Las Vegas is rated as America's Funnest City - with a tradition of extravagance and over the top entertainment offerings. Las Vegas has grown and developed from its roots in organized crime and a place for shotgun marriages (and divorce) to an adults playground, where adventure is hardly met with opposition. A 24-hour city where the lights of The Strip glow until the early hours, when the sun rises over the mountains, blue skies awakening the city.
I love my city, and I've found Las Vegas home for the last two and a half years. Below you'll find my recommendations for sights to see, parts of the city you might not have explored before, and locals insight to how to spend your time in Sin City.
There are no shortage of options to fuel your time in Las Vegas, with each mega-casino resort offering casual to ulta-luxe dining experiences. Views and sights of the glittering LED skyline and Bellagio fountains pair well with French, Italian and Asian cuisines. High tea on the 34th floor lobby of the Walforf Astoria offer impressive views and delicious service of teas and treats. A speakeasy in China town could guide you through a tunnel to a private Tequila bar or New York style 'Secret Pizza' slices await down an unassuming hallway. A supper club brings us back to the 1920s - live jazz musicians, singers and dancers entertain while delightful and imaginative dishes come to our table course-after-course.
The buffet is a Las Vegas staple, with Bacchanal rated at the top, perfecting a Sunday Brunch that begs for a post-dining nap.
Hopping around Fremont Street, with its walkability and casual artsy vibe, you'll find bars with craft cocktails and bites to share, where the people watching is at its best. Vegetarians and Vegans rejoice - Las Vegas has a food scene with a huge variety of plant-based meal offerings. Heading west to China town and you'll find the best sushi in the city, tucked away in an unassuming strip mall - reservations required for this limited 20-seat omakase experience.
Las Vegas invites indulgence - so add the caviar, the foie gras, and the truffle shavings without guilt.
We've got history....
Las Vegas has its roots in nefarious activity - a former railroad town brought in laborers - and the women to entertain them followed not long after. The casinos were famously organized by the mafia, and the history is on display at one of Nevada's best museums - The Mob museum, with its own speakeasy bar in the basement. Controversy and Nevada seem to go hand in hand, and if you were a visitor in 1953, you may have seen nuclear testing clouds visible from downtown! The National Atomic Testing Museum gives insight into the science, history and education of Nuclear energy, weapons and the global impact of this technology.
The remnants of the turn-over and expansion of Las Vegas, the Neon Graveyard houses a collection of old casino signs and classic Vegas imagery in this gilded-guided walk-through exhibit. Learn the unique history and importance of neon in the shaping of the Classic Vegas skyline.
Not for the faint-of-heart, Zak Bagans' Haunted Museum houses artifacts, documents and personal effects, ranging from creepy, disturbing and morbid. You'll sign a waiver before admittance - that the actions of any paranormal or malevolent forces housed within are not the liability of the museum. A guided tour through dozens of rooms has you on edge - I'll hold your hand as we explore the macabre.
Las Vegas is an entertainment mecca - with multiple dozens of music venues, comedy clubs, stadiums and arenas offering us nightly choices. The excitement, the palpable energy within The Fortress at T-mobile stadium, where the Golden Knights play quick and ruthless hockey one night, and is transformed into a stage for Lady Gaga the next. Classic rock, hip hop, jazz, and some of the largest technology driven club experiences all inhabit The Strip. Circus acts and bold humor delight at Absinthe, one of the standout shows hosted at Caesars Palace. Sports - Hockey, Football, Baseball, Soccer, Women's Basketball, Rodeo, and the Racetrack are sure to please any athletics fan, and our state of the art venues offer delicious food options and incredible views no matter the seats. Cirque du Soleil performances dazzle with imaginative and emotional shows of athleticism, where beauty, art, strength and coordination all come to play on stage.
Rooftop venues downtown offer laid back dancing, laughter and cheering echoing as the crowd moves to the beats in unison. I love to dance and I'm always ready to enjoy live music and DJs spinning records. Maybe even a late night ends up with us dancing on top of a strip club where the after-hours party goes until well after sun-up. Always bring sunglasses, you'll never know what you'll get into when you go out in Vegas!
I am admittedly, a kid at heart, and love nothing more than playing. Perhaps playing with knifes was something we were always warned about, but what about axes or throwing stars? No? Then we can try our hand at an extreme form of darts at Axe Monkeys, where we rent lanes and sharp objects and throw them with surprising accuracy at large cross section of wood. Strangely therapeutic, let's see how good our aim is. Could we hold our own in an ancient battle?
Gaming - and not just gambling - is available to us at Game Nest, where imported Japanese video games offer a dizzying and hilarious experience. Swiping, dancing, button-smashing, you'll be racking up the points and laughing about the absurdity of these mini games. Head for some Karaoke across the city - both dive bars with the same host for 25 years, or for those microphone shy, private rented rooms to belt your heart out with food and drinks delivered on command.
I love puzzles and scavenger hunts - and we have multiple options for Escape Rooms - one even themed after the body-horror series SAW. Putting our brains together and working towards a common goal is a great way to bond and learn about our strengths.
Leaving the City...
Many visitors to Las Vegas are drawn to the glitz and intrigue of the Strip, but are unaware of the natural beauty just outside of the city lines. You may associate Las Vegas with the desert - a barren and beautiful landscape assumingely devoid of life. The surrounding Mojave desert is home to unique geological wonders - perfect for a detox from the man made spectacles of the city. Drive out to Willow Beach, just across the stateline into Arizona, where boating on calm waters fed from the Colorado river refresh you on a hot summers day. Both Red Rocks and Valley of Fire parks offer scenic drives and postcard views of rust colored rock formations, 150 million year old sea basins, now filled with families of Big Horned Sheep. The Grand Canyon North Gate, with its glass bottom walkway, is a day trip away - or if you're unafraid of heights, a helicopter tour will take you into the Canyon - where they pop champagne in our honor (this IS Vegas after all!)
Multiple sites offer natural hot springs - and I love skinny-dipping under the stars. Death Valley, just two hours north, offers the largest Dark Sky Park in the world - unprecedented views of the cosmos and Milky Way are found here (best scheduled with the new moon cycle) Lets rent a telescope and get lost in the silence and depth of the night sky.
If you're a winter sports fan, no need to fret - an hour drive in the colder months puts you at the Lee Canyon ski resort for all your snow bunny desires.
Vegas can get the best of us - and often times a bit of rest and relaxation can rejuvenate the rest of your trip.
Award winnings spas offer salt rooms, stream and sauna, and skilled therapists to massage and release any tension. A couples massage is a sure-fire way to bond and relax - weather it be at a five star spa, or poolside at a nudists resort.
If you're a fan of taking it slow, let me take you to my favorite spots in the city to watch the sunset and smoke a joint, desert sunsets are unlike anything else and these nightly shows are free of charge.
I want to accommodate you on your trip to Las Vegas - learning about your interests and hobbies means I can plan an incredible itinerary for our time together. Think of me as your sensual concierge - ready to show you all Sin City has to offer!