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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

My Favorite Free Las Vegas Attractions part 1

It's no surprise that I love Las Vegas. I go at least once, and sometimes two or more times, per year. I know a lot of people don't think there's much beyond gambling and expensive shows, but that's not true at all. Even if you stay on the Strip, you can save money by seeing some awesome free stuff.

Las Vegas is continually changing, which is good if you get bored, but bad if you don't enjoy change too much. I love that there's always something new to see, so even if I go three times in a year, the next year there will be different things for me to check out. Here are some of the best things that cost nothing in my opinion:

Bellagio Conservatory

I love the Bellagio. There are some great places to eat, luxury shops where I enjoy window shopping, a video of upscale fashion shows, and it just has a good vibe. The stand-out for me is the lobby and the conservatory, which both change with the season. Anytime you go, there will be a different theme than the last time you were there. Even if the theme is the same, it will probably look completely different. Master gardeners create scenes using flowers, seeds, beans and more, which are combined with buildings, walkways, aviaries, and ponds inside a huge class-ceilinged area. 

It's open 24-hours per day and is completely free. It's a fantastic opportunity to get some lovely pics, and if it's busy, you'll be competing with plenty of other visitors doing the same thing. Don't forget to walk behind the main structure, as there's always something cool to see, and this is usually where I take selfies.

Bellagio Fountains

Beginning mid-day and into the evening, the Bellagio runs their fountain show on a regular schedule. If you can find a good spot to view from, this can be a treat, as the water dances to music piped out onto the street. I always find it too crowded, but I enjoy watching it from different vantage points that isn't directly on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.

Flamingo Habitat

I love the Flamingo, the Linq and the Linq Promenade. It's one of my favorite areas of the Las Vegas Strip. If you're looking for a relaxing time just viewing some beautiful animals, head to the Flamingo's Flamingo Habitat. You'll find flamingos, pelicans (they have feeding times if you'd like to visit and watch), koi, catfish, turtles and more in a lovely little oasis, complete with flamingo fountain and waterfall.

Wynn Fountain

If you don't enjoy crowds or want to wait for the fountains to start, head down to Wynn for a smaller water show that runs 24/7. It's also right next to their waterfall, which gives a great backdrop for a photo op.

Encore Flower Garden

If you love the Bellagio Conservatory, then you'll probably equally enjoy the Encore indoor walkway that has trees, flowers and a floral carousel and hot air balloon. The scene doesn't really change, though you might see a few changes in blooms, but I noticed last time I was there that there were out of season flowers being used and realized they were fake. So, not quite as impressive, but still beautiful.

Palazzo Lobby & Canal Shoppes

Like the Bellagio, the Palazzo changes up their lobby decor based on season, as well as their decor throughout their side of the Canal Shoppes. Inside you'll also find a very tall waterfall feature and a reflecting pool. Continue through the Shoppes to the Venetian, where you'll be able to walk along Italian canals, over bridges and enjoy free entertainment, like people dressed as statues, as well as some fantastic musicians. 

The Park MGM

Don't get this confused with The Park at MGM, which is the hotel across the street. MGM Park is attached to New York New York and is a great outdoor area lined with eateries. That's not all though! There's a water walkway feature, places to sit, vendor kiosks and on some nights you can take in free local musicians or watch artists creating awesome things, like murals that are displayed downtown.

Streets of New York at NYNY

Some of the best features of the streets have been replaced with more gambling and slots, but it doesn't diminish the fact that you can feel like you're walking down actual streets in New York City and even feel like you're seeing a little bit of Times Square. Slow down and look around. Look up, because the balconies and windows have some cool details. I also love to take pictures of store fronts and myself on stoops. 

M&M World

If those candy-coated chocolates are a favorite of yours, you can view 3+ floors of merchandise, sponsored items like a racecar hood with M&M art, and candy gifts plus there's even a free movie featuring your favorite candies. You don't have to buy anything here if you don't want, and there are even some fun photo ops throughout.

Statues, Atmosphere, and Fall of Atlantis

I don't recommend gambling at Caesar's Palace, but that's a personal preference of mine since I never win anything there. I still pay a visit there, starting with a stop out front to the colorful prayer shrine, where I donate a buck or two and light a stick of incense to give me some luck (either if doesn't work at Caesars, or else I'm just giving money for my own enjoyment). Inside, there are tons of impressive Roman statues and architecture elements, and if you continue through, you'll end up in the Caesar shops, which is a big indoor shopping mall that looks like you're outside. 

Head to the very end and witness the free animatronic show The Fall of Atlantis. It's not good, but it's fun to see at least once. Hopefully, they will either revamp this show or repair the animatronics, because the people are in terrible need of it. Don't forget to check out the aquarium, which you'll find on the backside of this round and see what sort of sunken treasure you can spy while enjoying the marine life.

Not everything can be seen on The Strip. Sometimes you need a car or to catch an Uber. I'll cover those things in the next blog post, because I feel like I've already given you enough to work with in this one.

What are your favorite free things to do in Vegas?

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