Stay in the California Hotel & Casino, an aloha-themed downtown Las Vegas resort situated near Fremont Street and connected to Main Street Station via the Bridge Avenue walkway. Its convenient location places you about a block away from the pulsing heart of all the action. You can stroll to attractions, including Fremont Street Experience and The Mob Museum, or take a short ride over to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets - North and The Smith Center, a performing arts theater.
Because of its luau spirit, a good many of the guests tend to be from Hawaii, but everyone will feel right at home here. Staff members don Hawaiian shirts, and island hospitality is ever present.
The California features five eateries offering everything from fast food to fine dining. Do you have an appetite for tender steaks and mouth-watering scampi? If so, the Redwood Bar & Grill has a table for you in its elegant, Old Vegas-style dining room. For a unique fusion of seafood and Italian cuisine, head over to the Pasta Pirate, where the menu features homemade pastas as well as lobster, fish and crab legs. There's no better place to grab a variety of home-cooked dishes 24 hours a day than the Market Street Cafe. You'll often find a line, thanks to specials like the $5.95 Luau Breakfast and $8.95 Cal Prime Rib. And you can feast on the flavors of Hawaii at Aloha Specialties or grab a burger, fries and other quick bites at the California Club snack bar.
The California's bars are just as wonderful as its restaurants. Join the crowds in two vibrant watering holes on the main level -- the easygoing San Francisco Pub and the elegant Main Street Bar. Or enjoy catching up on the day's games at Dave's Bar, located next to Cal's Sports Book on the second floor.
Test your luck in the 36,000-square-foot casino, where you'll discover more than 1,100 slot and video poker machines and 28 different table games. For a bit of luck, swing past the California's giant Buddha statue, placed just off the lobby near the elevators, and give its belly a rub!
A small shopping promenade and arcade are also housed at the resort. Complimentary shuttles run throughout the day to other Boyd Gaming properties, including Sam's Town on Boulder Highway.
And there's a wonderful rooftop pool that guests can lounge around and take in the breathtaking views of downtown Las Vegas and the surrounding mountains.
-- By Renée LiButti