Las Vegas Gambler's Guide: Where to Eat, Sleep, and Play

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the hottest cities in America, literally and figuratively. The temperature may get over 100 degrees every day in the summer, and the action inside the casinos is just as hot. Speaking of casinos, there are hundreds of them in Sin City.

Gambling is so prevalent in this desert town that there is said to be more slot machines than residents around the city. But there's actually far more to do in Las Vegas than gamble. In fact, you could visit Vegas and have a great time even if you despise gambling. The sightseeing, for example, is fantastic. Where else can you catch a glimpse of the mountains in the day time and bright lights after sunset?

What makes Las Vegas such a great destination is the fact that there's something for everyone. Whether you're on a budget, or money is nothing more than a piece of paper to you, there's somewhere perfect for you to eat, sleep, and play.

Show places:

Staying in Vegas

Vegas' Hottest Places to Stay

"It's just a bed," is something you may hear from those who haven't experienced bed bugs. In Las Vegas, all beds weren't created the same because there are some real dirty and unsafe places which should be avoided. Unless you're really adventurous, and don't mind running the risk of getting robbed or picking up something that needs to be treated with antibiotics, it's probably best to stay away from really run down hotels in Las Vegas.

Instead, try out one of these recommended spots (from most to least expensive):

Expensive Hotels

  • Wynn-Encore Casino

    Wynn-Encore Casino

    4.6/5

    3131 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    You'll be dropping $300 or more for a hotel room to see Steve Wynn's most prized possession. This lavish hotel and casino has a popular poker room, modern décor in the rooms and casino, deliciously expensive restaurants, and even a multi-million dollar stainless steel Popeye statue that Wynn bought just because he's so wealthy and why not. The hotel is located on the north central part of the Strip.

  • Venetian-Palazzo

    Venetian-Palazzo

    4.5/5

    3355 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    Venetian, attached to the Palazzo, is an upscale hotel on the Strip inspired by the lovely city of Venice, Italy. You can even take a romantic gondola ride with your lover and then back to your comfy, scenic room for some true romance!

    • dakota-xx

      One if my favorite places to stay in Vegas. The rooms are very spacious - over 700 sq ft. Rooms are luxury - though in The Venetian they are getting to the point of needed to be renovated. Bathrooms have a vanity table, bed area is big, then you step downstairs to the media area which has a sofa, table and desk. There are 3 tv's including a small one in the bathroom. Too bad they are owned by Sheldon Adelson.

      dakota-xx

  • Bellagio

    Bellagio

    4.3/5

    3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    One of the most famous hotels in all of Las Vegas. Originally built by Steve Wynn, it is now an MGM Resorts hotel at the center of the Las Vegas Strip. You won't find a better, comfier room in town, but expect to pay upwards of $300 most days. Don't forget to check out the awesome free fountain show in front of the hotel in the evenings.

    • SPANKYSN

      The hotel itself is quite beautiful, with many decent places to eat. Rooms are very nice.

      SPANKYSN

  • Aria

    Aria

    4.4/5

    3730 Las Vegas Fwy
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    Not too far south on the Strip from Bellagio rests this epic hotel and casino, right in the heart of the City Center complex. Aria has some of the best restaurants in town, including a world-class buffet. And you'd be hard pressed to find better views of the Strip if you get a room on one of the top floors. Poker players will enjoy playing cards in one of the most comfortable poker rooms in America. Prices for standard hotel rooms are usually under $200.

    • SPANKYSN

      One of my favorite places to stay in Vegas. The rooms are very, very nice and modern. Beds are very comfortable. The standard rooms are considered small suites and are a decent size. I consider the rooms here luxury - they are that nice. They supply robes in the room and the electronics are high tech.

      dakota-xx

Medium-Priced Hotels

  • M Resort

    M Resort

    4.5/5

    12300 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Henderson, NV 89044

    $$

    If you're looking for a fancy pad off the Strip, it's tough to top the M Resort. Located about a 15-minute drive south of the Strip, M Resort features modern décor, clean and cozy rooms, the best non-Strip buffet, and one of the top pools in town.

  • Golden Nugget

    Golden Nugget

    4.1/5

    129 E. Fremont St.
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    $$

    Fremont Street is one of the best places in the world to party. Otherwise known as "Old Vegas", Fremont boasts some cool old school casino hotels such as Golden Nugget. This is far and away the best place to stay in downtown Las Vegas. You can always find a great deal on rooms during the weekdays, and even weekend rates usually aren't too pricy.

