Things About Las Vegas You Should Know Before Visiting

adIf it is your first time to travel to Las Vegas, there are some things you ought to know.

If you plan to walk the Strip, you cannot walk just anywhere. You have to take several walkways over the street.

The hotels are actually farther apart than they look. Technically, the whole Strip is more than four miles long and it takes at least 15 to 30 minutes to walk from your hotel to another. Before Sunday ends, you would have taken a number of cabs.

However, you need to walk part of the Strip at least once. You can use the outdoor elevators and enjoyable elevated walkways, as well as take many photos. However, never do this in your 4-inch heel shoes – leave them at home.

You can bring your drinks in a to-go cup and drink outside.

If you are not yet finished with your drink but need to leave for another club/restaurant, you can request for a to-go cup. Classy establishments also allow you to take your drink outside, provided that you use a disposable cup rather than their fancy glass.

Bring Enough Cash. ATM fees are exorbitant.

Bring cash unless your bank ATM is nearby, since the standard fee at most ATMs in Vegas is too high at $5.99, which high rollers may not mind at all. To others, the charge is exorbitant.

Notice all the ART surrounding you.

Many people go to Vegas so they can drink, party and gamble. There is more to that, though, like art on the Strip.

Sculptures created by renowned artists can be seen in hotel lobbies, behind check-in desks and along the street. In fact, some hotels like The Cosmopolitan and Bellagio come with their own galleries that showcase touring collections from places across the globe.

People smoke everywhere.

People are allowed to smoke inside casinos in Vegas. To neutralize the smell, casinos try to cover up the odor by using so-called “signature scents”.

The smell is quite bearable (especially in a nice hotel), but if you are allergic to smoke from cigarettes, you will probably want to transfer to a non-gaming room.

The Food is Great

Though Vegas is not popular as a foodie city, nearly all single Vegas hotel restaurants on the strip are exceptional, from the sports bars to 3-star Michelin establishments.

A lot of these big hotels have fantastic relations with supplier of seafood and produce, plus, they make their own breads and prepare their meat in-house.

To be allowed inside a club, men have to buy tickets (or drinks).

Though Vegas is bachelor-party centered, guys will only be able to get into a club if they buy tickets, bottle or table service. That’s the rule.

You should either chip in for bottle or table service, buy a ticket to watch a DJ show; else, better don’t go or you will just be upset.

Ladies, you can just enjoy since you probably won’t have to spend anything for entering.

Las Vegas Facts You Didn’t Know About

hhThere are some facts about the Sin City that you probably have not heard of.

Technically, many iconic hotels of Vegas are not found in Las Vegas City. Part of the Strip and the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign are, in fact, located in a separate township known as Paradise, Nevada.

There is an attraction located within Las Vegas City boundaries called Vegas Vic, an oversized neon cowboy that dominates downtown’s famous Fremont Street. It is the world’s largest mechanical neon sign.

A secret city is below the city. Miles of tunnels, initially built to shield the desert town from flash floods, accommodate hundreds of people without homes.

On the strip is the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, named after the girlfriend of founder and famous mobster Bugsy Siegel. Actress Virginia Hill was nicknamed “The Flamingo” since she had red hair as well as long, thin legs.

In the middle of the 20th century, Sin City had its own prejudiced Jim Crow laws, which excluding low-salary service jobs, banned African Americans from the hotels and casinos of the developing city. Even famous performers such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong had to enter and leave the venues where they were performing via the back or side doors. In 1953, famous actor Sammy Davis Jr. swam in the swimming pool for whites-only at the New Frontier Hotel & Casino. After that, the manager ordered the pool to be drained.

When the Moulin Rouge became the first interracial casino of the city in May 1955, it made history. Joe Louis, a legendary boxer and part owner stated that it is not the launch of a Las Vegas hotel, but “history”.

From the 1950s to the early 1960s, the city was known for presenting a special type of show. Only 65 miles northwest of the city, at the test site in Nevada, the US Department of Energy tested nuclear devices. The city’s Chamber of Commerce saw an opportunity to generate income and decided on distributing calendars that advertise detonation times plus viewing location options.

