Since we are child-free, we tend to look for establishments that have separate areas for adults and children/families. Las Vegas is quite family friendly now, but we prefer being in areas that are quiet and not overrun with little munch-kins.
We have been going to Las Vegas on an annual basis for several years. Here are some of the places we like to stay, eat, and play while there.
Our favorite hotel is the MGM Grand. It is our go to hotel during the summer. We have stayed at other hotels on The Strip, but when it comes to summer and pools the MGM Grand is at the top of our list.
They have a variety of rooms from ground floor West Wing to their Grand rooms. We favor the Grand rooms since they are in the towers and have are less cramped. Both Grand King and Grand Queen rooms are fantastic, and if you are lucky to get upgraded to a Grand View Room or Grand Executive Suite you will have wonderful views of the city skyline and a whirlpool tub.
Room rates do vary, but during the summer the price range we have paid is $67 – $87 per night. There is a resort fee of $38, but the overall cost is still cheaper than NYC, Los Angeles, and some other major cities.
During the summer, the MGM is perfect for pools. They have five pools. One is child friendly and has a lazy river. The others cater more to the adults. The farther away you get from the main pool area entrance the fewer children you will encounter. Our two favorite pools are to the right and in the back. The furthest one back is next to the bar as well.
We tend to stay on The Strip for food. There are restaurants that cater to the very rich to those on a budget. We are in the latter category. We’ve eaten at sit down restaurants, buffets, and fast food joints in Vegas. Here are some of our favorites.
Buffet of Buffets
If you love food, love buffets, and plan to go up and down The Strip a lot this is a great deal. For one price, which does keep going up we’ve noticed, you get unlimited 24-hour access to most of the Harrah hotel buffets. There are seven or eight buffets no lack of variety. It includes the Paris buffet (crepes!) and the Rio Buffet (the largest buffet on The Strip). The Rio Buffet is a must do at least once. You will be overwhelmed by the food choices. My husband always gets his fill of shrimp at the Rio Buffet.
Purchasing each buffet on its own is about $28 per person for dinner. The Buffet of Buffets is approximately the equivalent of purchasing two buffet dinners.
Sit Down Restaurants
We enjoy getting waited on by a server now and then in Vegas. Here are some of our favorite sit down restaurant haunts.
RainForest Café (MGM Grand): This is our go to place for breakfast. We order the Pie of the Viper (breakfast pizza) for $12 and split it. We can never finish it.
Pub 1842 (MGM Grand): Higher end pub food is served here. They get very busy around happy hour but their main dinner menu is good.
PBR Rock Bar & Grill (Planet Hollywood): Noisy but the food is good and the portions are substantial.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville (Flamingo): Good Mexican food. Fun atmosphere. Enticing drinks. It is very busy, though, all the time, so be prepared to wait for a seat.
If you have never been to the Medieval Times it is a fun show and dinner. The knights “battle it out” on the field while you eat a “King’s dinner” of chicken, rib, sides, and dessert.
Food in general in Vegas is expensive. Gone are the days of cheap buffets and steak dinners. The reason is due to the fact that more and more people are going to Vegas to see shows rather than gamble. Thus, the restaurants raised their food prices. There is no shortage of quick food establishments, but recently we have fallen in love with these places.
The Original Fulton Fish Frye (NY NY Food Court): If you love fish-n-chips this is the place! We found it last year when we went over to a NY style deli to grab a sandwich. The fish is amazingly fresh and the batter is perfectly fried. One order of the large fish-n-chips is more than enough for two people. We paid approximately $8 for the meal.
Tourist Attractions & Shopping
Many of the attractions are family friendly, so be prepared for lots of children at many of the sites. We’ve stayed along The Strip, but there are plenty of attractions and activities to do outside of The Strip as well. The list of things to do is pretty much endless and there is something for everyone whether you are an indoor person or an outdoor adventure person.
Coca Cola Store: Fun to see once. The store is filled with Coca Cola products and has a soda fountain upstairs.
M&M Store: The store is filled with M&M Mars products. They have a wall of M&Ms.
The Venetian Shops: Higher end shops but the mall has a talking statue attraction that runs on a set schedule. The ceiling is decorated to make you feel like you are outside under the sky during the day and stars at night.
Planet Hollywood Shops: Similar to most standard malls. If you want to shop, this mall and Fashion Mall, are the two malls on The Strip where you can find clothing stores like you would at home.
We never get bored in Vegas, unless we stay more than three days. You can easily grab a shuttle at the airport to get to the hotels on The Strip. The Strip has a Monorail that will take you from one end to the other and it runs into the night. We are always finding new things to do and new places to eat. And, we love to hear where others like to eat, play and stay in Vegas so we can add those to our list!