While you may well be under the impression that the only thing people do in Vegas is gamble their hard earned cash away in casinos and slot machines, you should have a rethink. In recent years, casinos have been busy recreating worldwide cities as an alternative to the cheap tacky buildings that have existed for years. Well, perhaps they see it as an alternative, others might feel differently. You can now stroll through Paris and view the Eiffel Tower or check out the Pyramids in Cairo or you might want to ring in the New Year in Time Square. Oh you don’t need to worry if you can’t make it in time for January 1st, they do it every night of the year.
New Year taken care of, there is plenty to do while you holiday in this unique location, and it is all that. There is nowhere like Las Vegas on the planet. You should check out the various live shows featuring anything from Michael Jackson impersonators to the hoards of wannabe standup comedians who flock to the city every year to make their debut. The pubs and clubs in the city are also well worth a visit, try out some of the theme pubs. If you are looking for a laugh, some of these will undoubtedly oblige.
Obviously the casinos are unavoidable and they are certainly well worth checking out but there are a few things you would do well to remember. It is illegal to gamble if you are under twenty-one but if you do qualify age wise, you should look for something called ‘funbooks’ which offer you discounted chips. Don’t blow more than you can afford as you will almost always lose and guard your belongings carefully. When you do blow it all, it is reassuring to know that as well as gambling, casinos offer all different types of entertainment. So if you run out of chips, and you will, you could do worse than check out the live performers whose job it is to console the heartbroken punters.
Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
Trying to find a spot among the hordes outside the Bellagio for the nightly fountain show can prove to be somewhat difficult. But this par provides a good alternative thanks to its balcony overlooking the hotel's celebrated lake. Not only that, they stage live music nightly also.
Open daily from 5pm-2am (until 3am Fri & Sat).
Sahara Avenue, 2432 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
This is definitely one for the open-minded. Featuring a huge cow on the roof and a rather extensive cow theme on the inside, it is certainly a place to go for a giggle, unless of course you regard the cow as sacred and see this as a mockery. But, for those of you looking for fun, the cow paintings, tiles, lighting fixtures and the sidewalk of fame featuring the hoof prints of the more famous members of the bovine family, should provide some light relief. There is also a microbrewery where you can have a free tour and taste its four hand crafted brews. Also serving food, although I don’t think you would be able to eat anything derived from this particular animal under the circumstances, this is a good venue to while away a few hours.
3799 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
When Barbara Streisand decided to return to the stage after an absence of twenty-five years, this is where she played her comeback concert. Other big names who have graced the stage at MGM Grand Garden over the years include The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson. With performances on all year round and a capacity for over fifteen thousand people, you should catch a concert here while you are in Vegas. You can always tell your parents the Barbara Streisand story, they will probably appreciate it more than your friends will.
4770 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, USA
Located within close proximity of UNLV (University of Las Vegas in case you didn’t get the abbreviation), this place is a typical college bar and a good place to meet up with natives of your own age. Serving cheap lunches during the day, and even cheaper drinks at night, it’s a lively spot where the youth of the city strut their stuff to the sounds of local DJS. You should be warned, however, that everyone in the place male or female is on the lookout for love, usually of the one night variety, so don’t let undying declarations of love win you over too easily.
Rio Suites, 3700 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
Everything from décor to entertainment in this particular drinking hole combines New Orleans Creole with Haitian Voodoo. Despite the fact that there are two parts to the bar, one with a large dance floor and stage, the other a disco there is no cover charge making it popular with all you budget conscious backpackers. If you want to dance the night away, your best bet is the bigger room with the crazy lighting and numerous giant video screens. But, if it’s conversation you’re after, the disco room, despite its name, is the place to go. The main attraction in the Voodoo Lounge is the show the bartenders put on so make sure you check it out if you are in the vicinity.
4550 S. Maryland Pkwy.and Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, USA
6. Tom & Jerry's, 4550 S. Maryland Pkwy.and Harmon Ave. Tel: 702/736-8550 A pub with three rooms in one, meaning that Tom & Jerry’s has something to offer each member of its clientele. The first room is typical of your basic college bar (yes, this one too is located across the street from the university – well they do have better deals), playing homage to the local institution and its members. The second is the dance area with various cover bands treat you to the hits of leading world wide performers. Reggae bands also play in this part of the bar on a regular basis, adding immensely to the atmosphere of the place. And the back room is home to twenty pool tables – lovely. There is a slight cover charge which varies from day to day but with a promotion on one drink or other every night, you have no excuse.
3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
This particular resort boasts a huge fake volcano which has been one of the signature attractions of the city, since it first opened in 1989. The volcano situated in an artificial lagoon erupts every fifteen minutes from dusk to midnight. Fifty-four artificial waterfalls also cascade down the exterior. Once inside you can choose between the pool, the secret garden or the rainforest. In the forest you will the white tigers of world famous illusionists Siegfried and Roy, or you could watch dolphins frolic in a tank. While waiting to pay the small fee to see the latter, you will also spot a huge aquarium filled with over one thousand fish. This particular attraction uses over a million gallons of water a day and gives water conservationists in the area constant headaches. The Mirage signifies all that Las Vegas, it’s artificial, tacky and vulgar but it also makes for a memorable visit.
The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, USA
Inspired by the Beatles as a whole and not just the album in question, 'Revolution' opened in 2006 and is one of the coolest bars on The Strip. Tunes pencilled by the Fab Four aren't all that can be heard from the speakers here - rock, Britpop and house can also entertain in the psychedelic surroundings.
Open daily from 10pm-4am.