Forget the high prices for Broadway-style shows, four-star meals and ferris wheel or gondola rides in Las Vegas. There’s plenty to see and do for $20 or less. Here are six insider tips in and near Las Vegas that won’t blow your budget:
Visit a museum: Entry to the Pinball Hall of Fame pinball museum is free, but playing the games is 25 cents a pop, so bring lots of quarters.
Visit another museum: FREE entry to the Carroll Shelby Museum at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway includes a free guided tour of the collection of racecars and street cars Shelby raced for Aston Martin and Maserati, and designed for Ford,designed and drove for Ford, Dodge and Oldsmobile. Shame on you if you never heard of the Shelby Cobra, one of the most iconic cars of all time.
See a show: get tickets for Mac King Comedy Magic at Harrah’s for just $9.95 by asking the hotel concierge or at the Total Rewards player’s club booth or for a discount ticket coupon.
See another show: See and rate TV shows FREE at the CBS Technology Research Center. This is your chance to have somebody ask your opinion. Shows from CBS, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, UPN, Showtime, TNN and CMT are screened in their small theaters, and you get to rate them on touch-screen computers. If you despise laugh tracks on comedy shows – as I do – this is your chance to let them know. It’s a secret spot inside the MGM Grand.
And another: Most of us already know about the nightly FREE water fountain shows at the Bellagio. It’s been so popular over the years that it now has a copycat, although Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino won’t like me calling it a copycat. The display of colored lights and dancing waters is every hour on the hour from noon to 11 p.m.
Get out of town: Valley of Fire State Park – pictured above – is one of the most beautiful anywhere, with picture postcard towering cliffs, ancient Native American petroglyphs and scenic hiking trails. Enjoy it for just $10 per vehicle.
Get out of town again: Take a 13-mile scenic drive at Red Rock Canyon, a conservation area a few miles west of town, for just $7 per vehicle.
Eat steak: Enjoy a steak dinner for just $7.77. It’s the Gambler’s Special at Mr. Lucky’s at Hard Rock. This meal deal is not on the menu, so you have to know about it to ask for it.
Eat surf and turf: This $17 meal deal at Silverton’s Sundance Grill includes steak, shrimp, soup or salad, vegetables, dessert, and a beverage, available from 4PM until midnight daily.