By Theresa Christine
Las Vegas has something for everyone. In fact, there’s so much to do, it’s practically impossible to pick and choose activities for just one day. But a girl can try!
The best way to start out any day in Vegas is at a buffet. Now, I’m not a fan of buffets usually, but the buffets here are in a league of their own–so when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Embrace your gluttonous side, and keep in mind that this brunch buffet will very likely keep you full until after dinner time, anyway! Of all of the buffets you have to choose from, the Bellagio is probably my favorite. The food is great, with an endless amount of options, and it’s centrally located on the Strip.
Afterwards, walk off a bit of your food baby in the Bellagio itself. Check out the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, which is a small garden area near the main lobby. It gets pretty crowded, but the arrangements are beautiful. There’s also the Fiori di Como, which is in the main lobby–it’s a multi-colored glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly that is especially spectacular in the daytime.
Head across the Strip to The Flamingo and get ready for the most amazing pool experience of your life. I’ve seriously never seen a pool quite like the one at The Flamingo, which is a 21+ pool complete with a bar, waterfalls, and cabanas. When you arrive, don’t be surprised if most or all of the chairs are taken–simply head upstairs to the smaller pool to claim a spot. I’m usually caught sunbathing any chance I get at a pool, but this one lured me in for most of the day. It’s only 3.5-4 feet deep, and you can go in with your drink in hand (piña coladas! in the pool!! omg!!!). Also, it goes without saying, but slather on that SPF! There’s no quicker way to ruin your day than a gnarly sunburn.
After pool-ing all afternoon, rinse off, change out of your swimsuit, and hop in a cab to the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Because it’s a little bit south of most of the action on the Strip, not everyone makes a stop here. I loved this spot, though, because it is one of the most iconic Sin City images, and it is a perfect photo opp! There will likely be a line of people waiting to get pictures taken, so prep your camera(s). There’s no one who technically works there to take photos, so make friends with someone in line and offer to take pictures for each other.
Now it’s time to get the most spectacular view of Vegas from above–the High Roller at The LINQ. The LINQ is a relatively new shopping and restaurant area, and tucked away in the back is an observation wheel that is the next best thing to hopping in a helicopter. You’ll get absolutely stellar views Sin City and the surrounding area, and it’s nearly a half hour ride so you’ll have plenty of chances to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the scenery.
Before walking the Strip, if you feel the need to carry a ridiculously large alcoholic slushie around with you, get one. The Purple Zebra is right in The LINQ, but if you walk a little bit north or south on the Strip you’ll run into other ones that are slightly less expensive. Alcoholic slushies are a bit of a mandatory Las Vegas to-do for me, but avoid making my mistake and remain hydrated with water, too. Trust me, a post-slush hangover is a painful one.
Now as I mentioned, there is a ridiculous number of things to do in Vegas. The best thing, though, is just walking around South Las Vegas Boulevard and seeing what you run into. You’ll discover things that interest you most, but my three top picks for free things to do: the volcano and fire show at The Mirage, window shopping at The Forum in Caesar’s Palace, and the fountain show outside of the Bellagio.
After strolling around, you’re probably starting to feel a little hungry, so head downstairs in New York, New York for some evening nom. This hotel & casino is designed to look like the Big Apple (obvi), and I have to admit that walking around I felt a little bit of NYC longing in my heart. There are some nicer restaurants here, but with all the New York love happening around me, I could only think of pizza. I grabbed a cheap slice at Sirrico’s and people-watched in what felt like the East Village.
For evening festivities, I recommend heading to The Cosmopolitan. The interior is the nicest of all the casinos, with dangling crystals and an overall hella classy feel, so if you’d like to gamble, even a little bit, you’ll feel awesome while doing it. My nerdy side wants you to know that The Lord of the Rings one is absolutely the best of all the slot machines (just sayin’). And for a nightcap, The Chandelier in this hotel & casino is luxurious and worth the slightly more expensive drinks. Their Cosmos are delicious–as they should be–but all the drinks are heavenly, so you can’t really go wrong.
Enjoy your time in Las Vegas! Check out next month’s Travel That for more ways to cure your wanderlust.