Travelled in: October 2016
Las Vegas should be on everyones agenda when travelling around America! I didn’t know exactly what to expect from Vegas, but I was really quite surprised by how much I liked it… I’m usually quite underwhelmed by pretentious night clubs and gimmicky tourist attractions, but when in Vegas I embraced it and found myself caught up in the craziness and had the best 48 hours. Here are some of the things I got up to…
Arriving in Las Vegas…
I flew in to Las Vegas from New York, so arrived at the domestic terminal of McCarran airport. The flight from New York was about 6 hours, but there are international flights from the UK which take about about 10 hours. The airport is super close to the main strip so you don’t have to wait long once you’ve landed to get in and amongst the madness.
From Vegas we hired a car and drove to LA which took around 4/5 hours. So you could also easily do this journey in reverse if you were in the California area.
Staying in Las Vegas…
We stayed in one of the most iconic hotels on the Las Vegas strip which is the MGM Grand. We got a really good deal and paid £150 for 2 nights (excluding resort tax and fees). The hotel was in a great location, the rooms were perfect – we had a Tower room which overlooked the New York New York hotel which was a really cool view to wake up to.
MGM is a huge complex and there are multiple swimming pools, a huge casino, Hakkasan nightclub, loads of restaurants and a spa. Unlike most of the other hotels on the strip MGM doesn’t necessarily boast any attractions, the only thing there really to see is the famous lion which you will find in the reception area. If you are lucky enough to stay over the weekend you will also be able to check out the wet republic pool party. Unfortunately as we stayed mid-week this wasn’t on, but it is meant to be the best pool party in Vegas.
Travelling in Las Vegas…
Vegas strip is completely walkable. For anything out of the main strip it is really easy to order an UBER – there are loads about and fairly inexpensive! There is also the monorail – I didn’t actually use this as it seemed to work out cheaper and easier to just jump in an UBER instead.
Eating in Las Vegas…
So we had intentions of trying out some great food places in Vegas, but both my sister and I were quite ill having been in New York for a few days and caught the flu! This meant we didn’t have a huge appetite and were feeling sorry for ourselves, so pretty much just ended up eating junk food for the whole trip at places like Shake Shack and The Cheesecake Factory. I don’t really have any good recommendations for Las Vegas restaurants because of this, buuut my new favourite website to check out places to eat when travelling is EATER, so have a look on here for the best Las Vegas eaterys!
3 Days and 2 Nights in Las Vegas: My Itinerary…
Las Vegas Strip – The first thing to do when you get to Vegas is check out the famous strip! The strip in itself is like a whole other world… There is so much going on that it can be a bit overwhelming, but all part of the fun, you can expect to see people dressed up impersonating celebrities and fictional characters, street performers, shops, bars and restaurants. Most tourists tend to walk along the strip with a drink in hand (usually an alcoholic slushie) which you can buy at many of the street slushie vendors, make sure you buy a reusable cup as this means you will only pay for refills if you use the same one again! Bear in mind if you take a picture with any of the impersonators they will expect a tip.
The main attractions on the strip are in the hotels. Some of my favourites were:
Ceasers Palace – This hotel is one of the oldest and most impressive in Las Vegas, it is located right on the center of the strip, so in a perfect location for exploring. There’s loads to do in the hotel itself, if you were staying here you probably wouldn’t even need to leave! The hotel is home to a massive shopping complex, a theatre, a huge casino, Omnia nightclub, a spa, and loads of restaurants. The decoration is incredibly opulent and give guests a real sense of living in a Roman empire.
The Venetian – Probably the most authentic hotel on the strip, knowing Venice quite well myself, I was actually pretty impressed by the similarities the hotel presented to the famous sights such as San Marco bell tower and the Rialto Bridge. You can even go on a little gondola ride and if you are into art, inside the hotel you can see replicas of well known pieces from the renaissance period.
The Bellagio – Known for its famous fountain show, The Bellagio is a must visit on the strip! The fountain show runs every half an hour during the day time, then every 15 minutes in the evening, so you will never have to wait too long to see these fountains dance. The show is choreographed to over 30 songs and lasts for about 3-4 minutes, it’s so impressive you will want to watch it over and over again.
Go to a show – Vegas is known for its over the top and creative shows, in terms of variety Vegas is like a box of liquorice allsorts, anything you go to see you will be awed by! There’s circus acts, strip shows, musicals… you name it, you can see it in Vegas. As we were in Vegas for such a short amount of time we had already done a bit of research as to what we wanted to see and had opted for KA by Cirque du Soleil. The show is in the KA theatre in the MGM Grand and we booked tickets the morning we wanted to see the show at the hotels box office. As we were staying at the MGM we managed to get some discount on the tickets and really good seats, so make sure you ask for discounts if you are a guest of the hotel of whichever show you decide to see. The show we saw was absolutely incredible and well worth a watch if you like a good story line, incredible special effects mixed with a lot of impressive acrobatics.
Casinos – You can’t come to Vegas and not participate in at least a little bit of gambling, every hotel has a casino so you have quite choice of places you can lose your money to or if you are lucky win big in! It will either be the perfect or worst way to end your night depending on how that dice lands…
Premium Outlets – The premium outlets are about a 10 minute drive from the main strip in Vegas. We got an UBER to them from the strip for about $14. Being an outlet buyer I was intrigued as to how the American outlets compared to the European ones I buy for and one of the main differences was the price! It was so cheap, the exchange rate was still fairly good when we were there so we got some great bargains. You will find a mix of brands in the center including Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Adidas, Levi, Converse and many many more…
Downtown – A short walk from the outlets and you come to Downtown Las Vegas, the original gambling district prior to the creation of the strip. Here you will find the Fremont St Experience, the SlotZilla Zip line and the Heart Attack Grill.
Nightclub – Vegas is an incredible night out and there are plenty of clubs to choose from each with superstar DJs holding residencies on different nights of the week. We were in Vegas on a Tuesday and there were still options for us to have a great night! We ended up in Omnia (Ceasers Palace night club) watching the Chain Smokers which was incredible. We managed to get on the guestlist by speaking to the promoter that worked in our hotel and with that we got queue jump and free entry to the club! Drinks were about $15 each, so not really much different to a London club, if you make friends with the right people you can probably do the whole night for free!
Chill/Pool time – After a couple of busy days and late nights in Vegas the only way to spend our final day was by the pool tanning with a slushie in hand!