Vegasuncovered’s Weblog

Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

Day Trip from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is only 35 miles South East of Las Vegas and half a day is plenty enough time for a trip. The actual tour of the Dam unless you are a real engineering geek you may well find as boring as hell, engineering freak or not the Dam is well worth a Dam Visit 😉

We left Vegas at about 8am and drove straight out on US93 heading for the Hacienda which is the closest Casino to the Dam, we always stop here either en-route to Dam, Laughlin or on the way back from the Grand Canyon. We had the buffet breakfast its good not great but cheep and filling and then as per usual fall for the trick that the hope you fall for and stick a few dollars in the slots and some of these still use coin so it’s a real old time treat. AS we came out of the Casino we saw a sign saying Helicopter rides from $29, we thought that this would be a nice treat and seemed a good price. When we investigated of course just like everything in Vegas its not really $29 for what you want, the $29 flight only went over Lake Mead to fly over the Hoover Dam was $59 each but we could have the helicopter exclusively, we decided that this was worthwhile so after being weighed and asked if we had any weapons a car took us up a steep hill to get aboard the Helicopter. We both sat in the back and up we went, it was a very unnerving feeling and we seemed to do some “blue thunder” manoeuvres between an electricity pylon and the mountain as we swooped past the new bridge that they are building and on towards the Dam. The view was great we flew over the Dam and then after a another couple of combat loop the loop type manoeuvres we were over lake Mead and on our way back, about 6 minutes after taking off we were safely back on the ground. For me this was one of the highlights of our trip I loved it and it was worth every penny, although I was not completely happy when in the chopper it was going through my mind whether to go on it again 😉

We drove on to the Dam which was only about 15 minutes including the security check and then parked in the car park at the Visitors centre which is just the Vegas side of the Dam. It is $7 to park here and well worth it sure there are a few lay bys on the Arizona side of the Dam but it is hit and miss if you can get a place and also it can become a fair walk to the Dam and gift shop etc. The gift shop is well stocked and reasonably priced but the café I thought was quite expensive and the food not so good, we were pleased we had filled up at the Hacienda.

I think that we spent about 2 hours or so at the Dam this included walking over it and back taking a stack of photos and having a good look round the gift shop and taking a coffee. It’s a good day and the size is something that can not really be realised from photos or the television and I think that it’s worth the investment of ½ a “Vegas” day.

When we had finished at the Dam we carried on to Laughlin for the rest of the day and got back to Vegas about 10pm.

Advertisements

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Casinos, driving, events, grand canyon, Holiday, hoover dam, Las Vegas, national parks, news, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Self drive day trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

We had many friends out in Vegas for our wedding in September 2007 a few of us decided that we wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and as money was short the best way to do this was by car. I hired a 7 seater people carrier from Dollar which cost me £36 on a pre book including a tank of fuel a sat nav, all taxes and insurances for both myself and my Dad.

We picked the car up at 7.30am from MGM Grand and loaded everyone in it, myself, my bride to be, my brother in law, my mate and my elderly parents by time we got going it was about 0830. We headed out on the 95 and soon to the 93 we got to the Hoover Dam we stopped very briefly for photos and then headed on. We stopped for a healthy brunch of burger and chips somewhere on the Historic Route 66 in a sort of hardware come general store come cafe the food was good but the toilets were a little scary in a sort of deliverance way but not unclean, it may have been called the Roadkill Cafe. Slowly we boarded our trusty steed and carried on to the canyon.

We arrived at the gate and parted with our $25 that allowed unlimited entry for the next 7 days (useful NOT) and drove to Mather Point for our first view of the amazing natural wonder. We got back to the car as it started to rain and then the clouds opened we had thunder lighting and rain drops the size of golf balls we drove round to Yavapai Point I was the only one stupid enough to get out of the car I go drenched but managed to see the lightning coming down on the canyon this must for most people be a once in a life time experience. The rain stopped as abruptly as it started and the others came out to join me and had the joy to witness a most amazing rainbow stretched over the canyon. We got back to the car and drove to the Grand Canyon Village we parked up and sadly could not get a disabled parking space so had to park some way back but had another great view over the canyon, whilst we were viewing the canyon some kind souls in our group went into the bar at Bright Angel lodge and commandeered some tables. We had a few drinks and relaxed before heading back to Vegas.

