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  1. #1
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    Going to Las Vegas!

    So I'm going to Las Vegas in a few weeks, I've been there before 12 years ago, so much has changed....just wondering if anyone who's been there more recently can recommend some things I shouldn't miss?

    Where are the best (reasonable) places to eat? Buffets?

    Which, in your opinion, is the best Cirque du Soleil show to see? I'm leaning towards either O or Love, since those 2 don't travel....any reviews?

    Has anyone been to the Price is Right show? Is it worth it?

    We'll be taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Also want to see Fremont St, the hotels on the strip, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, etc.

    Has anyone used the Las Vegas Power Pass? I think that's what it's called? A pass for many of the attractions there....seems like a good deal on paper, but it seems like you'd have to pack a lot into every day to really make it worthwhile.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    I will be leaving in the next day or so. Never been, I will be walking the Strip and see what interests me.

    I will be busy with my sister's wedding and dealing with family, but will try to check out as many sights as possible. I try to avoid buffets, but can give you a report on coffee shops.

    I have tickets to the Cirque/Elvis show (Love was sold out). Can't wait!

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    I just visited in January for the first time, but somehow I never ate at one of the buffets nor did I see a show so I'm really no help. I did, however, take a side trip to the Grand Canyon and it was wonderful. It was a long day on a bus, but so worth it. I liked that the tour picked me up from my hotel and dropped me off there as well. The company was called Grand Canyon Tour Company.

  4. #4

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    It's been a while since I've been (and am dying to go back!). Which is the casino that looks like a castle? is that Excalibur? Our cab driver from the airport told us that they had the best/best priced buffet. Again, this was a while ago, so I have no idea if it's still true.

    I've seen O, and it was fantastic. Highly recommended, however, I'm a huge Beatles fan, so that would be my first choice on a return trip. We did a helicopter trip to the grand canyon. It was lots of fun. A bit pricey, but you couldn't beat the views and the speed. You cant miss the Welcome sign. The strip virtually ends at the airport, and the sign is right there.

    We had lots of fun just walking up and down the strip, going into the different casinos, watching the Bellagio fountains, going up the Eiffel Tower (part way, to go all the way up, IIRC, cost like 10 bucks). The statues in Ceasars. Since I've been there, I think a whole new hotel/shopping area has opened up. City Center? That would probably be cool to wander around.
    Erm.... I got nothin'

  5. #5

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    Saw "Love" at the Mirage ... it's a wonderful show. Strolling down the "Strip" after dark is great fun ... the casinos lit up are a show in and of themselves, even without the "free shows" (water display at the Bellagio; volcano at the Mirage, battle at Treasure Island, etc.)

    If you like chocolate, stop at the Max Brenner restaurant in the "Forum shops" (the shopping complex near Caesar's Palace)

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    You Need to hit the Tix4Tonight booths for deals on shows, but also on Restaurants and Buffets. We paid $2 to get half price at Harrah's Buffet, which ended up saving you $8 overall.

    Here is a link to the website. There are a few locations on the strip.

    http://www.tix4tonight.com/

  7. #7

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    I will be staying at the Excalibur this weekend. I will probably have to check out their buffet, at least. It's between $15-$20 for a dinner or lunch or breakfast, but $25 for all-day!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    I will be staying at the Excalibur this weekend. I will probably have to check out their buffet, at least. It's between $15-$20 for a dinner or lunch or breakfast, but $25 for all-day!
    Looks like we overlap by a few hours- I am arriving at about midnight on Sunday for a few days with a girlfriend. We're going to do girly stuff like seeing Menopause the Musical (no way I'd get mr cygnus to that one!)

    I usually avoid the buffets- there are so many good restaurants in Vegas and I don't usually eat enough to justify the price of a buffet. The better ones are not all that cheap. That said- I love the ambiance in the Luxor buffet- it's in the basement of the building and is set up as an archeological dig.

    As for Cirque shows- the best for me are Love and KA (amazing). I also really enjoyed Jersey Boys, and Penn and Teller are fun if you are into that sort of thing.

    And if you want to rest for an hour or so in the afternoon Mac King does a really good comedy/magic show at Harrahs for a really reasonable price.
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  9. #9

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    The Museum of Atomic History (that might not be the correct name) is really fascinating. It's right off the strip and takes about an hour to go through.

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    Thanks for all the information. Can't wait to go!

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    I also really enjoyed KA; it was a bit of a departure from the traditional acrobatics, but I found it thoroughly thrilling, and the set is AMAZING.

    For restaurants, one of my faves was Trevi at the Caesar's palace forum shops. The pastas were awesome, but even better were the cocktails!

    For gambling, I had the most fun at the Amazing Race slot machines!

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    Your hotel will likely leave you promotional coupons etc, be sure to use them.

    Aria is awesome too, love the bars there.

    Enjoy!

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    I've seen all of the Cirque shows in Vegas (except for the Elvis one). Mystere was my favorite. O and Love were my 2nd and 3rd favorites.

    Regarding inexpensive places to eat: if you like Thai, there is a restaurant named Lotus of Siam less than a mile from the strip that serves incredible Thai food; most dishes are less than $10.

  14. #14
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    The best buffet for us was at the Bellagio...not cheap (about $50 ) but THE BEST FOOD. Rio is good, also the Flamingo was pretty good for the price (about $14)

    Check out the free fountain show outside Bellagio, it is spectacular!

