When is the best time to visit Las Vegas?

The best time to visit Las Vegas depends on how well you can handle the heat. From May to October, the Las Vegas weather can be summed up in one word: hot. Or maybe to add an adjective: very hot. Temperatures average in the 100 F range and can get as high as 117 F in late July and August. The rest of the year is mild, with temperatures rarely getting below the 40 F-to-60 F range in the winter and hovering at a comfortable 70 F to 85 F in the spring. The city boasts more than 300 sunny days a year and very little precipitation. Since the casinos, hotels, malls, meeting venues, restaurants, nightclubs and entertainment venues are heavily air conditioned, you’ll easily forget the scorching desert heat outside. Just be sure to have another layer ready for those rooms where they’re keeping their temps in the 60s.

  • On January 23
    Michael Austin answered the question: Michael Austin

    What are the best places in Las Vegas to get wine by the glass?

    Sin City is not just full of gaming tables and glitzy shows. The place is a dining mecca, thanks to the high-profile chefs and restaurateurs who have flocked there over the past two decades. For wine by the glass, the best places in town are the legendary Le Cirque at the Bellagio, Carnevino, Craftsteak and Delmonico Steakhouse. Emeril is in the game with his Delmonico Steakhouse, and so are chef Mario Batali and restaurateur/winemaker Joe Bastianich — all using the innovative Coravin System for extracting wine without removing corks. At Carnevino, an Italian steakhouse by Batali and Bastianich, close to 35 wines are available by the glass, ranging in price from $10 to $1,000 per pour — an impressive range. Chef Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at the MGM Grand offers 22 wines by the glass and an additional 18 “special and unique wines by the glass made possible by the Coravin,” including the 2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia, 2010 Opus One and 2010 Sine Qua Non Five Star Shooter. Have fun at the gaming tables but save a few chips for some rare wines by the glass, too.
  • On January 22
    Caroline Patek answered the question: Caroline Patek

    What are the best fine jewelry stores in Las Vegas?

    One of the great things about Las Vegas is that for as many ways as there are to win money, there are just as many, if not more, ways to spend your earnings. Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Wynn Las Vegas is home to a host of luxury shops, including Graff Diamonds. Opened in 2005, the Sin City store houses an array of one-of-a-kind jewels, collection pieces and timepieces from Graff Luxury Watches. Aside from the impressive jewelry, the Las Vegas store is also a pillar of commitment to customers since it’s open every single day of the year — as you would expect in Las Vegas.
  • On July 3, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best wedding venues in Las Vegas?

    Everyday, couples choose Las Vegas as the destination for the wedding of their dreams. And why shouldn’t they? We have predictable weather, resorts and restaurants in every price range, plus makeup artists, wedding planners, a convenient airport, costumed officiants... In fact, all of Las Vegas is poised to help couples say “I do,” whether for the first time or a recommitment.

    Over the years I’ve attended a number of weddings, and I have to say that the golf courses do the best job, from the catering and reception spaces to the actual ceremony, usually on the green. Fountains, ample parking and fleet of golf carts ready to whisk high-heeled guests to and fro are a plus! If you’re beginning your search, check out Dragonridge Country Club, Red Rock Country Club and Anthem Country Club.

    On the other hand, the Strip has so much to offer couples, from the convenience of chapels on site, to the abundance of restaurants, nightclubs, shows and planning services to make the whole affair seamless. Bellagio, Venetian/Palazzo, Caesars Palace and Wynn Resorts offer very beautiful traditional packages.

    But if you had something a little different in mind, allow me to direct your attention to Mt. Charleston, the Grand Canyon, Lake Las Vegas, the Neon Boneyard, the Artisan’s "unique" chapel and—my favorite—the Cosmopolitan’s pop up wedding packages—complete with photo booth and eraser wedding rings. All you need is a sense of humor and the love of your life!
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  • On July 2, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best spas in Las Vegas?

