By Steve Beauregard
The distance from the outside entrance of Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino to the start of the Aria resort at City Center is exactly 1 mile, when following the Las Vegas Strip, according to most mapping systems.
However this doesn’t take into account the little zig-zags you have to do at the Excalibur to walk on the pedestrian bridge to cross over Tropicana Avenue to get to the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. My measurements show that to be another 400 feet total.
And because Las Vegas resorts are so humongous, it’s approximately 1,000 feet from the inside of both hotels to the respective starting points – meaning the true distance from inside the casino of Mandalay Bay to getting inside the Aria Casino itself is approximately 1 and 1/2 miles of actual walking distance.
(Go here to get the distance from Mandalay Bay to the Bellagio)
Along the way, you’d pass a good portion of the classic Las Vegas iconic landmarks, such as the Luxor pyramid, the Excalibur, NY-NY fake skyline, with its replica Brooklyn Bridge, the Monte Carlo, and of course, the metropolis within a metropolis known as City Center.
The walk is always crowded, well-lit at night (by both lights and by well-lit drunks), and safe (in my view). My wife and I have no issues making this walk – unless it’s 110 degrees.
(Map of the route from Mandalay Bay (A) to the Aria (B) – sort of misleading as the actual walking route is not a straight line).
View Larger MapL
From casino to casino, it will take you about 1/2 hour to walk this route when staying just on the Strip and not making any stops for drinks or playing. However there are some easier and faster options.
Tram From Mandalay Bay to Aria
Although it’s at the far, most southern part of the Las Vegas strip, seemingly away from a lot of the action, the convenience of the free Mandalay Bay tram makes up for some of the disadvantage of the gleaming gold resort’s remote location.
Instead of walking the 1 and 1/2 miles up the Las Vegas Strip, you can cut down your feet time by taking the two free trams along the way.
The first free monorail starts at the Mandalay Bay and runs seven days a week until 10:30 p.m. on weeknights, and 12:30 a.m. on weekends. The clean, comfortable, air-conditioned cars will take you north, stopping at the Luxor pyramid, before proceeding on to its final stop in a white turret-type building outside of the spacious Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
From there it’s the aforementioned zig-zag across the pedestrian bridge, then past NY NY, past a sales office for City Center, then to the first entrance to the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino.
After a long walk inside the casino, past the numerous slots and table games, you’ll want to go through the resort’s shopping area to get on the second free tram inside the Monte Carlo.
This tram station is right at the southernmost point of the Aria, and you can just walk in from there, or you can take a 3 minute tram ride to the north end of the casino. Doing this will get you closer to the hotel registration desk, and some of the nice restaurants at the Aria. This stop is actually inside the Crystals shopping complex, but it’s a just a short walk outside and around a corner to get inside the Aria itself.
Unlike its neighbor tram to the south, this one runs until 4 am., every day of the week – much more convenient for us late night drunks.
Driving From Mandalay Bay to Aria
I wouldn’t recommend this, even though navigation systems will tell you it’s just an easy 1.3 mile drive between the Mandalay Bay and Aria. They also will tell you that it’s just a seven minute drive. And while that may be true most of the time, what they don’t tell you is the incredibly long walks you’ll experience going from the Mandalay Bay parking garage on the west, or the hassle and headache and walk of the Aria self-parking parking garage.
Ironically, it’d be a lot easier if you were an Aria employee – that way you could just avoid the strip, and park in the City Center employee parking lot west of the complex on Frank Sinatra Drive.
But as it stands now, the drive from Mandalay Bay to Aria is not worth it, when you can take trams and a leisurely stroll to get there almost as fast (if not faster). Plus, this is Las Vegas, so you’ll probably be drinking. This leads us to…
Taxi from Mandalay Bay to Aria
This will take around ten minutes (factoring in taxi wait lines), but will get you basically door-to-door. The cost of the fare from Mandalay Bay to the Aria, adding in the initial fee that is charged as soon as you shut the door, wait fees, and tips, will only be around the $7 to $9 dollar range.