Here are even more tips, tricks and bargains for the Las Vegas Strip. There is more transportation information, Dining and Drinking, free and interesting things to do, good websites and more.
First, a note on asking for room upgrades. Ask if they have any complimentary upgrades. That means you are asking for a free upgrade. Otherwise they will probably just tell you the cost to upgrade, which may be a deal, but isn’t free.
More Transportation Information:
For a good overview of all the transportation options, take a look at the Las Vegas Solo’s page on Vegas transportation. It is concise and covers all the options.
Airport to hotel Shuttle vans and buses operated by off-airport companies are a popular and convenient transportation option and an alternative to taking a taxi or renting a car. Shuttles are located on the west side of baggage claim, outside exits 7-13 at McCarran International Airport. All the shuttles are similar and they each charge about $6.50 per person. You can buy round-trip tickets when you take the shuttle from the airport, but it isn’t really any cheaper (maybe .50 for each) and you have to go back on that shuttle. We just take one-way and have the hotel call us a shuttle (tell them at least the day before you need to leave). Here is some more information on getting from the airport to your hotel (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/las-vegas-airport-shuttle.php).
For many other free shuttles, see this how-to site (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/free-shuttle.php). Hotels in Las Vegas often provide free transportation. If you know what attractions are close to these casinos, you can use the free shuttles to your advantage.
There is also a trolley (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/trolley.php). Purchase your ticket from the driver. Pay $2.50 for a one-way ticket, $12 for a 3-day pass and $20 for a 4-day pass. There is no all-day pass but for $4.25 you can get a pass that’s good from 8.30am to 5pm. For another $4.25 you can get another pass that’s good from 5pm to midnight. Get one of each if you expect to be traveling around during each time slot. The trolley runs every 30 minutes. Check the signs or ask the driver to find out at what hotels the trolley will stop. You can also print out the map of the strip trolley routes for your convenience. I have heard however that the trolley is getting less reliable and may not be as good an option.
I can’t find the information on it, but I believe there is an express bus too that stops at fewer stops and is good for going from one end of the strip to the other.
Here is some more information on the monorail (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/monorail.php). It also has a lot of information about each stop, where it is, what is near it, etc. There are seven stations that connect hotels and casinos on the vegas strip. Click here for the Las Vegas Monorail map with all the stops. Download Las Vegas Monorail Map And I haven’t seen them, but according to Trip Advisor: Coupons for fare promotions will be found in the small coupon booklets available on the racks on the Monorail platforms, and there are frequently costumed persons standing at casino entrances passing out flyers which include the coupons; the coupons can also be found in some of the magazines you will find in your hotel room or at the hotel bell desk. However, per the Las Vegas Solo blog: UPDATE: The Monorail has filed for bankruptcy. It is still operating for now, but I wouldn’t make any solid plans that involve it.
There is also a free monorail-type shuttle between Mandalay Bay-Luxor-Excalibar; and another free monorail runs between Monte Carlo and Bellagio, as well as one between Mirage and Treasure Island.
Dining and Drinking Deals and Info:
Of course, the cheapest way to drink is to gamble and wait for the waitress to come around since the drinks are free if you are gambling (at any casino). They come quicker or slower depending on which casino, how much you are betting and the tips you give them. A typical tip is $1 a drink (or if we get 2 drinks at the same time we still just give a $1 but we are probably cheapskates). It would take more than that to motivate the waitress to come more often. Sometimes people give them more the first time and say something like “there’s more where that came from (or at the end) if you keep them coming”.
Beer – CityCenter Todd English P.U.B. – Tuesday 9-midnight – 5¢ On Tuesdays from 9 pm till midnight, you can get 5¢ beers. Yes, you read that right. No, that’s not a typo. Beers for a plug nickel. And they’re not at some dive bar. Rather, these eight-ounce cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon are served up in the new Todd English P.U.B. in the Crystals mall at CityCenter! Bring a quarter and drink all night.
O’Sheas Casino’s 24-Hour Happy Hour stretches 60 minutes of happy into a full day of food and drink happiness. Stop in at the Dublin Up or any casino bar 2,3,4,5 special:
$3 car bombs
$4 Guinness & harps
99 cent frozen bailey shots
99 cent miller lite & coors light draft
$3 Heineken July 1st thru December 31st
$3 dos equis July 1st thru December 31st
BallysVegas Great specials continue at The Tequila Bar! $1 tacos & margaritas, $2 tequila shots and beers. Available from noon until 6 am daily. Take time to eat the after midnight special at Bill’s- Great meal for $5
Riviera ~(Cheap Eat)Hound Doggies in Penny Town Slots. $1 menu (shrimp cocktail, beer, pizza, margaritas, popcorn, icecream, etc.)
