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Contents

Climate | Understand | Get In | Get Around | See | Do | Buy | Eat
Drink | Sleep | Stay Safe | Contact | Cope | Get Out

Las Vegas

Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nevada. Nicknamed Sin City and theEntertainment Capital of the World, it is situated in the midst of the southern Nevada desert landscape. The city features many giant mega-hotel/casino complexes decorated with lavish care and attention to detail to create a fantasy-like atmosphere. The casinos often have names and themes that evoke romance, mystery, and faraway and exotic destinations.

the Strip at daytime

Climate

Las Vegas has an arid climate, with sunny, dry and hot summers/falls that often reach into the 90s and 100s during the daytime, and little humidity. Winters and springs are much cooler, with temperatures that can be as low as 25F at night. Snow has occurred before, but is rare.

Understand

History

Compared with other cities in the western U.S., Las Vegas (literally, "the springs" in Spanish) is a relatively recent arrival. It was founded in 1905, and for many years it was merely a small settlement in the middle of the desert. However, several pivotal events would come together in less than twenty years that would help Las Vegas grow into what it is today:

 

Geography

The city is laid out as follows: Main Street as well as the numbered streets run north-south, starting with Main Street in the west. The bus station is on Main Street. Downtown has several hotel-casinos, as well as the "Fremont Street Experience", a pedestrian mall lined with casinos, near the western end of Fremont Street. A couple miles south of downtown starts the "Strip" (Las Vegas Boulevard South), a north-south street lined with large casino-hotels, shopping malls, and other attractions.

The northern end of the Strip is marked by the tall Stratosphere tower. The Regional Transportation Commission runs buses up and down the Strip that connect the Strip resorts to downtown. The Las Vegas monorail and the convention center sit just east of the Strip, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) is located slightly more east of the Strip on Maryland Parkway. The airport is at the southern end of the Strip.

Importantly, the City of Las Vegas only controls the Strip as far south as Sahara Avenue. All of the Strip south of Sahara, is located in the unincorporated township of Paradise, which is governed directly by the Clark County Commission. The township was created by the Commission to take advantage of a quirk of Nevada law to prevent the city government from annexing the big resorts on the Strip.

Thus, many visitors to "Las Vegas" never venture north of Sahara Avenue into the actual City of Las Vegas. Those who do will see City of Las Vegas firefighters responding to emergency calls instead of Clark County firefighters. However, both the city and the county governments share a single law enforcement agency, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which is why the popular television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation depicts Las Vegas police investigating crimes up and down the entire length of the Strip.

 

Get in

By car

Southern Californians crowd Interstate 15 every weekend going back and forth to Vegas. Expect this drive to be crowded and frustrating, unless you can come and go at off-peak hours. However, many find the 280 mile (450 km) drive along I-15 restful and scenic. Attractions along the I-15 include the California towns of Barstow and Baker; the Mojave Desert; and small hotel-casinos in Nevada at Primm (at the California border) and Jean, respectively. Those who traverse the I-15 should remember that they are crossing a desert, and should carry (and drink) ample amounts of water, especially on hot summer days where temperatures can reach 110°F (43°C).

From east of Las Vegas, travelers typically drive on I-40 through Arizona, and then head north toward Vegas on US-93 in Kingman, before finally picking up I-15. This route will take you along the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and directly through Boulder City, near the Hoover Dam. Traffic there can be extremely congested and slow-going; although less so than in past decades since US 93 was rerouted to bypass Hoover Dam, using a new bridge. Still, this stretch is usually the slowest part of an otherwise sparsely populated desert area.

From the North I-15 meets the Arizona border at the more relaxed town of Mesquite, NV and shortly goes into Utah. The junction of I-70 and I-15 is where most people driving from the east will take. Those from further north may meet I-15 from I-80 in Salt Lake City.

Those traveling from the north drive on US-95 from Reno and Tonopah. This is a two lane highway until it reaches the community of Mercury, where US-95 is a four lane highway. The route is sparsely populated and travelers should ensure that their fuel tank is full.

Welcome!

By bus

By plane

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McCarran International Airport (IATA: LAS) [7] is served by many domestic and international air carriers. Southwest Airlines[8] has a hub at LAS. The cost at the airport to rent a luggage trolley/cart is $3.

