There’s a good reason it’s called Sin City, but you don’t need to go crazy at the bar or hire X-rated entertainment to have a great time in Las Vegas. The great thing about this city is it really has something for everyone, whether you’re on a family vacation, couples getaway or bachelor party. Here are a few suggested itineraries to get you started.
Your weekend should be all about fun, fashion and relaxation, so start by checking in to the beautiful Bellagio Hotel. Famous for its fountain show, guests can also enjoy the serene pool area that will fool you into thinking you’re nestled away in a Roman villa. The area features five separate areas including private pools and cabanas, comfortable day loungers and a bar. Work on getting a golden tan during the day, then head out later in the afternoon for some shopping.
One of the best malls to hit is the Premium Outlets North. There are 150 outlet stores here, from high end (Burberry, Michael Kors, St. John) to casual (Banana Republic, BCBG) and sporty (Nike, Jockey). If you don’t have a car—which is likely, you don’t need one!—you can easily get there by cab or bus from anywhere on the stip. Hop on the Strip & Downtown Express buses heading north, and it will drop you off right in front of the mall about half an hour later. Tickets cost $7 for a 24-hour pass, and you can buy them from the vending machine located at each bus stop. Budget at least a few hours at the outlet mall, and depending on how many people you’re with you may want to split up—there are a lot of stores to cover!
After heading back for dinner, spend the night taking in a show. Some comedians and singers perform nightly at select hotels, and Cirque du Soleil is a popular option. A feat in acrobatics and strength, the show is a mix of circus acts, comedy and jaw-dropping stunts.
Hotels like the Bellagio and Treasure Island have in-house Cirque shows, so you may be able to get a deal on ticket prices if you’re staying at one of them.
Your next day in Vegas should be all about fun. Spend your day wandering the Strip, kicking back at the pool or getting some spa treatments, before heading over to the new(ish) Crystals at CityCentre complex. Located right in the middle of the Strip, CityCenter is made up of a huge, luxury mall (think Louis Vuitton and Prada) and two glamorous hotels. Grab dinner inside Crystals at the delicious Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina (I recommend any of the wood-fired oven pizzas) before walking over to The Cosmopolitan hotel to hit the casino. This is a great spot, because even if you aren’t into gambling you’ll be entertained by the hundreds of thousands of crystals that adorn the place.
Finally, head to Marquee for a night of dancing. This stunning space features a huge pool right in the middle of the bar (safe, right?), a number of cabanas for those getting bottle service, numerous levels and dance floors and a great view of the Strip.
The trick to getting into places like this if you aren’t springing for pricey bottle service is to be escorted in by the promotions guys who will bombard you all day long with promises of free drinks, no line and no cover if you go to their club. Take them up on the offer!
OK I know what you’re thinking: kids and Vegas don’t mix. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, you just have to know where to go. I like to refer to Vegas as ‘Disneyland for Adults’, but there are a number of places that can be fun for people of all ages.
Stay in a themed hotel like Excalibur which has a ‘Knights of the Round Table’ theme, or the Luxor which is shaped like a giant pyramid. They’re not fancy, but your kids will be wowed—and you’ll save some cash, too.
Another bonus is that many attractions in Vegas are free, and a walk down the Strip can prove quite entertaining.
Two of them are quite close together, at the Mirage and Treasure Island hotels. Every hour from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. daily, a volcano erupts outside the Mirage, sending fireballs shooting into the air accompanied by a soundtrack from rock group The Grateful Dead. If the sea suits your fancy, head next door for the ‘Sirens of Treasure Island’, a performance about mesmerizing temptresses and their prey. The free, outdoor show happens four times nightly—but keep in mind that parental guidance is suggested and strollers are not allowed in viewing areas.
In the mood for adventure? Head to the Stratosphere where you can take in one of the best views of Las Vegas, and get your heart racing. The tower soars nearly 1,200 feet high, giving visitors a panoramic view. Mom and Dad can take it in while enjoying a drink from the bar, while the kids head out to ‘Insanity the Ride’—which is exactly what it sounds like. A mechanical arm extends out to a height of 900 feet, while the brave souls inside are spun around at high speeds, at one point being propelled straight down. If you still haven’t lost your lunch, try ‘X-Scream’, which is basically like a giant teeter-totter that propels riders headfirst over the end of the tower, over and over. Tower admission is $18 for adults and $10 for children, and packages are also available for those also looking to go on the rides.
You can also check out the Adventuredome Theme Park located inside Circus Circus, which houses a number of rides including a double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster which reaches speeds of nearly 90 km/h. Pay per ride or buy an all-day pass, which is $17 for kids.
Bring lots of money. Get your game face on. And remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
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