Where will the road take YOU?

Destination Diaries

Las Vegas... The "Sin"sational City

By Angela Ash

Las Vegas has, for a very long time, had a reputation for gambling, great food, spectaculare shows, phenomenal resort swimming pools, and attractions that can be seen nowhere else in the world.  Do you know why? 

Because it is all true!


When vacationing in Vegas, one never truly knows what to expect.  A casual night out to dinner could turn into an all-nighter at a high energy dance club with the simple slip of a VIP pass from a stranger on the street.  A quiet day at the pool could turn into margaritas and tumbling the wrong way down the water slide.  Or there could just be a quiet day spent in the room watching a good movie. 

Yeah... right.  You're in Las Vegas.  You read the sign.  It's FABULOUS!

Well, one thing that Vegas is absolutely famous for is its dinner shows. Do not miss out.  These performances are great, and the food's not too bad, either.


 Well, it sure is easy to see why the Tournament of Kings is the most popular dinner show in all of Las Vegas. Housed very sensibly in the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, this is one boisterous night out!

tok horse

Speaking of nights, or actually “knights”, what male of any age has never once fantasized about being the knight on the white horse, riding in to save the damsel in distress, or to fight a duel to the death? While the service of turning the average man into a knight is not currently offered, the next best thing is! The showroom is divided into different countries, also including the evil “Dragon” section. Each area may cheer on their representing knight to their heart’s content, complete with table banging, foot stomping, and thunderous chanting. Now, tell me that doesn’t sound like fun!

 There will be dancing maidens, jousting, sword fights, and even fireworks. And yes… there will be food.

tok roundtable

If the show were not so fantastic, I would be tempted to say that the perfectly cooked Cornish game hens completely drew my attention away from the show for a brief moment, but that would just not be true. While eating only with my hands, I somehow managed to never look away from the action in front of me, and STILL nearly eat every morsel put before me. The tomato soup served prior to the main course was easily funneled in with a good-sized cup with a handle, and the apple pastry for dessert was warm, flaky, and well… everything a pastry should be.

This experience is perfect for couples, groups, and families. There is truly something for everyone in the performance, and the upbeat timing of the entire show kept me completely enthralled.

For ticketing information, visit online or call 702-597-7600.


(I have SO always wanted to actually type that…)


Next, on to Tony & Tina's Wedding!  This dinner show in Las Vegas is FANTASTIC!

Located inside Bally’s Casino right near the center of the strip, this is truly a complete night out in itself. With many shows in Vegas now peaking well over $200, imagine dinner and a show for one low price!

And what a show it is!

 tnt bride

Close your eyes and imagine the craziest wedding that you have ever attended, multiply that by 10, and you have Tony & Tina’s Wedding. What is unique about this, is that the show has started before you even walk through the door. As you wait in line to enter the showroom, the nervous groom may interact with you, or another member of the wedding party may question your attire. You never know who may be seated at your table, or when you may be whisked into the action yourself.

Whether you quietly observe, or jump onto the dance floor with the ever-so-pregnant maid of “honor”, this show can pleasantly be as interactive as you wish. People of all ages were involved in the performance, clapping their hands, talking to the wedding attendees, or doing the “chicken dance”.

tnt party

I think the best part is that everyone can relate to a situation or to a member of the wedding party. There is the ever zealous friend who has had a bit too much to drink before he ever even arrives, there is the father-in-law who may not be too complimentary of the new addition to the family, and there is the bridesmaid who can’t seem to keep her hands off of the groom. Does any of this sound familiar?

And did I mention the food? Well, this is a full Italian dinner, complete with wedding cake. The tables are called upon to visit the buffet line, and one table is skipped several times while an outspoken bridesmaid continues to bring this to everyone’s attention.

To sum this up, I have never had so much fun while eating such good food! Is that simple enough? Buy your tickets and come see for yourself. By the time you leave, you will feel so much like a part of the family that you feel as if you should have brought a gift.  This show is brilliant!

Visit online, or call 1-888-775-6777, and see why this is the world’s number one dinner show!


 Now, up for a little murder mystery?  Marriage Can Be Murder should fit the bill!