  • MGM Grand

    MGM Grand

    3.9/5

    3799 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$

    On the south end of the Strip, MGM Grand is one of the most popular places to gamble, catch a show, and stay in the world. Staying at this hotel will give you easy access to the airport, I-15, and other Strip casinos. MGM Grand has long been home to some of the biggest boxing and UFC fights of all-time, along with top entertainers such as David Copperfield.

    • missjacki

      I have stayed here twice. I thought the room was nice. The place is amazingly big with 2 Starbucks and lots of places to eat.

      missjacki

    • 1prophecy

      One of my favorite places to stay in Vegas. The rooms are very, very nice and modern. Beds are very comfortable. The standard rooms are considered small suites and are a decent size. I consider the rooms here luxury - they are that nice. They supply robes in the room and the electronics are high tech.

      1prophecy

  • Green Valley Ranch

    Green Valley Ranch

    4.3/5

    2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy
    Henderson, NV 89052

    $$

    Located about 15 minutes southwest of the Strip in Henderson, Green Valley Ranch is a true Las Vegas gem. The rooms are modern and the restaurants are more affordable than on the Strip. The buffet is solid and more reasonably priced than what you'll get on the Strip. GVR has one of the biggest sportsbooks in town. Right outside the hotel, you'll find a happening Green Valley District with shops, restaurants, and bars.

  • New York New York

    New York New York

    4.1/5

    3790 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$

    The hotel is themed after the city of New York. This is one of the most authentic theme hotels in Las Vegas. And also one of the most exciting places to dine, party, gamble, and sleep.

    • Fishmasterbaiter

      New York New York has the rollercoaster above it. You hear it rumble all night and even worse than that- early in the morning. They have awesome scenery and restaurants downstairs though and everything you could possibly need in their shops.

      Fishmasterbaiter

Inexpensive Hotels

  • Rio All-Suites Hotel

    Rio All-Suites Hotel

    3.7/5

    3700 W Flamingo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89103

    $$

    The Rio is the place to be during the summer as it hosts the World Series of Poker each year. You'll be within a long walk of the Strip, although taking a cab or bus is a smarter idea especially during the hot summer months. Every room in this hotel is a suite and rates are almost always reasonable.

    • dakota-xx

      I stayed in the Masquerade Tower which is the newest and I thought my room was very nice. It was a spacious suite and looked pretty good overall. It had a fantastic view. There was a small refrigerator in the room and a nice long vanity/counter like hall outside of the bathroom.

      dakota-xx

  • Luxor

    Luxor

    3.8/5

    3900 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89119

    $$

    Looking to stay on the Strip but get a decent room at a cheap rate? You won't find a better spot than Luxor. This pyramid-shaped hotel is connected to another budget casino, Excalibur. The rooms are nothing special, but they are comfortable and always clean. Luxor attracts the younger party-going crowd due to its room rates and plethora of watering holes.

    • shells_bells_53

      We stayed at the Luxor twice. The first visit, we had a standard room in the pyramid. It was quite spacious and had a spectacular view of the mountains. The unique slanted window did cut into the space, but for 2 people, there was still plenty of room. The Egyptian influence was throughout and added a nice touch. The 2nd time we stayed we got an upgrade to one of the Tower rooms. It was just as nice as the standard room and the beds were AMAZING!"

      shells_bells_53

    • aolguin3

      I stayed last week in Luxor and I had a great experience there! even tho it is almost at an end of the strip the atmosphere is great and I would definitely consider staying there again!

      aolguin3

Harrah's Las Vegas

Vegas' Most Action-Packed Places to Play

Regardless of where you stay, you can gamble just about anywhere. So don't spend all your time at your hotel. There are too many things to see and do in Las Vegas. Most tourists gamble in Sin City. There is a slot machine on virtually every block in town. Even the grocery stores have slot machines.

There are also thousands of table games all over town and some of the best poker rooms in the world. Las Vegas is also known for its sports betting. It is the only city in the United States with legal operating sportsbooks. And you'll find one inside most casinos. Whether slots, blackjack, craps, sports betting, or poker is your game of choice, you'll find it and more at one of these top Las Vegas casinos.

  • Caesars Palace

    Caesars Palace

    4.2/5

    3570 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    Caesars is one of the most iconic Las Vegas casinos and is located right in the heart of the Strip next to Bellagio. The best part of gambling at Caesars is the cocktail waitresses are downright gorgeous. And the sportsbook has a fantastic atmosphere during big games and NFL Sunday's.

