Mick's Vegas Recommendations

After spending the last 8 days in Las Vegas, I've put down some thoughts for anyone visiting the city
  1. Rockhouse Karaoke
    Found in the Venitian Hotel (there may be others too) the Rockhouse had a live band rock Karaoke on the Thurs night. The quality was hit and miss (the hosts were incredible) and whilst there was no Mustang Sally or Losing My Religion, I bust "Wild Thing" out of my 'back catalogue' and ticked "perform in Vegas" off the bucket list!
  2. The Grand Canyon
    We almost didn't go. It's quite expensive if you don't want to take a bus in 100+ degree heat and I hadn't appreciated what an experience it would be. Words simple don't do this justice and you HAVE to go. If you can afford it, get a helicopter to the bottom. We flew with Maverick Tours and can't rate them highly enough. The picture was taken on my iPhone on the way back...
  3. The Gun Garage
    This is a gun range just off the strip. (There was a temptation to write a whole thing about the morality of gun ranges - the wife hates them - but that is for another time). If it appeals, there are others to check out, but I found the staff at The Gun Garage to be great. Ask for Krystal and tell her I sent you. It's also good to know that I am useless with a revolver, but a pretty damn fine shot with an Uzi.
  4. The Yardhouse
    This was a bit of a random visit - it's a bar/restaurant near the Brooklyn Bowl and had not only the best burger I had in Vegas, but also the largest draft beer selection - possibly ever.
  5. Free Craps Lessons
    Most casinos offer these and I enjoyed my 11am lesson. It's odd as craps is such a big part of Vegas casinos - it's a loud, noisy and most importantly a GROUP game so-to-speak - so it's good to get a handle on what to do. I'm a regular casino goer in the UK but craps as a real rarity in England so I've not had the opportunity to learn before. The game is as complex as you want it to be, so I do advise lessons if you plan to play.
  6. The Pool
    Chilling out by the pool is much needed - especially as staff will bring you drinks... Which - being Vegas - no-one seems to mind you bringing into the pool or hot-tub with you. Obviously.
  7. Cabaret
    Not the most obvious of show choices for Vegas but it was a great opportunity to visit the Smith Centre which is a lovely proper THEATRE outside of the strip. It's based near the outlets and seemed to have a nice programme throughout the year, so if you're a theatre person itself worth going to
  8. Heart Attack Bar & Grill vs Cheesecake Factory
    I'd heard about the Heart Attack Bar & Grill on Fremont St from my sister-in-law. It's a theme restaurant and home to the most unhealthy burger in the world (officially). I was also told that even their most basic burger would be too much. Personally, I thought the burger was "ok" and actually not a stupid amount. Now, had I ordered THE Burger, their 4lb nonsense then fair enough. The meal that really did me in was the Cobb Salad from The Cheesecake Factory!
  9. Tipping
    You really should tip for everything in Vegas; often just because people need it for their pay (the service is good/great in most places), but also because it's good luck and can get you a good deal. A discreet $20 on check-in was well received and we received a complimentary upgrade shortly after :)
  10. Public Transport
    It's $8 for a 24 hour pass on the bus. Taking the bus might seem unnecessary, but don't forget that the Vegas strip is MILES long and you will walk all day. It's $8 well spent - especially if you're planning to visit either end of the strip or further out.
  11. Wynn Buffet
    Found in the Wynn Casino, we went to the Wynn Buffet for my Birthday breakfast. This was admittedly our only "buffet experience" in Vegas, but I do recommend this one, especially the desserts.
  12. New York New York Rollercoaster
    Look at it! It's a Rollercoaster on top of a building! It's €14 for a single ride or €25 for a repeat pass and is up there with the better rollercoasters I've been on. Well worth it.
  13. Coca-Cola Experience
    More of a "big shop" than an "experience" but they do have a deal to get 16 obscure coke "tasters" from around the world. Don't do this alone - you'll feel sick. It was too much for two of us as well and we didn't even go for the additional float option!
  14. CSI Experience
    Based at the MGM this was part of a "3 experience" deal we got and was a lot of fun. There's three different 'cases' to solve and the deal is to solve one of them. We 'cracked the case' and it was pretty straightforward, but more enjoyable than intellectually stimulating.
  15. Fremont Street
    Fremont Street is ****ing bonkers. More for "group" holidays than couples I'd imagine, but it's full of live music, loads of booze, people not wearing much and drinking lots and a massive zip line
  16. Drinking on the street
    Everyone drinks everywhere in Vegas. Not finished your drink in a bar? Don't worry, just leave drinking it until you get to your destination. Fancy drinking a cocktail whilst doing some shopping? Go ahead. If I walked round Tesco nailing Tequila, I'd get a weird look but in Vegas it's actively encouraged
  17. Cafe Americano, Caesars Palace
    This was our final meal in Vegas and was my favourite steak. Nothing too fancy and a waiter who loved Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. Worth a look if you're in Caesars.
  18. Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden
    Part of the same deal with CSI and the Aquarium, this is a little zoo based near the Mirage. Not many animals, but the Lions and Tigers seem far more energetic here than they do in Chester Zoo!
  19. Bauman Rare Books
    Based in the Venetian Shopping Plaza, it's worth a quick look if you're an avid reader. Incredible collection - most notably a signed Winston Churchill autobiography for €2000+
  20. Game of Thrones Fruit Machine
    I was more about the table games than fruit machines in Vegas, but if you're planning on fruit machines, this is my favourite. I had NO idea what was happening, but with three video screens and sound coming out of your vibrating chair this is a very different experience than pumping £1 coins into a fruity in a Yates.
  21. Electric Shocks and the heat
    This might have been just Jen and I, but when we were outside we tended to give each other a lot of static electric shocks. Can't really explain it, but keeping hydrated seemed to help
  22. Whisky Down, MGM Grand
    I love Bourbon. This is my favourite Bourbon bar ever. Great barman, lovely chilled atmosphere and the biggest collection of bourbon I'd ever had. The barman did suggest than on his days off he's often drink half a bottle of a certain bourbon by himself. Possibly a Vegas thing, but more likely that he was a high functioning alcoholic
  23. New York New York Games Arcade
    Classic arcade - think the kind of thing you'd find in Blackpool / Southend. Reasonably priced and the sort of thing the wife and I love. Even if she is now the Holiday Skee-Ball champion
  24. Henry's, Cosmopolitan
    Lucked upon this place and would especially recommend for lunch. Nice restaurant near the front entrance who do a cracking omelette.
  25. This view
    Our hotel room view. Never got tired of seeing it.
  26. The Vegas Sign
    Don't forget to go to this - you can get the aforementioned bus down there (make sure you're on the right line). People queue up to get photos, so be prepared for a wait (15-20mins maybe?) but it's worth it.... Don't forget to tip the chap at the front who will help get good photos