Las Vegas. A mirage in the middle of the Nevada Desert where dreams are made and broken at the flip of a card, the spin of a wheel or the ricochet of a roulette ball. The Top 10 Series returns for a rummage through this unique city – albeit through “Wolfpack” tinted specs. The first sign I knew I was in for a big 5 days here was walking through McCarran Airport to the baggage carousels when I noticed numerous slot machines in the terminal. Nothing like a bit of early practice right? Anything goes here – if you want it, Vegas has it. Let’s begin!
1. Get a window seat if you’re flying in. I flew in at night time which made for a great sight – the darkness of desert gave way to the city lights in all their glory to really hit home that you are now in the middle of the Nevada Desert.
2. Know your Vegas. The name Sin City came about from the city’s acceptance of adult entertainment. Las Vegas was also an atomic bomb research project of WW2. Many organized crime figureheads managed or set up the original large Casinos and these days Las Vegas populates around 500,000 people. If you’re in need of some retail therapy then look no further than the Fashion Mall complex. There is a lot on offer here when it comes to activities so allow yourself enough time to see and do everything. I had 5 days in town but a week would be perfect in my opinion.
3. Hit up the Stratosphere Tower for the best views of the Strip. At 350 metres high, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in all of America so as you can imagine the views reflect this. The tower boasts multiple Roller-coaster type rides, Big Shot and SkyJump being the big ones. There is also a revolving restaurant and numerous shops.
4. Take a trip to the Rolling Smoke Barbeque. I had the good fortune of meeting up with some good friends from London whilst in Vegas – seasoned pros when it comes to Vegas so I was very grateful for the tutelage of Stan, Smithy, Chris and Mike during my visit. One of the first ports of call was the RSB. Located about a 5 minute from the Strip, they specialize in American Barbecue type fair and was one of my Vegas highlights. As you can see in the above image had the Outlaw Burger which consisted of Brisket, Bell pepper, onion strings, red cabbage slaw, lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese with chipotle aioli. Add a side of waffle fries and unlimited drink refills and I. WAS. DONE.
5. Use the “Deuce” bus for all your transportation needs up and down the Strip. This bus is run by the local bus company, RTC, and is by far the cheapest way to get around town. Let’s face it – you don’t want to be WALKING everywhere when it’s 43 degrees! These buses are double decker with air conditioning and a 24 hour ticket costs $8. Can’t beat it.
6. Grand Canyon. If giant holes in the ground are your thing, you just have to go and see this. Because it is around a 4 hour drive from Vegas, it will be a loooong day of around 12-13 hours all up but the experience alone will be well worth it. There are quite a few companies that offer guided tours out to the Canyon so it pays to shop around and compare prices before booking.
7. Get a bet on! If you don’t, or have never, gambled, EVER, then that will change after visiting here. Every visit is loosely based around the fact you’re here to bet. Question is, how much do you want to play with? If you can work out a gambling budget you’ll be well on your way to having a super time. Pick your games, pick your max bets and limits, and remember- no expectations or pressure. Any win is a bonus. Roaming Kangaroo would like to remind you to gamble responsibly!
8. Take in a Vegas Show! A lot of people visit Vegas with a show in mind. Trouble is, depending on what’s on, it can be costly. I came across a company called Tix4Tonight that can offer up to 60% discount on same or next day show tickets which can be quite a lot off in some cases! There was a branch inside the Circus Circus Casino so…if you don’t know now ya know!
9. Visit the Cosmopolitan for a spiffing time. On my last night in Vegas I met up with the lads at the Cosmopolitan. I wish I’d known about this place prior as I rocked up in a t shirt and shorts and was probably the MOST underdressed punter in there but hey, it’s Vegas so getting served was not an issue. I was impressed by the opulence of the Cosmopolitan, from the bars to the gaming floor, everything was top notch. Stan’s recommendation of Secret Pizza upstairs was worth a visit too and do try a cocktail when you’re here but please, dress nicer than I did at least!
10. Assemble your posse one by one in front of the Bellagio to watch the incredible Fountains on show. Made famous by Ocean’s Eleven, this was where the gang all go their seperate ways after fleecing Terry Benedict. The Fountains are professionally choreographed and run just about every evening with shows every 15-30 minutes.
So there you have it. There really is no other city on earth like Las Vegas. If you are going to the USA you absolutely must visit. You won’t be disappointed. I hope you found the Top 10 Series useful and if you have other suggestions or if I missed anything, let me know! Until next time, thanks for reading!