While we are obviously all about Canada, the nuts in this shell are also avid travelers. We love the idea of getting away and we’re always game when it comes to new experiences. The best thing to do when you’re planning a trip to a new destination is to ask your friends their advice on where to go and what to see. Since we’re all friends here, I’d like to share with you some highlights from my latest trip, to a place where anything goes…Las Vegas. Whether your next trip is months away (and no where near Vegas) or you’re headed to sin city soon, I hope you’ll enjoy a little look into my latest adventure!
1. Fountains of Bellagio
No extravagance is spared at the Bellagio, and the fountains are no exception. Every night at 8pm, the fountains begin their dance, timed to music and played all over the City Centre where the fountains can be seen. A few Bellagio restaurants offer great views from terraces, but the fountains are just as magical viewed from the street. These pictures are taken from one of Bellagio’s many delectable restaurants, Olives, which serves amazing food and offers a breathtaking view of the city.
It’s pretty hard to resist the picturesque Eiffel Tower and L’Arc de Triomphe that the Paris offers. Designed just like you would imagine Paris is, this place is a little taste of France in a very American city. While we spent much of our time scouting new places to try, we fell in love with Paris’ Mon Ami Gabi Restaurant which serves up breakfast so delightfully…needless to say, we were there three of our six mornings. Paris definetely offer the sights and tastes of this famous European city, but a little bit of Vegas is also infused- see below my Eiffel Tower-shaped drink, a Vegas staple.
3. Red Rock Canyon
Perhaps one of the coolest things about Vegas is that it’s in the middle of the desert. Past all the bright lights, the endless hotels and casinos and all the chaos, you’ll find grandiose mountains ideal for those who tire of the city. We rented a car one afternoon to visit Red Rock Canyon, just an easy 20-minute drive from the strip. While the Grand Canyon is the greatest place to get a taste for this type of terrain, we weren’t ready to commit to the 4-hour drive. If you’re in the same boat, I’d recommend exploring this nearby Canyon; be sure to bring water and sunnies as shaded areas are few and far between.
4. The Strip
This one is pretty obvious. The main attraction of Vegas is its hotels and casinos, all located on Las Vegas Boulevard, otherwise known as The Strip. Here you’ll find places like New York, Venice, Monte Carlo, Paris, Egypt, and so many more themes that were born in Vegas. We spent our first two days exploring every hotel and casino, it’s safe to say that we saw more lobbies than we’ve ever visited in one single trip. Every hotel offers some sort of attraction; whether it’s the roller coaster at New York New York, the pyramid at the Luxor or the caged lions that live in the MGM Grand, you’re sure to be entertained for several days.
While the majority of our nightlife came in the form of day drinking, the club scene in Vegas is obviously happening. Girls can basically get in anywhere they want, often being offered free bottles if they show up with a group of all girls (nutshell contributors, unite!) All I can say is do your research, spend wisely and be safe. We saw Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and it was undoubtedly a highlight of the trip. The show is over-the-top and will have you gasping in your seat. Check out lasvegas.com for deals. Lastly, this is your chance to wear the glitziest dress and stilettos you own; you’re in Vegas, you should dress the part.
- Walking shoes are key – the blocks in Vegas are not average, they are huge. If you explore the strip, plan to be walking all day.
- Buckets of Money – Vegas is hugely extravagant, and if you’re spending all your money on travel and accommodation, you might have a hard time enjoying yourself. Plan ahead, spend more time in Old Vegas (where restaurants come cheap) and only gamble if you know what you’re doing (learnt that the hard way!).
- Bring ID everywhere – this includes the pool, the casino and anywhere else you can think of. Throughout the trip, I saw grandparents getting carded, and I was told this is because it’s often the policy of certain places to card every person they serve alcohol to (even if they are clearly wrinkled and gray).
- Trams – After you’ve spent hours walking, it’s nice to get back to your hotel quickly and easily. Make use of the trams. They’re free and fairly easy to find, just be sure you’re headed in the right direction!
- Shopping – to be completely honest, unless you’re a millionaire, shopping in Vegas isn’t great. Stores like Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel are more common than anything else, but you’ll find a gigantic (disco-ball clad) H&M in The Forum Shops at Ceasar’s Palace, along with an Anthropologie (one of my favorite stores). If you’re feeling adventurous, make a trip to an outlet mall on the outskirts.
- Free Drinks – Whaa? Yes. It’s true. But only if you’re gambling. Just watching your friend gamble will get you free drinks. So if you’re willing to lose a bit to gain a little, there are casinos everywhere you look, just be sure to walk away when you’re up!