5 Tips on Vegas to Know Before You Go

We’ve heard ’em all. Sin City,The City that Never Sleeps, The City of Blinding Lights, The Entertainment Capital of the World…pick your poison. Vegas has got a lot to live up to, and believe me, it will. Vegas is home to dozens of hotels, high class restaurants, pool parties, strip shows, and free club entrances, not to mention the casinos (where you can easily make it, or, sadly just as easily break it). When people frolic in Vegas, they really let loose. From bachelor parties to Celine Dion, and from $43 bloody marys, to the Bellagio fountain light show, Vegas will leave your head spinning in a riot of color and noise—that is, if you make it out alive. Here’s five tips, Vegas first-timers should know they go.

1. You DON’T Have to Pay a Fortune for a Hotel

Really. You don’t have to. Whether you’re set on staying at the strip, or open to renting an apartment off-strip, you can rent a variety of accommodations—Las Vegas vacation rentals collects a thorough montage of accommodations in Vegas, making your rental search easier. Or on websites like Priceline,  you can bid for hotels based on rating (1-5 star hotels), price range, and location. Click your rating (3-star hotel), location (near Las Vegas Blvd.) duration of stay (two nights) and enter your bid i.e. how much you’re willing to pay ($50/night is a good starting bid). Then Priceline finds a hotel who accepts your bid, you pay, and get the confirmation reservation. The only downsides? Priceline’s app for Blackberry is slow and tough to navigate. And when you book, you can’t see the name of the hotel until after your credit card goes through.

2. Go with Friends, But Not Too Many

It’s a good idea to bring friends, sure. You want to know someone and at least if you have a gambling buddy, winning would be more fun. Just don’t go in a huge group of people, because the best part about Vegas is meeting other people. Vegas nightlife is simply insane, and everybody is there to have a good time. People are extra friendly, and striking up conversation is a piece of cake. So go with three or four of your best buddies, and get ready to meet tons of strange characters. That’s what Vegas is all about.

3. Watch the Bellagio Light Show

Most shows run ever 15 minutes (in the later morning hours, every 30 minutes) and the Bellagio light show is one of Vegas’s coolest components. Watch it in the day, the night, twilight, dawn—it’s all worth it. The Bellagio Hotel changes up the music every so often, and light artists come in to work with and choreograph the lights. Each dynamic performance from the Fountains collection is unique in its expression and interpretation. And the music ranges from concerts of opera, classical and Broadway tunes.

4. Shop at the Attic: Vintage, the Vegas Way

It’s the largest vintage clothing shop in the world, the Attic on South Main Street in downtown Vegas is worth a stop in. The store features a wide selection of vintage clothing for men and women from the 1940-80, including an array of retro fashions. You can also custom-design your order, and receive alterations from a well trained seamstress on the day of purchase.

5. Munch on a Tamale from Dona Maria’s

Doña Maria’s, originally opened in 1969, rests in heart of downtown Vegas. And believe it or not, this tiny little restaurant sells over four million tamales to hungry Vegas visitors each year. Stop in and choose from red pork tamales in a mild sauce, green chicken in a spicy sauce, cheese and green chiles or tasty dessert tamales with pineapples and raisins. Dona Maria’s full menu features to-die-for burritos, nachos, and delicious, tequila-rich margaritas.