Dollars Days at the Sahara includes four offers: $1 beers (available at all casino bars 24/7), $1 hot dogs, $1 shots (in a free souvenir glass), and of course $1 Blackjack.
The Las Vegas Solo blog has some posts: 10 Vegas Breakfasts for under $10 and 10 Money-Saving Meal Strategies. As a matter of fact, this whole blog is excellent and so is the comprehensive list of other Las Vegas websites it has in its sidebar.
You might want to go to Cabo Wabo Cantina in Planet Hollywood for a drink in a souvenir 100oz guitar glass that plays Sammy Hagar songs. I don’t know how much it costs, but I’m sure it is plenty!Drinks average $7. On Monday’s they have $1 draft beer from 9-11pm. There is live music on the weekend. They serve tex-mex food and a lot of tequila drinks.
$7.77: Gambler’s Special: Steak, three grilled shrimp, a choice of potato or broccoli and a salad. At Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 in the Hard Rock Hotel. It’s not on the menu — you’ll have to ask your server — and is available around the clock$5: select cocktails from 10 p.m. – midnight at FIX in Bellagio every Sunday.
A special shout-out to Ellis Island Restaurant. It is a long walk but worth it. It has “$7 Steak Dinner, Includes Your Beer, Enough Said”, $1.95: Two scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and bacon or sausage at Ellis Island. Available from 11 p.m. – 6 a.m. $3.45: New York steak and eggs, available 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. at Ellis Island.
“If you want to eat at the classic dinner hour, be prepared to wait. The place is open 24 hours, so if you don’t mind eating off dinner hour, you should be fine. The service is a little slow just becuase it is sooo busy! The servers all have amazing attitudes though, which totally makes up for it! They work hard for their money. Everything on the menu looks amazing. If you’re looking for an amazing steak, just ask the server for the “steak special.” It’s not on the menu! You get sourdough rolls, a nice 12 oz, cooked exactly how you want, choice of potato, and green beans. You get soup or salad to start, as well as a free beer. They brew a whole bunch of varieties, I think maybe around 6-8. If you’re not into beer, they also make their own root beer, which is very very yummy!
HUGE portions, AMAZING servers, CHEAP prices, 24 hrs. When you’re done, play some cheap slots, or hit up the bar right beside for some karaoke.
It’s behind Bally’s, just off the strip. Head east on Flamingo (the street that runs between Bally’s and Bill’s) and at the first lights, turn right. There is free parking, and a hotel and 7-11 right beside.”
The Best Las Vegas Deals site (http://www.best-las-vegas-deals.com/las-vegas-dinner-deals/) has a great list of some of the best deals and cheap eats. Also, 2 awesome specials (http://www.best-las-vegas-deals.com/las-vegas-food-deals-two-awesome-specials/) on cheap, gourmet appetizers at Palm (in the Caesar’s Forum Shops) and pizza and beer at Binions (downtown). And 3 can’t miss specials (http://www.best-las-vegas-deals.com/las-vegas-dining-deals-summer2010/) at Ellis Island (a long walk from Bally’s, but walkable and the best bargain for food), South Point, which is past the far south end of the strip and requires a shuttle or bus (or taxi) and dinner and a show at Fitzgeralds (downtown).
Places to buy beer, water, carry-out and sundries:
There is a Panda Express in a food court between Harrah’s and Casino Royale. This is where we pick up food to bring back to our hotel.
The Subway at O’Shea’s is the cheapest on the strip, they have $5.00 footlong, unlike the one in Monte Carlo.
The ABC Stores — there are several of these stores, one at the Fashion Show Mall, one in Desert Passage (at Planet Hollywood), two in the Riveria, and also one on Fremont downtown (just a few doors up from the Golden Nugget) — do sell booze, wine and beer, along with a lot of snacks and Hawaiian tourist stuff. The prices are reasonable for convenience stores.
There is a liquor/convenience store called the Stage Door next to Bill’s Gaming Hall, on Flamingo, just east of the Strip. This is right across the street from Bally’s. Although this is not ON the Strip, it is only a short block off Strip.
