Thursday, December 29, 2016


New Year's Resolutions for the Las Vegas Strip

The coming of a new year is a time for celebration. You made it another year! It’s also a time for self-reflection. The Las Vegas Strip may not have its own New Year’s resolutions, but if it did, we think they’d look something like this.

Courtesy Las Vegas Monorail
Traveling along the 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that constitutes the Strip can be a nightmare at times. Between the heavy flow of traffic, pedestrians and city buses, things can get a tad dicey. This is exactly why the city needs to expand the monorail. The Las Vegas Monorail currently runs from Sahara Avenue at the north end of the Strip to Tropicana Avenue not quite reaching the south end. While it’s fairly useful within that 3-mile track, there is a large amount of untapped potential. At the very least, the line should connect to McCarran International Airport, offering visitors to Sin City a more affordable and direct route to their hotel rooms. It would also be great to see it continue further north into Downtown Las Vegas, making Fremont Street much more accessible.

As already mentioned, it’s not easy to navigate the sidewalks of the Strip thanks to throngs of tourists and a maze of pedestrian bridges. People touring Glitter Gulch should be allowed to focus on dodging taxi cabs without being hassled by costumed panhandlers. The dingy facsimiles of cartoon characters and superheroes du jour that bark at passersby hover around that baseline of tolerability. What these people are doing is technically legal since all they are asking for is a “donation,” however forceful that may be, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the practice is obscenely tacky.

Speaking of obscenely tacky, let’s finally do something with Fontainebleau. The 68-story tall, blue-glass building has stood unfinished across from Circus Circus for nearly eight years. It took some serious threats from Clark County commissioners before owner Carl Icahn finally agreed to make some temporary face-lifts to the decaying facade. The structure certainly has the potential to be a beautiful addition to the Strip’s less shiny north end, but sadly it remains one of the city’s biggest eyesores.

Which brings us to our final New Year’s resolution for the Las Vegas Strip. If the City of Las Vegas can manage to clean up East Fremont, then Clark County should be able to at least spruce up the Strip’s north end. Recent additions such as SLS, a total revamp of Sahara, and Lucky Dragon, a tiny Asian-themed hotel and casino that opened Dec. 3, have had a positive effect on that area of town. However, the portion of the Strip between Sahara Avenue and Spring Mountain Road remains the type of urban space that prompts pedestrians to quicken their pace, especially after sunset. Some dedicated festival grounds or a public park type space similar to MGM’s The Park would be a much welcomed quick fix.

We love our city, and if these suggested New Year’s resolutions come off a bit overcritical, it’s only out of respect that we point a digital finger. Join in on the conversation on the VegasDaze Facebook page and share with us some of your suggestions for improving the Las Vegas Strip.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Green Tourism at the Grand Canyon


Green tourism has become a popular way of traveling the country for many environmentally minded vacationers. The key is reducing one’s carbon footprint. If you’re traveling to the Grand Canyon, consider the following tips to green up your travel plans and save money in the process.

Make your travel route as efficient as possible by planning in advance. Consider taking smaller, more direct roadways. Book flights with fewer connections.



Be sure to properly inflate tires to increase your vehicles gas mileage.



Before you leave home, take steps to decrease your phantom load like unplugging appliances and setting your water heater to “vacation” mode.



When at the Grand Canyon, walk whenever possible and utilize the park’s transit system.



Carry reusable water bottles for the family.



The Grand Canyon boasts an excellent recycling program. Utilize the receptacles whenever possible.



Book tours with businesses that are eco-friendly like our preferred vendor’s highly rated helicopter tours.


Reducing your family’s carbon footprint during vacations doesn’t have to be a hassle. For more green tourism tips, check out the National Park Service website. Check out some of our other blog posts for more Grand Canyon travel advice and join in on the discussion on the VegasDaze Facebook page.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Neon Christmas

There's no place like Las Vegas for the holidays! The Strip's unique brand of holiday cheer is irresistible. Get in the spirit with our image gallery, showcasing the sights of Christmas 2016 in Las Vegas.

