Author Archives: imivegas

Male using a laptop to book a cheap vegas trip.

Vegas on a Budget

Las Vegas is synonymous with luxury and opulence. A land notorious for its grand mega casinos and lavish experiences, Vegas can make a severe dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to. We’re here to dispel the rumors that in order to do Vegas right, you need to spend a lot of money. Thanks to budget-friendly restaurants, free attractions, and affordable accomodations, you don’t have to cut your experience short to save a pretty penny. Let’s look at some top tips to make the most out of visiting Vegas on a budget.

Affordable Hotels in Vegas

When you’re wanting to do Vegas on a budget, the first expense you need to tackle (outside of airfare) is accomodations. Despite what you may think, nightly hotel rates in Las Vegas can be quite affordable when you take more time to do some research. Here are the top tips for finding deals on Las Vegas hotels:

1. Join a Membership Program for Discounts – Every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas has a gaming club that offers discounted room rates, exclusive deals, and promotions.

2. Visit Mid-Week – Las Vegas hotels slash prices Monday through Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to visit Las Vegas.

3. Shift Your Weekend Getaway – Can’t swing a weekday trip? Fly in Saturday and out Monday for cheaper flights (and a room rate drop on Sunday night).

4. Don’t Go on a Busy Convention Weekend – Las Vegas is the convention capital of the United States and while there are always smaller conventions taking place, avoid any major convention weekends like CES, which has upwards of 175,000 attendees. For more information, consult the Las Vegas Convention Calendar.

5. Avoid Major Sporting Event Weekends – Las Vegas is a city founded on gambling, so weekends with major sporting events like the Super Bowl or any big fights are the city’s busiest times. This also means hotel prices will skyrocket.

6. Avoid Festival Weekends – Las Vegas is home to many major music festivals which draw crowds of 25,000+. Avoid these popular weekends to save a little money on your accommodations.

7. Share Your Room – It’s simple math. The more people you have in a room, the smaller percentage you have to pay. If you have 4 friends, consider booking a room with 2 queen beds to save.

8. Stay Away From The Strip – Downtown Vegas has underwent many changes over the past several years and has so much fun and entertainment to offer for less than comparable Strip attractions.

9. Book with the Hotel Directly – Booking directly with the hotel can be better than using a third party booking site because it eliminates extra fees. Booking directly usual offers a best rate guarantee so you can rest assured you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas is made out of shipping containers.Attribute: Downtown Container Park

Free Things To Do in Vegas

-Local chocolatier Ethel M is located in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world. The factory tours offer free samples after a walk through the unusual gardens.

-You can’t miss this Vegas staple! Watch a dazzling display of waterworks at the Fountains of Bellagio as you listen along to an enchanting concert of classical and pop tunes.

-Stroll along the new LINQ Promenade, a high energy marketplace, all the way to the High Roller.

-Snap a photo at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the south end of the Strip. The sign itself is now solar powered and has plenty of parking nearby.

-Head to the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. The Container Park offers free entertainment and a 55-foot-tall fire breathing praying mantis outside.

-Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District when night falls and check out all the refurbished vintage neon lights!

Eating on a Budget in Vegas

If you’ve got 5-star taste on a 1-star budget, you’re in luck! Vegas offers an abundance of cheap eats within the city. Here are some tips to save money on drinks and dining in Las Vegas.

-Gamble Your Way to (Nearly) Free Drinks – The best way to drink for free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, where the play amounts are lower.

-Eat at the Hotel Food Court – Many hotels and casinos in Vegas offer a food court with awesome hours that work for lower budgets.

-Skip Room Service – Keep in mind that you’re paying for the convenience. If you’re looking to do Vegas on a budget, eliminate room service.

-Dine on a Pre-Theater Menu – Most restaurants inside hotels that have a nightly show offer a pre-theater prixe-fixe menu where you can get quality food at a cheap price. Most times, you don’t even have to show a theater ticket to keep the reservation.

-Take Advantage of Happy Hour – Prime-time seating at the Strip’s five-star restaurants is between 8 and 10pm, but these hot spots like to be full all the time, so most host a happy hour between 4 and 7pm. Details vary by restaurant so call ahead or ask your concierge first.

-Affordable 5-Star Restaurants – While spending between $40 and $80 to enjoy a five-star meal may sound a bit pricey, the value is certainly there. Under typical conditions these meals can reach into the hundreds. If you want to eat like a King at a fraction of the cost, here are a few options:
>L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, MGM Grand
>Michael Mina, Bellagio
>Milos, Cosmopolitan
>Jean-Georges Steakhouse, Aria

There are so many ways to cut costs and score some Las Vegas deals. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to deplete your life savings to have an awesome experience. In fact, doing Vegas on a budget is one of the best ways to experience this spectacular city!