On Thanksgiving Day of 1966, renowned recluse Howard Hughes checked in the strip’s Desert Inn, renting the whole top two floors. When he extended his stay past his 10-day reservation, he was requested to leave. He, instead, started negotiations on buying the 715-room area. He completed his purchase after three months.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to get a marriage license at the bureau located in downtown Las Vegas, which opens at 8am and closes at midnight. That is why about 10,000 couples get married in the city every month.

Do you like shrimp cocktails? Over 60,000 pounds of shellfish are consumed in the city every single day. This is more than the other cities of the country combined.

The Eiffel Tower’s half-scale model outside Paris Las Vegas was initially planned to be full-size, but because it is too close to the airport at 3 miles, its size had to be reduced. On the contrary, the Sphinx in Luxor Las Vegas is in fact larger than the Great Sphinx of Giza, the original.

Top Historical Sites in Cape Town, Western Cape

ahThe first Europeans to discover Cape Town were the Portuguese, led by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488, followed by the Dutch in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck was sent to establish a halfway station for travelling ships. Since then, Cape Town is steeped full of history from historical sites, figures and even famous dogs. Here are a few of our favourites.

The legendary tale of Just Nuisance

Just Nuisance left his paw print in history with a legendary tale that made him Cape Town’s most famous dog. Born on a Thursday on 1 April 1937 in Rondebosch and sold to Benjamin Chaney who moved to Simon’s Town to run the United Service Institute (USI). As fast as he grew in size, the Great Dane quickly became popular with everyone who worked at the institute who would feed him all sorts of snacks and take him for walks. He soon began to follow them to the South African Navy Base and would sun himself on top of the gang plank. At almost 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall when standing on his hind legs, he became quite an obstacle for those trying to board and he affectionately became known as Nuisance. Just Nuisance began to follow the sailors onto the trains and take trips of up to 22 miles (35 km), the disgruntled train officials would put him off the trains but this would not deter him as he would simply board the next train or walk to another station. Even though besotted travellers would offer to pay his fare, the South African Railways company eventually threatened an ultimatum that he would be put down if he continued to board the trains. The South African Navy responded to this threat by enlisting him as an official Navy officer (the first dog ever to be enlisted), which meant he was officially entitled to free rail travel. For the next few years he served with honour as a faithful travel companion to the sailors and a morale booster for the troops serving in World War 2. In 1944, at the age of 7, Just Nuisance was involved in a serious car accident and was euthanised after his condition deteriorated drastically. He was buried with full naval honours on top of the hill at Klawer. Visitors to Simon’s Town can visit his grave or admire the statue erected in his honour at Jubilee Square.

Robben Island

Robben Island is a tiny island in Table Bay, Cape Town located 6.9km west of Bloubergstrand. The name is Dutch for “seal island” but it is famous, not for its seals, but for it’s dark history. At different times in the past, it was a leper colony, defense training base and a mental hospital but it is most famous as a prison where former South African president Nelson Mandela was banished during the Apartheid struggle. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela spent 18 of his 27 year incarceration on the prison island. The prison is also known as the ‘university of the struggle’ as many of the most famous anti-apartheid activists sharpened their political thinking and formed lifelong relationships while they were behind bars. They emerged to lead South Africa into democracy and changed the course of South African history. Robben Island has become a World Heritage Site and visitors can catch a short boat trip to the island and visit the cell in which Nelson Mandela was kept. It will give you a unique glimpse into the great sacrifice the anti-apartheid leaders made in order to make South Africa a better place for all.

