Las Vegas is such a glittery, larger-than-life city, that it makes you wonder... how can anyone afford to have fun here? All that glitz and glam can be a little intimidating to the wallet. But if you know where to look, you can find a lot of fun for a very reasonable price, and sometimes even for free. There are plenty of Las Vegas vacation deals to be had.
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You don't have to spend a lot to have a great time in Vegas.
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, State Route 159, Las Vegas — just 17 miles west of the Strip is a surreal landscape with red mountains and beautiful desert vistas. For only $7 per carload you can take the tour and cruise along 13 miles of truly surreal landscapes.
- Pinball Hall of Fame, 1620 East Tropicana, Las Vegas — This museum is run by a not-for-profit company lets pinball fans go wild on games from the 1950s through the 1990s. The machines are functional and you can have a great time with just a single quarter. Naturally, bringing more quarters makes the fun last longer, and you can spend a lot here if you're a bona fide pinball freak. But you can also enjoy this attraction on the cheap if you have some self control.
- The Fountains at the Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas — Every song brings with it a unique light and water show from these wondrous fountains. As if that weren't cool enough, watching this show is totally free.
- Tour the Venetian Hotel, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas — From the gondolas along the indoor river, to the many art works on display, it's free to sightsee here. And there's a lot to see!
- Freemont Street Experience, downtown Las Vegas — Check out a free light show along with other excited revelers after sun down in downtown.
- The Aquarium at the Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas — Dip into this hotel and take a peek behind the front desk. You can't miss it: a 20,000-gallon aquarium with all kinds of exotic fish.
- Stratosphere Tower, 2000 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas — Get a birds eye view from this 1,149-foot freestanding observation tower (the tallest in the US) for just $18.
- Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas — Plants and flowers imported from all over the world, and lit up Vegas style. Admission is free, and includes gardening tips (in the mornings) and live music (in the evenings).
- The Mob Museum, 300 E Stewart Ave, Las Vegas — Miss "the Sopranos?" Get your mob fix at this sprawling museum, dedicated to the history of organized crime and law enforcement. Tickets cost $19.95.
- The Neon Museum, 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas — Need more Vegas in Vegas? Not seeing enough signs and bilboards? This open air museum boasts a huge collection of old signs from motels, storefronts, you name it. Admission is $18, but you need to book a tour in advance.
- Monster Mini Golf, 4503 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas — For $11.95, you can book a tee time for a super exciting, glow-in-the-dark game of mini golf on courses inspired by the band KISS.
- Eiffel Tower Ride, 655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas — At the Paris Las Vegas hotel, you might expect an Eiffel Tower replica. But a replica that's 46 stories high, that you can ride up? Now that's more like it! After your journey to the top of this observation deck, you'll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Strip. If you go for a ride during the day, it only costs $10.50.
- Mirage Volcano, The Mirage, 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas — Every night, a volcano erupts in Vegas. Well, a fake volcano, that is, but with real fireballs and a real Grateful Dead soundtrack.
Las Vegas is packed with great restaurant ideas for all times of day.
- Crepe Expectations, 9500 South Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas — If you're in the mood for something a little bit French and equally high class that will still fit in your budget, you should try Crepe Expectations. There are lots of crepes to fit just about any kind of taste you may have. On Saturdays there is even a farmers market in the parking lot, making this one of the best Las Vegas vacation deals out there for a great bite to eat.
- Lotus of Siam, 953 East Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas — If you enjoy Thai cuisine, you'll love Lotus of Siam. This is a well decorated place with a cozy atmosphere and great food.
- Roy's, 620 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas — Looking for a romantic spot for dinner? Try Roy's. This is a great place for some Hawaiian fusion and a great atmosphere.
- Little Richie's, 3300 South Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas - Chicago-style hot dogs and sandwiches.
- Buffets - Vegas is full of them - from the Fantasy Market Buffet at the Palms to the Plaza Buffet downtown. However, they're only a good deal if you plan to eat until you drop or take some back to your vacation rental with you. Check out this Vegas buffet guide for more info. Also, check out our map for a location of the top Vegas buffets.
To lighten the food budget a little, consider spending some nights in and making dinner. In Las Vegas vacation rentals, you can do just that with a kitchen stocked with cooking utensils. If traveling with family, make it fun by involving everyone.
Staying in a rental home will make you feel like a local - at a very reasonable price. You can often get more space for less money than a hotel room. Why sacrifice amenities like a private pool, full kitchen, or view of the Strip if you don't have to? Vegas vacation homes are especially affordable if you book one with a big family or group, as every one can sprawl out into their own bedrooms. This is a lot cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms, and a lot more comfortable than cramming everyone into a single hotel room.
Need more ideas for Las Vegas vacation deals to help you save money? Check these out:
- Don't fill up your tank on the Strip. Instead head a few minutes east or west and you'll find better gas prices.
- There are venders in Las Vegas that sell tickets to shows last minute for half price. If you're looking for tickets to big name productions, like Cirque du Soleil, check these vendors out to see if the price will work for your budget!
- In many casinos, drinks are free. So, if you plan to enjoy some alcoholic beverages, head the penny slot machines for them.
- Don't leave your vacation home without a map! Not only will a map help you make the most of your trip by getting you where you need to go in an efficient way, but it can save you bucks on your next cab ride - if you know how to get somewhere, a cab driver can't take the long way and rip you off!
- Know your gambling limits. If you don't know what point you should toss in your cards and call it a day, you risk of losing a lot of money. Know your limits before trying your hand at the jackpot.
- Visit on week days, non holidays, and in the fall or spring for cheap off season rates on everything from accommodations to airfare.