5 Las Vegas experiences you won’t want to miss

 

Viva Las Vegas! What a city. I’ve been once in my life. Some would say that’s once too many, but no doubt they’re imagining scenes from The Hangover! Are they right though? Is Vegas really that one dimensional? I decided to consult with one of our insiders, a lady by the name of Amy Firmani. A Vegas local, Amy owns a vacation rental in Bermuda Springs, a quiet residential area south of the Strip. She opened my eyes. Here are the 5 experiences not to miss in Vegas, as told by a bona fide Vegas insider (and note that gambling and getting married do not feature!).

Welcome to Vegas

1. Caesars Palace

OK, this may be a cliché. But Caesars is an icon. Rebuilt and rebuilt, but still so classy. Great pools, great events, great rooms, great mall… just a fun place to visit. Head over to the spa or salon for treatments (the spa is just beautiful, with saunas and pools). Pay for a day pass, workout in the heavenly gym and then relax in a sauna. That is a good day! We also enjoy the mall and then a bit of people watching at one of the open air restaurants.

Caesars Palace

2. Shark Reef followed by lunch at Mandalay Bay

Well, this is off the beaten path! But so worth the trip. It’s done Vegas style: OVER THE TOP! The glowing jellyfish are just cool. And to see the sharks swimming over and under you… love it! Head over to the little Mexican café and sit outside for a great lunch or dinner after – it makes for a great way to spend a few hours.

Shark Reef

3. “O” by Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio

So many shows and they are so expensive. How do you decide which one to go to? While we can recommend a long list, this one stands out. It left us in awe. It was beyond amazing and something everyone should see. Acrobatics, synchronized swimming, diving. And all set around water and the concept of infinity. This is really only something you find in Vegas so go book your tickets!

O

4. Visit Red Rock at sunrise or sunset

Just 30 minutes west of the strip, Red Rock is special. It is a wonderful place to climb and hike, but to see the sun rise and light up the rocks like fire… it will take your breath away. It is spectacular. But if you can’t get up at 5am then grab some snacks, prepare a picnic and head out for sunset. To see the red rocks light up and then the shadows take over, this is also quite amazing. Take an extra drive to Bonnie Springs to the see an old western town if you can.

Red Rock sunrise

5. For the thrill seekers!

There are tons of great choices and we’re only scratching the surface with these 3 choices. First up is the Voodoo Zipline between the Rio towers, where you’ll hit speeds of 33 mph at 450 feet in the air! If zip lining isn’t your thing, try the High Roller Ferris Wheel – at 500 feet in the air it’s the world’s largest observation wheel. Or, for something truly “only in Vegas”, why not try driving a bulldozer over at “Dig This”.

Thrill seekers

So there you have it. Yes I could see one of the guys from The Hangover wreaking havoc on the Strip with a bulldozer! But Amy has given us a more balanced view, an insider’s perspective. This is not just party town!

Andy McNulty is the Co-Founder of Vacation Insiders.

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Comments (14)

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  1. Nancy says:

    My husband heads to Vegas once a year on business
    When I mentioned the Bull Dozer idea to him you would have thought it was Christmas morning!
    Thanks Andy and Amy

  2. Joe says:

    I don’t like gambling & Las Vegas has never really appealed to me, but then I read this and I start to change my opinion. This makes me want to go to Vegas, for that zipline!

  3. We frequently had to travel with my children between LA to Utah for work and of course I always dreaded having pass through Las Vegas. But this certainly gives me a whole new perspective of sin-city. Glad to see there is so much more now for the families!

  4. Amy Firmani says:

    It is very important to see things from the perspective of people who have lived, worked and made friends in the area you are traveling… The amazing things you will find! Andrew has really hit on something truly important. Not only was it great to work with him — but I will follow his sites to see what to do on my next trip – that is for sure!

  5. Amy Blomquist says:

    Believe it or not but as a Californian I have not been to Vegas! I now have my eye on red rock (didn’t know) and what girl wouldn’t like to relax at Caesars Palace? I believe I need to rethink what Vegas is all about…

  6. Andy McNulty says:

    Thanks all for the comments!

    Nancy: Your husband had the same reaction as me when Amy mentioned it for the guide ;)

    Joe: Agreed, although that’s the extent of my thrill seeking – you won’t find me on sky jumping off the Stratosphere for example!

    Donna: This was precisely the angle we took with Amy, to promote a more family oriented experience.

    Amy F: Our bona fide insider, thanks for pitching in! You know, if you don’t see a guide that you wished “I wish they had that”, then let me know and we’ll do it!

    Amy B: As soon as I read what Amy suggested about Red Rock I was hooked – I watched the sunrise over Yosemite once and that was awesome – but the colours of Red Rock would be altogether different.

  7. Sandrine says:

    Great ! I was looking for infos since I’ll be there in December for a few days ! :)
    Thanks for this, I’ll definitely check #4 then :)

  8. Brittney says:

    The bulldozer driving looks extremely fun! Vegas is a really nice place to visit. It’s in my top 5 bucket list. Not fond of the gambling, though. I just want to go around and experience the place.

  9. Andy McNulty says:

    Hey Sandrine, thanks for the comment – you MUST absolutely go see the sunrise at Red Rock and then let us know how it was!

  10. Marina says:

    Very good call on Red Rock Canyon. So close but a serene world away from the strip. Definitely a highlight!

  11. Andy McNulty says:

    Brittney, not fond of gambling? So now you know there’s a ton of other stuff – no excuse not to go!

    Marina – best of both worlds – enjoy the strip and then escape to nature!

  12. Virag says:

    Prejudice is very human. It was great to read your list and notice that Vegas is not a one-sided city. Hope to be there one day and experience the sights listed.

  13. Kitty Yancey says:

    Every male I know who has tried the various driving (as in cars) experiences in Vegas is hooked. And so am I. Careering around a track at 120 mph plus is a thrill most people would never have at home.

  14. Ellen says:

    The guide give you a whole new dimension to Las Vegas – must see the sunrise at Red Rock Canyon. Thanks for this!

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