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shotclog Las Vegas - A travel report by Nat
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Las Vegas,  United States - flag United States -  Nevada
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shotclog's travel reports

It's Not Just For Gamblers Anymore

  10 votes

Las Vegas travelogue picture
If you've never been to a casino town, brace yourself for a culture shock. All the big hotel-casinos are acres and acres of gaming machines and tables. You can get lost in them. (I have several times.) And not only casinos, but just about every other business offers a space with gaming machines: supermarkets, drugstores, motel lobbies, restaurants, and even the airport. But I didn't come here for the gambling. I came to find the non-gambling side of Las Vegas. Every major hotel-casino has a theme and exhibits and entertainment which fit it. Las Vegas also has several interesting museums and art galleries. And there are so many inexpensive activities available. The entire vacation, six days long, cost me less than $600. Had I gambled, it would have cost so much more. So when I tell people I've been to Las Vegas, and they ask me Did you win?, I say Yes.

Favourite spots:
Las Vegas travelogue picture
Fremont Street Experience Light Show, Las Vegas bus tour, the University of Nevada, Hard Rock Cafe, the Stratosphere observation deck, the Sahara, Shark Reef of Mandalay Bay, King Tut museum at the Luxor, the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand, and the Grand Canal Shopping Mall at the Venetian.

What's really great:
Las Vegas travelogue picture
1) I was especially impressed by the aquarium at Madalay Bay. It was exiting to see so many magnificent marine creatures up close. This would be the ideal place to take children. I saw many there who were genuinely impressed. 2) I had a sushi dinner at Hiro's of the Four Queens. When it came time to pay my bill, I found that I forgot my credit cards and didn't have enough cash. When I told this to the chef, he allowed me to go back to my motel room and get them. When I thanked him for his trust, he just said, Oh, no big deal! I added a huge tip.

Las Vegas travelogue picture
When you first get there, go up the Stratosphere to their observation deck and get a bird's eye view of the city. Compare what you see with your map of the city to get yourself oriented. If you're a thrill-seeker, take the rides at the top of the tower.

Also take a tour of the city or the national parks nearby. I made a reservation of a city tour online before getting there. Everything was all taken care of for me when I arrived.

Las Vegas travelogue picture
The Downtowner Motel
129 N 8th Street (1 blk from El Cortez)
Las Vegas, NV 89101-4207
(702) 384-1441 $24.95/night
All hotels on the Strip are several hundreds of dollars per night. But all motels in the downtown area are under $30/night. They include cable TV and refrigerators. Some even have swimming pools. This is the only one I could find on the internet before getting there. (

Las Vegas travelogue picture
All motel-casinos on the Strip have places to eat, drink, dance, and meet people. You don't have to be a hotel guest to go in. For where the locals hang out, look up the Double Down Saloon.

Las Vegas travelogue picture
Same as above.

Las Vegas travelogue picture
Many casinos want you to spend more money on gambling, so offer inexpensive meals. Many have all-you-can-eat buffets and cheap diners. The best diner I found is at the El Cortez, one block from my motel, where I could get a $2 breakfast. My favorite buffet is the Garden Buffet at the Main Street Station.

Other recommendations:
Las Vegas travelogue picture
The Bonanza Gift Shop is the place for those who REALLY HAVE TO bring back some tacky, gaudy, garrish souveniers for family and friends back home. And so many are so cheap, you can buy boxloads without breaking your budget.

Many souvenier shops and drugstores offer internet services, if you want to check your E-mail, contact someone, or do more research on Las Vegas.

Published on Tuesday May 6th, 2003

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Sun, Mar 05 2006 - 02:31 PM rating by ehs1193

You're right about the culture shock!

Wed, Mar 30 2005 - 02:12 AM rating by jwmarkham

Hi Nat,

I recently posted a report on my trip to Vegas -

We had very different trips, this time. The time before, I stayed at a Motel Casino called "Terrible's". It was newly opened when I went there. It is very much more reasonably priced, compared to Mandalay Bay, and it's almost across the street from The Hard Rock. It has a nice pool, and a restaurant. They give the guests coupons for food discounts. I would stay there again.

This time, I didn't get to go to the top of the Stratosphere, or Fremont Street, and even though I stayed at Mandalay Bay, I didn't see the Shark Reef. Oh well... More reasons to go back! I have relatives with small children who live there, so I have to spend some "family" time whenever I go to visit.

Nice to find you!


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