I like to gamble. A lot. Poker, blackjack, and, more recently, craps (though I find it a bit boring). Given that hard truth, I’ve avoided Las Vegas my entire life. I knew any trip to Vegas would lead to lots of gambling and that the easiest way to defeat my addiction was to deny it battle. But one day I knew I would end up there, and so with a heavy and weary heart, last week I finally went to Las Vegas.
Blogworld Expo, the yearly conference on blogging and social media, was being held there, and I wanted to attend. There were a lot of bloggers I wanted to finally meet in person, and I was curious to see if I would walk away with any tips on making my blog better.
I figured that with a conference going on and all the events and parties that go with it, I wouldn’t have too much time to gamble. I was very wrong — but I did control myself. Or more accurately, I made my friends control me. I walked away with money in my pocket. I also walked away thinking Las Vegas was awesome.
It’s an adult playground. The casinos are more than hotels — they are palaces! Aria, the Venetian, and Bellagio were among the most gorgeous. They are filled with amazing clubs, dazzling shows, and delicious food. Oh the food! I could definitely get fat living in Vegas.
I won at blackjack, I dined on great sushi, I floated in Mandalay Bay’s lazy river, and thanks to Abby the Jungle Princess, I got to crash Kim Kardashian’s birthday party.
Vegas rocked my world and I will definitely go back. Roaming Sin City, trying occupy my time and avoid the blackjack tables, I came up with this list of non-gambling things to do:
- Take in a show (or seven) – Vegas does entertainment better than anywhere else around and you’ll find some of the best acts in the world here. Plus, it’s a better way to spend your money on shows than at the casino. It’s often a good idea to book tickets along with your accommodation as it can work out cheaper.
- Hoover Dam and Lake Mead – It’s worth making a couple of side trips while in Vegas, and 35 miles south of the city you’ll find Hoover Dam. It is a massive curved wall, towering 726 feet above bedrock and acting as a plug between the canyon walls to hold back over nine trillion gallons of water in Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir created by its construction.
- Grand Canyon – Yes, even though the Grand Canyon is 250 miles away, people do day tours. Plan a very long and tiring day if you do decide to go. While you can do it, I would say make it an overnight activity in order to get the most out of the place. The Grand Canyon is too amazing to be seen in one day, but it will get you away from the slots!
- Sratosphere – Offering the best views of Vegas, the Stratosphere is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US. If you’re feeling brave, then consider having a go on one of the extreme rides at the top. The aptly name X-Scream propels you headfirst 27 feet over the edge of the tower and leaves you hanging over 850 feet in the air. Admission to the tower and all rides costs $40.
- Clubbing – Clubs in Vegas are some of the most prestigious (read: pretentious) in the world, so you can expect to wait in line for a long time, pay outrageous prices for drinks and admission, and be rejected if you’re not dressed smartly enough. However, the clubs are amazing inside, and the world’s top DJs can often be found behind the decks.
- Shop – If you don’t want to lose money gambling, spend it shopping. Every brand imaginable has a store here. You can find some really good stuff, especially at the Palazzo in the Venetian. I could definitely do some serious damage here!
- Eat – If you want to do Vegas on the cheap, you can find many all-you-can-eat buffets. But with so much food in Vegas to choose from (and the buffets being so bad), if you really want to occupy your time, go pork out on some more delicious food at the casinos or the Strip, which have amazing, mouth-watering places to eat.
Vegas is the adult playground of the world, and after finally seeing it, I can see why everyone loves Vegas. If you are like me and like to gamble, go with friends who can keep any eye on you. Vegas may be artificial and cheesy, but it’s fun with a lot of ways to relax. Vegas is a vacation.
Travel doesn’t always have to be about learning some deep cultural meanings. Sometimes travel is about having mindless fun.
And if I can give you one final tip for Vegas, it’s “don’t stay at the Luxor.” That place is a complete dump. There are a lot of better cheap hotels to choose from. And this is coming from someone who’s stayed in roach-infested hostels.
Oh, and remember, what happens in Vegas now goes on Facebook and Twitter. (I guess that’s two tips.)