When I was asked to join a friend in Vegas, I imagined the outdoor adventures I could have. As much as I like to think that I love to party, my itinerary says otherwise. This guide is more for those of us who don’t anticipate going to Vegas. It sounds interesting, but not enough to book a flight and go.
But you should definitely do it. Everyone should see it at least once. There’s nothing like it. It’s an experience you won’t forget. No matter where you come from, Vegas will surprise you.
Apart from a luxurious stay, you can eat and play all day and all night long.
Just a Reminder…
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Adult Disney World
You’ll realize that you’ve entered adult Disney World the moment you walk down the strip. Admire the intricate facades that transport you to distant lands and fairytale settings. In no other place can you view a volcano (the Mirage), take a photo under the Arc de Triomphe (Paris), and view a colosseum (Caesar’s Palace) all within a few feet of each other.
You’ll also see showgirls in their costumes ready to take a photo with you among other interesting sights that you just have to experience to believe. Walking from the Venetian to Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, and back is very tiring, and comfortable shoes are essential. On the first night, I walked over 20,000 steps.
Nature Day Trips
If you aren’t keen on going all the way to Grand Canyon but still want to have an outdoor experience, these are 3 great options in the area:
Head down the Nevada Scenic Byway for views of petroglyphs and intriguing rock shapes. The best way to get there is by car (rental or your own) or with a guided tour. It is not advised to use ride-sharing services as you could wind up stranded. Look for events like the Star Party with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society (LVAS) and the guided sunset hike. $10 entrance fee per vehicle ($15 non-Nevada license plates).
- Best kept secret – Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail – unmarked, small trail displaying pink pastel sandstone walls.
- Closest spots from Vegas – Beehive Rock and Fire Cave/Windstone Arch.
- Best time: early morning or late afternoon, winter or spring (Summer midday can be excruciatingly hot).
A short drive and oh so pretty. You can stop by the visitor center and then take the 13-mile one-way scenic drive through the canyon. And if you like to hike, there’s over 2 dozen trails waiting to be explored.
Off the strip and onto a cultural expedition through Las Vegas history with museums, galleries, and colorful botanical gardens. There’s even a splash pad for the kids to cool off. The Divine Cafe serves up bananas foster waffles and mimosas with great service included. This is an all around feel good experience and visual treat.
At the Hotels on the Strip
The Venetian – Gondola Ride
Even if you don’t want to book the ride, enjoy watching the view as the gondoliers go singing by.
The Bellagio – Fountains
What’s more fascinating than watching water dance to music with synchronized lights? Make a date of it and book early at
The Mirage – watch the Volcano show.
Spas & Quiet Time
If you can squeeze it in, a spa experience in Vegas can be just as grand as everything else. Tip: Go for the manicure or pedicure at Canyon Ranch Spa and you get access to the exclusive
Aquavana® experiential rooms included. Check the spa offers for specials, such as food and beverage credits or a discounted package.
The Waldorf Astoria – Tea Time.
This is a great zen-filled moment to take a break from all of the excitement on the strip. You may need this peaceful recharge. I cannot recommend enough booking tea time at the Waldorf Astoria. Again, I also recommend booking as early as possible. You can never book too early in Vegas but you can wait too long and not be able to get a reservation.
You already know there’s dozens of shows from comedies to concerts and dancing. Be sure to enjoy at least one. Get tickets early.
Comedy Shows – Top rated is V – The Ultimate Variety Show at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
Family-friendly Shows – Try Hitzville the Show at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
Currently, there are 3 Cirque Du Soleil shows
- Mystère by Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino,
- “O™” by Cirque du Soleil® at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, and
- Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil® at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
There are 35 specialty museums in Las Vegas where you can look into the underworld of the Mob, the history of Shelby cars, Pinball Hall of Fame, see vintage Las Vegas signs, learn about the history of atomic testing, and even visit Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah. Check out this guide to visiting the Neon Museum – a walk through vintage signs significant to Vegas history.
Your Vegas foodie experience should include at least one Celebrity Chef restaurant. I’m a fan of many of them but had to go to Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. Although, my bucket list still includes Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck.
With more than 40 Celebrity Chef experiences available, it can be hard to choose which ones to try. Be sure to check any dress codes before you go. Here’s a few of the best rated and menu highlights:
Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres – Super Giant Pork Skin Chicharron; Reuben Airbread
Beauty & Essex – Grilled Cheese Dumplings; Thai Style Deep-Fried Shrimp
Buddy V’s Ristorante – Italian cuisine including a family style to-go menu and happy hour daily with $5 Prosecco & $6 Eggplant Parm (4:30PM – 6PM)
Delmonico Steakhouse – 100% JAPANESE WAGYU*
Lakeside – Wynn Las Vegas – Hawaiian Mahi Mahi; Grilled Seafood Gazpacho
MICHAEL MINA at Bellagio – Seasons of Mina Tasting Menu includes Amuse Bouche, Burrata Caviar; Potato Gnocchi & Maine Lobster; & more.
Nobu at Caesar’s Palace – Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño
Restaurant Guy Savoy – 10 Years of Forbes 5 Star Celebration Menu
$555 per person including premium wine pairing
Rivea at Delano Las Vegas – Beef Carpaccio; Cookpot of Farmer’s Vegetables
Wazuzu at Wynn Las Vegas – Vegan Rainbow Roll; Vegan Drunken Noodles; Imperial Wagyu Fried Rice
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill – Vegan Burger; Half Jidori Chicken; BBQ Smoked Ribs
Out of the Ordinary
Area 15 is filled with several different experiences to enjoy. A hang-gliding experience, a flight simulator, immersive sound experience, and even craft cocktails under a digital maple tree at the Oddwood Bar. Try the Dragon Margarita – tequila, ginger, agave, honey, lime juice, and a hibiscus salt rim.
Enter a supermarket unlike any other and go on an art-filled journey through surreal worlds with secret portals. Follow the quest to adventure all parts of the mart or just wander around. Allow at least 90 minutes to really get immersed in it, longer if you have the time. Great for all ages.
Dueling Axes – Who knew axe-throwing was a thing AND I would love it? We had to try it and enjoyed the first hour so much that we bought a second. It takes a little while to really get the hang of it and figure out how to throw it. But, once you get it, there’s no stopping. You can purchase light drinks like hard seltzers or beer but no hard liquor. You can even bring in your own drinks. The best part is your waiter/coach will give you tips to help you nail it! You may even find several in your local area. I searched and found plenty of axe throwing places between Tampa and Orlando, FL.
The Van Gogh Experience – We were lucky to have a similar experience to this in France so I highly recommend this if you see it available near you or in Vegas. It is a soothing immersive art show all around you.
The Lost Spirits Distillery – This looks absolutely amazing but it wasn’t open yet when we were visiting. WIRED magazine called it the “Disneyland for Liquor”. Imagine being in an immersive tour through a distillery but Willy Wonka style. This 2 hour tour is described as a bar hopping dreamscape with hologram shows and submarine rides.
See more Vegas reels and photos on instagram.
Something for everyone including ages 3 and up! Dig, excavate, and bulldoze to your heart’s content. They even have mini excavators for the kids!
Vegas Pro Photo Tip:
You may find that setting up a tripod is pretty hard in Vegas. Many places won’t allow professional equipment, cell phone photos only. Just take it as a reminder to be in the fun instead of capturing it.
So, go ahead and book the Vegas trip. You won’t be bored and there will be plenty to eat, shop, see, and do. There is truly something for everyone. For more information on packages, click here.