Waiting within the former Fitzgerald’s on Fremont Street, now completely redesigned as the D, is laughter, mystery, murder, and some really good food! And if that isn’t enough, it is just about one of the best values in Vegas.


Show patrons will find themselves immersed in a real murder mystery, whilst being constantly entertained by the very witty, and always comical, Mimi… the official hostess and, might I add, the highlight of the show.

Now, I must admit, I was prepared to have fun, even a laugh or three, but I did not realize that I would soon be plunged into a world where I began eyeing the other people at my table, smiling sweetly at them while I attempted to nonchalantly jot notes onto my tablet. Yes, something definitely seemed strange with the way the gentleman to my right buttered his bread, and did I see the lady behind me wink at the person to my right? Common, everyday occurrences are brought into question, and the paranoia sets in… quickly.

And then people begin to die. Yes, there is death, often right before our eyes, and in all manner of ways. Undertakers are assigned to drag out the bodies, evidence is placed on the table and, as patrons are questioned, everyone seems to be implicating someone and hiding everything.

Everything… except for my dinner. A very nice tossed salad was served before the first death, and then for the main course, we were given the choice between dishes of beef, chicken, and salmon. My chicken was, well… to die for, because I believe victim number two was removed from the room just about that time. Now, when the cheesecake arrived, I did forget to write in my super sleuth mystery notepad until I finished every crumb. It was at this time, however, that I noticed that the woman directly across from me ordered her cheesecake plain. Now THAT was certainly suspicious.


In the end, the murder was solved, everyone was quite full with a wonderful dinner, and I had the best night I have ever had on Fremont Street.

I might also add that the murder was solved with the most pristine timing, because I had just a few minutes to make it outside to see Bon Jovi on a giant screen in the sky.

I am a happy, happy girl.


Visit online or call 702-388-2111 for your tickets!

Be happy, too!

After all of these exciting shows and full tummies, you may want to take a break and head for the swimming pool! The pools are one of my favorite things about Vegas.  Caesars Palace has one of the best, and if you happen to be a Total Rewards Diamond or Seven Star member, expect a little special treatment!  The pool at Harrah's is also a good choice, because away from the pool, up a few steps is a fantastic lounging fountain.  The water is maybe a foot deep, and is perfect for sunbathing.  The lounge chairs in this area also are surrounded by misters to make sure you stay cool in the desert sun.


After all this relaxation, are you ready for some adventure?  You may have heard the mob related rumors about Vegas, and I am here to tell you that they are all true... well, most of them.  And just imagine the tales that never made it out of the desert!

Vegas offers a few attractions to let you delve a little deeper into the sinister.  They are all different, and all unique.  But be prepared.  There will blood.


 Admittedly, I am a museum junkie. I love them. I like to actually read all of the plaques and information sheets on the walls. Yes, I am the person who holds up the line.


However, I am very tempted to say that this may have been one of my all-time favorites.

The Mob Museum sits conveniently just off of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. The building that houses this grand museum is quite something in itself. It was a U.S. post office, as well as the city’s first federal building, and held some pretty auspicious hearings. Just walking through the hallways and wondering who walked them before you is exciting, in almost an eerie way.


Speaking of hearings, it was in this very building that the famous Kefauver ones took place. The series of hearings that publicly exposed organized crime shocked the country. And guess who is able to visit the exact courtroom? Well, YOU can when you visit the Mob Museum! This wonderful courtroom turned theater hosts a wonderful presentation on the hearings… yes, exactly where they happened.


As you stroll through the museum, the vast array of other exhibits will be sure to fascinate even the visitor with a small passing interest in Mob history. I was literally taken aback when I found myself standing in front of the actual St.Valentine’s Day Massacre wall. It was so surreal to read the information leading up to the display and... oh look… there’s the, might I stress again, ACTUAL wall.

This is not the only fascinating wall in the Mob Museum. While every wall holds something of interest, I must have spent, well… an extremely long time in front of the photos of notorious mobsters. Sure, we have all seen things on television, or pictures in books and magazines, but there was something about gazing into their eyes in this particular building that just screamed “Hey, this stuff actually happened”. There is nothing sensationalized in this museum. Mark Twain once said that the truth is stranger than fiction. He must have had a premonition of the Mob Museum.


