Our honeymoon seems like forever ago already and looking at all the photos makes me miss it so much, we really did have the best time! My best friend (and bridesmaid) flew out to Las Vegas for her planned holiday the day after we left, it would have been amazing to hang out with her! But instead, I sent her a very condensed guide to Las Vegas I had written on my phone, which I hope she found helpful! So, I thought I would elaborate a little and share with you a few of our experiences while exploring Las Vegas.
First of all, it was very hot. I can’t even begin to explain the heat in the desert, especially considering we were there at the beginning of June. For most of the time we were there, it was between 38-41 degrees Celsius, where as I had never experienced anything above 30 degrees Celsius, on a hot English day. A tour guide explained to me that because it is a desert environment, humidity is very low and therefore the moisture is just drawn out of your body – making it even more important to stay hydrated. So that is my first piece of advice – drink LOTS of water. I was pretty much constantly drinking water, whenever I was outside. Although I’m not sure if the tap water is safe to drink, it certainly didn’t smell the best, so we were constantly buying big bottles of water to keep in the hotel and to take around with us.
My second tip, especially for any English roses like myself (pale…so very pale), sun screen is extremely important. The first day, considering I spent a good 15 minutes applying my factor 50, my shoulders got fairly burnt from walking half an hour in the midday sun. We had visited the Vegas sign, and our hotel was in sight, but down a busy road, so we decided to walk as it didn’t look that far! Luckily we had water and I had some travel sized factor 30 in my bag that I reapplied half way, but it was no use. I would also hasten to add that I don’t go brown in the sun, or reflect light for that matter. I go pink. Not from sunburn, just from heat/exposure! Ross was getting browner and browner, I got redder and redder. It wore off in the air-conditioning after a while, but I spent most of my time either being slightly burnt and looking like, as Ross called me, his ‘lobster’ (we watched a lot of Friends in the states!).
So, moral of the story, bring the factor 50 and take it with you EVERYWHERE. And re-apply every 4 hours, religiously.
We did a hell of a lot of walking up and down the strip and I can honestly say, comfy walking shoes are a must. I thought I had packed my converses, but sadly, I left them at home. I only had some ballet flats, sandals, wedges and flip flops. I managed about 3-4 days with blisters and very sore feet, until we managed to get to a Skechers shop and bought the COMFIEST trainers I have ever had in my life. Thank God for memory foam! Side note – if you want to drive anywhere, definitely take an Uber – so much cheaper than a taxi and easy to use! An alternative is the monorail that runs up and down the strip.
Things to do
There is a never ending list of things to do in Las Vegas, which is one of the reasons we are desperate to go back, but let me tell you a little about what we got up to!
We always seemed to end up at the Bellagio fountains, as it seemed to be dead in the middle of the strip and not far from the MGM Grand (our hotel). The fountains are very impressive and a must to see, day or night. We did spend a lot of time exploring the hotels on the strip because it is free and there are shops and attractions at most of them, as well as being interesting to look at!
Inside the Bellagio hotel, is a very beautiful botanical garden, that I believe is changed fairly regularly to reflect the seasons and the current times. It’s also free to visit!
The Flamingo hotel had, you guessed it, flamingos! They seemed to have a fair amount of space, which as a vet nurse is my first concern with captive animals, but apart from the heat and the flamingos being asleep, they seemed okay! The habitat was like a little garden with bridges and streams, ducks, swans and a couple of rescued pelicans, some turtles and some rather large koi fish!
There wasn’t much I saw in the way of vintage, which is surprising considering Viva Las Vegas was only a month or so before! There’s the odd vintage shop off the strip as well as the Neon museum, the Mob museum and Marilyn the musical. We did go to the National Atomic Testing museum, as we are both history fanatics (we do recommend!) but one of Ross’ favourite places, as well as mine, was the ‘Welderup Showroom’. This is the show room of the tv show ‘Sin City Motors’ (often shown on Dave here in the UK), where they create and build ‘Rat-Rods’. I just had to go full rockabilly that day! The cars were incredible and it is free to look around, we both highly recommend watching the show and visiting the showroom!
Exploring the strip in the evening/at night is a must with the ‘Vegas lights’,the bars and clubs (we only made it to the bars in our hotel!) but with that being said, be prepared. When I say be prepared, I mean for the amount of ‘ladies of the night’ if you know what I mean and the drugs you may be offered (not just cannabis – although it’s legal there!). Ross was given many cards for ‘girls to your room’ while I was holding his hand! It was an experience to say the least, especially as young families were still around at 9pm when this was happening… But I’m not suggesting you don’t ever go out at night, just be aware! I also hasten to add, we felt safer in Las Vegas than Los Angeles, but I’m sure everyone has a different experience.
Our favourite place to hang out in Vegas was ‘The LINQ promenade – it had a great vibe, lots of shops, eateries and bars, as well as the High Roller. The High Roller is the highest observation wheel in the world, but I will say, that London Eye looks bigger somehow! Ross and I saved this for our last night and by chance ended up riding during the sunset, it was beautiful. Plus we saw the Bellagio fountains going while we were up there! You can even have a pod with an open bar, although we didn’t do that as it didn’t seem worth the money. Instead, we had a drink to take on with us and a bag of popcorn!
We did go to the Fremont street experience but I think it was overhyped- its described as the ‘old vegas’ but basically unless you want to drink, gamble (which sounds ridiculous seeing as we were in vegas!) or have a go on the zipline, there’s not a lot to do. Both Ross and I thought it was like a weirder Blackpool or Great Yarmouth! Definitely a sight to behold, but it just wasn’t our thing.
There are lots of shows to see in Vegas but we didn’t go to see any – it was either too expensive or sold out. I would definitely book in advance next time! Grand canyon tours are advertised everywhere- we booked with Canyon Tours before we left the UK. It was one of my favourite experiences, we travelled by coach and had such a surreal and amazing time. I could write a whole post about that really – let me know if you are interested!
Where to eat
This is where it gets pretty costly – eating on the strip is, of course, way more expensive than off the strip! I can recommend Flour and Barley on the Linq promenade and Tom’s Urban at the New York New York. Good food and good service. Otherwise we had been eating a fair amount of fast food like Panda Express (we still crave this!), Chili’s or pizza at Pieology. Our go-to for steak was The Outback Steakhouse – Ross had been to a couple in Florida, it was so good!
The buffets on the strip were also quite expensive, but weekdays tend to be cheaper than weekends. We did go for a breakfast buffet at the MGM the morning before we left – I have never seen anything quite like it! I never thought you could have bacon and eggs, then cheesecake, ice cream and brownie for breakfast! I had bacon and eggs, then sushi… the bread and butter pudding… why not?!
Our last day in Vegas was an emotional one; we did not want to leave! We have promised each other we will go back one day, we had such an incredible time. Have you been to Las Vegas, or are you thinking of going? What was your favourite experience?