Before our trip, I must admit Vegas wasn’t somewhere I’d ever had a burning desire to visit. It looked cool and all but I didn’t get the hype and never really planned to investigate what it was all about. However after having spent three days strolling the length of the strip, those feelings have changed and the perfect escapism the city represents is something I began craving the minute we left the glittering lights behind us.
If you’re thinking Las Vegas is solely about the party life and boozing it up until you can’t see straight anymore then you’re right BUT (and yes surprisingly there is a but) it also has some pretty cool things to see and for consumerism lovers (unashamedly like myself) the massive hotel replicas of European cities and Wonders of the World don’t disappoint. You can literally spend days wandering in and out of iconic locations such as Caeser’s Palace, New York New York, The Venetian and see almost every part of the hotel without paying the hefty price tag to stay there. Not a gambler myself I was surprised at how much entertainment other than slot machines this obscure playground has to offer.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, we arrived in Vegas off the Greyhound bus at 5 am – not ideal when your check in time isn’t until 10 am and all you want is a shower and a bed! Due to this, the first 5 hours of our stay consisted of multiple Starbucks coffee and dozing on the floor of our hotel, Circus Circus. We had heard mixed reviews about our accommodation before we went and whilst it was not 5 star luxury I would really recommend it for the low price we paid. Guys, the Vegas strip is EXPENSIVE and whilst we would’ve loved to party it up in the MGM Grand, beggars can’t be choosers! Circus Circus is a unique experience and as first timers to Vegas the family atmosphere of it made us feel a little safer. The other issue people have is that it’s on the very end of the strip but honestly it was only a 15 min walk to the Wyn which started off the middle, busiest part of the strip so really wasn’t that much of an issue. Also a little tip – make sure to book the main hotel building tower, it’s huge and some of the rooms aren’t actually connected to the main building so opt for the West Tower when booking.
Check in sorted and showers done, we were ready to go exploring. Bearing in mind we got to Vegas in October, it was absolutely boiling. It’s so easy to forget that Las Vegas is literally an oasis in the middle of the desert and we weren’t quite prepared for the blast of heat that hit us when we walked out the door. Most of our time was spent exploring the hotels. The fact that you could just wander in and out wherever you wanted was fab and some of the architecture and design that went into the buildings is actually incredible. The Venetian has a replica of an Italian square with little coffee shops and a river running through the middle where you can get gondola rides. The other standout was Caesar’s Palace, it was beautiful inside and honestly, you might laugh but it really makes you feel like you’re in Greece. I completely understand what people mean when they say they go to Vegas to escape. Gordon Ramsay and Hell’s Kitchen is both Benji and I’s guilty pleasure so of course we went to take a look at the restaurant at Caesar’s and by this time drinks were calling.
As you can imagine, Vegas doesn’t enforce many rules so drinking on the streets is the done thing and after seeing everyone walking around guzzling foot long frozen margaritas I couldn’t resist getting in on the action. Despite it appearing so lawless, everyone is surprisingly calm and the massive fights and rowdy crowds I was expecting to be dodging the entire time, we’re nowhere to be seen. We got our drinks from Sugar Factory – best cocktail I’ve ever had, and you keep the cup so that the drinks are cheaper when you refill later. We spent the evening back in our hotel, pretty wiped out after the over night bus and the 5 am start so we stayed low key and explored the place a bit more. Circus Circus has a theme park inside called the Adventuredome so that was a cool feature to have access to. We also had a go at the card tables but after $30 vanished in the space of two mins we decided maybe we weren’t quite rich enough just yet to chance our arms.
Day 2 started with a little lie in and then a hike to breakfast, a place I had chosen to indulge my inner Instagramer. Eggslut in the Cosmopolitan hotel is a chain in the States and incredibly aesthetic. We ate our overpriced egg rolls in sheer bliss – they were so good – and then headed to out in search of the infamous Las Vegas sign. What people don’t tell you is that the sign is not actually any where near the strip but a good 20 min walk from the MGM Grand which is the end of the main part. Eventually we made it but there was a huge queue of people all looking to get a shot so we strategically got one from the side. Next it was on to an activity for Benji as he’d humored my breakfast request. Top Golf on the roof of the MGM is a must do – and this is coming from an avid golf hater. It’s not too expensive and loads of fun.
Later that evening it was time to get ready to head out and see if Vegas night life lived up to the hype. We did our bit of research and decided to try The Palms rooftop club. Going out in Vegas can obviously be very pricey so make sure to sign up to the clubs guest list to get free entry. This night out was the best I’ve ever had for a number of reasons, one being it was completely free. We arrived at The Palms and were wandering around the lobby looking for the lift to the club when a rep approached us. Always weary of promotors for reasons I don’t need to disclose as I’m sure we’re all aware of them, this time turned out in our favour. Discovering that we were Irish, the guy offered me (as I was the girl) free entry with a guest and free drinks all night from a table in the club. This was amazing as it meant that both of us could drink for free as we shared the free ones I got. The second reason would have to be the incredible view. We were clubbing over the top of the whole Vegas strip which was all lit up and wow was it amazing. Going out in Vegas doesn’t have to be a must but I would recommend you see what it’s all about.
The next and final day was pretty rough as you can imagine and was spent dying by the pool in our hotel. We were catching a flight to Virginia that evening so needed to be able to walk without puking before 7pm! Rounding off our trip with a relaxing pool day was actually perfect as we could get in the last few rays of sun we would see for the coming months.
Whilst controversial, in my opinion Las Vegas is a must visit destination, even just to tick off that you’ve seen it. It really is an incredible place unlike anywhere else in the world. So go on, give it a try, you can thank me later!