Henderson Executive Airport (ICAO: KHND) is the corporate choice for aviation in Las Vegas. Located just minutes from the world famous Vegas strip, Henderson Airport is the ideal alternative to McCarran International Airport. Air taxi and air charter companies such as The Early Air Way [9] and Jetset Charter [10] fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstream's down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.

Hotels owned by MGM Grand (MGM Grand, and New York New York) and Harrah's Entertainment (Rio, Harrah's, Bally's, Paris, Caesars Palace, and Flamingo) allow you to check in at the hotel and transfer luggage between the hotel and the airport.

For departing flights:

To travel between the airport and your Strip hotel:

By rail

Amtrak's Southwest Chief [13] operates daily service from Los Angeles, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico to Needles, California, 113 miles south of Las Vegas. From Needles, there is bus service to Las Vegas, with a stop in Laughlin.

Amtrak's San Joaquin Route [14] operates between San Francisco and Bakersfield. From Bakersfield, Amtrak operates 2 daily buses to Las Vegas.

 

Get around

By foot

If traveling along the Strip, walking is a reasonable option as the hotel-casinos are close to each other. In most cases, hotels are connected to each other either by bridge or underground or in the case of Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay, by a complimentary rail shuttle. Be aware that during the summer, the oppressive heat during the daylight hours may make walking a very uncomfortable activity.

By monorail

The Las Vegas Monorail [15], ☎ +1 702 699-8200, runs along the east side of the Strip with stops behind several of the hotels and at the Las Vegas Convention Center [16]. It costs $5 one-way, $9 return and $15 for a one-day pass. Do the math before boarding, it could be cheaper for a small group to take a taxi. Because the monorail stops at the back entrance of the hotels, it takes a long time to wind through the maze of casinos, often taking 30 minutes to an hour to get from one point to another on the Strip - if you're in a hurry, take a taxi. The monorail's carrying capacity of 4,000 people per hour is woefully insufficient to handle the evening exodus from the larger conventions which have as many as 150,000 attendees. If you are visiting with a friend from Nevada and want to ride the monorail, consider asking them to buy your fare because by showing a Nevada State ID or Clark County Work Permit Card (issued to all hotel employees) they qualify for the locals fare of $1. The discounted fare can be purchased from the customer service booths located at each station.

Due to high prices, inconvenient station locations, low passenger ridership, and the fact that it does not connect to downtown or the airport, the Monorail is widely regarded as a failure. It has been operating under the supervision of a federal bankruptcy court since January 2010 while it tries to reorganize its finances under the protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

By bus

Buses can be an inexpensive and convenient option, especially if just traveling up-and-down the Strip, or to-and-from downtown. A bus ride is a good way to recuperate during those hot summer months after a long and tiring walk on the Strip since the buses are air-conditioned.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) [17], +1 702 228-7433, operates 49 bus routes throughout the valley. Most routes operate 5:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m daily, but some routes operate 24 hours per day. The standard single-ride fare is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for kids and seniors for all standard routes, which RTC calls "residential routes." If purchasing a child or senior fare, be prepared to show some form of picture ID to prove age to the driver.

The RTC operates two routes on Las Vegas Boulevard: the Deuce, a London-style double decker bus, and the Strip and Downtown Express (SDX), an extended-length accordion-style bus. As of 2012, the RTC has completely abolished single-ride fares for the Deuce and SDX, thus relieving their drivers of the hassle of demanding fares from all passengers as they board. The most affordable option for the Strip routes is a two-hour pass which costs $6.00 for all riders above the age of five (children below the age of five accompanied by an adult ride free).

Deuce and SDX buses stop only at marked bus stops on the Strip which all have ticket vending machines where passes must be purchased in advance before boarding. They operate on a proof-of-payment system, meaning that passengers can board and disembark buses on the Strip through any bus door, but risk a substantial fine if caught riding without a valid pass. Valid Deuce and SDX passes can also be used on all residential routes prior to the expiration date and time printed by the vending machine on the pass.

During the larger conventions (such as CES, NAB, and MAGIC) the Deuce also operates on a special one way service from the Las Vegas Convention Center. This service operates only in the afternoon from the convention center to the Strip, and the bus travels southbound and services all regular stops from Circus Circus onward.

Bus drivers do not give change. However, the ticket vending machines give change and accept credit/debit cards. Transfers require payment of an additional fare.

