Las Vegas was never really on my list of places visit but I’m so glad that I recently got the opportunity to go, because I absolutely loved it. It really wasn’t what I expected, it was beautiful and clean, yes it was tacky but in a cool, fun way. I don’t really gamble or drink (that much) but I still had the best time!! And I can’t wait to go again.
Dom and I went without the kids, who stayed at home with my parents – and to be perfectly honest it was the best decision because Vegas is not very child-friendly. Yes, there’s lots for them to see but on the whole ‘sin city’ is designed around adult entertainment and there’s way too much walking for little legs. So my first tip would be – don’t take the children.
As I’ve already mentioned I’m not much of a gambler, or drinker so I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy this notorious party city but I needn’t have worried, Vegas has so many other things to offer. There are countless things to see and do. Here’s my list of top attractions along with some useful tips…
1) The Eiffel Tower at Paris – this famous miniature version is well worth a visit. Try and go between Tuesday and Saturday, and you might meet Vern who is a brilliant character and works at the top of the tower. He can tell you everything you need to know about each and every hotel on the strip and beyond. Also, try and stay up to watch at least one of the Bellagio fountain shows, which is located across the road.
2) The Bellagio Fountains – made famous by the 2001 Oceans Eleven movie, this free water and music show happens everyday from midday to midnight. We managed to catch a few of them as our hotel was opposite the fountains. Each show (we saw) was different but they were all amazing. The shows are every 30mins from midday to 7pm and every 15mins from 7pm to midnight.
3) The Mob Museum – I’m a big history geek so the Mob museum was right up my street. Be prepared to read lots and learn how the maffia built Vegas. There was also a few short movies to watch and some interactive sections, where you can shoot a fake gun and take part in a police line-up.
4) The flamingos at The Flamingo Hotel – This is another free attraction that’s available to anyone. The pink flamingos have a gorgeous, peaceful garden area that’s tucked away at the back of the hotel.
5) Shopping – All the big hotels have a shopping area but biggest malls are attached to Planet Hollywood and Caesar’s Palace. There’s also the Fashion Show Mall which is the biggest of them all and includes the large department stores. We also visited the Las Vegas South outlet village, which was a few stops on the bus from Fremont Street. This is where I managed to get a beautiful Kate Spade bag at 70% off.
6) High Roller at The Linq – this is said to be the tallest observation wheel in the world and is another great way to see the strip. Each pod also has a bar so you can enjoy a drink or two as you look out over the city. The wheel is open from 11.30am to 2am everyday and costs $27.
7) The dolphins at The Mirage – For $23 per person you can interact with the famous dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
8) The CSI Experience at MGM Grand – This is where you can test your inner crime solver CSI skills. The exhibit costs $31 and includes forensic equipment and interactive displays. If you’re a CSI fan this is a lot of fun.
9) The Shows! – you can’t go to Vegas without seeing a show. We saw Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, which was amazing! Although from what I’ve read and heard, they’re all very good. We tried to see O, another cirque show but failed to get tickets. My tip would be to book your shows as soon as you can, maybe as soon as you’ve booked your trip, to ensure you get the tickets you want.
10) Fremont Street (The old Vegas) – this is the old or original Las Vegas and has all the bright lights of the bygone era. The street has recently been given a modern makeover with a light up roof and a zip line ride but you can still see and feel vintage Vegas in the signs and the buildings. Fremont Street attracts an eclectic mix of people and is definitely not suitable for children- especially after dark! But it’s well worth a visit. It needs to be seen to be believed. They have free nightly concerts on three different stages as well as street performers and an hourly light show on the hour from sunset to midnight.
That’s just ten of my personal favourite things!
The biggest tip I have is to take comfortable shoes! I’ve never walked so much in one holiday. One day my husband’s Fitbit recorded 17 miles. There’s just so much to see and each hotel is so big, you’ll walk for miles without even realising it. Just walking around the shops at the Plant Hollywood Mall is one mile.
Every hotel in Vegas has a unique theme and something different to offer, from; dolphins to flamingos, aquariums to gondolas, rollercoasters to water shows and much more. Each one also has an amazing breakfast buffet, which should not be missed! Without question my absolute favourite hotel was The Wynn, we wondered up there on our last morning for breakfast and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Everything was so beautiful, I felt like Alice walking around Wonderland.
The $25 breakfast buffet was simply incredible! Just to give you an idea, I had; fresh pancakes with crispy becon and maple syrup, then some mini muffins and pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, a mini carrot cake, a mini cup cake and some mango sorbet (because, why not?!) and Dom had some of the same things as well as eggs Bénédicte, some sushi and smoked salmon. We then spent the day walking off the breakfast calories!
Las Vegas is a pretty expensive city to eat and drink but here are a few of my favourite inexpensive places that offer great food…
1) The Cheesecake Factory – the portions here are massive so you may want to share a meal and a slice of one of their iconic cheesecakes.
2) Denny’s – we went here for breakfast one morning and loved the food (especially the pancakes) and the cheap prices. Think typical American diner!
3) In and Out Burger – offer the best burgers and milkshakes in the city.
Other famous attractions that we didn’t get round to seeing but you might want to check out include; the skyjump and other rides at The Stratosphere, The rollercoaster at New York, New York, gondola rides at The Venetian and Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Of course there’s also the Grand Canyon nearby and the Hoover Dam, which we did go and see and I’ll cover in another post. For now, all I’ll say is that this day-tour was the absolute highlight of my Vegas visit.