I was very fortunate and I won a trip to Las Vegas through a twitter sweepstakes. Our trip was for 2 people and it includes airfare, 2 nights hotel (we paid for an additional 3rd night our self), 4 golf irons, 1 hour golf lesson with a golf pro, and week long tickets to a PGA golf tournament. While I am writing about a free trip that I won, this is not a sponsored post but more of a journal entry and maybe this will help others who are traveling to Vegas for the first time.
If you haven't been to Vegas, here's my take: I am a gambler, I like to play and I need to play for at least 5 hours to get my play out.... in Vegas we didn't get to do this. Instead we casino hopped so that we could see it all. We only spent about $20 each in most of the places that we visited. If we hit a little we'd cash it in and play it back. We tried to make the most of the play money that we took with us and we didn't want to run out and not be able to see everything that Vegas has to offer.
We arrived in Vegas on Thursday afternoon and chose to visit downtown first. For a Thursday night Freemont street was insane!!!! This is where all of the action was for us. There are go go dancers on table tops, the smell of pot was in the air, hot girls in very little clothing were dancing on a main stage, and a band was on another stage. People were drinking and dancing... even the older crowd was enjoying their self. It was great to visit and we only stayed downtown for a few hours. I loved Freemont Street because the casinos are so close that you can easily walk door to door, drop a $20 and keep on moving. Most of the foot traffic in this area is outside of the casinos and the machines were open for the most part. I would definitely go to Freemont Street for the experience but not stay to play there for long.
On the Las Vegas Blvd strip, it's fun to drive up and down and people watch at night. You have to go and see the big lights, but walking on this street is almost impossible. It has huge blocks and tons of people everywhere! I held my husband's hand so we didn't get separated. If you go in the casinos, head to the back, where it's less crowded and play. We mainly walked through the casinos on the strip to get the feel of the place. I wanted to see the grand entrances, the fish tanks, fountains and other attractions that these casinos had to offer. On the strip, my best tip is to get valet parking and go to that casino and the one directly across the street from it. Then after your visit, tip your parking attendant $1 and drive to the next casino and do the same.
For Vegas, I had a list of free stuff to see and do, this helped a lot! This list helped us to choose which casinos to visit. My favorite places to play and sit and relax were off of the strip and out of downtown. We liked the fancy resort type casinos there were about 10 miles out of town. This is where we'd play $50 each or so.
Off of the strip we visited M, Silverton and South Point. Here they were way less crowded and more like the indian casinos that we have at home. These casinos are very grand and luxurious with a more adult atmosphere that I enjoyed since I don't drink, dance or party hardy.
While in Vages, we did visit 2 golf courses. One was where my husband had his lesson with the pro and the other was where the PGA Golf Tournament was held. Golfing isn't my cup of tea but my husband really did enjoy this experience and we picked up some nice golf freebies as well: a hat, sleeve of golf balls, 4 sets of golf ball with tees, 2 golf towels, a tank top etc.
Over 4 days we ended up spending about $450 on gambling and we had 2 shirts and 2 stuffed teddy bears to show for it!
Our Vegas Dining Plan:
We would start our day with a big breakfast at the hotel which was included with our rate and then we would eat out 1 meal in the afternoon.
We ate at Du Pars at the Golden Gate casino while on Freemont Street. We both had the $9.99 special of chicken breast, gravy, mashed potatoes and grilled veggies. This meal was was so good- mouth watering good and well worth the price.
At the Silverton Casino we had a buffet for FREE. We had joined their rewards club and played at the casino to earn the points to get both buffets for free. The regular price would have been $19.99 each!
At the Gold Nugget on Freemont Street we had the buffet one day there too. I had won a $50 gift card years ago on a sweepstakes for Landrys and it worked there! The buffet was $18 for a brunch buffet and we were glad that we had a gift card to pay for it.
We did get a free $10 food credit at a casino and on Saturday night we had banana splits!! It was so much fun and so sinful to eat that many sweets for SUPPER haha While I wouldn't feed my kids banana splits at all, we had them for supper! It felt so wrong but it was great at the same time.
While on the strip we did visit a Jamba Juice and ordered a large drink to share (paid for with a gift card that I had won) and on Freemont Street we did visit a Starbucks for tea (paid for with a gift card that I had won also). My tip is to order one big drink at these places and then ask for a large cup of ice water. This way both people get a water to share and when that cup is empty you have a cup to pour the drink in so you can easily share it also.
On the way home we had Cinna Bon pananis at the airport and then we stopped at a Mc Donalds for a quick bite while on the road (paid for with a gift card that I had gotten from klout).
So like they say, no place like home. We enjoy our local indian casinos as much as we enjoyed Vegas. They are home to us. We can drive 35 minutes, go in, play $150 and stay my 7 hours or so and feel like I gambled, played, and enjoyed it. While in Vegas, it was more about the bling, not the machine! It was walk in, eww and ahhh and see the grand beauty, drop a $20 and leave, ewwing and ahhing all they way to the next casino.
For us, it seemed like our casinos at home are built first then become popular and the fancy hotels are added last. In Vegas it seemed like they built the big huge fancy hotels and added a little casino as a side attraction.
My final take on Las Vegas:
Would I go back? Yes if I won a trip again.
Would I take my kids? Not until they are 30 and are out of the partying stage and out of school.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.