A residential 24 h day pass ($5 for adults and $2 for kids and seniors) covers all routes except The Deuce, which costs $0.50 extra, and an "all-access pass" for $7 covers all routes on the system. If you will be staying for a long period of time (at least 8 days for adults or 4 for children and seniors) and plan to buy an all access pass, a more economic option is to purchase a 30-day bus pass. These can be purchased from either of the two bus terminals (both can be reached by riding the Deuce to Downtown terminal, or to the South Strip Terminal), or from any ticket vending machine.

It is important to note however, that if you would like to purchase a child or senior fare pass, you will need to do so from the customer service agent at the terminals. These passes are valid for 30 days following the first use and can be used on all routes.

If the Strip buses are crowded and the Strip is jammed with traffic (as is often the case), a good way to avoid waiting for the next bus is to use buses running on parallel routes. Either walk one block east from the Strip and use route 108 on Paradise Road or walk one block west to Industrial Road and use route 105, Martin Luther King Blvd and Koval Way.

Taxi

One of the easiest ways to get around is by taxi. It is relatively cheap to go from hotel to hotel, but be aware that since traffic is often so congested on the strip, taking a taxi often isn't much faster than walking. Many taxis will cut off the strip to use a parallel road--this is often faster but can double your taxi fare. The taxi driver is required to use the meter and to take the shortest route to your destination. There is a surcharge for rides originating at the airport, but not for extra passengers. Taxi lines (queues) are typically found at the front of hotels. You would be unwise to attempt to hail one on the street, especially on the Strip, as it is illegal for a taxi to stop traffic to pick up or drop off a passenger. The best way to hail a taxi outside of a cabstand is to use the following method: if you are wanting to go north on the Strip, stand on the east side about 20 feet before a turn off. The taxi you want to wave over will have the yellow lights off. Standing like this allows the taxi to turn off the road and pick you up. It is customary to tip the hotel taxi dispatcher $1 and tip the taxi driver 15% of the meter, and about $1 per piece of luggage.

If you are traveling with a large group, consider hiring a limousine, as you will often forgo a wait and the price per person may even be lower than that using a taxicab. Limousines usually queue in front of the taxicab line and can be approached directly.[18]

By car

Driving Las Vegas Boulevard (the "Strip"), especially on weekends, is an exercise in frustration. Due to extremely severe gridlock at all hours, you could easily spend an hour (or more) sitting in traffic on the Strip just to travel a couple of miles. The Strip's most critically congested section is the 1.7-mile-long portion between Spring Mountain Road/Sands Avenue to the north and Tropicana Avenue to the south, which happens to be where almost all of the major hotel-casinos are located.

Do what the locals do and avoid driving long distances on the Strip altogether. Instead take I-15, which parallels the Strip, and get off at the exit nearest your hotel and park there. Frank Sinatra Drive (which dead ends into Industrial Road) lies just west of the Strip, runs behind the casinos, and provides another option. Koval Lane and Paradise Road provide similar access on the eastern side of the Strip. If you need to do an east or west traverse of the northern half of the Strip and I-15, consider using the Desert Inn Road superarterial, which was built specifically to provide a fast grade-separated route for east-west traffic.

Virtually all major casinos on the Strip, and downtown, offer free parking and many also offer valet parking for an additional charge. On Friday and Saturday nights, the self-parking lots fill up fast. Consider splurging on the valet to avoid cumbersome delays and endless circling around.

Rental cars

If you mostly plan to hang around one casino and your time in Vegas is short, you might want to forego a rental car altogether and just take taxis or the Strip buses. On the other hand, taxi fares and bus passes add up quickly, and with car rental so cheap, anyone staying a few days or longer would be better suited with the flexibility of a car. Some of the best sights (e.g., Hoover Dam) are located just outside of Las Vegas and require that you drive to those destinations. If you need to or might go farther (e.g., out of state), ensure your rental agreement allows it as well as sharing of driving duties.

The base rental price for a car at McCarran International Airport is quite competitive with other major cities. Unfortunately, agencies at the airport must levy very large fees (e.g., for airport improvements) and taxes on those base prices. These can increase the modest weekly cost of a compact or intermediate size car by nearly 60 percent.

By scooter

 

See

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Do

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Rides

 

Concerts & Special Events

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Shows

Free shows

Cirque du Soleil shows

Las Vegas hosts 7 very popular Cirque du Soleil [60] shows. To secure the best seats, reservations well in advance is recommended. In order of opening date, the shows are;

Production/Variety shows

Reserve your tickets well in advance for the best available seating. The most popular shows are sold out on the weekends.

