Top Ten Things You Gotta Do In Las Vegas
Downtown may not have the glitz or the refinement found on the Strip, but lots of fun can be had here. Older casinos and more original parts of the Las Vegas landscape can be found here. This is the place to get your drink on, those huge alcoholic Slurpees cost half as much as they do on the strip and they don’t skimp on the booze in these versions either. Mermaid’s has the best bartenders in LV, and they also serve deep fried Twinkies and Oreos there. Pound down a massive drink and play slot machines that pay out actual coins instead of those voucher tickets and quickly get your hands coated in disease-filled dirty-ass quarter funk.
Eat at Pin-Ups Pizza
A new restaurant on the outside of Planet Hollywood just opened up that serves the best pizza you’ve ever eaten. I’ve had several slices in Times Square pizzerias (and they all were questionable as far as health code violations go) but this pizza was far supreme to all of them. These pies are thin, delicious, greasy and almost four feet wide! Served to you by beautiful ladies dressed up as Betty Page, a slice, knot and a beer will only run you eleven dollars and will definitely fill you up and start your cylinders firing for the night’s adventures.
A cornerstone of the entire Las Vegas adventure, getting drunk as fuck-all at least once is an important part of the overall experience. If you spend your whole Vegas vacation completely sober, then you are doing it wrong. Prices for booze vary wildly all over the place, so it’s completely up to you if you want to get drinks from the bar or if you want to walk around cradling a bottle of whiskey you scored a deal on at a convenience store. It’s your own drunken adventure, how you choose to go about it is up to you. Just keep a map or GPS handy in order to get back to your hotel room, you’ll need it.
Ride a Zip Line
There are two zip lines in Vegas. One is on Freemont and you launch out of a slot machine and go down the length of the downtown strip. It’s pretty long and it’s not super high off the ground. It’s really fun at night with the crowd of drunks below you and the giant display screen above you puking out all sorts of colors.
The other zip line is at the Rio, and that goes from the top of the building to the other building they have. It looks weak in photos and GoPro videos, but when you walk towards the Rio, you actually get a sense of the grand scale of that sumbitch. It’s crazy high off the ground, and the elevator trip up there is cool because the Rio has Willy Wonka-style glass elevators that run along the side of the building. Tip: They will loan you a GoPro to record your ride, and you can bring your own if you have one. Do not attempt this activity hung-over.
Walk the Strip (or Take the Monorail)
No trip to Sin City is complete without a several mile stroll along the strip taking in the sights with a cold alcoholic beverage in hand. This long but enjoyable walk contains pyramids, castles, New York, palm trees, pirate stage shows and an impressive water fountain show. Everyone else taking this walk will be as drunk as you, so there are adventures to be had at every step. There are lots of costumed people that will pose for photos with you along the way. There are lots of Buzz Lightyears and Emperial Stormtroopers, but keep an eye out for the depressing Guy in a Filthy and Stained Elmo Suit. There aren’t nearly as many porn-pamphlet guys plying their trade these days, but there are more religious zealots to fill in that void of uncomfortable creepiness. They will chastise you for playing on the Devil’s playground, but will gladly take Devil Money for donations to their cause.
The monorail is Vegas version of the Light Rail, and if you are planning on drinking and walking, an $11 all-day pass is always a wise idea to speed things up or give your feet a rest if you are too drunk to continue on foot. It’s not as smooth a ride as you would assume and if you are expecting the luxury of Tomorrow Land, this is the Dollar General version of a monorail.
Play the new 3-D Slot Machines!
There are new slot machines that are sprinkled throughout the strip casinos that utilize a 3-D effect the same way the Nintendo DS does it without having to wear any uncomfortable spectacles. When first playing this, be sure to bump the intensity level up to 100, and sit back and be amazed (while you start feeling lots of vertigo). At first, it feels like a rather generic computerized slot machine, but winning makes exploding coins flying around and in between spins, and golden butterflies will hover around inches from your face. This machine pays out relatively well too, so you will be paid well to be entertained by a Gameboy on ‘roids.
Gamble at New York New York
Of all the casinos on the strip, this casino paid the best and was the most consistent. I won at almost every machine I played and played tons of bonus rounds on all of them. The roulette tables were crazy hot, and I even played eight straight hands of blackjack with a minimum $100 bet and won every hand. I then immediately left the table and cashed out my chips. There is an Irish pub inside the casino too, and they make very good Irish Car Bombs for taking breaks between cleaning out machines. There is also a roller coaster inside the casino which is pretty wicked and only has moderate waiting lines to ride.
There are all sorts of awesome gift shops inside most of the casinos, and two massive surplus stores on both ends of the strip. There are tons of memorabilia stores scattered everywhere. If you’ve ever wanted to buy a little piece of history, this is where you can do it. The first time I went shopping in Vegas several years ago, I found a boxed and signed guitar by John Frusciante but I ran out of money and couldn’t buy it and I kicked myself for it, because on this last trip I could only find one signed by the new guy in the Chili Peppers (whoever the hell that is).
2. Eat at In N’ Out as much as possible
In N’ Out is the first thing most people from the Midwest to the East will attempt to do, because the restaurant has no plans for expanding west for at least another decade. It’s important to eat that amazing perfect burger as many times as you can while you are out in vacation in the desert. No meal in this world can quite compare to a tray full of Double-Doubles, animal fries and a tall icy Coke. Take bites slowly, and rejoice in every delicious calorie you are taking in, because after being home a month, you are going to go crazy missing it.
Catch a Show!
Always keep a spare cache of dough on hand so that you can partake in what Vegas is famous for (besides prostitution). Anything from Carrot Top to Broadway productions are available most days of the week, but if there is something you particularly want to see, make sure you immediately check the show times and days so that you can plan your day/drinking/gambling accordingly. We went to see Michael Jackson’s ONE and we came back home changed men with a renewed appreciation of The Gloved One.
Beatle’s LOVE and Evil Dead the Musical! are also very good, but avoid the Criss Angel show because that guy uses tricks blatantly stolen from a third-grade talent show.
GO FORTH AND MAKE THE DESERT YOUR BITCH!