    Madame Tusseauds was underrated IMO. Also check out the coca cola store on the strip. They have a place upstairs where you can buy sample flavors of coke products from around the globe.
    "Life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead." - Homer Simpson

  15. #15

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    Don't miss the Venetian. Great restaurants, great shops, great gelato stand! Caesar's Palace shops are good too.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  16. #16

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    cygnus, I hope you're having an awesome time!

    Just got back from Vegas. I had an excellent time. Some thoughts:

    Where are the best (reasonable) places to eat? Buffets?
    I went to two Buffets--the one at Golden Nugget and the other at the Excalibur--and both were extremely mediocre. But they both could accommodate a lot of people so it sufficed. Although I didn't go in, the Buffet in the Paris Eiffel Tower Casino/Hotel looked pretty good and there was a huge lineup--but pricey at $45! But there were a lot of interesting cafes and bakeries in that casino.

    I liked the Sugar Factory. Big servings of ice cream but good if you can share. If you are driving from the airport, stop by the Whole Foods which is on the Boulevard in a big outdoor mall (before you hit the Strip). It's the only grocery store I saw in Vegas. Whole Foods is expensive, but at least you know the food is of good quality and healthy. Get some bananas and other fruits and leave it in your room. Otherwise, all you'll eat is big portions of fatty food.

    Off the Strip we went to two Vietnamese restaurants--Pho Kim Hung (okay) and Pho Little Saigon (pretty good). There is a surprisingly large cluster of Asian restaurants and businesses outside the Strip.

    However, I didn't have one bad cup of coffee. Va Bene in the Cosmopolitan, the Pod and the Cup in Aria, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (a Southern California chainlet, I believe), and Espresso-something in The Forum Shops--all were very good. I regret not trying out more.

    My favourite hotel was the Paris Hotel.

    Which, in your opinion, is the best Cirque du Soleil show to see? I'm leaning towards either O or Love, since those 2 don't travel....any reviews?
    Due to family obligations, I did not get to see the Elvis show despite my free tickets. Oh well. But my sister saw O, and said it was excellent.

    We'll be taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon. Also want to see Fremont St, the hotels on the strip, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, etc.
    One of my sister's bridesmaids drove to the Grand Canyon and loved it. Fremont Street is really cool (loved the roof) but is wayyyy at the end of Strip, kinda secluded even though it's supposed to be "Downtown" Las Vegas.

    Expect to walk a lot. Everything is big. Nothing is really close to each other. I basically power-walked my way through everything, so I never really got to look at anything really up close. And I got sick of escalators.

    And what is up with their Monorail? Waste of my time and money. It just made me walk more!

    I am glad I am back (I no longer reek of smoke!) but I would like to come back for a figure skating event. Is that at all feasible?

    Edit: Las Vegas in March is great weather-wise. Sunny but not hot. But it gets dark and cool quickly. Bring at least one sweater!
    Last edited by manhn; 03-16-2011 at 05:07 AM.

  17. #17

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    Whee! Just got back from Vegas this weekend.

    We went to see KA at the MGM and Zumanity at New York New York. I heard AMAZING things about La Reve but unfortunately it was sold out. KA was awesome. Zumanity is definitely not for the family LOL. We got our tickets for both at the Tix4Tonight booths early in the morning and we got great seats both times.

    I second the deserts at the Sugar Factory. The Rainforest Cafe at the MGM was good as well. We didn't do a lot of fine dining as we spent a lot of time . Margaritaville is a must

    The buffet at Mandalay Bay was actually pretty good. Stay away from the buffet at Harrah's.

    You must hit The Venetian, Bellagio and Ceasars Palace. A shopping paradise if there ever was one.

    The best advice I can give you is to invest in some good shoes. I had flats during the day for sightseeing and ridiculous heels at night and my feet were/are killing me.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayra View Post
    Margaritaville is a must
    I second this! I know it's a chain, but it was still a lot of fun and the food was good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    cygnus, I hope you're having an awesome time!
    I had an awesome time in Vegas!

    I went with my oldest girlfriend (we were bridesmaids for each other at our weddings 20+ years ago and have been friends since Grade 9).

    I love Vegas, When I went the first time a few years ago I expected to hate it- I much prefer second hand bookshops, museums, and the back streets of old European cities- but Vegas just got to me, with its excitement, its wonderful tackiness, its lack of pretense- it is what it is. I always get excited when I spot the sphinx at the Luxor when the plane lands.

    These are the things about Vegas that make me very happy-

    The Bellagio fountains. They are tacky. And beautiful. Especially when the fountains dance to Copeland's wonderful music.

    Love. (The Cirque show). Especially their version of "Something" with a terrific male dancer and 4 girls on trapezes. Beautiful.

    Hitting a Royal flush at Video Poker. Okay, it didn't happen this time, but it has in the past. Twice.

    Menopause the Musical. It's really a hoot- especially for those of us who are roughly in the targeted age range. Ahem. I will never listen to "Only You" in the same way again.

    KA. I didn't see it this time, but I especially love the shadow puppet section and the baton dance. I will be going again.

    The cinnamon monkey bread dessert at Craftsteak at the MGM. I have to start saving up now so I can afford to go there again some day. It will be worth it.

    Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. I love Aquariums (aquaria?), and this one is pretty good for the size. I could watch the jellyfish for hours. Ditto the dolphins at the Mirage.

    All in all- a great trip, with a lot packed into 3 days. Not sure when my next trip will be, but we promised my son a trip when he turns 21 in the fall. Maybe.

    We'll see.
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