Vegas, Baby! Ranking on the bucket lists of most, Sin City is alive and pulsating, it’s always renewing and outdoing and it’ll certainly leave you penniless and pleading for more.
Dubbed the Adult Disneyland, Las Vegas is a must-see destination for its vibrant nightlife where time is irrelevant and visitors get to live out their wildest fantasies. We’ve all seen The Hangover and we’re all wishing to tell the tale that, we too, woke up in Vegas, newly wed, with a tiger in our bathroom and our friend’s front teeth missing.
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Of course, the nightlife in Las Vegas is defined by its gambling scene and is home to some of the biggest casinos in the world. The MGM Grand’s casino ranks as one of the most popular gambling spots in Vegas with more than 170,000 square feet of space and every gaming option available, it makes for a gamblers paradise. Another busy casino is the contemporary Aria, the only gambling space within the City Centre complex and one of the rare occasions a casino has natural light flooding into it through windows and skylights. However, these suggestions only touch upon the endless options for gambling.
Here’s some tips for those not willing to break their banks… Vegas casinos offer free drinks to all gamblers, even those at the penny slots, so take full advantage before you hit the clubs. For the cheapest tables, head “downtown”, to Fremont Street and gamble with the locals at classic casinos such as El Cortez or the Four Queens. It has to be warned however, that this may save you money if you’re lucky, but if everyone at the table knows each other, you’re generally in for a loss because these players are here every day and will inevitably wipe the floor with you.
Before you’ve emptied your wallet, head to some of the clubs to start your ‘Hangover’ experience. Why not jump in at the deep end and hit Hakkasan first? It’s massive and home to some of the biggest dance DJ’s in the world with 2016’s residency roster including: Calvin Harris; Martin Garrix; Oliver Heldens; Tiesto and many more. Another amazing option is the world-renowned XS. Located in the Encore hotel, XS has both an outdoor pool area and a crowded dancefloor that’s lit up by a ten-foot rotating chandelier and there’s gold almost everywhere you look. If that’s not Vegas enough for you, I don’t know what is.
For more excitement, see one of the hundreds of shows across the city. Start with a classic Cirque Du Soleil for the full experience, there are seven different ones showing this year with favourites such as ‘Michael Jackson ONE’, staged in Mandalay Bay, or ‘O’ by Las Vegas Cirque in the Bellagio. Autumn 2016 offers other amazing entertainment such as Kanye’s Saint Pablo tour 29th October, or Elton John, the following day in Caesers Palace. For something really current, the traveling Game of Throne’s Live Concert Experience, is heading to the MGM Grand in March as elements of the epic series will come to life through LED telescoping and wall screens and 3D designs that will rise from the stage floor.
Whilst New York may named the shopping capital, Las Vegas is chasing after its title with stores ranging from high-end retailers and little souvenir shops all on its strip with many of the shops housed in breath-taking buildings. One of the best places to ‘shop til you drop’ is The Forum Shops at Caesers, as its home to more hundreds of speciality retailers and high-end designers as well as having some top restaurants and cafes such as Sushi Roku and The Cheesecake factory. For a break from looking at clothes, take a look at the 300+ collection of tropical fish the Forum holds in the Atlantis Aquarium. If you’re looking for some more grandeur for shopping take a trip to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian that houses all the best brands and award-winning restaurants (such as CUT), that are set in a stunning centre with cobblestone walkways and illuminated painted ceilings centred along a quarter-mile-long Grand Canal. Finish off you’re shopping with a ride on a singing gondola. You’ll feel like you’re really shopping in Venice.
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The Venetian is not the only place in Vegas where you can feel like you’re travelling the world. The Paris Las Vegas Hotel, transports you to the European romantic capital with French-themed décor and a half-size Eiffel tower. There is also the Luxor, an Egyptian hotel housed in a pyramid featuring a large sphynx and the New York-New York sending you all the way to the East-coast by building New York’s iconic skyline using replicas of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Las Vegas feels completely magical. Where else could you party all night with the Egyptians, share a romantic kiss under the Eiffel tower and wake up to a hearty plate of American pancakes all in 24 hours?
As if your heart isn’t already racing from the excitement-there’s more. Located in the Stratosphere hotel, the largest free-standing tower in the US, the Big Shot ride catapults 16 riders from a 921-foot high platform up to the Tower’s masts height of 1,081, before shooting them back down again with a spectacular view over the Las Vegas Valley. If you’re not feeling brave enough to dangle over the Vegas skyline, then enjoy some fine dining on the 106th floor for some more stunning views in a restaurant that spins.
Whilst gambling may be the first thought springing to mind when you hear Vegas, weddings are surely the second. Love-sick couples elope to Vegas to tie the knot for a cheesy, hassle-free and relaxed wedding. It may not be the most traditional view of a white wedding but being transported by a pink Cadillac and married by Elvis whilst his song Fools Rush In fills the chapel, certainly sounds like fun.
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Finally, for some fresh air and freedom from the madness, head out of the city to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, so if you’re in Vegas it’s definitely not to be missed. To go by road, it’s a beautiful ride and has stop offs at the lookout points over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. For those with a bigger budget, an excellent experience can be found by booking onto one of the helicopter tours out of Vegas. It provides breath-taking views and a once in a lifetime experience.
Las Vegas is a surreal place like no other and provides the opportunity for all visitors to completely indulge themselves in every way. Go crazy, but remember, The Hangover guys have already warned us – “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
What adventures will you get up to in Sin City?