The Castle of Good Hope

The oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa is the Castle of Good Hope and was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company. It was not only built as a replenishment station for their ships journeying from Europe to the East but as tensions rose between Britain and Netherlands amid rumours of war, Zacharias Wagenaer was instructed to build a pentagonal fortress out of stone. The fortress housed a bakery, church, living quarters, various workshops, shops and during the Second Boer War part of the castle was also used as a prison. In 1936, the Castle of Good Hope was declared a national monument, the first building in South Africa, and extensive restorations took place to preserve the building. Guided tours of the Castle are conducted daily and you can visit the workshops, the living quarters, the cellars and dungeons. Key ceremonies are performed, replicating the ceremonial unlocking of the Castle and is followed by the firing of the signal cannon.

Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap is a photographers dream with all its colourful houses and cobble stoned streets. Situated above the city centre, it offers a unique trip into the Malay history of the early Muslim settlers as it is the historical centre of the Cape Malay culture. The Bo-Kaap museum is the oldest house in the area that is still in its original form and dates back to the 1660s. A visit to the museum will highlight the cultural contribution made by early Muslim settlers in South Africa and the little village on the slopes of Signal Hill offers a unique cultural experience with its many restaurants serving traditional Cape Malay cuisine and unique shops. You will also be able to hear the Noon Day Gun which is Cape Town’s oldest lasting tradition going back to 1806. The cannon has historically been fired every day at noon since.

West Coast Fossil Park

A short drive from Cape Town will transport you back in time to the West Coast Fossil Park which has a rich fossil deposit dating back over 5 million years to the Milocene / early Pilocene era. Located near Langebaan, the fossil sites have exceptionally well-preserved fossil fauna and includes many extinct animals that lived in the riverine forest and wooded savanna when the sea levels were much higher. You can see the fossils of bears, sabre-tooth cats, short-necked giraffes, three-toed horses and many other exotic animals which inhabited the west coast area at the time. Activities at the park includes fun, educational activities as well as coffee shops, picnic sites and mountain bike trails.

How To Pick The Right Family Vacation Destination Every Time

fhFamily vacations are a source of fun, loving memories that last a lifetime. There are amazing sights to see and experience with your children the world over! But how do you consistently choose a family vacation destination that satisfies? And what type of trip is right for your family? Do you choose a locale that has plenty of rest & relaxation, or somewhere you can really step into some adventure? Compiled below are some smart tips on how to pick the right destination every time.

Look for Amenities
A family vacation destination is often chosen to please the kids. Happy children make for happy parents on vacation! You want to select a location that has ample outdoor activities at any time of the year, to ensure your children’s entertainment needs are met. A mountain retreat with plenty of biking, fishing, and nature walks is a perfect way to get the current generation to enjoy some outdoor time. Parents want to find some downtime to de-stress, too. Lush parks to explore, quiet towns with picturesque views, and fresh air may fit the bill. And of course, a hotel that offers a tranquil spa, where mom can relax into a massage while dad and the kids hit the slopes can be absolutely ideal.

Make it Creative and Economical
A family vacation destination can come at quite the cost. If you’d prefer to get creative about making vacation happen, there are plenty of family trips ideas to be had. For instance, quaint cities often host annual festivals and events that are free to attend and simultaneously offer culture and entertainment. Take advantage! You’ll find that the locals are in a festive mood and there’s plenty of historical entertainment happening. And, bonus – mom and dad don’t have to organize the events.
Visiting a location that is brand new to you and your family offers the opportunity to learn a bit about the culture and heritage of the place. Find a town with a climate completely different to the one you have at home, and learn why and how that specific terrain’s climate behaves the way it does. Try new foods the way the locals prepare them. Teach your children about the local flora and fauna. The possibilities are endless when you get creative.

Stay Comfy
A good family vacation destination will offer a relaxing environment with the ability to enjoy a touch of home. One of the difficult parts about travelling with children is throwing them off of their routine. While mom and dad want to relax a bit on vacation, there are times when kids need to be able to check back in with reality. In those times it’s nice to be in a destination that feels a bit like home. Living it up at a resort that offers rooms with a full kitchen will afford you the opportunity to make a freshly prepared meal and enjoy a quiet night in as a family. After a day of fun in the fun, some sweet family time may be just what everyone needs. So, choose a location with in-room amenities and homey touches that make for a comfortable stay.