What to do during the day
The pace of the city is a little slower during the day. Vegas is always a busy place, but it's the nighttime hours when things are most frenetic. This means the day is a good time to take things a little easy, relaxing and getting ready for the long night to come. Here are some of the best ways to spend a Las Vegas day:
Detox and disinfect at the pool
Sweating out the remnants of last night's imbibing -- and letting sunlight do its best to burn away the smell of cigarette smoke that by now has made its way deep into your pores -- is the most popular daytime option for many Vegas-goers. Some of the upscale Strip resorts and Off-Strip party-central hotels have made their pool THE place to while away the daylight hours. Caesar's Palace, Mandalay Bay, the Wynn, the Hard Rock and the Palms have pool areas that are amazing. And amazing pickup spots, if you're hot and/or wealthy.
Don't be surprised to find that the top-of-the-line hotel pools aren't free. You may have to fork over some cash to hang out at these spots, even more if you want entrance to one of the topless pool areas.
Topless, you say? Oh yes. At these places the ladies are welcome to bare their boobs to the breeze. (Guys, not surprisingly men are charged higher admission to the "European bathing" areas.)
Pools with topless areas
- Caesars Palace
See our "Pools" section for more information.
One word: Sharks
If you've ever found yourself transfixed by "Shark Week" television, the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay is pretty close to mandatory. The giant aquarium costs only $16, an incredible bargain considering how fascinating it is.
Seriously, this is one of the coolest things in Las Vegas. I can't recommend it highly enough. Friggin' sharks. None with lasers, though.
Golf on immaculate courses
Some world-class links have been carved out of the desert and golfers just love lugging their clubs out here to enjoy their favorite sport (a flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight once told me more clubs were packed on Vegas flights than any other routes she worked). Playing 18 holes won't be cheap -- figure $100 and upwards for the nice courses, topping the $200-mark pretty easily -- and it will require some planning ahead of time. Unless you're a major high-roller it's not likely you can call down to the front desk to book a tee time.
Some of the best courses
- Desert Pines
- Painted Desert
- Reflection Bay
- Rio Secco
Note to golfers: Tee times often are filled long in advance. We'd advise making reservations as far in advance as possible.
Indulge in some culture
For art lovers there are museums and exhibits, some are even free. The Bellagio has a world-renowned collection of fine arts, highlighted for most of 2009 by an exhibition of works from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others for only about $15. The Las Vegas Art Museum fell victim to hard economic times recently and closed (board members say they hope to re-open when the things improve) but the Neon Museum -- which is a collection of classic signs scattered around Fremont Street -- is worth seeing. For those really into Vegas' bight-lights history, contact the museum organizers for a tour of the Neon Boneyard.
Experience Vegas' shady past
At the Tropicana, the Las Vegas Mob Experience immerses visitors in the world of organized crime that was instrumental in the city's rise from a watering stop in the desert to a glittery super destination.
Days are ideal for low-budget gamblers, as most casinos lower their table minimums during these off-peak hours. This means that blackjack table you couldn't bring yourself to sit down at last night because $25 seemed so expensive now requires only 10 bucks per hand. Maybe even just $5. And if you're downtown you may even get lucky and find a seat at one of the increasingly hard-to-find $3 tables.