Another Bleg: Las Vegas

By Kay Steiger

Since Sara already asked about Barcelona, I’m going to go ahead and use our readership for a much less glamorous “vacation.” I’m heading to Las Vegas this weekend for a few days to hang out with my sister. What should I see and do? I’m not much of a gambler, so what’s worthwhile that I might enjoy?

12 responses to “Another Bleg: Las Vegas

  1. you will want to see the beautiful mouthblown glass flowerjungle adorning the ceiling of the alcove in the lobby of the bellagio….it was created by the famous glass artist, dale chihuly.
    also, they may still have the fountains of white and dark melting chocolate that flow and melt through glass pipes from the ceiling in the confectionary there. it is really something to see!
    a fantasy in chocolat!

  2. are the cirque du soleil shows still there?

  3. 1. Ride “The Big Shot” at night. It is the ride on top of the stratosphere that shoots you and 15 other people straight up in the air letting you go weightless and float slightly out of your seats 100+ stories above the strip. Great view and quite a rush. One of the better non-debauched entertainments in Vegas.

    2. A circ cu sole show. I saw Ka at the MGM in 2007 and it was a lot of fun. Amazing feats of physical daring and agility, plus lush costumes and exciting staging. Hard to beat. It’s ridiculously expensive though so try to get discount tickets. I hear there is a half price tickets place somewhere, and with the economy what it is, surly there are deals to be had.

    3. Balagio buffet (or whatever seems to be considered to be the best–I’d crosscheck chowhound first). Great variety and spare no expense quality. Sure its a buffet, and its easy to make fun of buffets, but a buffet that actually has decent food is a lot of fun. This is worlds away from the boiled steak discount buffets of yore, and its very much a dining experience unique to Vegas. The economies of scale with this type of spread means few places in the world can support a buffet like this. And even at about $50/person it felt like a pretty good value.

    4. Thomas Keller’s place at the Venetian. I haven’t been so take this with a grain of salt, but on a recent No Reservations Anthony Bourdane made a convincing case for its quality. Anyway, if you are looking for fine dining, it is probably one of your best bets out of the town’s line up of celebrity chef branded options.

  4. There’s a Second City show at the Flamingo that is pretty good, if improv is your thing. If not, there’s always the Liberace Museum.

  5. I would recommend the art gallery in the Bellagio, the dancing fountains outside it at night, and O’s Cirque du Soleil show. And you can head over to MGM Grand to see the lions there! Have fun!

  6. People-watching is the real show in Vegas. Quite a collection of humanity.

    You should gamble a bit at a low-dollar table for the camaraderie and free drinks.

  7. Yep, make a beeline for Lotus of Siam. Go twice. All kinds of stuff not on the typical Thai menu.

    Not much else in the moderate-priced category that’s worth seeking out.

    Red Rock canyon just to the West is nice if you want a little nature to scramble around in.

    For cheap eats down by the University (along Maryland Ave), Yayo Taco and India Curry are tasty, and there are several small Mexican and Salvadoran places that look promising.

  8. my dad and i like to ‘surf’ the breakfast buffet at the Paris. we time it so we’re entering about 10-10:30. fill up on breakfast items (they have a large assortment from various areas of France) and then have some coffee, sit a little, and around 11-11:15, they change the buffet over to lunch. once you get a second wind, you can hit it up again. best $16 you’ll ever spend.

    on the other end of the price spectrum, i had perhaps the best meal of my life at CraftSteak when six of us did the Kobe beef tasting menu. highly recommended, even at $200/person after wine/tax/tip….

  9. If the weather is nice, you can have a nice meal and do some people-watching at Cafe Babareeba (or around the corner at Stripburger).

    Be sure to save some time out to go to Red Rock Canyon.

  10. Yes, the people watching is fabulous. Go to Fremont Street to see something a little grittier. While you’re there, get the 1.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate. I had the lobster pot pie and Michael Mina’s Nob Hill at MGM and it was to die for. I heard the tasting menu at atelier joel rubechon, also at MGM, was getting cheaper, so you might try that as well.

    For free entertainment, catch the circus acts at Circus, Circus. I also second the Liberace museum and Red Rock Canyon. They do a great sunrise horseback ride through there. If you have a car, you can drive 30 minutes or so to Valley of Fire park and see the pictographs and do some great hiking. I also heartily endorse staying at THEhotel at Mandelay Bay–the bathtub is seriously enormous. I would have spent my whole time taking bubble baths if I could.

  11. Fremont Street at night can be alot of fun.

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