how to be a tourist in las vegas

  1. Win some money! I’m not really a gambler. I think I’m too cheap to gamble. But maybe it’s because I feel like I always end up losing and I’d rather spend that lost money on something else. But there’s something about those slot machines. The bright lights, the music – in fact, they say that’s why people are addicted to Candy Crush – for those same reasons. I did win about $60 on the Britney Spears slot machine (thanks, Brit Brit!) but I ended up losing it to the electronic black jack tables. Can’t win em’ all
My girl, Britney came through!

2. Splurge at a buffet* There is no shortage of buffets in Vegas. Pretty much every resort has their own buffet. But this is one of the prime examples of, “what you pay is what you get.” If a buffet only costs $20, don’t expect very high quality food or service. If you go to a higher end one, the quality extremely different. In the four days we spent in Vegas, we went to three buffets. Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan, The Buffet at Bellagio, and Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s. Bacchanal was by far the best. I mean truffle risotto with duck foie gras – need I say more? We happened to be in Vegas during Thanksgiving, so the buffets had Thanksgiving dishes. If you go at this time, just beware that wait times are ridiculous. (*Note – this was pre-Covid. Some buffets are still currently closed (Sept 2020) so who knows what their fate will be)

3. Walk the strip. This is the best way to see everything, especially since each casino is unique. Depending on how much time you want to spend at each casino, you’ll need at least two to three days. We spent longer in some than others but really, we just wanted to check out the architecture of each. I wouldn’t recommend going end to end in one day since the strip is three miles long. Also day and night vibes are completely different so you definitely want to check out both

Vegas Strip as seen from our room at the Cosmopolitan
The Venetian
The Bellagio
The Mirage

4. Watch a show. So many to see, so little time. I knew I definitely wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil performance. It was between O and Love. We chose Love since we like the Beatles, and it was slightly cheaper than O. I regretted it afterwards, because I didn’t think the show was that great. It seemed more interpretive dancing than it did acrobatics. Still a fun experience though

Beatles LOVE at the Mirage
Beatles LOVE at the Mirage

5. Catch a free show. Well, more like a mini show. Most casinos have their own special performance of some sort. For the Bellagio, it’s their fountain show. For the Mirage, it’s the Volcano show. Just make sure you look up the times beforehand and plan accordingly

Volcano show at the Mirage
Fountain show at the Bellagio

6. Hike along the Grand Canyon. Of course, this depends on which side of the Grand Canyon you want to visit (West rim is the closest) and how much time you want to spend there

Mather Point at the Grand Canyon

7. Explore Red Rock Canyon. This is great if you want to get away from the city, but you don’t want to stray too far. It’s about a half an hour drive from the strip and there are various hiking trails you can take. The weather can be temperamental though. On the day we went, it was sunny and nice in Vegas but by the Canyon, it was snowy with low visibility. Because of this, the trails were closed but we did get to check out one part of the Canyon before the now started getting bad

8. Grab a Double Double and Animal Style fries from In-N-Out. Alright, so this one is not exactly specific to Vegas but since I’m an east coast gal, I don’t get to have it a lot. So whenever I’m on the opposite coast, I always make it a stop (or two)


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