Kids playing in an indoor playground

Fun Things to Do in Las Vegas with Kids

To an outsider, Las Vegas might seem like an “adults only” playground. What we see from movies and TV doesn’t really give off a sense of family living. However, Vegas has no shortage of entertainment, and that goes for the kiddos too! The Valley is actually chock-full of activities for families with children.

With farm animals and mermaids and everything in between, this list of kid-friendly fun guarantees a good time without hurting your budget!

Play Inside

When temperatures are at their peak here in Vegas, it’s not much fun going to a park where playground surfaces are too hot to touch, let alone slide down or swing on. Fortunately, some desert geniuses developed indoor playgrounds and there are several to choose from! A local favorite is Adventure Indoor Playground because it has everything! Giant spinning octopus to climb on? Check! Interactive light-up floor games? Check! Slides, jungle gyms, swings, and face painters? Check, check, check, check! The staff is always friendly, they offer space for birthday parties, and it’s only $10 per child! You can even leave and come back later that same day. Just make sure you and your kids have socks and prepare yourself for hours of air-conditioned entertainment.

Young kids enjoying aquarium in Las Vegas

How about taking your kids somewhere that almost no other place in the nation offers? Imagine seeing their faces light up when they look in a huge tank full of beautiful fish and stingrays and see … a mermaid! As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s totally true and you can find it at The Silverton Hotel and Casino. Start your under-the-sea adventure by walking through the Bass Pro Shop that is attached to the casino. They have several water features and fish tanks to check out. When you reach the casino, you can’t miss the huge 117,000-gallon reef aquarium tank and all its glory. It houses more than 4,000 tropical fish and several different species of stingrays and sharks. To catch the mermaid show, head to the aquarium during these times:

Thursday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Friday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Saturday: 12:00 – 1:15 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; 5:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Sunday: 10:30 am – 12:45 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm; 5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Your kids will be in awe as they watch a beautiful, real-life mermaid wave at them, blow bubble kisses, and interact with their sea friends!

Explore Outside

The heat is still on right now but with fall right around the corner, there are some great outdoor options for you and your family to consider. What about a trip to a fruit-filled orchard without having to sit in the car for too long? Vegas has it! The Gilcrease Orchard is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday from 7:00 am until 12:00 pm. Grab some comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and get to pickin’! The available produce depends on the time of year, but there is always a good variety to choose from. You can’t beat the memories you’ll make with your kids as you lift them up to pick fresh apples from a tree or watch them giggle as they pull carrots right out of the ground. Be sure to visit Gilcrease during the Halloween season, too! You can bring your own wagon or use one of the wheelbarrows provided to try to fit as many pumpkins, in all sorts of fun shapes, sizes, and colors, as you can inside. Afterwards, grab a jug of their famous hot apple cider and homemade donuts. This is a tradition you’ll be taking your family to again and again, and it’s right in our backyard!

Little boy picking apples in an orchard

If you enjoy getting outdoors and discovering the surprises the Valley has to offer, you’ll be happy to know that you can also take your kids to a local ranch! The McKee Ranch Foundation has a little bit of everything, including two playgrounds, a teepee, hayrides, a hay pyramid for climbing, tons of antique decorations to look at and, of course, farm animals! You and your kiddos can walk along and pet the free-roaming goats, chickens and rabbits or bring a bag of carrots and leafy greens to feed the horses and Duncan the Donkey! If there isn’t a special event happening, it’s free to get in, but they do accept donations that go directly toward the care of the animals. The McKee Ranch is an amazing opportunity to be around animals and show your children how you can help your local community.

Don’t let the media fool you. Vegas may be known for its adult nightlife, but locals will tell you that our amazing city is perfect for families! A little creativity goes a long way for children, but remember that no matter what you’re doing as a family, your kids will appreciate the memories you make together for years to come.

Woman Taking in View of Mt. Charleston on Way to Vegas

Road Trip to Vegas: Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Not far from the shining lights of Las Vegas is the serene nature of Mt. Charleston. Elevated 7500 feet in the Spring Mountains is one of Nevada’s beautiful natural spots filled with hiking trails, skiing (in the right season), lower temperatures, and more. Mount Charleston is the highest point in Clark County, and is a great place to start or continue your road trip to Las Vegas if you are traveling from the north. This short and sweet road trip would even be nice in reverse if you have a day to spare while visiting Vegas!

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the recommendations to have the best Mount Charleston to Las Vegas road trip.

