Our Summer '97
Las Vegas Vacation!

Come join us on a Las Vegas vacation - this time we're staying at the unbelievable New York, New York hotel & casino right there on the Las Vegas strip. You'll see some of the cool things that we did, and get some great Las Vegas tips!

New York, New York Hotel & Casino

This trip we stayed at the newest hotel on the strip - the New York, New York. Even though it looks like a city skyline, it really is a single hotel... And a great one at that. The theme is carried out everywhere you look; you can stroll through the city streets of New York that are lined with eateries of every sort, the casino itself is set in central park, and the Manhatten Express roller coaster encompasses the property. Even though we visited several casinos on this trip, we had our best luck right here. It is a beautiful resort, and one that we'll be visiting again.

Our NYNY Hotel Room

The accomodations were roomy and clean. One of the interesting things about the hotel were the hallways - with the multi-building "skyline" motiff on the outside, there were several twists and turns between our elevator and our room. Our room faced west with a great view of the mountains in the distance. We could also see the first drop of NYNY's roller coaster and the pool.

Monte Carlo Buffet

Since we stayed at the Monte Carlo last year, we knew how great their bruch was so we walked across the street from NYNY and ate our first meal there. It had a full array of breakfast goodies available, and of course we tried to eat it all.

The Orleans Hotel & Casino

The latest hotel/casino to open in Las Vegas when we arrived is the Orleans. We taxied over to check it out, and it was a New Orleans-themed hotel that's several blocks off the strip. It's smaller than some of the Vegas mega-resorts, and seemed like a nice place.

Buffet at the Golden Nugget

One thing that we've always heard about Las Vegas was how great the buffet is at the Golden Nugget. This trip, we made it our mission to find out for ourselves. The verdict: outstanding. The variety wasn't as wide as some of the other buffets that we've tried, but the quality of the food was exquisite. Their signature dish is the bread pudding for dessert, and it was as good as we heard... our waitress gave us the recipe, so if you want it just drop us a line and we'll email it to you.

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street has been replaced with a paved walkway and covered with a lattice-work that stretches the length of the downtown casino area. The whole place has been given a facelift and looks impressive. There's plenty of security, lots of festivities, and in the evening there is an overhead light show every hour. We really enjoyed our evening down there.

Motown Cafe at NYNY

Not only does the Motown Cafe have memorabilia from some wonderful Motown artists, but you also get to listen to the memorable sounds of the Motown hits while you dine. Every morning there is a fantastic breakfast buffet featuring everything from fruit to pastries to a delicious grilled ham. We ate there the majority of our mornings at New York, New York and enjoyed the great food.

NYNY's Manhatten Express

The roller coaster at New York, New York is awesome. We rode it twice, once during the day and once at night. The second time we were actually in the very first car. The coaster is quite a rush, and it's a must-do if you're in Las Vegas.

Stephen Spielberg's Dive!

One of the best restaurants in Las Vegas is Steven Spielberg's "Dive!" He claims that he started the submarine-themed restaurant just because he was hungry, and if that's true he did a great job. Dive! has gourmet subs, and probably the best french fries on the planet. You can chose from many different dips for the fries, and if you leave this restaurant hungry it's your own fault!

Flamingo Hilton

One of the things that we found last year was the beautiful gardens at the Flamingo Hilton; we had to take time this trip to visit. Aside from having a great casino, they've done an impressive job of laying out the garden/pool area of the hotel.

Starlight Express

We taxied over to the Las Vegas Hilton and caught Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Starlight Express". This production was very well-done, with a theatre custom-built for the musical. It's basically the story of 'the little engine that could', set to a fast-paced soundtrack with the characters playing a variety of trains on roller skates.

Yes, it occasionally rains!

We were up in the room one afternoon and got treated to the magnificant sight of a thunderstorm moving through the mountains in the distance. You can see it in this photo; also, it shows our view of the roller coaster. This is the coaster's first hill, and since we were on the 20th floor you can tell how high it takes you up! By the way, that's the *top* of the parking garage behind the coaster, not the ground... it goes high, folks.