Headliner shows

Comedy shows

There are always different comedians coming to Las Vegas. Some comedians that have recently performed in Las Vegas include Robin Williams, Howie Mandel, and Carrot Top. Always a great way to get a laugh and end the night.

Impressionist/Impersonation shows

Tribute shows

Magic shows

Hypnotists

Adult shows

Topless female dancers
Topless male dancers

Gamble

Opportunities to gamble are found in most places in the Las Vegas metro area, even at McCarran Airport and small supermarkets.

If you win...
Chances are that, if you win it big in Las Vegas and you are not a U.S. citizen your winnings will be subject to a 30% withholding tax from the IRS. That$10,000 slot winning can dwindle quite quickly if that is taken off the top. Not to worry though you can reclaim your gambling winnings tax through a 1042-S form. You should get this from the casino so don’t lose it...it is your starting ticket to getting your gambling winnings back.

Age restrictions

It is state law that all gamblers must be at least 21 years of age. Even if you are at least 21 years old, you are required to bring to the casino a valid ID that shows your current age or complete date of birth (e.g. driver's licence, passport) as proof of your age. Photocopies of valid IDs are usually not considered valid. In-house security makes rounds of inspections to check compliance. If you are under-age or without a valid ID to prove your age and found in the gambling premises, hotel staff will ask you to leave, and could ask the metro police to issue you a citation. Moreover, under-age gamblers cannot collect any jackpot; such bets are void and the casino will at best return your wager before asking you to leave the premises. There is a curfew for anyone under the age of 18 and metro police regularly transport violators to a juvenile center.

The odds

It is beneficial to understand the rules, strategies, and odds of each game before you arrive. The games with the lowest house advantage if you know how to play are craps (dice) with full odds and blackjack; however, tables where a 21-blackjack pays only 6:5 or even-money instead of the traditional 3:2 give the house a big advantage, and should be avoided. Games in which the casino has the best house advantage include slot machines, roulette, and some craps bets (hardways and propositions). If a game is unfamiliar to you, just ask the dealer for advice on how to play. If you are playing during the daytime at a table that is not crowded, most dealers will be happy to explain the game to you, and even slow down the dealing.

Pre-paid gambling cards

To facilitate gambling in machine-based games, you can use a pre-paid card to make wagers and collect winnings. Obtain one of these from the counter, insert the card into the gambling machine you choose to play and the machine will deduct your wagers as well as add your winnings to it. You can go to another cash dispensing machine to redeem your winnings as well as reload the value.

ATMs

Most casinos offer ATMs and over-the-counter cash facilities, but beware about the charges set by your bank and the machine operator or establishment. ATMs in casinos may charge exorbitant fees for withdrawals.

Comps

One reason to gamble, aside from the hope of winning money, is that by doing so, you could receive complimentary ("comp") rooms, meals, and even airfare depending on your play. Most casinos issue free "player cards." It is generally to your advantage to show or insert your player card every time you play a table game or slot machine. At the end of your trip, you can ask the hotel if you are eligible for any comps, you might be pleasantly surprised. And if you arrive at the casino prepared to lay out $1,000 or more, don't be bashful; ask the pit boss to be "rated" for comps before or while you begin playing. Separate from comps, many hotels offer discount packages for travelers who book a Sunday-Thursday night arrival. Most of these packages offer gambling coupons or a matching play -- see the Sleep section for details.

Poker

Texas Hold'em, 7-card stud, and Omaha can be found at almost all Las Vegas poker rooms. However, not all casinos have a poker room, so call the casino or ask a gaming floor attendant. Casinos with non-smoking poker rooms include Wynn, Bellagio, The Palms, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and Mirage.

During June and July, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is held in Las Vegas [147]. If you are interested in poker, this is a must see and all top poker players are present. And if you are a skilled player, you can play the sidegames taking place during the WSOP.

Spectator sports

Get married

Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world. To get married, first go to the County Clerk's Office and apply for a marriage license. Both parties must have valid ID, such as a driver's license or passport. The cost is $60 per opposite-sex couple. The Las Vegas Wedding Bureau is open from 9AM-midnight seven days a week, including holidays. No blood test or waiting period is required. The marriage license itself is valid for one year. The minimum age to marry is 18; a 16 or 17 year old may marry if one parent is present or has given notarized permission.

