Vegas Baby!! Protips to get the best out of Vegas

Our week in Vegas is done and we are currently in the Windy City, Chicago. Our fifth time in Vegas was just as much fun as always, and we also believe that next year Vegas will be one of our destinations once again. On the last post we promised to share some life pro tips to get the best out of Vegas and here they finally are.

Vegas pro tip 1

Get out of the Strip. Even though the Strip offers a huge amount to see and to do, it is seen in a few days. Vegas has a lot more than the main street and it would be shame to forget it. Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, Town Square and all the smaller destinations nearby offer something different than the Strip and it’s nice to calm down for a while.

Vegas pro tip 2

Raid the casinos. Even the first tip was about getting off the Strip it’s a must to tour around the casinos and to get to see what those huge complexes are all about. They are not just casinos nor hotels, but they are built to amuse people and you can tell money has not been a problem when those places were built. Mandalay Bay has it’s own shark reef, New York New York offers its own rollercoaster built on the top of the casino, The Mirage has a volcano show on their front yard and so on. Those special attractions are so extraordinary that you just have to see those by yourself.

Vegas pro tip 3

Do the buffets. Almost all the casinos have their own buffet area and they are done Vegas style. There’s a huge selection of different dishes and also the quality of food is actually pretty good. One might think that they offer only fried chicken and greasy burgers but there is everything to everyone. Also if you are willing to eat a healthier meal buffet would be a good option.

Vegas pro tip 4

See the shows. It has been said that the Vegas is the place where stars go to fade away but we disagree with that. Vegas offers just incredible selection of different shows. There can be found Michael Jackson memorial musical, Cirque De Soleil offers multiple different circus shows, stars like Britney Spears and Elton John has their own shows and so on. We’ve seen both Broadway musicals in New York and musicals in Las Vegas and to be honest the Vegas musicals have offered just as much amusement to us.

Vegas pro tip 5

Gamble, but know your limits. The ultimate Vegas to do is of course to gamble and many people have most definitely lost a huge amount of cash doing it. That’s why you should always decide the gambling limit in advance and not overdo it in any case. If you’re wiling to win you should try to avoid slots and stay with the table games. Of course casino has always the edge but in table games it’s much slighter than it is in one arm bandits.

Vegas pro tip 6

Have a good time! What ever the good time means to you it can be found in Vegas. It’s not always cheap but once you are on vacation you should treat yourself and get the best out of it.

Next post will be about Chicago, the windy city of the Mid-West so stay tuned.

– All American Tourists

Advertisements

Viva Las Vegas!

So here we are, Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world and home of most outrageous and overwhelming hotel resorts. When comparing largest hotels in the world top10 includes 6 hotels from Vegas, top20 has 11. Las Vegas has been built around the casino industry and it can be seen everywhere in here. The legend tells that casinos pump more oxygen to areas where people play to keep them lively and playing, another legend tells that casinos don’t have any clocks so that people won’t notice how much time they’ve spent playing. According to our experiences both of those legends are true, when entering from hot Nevada desert air to a casino you can tell that the air inside has some serious amount of oxygen and we haven’t been able to find any clocks in casinos during the last five years that we have here visited.

Casino tournament going on.

Casino tournament going on.

So why would anyone come to Las Vegas five years in a row? Many people see Las Vegas as a plastic creation that is designed to tempt people to gamble more money that they could afford and get drunk while doing it. Well, to be honest, if you won’t let the gambling culture bother you, you’ll get incredible hotel rooms extremely cheap and most of the hotels have an outrageous pool area. Of course it has to be mentioned that Las Vegas is located in the middle of the desert, so weather is usually just perfect. Yesterday was actually the first time ever we saw a rainfall in Las Vegas, and we’ve spent here almost 40 days during these years so if you’re looking for sun this is the place to be.

If you’re not into gambling all the time, there are also plenty of options to do instead. Las Vegas has a lot of huge malls, so if you’re looking to do some shopping, you’re in a right place. There can be found everything for everyone, from high-end luxury brands to basic stuff with impeccable prices. To be honest, we’ve almost always exceeded our luggage capacity here and been forced to buy an extra luggage to take home.

Vegas demands something special, for us it is an extraordinary car. This time we picked Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Vegas demands something special, for us it is an extraordinary car. This time we picked Chevrolet Camaro SS.

