Visiting Las Vegas

Did you know that Las Vegas has seen it’s first significant snowfall since the 1930’s. It’s crazy to think that just 2 weeks ago I was planning on booking a flight to Vegas in a desperate attempt to get out of the deep freeze we were having in Calgary. Although it’s not usually hot in Vegas this time of year, it’s still not seeing -35 degree temperatures so I was just hoping for a break. Maybe it was more of an excuse because Vegas just happens to be one of my favorite places to visit and I am hoping to get back again this year. And since I was thinking about it already, I decided to do a travel post with some tips and recommendations hoping to help anyone who is considering a trip this spring but have never been.

Hubby and I last summer @ The Las Vegas Sign

The sights and sounds and everything in between will dazzle you right from the moment you arrive.

If you have never been to Las Vegas, you’re sure to be overwhelmed at first glance because there’s so much to see and do, but most attractions won’t take up hours of your time (the fountains of Bellagio for example, last about 5 minutes giving you time to move along to another Hotel attraction).

Vegas has something for everybody in that it offers a wide range of attractions and activities that will appeal to most tastes. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a bachelor/bachelorette party, or planning a weekend of high stakes gambling, or just wanting to take in some attractions and shows, Vegas has something for everybody. Las Vegas is a great getaway for a fun bachelor/bachelorette party, or a great place for a couple looking for romance, and it’s even a fun spot for families looking for something other than just relaxing on the beach. Believe it or not, Las Vegas is becoming more and more family friendly all the time.

First timers – Do some homework. Search internet sites and seek out advice from friends on what you should see and do and the best places to avoid. This is really the best place to start to get an idea of what Las Vegas is all about and the information will help you decide how long you want to stay and what you want to do and see while you are there. Ask for hotel recommendations and what places are great for dining.

Las Vegas Recommendations

M&M’s World – Four floors of all things M&M’s. If that don’t convince you, nothing will.

The Fremont Street Experience – 5 blocks of downtown Las Vegas are covered by a canopy that delivers light shows and videos nightly. The street is filled with tourists, kiosks, shops, entertainers and casinos to try your luck! There’s even a zip-line so you can experience Fremont Street from above! And quite honestly, you never now what else you will see as proven in the video I took last year. Watch it below 🙂

The Shark Reef Aquarium – Located at the Mandalay Bay at the end of The Strip, it features sharks, jellyfish and a touch pool filled with stingrays. The underwater tunnel is an experience in itself.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – Come face to face with your favorite celebrities who have been captured in life-like wax form.

The High Roller – Located at The LINQ. Take yourself up in one of the glass-enclosed gondolas on the world’s tallest observation wheel. TIP: Grab a drink before you hop on. They have options that allow you to ride a pod with an open bar on your ride but you will not drink your money’s worth (take it from a drinker!!). Buy a regular ride ticket and one drink to take on board when you arrive.

Enjoying the views from the High Roller

The Strip’s Free Attractions – The Fountains of Bellagio, The Mirage Volcano, The Bellagio Hotel Conservatory, The free circus acts at Circus Circus. There are so many activities and attractions along The Vegas Strip that won’t cost you a dime. Check them all out if you can.

The Hoover Dam – Although it’s not in Las Vegas, it’s quite easy to get there either by renting a car or going through a tour company. It’s definitely worth the visit to such an amazing, perfectly-engineered structure if you have time.

Hoover Dam

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping – Get your thrills on one of the many top adventures found in Vegas:

Take in a show – Most Cirque du Soliel Shows cater to everybody and others are a little more risque. Do your research and decide which one is best for you. Families would enjoy the a show like Mystere, while shows such as Zumanity and Absynthe are only for those 18 and older.

Do Some Shopping – Visit the Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood, The Forum Shops at Ceasar’s Palace, The Fashion Show Mall and the Premium Outlet Shops.

Enjoy the buffets – Just about every hotel in Las Vegas has huge buffets filled with massive food choices for even the pickiest of eaters and for every palate. Most have vegetarian choices, beef, chicken and seafood choices, dishes from all over the world and some of the most beautiful and delicious desserts you’ve ever tasted.

Take a Day Trip to the Grand Canyon – This is something that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. It’s an amazing experience that will take your breath away. The first time I went to visit I choked up because it was even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined from pictures. It was an emotional experience for me the whole time.

Awe inspired @ The Grand Canyon

Enjoy downtime at the pool – The days can get very hot so there’s no better way to pass the time in the heat than lounging around in and around the pool to stay cooled off. The pools have drink and food service so you’ll feel truly relaxed by being catered to!

Enjoying a refreshing drink @ the Bally’s pool

Where to Eat

There’s no shortage of restaurants, pubs and buffets so deciding where to eat can be extremely overwhelming. Some of my favorite places to eat include:

  • Giada’s (The Cromwell) – Just a note: This is a very pricey restaurant but the food and experience is worth every penny.
  • Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar (The Linq)
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill (MGM Grand)
  • Mon Ami Gabi (Paris)
  • Hexx Kitchen and Bar (Paris)
  • PF Changs (Planet Hollywood)
  • SEA: The Thai Experience (Bally’s)
  • The Earl of Sandwich (Planet Hollywood)
  • Secret Pizza (The Cosmopolitan) – I can’t rave about the pizza here enough! It’s worth trying if you can find it 🙂
Enjoying the Bacon Mac n’ Cheese Burger @ Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar

If you’re not sure of which buffet to ravage, here are some of my recommendations:

  • Le Village Buffet at Paris Hotel
  • The Buffet at TI (Treasure Island)
  • MORE The Buffet at The Luxor
  • Cravings Buffet at The Mirage
  • Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace

Packing For Las Vegas

Vegas is unique in many ways and because of that, it will get special mention in many areas of this site. If you have been there, you understand.

Most trips to Vegas are generally only 2-3 nights, so there would be no need to pack 8 pairs of shoes and 6 dresses. You won’t wear them all. Pack light and sensibly because if this is your first time, you will want room in that suitcase for souvenirs and new clothes on your return home. There’s plenty of shopping on The Strip and there’s more than enough walking to do so only packing your “cute” shoes will be a sure fire way to make you want to retreat back to your hotel because of sore feet after the first few hours of exploring the sights and sounds of the Vegas strip.

It is important to remember that when traveling to Vegas between Mid-March/Early April and October that temperatures can get really hot during the day, but drops when the sun goes down and it can get quite chilly, so be sure to pack accordingly. If you are planning to go during the winter months, warm clothes will be essential for day and night. Most hotels close their pools from October to Mid-March so there may not be a need to pack bathing suits. Check with your hotel first before making that decision.

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