Once you have a marriage license, the wedding ceremony can be performed by any priest, minister, rabbi or Justice of the Peace authorized to perform weddings with in the Las Vegas area. Numerous wedding chapels are located around the Wedding Bureau and on the Strip. You can choose an elaborate theme wedding, such as an Elvis impersonator as officiant, or a simple ceremony and reception celebration.

Most major hotels and Vegas wedding chapels offer wedding packages for those who wish to plan a larger wedding ceremony. But don't let a lack of planning stop your nuptials; all Vegas wedding chapels can perform immediate weddings with no prior appointment, although it is recommended to make a reservation for your wedding. If you make a reservation most chapels will provide courtesy limousine transportation from your hotel to the chapel and back. Making a reservation also decreases the likelihood of having to wait.

Finally, you can check with the Las Vegas Better Business Bureau before making any arrangements with any wedding chapel or service provider. You may check the local BBB reports online [154].

Tennis

Las Vegas is a great place for tennis fans. Not only do many of the hotels offer excellent courts but public courts abound as well. Vegas is also home to many amateur tournaments, UNLV tournaments, as well as The Tennis Channel Open [155].

Ice skating

Given the very high temperatures during the summer it maybe a surprise that ice skating is popular, but at inside rinks!

Chinese New Year

Catering to a large contingent of tourists from China, and delighting everyone else as well, many Vegas casino resorts stage elaborate celebrations of the Chinese New Year, each year from January to March.

Traditional lion and dragon dances take place in hotel lobbies and even march through the casino floor. Live music performances abound, and many restaurants prepare specialty menus for the holiday. Look especially to Monte Carlo’s Dragon Noodle Co. & Sushi Bar, Fleur by Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay, Rice & Company at Luxor, China Poblano by Jose Andres at The Cosmopolitan, Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace, Mozen Bistro at Mandarin Oriental, and Wing Lei at the Wynn.

Downtown, Chinese New Year in the Desert hosts a series of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cultural celebrations throughout five blocks of Fremont Street.

 

Buy

Sales tax

The combined state and local sales tax in all of Clark County (meaning the entire Las Vegas metro area) is 8.10%. Only groceries and prescription drugs are exempt.

Like most U.S. states, Nevada has not implemented a tax refund mechanism for international travelers. The only retailers that can sell tax-free items to international travelers are the duty free shops at McCarran International Airport.

Basics

Most hotel/casino resort complexes in Las Vegas have a gift shop open 24/7 that offers basic traveler supplies and sundries. Hotel gift shops are outrageously expensive and should be avoided except for emergencies.

If you are planning to not rent a car and to simply go up and down the Strip on foot or bus, the pharmacies are your best bet for basic supplies. They are all open 24/7 and accustomed to dealing with tourists from all over the world.

Like most U.S. pharmacies, they carry a very large variety of products besides pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, including snacks, soft drinks, bottled water, cosmetics, toiletries, hats, sunscreen, maps, postcards, and so on. CVS/pharmacy has two branches on the Strip, one located on South Strip between CityCenter and Monte Carlo, and the other located on North Strip between Circus Circus and Sahara Avenue. Walgreens has one branch on Central Strip at Palazzo and another on South Strip in front of Planet Hollywood.

There are also multiple 7-Eleven convenience stores open 24/7 throughout the Strip, but their prices tend to be higher than the pharmacies and their product selection is not as broad.

Importantly, there are no major supermarkets on the Las Vegas Strip near the resorts. The closest one that sits on Las Vegas Boulevard is the Whole Foods Market at Town Square (see below). Other than that, one has to travel as far west as Valley View Boulevard or as far east as Maryland Parkway to find supermarkets such as Vons, Albertsons, Food4Less, and Smith's.

Shopping malls

There are a handful of shopping malls that are not affiliated with casinos:

Many of the larger casinos include high-end shopping areas with designer stores, including:

Outlet malls

Las Vegas is a hub for factory outlet malls.

