Top 5 Things to Do While in Las Vegas

Over the past week, I have become very jealous. While my fun and crazy schedule has started to die down a little bit, everyone else around me is pushing down on their “excitement accelerator “, gearing up for trips to the most entertaining place in the world, Las Vegas. I kid you not, it seems like everyone I know has just gotten back from Vegas, is currently there, or will be going there in the very near future. As it is Spring Break season right now, it should come as little surprise that everyone is making plans to do something fun. However, I don’t know what it is about this year, but it seems like everyone and their dog has zeroed in on Sin City as their choice destination for Spring Break 2012.

Despite going to Las Vegas more than enough times in the past four years since turning twenty-one, I am still envious of everyone currently flying south to the Entertainment Capital of the World. To help curb my feelings of envy, I have decided to help all my fellow friends destined for Vegas by giving them my  “Top Five To-Do List for a Memorable Vegas Vacation.”  The following items on the list are options that everyone can do while on their vacation. It is also my most basic and G-rated version I could provide so if you are looking for a more risqué list, please search elsewhere or talk to me personally.

So without further ado, here is my Top Five To-Do List for a Memorable Vegas Vacation:

Honorable Mention:  Play Poker – You can’t say you did Vegas right if you never played poker while you were down there. The best thing is, there is absolutely no excuse for not doing so. Each casino has loads and loads of hold ‘em games going on. I would definitely suggest playing in a tournament while you are there as opposed to a cash game. Your money will last longer and you will spend less of it in the long run. Many casinos hold cheap tournaments in the $30 to $60 range daily. The tournaments are well organized, fun, and winnable! You will meet people from all over the place and the drink service is always great. My favorite places to play poker at on the Strip are O’Sheas, Bill’s Gambling Hall, and MGM.

5. Pool Mornings – For everyone going to Las Vegas right now for Spring Break, the weather could not be nicer. With mid-80 degree temperatures you should be in heaven. Take advantage of the beautiful weather by lounging at the pool in the morning. Most hotels have fun, extravagant pools. Tan, people watch, swim, drink, and listen to good music…it is what the Vegas pool experience is all about.

I suggest starting each day in Vegas at the pool because you will get the early morning rays and you will be there before the really big crowds start to show up. Keep in mind that there will be lots of people regardless of what time you will have more space and a better chance of getting a good seat in the morning. Many of the pools have gorgeous cocktail waitresses serving the area so go ahead and splurge and buy a couple buckets of beer. It is an excellent and refreshing way to pregame for the day.
Hanging out at the Flamingo pool this past  summer.
4. Club Experience – I am not a big club guy so I could definitely not live in the Vegas club scene but  it is fun to do at least once. It gives you an idea of what Las Vegas is all about and you will see some of the most interesting people and things that you have ever seen before.

I would definitely advise to purchase bottle service for one night. Have some of your friends pitch in and go V.I.P., it is worth it and you will get an adrenaline rush when you have Vegas people waiting on you hand and foot. Have fun dressing up and living like a rock star. It will be an experience that you will remember for a long time and it is a party atmosphere that is truly one of a kind.
Partying at a club on top of the city definitely gave me an adrenaline high (at VooDoo Lounge).

3. Eat at a Good Restaurant – With all of the food courts, buffets, and grab-&-go dining in Vegas, it is easy to eat cheap and hastily during your vacation. In fact, there is really nothing wrong with that. But for all the easy and fast options the Strip has to offer, they also have as many nice restaurants as well. You can find classy, unique, exotic, fun, delicious, and scenic restaurants at every nook and cranny in Vegas. I suggest having your group and yourself dine at least once at a nice restaurant while you are in town. Eat at a place you had never heard of before or eat at a major chain that you can’t find in your hometown. As the staff at all of these restaurants are well aware that most everyone is a tourist with money to spend (aka tips to be made), the service you will usually get is top notch.  Go all out…order drinks, get an appetizer, spend $80 in your main course, and get dessert. Many of these places have great views and locations as well. When my brother and I were in Vegas last December, we ate at a Mexican restaurant on their outside deck that overlooked the Strip. It was a great experience. Enjoy all the Panda Express and pizza by the slice that your stomach can handle but also remember to keep it classy for one meal as well.
Glen and I ate at Cabo Wabo. Great food and great view.

2. Go to Downtown Vegas – Everyone stays in hotels on the Strip these days and with good reason…it is much safer, newer, and trendier than anywhere else in Vegas. The Strip is definitely the place to be. But don’t let it hold you hostage the whole time you are there. It can really suck you in but there is more to Vegas than just the main drag. Absolutely be sure to go to Downtown Vegas and explore Freemont Street. Downtown Vegas (synonymous with “Freemont” and Old Vegas”) is a whole different Vegas feel. Things are a little more liberal than the Strip (if you can imagine that) and quite a bit different. The light show on the dome type structure that covers Freemont Street is pretty cool. The gambling is great as all the tables have very low limits and the dealers are much more friendlier and laid back. There are more sideshow type characters and hustlers working the street so be careful. It is definitely not as patrolled as the Strip is. Downtown Vegas is a great refresher and break from the Strip and I guarantee you that if you spend a few hours down there, you will come back with a few great stories.
You will meet some interesting folk in Downtown Vegas

Love the lights of Old School Vegas!

1. MEET NEW PEOPLE – When you are in Vegas, build up some liquid courage and don’t be afraid to talk to anyone and everyone you run into. Whether you see someone at a table, a bar, the pool, on the elevator, on a shuttle, or in line waiting to check in, start up a conversation. While you are in Las Vegas, you should feel invincible. You see a girl you think is cute, don’t think twice about talking to her. Quite honestly, everyone else down there has the same “carefree talk to everyone” attitude that I am advocating you to have. Keep in mind that people are on vacation and are ready to have fun…they will engage you in conversation as well. I have met so many friends in Las Vegas, many who I talk to on a regular basis to this day. Shoot, I even met someone in Vegas who ended up coming over to Missoula this past week to visit me! Crazy, great things can happen in Vegas if you are outgoing. The reward far outweighs the risk. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone rejects you when you talk to them? Okay, fine, just forget about it, you will never see that person again. Just go with the flow, keep downing the drinks, and have fun!!
Meet new people! Even people from different countries…Dan and I met England friends!


Although I hate all of you who are going to Vegas, please have a fun and safe time. TAKE PICTURES! If you have any questions you would like to ask me, please do not hesitate to text/e-mail/call/Tweet. Now get on that plane and have a great time in VEGAS. Don’t Blink.