    We should all treat ourselves more often. That's the conclusion I always come to after a visit to the Palms Place's Drift Spa & Hammam. It starts with check in in the reception area, purveyor of all things good-smelling: candles, incense and such. My shoulders immediately drop as an attendant shows me to my locker, and outfits me with a soft robe, slippers and towel. The locker rom has showers, restrooms, dressing areas and vanities thoughtfully stocked with amenities.

    I always arrive early for my deep-tissue massages (writers often have trouble with our rotator cuffs, hips and lower backs, not to mention the stress) so that I can take advantage of the quiet area. A little lounge offers curtained chaises, a kettle with herbal tea options, trail mix and fresh fruit, a fridge filled with cold juice and water, all the women's magazines you could desire and a flat screen TV usually tuned to a film or show of the romantic comedy variety. I believe the last time I visited, Sex & The City was on.

    When it's appointment time, the therapist scoops you up from here. And when the bliss is over, she drops you back here. I like to hydrate and grab a couple of magazines, then head to the wet areas: wet and dry sauna, hot tub, plunge pool and chaises with ice cold water, frozen towels and cucumbers for your eyes. The room faces directly west, so afternoons and sunsets are beautiful from this room. I make a few circuits from hot tub to saunas to plunge pool and back. The facilities are very clean and modern, and well attended with plenty of fresh towels and a helpful staff. Guests slip under that spell, too, and are very respectful of each other's space and vibe.

    Of course, I have no idea what's going on over in the men's side of the spa—it could be a wild frat party over there! But I doubt it. Ommmmmm.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What is the one must-do activity in Las Vegas?

    You're going to eat. You're probably going to take in a show, stroll the Strip, gawk at the casinos, and you might even take a photo in front of the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. You may hit a club or party pool, and chances are you'll gamble a little. So what's the one thing everyone should do while here? Personally, I think no visit is complete without watching the Bellagio fountains. You can do this from the Strip, day or night, or you can see them from many vantage points including Hyde nightclub, Yellowtail, Todd English's Olives or Jasmine in Bellagio, or from across the street at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in Paris Las Vegas, or even from Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan. Years ago, a group of guy friends visiting from the East Coast had me take a photo of them silhouetted against the water show, just like in Oceans 11. Whether you just catch a glimpse over brunch or plot the perfect place to stand (perhaps to pop an important question?), it's the best free show in Las Vegas. 

    Bellagio Fountain Showtimes
    Monday–Friday
    3–7 p.m., shows every 1/2 hour
    7 p.m.–midnight, shows every 15 minutes

    Saturdays, Sundays* and Holidays
    Noon–7 p.m., shows every 1/2 hour
    7 p.m.–midnight, shows every 15 minutes

    *On Sundays Fountain show times begin at 11 a.m. and run every 15 minutes for the Fountains Brunch at Jasmine.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best spas in Las Vegas?

    We should all treat ourselves more often. That's the conclusion I always come to after a visit to the Palms Place's Drift Spa & Hammam. It starts with check in in the reception area, purveyor of all good-smelling things: candles, incense and such. My shoulders immediately drop as an attendant shows me to my locker, and outfits with a soft robe, slippers and towel. The locker rom has showers, restrooms, dressing areas and vanities thoughtfully stocked with amenities.

    I always arrive early for my deep-tissue massages (writers often have trouble with our rotator cuffs, hips and lower backs, not to mention the stress) so that I can take advantage of the quiet area. A little lounge offers curtained chaises, a kettle with herbal tea options, trail mix and fresh fruit, a fridge filled with cold juice and water, all the women's magazines you could desire and a flat screen TV usually tuned to a film or show of the romantic comedy variety. I believe the last time I visited, Sex & The City was on.