TIP!!! Skip the soft drinks and the bottled water at restaurants. With soda costing as much as $4 a glass, and bottled water (think Evian or Voss) even more, your drinks can cost as much as half your meal. Even if the waiter is trying to talk you into bottled water, just order ice water.You can also walk outside on the street and buy water for half the price of it inside the casinos.
Buy water, pop, snacks, sundries from CVS, Walgreens (and ABC stores):
CVS3758 Las Vegas Blvd. S. Las Vegas, NV 89109 702 – 262 – 9028 (Next to Monte Carlo Hotel Open 24/7)
Walgreens3765 S. Las Vegas Bvd Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 432-6940 (Next to MGM Grand Hotel Open 24/7)
Free Things to do and see:
There are many websites with lists of free things to see on the Strip. Insider LV (http://www.insidervlv.com/freeevents.html) has a list of the 25 best free things to do. Vegas 4 Locals (http://vegas4locals.com/free.html) has a large list. This Bing search (http://www.bing.com/search?q=free+entertainment+in+las+vegas&form=QBRE&qs=AS&sk=AS1&pq=free+entertain&sp=2&sc=8-14) will show you all sorts of free things to do.
Planet Hollywood was not open the last time we were there so here are the new items from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Attractions
Test America Preview Studio – Try a new product, give your opinion and receive money or coupons for your opinion. The studio is in suite H-82 in the Dessert Passage Mall.
The fountain at the heart of Miracle Mile Shops features lighted water effects, color changing fog, bursts of light and dramatic, original soundtracks broadcast via a state-of-the-art surround sound system. Show Times: Sunday – Saturday. Hourly from 12pm-11pm
A multi-sensory laser show complete with dramatic lighting effects, fog and a boisterous soundtrack. Show Times: Monday – Thursday: Hourly from 11:45am – 11:45pm
Friday – Sunday: Every 1/2 hour from 11:15am – 11:45pm
Excitement pours down at Miracle Mile Shops during the rainstorm outside of Merchants Harbor Coffee House. You simply can’t miss this miracle in the desert featuring thunder, lightning, fog and pouring rain. Show Times: Monday – Thursday: Top of each hour
Friday – Sunday: Each half hour.
Here are a few interesting things to do that cost money:
Red Rock Scooter Tours: http://www.scootcitytours.com/ $125/pp but #1 LV attraction on TripAdvisor and a lot of fun. 8am and 1pm tours, morning is coolest. 3 wheeled scooters 702.699.5700 firstname.lastname@example.org 4 hrs total. They pick you up.
Something I always wanted to do was the Vegas Indoor Skydiving (http://www.vegasindoorskydiving.com/). Here’s a review: “I took my wife and 2 daughters, ages 13 and 11 to Vegas Indoor skydiving $75 per person, and we had a ball. We got a $20 off voucher out of one of the papers, Make sure you grab a brochure with a coupon prior to going though. Address: 200 Convention Center Dr Ste. A Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Formerly “Flyaway Indoor Skydiving”) Tel: 702 731 4768”
Here is a list from Las Vegas Advisor. It doesn’t just have the strip though so also has places you would have to drive to. (http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/showtable.cfm?id=18)
From the Las Vegas Message Board: (from 2006 so may not be completely up to date)
Las Vegas Strip (and vicinity)
Aladdin hotel – Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – miracle mile shopping area (now Planet Hollywood and Desert Passage?) The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has a nice connection in the Desert Passage mall. Looks like DSL, 1.5MB download and 400KB upload doing a speed test. Good strong signal sitting at the tables outside the store.
Fashion Show Mall – Saks Fifth Avenue – 3200 Las Vegas Blvd.
Fashion Show Mall – Apple Store – 3200 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas Convention Center Monorail Station – Nextel Central Station – behind their retail store – 3300 Paradise Rd (it is possible that every monorail station has free wifi now)
Las Vegas Hilton – Fortuna Coffee/Wine Bar – 3000 Paradise Road
There is a little cafe inside Wynn called Sugar & Ice that has free WIFI. It’s at the far end of the Esplanade Shops towards the strip. They have a little patio so you can sit outside weather permitting and enjoy the water fall.