If shopping is not the thing for you, how about going to a shooting range? Yes, Las Vegas has several shooting ranges where you can book themed packages, like World War II, Modern Warfare, Mafia era or for example Swat package, where you’ll be shooting with authentic police special force guns. If you’re a petrol head (like other one of us), there are companies offering driving experiences with Ferrari, Lamborghini and other exotic rides. If exotic cars are not your passion, there are of course options to go off road with Hummer vehicles. If cars are too lame for you, Vegas offers naturally also something bit more adventurous. You might be interested in flying as a co-pilot in a Sky Combat, where real airplanes fly as they would be in a combat situation on the sky. Talking about flying, there’s of course a possibility to do some indoor skydiving and feel how the gravity disappears. Or you could just pick the Vegas classic, get out to casinos, get drunk, find your future wife or husband and get married instantly, but just remember, honeymoon begins immediately when the sun rises in the morning.

We picked golf instead of all the sins.

We picked golf instead of all the sins.

Next post will be our life pro tips to Vegas, but until then we’ll hope that lady luck let’s the dice stay hot.

– All American Tourists

New York pt. 2

Now it’s official, we survived the New York and actually had a lot of fun too. The first post about New York was pretty basic with stories about typical tourist places and attractions so let’s try to give a few nice details on the second one, which are probably not so common. It might be hard though, since New York is one of the most popular cities in the world with news and posts about it everywhere.

We are usually pretty outgoing people doing all kinds of sporty activities and spending time outdoors. In New York it’s pretty hard, especially if your hotel is located in Manhattan. We’ve mentioned the Central Park already probably too many times but it has to be mentioned once more. Escaping the traffic into Central Park was just wonderful and wandering around the park without destination made you forgot that you’re actually in the middle of such a huge city. Also, the street artists offered extremely talented shows from ballet to rollerblade dancing.

Sheep's Meadow

We have few interesting points and they are about the food. When you’re in the United States food is a huge part of your experience since United States is the origin for many delicious inventions. We found couple restaurants which everybody should try at least once while in New York.

Burger Joint on 56th Street

Burger Joint on 56th Street

If you’re looking for extremely delicious burger you should navigate to a restaurant called Burger Joint. According to The Guardian (and also Anthony Bourdain) the Burger Joint is one of the best burger restaurants in Big Apple, and maybe even in the United States. Even though they offer extra delicious burgers, they haven’t wanted to create a fine dining restaurant. The Burger Joints decoration was a mix of everything and it most definitely didn’t want to be too posh. One of it’s wonders is that it’s a hidden restaurant. Yes, that’s correct. Usually every restaurant wants to be right by the street but Manhattan’s Burger Joint was located in the far corner of a hotel’s lobby and it was extremely hard to find. Once we found it and got to taste the burgers it absolutely was a little piece of heaven, wonderfully cooked and by far one the best burgers we have eaten.

Besides burgers we also found an amazing place to have some pizza. In fact, it wasn’t just any pizzeria, it was the first pizzeria in the United States. The place is called Lomardi’s and they have operated in New York since 1905. They still cook their pizzas with a coal oven and it’s probably needles to say but they were incredible. The place also had it’s own kind of spirit since it’s located in Manhattans Little Italy and it has served customers such as Al Capone and his mobster friends. This place was definitely worth a visit and if we some day find ourselves in New York again, we are most definitely going to have pizzas there.

As I mentioned we survived the New York and are currently located in Las Vegas. This is our fifth time here in Vegas together and the next post will include some pro tips for Vegas so keep in touch.

Goodbye New York!

Goodbye New York!

– All American Tourists

New York pt. 1

The first three days are now happily spent and we wanted to forget everything for a while and then accidentally also forgot to post. This is our second time together in New York. We were here 2011 which was also our first trip to the US together. In 2011 we stayed in Chelsea, which is in the lower part of Manhattan but this time we decided to stay right next to Times Square and Central Park. Compared to our first stay in New York, this second time has been a little easier since we have already seen all the biggest attractions and now we’ve been able to focus on enjoying New York as a city. So far, our hotel Ameritania has been good to us. The location is impeccable since we love to spend time in Central Park and occasionally get lost in the City.

Central Park

The beautiful view to the City from Central Park. Oasis in the middle of the city.

In the past days we have wondered through the city and walked A LOT! A good tip for tourists coming to Manhattan is to first visit Foot Locker or Nike and buy a pair of comfortable sneakers. Even if you do not plan to walk, it happens without a notice, since there is always something to see or a street to visit. Naturally public transportation is a good option but for some reason walking from place to another offers you the real city experience. Note to self: Converse is not a good option. As coming from Lapland some things need a little time to get adjusted to. Noise would probably be the first one. Obviously it doesn’t really surprise that big cities are quite loud but every time it takes a couple days to get used to it. The other thing is intensive traffic, both cars and pedestrians. Since we’ve been to Los Angeles for five times and driven there a lot the traffic jams are more familiar to us but pedestrian jams are a little odd concept. And the speed of walking would make any track and field coach proud.