We stopped to get some fuel and some candy bars and then headed back down the 93 night came upon us long before we were stopped at the Hoover Dam security and by this point the whole party was getting very hungry. We stopped at the Hacienda Casino just over the Dam on the Vegas side and saw the buffet was $7.49 when we went to pay it was half price $3.75 including soft drinks! What a bargain this was, there was a carvery section, pasta, Mexican, chicken, salads, and huge array of deserts, don’t get me wrong its not Bellagio but it was clean, fresh and tasty and I would most certainly head there again if in that part of the World. After eating we had a quick burn on the tables and slots and then headed back to Vegas we arrived back at about 11pm and after seeing my parents safely to their room us young uns hit the casinos.

It was a long day but a very good one on top of the car hire the divided costs for fuel and park entry were about $12 each the only thing I would say is that next time whatever car we took we would allow an extra space as it was a little cramped.

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, driving, events, grand canyon, Holiday, Las Vegas, MGM, MGM Grand, national parks, news, sport, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Married in Vegas – Outside Wedding Venues

Other “Las Vegas” Wedding Venues

You can get married anywhere in Las Vegas ! You can hire a limo with the minister and the limo can stop outside the Bellagio fountains or the”Welcome to Las Vegas” sign the possibilities are endless. You can even get married in a helicopter whilst flying over the Las Vegas Strip. Outside of Las Vegas there are five famous beautiful natural areas where many people choose to get married, Lake Las Vegas , the Grand Canyon , Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire and Mount Charleston . Lake Las Vegas and Mount Charleston have hotels that offer anything from simple services to full wedding packages including receptions, at Lake Las Vegas you can even get married on a luxury yacht!

Lake Las Vegas Lake Las Vegas is 17 miles from the Strip but could be a world away. It’s a beautiful lake in the middle of the desert with a Tuscan styled village on its shores, golf greens to the waters edge and mountains in the background it is truly stunning. Lake Las Vegas plays host to a range of high class hotels, vacation homes,shops and restaurants and whilst it is beautiful there is a beautiful price tag attached. The Montelago Village offers wedding packages starting at $2700 for up to 20 guests these prices rise quickly and sharply. The other major resorts at Lake Las Vegas also offer wedding packages these are the super deluxe Ritz Carlton and Lowes Lake Las Vegas Resort

Red Rock Canyon 17 Miles west of the strip lies the beautiful Red Rock Canyon a beautiful National Park that looks like no other place I have ever seen on earth. Most of the chapels do packages to get married in Red Rock canyon generally starting at round around the $800 mark. You need a park permit needed to get married in Red Rock Canyon, this costs $180 and is usually included in the package costs but it would be wise to check. Its usually about 3 hours form when you leave your hotel to when you return if you go by limo and unless you hire a second limo you can generally only take 6 guests. Its worth remembering that the ceremony will be held outside in a beautiful setting but also remember that means no air con and no lights, its best to get married at sunrise or sunset. Remember that you will have been sitting for some time in the limo to get there which may mean you clothes get creased and your makeup and hair will have been done back at the hotel.

The Grand Canyon, anyone who has been to the Grand Canyon will not be able to explain well enough its GrandCanyonbeauty, awe and magic. It really is a place that you have to see to believe and when you do you will wonder if the other 6 of the 7 wonders of the World are as good as this. The majority of people who go to see The Grand Canyon go to the South Rim where there are a number of hotels and some of the best views across the canyon, this is a good four hour drive out of Vegas. If you are getting married in the Grand Canyon chances are that you will be flown out there in a helicopter the flight is wonderful but think about this when you are choosing what to wear as helicopters do not give you much room. Usually you will land in the canyon for your ceremony like Red Rock remember no air con and no toilets! You are also very limited in the number of guests that you can bring and you usually can’t hire a second helicopter to bring more people down. Most of the Chapels offer wedding ceremonies in the Grand Canyon and they tend start at around $2500.

