On the northern end of the Strip, removed from the main Vegas action
Huge and chaotic
This lower-middle-range hotel on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip has two main selling points: its super cheap rates, and its abundance of family-friendly activities. These include circus performances every 30 minutes and indoor Adventure Dome amusement park with numerous rides, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and 4D theaters. With the exception of the solid steakhouse, the restaurants tend to be unexceptional but satisfying, serving hearty comfort fare -- options include a pizzeria, a barbecue restaurant, a buffet, and a Mexican joint. The hotel is a behemoth, and the 3,700-plus rooms aren't bad for the price, offering flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.
A chaotic megahotel with interesting Vegas history and cheap rates
The Circus Circus's reputation precedes it: This huge, chaotic hotel was immortalized in the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. Its casino is one oldest in town, dating back to 1968 -- which counts as real history in a city that consistently tears down the old to make way for the flashy and new.
The exterior looks a bit rundown, but the inside is reasonably fresh (if nowhere near upscale) thanks to major renovations that took place between 2008 and 2012.
On the north end of the Strip, a long walk or a short drive from the major hotel-casinos
Circus Circus Las Vegas is on the northern end of the Strip, about a 20-minute walk (or a short cab ride) away from the heart of the action. The area currently feels a little desolate, but two major luxury hotels slated to open in the vicinity in 2014 -- the Fontainebleau and the SLS -- may change that.
Many Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's also a monorail system, which stops at Bally's, Caesars Palace, Harrah's, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the nearby Sahara station (the hotel itself closed). If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, however, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
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