Tourists stroll through The LINQ's promenade Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Known as Winter PARQ, the outdoor mall of sorts is decorated for the holidays from late November to Jan. 1.
Flamingo, the Strip's oldest casino, is seen decked out in holiday flair Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The hotel and casino will celebrate its 70th anniversary Dec. 26.
Larger than life Christmas tree ornaments adorn the entrance to Winter PARQ Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Visitors to the LINQ Promenade can catch a holiday-themed light show every evening on the half hour until Dec. 30.
A Christmas tree stands at Bally's Grand Bazaar Shops Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, as the sun sets behind Bellagio.
The moon rises behind Las Vegas' replica of the Eiffel Tower Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.
A street performer sings Christmas carols Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, on the pedestrian bridge above Harmon Avenue.
Brightly lit artificial trees decorate the storefronts of The Shops at Crystals Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The high-end shopping mall is a popular attraction of CityCenter.
CityCenter's 20-foot-tall Christmas tree overlooks the main entrance of The Shops at Crystals Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.
Tourists pose for photos under one of The Park's Christmas decorations Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. MGM's newest edition to the Strip, an 8-acre outdoor experience, will be decked out in holiday garb through the new year.
Tourists and Las Vegas locals enjoy some ice skating Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Toshiba Plaza.
An ice skater admires the holiday decorations Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 at Toshiba Plaza. The rink will be open until Jan. 15.
A street performer entertains pedestrians Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, with an accordion rendition of "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" on the corner of Park Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.
Ice skaters enjoy the views of the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, from the rooftop balcony of The Cosmopolitan. Normally home to the resort's Boulevard Pool, Cosmo's balcony is converted into an ice skating rink every year for the winter.
Visitors to Bellagio photograph the stunning holiday decorations inside the resort's conservatory Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The floral decorations below the 50-foot-tall glass ceiling are maintained by a horticultural staff of 120.
Polar bears made entirely of flowers greet visitors to Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Garden Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The massive holiday display will be on exhibit through Jan. 2.
Winter PARQ's holiday-themed light show dazzles onlookers Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The festivities at The LINQ's Promenade occur nightly every half hour.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


His and Hers: Vegas Holiday Shopping Guide



Gift shopping for that special someone is never easy. Is it too much to ask for that perfect gift? We say no. That’s why we’ve brought back our two Vegas gurus, one a man and the other a woman, to help guide you through holiday shopping in Las Vegas for your significant other. Check out some of these Vegas hot spots for some of the trendiest gift ideas this year.

She says: Las Vegas boasts some of the best shopping in the world. It’s a woman’s dream come true with the dozens of indoor malls, outdoor outlets and high fashion boutiques. ‘Tis the season to spend that money because, trust us, when you’re in Vegas, it will burn a hole through your pocket. This is what your lady friend is interested in this year.

Lush – Lush is a vegetarian, handmade, ethical buying, fighters of animal testing cosmetic company. They have heaps of bath bombs, perfumes, makeup, and spa stuff you’ve never even realized existed (shower jellies)! They pride themselves on being environmentally friendly with little to no packaging and using the freshest ingredients around. Their products are amazing in every sense and once you step foot into one of their Vegas locations, you’ll be hooked. They have adorable holiday themed gifts out now!

Tiffany & Co. – Let’s be honest. Every girl has daydreamed about being Holly Golightly; maybe even just once. One-up kissing 33-year-old George Peppard in the rain by getting the real deal, not the Cracker Jack knock off. There are four Tiffany & Co. locations in Las Vegas, and no matter what you get, you can’t go wrong. Keep in mind they have key chains and some budget friendly items too. Regardless, that little Tiffany-blue package under the tree could bring a girl to tears.

Adventure – Some girls are more about the experience than the store-bought items. Give her a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon or a romantic flight over the Las Vegas Strip! Enjoy a champagne toast and the journey of a lifetime in a helicopter to view one of the world’s natural wonders or the glistening lights of Vegas.

He says: Shopping for your man in Las Vegas is all but guaranteed to brighten his holiday season. The high-end shops in this town have a penchant for making a man feel like a secret agent, swanky lounge crooner and international businessman simultaneously. Check out some of these stores while making the rounds during your winter vacation in Las Vegas.