And if you haven’t seen proof enough, wait until you get a look at some of the artifacts housed here. I can not stress enough that this is the real deal.  I could literally go on for hours about the insightful stories that this museum holds, but you should come see it for yourself.


Visit online or call 702-229-2734 for additional details.

I can think of no better way to spend an afternoon in Las Vegas. I didn’t even have to sign up for a player’s card.

Conveniently located in the Tropicana, step away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip, and into another world to visit the Mob Attraction


ma window

This is a one of a kind experience, mixing entertainment with facts, memorabilia, and powerful exhibits. I mean, how often can you find yourself face to face with famous mobsters, all narrated with state-of-the-art, 3D holograms?

From the moment you walk into the port where immigrants arrived in the United States, you are whisked away on an adventure that will land you explaining yourself to the local authorities, being given orders from the real live mob boss, and finding yourself in the middle of gunfire. I know… just a regular day in Las Vegas.

ma mobsters

The mixture of live actors and hologram interaction is seamlessly brilliant. At times, this attraction has the feel of a haunted house, in that you definitely wonder what may be awaiting you around the next corner. The entertainment value, however, is wonderfully supported with facts displayed in a creatively interactive way, as well as also offering a one-of-a-kind gallery of actual artifacts.

ma car

Stop in. Say hi to Bugsy or Al Capone, and actually leave in one piece.

ma police

Visit the Mob Attraction online, or call 702-739-2662. 

I shall now share with you a secret.  I have been obsessed with anything and everything Mob related since I began watching Boardwalk Empire on HBO.  I have watched the documentaries.  I have read the books. I have even rewatched Boardwalk Empire.  And yes, Nucky really did shoot Jimmy Darmody in the season two finale.  I don't think that we can be friends anymore.

But let me tell you, the blatant truth is far more sinister and even more unbelievable than anything on television.  Weird, huh?


This is a two and a half hour bus tour, that I am sure could be spread into two and a half DAYS with the wealth of knowledge that the guides possess.  You know, I can't even IMAGINE any other place where one can take a tour where the guides are actually being fed their info by actual gangsters and hit men.  I thought this was a joke at first, until our guide just mentioned Frank Cullotta.

For those not maybe completely up on their Mob facts, Frank Cullotta was a boss over Tony Spilotro's team of robbers and murderers who terrorized Vegas in the 70s and 80s.  After a series of circumstances, he turned government witness, and has since even been an advisor and actor in the movie Casino, starring Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro.

No, this tour doesn't mess around.

Expect to hear plenty about the Mob's early ties to Vegas, with troves of information on Bugsy Siegel, who is famous for opening the Flamingo, and Frank Rosenthal, who was so infamous that the movie Casino was based on his  life in Las Vegas.  Also expect to  see plenty of sites where gruesome "hits" were carried out. 


On the lighter side, we did see the house where the movie Casino was filmed.  We don't "think" anyone was really murdered there. 

This is an excellent tour, and if you only have a short time in Vegas, this MUST be on your to-do-list!

You may visit online, or call 702-339-8744.

Now, after so much action, I believe some food is in order, and as you may have guessed, Vegas is not short on eateries!

However, my problem is that I can barely write.  All I can think about is boarding a plane, heading down to Fremont Street... all to visit the Chart House once more.  (Well, maybe twice.) 


Tucked away within the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, is one of the most incredible restaurants I have ever had the pleasure to dine in.  The central focus of the dining area is a 75,000 gallon aquarium.  The ambience is peaceful and tranquil, making for a more than pleasant dining experience. 

ch bar

Did I mention that the staff is wonderful?  I am not sure if I have ever seen such a knowledgeable staff.  Not only do they know the menu inside and out, but they never stray away from making personal suggestions.  With just a few generalized questions, our server knew exactly which dishes to offer.  When visiting a restaurant for the first time, this service is utterly invaluable.  Everyone was so friendly.  I even saw the manager on several occasions, filtering about the room, assisting his staff, as well as conversating with the guests.

