“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…unless you’re writing a blog post about it.
Luxury resorts, flowing drinks, shopping and gambling galore…How long would it really take to uncover all the secrets Sin City holds? A lot longer than we had that’s for sure! 72 hours was all the time we got to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes that Vegas has to offer.
Staying at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino was a great decision on our first trip to the city of sin. Located centrally on the famous strip, it was not only about half the price of some of the other mega resorts but also a convenient ride from the Airport with the shuttle stopping right on the corner outside the hotel. This resort features sleek, brightly designed rooms and comes complete with its own 15 acre Caribbean style water playground and bird habitat inclusive of live flamingos of course. Flamingo is its own little piece of Vegas history as it is the oldest resort on the strip that is still operational.
Now that we’ve dropped off the bags, it’s time to explore the Las Vegas Strip and visit everywhere in the world from the one place. Take your day and night to fully wander the strip and all of the main hotels that line it up and down. You can grab cheap hop on hop off tickets to the deuce bus which runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day if walking all day isn’t for you or you want to speed things up. Personally I would begin at the Southern end of the strip and start the day off right with a classic picture with the Las Vegas sign (You’ve got to have those cheesy holiday snaps!). Then work your way north along the strip. Aim to be all the way downtown by evening fall so that you can see Fremont Street lit up in all its glory. This street is the place the majority of television and movies include in their displays of Vegas including the abundance of neon signs. Below are some of the notable things to see and do along the strip:
- Visit the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
- Watch the various free entertainment around the strip –The Volcano at The Mirage, the Bellagio Fountains, the Rainstorm show at Miracle Mile Shops or the Fall of Atlantis at Caesars’ Palace.
- Botanical gardens and conservatory at the Bellagio.
- Ride the rollercoaster at New York New York, check out the Adventuredrome at Circus Circus or the Insanity ride or Sky Jump on top of Stratosphere.
- Visit the Eiffel tower at Paris, anywhere that gets you aerial views on the strip is worth the ride up.
- Plus the many shops, bars, restaurants and other attractions.
Time to head out on the town for a few drinks…it wouldn’t be a trip to Vegas without a cocktail or two. Grab an alcoholic slushy from Fat Tuesdays and sip while you stroll. Not everywhere you get the chance to drink in public without it being totally frowned upon. Be sure to check out the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental for drinks with some of the best views of the strip at night.
It’s time to shop til you drop! If you’re a keen bargain hunter like me when it comes to shopping and you didn’t quite get your fill wandering the strip, you can’t beat the outlet shops the states has to offer. They don’t even compare to anything we have back home in Australia and Vegas has not just one but two premier outlet locations.
Having shopped up a storm is sure to help you work up one hell of an appetite. Lucky something else that is part of the classic Vegas experience is going to a buffet. I mean who doesn’t love all you can eat! If you have a Groupon account be sure to check out what deals are available, as often you’ll find some great deals for close to 50% off the full price of the buffets. Some recommended buffets:
- Carnival World & Seafood Buffet at Rio features a made to order Teppanyaki station.
- Paris Le Village Buffet at Paris is complete with a made to order crepe station.
- The Buffet at Wynn which features a large chocolate fountain in which you can hand dip an assortment of sweets with white, dark and milk chocolate.
You can’t go to Vegas without seeing a show. After your buffet I recommend seeing one of the late time slot shows. I’d personally recommend anything by Cirque du Soleil but if that’s not your taste there’s plenty of things on offer such as magic shows and a plethora of singers and DJ’s.
Get up before the sun today and take a helicopter ride out to Grand Canyon. We took the ride with Sundance Helicopter which included return trip by stretch limo from outside our accommodation to the air field, the helicopter flight itself and a champagne breakfast picnic on the floor of the canyon. This is one of my favourite things I have done on a trip so far. While it isn’t the cheapest thing you will do in Vegas, the views are worth every penny including a flight over the strip itself on return to the air field.
Sundance will have you returned to your hotel in 3.5 hours door to door which will leave you plenty of time to get take a break from the Nevada heat and get cool in the pool. Las Vegas is famous for its extravagant pool complexes and for the more adventurous a Vegas pool party is the perfect place to beat the heat. Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel is famous for pioneering the pool party and is complete with swim up blackjack.
Sadly the evening brings the end to a fabulous weekend in Las Vegas. Don’t forget to have one last flutter on the slot machines at the airport just because you probably won’t anywhere else in the world. If you’ve been lucky enough to spend more time in the city of sin and have recommendations for places to eat, drink, cool things to do or anything else please share in the comments below. I can’t wait to read through them and add to my list for my next trip. Xx Flick