5 sinful things you can do in Vegas
NEVADA, USA - Everyone has heard the phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
Most people know that what happens in the so-called "Sin City" is fodder for the front page of tabloids and gossip magazines (remember Prince Harry's not-so-decent exposure not too long ago?).
Still, there are people like me who believe that there are some things you can do in Las Vegas you may tell people about:
1) Unleash your inner retail goddess
It will take a first time visitor all of 5 minutes to realize that Vegas is overflowing with 3 things: casinos, restaurants and shopping malls.
Sin City is certainly no place for the retail sloth.
The Strip is between the North and South Las Vegas Premium Outlets, and each has over 100 brand-name stores. Here you will find the likes of Kenneth (Cole), Michael (Kors) and Salvatore (Ferragamo) offering as much as 70% discount.
If you’re a more discerning shopper and you appreciate getting quality over a bargain, then the luxury boutiques at any of the hotels may be more your liking — although they might burn a hole in your wallet.
From that shopping high, live out that childhood fantasy of getting lost in a candy store at M&Ms World, a 4-storey, 35,000-sq ft complex that has an M&Ms version of everything — from beddings to poker chips.
If you're in the mood for some bargain shopping in Las Vegas, visit:
a. Las Vegas Premium Outlets - North
875 South Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89106
b. Las Vegas Premium Outlets - South
7400 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89123
2) Appreciate the performers who put on show after show, night after night
There’s a good reason why the term “show girl” is preceded by “Vegas."
Vegas is the entertainment capital this side of the West Coast. Some might argue that it’s Hollywood, but the rest would agree that — while Hollywood can beat its chest about its production value, special effects and computer-aided graphics technology — Las Vegas boasts of the famous Vegas showgirls who can flash their glitzy headdresses, flip their feather boas and send the audience into a tailspin.
When it comes to live entertainment, Vegas has the edge.
Apart from the famous Vegas showgirls, the Cirque du Soleil shows are also famous the world over for their acrobatic spectacles set to music and elaborate staging (two shows, Varekai and Saltimbanco, have performed in Manila).
O by Cirque du Soleil is almost always booked in advance, but there are plenty of other shows to choose from. There’s Elvis and the extremely erotic Zumanity, both by Cirque du Soleil.
Other Vegas staples are shows by Celine Dion, David Copperfield and, of course, the boxing matches. There are always scheduled concerts so be sure to check who’s coming to town when you’re in Vegas (on October 13, it will be Madonna at the MGM Grand!).
Book your tickets early to get the best seats and promos. Check out websites like http://www.tix4tonight.com/ but be prepared to pay a small premium for “on-line booking convenience.”
You can also check out the ticket outlets located along The Strip (two are near M&Ms World) if you want to try your luck at scoring last-minute tickets.
3) Visit the original pride of Vegas: the Fremont Street Experience
Las Vegas’ reputation certainly precedes it. It is widely known as a place where you expect not just to spend money but also to lose it at the poker table.
Still, there are some things that you can enjoy for free — like the Fremont Street Experience.
Located off The Strip in downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street looks like the Vegas of the olden days when mobsters in suits walked its streets. The hotels are considerably older, smaller (compared to the massive hotel complexes on the Strip), and their lighted signs are indicative of a time gone by.
Today, visitors can be wowed by Viva Vision’s own “Fremont Street Experience” — a free nightly show where 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound provide visual and audio entertainment to everyone.
You can even get up close to the lights by riding the zipline above the crowd.
4) Eat, dine, gorge
In Las Vegas, you can have practically anything at your command at almost any time of the day — with proper reservations, that is.
If you want to eat, dine (fine) and gorge, then Vegas has everything you can possibly think of, from the famous US$7 buffets (today priced at US$10) to the US$350+ degustation menu at Joël Robuchon that allows you to sample just a little bit of everything.
Of course, if you want to push your appetite to the limit, you can check out Heart Attack Grill, the hospital-restaurant that personifies guilty pleasure with its menu of insanely large hamburgers. The 2012 Guinness World Records lists the Heart Attack Grill’s Quadruple Bypass Burger, that weighs in 9,982 calories, as the "most calorific burger" in the world.
Here, diners are called “patients,” orders are “prescriptions” and waitresses are called “nurses.” (Don’t say you weren’t warned.)
5) Understand the greed and need that gave rise to The Mob
“We’re bigger than US Steele” is a claim Hyman Roth aka “Johnny Lips” made to Michael Corleone in the quintessential mobster movie, The Godfather.
Just how big they really were is documented in The Mob Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.
Interactive displays, movies and documentaries outline the beginnings of organized crime in the United States; first through New York (through Irish and Italian immigrants), to Chicago, until it slowly found its way to Las Vegas.
The Prohibition, the Mob Wars and famous gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and the men who brought them down are all re-told and re-lived in the Mob Museum.
“Stories are so intriguing they need no embellishment” is not just a claim that the Mob Museum makes on its website: it’s also a Mob Truth.