Downtown Container Park – Downtown’s shipping container shopping mall with its wide variety of stores is a great place to knock out a large chunk of your holiday shopping list. Give him a little nudge in the fashionable direction with a gift from Cash Crop Clothing. The stylish threads are made from recycled material, and the buttons are made from coconuts! JoJo’s Jerky serves up some of the best—and spiciest—dried meats around. For the cigar aficionados, try Lovo Cigars. The family-run operation sells premium handmade cigars from the newly opened location in Container Park.

Tom Ford – I’m sure there are plenty of women out there lamenting the fact that their man in his early 30s is still rocking that ratty old NFL jersey. All the more reason to make a pilgrimage to the mecca of men’s fashion, Tom Ford, inside The Shops at Crystals at CityCenter. Yes, $250 is a bit excessive for a silk tie, but think of it as an investment. He’ll like the way a $250 tie makes him feel and branch out with his wardrobe choices from there … maybe.

Las Vegas Golf & Tennis – For the country club bums, there’s no place better for holiday gifts than Las Vegas Golf & Tennis. Since 1974, it’s been the go-to store for all things golf and racquet sports in the valley. Help him rise to the status of king of the weekend hackers by purchasing a Titleist 917 driver.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Cures for the Common Vegas Hangover

You wake up in your (or maybe not your) Las Vegas hotel room. That familiar feeling of a feral animal desperately trying to escape your cranium instantly induces groans. You really did it this time. The cumulative hangover from this Vegas vacation might just do you in. We at VegasDaze are sympathetic to the plight of the Vegas tourist and would like to offer you some advice on how to cope with the dreaded hangover. This is by no means concrete medical guidance, but merely some common sense advice.

It’s understood that because alcohol is a diuretic (it causes you to have to urinate more frequently), many of the symptoms of a hangover are the result of dehydration. So drinking water before, during and after imbibing is critical. Sports drinks are commonly cited as quick fixes because of the added electrolytes. However, you don’t actually lose enough electrolytes during a night of debauchery to require immediate replacement, and it’s probably best to avoid the excess sugars. Stick to water.

Pain relievers will help to alleviate that pounding headache. Avoid any medication containing acetaminophen like Tylenol. Mixing Tylenol with alcohol will melt your liver Raiders of the Lost Ark style. Any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen will do. A multivitamin also couldn’t hurt. Don’t waste your money on the hangover remedy pills found at the checkout line of drugstores. They’re about as useful as snake oil.

The passing of time is really the only sure fire trick. Your body needs time to process last night, and there isn’t much one can do to speed that along. Sleeping it off is the best way to pass time without having to deal with the pain. Although it may sound like the worst idea ever, going for a brisk walk outside will jump start your system, improve your mood and release endorphins. There’s no such thing as “sweating it out” because the booze has likely already been metabolized, so exercise is really just a way of getting your blood pumping. You can also book a spa appointment. Fall asleep on the message table while a skilled masseuse kneads away the pain. Check out our list of unique spa treatments in Vegas.

Seeing as how this is the great American Southwest, it’s only fitting that we pass along one of our regional cures: prickly pear extract. This cactus fruit is typically sold in liquid or pill form, and is said to reduce inflammation of the liver. While it may not entirely prevent a hangover, when taken a few hours before the party begins, it will help to mitigate symptoms such as nausea, dry mouth and aversion to food.

Following up a night of heavy drinking with more alcohol is never recommended. Hair of the dog that bit you might reduce that hit-by-a-train feeling slightly, but it’s simply kicking the hangover can down the road.

Let’s say you have a flight to catch or a convention to attend the morning after that rager. You don’t have time to sleep it off at the spa. The obvious question of “Why did you do this to yourself?” aside, what you need is Hangover Heaven. This local company will come directly to your hotel room and set you up with intravenous hydration, vitamins, antioxidants, headache and nausea medication as well as an amino acid cocktail. We’re not sure what that all does, but for $200, it probably works like a charm.

