While most people think of staying in the ritzy hotels of the strip when they consider visiting Las Vegas there are other places to stay…like RV parks and campgrounds!
Where To Stay
Being retired military, we recently stayed at the Desert Eagle RV Park on Nellis Air Force Base when we visited the Las Vegas area. Located in North Las Vegas, it was just a short drive down Las Vegas Boulevard to all the Las Vegas hot spots. On previous visits we'd always stayed at one of the hotels on the strip so this time we were looking forward to a little more laid-back visit.
The park was very well kept, the sites were spacious with some shade trees to help with the Las Vegas sun, and at roughly $22 per night for a full hook up site, it was a great place to base ourselves to see the sights.
Another nice place to stay is the Oasis RV Resort which is located about five miles south of the center of the Strip. Nightly fees range from $47 - $84 per night depending on the type of site you choose – there are five different types of sites to choose from. It has all the amenities you need to enjoy your stay in the desert – pools, golf course, fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi, convenience store, restaurant and rally facilities (this is where the 2016 Heartland National Rally was held).
There are other RV Parks, of course, (Circus Circus has their own RV park!) but these are two that we know are reputable, have good amenities, and are convenient to all things 'Vegas'.
What To Do
There are SO many things to see and do in Las Vegas. Whether you prefer the glitz and glam of the strip or the 'old town' feel of Fremont Street you will never be bored.
Take in a show or two…or three. There is such a variety to choose from - concerts, magicians, comedy acts, acrobats, show girls, etc. - I'm sure you'll be able to find something to your liking.
We've visited Vegas several times and have taken in quite a few shows and enjoyed every single one. Some of our favorites include Jubilee at Bally's (since retired), Piff the Magic Dragon at the Flamingo, Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere' at Treasure Island and Legends in Concert (or something similar) at the Stratosphere. We've also seen comedy shows, magicians, singers and dancers.
If you're into 'thrill' rides you can find 'em in Vegas. You can get shot over the side of the Stratosphere on the X-Scream (this is just one of four rides that the Stratosphere offers), ride the Big Apple roller coaster at New York, New York, or take in the more tame High Roller, a Ferris Wheel of sorts that allows for some beautiful views of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Or you can venture downtown and go ziplining over Fremont Street on Slotzilla.
The Neon Sign Museum is a fun and nostalgic place to visit. You can book a tour during the day or at night when all the signs are lit up (that was our choice!). It is so interesting to see all the old signs from back in the day and hear the stories about them or the buildings from which they came. The tour guides are full of knowledge regarding the history of the signs, and it almost feels like you're stepping back in time as you stroll through the glowing graveyard.
If you like to shop you can do that on the Las Vegas Strip too! You can find all of your favorite stores (Gucci, Armani, Cartier, Skechers, Victoria's Secret, Guess, Chanel, Versace, etc.) at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace or The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Both 'malls' have plenty to satisfy your shopping craving plus several restaurants to replenish yourself after all that hard work!
Also along the strip you'll find lots of little stores selling t-shirts, hats, and little trinkets emblazoned with the 'Las Vegas' logo you just can't pass up. And don't forget M&M World, a store where you can find every color of M&M you ever dreamed of, plus all kinds of items (shirts, hats, glasses, shot glasses, etc.) bearing the logo too.
Free Stuff to Do
Even if you have a small budget (or lost all your money at the casino) there is plenty to do for FREE.
The Fountains of Bellagio are one of the biggest attractions on the strip. The show runs every day (the schedule varies) and is synchronized to music and lights. Don't be surprised if you have a hard time pulling yourself away!
Also at the Bellagio, but inside the hotel, you'll find the Conservatory & Botanical Garden which is just off the front desk. This area is filled with greenery and flowers that change with the seasons and holidays. Visit early in the day as it gets very busy with people snapping pictures of the beauty that surrounds.
Visiting the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is like stepping into a whole new world as it certainly doesn't feel like your smack in the middle of the Vegas strip any longer. Behind the hotel you'll find a beautiful, lush green space filled with flamingos, ducks, swans, turtles, and koi that call this serene waterscape home. You'll even find a couple of pelicans and several parrots for great photo opportunities.
Located on the strip in front of the Mirage, 'The Volcano' erupts nightly, spewing hot lava balls into the air while music plays in the background. There are two eruptions (8 p.m. and 9 p.m.) during the week and Friday and Saturday nights see the addition of a 10 p.m. eruption.
Who doesn't love a circus!? You'll find just that at the Circus Circus casino as aerialists perform overhead, clowns do their thing, a strong man amazes you, jugglers juggle and acrobats fly through the air with the greatest of ease! And it's all FREE!
Walking through the opulent casino's is a treat in itself. Crystal chandeliers, brass fixtures, flashing lights, sirens and whistles can be very overwhelming but exciting too! We've walked through nearly every casino on the strip and can't get over the grandeur. A sight to behold for sure.
Food is everywhere…some ok…some good…some excellent! Your options are limitless: A buffet where you'll be treated to a variety of cuisines, ethnicities and cooking styles. A ritzy four course meal prepared by the finest chefs. A Brazilian steakhouse where you'll get your fill of savory meats served on huge metal skewers. A burger joint. Or a vast array of chain restaurants.
Most of the hotels offer a buffet – Paris, Bally's, Bellagio, Golden Nugget, Cosmopolitan, the Flamingo etc. You can enjoy buffets for every meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner or even brunch. Prices range from a modest $15.99 breakfast buffet at the Cravings Buffet at the Mirage to a more pricey $59.99 dinner buffet at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar's.
Not looking for a buffet? There are plenty of other choices on the strip: Ruths Chris, Margaritaville, Spago, Samba, Mesa Grill, Planet Hollywood, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen and even McDonald's…you'll find pretty much everything on the strip.
Then, of course, there are the establishments touting the names of celebrities:Gordon Ramsay Burger, Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen, Wahlburgers, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, and Toby Keith's Bar & Grill…just to name a few.
The Best Thing of All
People watching. The people of Las Vegas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are very flamboyant, others much more conservative. You'll see costumed show girls, Chippendale-dressed men, homeless people on park benches, Elvis impersonators, people carrying drinks down the sidewalk (it's legal), street performers….it runs the gambit. Just pull up a seat, rest your weary feet, and enjoy the show!
Oh. Yeah. I guess you could do some gambling while you're visiting Sin City too.?