Yes travel: Las Vegas city guide

EmmaBy Emma  •  11 Jan 2017 at 7:00am  •  Places, World Travel
Emma

by Emma

Las Vegas was the last stop on our epic West Coast of America road trip, and was a particular highlight of the holiday because we met up with a group of friends to celebrate a 30th birthday. If you end up going to Las Vegas outside of a wider road trip, I would certainly say it is a great place to visit with friends. It’s so vibrant and lively and it will be sure to suck you in within seconds.

Although it was the longest part of our trip, it was also probably the most relaxed because we wanted to spend time with friends rather than fill every second of the day with activities. But we did manage to cover some ground, so here’s my recommendations..

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

Accommodation

We stayed at the Luxor, and it was great if you are looking for a more affordable option. But if we were to go back I would chose to stay at either the Cosmopolitan (where we had a delicious breakfast for the birthday boy’s big day) or the Venetian for a totally classic luxurious Vegas experience – our friends are Vegas regulars and said the Venetian would be their choice of hotel on the strip.

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

Seeing the sights

Outside of the strip itself, there are two main attractions that you need to tick off your list: Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.

I talked a bit about Hoover Dam in my road trip post, as we visited on our way to Las Vegas., but as a little recap – even though I was feeling poorly that day, I couldn’t help but be in awe of what I was seeing. It is a epic sight to behold. Your eyes can barely believe the scale of it. We didn’t do any of the tours, but if you have more time here it might be worth learning a bit more about it from the experts.

Hoover Dam, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

We also set aside a day to go to the Grand Canyon. In the end we only needed a morning as we opted to take the shorter drive to the Western Rim, where you can see Eagle Point.

Grand Canyon, West Rim, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

There are other options (both the South and North Rim are slightly further in) and there are pros and cons to all of them depending on the time that you want to spend there. But we truly felt like we experienced the Grand Canyon without adding on hours of extra driving to our already long trip.

Grand Canyon, West Rim, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

The boy is scared of heights so we didn’t do a helicopter tour, though a couple of the guys with us did. Bear in mind the flights are very short for the price that you pay, but it will be sure to be a thrilling experience.

We took the shuttle bus round taking in the different stops, including Eagle Point and the sky walk. It was utterly incredible. The views were awe-inspiring, as you can imagine, and it is an experience I will never forget.

We used our extra time that afternoon back in Vegas to explore the strip. Each and every hotel is a spectacle, but it’s pretty hot out there so make sure you take the time to explore inside some of the hotels too to keep you cool. There are fountain and fire shows outside some hotels both during the day and at night, so it is worth taking some time to wander the strip at different times of the day.

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

On our last morning we went back to the Venetian to do the infamous gondola ride. It was our last excursion of the holiday so we opted for a private gondola – beware, it can be quite pricy and feels like it is over in the blink of an eye – but I was really pleased we did it. It felt like a super romantic end to the adventure that played host to our engagement.

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

 

Entertainment

The casinos themselves obviously hold much of the entertainment in Vegas. We aren’t big gamblers but we had a go at roulette one evening, setting a limit on what we wanted to bet. It was good fun and we even managed to win a small amount!

There are plenty of shows on offer at the hotels as well. We went to see Cirque de soleil, Beatles Love. It was amazing, such a spectacle. Everyone in the party loved it and I would definitely go and see it again. A beautiful explosion of art and colour, to the most fantastic soundtrack.

I’ve already mentioned that we were there to celebrate a big birthday, so obviously that means that one evening was reserved for big celebration. To mark our lovely friends 30th we got a limo tour for the down the strip. It was booked through the Luxor and we were able to take our own drinks onboard. It was a fantastic experience. We had an awesome driver who talked us through the whole strip, stopping off at some of the key sights and taking snaps of the whole group for us including The Vegas Sign, the fountain show at the Bellagio and the volacano show at the Mirage.

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

But my favourite part of the tour was visiting the old strip, an area that we perhaps wouldn’t have ventured to on our own but was so interesting to see. If there is a group of you there, a limo tour is certainly the perfect way to spend an evening, and such good fun.

Las Vegas, Planning a West Coast of America road trip, travelling in California, trip of a lifetime, via Year of the Yes

 

So that’s our Vegas experience for you. There’s obviously heaps more to do, and if you have any particular recommendations do pop them in the comment box below.

 

{If you are planning a West Coast of America trip, you will want to check out the other posts in this series: Planning a West Coast of America trip, San Francisco city guide, Los Angeles city guide, San Diego city guide}

About the Author

Emma loves sunshine and flip flops, prosecco, chocolatey treats, things that sparkle, trips to the beach, reading and blogging.

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