TRAVEL GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS — (ARCHIVES)
BY JOSE MARTINEZ
Sharing what happened in Vegas for your travel benefit.
Less than 300 miles from Los Angeles, the bright lights of Las Vegas are only an hour away by plane and roughly a 4 to 5-hour drive depending on traffic. Way overdue for a trip to Vegas, I opted to start my L.A. getaway as a midweek road trip. And by leaving just before the start of the weekend I managed to avoid gridlock and had an easy drive.
According to the experts at Vegas.com, they recommend extending your Vegas trip by a day or two so you travel on a weekday rather than the weekend. “In addition to bypassing traffic, construction and headaches, you'll also avoid the crowds; possibly get a better room and better deals on food and entertainment. Plus, you gain another few days to party in Vegas – and that’s never a bad thing.”
Since most hotels don’t let you check in until late in the afternoon we opted to have lunch upon arrival. Wanting to try a local’s favorite and avoid getting taken at a tourist trap along the Strip we chose the modest Archi’s Thai Kitchen on West Flamingo Road. This place really hit the spot. Inexpensive and well prepared, this is quality Thai food without all the fuss. A fresh and filling, good size entrée costs well under $10.
For this 3-day trip we made The Venetian our center of operation. Take note, if you book through Vegas.com between now and Dec 31, 2010 you’ll get a $150 value in resort extras including:
* $25 Grazie slot credit per person, per day
* $25 credit at Dos Caminos restaurant (with minimum purchase of $50)
* 20% off your bill at Dal Toro Ristorante at Palazzo
* Complimentary admission and line pass to LAVO nightclub (a $20 value)
* Complimentary drink at LAVO
* 20% off your entire bill at Postrio.
With every room a suite, your stay at The Venetian will definitely be a comfy one. Do note there is a $17 hotel service fee for each night in the room that covers the cost of wired and wireless high-speed in-room internet, unlimited local, domestic long distance and 800 calls, fitness center access for two and a daily local newspaper.
Once you find yourself in Sin City your options are endless. You can start gambling at the tables, play the slots, check out the sites, hit the buffet or catch a show. Here’s a breakdown of several of your choices…
SHOWS ABOUT TOWN
THE NEW MR. LAS VEGAS
Now in his fifth year at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, funny man George Wallace, dubbed the new Mr. Las Vegas (no disrespect to Wayne Newton), has been heralded as the Best 10 o’clock show in town.
“When you come to Las Vegas you have a choice,” Wallace points out, “you can see the Blue Man or the black man.”
Wallace’s most recognized material is his “I Be Thinkin’” lines and jokes about everything from conversational thoughts to political aspirations. Each show he engages members of the audience in comical banter. If provoked, he might even throw out a few of his signature “Yo Mama” zingers.
With a very at ease approach, the comedian engages his crowd, prodding and poking fun at them, while also taking very good care of them, handing out gifts such as dining certificates, cash, DVDs, and even a box of chocolates. He may try to come off as a softy but his wit is razor sharp.
“Vegas is the fastest growing city in America,” Wallace quips. “People come here, lose all their money and can’t go home.”
Wallace’s show can be seen every night at 10 pm; dark Sundays and Mondays.
SLIGHT OF HAND
Master magician Lance Burton has been playing at the Monte Carlo for 10 years now. His family friendly show is even housed in the Lance Burton Theatre so you know he isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, he is currently under contract to perform through 2015.
Making a car appear from thin air, making people disappear before your very eyes, turning a piece of paper into a dove is business as usual to the affable magician originally from Kentucky. Burton starts every show with his trademark sleight-of-hand tricks that will leave you wondering just how does he do that?
Fun for the whole family, Burton enjoys bringing kids up on stage to assist him with his tricks. This is a definite show to consider if you’re out with the family.
Lance Burton performs Tuesday – Saturday at 7PM at Monte Carlo.
TOUCH OF BLUE
When in Vegas and looking for shows, definitely catch George Wallace, AKA “the black man” but you should also consider Strip staple Blue Man Group at The Venetian. Since 2005 this troupe has been delighting audiences around the country with its sensory overload brand of science & technology lollapalooza assault on the senses with a heavy array of sights and sounds. Blue Man Group currently performs in New York, Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas.
Performances are nightly at 7pm and 10pm.
TAKE A TRIP DOWN PENNY LANE
If you want something cool without the hassle, make your way to Planet Hollywood to catch the Fab Four Live show at the V Theater. Voted the best Beatles tribute show, this is like taking a trip back in time with Paul, John, George and Ringo as they perform classics such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Days Night,” “Twist and Shout,” “Sergeant Pepper” and “Hey Jude.”
Fab Four Live recreates the music and excitement of a real Beatles concert. Starting with the birth of the rock & roll British Invasion, the Fab Four performs before your very eyes on the Ed Sullivan Show, right before they took over the world. Fab Four Live plays nightly at 5:30pm (dark Thursday).
EATING YOUR WAY THROUGH LAS VEGAS
When you think of eating in Las Vegas most people tend to picture the famous buffets, or steak & eggs for pennies. But the truth is that fine dining and master chefs are now popping up more and more and there is actually some amazing cuisine to be had. The following offers a little bit of everything that will not disappoint.
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