    When it's appointment time, the therapist scoops you up from here. And when the bliss is over, she drops you back here. I like to hydrate and grab a couple of magazines, then head to the wet areas: wet and dry sauna, hot tub, plunge pool and chaises with ice cold water, frozen towels and cucumbers for your eyes. The room faces directly west, so afternoons and sunsets are beautiful from this room. I make a few circuits from hot tub to saunas to plunge pool and back. The facilities are very clean and modern, and well attended with plenty of fresh towels and a helpful staff. Guests slip under that spell, too, and are very respectful of each other's space and vibe.

    Of course, I have no idea what's going on over in the men's side of the spa—it could be a wild frat party over there! But I doubt it. Ommmmmm.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the most unusual dining experiences in Las Vegas?

    If two's company, and three's a crowd, what’s dinner for nearly 200? In Las Vegas, it's called Project Dinner Table, and even at $190 per person, it’s one of the hottest tickets in town. This communal dinner party takes place six nights each year at unique open-air locales, such as Gilcrease Orchard, the Neon Boneyard and the streets of Town Square and Downtown. Chefs from all over Las Vegas clamor to be a part of this memorable, charitable affair.

    Dinner usually begins with a social hour, with cocktails and wine while the finishing touches are put on the table. It’s the most cordial of free-for-all scrambles to claim seats at the long table, all white table-clothed and decked with flowers. Vegetarians get a little marker to let servers know they love their veggies as the six or more courses arrive family style, paired with beer and wine. Live music rings out in these somewhat unorthodox dinner settings, along with laughter, conversation and "cultural moment," that can range from poems to short book readings. Last summer, I recited a humorous beat poem accompanied by the bongo drums! Anything goes, as long as it helps bring hundreds of new and old friends together under the stars.  

    Before dessert, after-dinner cocktails and coffee from Boulder City, Nevada’s own Colorado River Coffee Roasters, Project Dinner Table founder Gina Gavan presents the participating charity with a check and brings the chefs out for a bow and a round of applause that brings the orchard down.

    Dinner 20 – Apr 20, 2013, 5:30 p.m. at the Neon Museum, featuring chefs of the MGM Grand.

    Dinner 21 – May 18, 2013, 6:00 p.m. at Tivoli Village, featuring chefs Bradley Ogden, Sam Marvin and Angelo Sosa’s Poppy Den.

    Dinner 22 – June 8, 2013, 6:30 p.m. at TPC Golf Course, featuring chefs from Tao Group and TPC.

    Dinner 23 – Sept 21, 2013, 6 p.m. at Dream Racing, featuring chefs from Bellagio.

    Dinner 24 – Oct 19, 2013, 5:30 p.m. location TBD, featuring chefs from the Venetian and the Palazzo.

    Dinner 25 – Nov 10, 2013, 3 p.m. location TBD, featuring chefs from Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch.

    For tickets, updates and more information, visit ProjectDinnerTable.com.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What is the one must-do activity in Las Vegas?

    You're going to eat. You're probably going to take in a show, stroll the Strip, gawk at the casinos, and you might even take a photo in front of the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. You may hit a club or party pool, and chances are you'll gamble a little. So what's the one thing everyone should do while here? Personally, I think no visit is complete without watching the Bellagio fountains. You can do this from the Strip, day or night, or you can see them from many vantage points including Hyde nightclub, Yellowtail, Todd English's Olives or Jasmine in Bellagio, or from across the street at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant and Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in Paris Las Vegas, or even from Scarpetta in the Cosmopolitan. Years ago, a group of guy friends visiting from the East Coast had me take a photo of them silhouetted against the water show, just like in Oceans 11. Whether you just catch a glimpse over brunch or plot the perfect place to stand (perhaps to pop an important question?), it's the best free show in Las Vegas. 

    Bellagio Fountain Showtimes
    Monday–Friday
    3–7 p.m., shows every 1/2 hour
    7 p.m.–midnight, shows every 15 minutes

    Saturdays, Sundays* and Holidays
    Noon–7 p.m., shows every 1/2 hour
    7 p.m.–midnight, shows every 15 minutes

    *On Sundays Fountain show times begin at 11 a.m. and run every 15 minutes for the Fountains Brunch at Jasmine.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best spas in Las Vegas?

