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President's Weekend Vegas StyleAuthor: sightseeingsue (More Trip Reviews by sightseeingsue)
Date of Trip: March 2003
Las Vegas is a one of a kind city; where else can you imagine you are in Paris, New York, a tropical island, Venice, or New Orleans for a moment? A place where neon is king, and restaurants and entertainment rule the city. A place to dream of hitting it big, but more than likely leaving with empty pockets, and a place you will never ever become bored visiting. This is a city that on the flight home you starting planning your next vacation to return back...but after a good nap though.
For me, it's the endless casino/hotels to explore and experience. I love the Bellagio fountains, there is no more romantic spot in my eyes then watching this wonderful dancing water next to the person you love, then strolling inside to explore what wonderful display will be showcased at the Bellagio Conservatory.
The Wynn hotel is one of the most elaborate hotels/casinos, and also one of the newest and shouldn't be missed. I loved it with it's spectacular cascading waterfalls and extraordinary attention to details. The twinkling lights that lined the foliage paths were stunning and made you feel very relaxed while visiting.
The Venetian, the luxury resort inspired by the splendor of Italy's most romantic city, Venice, is truly a place to visit. The ceilings are covered with hand-painted re-creations of Venetian art. Just stroll down the stone walkways to stumble upon Venice's famous Grand Canal, where you can shop at many stores and boutiques while taking in live street performers and watching lovers glide down the river in one of the resorts Gondola rides.
If you like dancers, then the Rio is a place to check out. Every half hour or so, waitress/waiters will jump up and entertain everyone with a number of tunes. Don't miss the ceiling float parade that goes on each day.
If you want to see a lot in a short time, take a limo ride to tour the city. These are so reasonably priced it's crazy not to. We took a 3 1/2 hourride for $220, which included a tip and could handle up to six guests. What a deal. We saw the Mirage Volcano, the Treasure Island pirate, the Bellagio Fountains show, Fremont light show, and many other sights in Vegas. They dropped you off and picked you up... we brought champagne, which made the trip even more enjoyable.
Never ever wear new shoes in this town. Go for comfort before style. Don't be surprised if you don't come home a big winner. Use coupons for freebies and save your money for a good show or a nice restaurant. Coupons are found everywhere. Some hotels (Coast Hotels) give you coupon books for staying with them for free drinks and discounts on shows. Use them. Use the free shuttles to get around... they are so convenient. Play the machines the locals do...this paid off for me at the Palms. Always carry around a lot of dollar bills, you will need them frequently for tipping. Always be careful with your purse or wallet. Most people are honest and not thieves, but you never know when you may run into somebody that may want to take advantage of you. Be Safe! And last but not least, always enjoy yourself. Always go on vacation with a good attitude and take in all that you can.
My Top Picks
Depending on where you plan to go, your feet, taxis, and free shuttles are the best method for traveling. If you are on the strip, it is easierto just walk from casino to casino, and take in the abundant sunshine there is in Vegas. A taxi is easily found by the doors near check in/out of the Hotel/Casinos so they are never hard to find. Cost is only $3.20 to start, then $2 dollars a mile. Well worth the money. To assure a good safe ride I always tell the driver his tip depends on how calm my nerves are when I arrive. It's always worked in so far in Vegas.
If you are staying at one of the hotels that offer free shuttles to the strip etc. (Coast, Orleans, Rio, and Barbary Coast among others) use them. They are fast, free (I always tip) and clean.
For an extra special way to see the city, I suggest taking a limo ride for a tour of the city. For $55 person (included tip) for 4 of us we had 3 ½ hours which took us to several of the major attractions in town. Well worth the money.
The Trolley takes you from the Stratosphere to the south side of the strip. At only $1.50 they seem like a great deal if time and comfort are not a factor. The trolley stops at every major casino on the strip and has less than comfortable wooden seats. The monorail system is usually located in the back of these large casinos and usually a long distant to walk to reach them. They cost from $5.00 per ride to $40 for a three day pass.
Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
If you are looking to be pampered, and having luxury amenities are important to you, then pass on the Gold Coast. But if you are satisfied with a clean room, hot shower, and a bed, then you should check out one of the best bargain hotels in Vegas. The Gold Coast is located a short distant from the strip across from the Palms and the Rio, with one of the best rooms rates in the city.
I stayed here over President's Weekend and got my room for free, thanks to a comped room from my gambling sister-in-law. But even if I had to fork out the $59 a night, I still think I would be satisfied with my stay.
The rooms were smallish, clean with the décor somewhat southwestern. Our room had two full beds, a table, two chairs, and a dresser. It did have a TV (only used to check out the weather) and a much needed alarm clock ( Didn't want to miss the flight home). The air-conditioning worked fine, but was rather loud when it was running.
Some of the rooms in this hotel have great views. I went with another guest (just for drinks) up to one of the Suites on the top floor one night and the view was awesome, but it was hard to see it through the dirty windows. Our room was located on the first floor (2nd level) and had a view of the back door of the show "Forever Plaid." Occasionally, we saw some of the performers sneaking outside to smoke their cigarettes, but that was it.
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