There is and it’s actually the oldest section of town .
The Las Vegas Strip is the place that most everyone knows and associates with Sin City .
All those fancy and flashy hotels all in your face .
Not to mention the fancier nightlife with the clubs all trying to outdo each other with well known djs .
But some of you would be surprised to learn that all those casino resorts from the Mandalay Bay at the beginning of the Las Vegas Strip all the way down to the Stratosphere at the end of the Strip are actually located in the incorporate city of Paradise , Nevada .
But I guess if you win a lot of money at the tables and slots , you’d be in Paradise for awhile , too .
Seriously , though , lots of tourists who have never been to Las Vegas or even the ones who have many times, want to know :
When I come to Las Vegas , should I stay on the Las Vegas Strip , also known as Las Vegas Boulevard or should I stay in Downtown Las Vegas , where most of the hotels are on Fremont Street ?
As someone who has lived and worked in Downtown Las Vegas for three years and has been to the Las Vegas Strip more times than I have fingers and toes , I think I have some street cred here .
Where should you stay?
It all depends , really .
Do you want to be where the major action in Las Vegas is?
Or do you want it quiet?
This is Las Vegas , folks , good luck with that quiet thingy .
The Las Vegas Strip or Downtown Las Vegas can give you both .
The hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are the ones that you see in every picture of Las Vegas .
You want to see The Eiffel Tower without traveling to Paris , France ?
There’s the Paris Las Vegas Hotel with the smaller version of all things Paris , France right in front of you .
You don’t want to travel to Egypt , but that hotel that’s shaped like a pyramid looks very interesting to you .
That’s Luxor , people .
Or maybe you want to see a replica of ” the glory that was Rome ” ?
The ginormous Ceasars Palace is the place you want to be.
You say that you want to stay on the Las Vegas Strip but some of these hotel casinos are way too overwhelming for you .
How about the quiet elegance of the Bellagio or the simple elegance of The Wynn or its sister property , Encore at The Wynn ?
You say that you brought the kids with you ?
How about Circus Circus or the Excalibur ? Or even The Stratosphere ?
Now that you’ve heard about the Las Vegas Strip , just what does Downtown Las Vegas have for you ?
Will you see things that you’ve never seen before like on the Las Vegas Strip ?
This is Las Vegas , folks .
Of course you will .
Where else would you see a Dennys Restaurant with a wedding chapel or a restaurant called The Heart Attack Grill where people can weigh themselves right outside of the restaurant ?
Want more craziness ?
Take a ride on that zip line that flies over you and several thousands of visitors at the Fremont Street Experience .
Yes , that is a humongous slot machine that people are shooting out of .
The zip line is called “Slotzilla .
There’s not a lot of casinos Downtown .
There’s only 11 of them and most of them are located around the Fremont Street Experience .
If you want a friendly atmosphere , Downtown Las Vegas is the place for you .
There’s a light show every night here from 8 pm until Midnight .
It’s loud , but this is Vegas after all .
From Seventh Street up to 111th Street , this area of Downtown is known as Fremont Street East .
You’ll find clubs, restaurants and a place called the Downtown Container Park where everything seems to be made from old shipping containers .
There’s even a Praying Mantis in front of the building .
This being Las Vegas , even the insects have to put on a show , so at night , the Praying Mantis lights up too .
I would say that this is as far as you should venture on Fremont Street .
After 11th Street , there’s no need to venture any further down Fremont Street .
If you decide to stay on the Las Vegas Strip , but you want to go Downtown , you can get there by public transportation , either the Deuce or the SDX can get you there and back .
So where would I advise you to stay ?
In spite of the glitter and glamour of the Las Vegas and the fact that some areas around Downtown are sketchy , I would still say stay on Fremont Street , Downtown Las Vegas .
The hotels are much cheaper and unlike many , if not all the casinos hotels on the Las Vegas Strip , some of the hotels don’t have a resort fee , where you basically pay for everything on top of paying for your stay and not to mention that they charge $100 for incidentals , which you get back when you check out.
Providing that you haven’t used up $100 worth of incidentals , of course .
Some of the hotels collect the fees when you check in , others when you check out .
Paying the resort fees are not optional , by the way .
For the Las Vegas Strip hotels , the fees can range from $23 a night all the way up to $35 a night .
The hotels Downtown that do have a resort fee charge $ 9 to $20 a night , and no not paying the fees isn’t an option here either .
From Las Vegas McCarron International Airport , shuttles can get you to both those fancy hotels on the Las Vegas Strip as well as the not so fancy hotels Downtown that you and the family decide to stay at.
No, it’s not to gamble , see a show , go crazy at the buffets or the clubs , that’s going to come later.
You’ve come here to get married and the two of you aren’t the only ones .
Las Vegas isn’t the marriage capital of the United States , it just seems that way .
You’d better believe that February 14th , Valentines Day , is one of the biggest days in town .
