Las Vegas! A spectacular place to visit for everyone! I have been to Vegas a total of 7 times! And I am going back for a darling friend’s bachelorette party in July! Haha! I know, I can’t get enough of Vegas 😉
We’ve usually made 3-5 day trips but this past December we made a quick 24 hour turnaround to ring in the New Year!! No matter how long our trip to Vegas, I always feel like I wanted a little more time! Vegas is addicting!! I am sharing my suggestions below, but please note that the things on this list are what we have done in the past and enjoyed. This is in no way an exhaustive list. I would still suggest you Google things to do, and plan for yourself. Please feel free to use this as a guide. So without further ado, here we go:
Las Vegas is an easy destination to fly to, with McCarran International Airport having great connections from all over the world. Almost all airlines domestic or international fly to this airport as it’s a big tourist destination! You can also drive in from nearby cities and enjoy the red rocks on the way.
Where to Stay:
Definitely stay on the strip! It makes it easier for you to get around. I can’t emphasize on this enough.
Higher end options:
– Venetian (nice rooms, spa, pool and location). This hotel is Venice themed. They also have Gondola rides which will surely make you forget you are in Vegas and give you the pleasure of enjoying Venice!
– Bellagio (nice rooms, spa, pool and location). This hotel is simply amazing!
– Caesars Palace (nice rooms, spa, pool and location). This one is our personal favorite!!
– Stratosphere – This is on the North end of the strip with decent rooms but a long walk from the main part of the strip.
-New York New York – This hotel is usually a crowded one so I’m guessing it’s a good bang for your buck. This is where the heart of the strip starts from so the location is good.
– Circus Circus – This is a much older hotel, but works with kids as you have plenty to do with them in the hotel itself. As the name suggests, it’s a circus themed hotel.
– Excalibur – This one is a castle themed hotel so might intrigue kids and offers decently priced rooms.
– Luxor – This one is the Pyramid hotel. Really cool if you ask me, but again, older so the rooms might not be that good.
If you are not planning to visit nearby places (like Death Valley National Park, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc.) then you do not need a rental car. In case you plan to visit some of these places, rent a car for the day of your trip to not incur overnight parking fees at the hotel. Cabs are easily available to get around the strip and some hotels even have shuttle service. I would suggest you walk so you can make the most of your trip, experiencing everything first hand. I am working on a “What to pack for Vegas” post that I will be sharing later on the blog, but one thing I can’t emphasize enough is packing comfy shoes! For the majority of your trip, you are going to be on your feet and you do not want your legs to kill you.
As an option for you to get around, you also have the monorails and their connectivity is shown in the map below (this map may be out of date so please check online for the latest revision).
Things to do:
Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list. I am just sharing some of our favorites!
I am going to go hotel by hotel and list a few things you can do in each of them. If you are coming in from the South side of the strip and facing the strip, the 1st hotel on your right will be MGM. I am going to go down the right side of the strip and then loop back up from the left side, so let’s get started!
– Welcome to Las Vegas Sign – This is located even before the Mandalay Bay hotel, on the middle of the road, but you have parking available. Beware of the cars around.
Going down the right side of the strip:
– MGM: The Lions!!! Get a pic with the big statue outside the hotel and then step on inside to see the real ones! This is also a good spot to get a great picture with the New York skyline as the New York New York hotel is just across the street.
– Planet Hollywood: Home to the Miracle Mile Shops – fun to stroll around.
– Paris: You can go on top of the Eiffel Tower and view the Bellagio Fountains across the street from up top. This hotel also has cute Parisian/French themed shops inside. It also has the replica of Arc de Triomphe.
– Flamingo: Visit the wildlife habitat and see the Flamingos among other birds!
– The Quad/LINQ: Not shown on this map is the newest addition to the strip – the High Roller! The 550-foot-tall High Roller parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution and offers breathtaking views of the strip. Definitely MUST experience this! The area in between the Flamingo and The Quad/LINQ has many cutesy places to eat and is also the home to Ghirardelli and Sprinkles Cupcake ATM!
– Venetian: Venice themed hotel all with canals and Gondola Rides. Enough said! It also has a wax museum inside. As if this wasn’t enough to make you go enjoy the hotel, the lobby is spectacular and the shopping insane!
– Wynn/Encore: Wynn has a beautiful waterfall outside, you must get a picture there, they come out amazing and you’ll have a new cover photo for Facebook 😉 The lobbies of Encore and Wynn are decorated with fresh flowers and the theme is seasonal. Wynn also houses a Ferrari showroom so if you get lucky on the poker table, you know where to go blow it all.
Looping back from the North end of the left side of the strip:
– Stratosphere: The rides are freaking awesome and not to be missed, and if you are more of an adrenaline junkie, bungee jumping is offered as well.
– Circus Circus: Roller Coasters in the Adventuredome and an entire circus based gaming arcade for kids of all ages!!
– Treasure Island: Treasure Island Pirate show (free). You can view this from the strip. Ask your hotel concierge for timings.
