So we got the opportunity to go to Vegas in July. Will was doing a work thing so I obviously had to go to keep him company but we did make a holiday of it. Here are some amazing photos and info to help you plan your trip to vegas or just if you wanna see what we got up to. We were staying at The Palazzo and Will being Will did a bit of research on how to make sure you get a good room with a view and any other little extras. So on arrival at the check-in desk he folded $20 note gave it in with his passport to the receptionist as he had read somewhere this is a good trick. The receptionist was very friendly and knew Will was here for a conference so she kindly gave me free breakfast coupons for the restaurant for the entire 5 mornings we were staying there which easily saved us $15 every morning. Will also asked if there were any rooms with a nice view. Here was the result of the request. Not sure if it was the tipping that helped or if we would of got the free breakfast and good view but will defiantly try it again elsewhere.
The free breakfast was great sausage/bacon/ham with eggs and a huge hash brown that took up half the plate swigged down with a mug of coffee. We just chilled the first morning went for a swim and explored the complex. The Venetian and The Palazzo are a huge resort themed around Venice and all things classy and Italian. Designer shops everywhere, bars and restaurants.
We then couldn’t help ourselves and went shopping to the premium outlets. There are 2 in vegas, 1 to the North of the strip and the other South of the airport. We went to the South but later discovered the North was better after a conversation with a lady in the lift. So went there later on in the week was defiantly better than the South outlet. Costs around $20 in a taxi or there is buses you can get. Worth a visit Will stocked up on loads of work gear shirts/trouser/boxer shorts from Tommy Hilfiger/Timberland/bananarepublic. I on the other hand couldn’t tare myself away from the 50% discount in Kate Spade.
Town square is also another nice outdoor shopping area just 5 mins drive from the south outlets. Not a discount place but quiet, nice shops and places to eat.
We went to Yard House at Town Square which has a huge choice of beers and happy hours 3pm-6pm. There is also another Yard House on the strip at The Linq which is part of Ceasers Palace resort and is home to a huge London Eye style viewing wheel and also lots more shops, bars and restaurants. This one however doesn’t have a happy hour.
Ok so on day 2 was spent some time exploring the casinos. We skipped our free breakfast and went to The Wynn for their breakfast buffet $20. It was really good had a big selection of food all tasted fresh and had great service. After breakfast we had a little go on the slot machines and had a few free drinks which was fun and ended up only $5 down.
Will then headed to his conference and I did more shopping!! This time in The Fashion Show Mall across the road from The Wynn. Great mall had department stores such as Macys, Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus. A huge Forever21, Free People and Kate Spade.
That evening we went to The Mandarin Oriental to their bar on the 23rd floor. A beautiful bar and amazing views of the strip and the best cocktails ive ever had. Cocktails $18 but so worth it and you pay £7 upwards for a decent cocktail in the UK in a bog standard bar so a definite must if you like views and cocktails. We shared the ribs on the menu so tasty.
After our cocktails we walked around the casinos in that area. The Aria, Monet Carlo and The Bellaigo. There is a little monorail that connects them all together which is really handy. Check out the biggest chocolate foundation in the world according to The Bellagio. It does go higher than this but couldn’t fit it onto the frame.
Day 3 we did something a little different and went off the strip checking out another side to Vegas. We went downtown to an area called Paradise. We went to the Neon Museum. This place is basically a graveyard for all the old neon signs of vegas casinos past and present. We booked the 7:30pm slot so had the light early to see the detail of the signs but as the night came in saw some of the restored signs lit up in all their glory. This was 1 of our highlights of the trip. The volunteer tour guide gave us a insight in the history of Vegas, the casinos and the art of neon and sign design. Also had a great gift shop and the reception area is from the La Concha lobby. Cost $20 each. We would recommend pre booking the time slot you want.
We decided to then head on to Fremont Street while we in that area. We had the most amazing steak from Bigons them walked down Fremont Street and soaked up the atmosphere. Totally different vibe to the strip worth experiencing.
Day 4 we went to another museum. The atomic testing museum just 1 mile up Flamingo St from the strip. $30 for both of us and you can get student discount with your student cards. Really informative and interactive museum about the nuclear testing that occurred in the 1960s.
After there we also went up to the top of the Eiffel tower in the Paris casino. It is half the size of the original and you get great 360 degree views of the strip and surrounding areas. Also if you time it so you are at the top on the hour you can see The Bellagio fountain display which is great from that vantage point. We got a 241 coupon in the casino so cost us $17 for both of us to go to the top.
That evening we went to see Jurassic 5 perform at The Cosmopolitan pool. Got the tickets in the UK. Great gig atmosphere and hotel/casino nice.
So day 5 Will had finished work at the conference and we left Vegas and headed to the Grand Canyon North Rim. We hired a car from Avis in The Venetian pre booked in the UK at the rate of £77 for pick up Friday am drop off sat pm. We hired just the cheapest car grade you could get as research suggested that the roads where pretty good going to GC. However, the lady at the desk wanted us to upgrade but we were sure we were happy with what we had pre booked. So it turns out she didn’t have the car we booked so she had to upgrade us to a BMW 3 series woohoo!! Worth us being adment as she would of took our money for the upgrade knowing she didn’t have our car in stock. We just paid an extra $6 per day for tyres and as didn’t really want to get stranded in 40+ degrees trying to change a tyre. We saw lots of blown out tyres on the road so think it was worth getting that extra cover.
So our route to GC included a stop at the national park Valley of Fire park fees $10. This national park is the oldest and largest and contains ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs.
Mouse an Indian outlaw was known to have hidden out in the amazing rock formations similar to where Will is trying to get a break from me moaning about he heat ruining my shoes!!
After spending 1-2 hours driving through and exploring the valley of fire we continued on to north rim grand canyon. Park fees $25 note they don’t take cash for this fee only debit/card. If you want to stay over night the only place you can stay is at the north rim lodge. They also have a campground as well for those of you camping or in an RV. We pre booked about 6-8week before as it gets booked up. We chose this side of the canyon as opposed to the south as it isn’t as busy and touristy. The north rim is only open March-October however due to it being higher altitude and the weather conditions restricting the roads. We arrived in time for the sunset over the canyon.
We ate in restaurant that evening which you can book on checking in. Really good quality reasonable price given its remote location. Also it has a saloon in the lodge with local beers and pizza if you dont want to do the whole sit down meal thing. Our accommodation itself was a wooden log cabin. Compact. Booked through a website called logitravel for £105 as was fully booked on other travel agent sites. We were a bit worried as wehad never heard of the company before but everything was fine. We rang up the day before we left vegas and they had our details and expected our arrival.
Here is a little video of our accommodation.
We got up very early the next day as we wanted to see the canyon as the sun was rising as the colours vary so much it is truly a jaw dropping experience.
Day 6 spent the day driving back to Vegas as our flight was the next day. We took a slightly different route back so we could see Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam.
For our last evening we had a walk down the strip went to Yard House at The Linq.
Highlights for us and must dos
Hire a car and go to GC North Rim via the Valley of Fire experince of a life time!!
Jurassic5!!! (The Cosmopolitan has gigs on most nights at the boulevard pool and there is a theatre there also worth checkin before you go who is on while you are there and pre book).
North premium outlets for shopping!!!
Manderin oriental for the best cocktails you will ever taste!!!