ch crab

The menu offers a wonderful mix of seafood, as well as chicken and beef dishes.  The calamari appetizer was wonderful... so wonderful that I needed reminding that there was a main course to save room for.  With so many selections, I did finally decide upon the shrimp scampi, which was the best that I have honestly ever had.  It was prepared perfectly in garlic white wine butter sauce!  Not only was the food superb, but the presentation was very eye pleasing... truly a feast for the senses!

ch tuna

After such a lovely meal, one would think that dessert was out of the question, but not with the hot chocolate lava cake on the menu.  Miraculously, I was able to savor each wonderful bite, as it quickly disappeared from my plate. 

You may visit online, or call 702-386-8364 for reservations or additional details.  You may also view the menu.

 And what might be next on our plates?

Sigh... Hash Hash A Go Go, why must I leave you?  (Other than that I can not possibly eat another bite of the most delicious comfort food on the planet.) No, that just doesn't seem like a good reason.

hash hash blt

Nestled within the Imperial Palace right in the center of the strip in Las Vegas, is an absolutely unique dining experience.  Expected the unexpected, and expect it to happen in a BIG way!

hash hash chicken

This place is fantastic!  Of course, any restaurant that serves breakfast all day long has already won my heart, but believe this - no one serves up breakfast the Hash Hash A Go Go way!

hash hash burger

This menu is VAST.  There are so many choices, ranging from stuffed burgers to chicken and waffles.  However, I must say that one of the most glorious creations I have ever tasted is the Andy's Sage Fried Chicken and Bacon Waffle Tower.  Yes, this is a real menu item.  It was not a figment of my imagination.  And yes, it was indeed a TOWER.  Folks, these portions are huge!  Sure, could someone "maybe" finish a plate if they haven't eaten for three days?  Absolutely!  But that is what makes this eatery so perfect, because whether you are up to the challenge, or you want to split a late dinner with a friend, the options are all available. 

hash hash eggs

Salmon, pork ribs, ribeye steak, biscuits and gravy, chicken pot pie, pancakes, meatloaf, eggs benedict, linguine, french toast... no wait, I can't possibly list the entire menu!  Check it out for yourself.  Your tummy will thank you!

You may visit online, or call 702-254-4646 for reservations or additional details.  You may also view the menu. 
Check for other locations at the official Hash Hash A Go Go site!

Now, I believe that buffets are synonimous with Las Vegas.  However, over the years, the legend of the delicious, wonderfully priced buffets has nearly turned into myth.

This is not the case with the MORE buffet, located in a quiet, tranquil area of the Luxor, right on the strip.

more buffet

The selection at this buffet was incredible!  The salad bar seemed to be nearly endless, with a healthy supply of fresh toppings and tasty dressings. Just to give you an idea of what you are in for, this massive salad bar is thirty feet long!

This buffet truly seems to have something to please everyone, from places all over the globe.  Select your favorite slice from the homemade pizza station, or eat your fill from not one, but two different carving stations!  My favorite was the selection of pasta.  I had to sample them all!

The dessert area did not disappoint, offering sugar-free varieties, as well as everything from French pastries to carrot cake.

You may visit online, or call 702-262-4000 for additional details.  You may also take the virtual tour!

 Next up... the Roundtable Buffet is, in a word, FUN!  The atmosphere is so festive!  The staff looks happy.  The guests seem happy.  Was I transported to Disneyland?

The medieval theme of the Excalibur is carried straight into this magnificent eatery! This is most definitely a feast fit for a king!

roundtable buffet

The food at this buffet was fantastic! From Chinese and Italian cuisine, to a bountiful salad bar, this buffet has it all... even a carving station!  What was also great was the selection for those of you brining your little people along on your trip to Vegas.  Even the pickiest of eaters can't turn down mini corn dogs! For those of you with a sweet tooth, you have not been forgotten.  The array of desserts was almost daunting!

Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this buffet should not be missed!

Knowing that the food is incredible is like the cherry on the sundae to the fantastic deal that is being offered.  The "Take 2 Buffet Pass" will allow guests to visit the wonderful Roundtable Buffet at the Excalibur, as well as the equally wonderful More Buffet, located in the adjacent Luxor Casino. You can enjoy BOTH of these buffets all day long (as well as travel from Europe to Africa) for only $35.  What a deal!