The two largest and most prestigious are the Las Vegas Premium Outlets centers. Both are owned by the Premium Outlets chain, which is part of Simon Property Group. The southern one was originally independently developed by another company as Las Vegas Outlet Center and is still described by that name in older travel guidebooks. Both share many of the same tenants. The northern one features a few designer brands not found in its southern sibling, like Armani Exchange, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Elie Tahari, Kate Spade, Salvatore Ferragamo, St. John, Tory Burch, and Tumi, while the southern one features a Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store.

Other

 

Eat

Large casinos will invariably offer a variety of dining options, ranging from the omni-present buffet to simple cafes to gourmet restaurants.

Buffets

The most famous buffets in Las Vegas are at the Rio, Bellagio, Paris and Planet Hollywood (formerly Aladdin), though the newly opened Wynn buffet is becoming more and more of a favorite with tourists and locals alike. The best buffets typically run about $30 a person for a weekend dinner. Lunch is your best value at most buffets when they are around half price, breakfasts are cheapest and often have a great spread too. Do not forget that tipping your buffet waiter 10-15% is customary. You can leave cash on the table at the end of your meal or tip the cashier at the counter on a credit card.

Unusual Eating Joints

Restaurants

On the Strip

Off the Strip

Downtown

Desserts

Luv-It Frozen Custard: Hidden some two blocks north of the Stratosphere Tower and just east of South L.V. Blvd on the north side of Oakey. This family operation offers excellent frozen custards with outstanding toppings. Their blue building with white pillars and trim shares a parking lot with a convenience store. [201]

 

Drink

In Las Vegas, free drinks are offered to all gamblers, even those playing 5-cent slot machines. You should tip the waitress at least $1 per drink; failure to do so will likely cost you free drink privileges.

Although it is offically NOT allowed per the lawbooks, drinking on public sidewalks and other areas on the Strip and Downtown is rarely if ever enforced. Thus it is entirely common to consume alcohol in public areas, including the public sidewalks within the Las Vegas city limits which includes all of Downtown, The Strip and close-by areas. Again, as previously mentioned, over-intoxication and disorderly conduct is frowned upon, so stay within your own limits. On special occasions (New Years Eve and Independence Day for example) there may be bans on glass bottles and/or aluminum cans for the Strip and the Downtown area. Plastic cups and sports bottles are allowed at these times and either provided at purchase or often available at hotel/casino exit doors. When inside a casino or hotel there is seldom any restrictions on carrying drinks from one bar, restaurant or playing location to another with the exception of some showrooms and theaters where it will be clearly posted. Individual shops may also have rules about carrying in food and drink of any kind.

The town of North Las Vegas, Henderson and other outlying areas have very DIFFERENT regulations forbidding removal of alcohol from bars, etc. so check with your host or doorman if in doubt. Many bars and liquor stores are open 24 hours a day. There are also special posted laws for convenience stores, grocery stores and other retail liquor outlets restricting consumption in the immediate vacinity. Most of all, always remember to drink responsibly and realize that the hot, dry desert air in the summer months can have very adverse health affects on people consuming alcohol such as rapid dehydration and deadly heat stroke, even after dark. Drink plenty of water as well!

Bars

Nightclubs/Dancing

There is a club or lounge in nearly every hotel and casino. Most clubs remainThe bright lights of the Riviera Casino open until 4AM, with various after-hour clubs available for the truly hard-core partiers. Drink prices can range anywhere from $4-8 for a domestic bottle of beer, $8-10 for well drinks made with cheap generic liquor, and $200 or more for a bottle of spirits. Clubs are always busy on weekends, and may also be packed during weekdays at places that have Service Industry Night (SIN), usually Tuesday to Thursday, when locals working in the service industry have their night off.

A good way to find out what places are currently hot in Vegas is to ask service staff who look like party-people. People working inside hotels are bound to recommend the hotel's institutions, so rather go for waiters or shop-assistants in restaurants or malls outside the hotels.

The top clubs will charge entry of $15 or more. Exceptions may include those who have reserved a table, those who get there early, ladies, and locals. Expect to wait in a line for 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the night. It is usually best to arrive before 10PM; while the club may be emptier, the line will be shorter and you may avoid paying a cover charge. Sitting at a table often requires a bottle purchase and if you stop making purchases, they will ask you to vacate the table so that someone else can occupy the table. The dress code varies by club. The general rule of thumb is most of the time women know what to wear when they are going out, and men should avoid wearing tennis shoes, tank tops, hats, t-shirts, and blue jeans.

Ultra pool

An Ultra Pool is a mix of a pool, and club all in one.