We know it’s Vegas. You can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a fancy cocktail lounge or epic nightclub. Hangovers are going to happen. But this common sense advice should help you out. Oh, there is one other hangover cure we should probably mention … moderation! For more Las Vegas travel advice, fun facts and recommendations, follow VegasDaze on Twitter. Socialize with us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Family Friendly Maui

Nearly a quarter of all visitors to Maui are families, and businesses on the island recognize that fact. There are plenty of roadside attractions, beach activities and community events to entertain the kids and adults alike. To help parents plan the perfect family vacation on Maui, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the island’s top kid-friendly things to do.

Snorkeling
Guaranteed to inspire the little marine biologists in your family, a snorkeling excursion is easily one of the best (and most affordable) family outings to be had on Maui. Check out our guide to Maui’s top snorkel spots.

Maui Ocean Center
Ranked among the best aquariums in the country, Maui Ocean Center features a variety of Hawaii’s sharks, turtles, stingrays and thousands of vibrant tropical fish. It is also home to the world’s largest collection of live Pacific corals.

Hiking
‘Iao Valley State Park in central Maui offers hiking trails for all skill levels. The children will love the waterfalls and swimming holes. Explore this lush landscape and play a little Maui flora and fauna bingo!

Parasail
Perfect for those little dare devils, parasailing is an exciting addition to any family day at the beach. Local companies such as UFO Parasail boast competitive rates and impressive safety records. Be sure to call ahead to verify height and weight restrictions.

Helicopter Tour
Our preferred vendor’s Hana Landing Tour is perfect for families. This Maui helicopter tour affords memorable views of the island countryside as well as its remarkable coastlines. The helicopter flight makes a landing at a former taro plantation in the heart of Hana Rainforest, allowing children to explore the lush vegetation and scenic waterfalls.

Leilani Farm Sanctuary
This all-volunteer, nonprofit sprawled across 8 acres of green pastures is one massive petting zoo. The animals, ranging from chickens to donkeys, help to educate visitors as well as inspire compassion. Your family can tour the facilities at Leilani Farm Sanctuary Wednesdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Sugar Cane Train
At one time, Maui utilized more than 200 miles of railroad tracks to transport sugar cane from plantations to mills. Most of these rail lines were abandoned by the 1950s. A man by the name of A.W. McKelvey in cooperation with the Makai Corporation created the Sugar Cane Train in 1969 to memorialize this part of Hawaiian history. The views of Pu’u Kukui, Lanai and Moloka’i are breathtaking.

Maui Golf & Sports Park
Two beautiful, 18-hole miniature golf courses complete with volcanos and waterfalls, bumper boats, rock climbing and a bungee trampoline? What’s not to love about Maui Golf & Sports Park? The kids – and let’s be honest, probably the adults too – will have hours of fun at this family entertainment center boasting an idyllic seaside location.

Old Lahaina Luau
According to Frommers, Old Lahaina Luau’s “authenticity, intimacy, hospitality, cultural integrity and sheer romantic beauty have made this Maui’s top luau.” You’ll love the exotic menu, and the kids will love the energetic performances. There’s no guarantee anyone will love the poi.

Sure, you might have to forgo the romantic, moon-lit strolls along the beach. Yeah, you can cross off that wine tasting at the quaint, upcountry winery. But family vacations can be just as rewarding. For more fun facts, travel advice and Maui recommendations, follow VegasDaze on Twitter.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Spice Up Your Social Media Posts With These Odd Vegas Sites

Everyone and their mother posts a Las Vegas welcome sign selfie to Instagram. But you want to stand out, right? Check out these Las Vegas oddities that are sure to take your vacation selfie game to the next level.

Seven Magic Mountains
During your drive into Las Vegas from Southern California, make a pit stop just outside of town. Just past the town of Jean, you’ll find Seven Magic Mountains, a public art piece by Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone. These brightly colored stones are stacked 25 to 35 feet high. It’s some sort of simulacrum, Day-Glo Stonehenge, and it’s pretty neat.

Giant Shoes
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has a reputation for housing whimsical artwork. Two must-see pieces are the very large high-heel shoes, one pink, lacy number and another rather robotic incarnation, created by artist Roark Gourley for the casino. Don’t be surprised to see a handful of people waiting to climb inside for a unique photo op.