Couples are getting married , and this city makes it so easy for couples of all genders to do so .
There’s no waiting period and you don’t need to take a blood test.
What you do need is proof that you’re over 18 years old , like a social security card , drivers license and a passport if you aren’t from the United States .
You’ll also need $77 to get that marriage license at the Clark County Marriage License Bureau , which is on Las Vegas Boulevard , but in Downtown Las Vegas .
You can do this the same day that you want to get married as the bureau is open every day from 8 am until Midnight .
Once you get that marriage license , you can have a big fancy wedding later in the week or so at one of the casino chapels or seeing that this is the Entertainment capital of the United States , you can get married the same day by an Elvis Presley impersonator , at a drive thru wedding chapel no less .
Don’t be surprised if you happen to be visiting Las Vegas and right there on the Las Vegas Strip or Downtown Las Vegas , someone is walking around wearing a wedding gown on or carrying a bouquet in her hands .
Don’t be surprised if you happen to be eating at the newest Dennys Restaurant on Fremont Street and you happen to see a a couple that just got married .
This might be the only Dennys in the country with a wedding chapel .
They can even make you “pancake wedding cake . ”
This is Las Vegas , after all .
Anything is possible here .
You could take an Uber or a taxi on the Las Vegas Strip or down to the Fremont Street Experience , but why not do what the locals and the thousands of other visitors do when they come to town ?
They take the bus .
There’s also a monorail here , but not many people take it as it’s out of the way and it only goes from MGM Grand to the SLS Hotel .
Now , if you happen to be going to an event at the Las Vegas Convention Center , the monorail will work fine for you .
But let’s get back to public transportation in the city .
There are two buses that visitors to Las Vegas use a lot while in town .
One route is called ” The Deuce ” , which is a double decker bus and makes stops at all the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip from Mandalay Bay all the way down to the El Cortez Hotel and Casino , which is located Downtown .
El Cortez was the first casino that mobster Bugsy Siegel owned .
Also downtown is the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement , better known as the ” Mob Museum ” .
The Deuce bus runs past the museum also .
The Deuce bus runs 24 hours , seven days a week .
If you don’t want to take the Deuce , which can get crowded and is quite slow , take the other bus that runs all the way from the South Strip Transit Center all the way up to the Las Vegas North Premium Outlet , which is located close to Downtown Las Vegas .
It’s called the Strip Downtown Express or the SDX for short .
This bus does run every day , but only from 9am until Midnight and it doesn’t stop at all the casinos on the Strip , but in some cases , it does share bus stops with the Deuce .
If you’re going to be visiting Las Vegas longer than a day , I would advise spending $ 20 for a three day pass , which you can use on both buses , but not the Monorail .
Both buses only take exact change and you can pay on both buses or at the machines that are located at each bus stop before you get on .
At the machines besides bills and coins , you can also pay with your debit or credit card .
Have your fare card handy and out when you ride the SDX .
Las Vegas transit policemen and policewomen will be on the bus along with you to make sure that you have your fare card handy .
You might be asked to show it just to make sure that the card hasn’t expired .
Trust me , you don’t want to act the fool on your own 30 Plus Teams Tour of Sin City if you have your fare card and for some reason only known to you , you refuse to show it when asked to .
These officers carry not only handcuffs but loaded guns too , and they AREN’T afraid to use either of them .
Don’t even think about it , just have your fare card handy and enjoy Las Vegas .
You know the ones I’m talking about .
“What happens here , stays here . ”
Yeah, sure you’re right .
You know that’s not even the truth .
Come on now , we saw your Facebook and Instagram photos where you and your besties are acting the fool on the Las Vegas Strip .
Your parents even recognized you doing things that they certainly didn’t teach you back home in North Dakota .
Was that your grandmother with you at the Chippendale Theater at The Rio Casino and Hotel ? !
Some of us even saw your tweet on Twitter .
” # GETTING LIT IN VEGAS ” “# ALL ABOUT THAT VEGAS LIFE ”
It’s not only known as “Sin City” , but to the millions of people driving up from Los Angeles , it’s sort of a suburb of LA LA Land .
There’s another way to describe the city .
New York City on steroids .
Trust me on this one.
I lived in New York , Los Angeles AND LAS VEGAS .
I’ll say it again in case you missed it the first time I said it .
Las Vegas is New York City on steroids , the kind the doctor shouldn’t even prescribe to you, even if you do need it .
This city is 24 / 7 , just like New York City .
It seems as though people don’t sleep here either .
They aren’t just here to lose their money at the casinos .
Nope , they’re here to party and eat at all those restaurants and buffets that they heard a lot about back in Tokyo or Portland , Maine .
Las Vegas seems to reinvent itself not every few years , how about every few months ?
Even the old hotels being imploded to create even fancier hotels seem to draw crowds .
It’s just another show on the Las Vegas Strip .
The city used to be a place where the stars went to be seen and heard .