Ultra lounge

An ultra lounge is a mix between lounge and a night club, but the difference to "real" night clubs is tiny and vanishes completely, when the DJ pulls out hard-core dance hits.

 

Sleep

Las Vegas is a very peculiar destination - and hotels in Las Vegas have a lot of peculiarities that you won't find in other cities.

NOTE: With some exceptions, hotels and other sleeping establishments will not allow anyone under age 21 to reserve a room due to on-site gambling. For those of age 18-20, it is highly recommended to research and reserve in advance of arrival.

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The vast majority of visitors to Las Vegas arrive on Friday or Saturday nights and stay for the weekend. As such, room rates can seem ridiculously cheap from Sunday-Thursday night but zoom upwards on weekends. Travelers can plan a trip to their advantage: by staying, say, Sunday through to Thursday, one can not only save a bundle on hotel rates, but also take advantage of package deals that may include a show, meals, and gambling coupons -- occasionally worth more than the cost of the hotel room itself.

A bad surprise at check in are so-called "Resort Fees". Many hotels in Las Vegas collect this fee on top of the actual room charge(typically between 10$ and 20$ per night) when you check in. You won't get around paying it, even if you claim that your hotel booking website had indicated the total pricing as final. The resort fee is apparently an attempt of introducing low-cost airline pricing to hotels: splitting up the price into an attractively cheap basic fee, and charging the customer for almost everything separately. Thusly, in Las Vegas, the resort fee typically "covers" the usage of the swimming pool and of the fitness centre. Some hotels do not collect resort fees. It may be worth it to ask the front desk to remove this fee; especially if you had a bad experience with your stay. However, keep your expectations low but be polite and reasonable.

Be aware that in Las Vegas hotels, even the resort fee does not always cover hotel amenities that are included for free in hotels in the rest of the world: These charges may be quite expensive; most hotels charge for use of the fitness center with rates around $20 to $40 per visit, local calls are usually billed, and wireless internet is generally at least $12 per day. Unless the service is free; it is better to use your own cell phone or mobile router.

Due to the flamboyant and lively atmosphere of most casino hotels, be aware that you may not get a good night's sleep, especially on weekends or during busy tourist seasons. Drunken parties and associated recklessness are frequent occurences in most of the motels and hotels on The Strip. Most hotels will send security personnel up to dispel loud parties or to warn drunk patrons to keep the noise down if you call the front desk, but their effectiveness may vary.

In Las Vegas parlance, the words "hotel" and "casino" are interchangeable. There is a big difference between casino hotels and mainstream hotels without gambling. Casino hotels tend to be large (often with a long walk from the parking to your room and often via the gambling floor). The size of casino hotels means that they often have a wider range of services (restaurants, bars, shops, coffee shops, etc.) and many facilities have long opening hours or are open 24 hours.

On the Strip

Off the Strip

Downtown/Fremont Street

Suburbs

Many modest hotels, well-away from the Strip and downtown, cater to "locals"; many offer lower rates and (often) better games. Among them are:

They are complemented by plush, full-resort hotels/casinos in select locations. Examples include:

Bed & Breakfast

Camping

Hostels

 

Stay safe

Given the city's lure of easy money and "Sin City" reputation, Las Vegas naturally attracts a lot of unsavory characters, as evidenced by its rather high violent crime rate: 763.4 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in calendar year 2010 (according to the FBI's Crime in the United States report). This is substantially higher than big cities like Los Angeles and New York, where the comparable numbers were 442.6 and 391.9 in 2010. Naturally, the crimes that drive Vegas's numbers so high are robbery and aggravated assault.

Be vigilant and do not leave any valuables visible in your car. If you are lucky enough to win a large jackpot, you can ask the casino to hold your winnings in its safe or to pay you with a check so that you are not walking out the door with a large amount of cash. If you insist on receiving all your winnings in cash, all casinos have security personnel available to escort you to your car or room upon request. Like most large tourism destinations, the Strip has its share of pickpockets and purse snatchers, so keep your wallet in a front pocket or keep a tight hold on your purse.

Major casinos are generally very safe. Casinos take security very seriously and have cameras recording almost every square inch of their property, as well as uniformed and plainclothes security personnel patrolling at all times.