    We should all treat ourselves more often. That's the conclusion I always come to after a visit to the Palms Place's Drift Spa & Hammam. It starts with check in in the reception area, purveyor of all good-smelling things: candles, incense and such. My shoulders immediately drop as an attendant shows me to my locker, and outfits with a soft robe, slippers and towel. The locker rom has showers, restrooms, dressing areas and vanities thoughtfully stocked with amenities.

    I always arrive early for my deep-tissue massages (writers often have trouble with our rotator cuffs, hips and lower backs, not to mention the stress) so that I can take advantage of the quiet area. A little lounge offers curtained chaises, a kettle with herbal tea options, trail mix and fresh fruit, a fridge filled with cold juice and water, all the women's magazines you could desire and a flat screen TV usually tuned to a film or show of the romantic comedy variety. I believe the last time I visited, Sex & The City was on.

    When it's appointment time, the therapist scoops you up from here. And when the bliss is over, she drops you back here. I like to hydrate and grab a couple of magazines, then head to the wet areas: wet and dry sauna, hot tub, plunge pool and chaises with ice cold water, frozen towels and cucumbers for your eyes. The room faces directly west, so afternoons and sunsets are beautiful from this room. I make a few circuits from hot tub to saunas to plunge pool and back. The facilities are very clean and modern, and well attended with plenty of fresh towels and a helpful staff. Guests slip under that spell, too, and are very respectful of each other's space and vibe.

    Of course, I have no idea what's going on over in the men's side of the spa—it could be a wild frat party over there! But I doubt it. Ommmmmm.
  • On June 30, 2013
    Xania Woodman answered the question: Xania Woodman

    What are the best steakhouses in Las Vegas?

    Stop two locals on the Strip—just kidding, we don’t walk on the Strip if we can help it. But if you do find yourself in the presence of two locals or, better yet, two “born-and-raiseds,” get yourself a fresh cocktail, ask them “Golden Steer or Circus Circus?” and then watch the fight ensue. I’m a conscientious objector in this war; I love both of these famous, old-school steakhouses! And I’ve enjoyed many fine evenings at each. But when pressed, I ask people what sort of an experience they’re looking for, as that’s the big differentiating factor.

    The oldest steakhouse in Las Vegas (since 1958), the Golden Steer is located near the former Sahara, and just off the Strip. Every cabbie knows it. The strip-mall entrance gives way to the foyer, bar and lounge area. Beyond, the large, bright dining room hosts large groups at long tables, while the smaller, dimmer rooms are where couples canoodle in massive leather booths named for the stars of stage and screen who are said to have spend time here in their day. A la carte is the way here—although the chateaubriand for two comes with vegetables. I love the throwback appetizers (clams casino, oysters Rockefeller), tableside Caesar salad and varying accompaniments, the tuxedoed wait staff and even the crotchety bartender. For about $10 corkage per bottle, I can bring in my own wine treasures to enjoy with Golden Steer’s Prime aged steaks, always cooked the way I order.

    On the other hand, The Steak House is inside Circus Circus, so one must cross the casino to find it deep within. The bar and dining room is very dark, at most dimly lit. The bartender is equally crotchety—just more local charm! Servers are a little more casually dressed, but no less adept, folks who have made their careers in the steak-and-wine trade. The book-lined dining room is filled with large round tables of polo-shirted conventioneers still wearing their nametags, and with the ubiquitous canoodling couples. (I’ve personally canoodled at both places and still call it a tie.) Dinner here is more of a combo affair—entrees come with starters and sides. Steaks are 21-day-aged and cooked over an open-hearth mesquite charcoal broiler—I love the flavor! I’ve never brought a bottle of my own here as the wine list has so many items prices well below what's found elsewhere on the Strip.

    In all, I call it a toss up. Both are busy, with Circus Circus usually filling up first. So start there, and if you can’t get a reservation, give Golden Steer a try.
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