You may visit online, or call 702-597-7777 for additional details. 

 Just a bit off the strip in Las Vegas is one of the best valued buffets in the city!  And yes... the food is good, too!


Located within the Gold Coast Casino is the Ports O' Call Buffet, where delectable items from all over the world await!  (And you don't even need a passport.)

First of all, let me start by saying that the service here is excellent!  From the hostess to the table bussers, everyone has a smile on their faces.  This automaticcally makes one feel at ease, especially when they are preparing to consume an enormous amount of food.


This buffet is very properly named, because the food stations offer a pleasing variety from one side of the globe to the other, while not neglecting the down-home comfort food, a bountiful salad bar, and a great array of fresh fruit.

What is really special about this buffet is the themed nights.  Every Thursday is the "All You Can Beef" Steak Dinner.  This speciality buffet boasts seven different types of steak, and all for only $12.99 with your B Connected Card!  On Mondays and Wednesdays, feast on even more steak, with the "All You Can Eat" Prime Rib Buffet.  At a price of $11.99, who can resist?

And the deals don't stop there!  The "All Day Buffet" is a pleasing $24 Saturday through Thursday, and only $27 on Fridays!

You may visit online, or call 702-337-7111 for additional details.  


After so many exciting food options, it's time to talk about things to do in Vegas.  While meandering from one themed casino to the next is a spectacle all in itself, there is so much more!  As most people are aware, there are quite a few free shows and attractions.  Whether you are dying to see some flamingos, or you can't wait to watch a fountain show, it is all waiting for you in Las Vegas!

The Fremont Street Experience

The Bellagio Fountains

The Mirage Volcano

The Treasure Island Sirens

The Mirage Atrium

Rio Masquerade In The Sky

The Circus Circus Acts

The Bellagio Conservatory

While it would be wonderful for all attractions to be free, there is a long list of attractions that are definitely worth the admission.  My two favorites both happen to be housed at the Luxor.

vegas luxor


To start off, Bodies... The Exhibition is absolutely amazing!  Where can you see up close, bodies and organs?  And did I mention that they are REAL?  Why, inside of the Luxor, of course.


This exhibit boasts over 260 organs and 13 full bodies, as well as partial body specimens. 


I believe that one of the most moving exhibits is the showcase of a healthy lung, exhibited next to a lung contaminated by smoking.  This could really be a wake up call for some people.  Other authentic organs show the damage done by lack of excercise, overeating, and other things that we do to our bodies every day.


While this exhibit is very graphic, its education value is priceless.  

Be sure to add this to your Vegas to-do-list! Visit online to purchase tickets, or call 702-262-4230 for additional information.

Titanic:  The Artifacts Exhibition is the highest attended in history, viewed by twenty million people across the world.  And it is easy to see why!  Located inside the Luxor, this exhibit covers a whopping 25,000 square feet, packed full of information, relics, and pure emotion.


I don't know who could possibly experience this and not feel moved.  My chest felt tight the instant I entered, my eyes focusing on an unopened bottle of champagne, luggage, and a pair of spectacles.  To add to the realism, every one is handed a card upon entry, with an individual's name, social status, and some personal information.  At the end of the exhibit, you may search the board to discover whether the passenger on your card survived.  You can't get any more surreal than that.


You may explore portions of the recreated vessel, peering into her first and third class cabins.  Able to immerse yourself in the surroundings, it is uncannily simple to imagine what things must have been like on that fateful evening.

I believe that this exhibit hosts two crowning glories.  The first would be the painstakingly re-created Grand Staircase, and the second a giant piece of the actual Titanic hull. 


Standing before this is surreal, to say the least.  Many people have reported even more.  Visitors have noted that they often feel as if they are being followed, even when no one is behind them.  Some have even reported seeing a woman in period dress, assuming she is a worker, only to find out that she has suddenly vanished.  The exhibition has often been linked to paranormal occurrences in many of its locations, but it seems that its current home in the Luxor is attracting even more activity than usual.  All guests experiencing phenomena have reported that they have never felt threatened by these encounters, but typically sense a feeling of curiosity, which, under the circumstances, makes perfect sense.

