Most of the resources you’ll need are located in the four mile segment of Las Vegas Blvd spanning from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere, hereinafter referred to as “The Strip.” The airport sits two blocks behind The Strip, closest to the MGM and Tropicana. If you travel north on The Strip past the Stratosphere, you can get a glimpse of old Vegas. First you’ll bump into a bunch of sex shops, rent by the hour motel rooms, and drive thru wedding chapels. After a couple miles of seediness, the city cleans up for a few blocks and you’ll see the court house and random government buildings. Then you’ll stumble upon the Freemont Street Experience and all of the casinos that comprise downtown. The casinos are old and have the feel of your favorite dive bar. The architecture, the font on the signs, the smell that comes with 40+ years of cigarette smoke, the waitresses who have been serving drinks for decades – everything about this place will make you nostalgic for the Las Vegas of yesterday.
Minimal Time at McCarran Airport
In 2008, McCarran carried over 44 million passengers, ranking 15th in the world for passenger traffic. As you can imagine, this means that the line for taxis sucks. If you’re a planner, you should book a driver in advance. It really doesn’t cost too much to have some dude waiting for you at baggage claim holding a sign with your name on it. Fly with a couple other girls and a driver will be cheaper than a taxi with far less hassle. Or if you’re a last minute girl, you can skip the entire taxi or limo waiting line with a $20 bill (or a $10 bill and a really nice smile). Just find a McCarran Airport employee who is pushing a baggage cart. These employees are just trolling the area, looking for people to tip them and they know the drill. They’ll cut the whole taxi line, putting you in the front. Because they’re dressed in uniforms and pushing a cart, no one questions their authority.
Location, Location, Location! Below is a map that our friend made a couple years ago. It’s a little outdated, as the Stardust has been imploded and the Barbary Coast is now called Bill’s, but it provides a nice idea of location. You are going to have a great time no matter where you stay, but if there’s a club you’re dying to hit, remember that traffic can be ridiculous. You may want to insure that your hotel room is within stumbling distance of your nightlife destinations.
Click for Map
We’ve created our own ranking system to assist you in any decision making. Basically, the more hearts a property has, the more lush their accommodations and amenities. Use this heart system to figure out everything from mattress quality to gambling options. For instance, if you’re looking for a $5 blackjack table, you’re unlikely to find one at a five heart property… aim lower. And if you’re looking for a nice pool or a nice club, the more hearts the better.
- Monte Carlo
- New York New York
- Planet Hollywood
- Treasure Island
- Bill’s Gambling Hall
- Casino Royale
- Circus Circus
- Gold Coast
- Imperial Palace
- New Frontier
- Slots of Fun
- Westward Ho
If the casinos are making enough money to pay for the fountain show at the Bellagio and the light on the top of the Luxor that is visible from the moon, then you probably don’t stand much of a chance of winning when you gamble. Sit and play for a second if there’s a really hot guy at the game. That’s a nice icebreaker…. “Hey, I’m sitting next to you,” is really all it takes. But, seriously, gambling is a time waster. Get out there and enjoy the city!
You’re going to ignore our advice and your own common sense and hit up the tables anyway. We know you are. So below are two guides to help you retain some of the money in your savings account. The first guide is an overview of the different games offered in Vegas. The second is a guide written by an angry blackjack dealer.
Quick Gaming Tutorial - Learn the Rules and the Odds
Blackjack Lessons - Mask Your Stupidity and Protect Your Wallet
Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas where people’s livelihoods depend on the generosity of drunken tourists. The most important person to tip is the cocktail waitress who serves you free drinks while you gamble or pretend to gamble. No need to be extravagant – a dollar per drink is fine – but if you want to tip more, no one will complain. You can tip the guy that brings your luggage to your room, the pool attendant that hands you a towel, the dealer that gives you a blackjack, the bouncer that stands in front of the club, the janitor that provides directions to the exit – really, in Las Vegas the opportunities to tip are endless.