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

The drive to Las Vegas from Mount Charleston is short, sweet, and scenic. You will mainly drive on the NV-157 E and US-95 S to get to Sin City from the mountains. The drive is 40 miles and takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on factors like traffic, weather, and which area of the Spring Mountains you start in. This route is fairly direct, giving you plenty of time to stop and take in the beautiful views while relaxing at some pit stops on your road trip to Las Vegas. Because Mt. Charleston is in the mountainous region, pay close attention to your weather forecast before hitting the road, and make sure there are no natural happenings that may cause road blockages or unsafe driving conditions.

Because weekends are the most popular for road trips, factor in extra drive time for situations such as traffic jams. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events. If possible, leave on a less-popular day like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic getting in to Las Vegas – no matter where you’re driving from, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.

Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas stops in a gif.

Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

Mary Jane Falls | 40 Miles to Vegas

A little hike from the peak of Mt. Charleston is Mary Jane Falls, where beautiful year-round water from two springs flows down the cliffs. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles there and back, so bring your hiking gear and get some fresh air!

Cathedral Rock | 40 Miles to Vegas

Another trail to consider before continuing your road trip to Vegas is the Cathedral Rock trailhead. Take a 2.7-mile hike through the white fir, ponderosa, and aspen while taking in sights of the waterfall and the beautiful Cathedral Rock.

Mt. Charleston Lodge | 40 Miles to Vegas

One last stop while still atop Mount Charleston is the Mt. Charleston Lodge. Grab a bite to eat from one of their expansive menus, listen to some live music on the weekends, and explore the nearby nature with seasonal activities.

Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial | 35 Miles to Vegas

When heading toward Las Vegas from Mount Charleston, make a stop to the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial to pay your respects to fallen heroes who fought in secrecy against the backdrop of the Nevada mountains.

Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway | 35 Miles to Vegas

A visitor center might not seem like the most exciting Vegas road trip stop, but the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is an exception. Have a picnic and visit the Seven Stones Plaza that celebrates the seven indigenous Southern Paiute tribes.

The Slots of Lower Kyle Canyon | 31 Miles to Vegas

Once again, lace up your hiking boots for another trail! The Slots is a trail located off of the 157-E and leads you through unusual rock formations in the Nevada desert. A round trip is approximately 4.5 miles, so remember to stay hydrated.

Big Dog’s Brewing Company | 12 Miles to Vegas

Speaking of staying hydrated, grab a drink at Big Dog’s Brewing Company. This brewery is located just outside of Vegas and is a great place to stop before hitting the Vegas crowds. Don’t drink and drive, and enjoy that brew responsibly!

Lorenzi Park | 5 Miles to Vegas

Opened in 1926, Lorenzi Park is one of the oldest parks in Las Vegas. With only 5 miles left to Golden Gate, take a break and enjoy one of the many park amenities, from tennis courts to picnic areas to children’s water play areas.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum | 1 Mile to Vegas

Before you make history in Vegas, see some natural history at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. The only thing wilder than you in Vegas are the exhibits on prehistoric life, Ancient Egypt, the African Savanna, aquatic life, and more!

The Mob Museum | 0.5 Miles to Vegas

Some history lessons are much more recent than the prehistoric times. Make a stop at the Mob Museum to learn about the not-so-distant past of Las Vegas, and grab yourself a drink at the distillery or speakeasy while you’re at it.

Some say life isn’t only about the destination, it’s about the journey. If you’re planning your next trip to Las Vegas, consider hitting the road and making an adventure out of it.

Newly engaged couple kissing and announcing their engagement through photos.

The 7 Best Places to Take Engagement Photos Throughout Las Vegas

If you and your loved one have officially decided to tie the knot, congrats! Getting married is an exciting event for both of you and your family and friends would love nothing more than to see photos of the happy, soon-to-be-married couple.

Taking engagement photos is a great way to announce the news to the world and capture lasting memories. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Las Vegas area when taking your engagement photos, there are plenty of places that provide perfect backdrops for you and your loved one to show off your new status.

Read on for a few of the best places to capture your engagement pictures in Las Vegas:

Red Rock Canyon

Las Vegas is located in the middle of the gorgeous desert, so take advantage of this backdrop at Red Rock Canyon. The rocks are gorgeous all day long. The sunset brings the sun’s rays closer, allowing them to play with the hues of the rocks and reflect brilliant colors, while the daytime hours elicit expansive views of soft pastels.

Seven Magic Mountains

In May of 2016, Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone opened Seven Magic Mountains, one of the most adored large-scale art exhibits near Las Vegas. The exhibit consists of seven rock formations, all featuring an array of colors from bright blues to eye-catching oranges. The formations make the perfect photo backdrop for newly-engaged couples. Make sure to wear basic, neutral colors so the colors of the art installation can pop.

