For the latest on what's happening in Las Vegas, plus travel planning sources and hotel deals, check out our Web site, www.TLfamily.com. Once you're in town, don't count on driving. Though rental cars and parking are cheap, the traffic on the Strip is often horrific. You can walk to almost everything or catch a cab (local trips cost $7 to $10).
WHERE TO STAY
Finding rooms large enough to sleep a whole family is easy, but rates fluctuate depending on the season (summer is slowest), whether there's a huge convention in town, and your success at haggling. Most hotels have a pool or three. Mandalay Bay's is one of the coolest because it has a beach and a wave pool.
Caesars Palace 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 800/634-6001 or 702/731-7110; doubles from $89. In 1966, when Caesars opened, many considered it the eighth wonder of the world. Despite its size (2,454 rooms), the place has a friendly feel.
Luxor 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 800/288-1000 or 702/262-4000; doubles from $69. Sleep in a pyramid, visit King Tut's Tomb & Museum, and get lost in a 10-story sphinx.
MGM Grand 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 800/929-1111 or 702/891-1111; doubles from $69. It would take 13 years and eight months for you to spend a night in each of the 5,034 rooms. The world's largest hotel, says Guinness.
Hard Rock Hotel 4455 Paradise Rd.; 800/693-7625 or 702/693-5000; doubles from $59. Smaller than most area hotels (657 rooms) and the place to hear music, but a long walk to the Strip. Teenagers like the pool scene and the rock memorabilia in the lobby.
WELCOME TO CIVILIZATION
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 877/632-7800 or 702/632-7777; doubles from $115. A sort of Raffles in Las Vegas, with doormen in faux Colonial uniforms, and a lot of very good restaurants, such as Aureole. Plus, there's the pool.
PRICE IS RIGHT
Suncoast 9090 Alta Dr.; 877/677-7111 or 702/636-7111; doubles from $59. A 440-room hotel and casino—no themes or gimmicks—on the edge of the desert, about 20 minutes from the action. Has a multiplex theater, the best bowling in town, and baby-sitting services.
Circus Circus 2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 800/634-3450 or 702/734-0410; doubles from $39. A hotel—cum—indoor amusement park, where anyone can gamble away his or her savings. The 3,770 rooms are nothing special; the trade-off is on-site Skee-Ball and a roller coaster.