    • missjacki

      I generally do not gamble at Caesar's because their tables are usually on the expensive side compared to neighboring properties. I do not like the Caesar's poker room for several reasons - the juice is high, the staff will not facilitate a chop, if you manage to agree to a chop, the chip denominations are confusing and look too much like each other, the chips are old and crappy, and the ambiance (of the poker room) is like that of a high school cafeteria.

      missjacki

  • Excalibur

    Excalibur

    3.8/5

    3850 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$

    You may be wondering why a low end Strip casino made this list. Here's why: Excalibur is one of the most fun casinos in town. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing casino, but so what? If you're looking to get drunk with a mostly younger crowd and have a great time, this is the place to be. BONUS: hotel rooms are dirt cheap!

  • Venetian

    Venetian

    4.5/5

    3355 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    Forget Sheldon Adelson's non-stop anti-online gambling push for a moment. His casino is one of the most luxurious places to gamble in America. It's a clean casino with high and low limit games, a sweet sportsbook, and one of the top poker rooms in town.

  • Bellagio

    Bellagio

    4.3/5

    3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    Classy. That's the best way to describe Bellagio's famous casino. But another reason to gamble here is its proximity to other Strip casinos. Bellagio is located right in the center of the Strip so, no matter where you're staying, as long as it's on the Strip, you'll be able to walk back to your hotel afterwards.

    • missjacki

      Part of the fun at the Bellagio poker room is that you are almost assured to see some of the top pros playing there. There is a small room within the poker room, Bobby's room, where I have seen Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivy, Huck Seed and others. They leave the door to Bobby's room open so you can watch from about 20 feet away.

      SPANKYSN

  • The Orleans

    The Orleans

    4.2/5

    4500 W Tropicana Ave.
    Las Vegas, NV 89103

    $$

    About a mile west of the Strip, The Orleans is a fun place to gamble. This place attracts the elderly crowd and also the younger, party-going gamblers. It isn't an upscale casino like Bellagio and Venetian, but you'll have a good time. If cigarette smoke bothers you, this isn't the place to be.

    • zingbust

      They have one of the biggest poker rooms in Las Vegas, with about 33 tables or so. That poker room is always busy, being that it is a favorite among locals.

      zingbust

  • Golden Nugget

    Golden Nugget

    4.1/5

    129 E. Fremont St.
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    $$

    It can get a little crowded inside Golden Nugget, but as long as you aren't claustrophobic you'll be fine. What makes this the perfect place to gamble is you can literally walk right outside the casino to party on Fremont Street.

  • PT's Pub

    PT's Pub

    3.8/5

    Multiple Locations

    $$

    Want to get away from the typical Las Vegas tourist areas? There are dozens of PT's Pubs all over town with plenty of video poker machines. You'll find more locals hanging out here, but the bars are more laid back than what you'll find on the Strip and the food is pretty good and reasonably priced.

  • Station Casinos

    Station Casinos (most of them)

    3.7/5

    Multiple Locations

    $$$$

    702-631-7000

    www.sclv.com

    Station Casinos market to the locals, but there are plenty of tourists that visit these cool spots as well. The best Station Casinos are Red Rock (Summerlin) and Green Valley Ranch (Henderson). But you'll find plenty of action over at Sunset Station (Henderson) and Palace Station (half a mile west of Strip) as well. What makes these casinos so appealing is you won't have to feel like you need to put on a suit and tie to throw some dice.

  • Wynn-Encore

    Wynn-Encore

    4.6/5

    3131 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    At Wynn and Encore, you actually may feel pressured to dress to impress when you go to play. But if you love to dress up, you'll love to gamble here. Some of the highest rollers in the world play at Wynn and Encore. But the non-high rollers are also welcome.

Tastiest Eating Spots

Vegas' Tastiest Eating Spots

Las Vegas doesn't have a distinct cuisine like some other cities. Kansas City, for example, is known for its bar-be-que. San Diego is known for its fish tacos. Las Vegas is more known for its wide range of dining options than any one particular cuisine or dish. But don't take that to mean there aren't a plethora of delicious eateries. There are. Some inexpensive, and others will cost you more than the average American makes in a week.

The type of restaurant Las Vegas is best known for is its buffets. Back in the day, you could get a buffet for $5 or less. The food quality wasn't exactly the highest and food poisoning was always a possibility, if not a probability.