The Forum Shops at Caesar's

Caesar's has a mall that is an attraction in itself. It is decorated in the Roman theme of Caesar's Palace, with beautiful fountains and statues. There is even a sky-scape overhead that changes from dawn to dusk, and at one of the fountains the statues come to life every hour through the power of animatronics. Lots of great shops here too, from The Warner Bros store to Gucci.


Bertolini's is a great Italian restaurant located next to one of the Forum fountains. This trip we weren't there at meal time, so we just stopped in for some coffee and a banana split (they have a fancier name for it). It was delicious, and it's very relaxing to sit, listen to the fountain and watch the people.

Caesar's Magical Empire

Caesar's Palace has put together a dinner and show that is fantastic - this was our second time to visit, and we had as much fun as we did last year. The evening starts out in a small, intimate chamber where a wizard entertains you during dinner. Next you're treated to a close-up magic show, and finally a full-scale show of stage magic. In between you can explore the huge underground grotto (which has two bars and lots of surprises). The whole event takes about three hours, and it's time well-spent.

The NYNY Pool

The pool at the New York, New York is a large pool (not very deep) and three hot tubs. While it's not as spectacular as some of the other pools on the strip, it is certainly enjoyable to prop up in the hot tub and watch the roller coaster fly over your head. There's a pool bar nearby, and attendants to furnish you with fresh towels.

Grand Canyon

We took a small chartered airplane down to the Grand Canyon one day. The plane flew us around the north rim of the canyon, then landed at the south rim where a tour bus took us to some of the best vantage points for viewing. There's no way to really describe it - it was truly an awesome sight.

Country Star

We still contend that the Country Star has one of the best steaks on the strip. This is the country music version of the Hard Rock Cafe, and contains some very interesting memorabilia including a room dedicated to Elvis. And no kidding, the food is great.

Everything Coca-Cola

On the strip next to the MGM Grand there is a giant coke bottle that is the entrance to a multi-story complex with two floors of shopping where you can purchase any coca-cola merchandise imaginable (it doesn't take long to see where the place gets its name). The top two floors are a museum of coca-cola through the ages. This was a very interesting stop, and it's hard to come away without buying something.

Carnival World Buffet at the Rio

We found this buffet last year, and had to come back on this trip. There are food bars from every conceivable type of cuisine from Chinese to Mexican to bar-b-que (plus everything imaginable in between), and it's impossible to try everything you'll want to (there's just so many different kinds of food!) It's a big, big place so be sure and scope it all out before you start loading up your plate.

Masquarade Village at the Rio

The Rio is a suite hotel & casino located a few blocks off of the strip, and has a new tower addtion that houses the Masquarade Village. It's a two story shopping complex that looks down on a casino floor. Once every two hours, brilliantly lit floats soar overhead accompanied by a cast of players, all to the tune of festival music. It's a great show, all free, and really showcases the Rio.

The Stratosphere Tower

The tower of this hotel & casino is one of the most recognizable structures on the strip - in fact, you'll probably see it from the airplane when you're flying in. After visiting the casino for a bit, we took the elevator up to the top of the tower for a great view of Las Vegas. There are two rides at the top, an indoor observation deck (and an outdoor one as well), and a restaurant/lounge.

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden

This was new for us this trip. It's combined with the dolphin habitat that we've raved so much about in the past, and is a small, intimate habitat for endangered species. We saw white tigers, white lions, a majestic elephant and a few more animals that are in trouble in the wild. There is an audio self-guided tour that is interesting and informative. The entry fee of $10 goes to subsidize the thousands of school kids that tour the facility throughout the year.

Lagoon Saloon

As with all our Las Vegas vacations, we ended this one at the Lagoon Saloon in the Mirage Hotel and Casino. This is a great place to sit next to a rolling waterfall and just relax; it's located at the heart of the Mirage's rain forest, and is the perfect oasis.

To get a better overview of the New York, New York Hotel & Casino visit their web site.
You can see the casino, the hotel rooms, and even view a film clip of the Manhatten Express roller coaster ride there.

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