What is it about Vegas that draws our attention? Is it the glamorous nightlife, the blood-pumping gambling, the endless buffets, or the glittering shows? Well, it’s probably a combination of those plus more, but either way, there is only one place on earth like it.
A trip to Las Vegas is one of those quintessential American experiences. I find that every time I mention Vegas, people feel one of two things: hatred and disgust for a fake, materialist, drunken, glutinous, gambling city; or excitement and wonder, fun parties and an overall exhilarating getaway.
I don’t drink, so for me, it was a modest experience of ginger shots and juices from the amazing Juice Standard at The Cosmopolitan, breathtaking hikes, gleaming shows, and bed by 12am (which is fine by me!) From the bright lights of the Strip to the world-class museums, this little Nevada city is everything you’d expect it to be and so much more sans the parties and binge drinking. Here is my guide to everything Las Vegas. Because believe this little sober girl when I say, a deep culture actually does exist!
Don’t forget to use these Las Vegas captions for your trip!
For starters, st yourself up at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas you’ll thank me later). Forget that cheesy vibe of themed restaurants and those annoying tour guides stalking you, The Cosmo (as it’s called) exudes the uber modern, big-city sophistication that happens to have a prime spot on the Strip. From the lobby with its video-screen-covered towers to its classic, David Rockwell-designed Chandelier Bar, it’s filled with eye-catching spaces and epic photo ops. This chic hotel was definitely made for longer visits and group adventures as it offers one to three-bedroom suites that boasts a separate living room and kitchenette – perfect if you are looking for that apartment feel. No detail is left unturned in this ultra hip hotel, even the closets are lined with this super cool wallpaper of women with guns (we are badasses, see!)
As for our room, they are equally as beautiful as the commune areas. Containing a sprawling and comfortable bed, there was a gorgeous chaise and additional seating so you could relax and take it all in. We were lucky to have a terrace with a view that could kill. Shane and I watched the Bellagio Fountains (hello, Oceans 11), the Linq’s massive ferris wheel, and Vegas’ version of Eiffel Tower.
Overall, The Cosmo has everything you could possibly dream of without ever having to step foot onto the strip. From multiple delicious restaurants and shopping to day and night clubs, pools, a spa, and tennis courts, it has all the luxury one hotel could offer and at an affordable price!
Whether you are a high roller or you just want to toss quarters in the Sex and the City slot machines, you can’t go to Las Vegas with trying your odds. Shane and I loved the virtual horse racing game, recommended to make your dollars last longer. After all, there is nothing better than being able to tell your friends the tale of how you won it all —and then lost it — on one magical night in the city.
- Explore Downtown Las Vegas: Now, more than ever, Las Vegas is way more than just the Strip. The hippest new spot to check out is downtown Las Vegas. Here’s my list of faves.
- Neon Museum: This massive six-acre space is a beautiful and bizarre graveyard for countless vintage Vegas signs. Tons of photo ops here and maybe even a keepsake.
- Freemont Street: For the ultimate Vegas experience, get to this five-block entertainment district. Take the famous SlotZilla Zip Line from the world’s largest slot machine to the world’s largest video screen for an epic (and free!) light show.
- Mob Museum: This is not your average museum. You can get a look into the dark side of Las Vegas’ history at this fascinating place.
- The Las Vegas Art District (AKA 18b): This is the local art scene, and it’s the place to come to see a whole different side of Vegas.
- Take a trip to the Grand Canyon: One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a World Heritage Site, this geological magnification is one mile deep, 18 miles wide, and 277 river miles long. And oh such a great photo op.
- Get lost at the Seven Magic Mountains: Created by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinones, this colorful installation is a must-see amidst the desert.
- Michael Jackson One: Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough gave me chills. The dancing and effects were incredible!
- Bellagio Fountains: The sound and light show at The Bellagio is essential. It happens every fifteen or thirty minutes, depending on the day and time of year, so it’s easy to find time for it.
- Absinthe at Caesars Palace: This is my all-time favorite! Not for the faint at heart, this raunchy comedy and mix of burlesque is what many refer to as the best show in Vegas.
- The Beatles LOVE: All you need is love for The Beatles in this stunning Cirque du Soleil.
- Las Vegas North Premium Outlets: Brand crazy? Make a beeline for this outlet! Armani, Bose, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and so much more are all at rock-bottom prices here.
- Caesars Palace Forum Shops: Known as the Shopping Wonder of the World, this place has all of the top international brands and even better restaurants. It even has the world’s largest privately-owned art gallery, which has an entire wall of Andy Warhol pieces.
- Eggslut at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: The egg sandwiches here will literally knock your socks off! Get there early as “the slut” sells out fast. Full disclosure: we ate here three times it was that good!
- Blue Ribbon Brasserie: Hello, comfort food and sushi! Yes, that’s right, they paired the two together. And just so you know, this place has the best fried chicken you will ever eat! Come in jeans and a T-shirt or a formal dress, and indulge. But be sure to tie a napkin around your neck!
- Raos Italian: What is virtually impossible to get into in New York is a little bit more accessible in Las Vegas. Regardless, try to make reservations in advance. We ate at the bar, and everything from the service to the food definitely lived up to the hype!