Families wanted to get in all this fun as well .
As much as you want to bring the kids with you , leave them at home .
No really , leave little Jack and Jill at home with the grandparents or a babysitter , even though they want to see the fake castle at Excalibur Hotel and Casino .
They said they want to go to Circus Circus and take in the rides at the Adventure Dome, plus they want to see the guy that looks like a lion at Luxor ?
It’s not a lion, it’s a sphinx .
Remind them that Las Vegas isn’t Disneyland .
It’s Disneyland for adults .
There’s so much to do and see in this city and it’s not even the capital of Nevada .
More about Las Vegas in some of my later posts about this city .
Now , I’ll bet you’re wondering just what is a post about Las Vegas doing on a blog post called 30
Plus Teams , 30 Plus Dreams ?
It’s not a side trip , even though it’s close to Los Angeles , Denver , Phoenix , and Salt Lake City .
Oh no .
This wild and crazy city is the newest stop on the 30 Plus Teams Tour .
Beginning in October of this year at the T Mobile Arena , the National Hockey League welcomes team number 31 , the Vegas Golden Knights .
This already crazy city just got a little crazier with their first professional sports team .
Or at least I was until I reached JFK , which is the airport basically in my backyard .
Jet Blue airlines had told me via email to be prepared for delays at the airport due to the major construction that always seems to go on at this airport so I knew what to expect .
I always try to get to the airport or bus terminal early because I hate being rushed and I also like to people watch.
I checked in for my flight , JetBlue flight 7-Eleven JFK New York to Las Vegas McCarron International Airport .
The departure time was 6:30pm , NewYork time arriving at 9:20pm , Las Vegas time .
With the time change , it would be a five hour and 50 minute flight .
That’s right , I said supposed to leave at 6:30pm .
As I looked down at my phone , I had received another email from Jet Blue .
My flight , which originated from San Juan , Puerto Rico , was going to be late getting to New York and therefore we would be delayed leaving JFK but also arriving in Las Vegas .
How much delayed at JFK ?
” Just an hour “, was the word from the gate agents .
The “just one hour ” turned into almost two hours and the gate changed as well from Gate 18 to Gate 2.
Finally , around 8 pm , our row numbers were finally called .
HELLO LAS VEGAS ! !
Or so we thought .
This is JFK , nothing ever goes smoothly at this airport , including airplanes taking off when they’re supposed to .
It’s like the New York
City traffic during rush hour , bumper to bumper .
Nobody is going ANY WHERE , even on an airplane runway .
So for another hour, or so it seemed , I wasn’t leaving on a JetBlue flight and neither were the other passengers .
Around 9:30pm or so, the pilot said those words we all wanted to hear
“WE ARE READY FOR TAKEOFF.”
By the grace of God , Las Vegas , Nevada , here I come!
What would I say to a younger me if I could go back in time ?
Now , when I say my younger self, I’m referring to that 18 year old girl just getting out of Catholic School all the way up to that 35 year old woman , who seemed to be depressed about how her life was going .
I was also extremely sensitive to criticism of any kind from anyone .
I’d like to say that at age 36 that I had my life together , but that would be a big fat lie .
I honestly didn’t .
It wasn’t until I reached the age of 43 that I really got my act together .
I can remember crying on my 30th birthday , because silly old me, I thought my life was over .
I don’t cry on my birthdays anymore , even if I don’t celebrate the day with friends or if someone forgets to wish me happy birthday .
Because at 64 , everyday that the Good Lord gets me up, it’s a reason to celebrate .
I would tell the 18 year old me that in spite of all the information you learned in college , I wouldn’t waste my parents money or my time by attending college .
I would have gone to work right after high school and made my own money instead .
Speaking of dollar dollar bills , y’all , I would have learned to handle it a whole lot better .
I can honestly say that I’ve gotten somewhat better at this , too.
I would definitely tell my younger self not to be so sensitive to criticism from friends and especially some family members .
I can say that I’ve gotten my PhD in this department .
My educated advice on this to my younger self would be , if someone has a problem with you, no matter if it’s family or friends, go that Taylor Swift route.
Shake it off .
That’s their issues , not yours .
I’m very happy with my older self .
Special thanks and shout outs to some family members too numerous to mention and to my ” Circle of Sisters ” who have been there for me then and now , Michele , Sue , Lisa , Carol , Shoshanna , Myra , Theresa and Soccoro .
Thank you and God bless you , ladies .
I would tell my younger self to appreciate my parents a lot more than I did.
Now that both of them are gone , it’s a little hard to tell them how I feel .
I would tell my younger self to get out there and travel much more than I did and to be aware that the United States wasn’t the only country in the world .
There’s a whole lot of countries out there that I could only dream about going to let alone trying to visit one day.
I would have gotten a passport a heck of a lot sooner .
Finally , my younger self would have not only thought about having the idea of a 30 Plus Teams Tour , but actually going on one .
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