Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d ever remember Vegas with affection. In my conservative, nerdy mind, I didn’t belong there. I’d seen movies and TV shows depicting drunken nights, accidental marriages and the kind of drama I reserved for people on reality TV shows. What would a goody-two-shoes – affectionately nicknamed a Cadbury by her husband for her glass-and-a-half drink maximum and early bed time – do in Sin City?
But, at my husband’s insistence, and begrudgingly I might add, I packed my bags post-wedding and agreed to four days and nights in the city that spawned many a song, dance and hollywood flick, and I survive to tell my tale.
Turns out, there’s so much more to Vegas than I thought, and by more, I mean excess. Excess sparkle, excess fun, excess servings of food, excess shopping. And I lapped the lot of it up. From cheese, bacon and sour cream fries at Great Steak and champagne in front of the Bellagio fountains, to miles and miles of M&Ms at the giant M&Ms store and child-like intrigue at the Rainforest Cafe, it was all there. Not to mention a European-style pastry shop established by World Pastry Champion Jean Phillipe Maury, home to a Guiness World Record breaking chocolate fountain that pours around 2 tonnes of melted white, milk and dark chocolate through glass shells displayed in what can only be described as a work of art.
Everything is on show in Vegas, and it’s easy to be mesmerised.
- Yellowtail: One of the best Japanese places I have ever dined at, Yellowtail at the Bellagio ticks all the boxes: well-priced gourmet Japanese fusion, a fantastic bar and cocktail list, delicious food that’s immaculately presented, reasonably creative and in sizeable servings. Not to mention the impeccable service – and the views of the famed Bellagio fountains. Everything served up was delicious, but it was the tuna pizza with truffle oil that was the biggest taste sensation.
- PBR Rockbar & Grill: Don’t let this sports bar fool you: on appearance, the bull, giant TVs and playmates signing autographs might be more suitable to boy’s night, but if you’re after typical American
comfortheavy food in enormous portions, this is the place to be. From Doritos-crusted Mac and Cheese, to potato skins and mini corn-dogs, its food might as well be served with a southern-drawl, but you can get everything from pizzas to burgers here too. Try one of their large signature cocktails while you’re at it, and I beg of you: go for the Trail Boss Salad – it has everything you could possibly imagine in it: lettuce, cheddar cheese, boiled egg, guacamole, blue cheese, chicken and pork topped off with ranch dressing. It sounds awful, but it was just the ticket to soak up some giant daiquiris and made my all-American experience what it was.
- Show time fun: Break up your nights by checking out some of the amazing shows – there are a few going on at any given time, including the famed Cirque Du Soleil presentations.
- Las Vegas Premium Outlets: The best outlets I have ever been to, thanks to the monumental number of stores ranging from the chain to the luxurious. Where else can you nab a Burberry Trench at half price, and a pair of D&G shoes for $290 on sale from $990? Check out their store directory and save on clothing, accessories, luggage, homewares, technology and more.
- Cool Casinos: Sure, that’s the purpose they might serve, but the casinos offer so much more than gambling. In a single day you can take a visit to Old Roma at Caesar’s Place and dance at Cleopatra’s bard, shop and take in the amazing displays at the Bellagio, take a Gondola Ride at the Venetian or visit Paris on the strip. You can even head back in time and check out the Studio 54 club at MGM Grand or wreak havoc at Trump Towers. But if you do like a bit of a gamble, the Wheel of Fortune pokie was a personal favourite. There’s a Sex and the City one too, perfect for a night out with the girls, and if like me you had a man on your arm, then all the free booze served up by the waitresses to gambling patrons was just the ticket.