Not anymore. Those $2.99 buffets are long gone and have been replaced by $50 gourmet meals. There still are some cheaper options, but none as inexpensive as in the old Vegas days. Instead, you pay more now for a much better meal. Here is a list of the casinos with the best buffets:

Caesars Palace, Wynn, Aria, M Resort, MGM Grand, Golden Nugget, Rio All-Suites Hotel, Green Valley Ranch, and Planet Hollywood.

There are dozens of solid buffets around town. Even some buffets such as Krazy Buffet and Buffet at Asia are pretty good places to eat outside the casinos and off the Strip.

Steak dinner

How Does an Expensive Steak Sound?

There are so many expensive and tasty steakhouses in Las Vegas that it's hard to narrow the list down to just a few of the best. The steakhouses on this list are all quite pricy. You will pay between $50-$150 for just a steak and sometimes more at almost all of these places, but it will be worth the price.

  • Delmonico Steakhouse

    Delmonico Steakhouse

    4.6/5

    The Grand Canal Shoppes, The Venetian,
    3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    Delmonico Steakhouse in the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian on the Strip is a steakhouse with a New Orleans flare. The menu was created by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse.

    • SPANKYSN

      Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian was excellent.....expensive, but excellent."

      SPANKYSN

  • Gallagher's Steakhouse

    Gallagher's Steakhouse

    4.5/5

    3790 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    Gallagher's Steakhouse at New York New York on the south end of the Strip is a casual place to get a fine steak. Always great service and a lively atmosphere.

  • Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak

    Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak

    4.4/5

    The Mirage, 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd,
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at Mirage on the north central end of the Strip is a New York inspired steakhouse. Chef Tom Colicchio brings carefully sourced beef and seafood cooked by a flame.

  • THE Steakhouse

    THE Steakhouse

    4.6/5

    Circus Circus, 2880 S Las Vegas Blvd,
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$

    THE Steakhouse is a surprising gem of a low-end Strip casino, Circus Circus. The food quality doesn't match the room quality of this hotel.

  • Prime Steakhouse

    Prime Steakhouse

    4.6/5

    Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd Overpass,
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$$$

    Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio offers the perfect mix of delicious food with amazing views. While eating on the outdoor patio, enjoy the famous Bellagio Fountain Show with a fine steak and glass of wine.

  • Del Frisco's

    Del Frisco's Double Edged Eagle Steakhouse

    4.7/5

    3925 Paradise Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89169

    $$$$

    Del Frisco's Double Edged Eagle Steak House just east of the Strip is an upscale place to wine and dine. They offer carefully crafted steaks in a warm, inviting environment.

A Delicious Dinner on a Budget

Who says you have to take out a second mortgage to eat well in Las Vegas? There are many great restaurants that are affordable for any budget. Let's take a look at some of the best value restaurants in Sin City.

  • 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

    800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

    4.3/5

    Monte Carlo Resort and Casino,
    3770 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $$

    800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria at Monte Carlo is inexpensive and the ingredients are always fresh. The 90-second pizza craze hit Las Vegas a few years back, and this is one of the best from that niche in town.

  • Mr. Mamas

    Mr. Mamas

    4.7/5

    5693 S Jones Blvd,
    Las Vegas, NV 89118

    $

    Mr. Mamas three miles west of the Strip is a cheap but delicious American style restaurant. Mr. Mamas is most known for its breakfast and isn't open for dinner.

  • Hash House a Go Go

    Hash House a Go Go

    4.6/5

    Multiple Locations

    $$

    Hash House a Go Go is located in a few places, including at the Rio and downtown on Fremont Street at the Plaza Hotel. Meals aren't super cheap but are well priced considering the food portions are enormous. Some meals can be shared between two or more guests.

    • wabbitfry18

      The best hotel buffet has got to be the Rio, last time I was in Vegas, it was approx. $20 to get all u can eat."

      wabbitfry18

  • Ellis Island Casino

    Ellis Island Casino

    4.0/5

    4178 Koval Ln.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    $

    Ellis Island Casino has a café with some inexpensive but tasty entrees such as chicken fried steak, New York strip steak, and quality salads. The casino is located walking distance from the Strip, a block to the east.

Something for Everyone

Las Vegas truly is the city for everyone. Some don't make the trip to Sin City because they feel it's too expensive. But the truth is, you can get by on a budget just fine. And you can have a blast with a big bankroll. Your Las Vegas trip will be as pleasurable as you want it to be. Have fun!

Want more ideas or have something to share? Join us on the forum to discuss places in Vegas to stay, play and eat!