3. Cruise the Strip
There's an optical illusion effect to the Vegas Strip that will trick you into thinking you can walk the entire thing. ("But the Bellagio is right there, I can see it!") Don't do it! Desert temperatures rise and fall drastically, and you might not be in the most comfortable shoes. For those who really want to see and be seen, a limo is out of the question since … well, no one can see you. To truly make heads turn, you'll want to rent a car from Exotic Rentals of Las Vegas, where a bright shiny red Ferrari Spider has a daily rate of $1,275.
If that sum just made you spit out your coffee, consider a bus line that services the Strip, a double decker, the Deuce. It runs 24/7, is great for sightseeing, and you can hop on and off whenever you want. For $8 you can get a 24-hour pass. So buy just when you are going to use it; you can even stretch into the next day.
4. See a Show
What isn't exciting in Vegas? The theatrics, the characters, the outfits. And that's just the people-watching. This is a place where divas sing, and fountains dance, and yet even with a dizzying array of shows to choose from, some just rise to the top.
Cirque du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio hotel is quite possibly the most astounding show you will ever see. Acrobats, synchronized swimmers and characters perform breathtaking acts on, in and above water.
Tickets go for up to $155 for the best seats and are worth every hard-won penny. There are two shows nightly. Check prices for the 10 p.m. performance, which is sometimes 20 percent off normal prices.
For the best free offering in Vegas, my money is on Joe Krathwohl and his show "The Birdman of Las Vegas." Joe is the maestro and his "showgirls" are a variety of birds, including Amazon parrots, Hawaiian cockatoos and even a condor that boasts a 10-foot wingspan. Trust me, Joe isn't one of those strange men who hang out on beach boardwalks covered in birds. His show is fascinating, entertaining, heartwarming and — may I reiterate? — free. Catch it at the Hawaiian Marketplace, 3743 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Fridays through Sundays.
5. Get Your Thrills
When you have to sign a disclaimer stating that you won't sue in case of injury or death, you know you're in for a good time. As I said, Vegas is an adult playground and the toys offered give you a once-in-a-lifetime, adrenaline-pumping experience or one you never dreamed of having. For a heart-racing good time, you could try the Richard Petty Driving Experience, if you have a race car driver in you dying to get out. The "Experience of a Lifetime" gets you in a helmet and behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car for 30 laps of white-knuckle speed. Cost for all this fun is $1,349.
Or you could skydive without jumping out of a plane. Sky Dive Air Machine gives you the feeling of this bucket list thrill using a vertical wind tunnel that you jump into and voilà! You're flying! Only you are indoors. A trampoline and padded walls make for a very safe experience. Rates begin at $85 for a single flight. You can add on, and there are group rates as well.
Samantha Brown is AARP's travel ambassador.