June 25, 2008 Posted by | bellagio, entertainment, events, Excalibur, flamingo, gaming, grand canyon, Hatton, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, music, national parks, news, resturaunts, shows, Stupid, Travel, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, undefeated, Vegas, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, vegas wedding, wedding | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day Trips from Las Vegas, including the Grand Canyon and Death Valley

Leaving the excitement of the MGM Grand, Excalibur, Bellagio and Mirage etc is not always easy but sometimes it’s good to take a break from the Strip for a day or even just a few hours to get out and about and see some natural beauty. There are many places that are worth vesting easily within a day’s reach of Vegas and I have listed a few below. This is not meant to be an in depth guide the links to the parks will give you far more information than I could but hopefully this post may help you plan. Have a great trip – Simon

Red Rock CanyonRED ROCK CANYON: Its about 20 miles west of Las Vegas out Charleston Blvd (you can pick up that street at the north end of the Strip) It’s a scenic drive-through park. Go early, not in the heat of the day; there’s no shade. The canyon did not have as much as we were hoping and apart from one main Red rock feature there was very little to make us want to go back. However one of my friends lives near by and says that if you leave the car in the car park and hike within an hour its spectacular, there us a an admission charge of $10, we did not pay as it was free on Christmas Day when we visited.


Hoover Dam HOOVER DAM:
Drive about 30 miles southeast of Vegas and go to Hoover Dam; the National Park Service offers tours there (@ $15.), though you can just park in the car park and walk over the Dam. Just before you get to the Dam there is a Casino called the Hacienda this offers great value food and is just the place for breakfast if you have left Vegas early, you can also take helicopter rides here over the Dam and Lake Mead. Go on past Hoover Dam to Boulder City and then to Lake Meade for a swim and/or to visit the new casino there. Also, there are tour companies that will take you on a cruise of the river below Hoover Dam.

Valley fo FireVALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK: Drive about 35 miles north of Vegas on I-15 and go to Valley of Fire State Park, another scenic park area. This is my favorite NP within easy reach of Vegas it’s really nice and well worth the trip. When you are here you may see a wedding as many couples get married here but only in the morning as it gets very hot in the day. The landscape is like nothing else you will see on earth and you easily be mistaken for thinking that you are on another planet. The $6 entrance fee represents amazing value.

ZION NATION PARK: It’s a long drive to Zion (about 2-3 hours), but you can drive North on I-15 to Zion National Park and back in one day. It is worth the trip and the $25 per car admission, this like most other National Parks is valid for 7 days.

DEATH VALLEY:
If you like to visit National Parks, drive about an hour and a half south of Vegas on I-15 and take RT-127 to Death Valley National Park (total drive may be a good 3 hrs each way). Death Valley is hasDeath Valley the lowest point in the United States which is also the hottest place on the planet. It’s the place where in the summer you can fry eggs on the rocks, you will see mirages and is home to some of the most deadly creatures on the planet. You need to take lots of water with you something like 2 gallons each incase you break down and you need to check that your car rental company will allow you to drive there.

Grand CanyonGRAND CANYON: The drive to the Grand Canyon is 5 long hard hours on mostly two lane roads with trucks and campers (only a short way on I-40). You can drive there and back in one day if you leave early morning, like 6:00-7:00 AM. That will put you there about noon and you will have 4 or 5 hrs before starting back and getting back to Vegas about 11:00PM. Its worth considering staying overnight at the Grand Canyon not only to break the journey but also to allow you to see the Canyon at the two best times of the day sunset and sunrise this is a lifetime experience and is worth the investment in both time and money. If you are going to stay over try and stay in the park it will cost less than you think. The park has a $25 entrance fee per car.

Best Online Rates at MGM MIRAGE Hotels

June 4, 2008 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, Casinos, entertainment, events, Excalibur, flamingo, grand canyon, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, Margarito, Mayweather, MGM, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monorail, Monte Carlo, national parks, news, resturaunts, Stupid, tipping, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas events, vegas pools, vegas shows, Vegas Strip, vegas tips, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gaming Hall of Fame to add Don King and Emeril Lagasse

Don KingOfficials with the American Gaming Association say boxing promoter Don King and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse will be inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame later this year.

Other inductees include Bernard Goldstein, who opened the nation’s first riverboat casino in 1991, and Robert (Bob) Arum, a boxing promoter tied to some of the biggest fights in history. Arum
promoted 25 bouts for Muhammad Ali and has also promoted George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya and Joe Frazier.

Association officials said in a release that King — who has presented more than 500 world championship fights — helped make Las Vegas and Atlantic City two of the most visited places in the world.

Lagasse owns four restaurants located in casinos, three in Las Vegas and one in Gulfport, Miss.

The four were to be honored by the industry group at a dinner in Las Vegas in September.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | boxing, Casinos, entertainment, events, flamingo, gaming, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, Mayweather, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, news, resturaunts, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment