because there’s really nothing to do except go to the casino (especially compared to most other hotels on the strip).  We didn’t think we would spend much time in our room and we were right- we went to the room to shower and to sleep for a couple hours, and that was about it.  Because…who goes to Vegas to sit in their hotel room?  Definitely not us!
Photo from Yahoo! Travel 
The next 3 nights, Cesar and I stayed at the Rio.  This hotel is amazing.  We only paid about $60 a night (including Friday and Saturday nights!) and stayed in a room that looked like this:
Photo from Rio Las Vegas
The Rio is an all suite hotel, which is really nice.  There are great places to eat and shop in the hotel, plus they have a huge casino.  The only bad thing I can say about this hotel is that it is not on the Strip, but that was not a problem to us at all because we had a car, and it is a super short drive to the Strip.
I would definitely stay at all three of these hotels again, and would definitely recommend all three of them!
Where We Ate:
  • Carnival World Buffet (Rio)- Expensive, but worth it.  We went for lunch and didn’t eat breakfast or dinner that day.
  • Carnegie Delicatessen (Mirage)- Their sandwiches are humongous!  Cesar and I shared one, and left with a big ol’ box of leftover meat.
  • America (New York New York)
  • Margaritaville (Flamingo Hotel and Casino)- I’ve been to Margaritaville restaurants all over, and this was probably the most fun!  We went there for dinner before a show one night to have a couple margaritas.
  • Mr. Lucky’s (Hard Rock Hotel and Casino)- Hard Rock is not on the Strip, but it is worth the trip to go to Mr. Lucky’s.  They have a “$7.77 Special” that is not on the menu because it’s a [not-so] secret, but ask for it, and you’ll get it.  For $7.77, you get an a salad, 8 oz. steak, 3 jumbo shrimp, and garlic mashed potatoes.  It’s so good!
  • Excalibur Buffet (Excalibur)
  • Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill (Harrah’s)
What We Did: 

  • Gambled
  • Walked the Strip several times, just to see everything
  • Saw 2 Cirque du Soleil shows- Zumanity and Mystere-  really liked both of them
  • Visited Red Rock Canyon- This is only a few minutes outside of Las Vegas, but feels like a world away!  There is a big loop you can drive around, or they have places to park and hike. 

  • Went to Red Rock Casino, Resort, and Spa- we won the most money there of any other casino.  We also played bingo, which was super fun (plus, you get two free drinks when you pay to play). 
Playing bingo with a goofy smile
  • Watched the fountain show at Bellagio
  • Watched the pirate ship show at Treasure Island
  • Rode the roller coaster at New York New York
  • Rode the rides at the top of the Stratosphere.  Cesar and I both went on the Big Shot (not that scary) and I went on the X-Scream (super duper scary) 
Big Shot- Photo from Theme Park Review
X-Scream- Photo from Have Fun In the Southwest
I’ve never been so scared in my life!
  • Visited Fremont Street- definitely visit at night to watch the Fremont Street Experience
  • Visited a wedding chapel just to see what it was like
  • Visited the Hoover Dam
  • Rode a gondola at The Venetian

Hopefully we will be able to go back to Las Vegas sometime soon- either with or without Sophia (I would have no problem bringing a young child there!).  I’d love to know…what have we missed in Vegas- either somewhere to stay, somewhere to eat, or something to do?


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