A few more things to see and do that I can recommend, having done them at some point during my visits to Las Vegas.
Of course, there are many, many fine restaurants in Las Vegas. It will be hard to go wrong with your choice. However, when you get right down to it, there really isn’t much difference between four-star steakhouses. Or sushi bars. So try and get to a place that’s really different; a place you cannot find anywhere else….
Like the Hofbrauhaus.
Across the intersection from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, I’ve made a point of dining there every time I’m in Las Vegas. A “branch office” of the famous one in Munich, it serves up good German food in a beer-hall setting. That means it’s like a dining hall, so unless you’re a party of eight, don’t expect to get a table to yourselves! And the acoustics are bad – it will be tough to carry on a conversation – especially when the band is playing. But hey, that only adds to the party!
Real “festival” bands from Germany are there for regular month-long gigs. During my visit this time, the band was Trenkwalder. I was tickled pink when one of the guys brought out an honest-to-god alpenhorn. It blew me away when he started playing the “Triumphal March” from Verdi’s Aida…. When he brought it out to the middle of the hall, stood on a bench, plonked the business end on my table next to me, and went right in to “Tequila” (The Champs, 1959), I completely lost it.
I don’t know what will happen when you go there, but get yourself a half-liter of the house ale and join the fun! And don’t forget a round of schnapps for your table before you go.
There’s a heck of a lot of night life around, including just people watching. There are nighttime tours – by limo or helicopter – that give you a good overview of the lights and sights, but one unusual nighttime tour that I can recommend is the Haunted Las Vegas tour. You’ll visit some locations of suicides and murders around The Strip, and then go out into the residential areas and suburbs to check out a few haunted locations. Even if you don’t believe in the supernatural (and in that case, be cool and go with it – don’t ruin it for others), it’s a good way to see the parts of Las Vegas that show you that it’s a real city and not just a big tourist resort. Wear a jacket; the night can bring some chills….
Oh, speaking of beer, one last thing. Look for the “Sin City Brewing Company” at a couple of places along The Strip. They’re the local craft brewer, and they aren’t in stores just yet. If you do visit their stores/bars/pubs, even though you can, for the love of all that is sacred do NOT order a bottle of some name brand beer. If I find out that you did, I will hunt you down and give you a stern lecture about your crappy taste in beer.
Oh, by the way? That part of “The Strip” from the Encore Hotel south is not technically in Las Vegas. It’s in the “unincorporated” community of Paradise:
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