I was never meant to like Vegas. It’s not my style. Nevada was never on my bucket list, and yet now that I just spent 48 hours in Vegas, I’ve been looking at the city in a whole new light…and it’s not a neon one! Here’s why I LOVED my weekend in Vegas, and why you will too.
48 Hours in Las Vegas
Our 48 hours in Vegas started on a Friday night, as budget trips to Vegas usually do! We checked into our suite at The W Hotel and couldn’t stop laughing at how incredibly kitsch the decor was.
Pillows with half-naked women, mirrors everywhere and a bathroom made entirely of glass – fun for a couple – challenging for two friends travelling together! At check in I was given a coin for the fortune-teller machine – to be used at any stage throughout my stay – would luck be on my side? We were also given a free bottle of champagne – a definite bonus of this travel blogger lifestyle.
I had to laugh, however, when I realised we were not even allowed to even touch the bottles of water and packets of Pringles in our room (if you lift them off their stand for more than 10 seconds, a laser registers that’s it’s been “used” and you’re automatically charged!) and yet they’ve given us a freaking bottle of champagne for free? Welcome to Vegas!
Weekend in Vegas – Eat, Sleep, Play!
Having spent the past 4 months backpacking around Mexico, Central America and across the USA, Allison and I were excited to get dressed up for once and to experience Vegas at it’s best – after the sun has set. Being the curious bloggers that we are, however, we started asking Uber drivers and the hotel reception where a good local bar would be and ended up miles from The Strip and dancing the night away in a dive bar in downtown Las Vegas…the old downtown. The bar was having an 80’s and 90’s night, there was a massive projector screening seriously old school music videos. There was a guy smoking outside, dressed like Edward Scissorhands. It wasn’t fancy dress and he wasn’t an entertainer. This was just….Vegas.
Weekend in Vegas – Best Day trips to the desert!
We were up bright and early – potentially the only people in Vegas that were heading out instead of returning home at 8 in the morning. We had signed up for a Pink Jeep Tour to the Valley of Fire, a state park in Nevada which was one of the highlights of my two month trip across the states and is a photographers. dream. Full review here.
This day trip was my first realisation that there is SO MUCH more to Las Vegas than the strip, casinos and over-the-top pool parties, and extortionately-priced drinks! I suddenly came to see that Las Vegas is actually the perfect base for exploring some of the coolest landscapes in the american Southwest.
This is a great way to look at Las Vegas. A springboard for numerous national parks, state parks and of course the famous Grand Canyon. We spent Saturday afternoon chilling by the pool back at The W Las Vegas, and were pleasantly surprised by how bright and modern the pool area was.
It honestly felt miles away from the craziness of The Strip, and was honestly a place I could see myself going back to if all I was looking for was a place to lie in the sun with some great cocktails!
Saturday night. Saturday night IN VEGAS. I know where you think this is going. That we headed out and had the night of our lives, won some money, bought a tiger, got married to strangers and missed our flight.
Well, turns out we were so wrecked from our day of adventuring and were suffering from an acute case of food coma after stuffing out faces at an All You Can Eat Korean BBQ (just $25 per person including a beer!!) that we passed out early and slept through what might be our only Saturday night in Vegas. Lame. So lame.
Weekend in Vegas – Helicopter time!
On Sunday morning I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed in myself for being the worst partier in the world (I could hear my friends voices in my head “You’re not the Janet we know! She would have gone out on a Friday and come home on a Monday!”) or proud of myself for waking up hangover free and ready for Las Vegas style shopping spree followed by a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon.
Fast forward through a few hours shopping and checking out the strip, and next thing we were on a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon which included landing the helicopter on a plateau in The Valley of Fire State Park for some champagne, and flying back over Las Vegas as the sun set.
Nothing gets you giddy and excited for a PROPER night out in Vegas than flying over the city at night. When we landed we were given more champagne, and decided we would head straight back to the hotel, put our prettiest clothes on (this is coming from 2 long-term travellers / backpackers!) and get our asses in gear and down to the strip.
We gambled. We won. We gambled. We lost. We drank. We paid for drinks. We got free drinks. We laughed. We ate. We got free entry to The Bank Nightclub in The Bellagio. We stood in awe as we watched table after table of partygoers drop over 5 grand on drinks as if it was a few dollar bills.
We drank some more, We danced. We went back to the casino. Blackjack, slots, blackjack, bed. We woke up with sore heads but did not dare touch those laser-tagged water bottles at $8 a bottle. I’d rather suffer. A Weekend in Vegas.
I surprisingly loved it.