Venetian – Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – The Bridge – 3377 Las Vegas Blvd South
Venetian – Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Carnevale – 3377 Las Vegas Blvd South
Fitzgerald Casino – Krispy Kreme – 301 Freemont St., 89101
Main Street Station Hotel, Lobby & Players Gold room – 300 N Main St
The Plaza Hotel Casino – the hot spot is on the 3rd floor, in the seating area outside the Comedy Zone Showroom – 1 Main Street
McCarran Airport – Las Vegas (21 total access points)
McCarran Airport – Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Las Vegas
Originally Posted by SnertAlert
Apple Store – Fashion Show Mall
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Aladdin
Fortuna Coffee/Wine Bar – Las Vegas Hilton
Krispy Kreme – Excalibur Casino
Sugar & Ice-Wynn Esplanade Shops
Terrace Pointe Cafe – Wynn
Kahunaville Island Restaurant – Treasure Island
Betty’s Diner – Imperial Place
The UPS Store – Flamingo Hotel?
McDonald’s – near MGM and Casino Royale
ESPN Zone – NYNY
Denny’s – near Casino Royale
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – The Venetian
Betty’s Diner – Imperial Place and McDonald’s
3535 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Location Type: Restaurant
3755 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Location Type: Restaurant
Here is a list of some good Las Vegas websites for info and discounts:
DineLV (https://www.dinelv.com/) has great online coupons for sale. We got our Matsuri tix there.
Access Vegas (http://www.accessvegas.com/) lots of info on upcoming shows and headliners, hotels, dining, events and more.
Goldstar (http://www.goldstar.com/home) is another great site for discount tickets. I would have bought our Human Nature tickets here, but decided to wait and check Tix4Tonight booths when we get there. If they don’t have them, I may book through Goldstar then. I just don’t want to commit to a particular day and time yet.
Half Price Shows http://www.halfpriceshows.com Another good site for discount tickets.
The Las Vegas How-To Guide (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com) How to do all sorts of things, like how to get around, how to book shows, how to get freebies, etc.
Las Vegas Solo (http://www.vegassolo.com/) This blog is excellent and so is the very comprehensive list of other Las Vegas websites in its sidebar. It is written for the solo traveler, but is excellent for anyone.
Las Vegas Leisure Guide (http://www.lasvegas-nv.com/las-vegas-coupons.htm) is good for find free discount coupons. The home page has lots of additional information.
Las Vegas Casinos (http://www.pcap.com/lvmaps.htm) has good maps of the different casinos and shopping centers. The homepage has more info on hotels, pictures, etc.
Trip Advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com) is a must visit website for any travel. You can look up hotels, shows, restaurants and read real people’s reviews, compare prices on different websites and much more. If I go nowhere else, I visit trip advisor. They have excellent, descriptive reviews that will really let you make an educated decision on what will work best for you.
Las Vegas Weekly (http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/) is a good site for news and events. It seems a little more geared to locals and especially to a young crowd and/or people more interested in nightlife/nightclubs. I did not find a ton of helpful info here but I can see that someone else might. You do have to sort through the non-strip Las Vegas news and information that locals are interested in.
I have a list on twitter called LV (http://twitter.com/melrob/lv) or (http://twitter.com/#/list/melrob/lv) that you can follow that has several of the hotels on the strip in it and a few other places. It is not the definitive list, but is a good place to start.
The Las Vegas Message Board (http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php) has great questions and answers.
Cheapo Vegas (http://www.cheapovegas.com/vegas_map.php?map=strip) has my favorite map of the strip (although several of the other sites also have maps). Cheapo Vegas also has great lists like swankiest, cheapest, etc. and comparison charts.
Las Vegas on 25 cents a Day (http://www.bigempire.com/vegas/) has all sorts of interesting bargains, freebies, tips, etc.
Best Las Vegas Deals (http://www.best-las-vegas-deals.com/) is not the most concise website, or my favorite, but has some good info especially on food and dining specials.
I have repeatedly read that the 2010 American Casino Guide is well worth buying. It has many, many coupons in it (http://www.cheapovegas.com/acg_coupons.php). If I’d found out about it sooner, I would have gone to the bookstore and checked it out, for sure.
And of course, check out the direct websites for any hotels, shows, restaurants, etc you are thinking about. They may have specials or discounts.
Well, that is about all I’ve got for now. I hope this helps you make your Las Vegas trip fun and budget-friendly. Stay tuned for my write-up on the Strip when we get back.
Until then, take care,
Becky Carleton, a librarian at the Johnson County Library in Kansas challenged me to name ten pieces
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