After New Orleans we headed to Sin City!
We were feeling boujee and stayed at Caesars Palace, I’d definitely recommend paying a little extra in order to stay at one of the major hotels on the Strip, being just one or two streets away can make a huge difference to the atmosphere as it really feels like you step into the middle of nowhere – truly a city of extremes!
Our first full day was spent getting up at 5:30am to get a coach to the Grand Canyon – definitely a must-do if you’re in Vegas for long enough! We booked a South Rim Bus Tour through Viator, it was very well organised and seemed to be one of the best value basic tours; there are plenty of opportunities to add extras and upgrades if you wish, such as helicopter trips or a private jeep drive along the rim.
It was truly stunning and photos really can’t do the sheer size and beauty of the canyon justice, you have to see it to believe it! It was a long day given the ±4 hour drive each way but 100% worth it.
We spent another of our days exploring the infamous hotels and casinos, it’s quite a surreal experience walking through what feels like so many mini cities – you can go on a worldwide trip from Egypt to Greece to Italy to France but my personal favourite was New York New York. I’d also recommend visiting the botanical garden in the Bellagio – it was designed as a beautiful Japanese Garden when we were there although it is changed on a seasonal basis. It was truly stunning and felt like an oasis in the midst of the Bellagio madness!
We also visited the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign. I am glad we did this however if you are in Vegas during high season pack lots of water and be prepared to queue for a VERY long time if you want the perfect photo for Instagram! I would actually recommend skipping the queue and getting a shot from the side instead – no it won’t be completely central however with a good photographer friend who can ace the right angles it can look just as good and will save you an hour of queuing. I was pleased to snap the below photo, a moment which sums up Vegas – a couple getting married below the famous sign!
Another day was spent at Las Vegas North Premium Outlet, it was a short taxi drive and worth a visit if you fancy picking up some designer bargains. Vegas had pretty much drained my bank account by the time we went there but I still bought a few souvenirs and managed to find one or two things for myself..!
A Vegas highlight for me was our evening at Fremont Street and exploring Downtown. It felt like taking a step back in a time machine, I loved all of the old-school neon signage and the various street performers made it feel so lively and vibrant. And the vintage slot machines which take quarter coins were a welcome relief from the main Vegas casinos!
As for nightlife, we went to Omnia (within Caesars Palace) and a daytime pool party at Drai’s Beachclub (within The Cromwell hotel). Omnia was great fun but definitely get there early – we booked ourselves onto a ‘queue jump’ guest list and arrived around 10/10.30pm… Upon arrival I asked the hostess where we should go and she pointed to the queue which went outside and just kept going. We ended up spending well over an hour queueing which somewhat flattened the atmosphere! It is a very cool nightclub and we caught a DJ set by Zedd. As with everything else in Vegas, it is extremely expensive (we ordered 2 drinks and the bill came to $80) but all of the clubs there are probably similar so it’s to be expected when you go there. Just have a great time and deal with reality when you are back home!
The pool party at Drai’s Beachclub was very fun, there was a great atmosphere and I would definitely recommend going to a pool party at a dayclub – it felt very much like a classic ‘all-American’ party and something I am unlikely to do anytime in the near future (what with being a UK citizen, pool parties aren’t common!) so it was a good experience. If you are lucky enough to have the spare funds, the cabanas are available to hire (prices starting at $2,000) and would be a good base to have if you are in a large group.
That just about sums up the time we had in Las Vegas… In conclusion I’d say it is very surreal and very expensive but I’m so happy to have experienced the madness!