The Seven Magic Mountains art installation in Las vegas in front of a mountain view. attribute: Seven Magic Mountains

Neon Museum

The Neon Museum is perfect if you want to celebrate Las Vegas’ past while you look forward to your future. The Museum is packed with vintage neon signs that create a charming setting for your engagement photos. The best part about having your engagement shoot in the Neon Museum is that every angle features different colors and views, so every photo will be unique.

Mt. Charleston

A visit to Mt. Charleston will leave you breathless, which is why it comes highly recommended for wedding and engagement photos. No matter which season you take your photos, Mt. Charleston is sure to present a gorgeous backdrop of bright white snow, picturesque grasses, and brilliant desert foliage.

An expansive view of Mount Charleston with clouds. attribute: GoMtCharleston.com

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Since its placement in 1959, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign has been a staple for visitors and residents alike to show off our famous city. Take a few photos under the iconic sign to show that your marriage will stand the test of time, just like this landmark.

Container Park

The downtown Container Park features converted shipping containers that now house retail spaces, restaurants, and music venues. The space has a quirky, unique feel, perfect for fresh engagement photo ideas. Your photos will be unlike those of anyone else in this vibrant, creative space. Plus, you can indulge in some locally renowned cuisine once you’ve built up an appetite.

A view of the downtown Container Park in Las Vegas from above. attribute: Downtown Container Park

Cleveland Clinic

Although the Cleveland Clinic is a medical institution, the exterior of the building is a breathtaking work of art. As an architectural marvel, The Cleveland Clinic is sure to spark many creative engagement shoot ideas and result in some awe-striking shots. The dramatic silhouettes and sharp contrasts of the building add drama and quirkiness to the photos.

Las Vegas is full of amazing photo opportunities that will help capture memorable photos of you and your loved one. Whether you want to be surrounded by nature or engulfed in famous works of art, Las Vegas has the shot you’re looking for.

Woman stretching in the morning on the side of her bed.

Stay Lazy in Las Vegas: 5 Ways to Relax in the City

We know you work hard, which is why we’re here to help you relax. Las Vegas is full of ways to help you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and removed from any stressors in your life working against your zen.

Taking breaks is essential for your mental health and happiness. Here are some of the best things to do in Las Vegas that will help you relax and unwind:

1. Visit a Renowned Las Vegas Spa

If you’re craving a spa day, you’re in luck! The city is packed with world-renowned spas that aim to relax every muscle in your body with a mix of massages, facials, masks, and other pampering services. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is widely known for its healing therapies and holistic experiences, while Qua Baths and Spa has earned numerous awards for its luxurious 50,000 square foot spa grounds and is considered one of the best spas in Las Vegas year after year. Take advantage of the fact that Las Vegas is a spa-filled relaxation destination and book your appointment today.

A tranquil spa room with a massage table and essential oils. attribute: Caesars Palace Las Vegas – Qua Baths & Spa

2. Take a Walk Surrounded by Nature

There are few things more peaceful than surrounding yourself with the tranquility of nature, so venture into the great outdoors at the botanical gardens at Springs Preserve. Meander through pathways lush with the foliage of the desert as you let all tension melt away. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city can help your brain slow down and your body to relax. For a peaceful meditation exercise, try walking around a trail and staring at your feet while you walk. It’s said that the rhythmic nature of your steps can help your mind to let go of oncoming thoughts and focus on the simple movement.

3. Take a Dip

Las Vegas is full of unbelievable water attractions where you to swim your way to relaxation. The Tank in the Golden Nugget lets you swim amongst wildlife because of its giant tank centerpiece. Lay out and listen to the sounds of the waterfall or get up close and personal to the colorful marine life. Mandalay Bay Beach is an oasis in the middle of the desert with white sands gently leading into the expansive pool. Sunbathe beach-side as you enjoy your day off. No matter which Las Vegas pool you choose, you’re sure to enjoy tranquility and rejuvenation.

The Tank pool at Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas.attribute: Golden Nugget Las Vegas – The Tank

4. Surround Yourself with Scenery

Las Vegas is within close proximity to some of the most breathtaking desert views in the country. Treat your eyes and your soul by making the short trip out to Red Rock Canyon to enjoy the vibrant hues and panoramic views. An experience like this can make any day-to-day stressors feel insignificant. The colors are most vivid during sunset hours so make sure to plan your day right so you can witness the surreal play of the sun’s rays on the rocks.

Sunset view in Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas.

5. Kick Back and Relax

There’s nothing more relaxing than just enjoying your hotel room or suite! All of our guest rooms are air-conditioned and feature luxurious pillow-top mattresses, room service, and other amenities.  Our suites even include in-room jet jacuzzis to really help you relax.

In a life that can get chaotic, it’s important that we take a break every so often. Take some time to hit the reset button and find your zen.