Full disclosure: I’ve never cared much for the idea of Vegas. I can’t keep up with the party girl lifestyle and the thought of staying up all night sends chills down my spine. But, Xan had to go for work and so; the opportunity to go for pretty cheap presented itself. When you live on the east coast going to Vegas is a big deal. It’s an all day flight each way. So, you’re not just going for a night or two. I’ve never wanted to invest that much time or money in it. This seemed like the perfect way to get a little taste of Vegas without having to commit too much time/energy/money/life/etc. I’m actually really glad we went. For one, it was a fun weekend date (ever since Dev and Rachel had a weekend date in Nashville on Master of None I’ve been wanting to do the same thing). Two, because it was one of those obligatory things to check off the list that I didn’t think I cared about, but actually found interesting.
We spent 2 nights there and that seemed to be just right. In fact, there’s a possibility Xan will be going to this conference again next year and I would even go back! So, here’s the unconventional Vegas-goer’s guide. You too, non-partying, sleep-loving person, can have fun in Vegas
Top things to do:
1. Eat at delicious restaurants – do your homework and be skeptical of everything. A lot of the restaurants have the same type of extremely indulgent and expensive food that isn’t actually that good. Even the ones owned by acclaimed chefs. Our favorite place was a restaurant in the Venetian called Yard Bird.
2. See a show - we saw Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana. It was really good, but if we went again I would see their Beatles themed show. There are tons of other acts and definitely something to suit your taste.
3. Gamble – if you don’t like the idea of throwing away a bunch of money gambling try the penny slots. The buy in is so low you don’t have to feel bad about it. Xan and I gave ourselves $10 to play and that lasted us over an hour, plus we won nearly $40. Tip: smoking inside is still allowed in the casinos. Plan your gambling stint around peak times if cigarette smoke bothers you.
4. Soak up the indulgence – we stayed at the Venetian in what I’m assuming is their lowest level room and it still had multiple king beds, a living room, dining area, and huge bathroom with a tub and TV. Order room service and then kick back, relax, and enjoy the excess Vegas is known for.
5. Check out the hotels – each one is more over the top than the last. The scale of everything there was unbelievable. Our hotel had over 7,000 rooms in it, a full-size mall, and restaurants everywhere. Each hotel has a different theme so walking through a few of them is a feast for the senses. Plus, because everything is so big you’ll easily get your 10,000 steps in.
6. See the fountains at the Bellagio – we didn’t make this a priority, but happened upon it and am so glad we did. I’m not sure why it was so cool to see, maybe it’s the scale, but it’s not to be missed! Tip: the fountains are only in action every 30 minutes or so. Check the schedule for when you’ll be there and plan accordingly. Show up a little early and get a good spot facing the Bellagio.
7. Visit the James Turrell installation – In The Shops at Crystal on the upper level is an art installation that plays with light and perception it’s very cool. Take a peek at the section open to the public, or make an appointment and see the whole thing at the Louis Vuitton store.
The night I got there we explored our hotel. This is a fake sky that's pretty realistic. It's very confusing when it's 10pm. We checked out some of the interesting shops, which like the rest of Vegas, seem to be open 24/7.
The next morning our first priority was breakfast. Yard Bird fit the bill perfectly!
Next up, gambling! Trying our hand at the penny slots.
Winner! I cashed out before I lost it all.
After that we relaxed in the room for a bit and got ready to see Cirque du Soleil. But, not before taking a couple selfies in the bathroom.
We made it to the show and had very good seats. Tip: book through the concierge at your hotel, they can usually get you cheaper tickets.
The pastries at Jean Philippe in The Aria were gorgeous.
We happened upon the public James Turrell exhibit.
After James Turrell we found ourselves at the back door to the Bellagio. We wandered around there before stumbling upon the fountains.
The next morning we grabbed pastries at Bouchon Bakery (we weren't impressed - I think the one in Napa is supposed to be better), packed our bags, and headed to the airport. It was a quick but fun getaway!