Make sure your hotel door is closed safely at night and use the deadbolt if one is provided. If there is knocking on the door at night, don't open it unless you are sure of the good intentions of the persons that knocked. They might just be drunk, but there could be more serious trouble. Remain calm and call security when necessary.

Numerous people along Las Vegas Boulevard will attempt to hand you fliers advertising adult entertainment or prostitution services. Simply ignore them and they won't harm you, although they are profoundly annoying.

Other crimes

Despite the advertising slogan What happens here, stays here, Las Vegas has laws that are vigorously enforced. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and all of Clark County, although it is legal at licensed brothels in a few rural counties of Nevada. Pedestrians may drink alcohol from an open container on "the Strip", but not in automobiles (not even for passengers).

Driving dangers

Remain vigilant while driving. Las Vegas Boulevard ("the Strip") is notorious for fender benders and other traffic collisions as a result of the heavy stop-and-go traffic and the numerous distractions (pirates, volcanoes, women) offered to drivers.

Some part of Interstate 15 is always under construction to relieve its perennial traffic jams. The current portion under construction is between Blue Diamond Road and Tropicana Avenue. The construction zones tend to have inadequate signage and poor lane markings, which combined with the large number of tourists results in frequent last-minute lane changes and in turn, many multi-vehicle car accidents. Many people are also driving intoxicated as well; Nevada has an unusually high frequency of traffic deaths with alcohol involved, and most of them happen in and near this city.

Heat exhaustion and dehydration

Expect extremely low humidity and temperatures above 105°F (40°C) May to September. Bring sunscreen and wear loose, light-colored clothing that substantially reflects sunlight. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.

 

 

Contact

Mail

Mail service is provided by the United States Postal Service.

There is a full-service post office in the main esplanade of McCarran Airport on the departure level overlooking the baggage claim area, which has a slot through which outbound mail can be deposited at all hours. If you forget to stop there before entering the secure area, there is also a mail drop at the D Gates concourse.

The airport post office is actually a branch of a much larger USPS facility located on Sunset Road on the south side of the airport, which has a retail lobby open to the public.

Unfortunately, the airport and downtown post offices are the closest to the Strip; there are no post offices located on the Strip itself. However, both of the CVS and Walgreens pharmacies on the Strip do sell stamp booklets.

Internet

Most hotel charge a separate fee (typically $13/day) for WiFi usage. An alternative option for occasional WiFi users are Burger King joints - WiFi is free for all customers and you don't even need a password.

Las Vegas Airport has free WiFi. On the Strip some internet cafes exist with prices from 20¢/minute.

 

Cope

Smoking

Inside all large casino (generally those casinos exceeding 15 slot machines), strip clubs and standalone bars not serving food, smoking is permitted. In large casinos, there are areas which are smoke-free, but they may be very close to smoking areas. Poker rooms are typically smoke-free. Smoke-free table games and slot areas are also available. Restaurants inside casinos are non-smoking. Nightclubs and lounges may allow smoking if they do not serve food.

For all other standalone restaurants, bars, convenience stores, grocery stores and airport facilities smoking is banned in all establishments which sell food other than prepackaged snacks. This ban will be obvious in most places by the absence of ashtrays and the required clearly posted signs. In most cases, smoking areas may be provided outdoors, so always ask your server since various options are almost always available. The penalty can be a $100-$600 ticket if you are caught by authorities.

In practice, there is extremely lax official enforcement in most informal off-strip locations due to a lack of enforcement personnel, and some will even offer ashtrays "at your own risk" if you ask for one. Smoking is still permitted in any stand alone bar or club (with or without gambling machines) that do not serve food other than prepackaged snacks (such as chips, pretzels, candy bars). Although a gray area, some smoking-permitted bars which do not serve food will let you carry food in from adjacent/attached non-smoking restaurants so ask. Many stand lone restaurants now also provide a physically separated (separate entry doors and separate ventilatation) non-smoking dining area and a smoking bar or gaming area to accomodate both smokers and non-smokers.

ATM

Casino ATMs tend to impose outrageous transaction fees. (They have mastered the art of sucking away your money even before you place a single bet.) It is a good idea to load up on cash before going to the casino. If you forget to get cash at home or at the airport ATMs, several major banks have ATMs located on the Strip:

Consulates

 

Get out

Hoover Dam is located in nearby Boulder City.[313]

Rock climbing and hiking

Skiing

Mountain biking

Other nature

Cities

 

 

 

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