This is not an exhibit to miss! Visit online to purchase tickets, or call 702-262-4400 for additional information.

And speaking of the paranormal, Las Vegas definitely has her share or activities!  Whether you would like to take a guided tour or participate in a full fledged ghost hunt, Vegas is your place!

The Haunted Vegas Tour is one of the best paranormal tours that I have ever experienced.  Rather than trudge along in the desert heat, ride in an air conditioned vehicle, and hear tales of hauntings, murder, and ghastly encounters with the dead and the very much alive!


These tour guides are experts, and they are not afraid to share their knowledge with you.  From learning to use dowsing rods in a haunted park to better understanding "cold spots" and "orbs", you will leave this tour with a far different perspective of the great unknown. 

This tour will leave you with tales that are nearly hard to believe, if you weren't able to witness some of the phenomena for yourself!  Visit the places where Red Foxx, Elvis Presely,and the notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel, definitely left their impressions.  Better yet, we were able to actually visit Liberace's dressing room... not just view it from the street, but to actually go INSIDE!  This is something that you must experience for yourself to truly believe. Almost everyone in our group smelled a man's cologne, lingering in certain areas, disappearing, and then filtering in again. 


While we visited so many surreal locations, one of the most eerie was close to a warehouse park, where people were actually living in the large underground drains.  However, this is not even the scary part.  Just a few days before, someone committed suicide from the bridge over the tunnel.  The rope was still hanging, blowing haphazardly in the night breeze. 

When in Vegas, this tour is an absolute must.  Not only will it help you to familiarize yourself with the city, but it will make you think twice before turning out the lights in your hotel room.

Visit online, or call 702-339-8744 for more information.

If you are still craving a bit more from the other side, take the Goodsprings Ghost Hunt

The first thing that I want to say is "WOW".  Guys, this is the real deal!  If you have ever been even a passing fan of the "ghost hunting" shows on tv, you MUST take this tour!

First, you drive out into the desert to the nearly deserted town of Goodsprings, where your initial stop is at the infamous Pioneer Saloon.  This place was built in 1913, and has seen its fair share of torment.  It was seated within these walls that Clark Gable heard that his wife, Carole Lombard, had been killed in a tragic plane crash.  It is said that they both haunt the saloon to this day.


I took the above photograph when standing across the street from the saloon.  There are several obvious shadows, orbs, and streams of light.  SOMETHING is definitely in Goodsprings, Nevada.

Several different locations in Goodsprings were visited, but not before we were treated to a pizza party in the saloon.  We would surely need the energy!

We would continue on to an abandoned miner's cabin, buildings that were literally crumbling (often before our eyes), and an old cemetery.


What is great about this tour is the comradery.  Before you know it, you have a dozen new friends, and everyone is snapping photos, sharing them, and squealing with delight when something "not quite right" is noted. 

However, the best part about this tour is the equipment. Feel just like a real ghost hunter, sporting dowsing rodes, EMF detectors, and EVP audio recorders.  (For those of you not up on your Ghost Adventures lingo, that's electro magnetic field detectors and electronic voice phenoma recorders, to you.)


This is a tour that could be taken again and again, because it would never be the same experience twice!

Book your tour today, because space does fill up FAST.  Visit online or call 702-339-8744

Now of course, are we missing the reason most folks visit Vegas?  Of course not!  Please make use of our comprehensive listings and links to the best casinos that Sin City has to offer!



Circus Circus

Treasure Island

The Mirage




Monte Carlo

New York New York



Mandalay Bay




The Palazzo

The Venetian

Casino Royal


Imperial Palace


Bill's Gamblin' Hall



Planet Hollywood

MGM Grand






Gold Coast


Hard Rock




Main Street Station

The Plaza

The California

Las Vegas Club

Golden Gate


Golden Nugget


Four Queens

The D

El Cortez


Whether you head out to Vegas to gamble, see some shows, explore its haunted past, or a mixture of all of the above, you will not be disappointed!  Plan your visit today!