Pink Elephant
You may have already noticed this pastel pachyderm kickin’ it poolside at Diamond Inn Motel next door to the Las Vegas welcome sign. Despite being surrounded by the world’s brightest buildings, the pink elephant certainly stands out. The motel was constructed in the 1940s, and rumor has it the elephant is a Disneyland import from the ‘50s. It used to trumpet loudly until the county finally forced the owners to remove the sound device after it caused a few traffic accidents.

The Park
Not only does The Park offer a somewhat more peaceful reprieve from the crowded Strip sidewalks, but you’ll also run into some unique public art. The Park People, as they’re affectionately referred to, are nine life-sized figures made of children’s building blocks by artist Nathan Sawaya are scattered throughout the space. Bliss Dance is another beautiful installation. The 40-feet-tall dancing woman constructed by artist Marco Cochrane looks like something off the cover of a Dave Matthew’s Band album. Nighttime is the right time for pictures with this lady as she’s all lit up in varying colors.

Big Edge
This massive sculpture was carefully crafted by American artist Nancy Rubins out of hundreds of recycled boats and serves as a surprising centerpiece to one of the Strip’s most ambitious architectural endeavors, City Center. Download a brochure with a map and details about the more than 20 art installations throughout City Center from Aria’s website.

Berlin Wall
If you’ve ever wanted to urinate on a piece of the Berlin Wall, well brother, now’s your chance! Believe it or not, little old Main Street Station in Downtown Las Vegas has a genuine portion of the infamous wall. For reasons known only to the original owner, the priceless artifact was placed in the men’s restroom and adorned with urinals. Photograph at your own risk. Women can receive a security escort to view this dubious portion of the Berlin Wall.

Crazy Girls Statue
Way back in 1994, the Las Vegas City Council attempted to persuade the Riviera, the original home of the Crazy Girls topless review, to take down a racy billboard nearby city hall that prominently featured the women’s hind quarters. The casino refused, sparking a free speech beef that carried on for nearly a decade. As a testament to the girls, the casino erected that famous bronze statue. The Riv has since been imploded, but like the Crazy Girls show itself, the statue was moved to a new home at Planet Hollywood. It just so happens to be considered one of the “World’s Top 10 Good Luck Monuments.” Give it a rub!

Snowball in Vegas
The southwest corner of Coolidge Avenue and First Street is the stomping grounds of one very large cat. Perfect for those Instagram cat lovers, this 10-foot-tall kitten head created by local artist Jesse Smigel is guaranteed to garner plenty of likes.

Big Rig Jig
The 50-foot-tall, 25-ton tanker truck mashup known as Big Rig Jig is the product of L.A. artist Mike Ross and has toured many of the West’s festivals such as Burning Man and Coachella. The monstrosity has since been purchased by Zappos CEO and founder of Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh, and placed in the parking lot of Fergusons Motel for public consumption.

Container Park Mantis
Another Burning Man relic, the fire-spitting praying mantis that guards the entrance to the Downtown Container Park is worth the cab ride over to Downtown Las Vegas. The 55-foot-tall beast dances and shoots fire from its antennae. Come for the odd mechanical sculpture; stay for the local boutiques and eateries.

Downtown Murals
Since you’re already bopping around Downtown, take a stroll through the main streets. You’ll find a number of building-sized murals throughout the neighborhood. They are painted yearly as part of the Life Is Beautiful music, art and learning festival. The murals are gorgeous and certainly social media worthy.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
The world-famous Madame Tussauds on the Las Vegas Strip offers visitors the chance to take an epic selfie or four with some of their favorite pop culture icons. The iconic wax museum houses dozens of life-life figures. Take your self-portrait with the likes of Elvis, Celine Dion, Jerry Springer or Dwayne Johnson.

Pipe Dream
Classical music buffs would do well to pay a visit to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The campus of this $470 million art deco beauty is dotted with public art, the crown jewel being Pipe Dream. Each pipe of this colorful sculpture represents a single note of Aaron Copland’s 1942 composition “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Next door, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is another photograph-worthy architectural wonder.

The Las Vegas welcome sign is played out. These Vegas oddities may not replace the city’s historic signage, but they will definitely spice up your Instagram feed during your Vegas vacation. For more fun facts, travel tips and recommendations, follow VegasDaze on Facebook.

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