According to Wikipedia, 330 000 people pass through Times Square daily. And it really feels like it.

According to Wikipedia, 330 000 people pass through Times Square daily. And it really feels like it.

What would a post about New York be without the world famous Statue of Liberty?

There she is.

There she is.

We are staying in New York for couple more days and heading to the Sin City, Las Vegas, on Friday. This Starbucks powered couple will try to find some interesting point of views of New York for the next post so please stay online.

Relationship status: After three days, still going strong.

– All American Tourists

Spending some time at the airport

SometimFinnair Lounge between gates 36 and 37.es connection flights are scheduled so poorly that you’ll have to spend an eternity at the airport. Luckily for us this time is a little exception and we only have to spend three hours waiting for the next flight. People have different kind of habits on spending their time at the airports. The most lucky ones are able to sleep, someones go for a little shopping, maybe some might have a few beers and the rest are just usually wandering around doing nothing.

We are currently writing this blog in Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Finnair Lounge. Helsinki-Vantaa offers travellers two different lounges, where travellers are treated with extreme care. To be able to enter the lounge traveller has to have business class ticket, have some benefits at OneWorld customer loyalty programs, use Priority Pass or just simply buy their way in.

The lounges offer usually a lot more comfort, free beverages and snacks and a classy place to have some rest before next flight. For us, it’s the place to turn the holiday mode to the maximum and to get ready to take the intercontinental flight. And to be honest, a tiny glass of good white wine never hurts.

The next post will be from the USA so we’re saying goodbye to Finland for a while.

– All American Tourists

12 hours to go!

Packing is almost completed, mind is getting excited and we have already switched the vacation mode on.

In about 12 hours, we will be sitting in an airplane and waiting to land, first in Helsinki and then in New York. We are staying in the Ameritania Hotel, just a short walk from Central Park and Whole Foods.

Tip 1: Whole Foods is the best! A grocery store with all the high quality and organic food, as well as a food court with all the delicious on spot made dishes. A great substitute to a restaurant food, as it gets pretty boring to constantly hop from restaurant to another.

Anyway, it is time to do the final packing and head to bed. See you in N.Y.C!

– All American Tourists

L.A. Hotel in Mind

So, we have been there as everyone else. The hardest phase of the travel plans, finding an accommodation.

We have been to L.A. several times and were lucky to find the best choice on the first time. By far the best customer service can be found at Magic Castle Hotel, on Franklin Avenue just a block from the walk of fame.

Magic Castle might not the most peaceful place and might not beat the nice and steady spots right by the beach, but customer service, staff and the hotel area beats anything. The hotel building itself is not the newest and high-tech one, but it doesn’t really have an affect on the stay. Wouldn’t have thought to say this out loud before. We usually prefer modern, tech-savvy solutions.

You can rarely say that the hotel staff remembers you, unless you stay somewhere weekly or monthly. Our guy remembered us from last year and the year before. That is something that makes a difference. Not to mention that this hotel is fully booked around the year, so they don’t have a shortage of guests staying. And well, let the TripAdvisor speak for the hotel.

The most memorable event was few years ago. We asked to purchase some wine (they don’t necessarily sell anything in the reception, but drinks & snacks are complimentary), they were sorry to say that they don’t have wine for sale. Well we of course were a bit disappointed but figured that maybe our request was a little weird. But then unexpectedly, the staff offered us a bottle of wine as a gift.

This incident truly took us by surprise and that was kind of gesture which is hard to even describe. You should have seen our faces. This does not happen, still it did.

Until next time.

– All American Tourists

Hello to you,

This is a travel blog written by a couple based in Finland, with no experience in blogging before. So, you as a reader, please be gentle.

The all time favorite destination is the United States of America, which will also be the next stop in 8 days. The trip will take us first to New York, then to Las Vegas. On the 3rd week, we will be seen wandering in the streets of the Windy City, Chicago. After couple of days in the hectic city, we will find ourselves in the middle of the corn fields, just an hour from Chicago.

We have made these trips to States once in a while and couldn’t resist on taking up the chance also this summer. This is the 5th year of travelling together  and and by now we are pretty much ok to spend a month together 24/7. If you are lucky, there might follow a post called “The most annoying habits of a co-traveller”.

This blog will most likely not concentrate on specific travel advise, but more on funny experiences.

Stay tuned to read about our adventure!

– All American Tourists

* Follow us on Twitter @_all_american_ *