– Mirage: Volcano show (free) is a great fire based show where you will literally feel the intensity of the heat from the strip. Ask your hotel concierge for timings. A cool photo opp is time-lapse and slow motion videos of the show. Thanks Hubby! 🙂
– Caesars Palace: This is one of the best hotels in terms of things to see. Definitely spend a good amount of time walking around the hotel to see some great examples of Greek sculptures and architecture. Also, go around the Forum Shops, it is called the Shopping Wonder of the World for a reason. Inside the shopping area there is also a free show with talking statues about the Fall of Atlantis (ask your concierge for timings). In my personal opinion this one was ok, but kids would really like it. Also, definitely get a picture by the Trevi Fountain outside Caesars Palace.
– Bellagio: Bellagio Fountain (free) is my favorite and I can see it again and again. I would say surely stop by during the day, and again at night as the lightning makes a world of a difference and it’s magical yet relaxing! The shops in here are a great place to spend your casino winnings. When at the lobby, look up to see the most extraordinary glass sculpture, a chandelier called Fiori di Como by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, made up of 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms, is among one of the most beautiful in Vegas! Also, next to the lobby is the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens which is a good stop.
– Cosmopolitan: Seasonal Ice-Skating rink and the gorgeous three storey Chandelier Bar!!
– Vdara: This hotel is a part of the City Center complex. Enjoy the Ultimate Racing Experience at Dream Racing and try out some adrenaline pumping race cars that you wouldn’t get to try on a normal day.
– Aria: This hotel is also a part of the City Center complex with some really chic décor.
– Mandarin Oriental: This hotel is also a part of the City Center complex, good to walk around.
– New York New York: Awesome Roller Coaster on top of the hotel and the skyline of New York would confuse you into believing you might just be in NYC and not Vegas!
– Excalibur: Named for the sword of King Arthur, this one is a Medieval Era themed hotel, stylized as a Castle.
– Luxor: Egyptian themed hotel housing the Titanic exhibit with the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and other famous Egyptian landmarks.
– Mandalay Bay: Mandalay Bay Aquarium (shark reef) is superb! Definitely visit, especially with the kids!
Other Things To Do:
– Hot Air Ballooning: We did this when we went for my sister’s bachelorette and oh my, was it stunning or what! Gives you a spectacular view of the strip as well as the surrounding red rocks.
– Nighttime Helicopter Tour of the strip: Amazing experience! Too quick in my personal opinion but totally worth it.
– Gambling…$$$$!!! If you are not that into gambling, I would suggest you atleast walk through the casinos (especially of the high end hotels). They are a must even if you don’t gamble much.
– Freemont Experience: Experience the old Las Vegas styled outdoor area and visit at night to get the full effect of the illuminated space frame ceiling! And while there, do not forget to do the Slotzilla Ziplining!
– Container Park: Cool little shopping center built from shipping containers, a good visit for the day time for some relaxed paced chilling, plus it has a courtyard with a playground for the kids.
– Harley Davidson store has cool photo opp with a bike coming out of the structure.
– Hershey’s store: Fun for the kids, it houses a giant statue of liberty made of chocolate!
– MnM’s store: Fun for the kids with MnMs in almost every color!
– Hard Rock Café: The usual hard rock café with some punky décor.
– Spa: I like to end my hectic Vegas trips with a day at the Spa. My favorites are the ones in Caesars Palace and The Venetian. Definitely try out a spa experience offered by one of these high end hotels. I guarantee you, it will relax, refresh and rejuvenate you, and your legs will thank you!
To be very honest, most of the hotels have shops inside them so you will find plenty of opportunities to shop and a wide to variety to shop from. I think Vegas makes it easy for you to spend all the money you win at the casinos! I have been guilty of that in the past! LOL!
Apart from those you also have the Fashion Show Mall on the strip and apparently there are a couple of outlet malls in Vegas too, but I haven’t ever been there myself.
The one’s we have seen are as follows (please look up descriptions for each online as they are hard to put into words!):
– Le Reve
– Penn and Teller
– Phantom of the Opera
Other shows I’ve heard good things about:
– David Copperfield
– Blue Man Group
– Michael Jackson One
Personal message me if anyone is interested in more information on these… Haha! 😉
– Tao at the Venetian
– Bank at the Bellagio
– Marquee at the Cosmopolitan
– Hakkasan at the MGM Grand
– Omnia at the Caesars Palace
Where to eat:
– Indian restaurant Tamba is on the strip itself. Gandhi not on strip but is a nice upscale restaurant.
– Many good restaurants with vegetarian options are available along the strip.
– Also available in abundance are the usual Subway, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Ihop, Egg&I among others.
– If you are sea food lover, surely check out one of the buffets the hotels have to offer. Mandalay Bay has a superb selection.
– Other restaurants we have tried: Olives in Bellagio (offers great views of the Bellagio fountains as well), Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace, Allegro at Wynn, Flour&Barley Brick Oven Pizza.
Places to visit nearby:
– Death Valley National Park
– Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead
– Drive from Las Vegas to LA with some fun stops on the way
I will be discussing each of these in separate blog posts.
Now for my favorite part, pictures!!! I am sharing collages of various trips to make the photo dump minimal 🙂
So I hope this post of mine has helped you get excited about Vegas and you are ready to experience the glamorous Las Vegas strip to make some memories of your own! Enjoy!!