After my mom and I had already bit the bullett and booked our flights to Vegas, I can’t tell you how many times people questioned our decision when we told them where we would be going. Questions we heard most often were “why Vegas?”, “what are you guys going to do if you’re not planning to party?” or “why would you go for a week?”. So many people doubted us in our decision but I can’t even begin to tell you how fun and relaxing the week was! So if you’re looking to go to Vegas and are interested in finding things to do other than frequenting the many night clubs in town, check out my recommendations below.
- The Strip – I know this seems like a given, but I must confess that when I was here with my friends the first time, we were not concerned with seeing the many sights that the strip has to offer. This time around, we took the time to explore as many casinos as we could. My recommendations for which resorts to stop in are Paris (take a quick elevator ride up to the top of the eiffel tower since the views are pretty cool. But I don’t recommend drinking or eating dinner here, as even just one glass of wine will run you $18). We also had a great time stopping in The Venetian to check out the gondola rides.
- What to wear: A cute/casual outfit & comfortable shoes. If you’re just roaming the strip, there’s no need to dress up! A casual skirt and top would be just fine.
- The Neon Boneyard Museum – You can check out a full post on my recommendations for this spot here, but to give you a quick overview, it’s a small outdoor museum full of donated neon signs from old Vegas. Definitely a must-see!
- What to wear: I recommend shorts and a t-shirt (weather pending) or a loose fitting dress. The museum is all outside and there is very little shade so you want something that will help keep you cool.
- Fremont Street – This is what is now considered “old Vegas,” because this is where all of the famous casinos from 1905, like Binion’s Horseshoe and the Golden Nugget, are located. Today, there are still quite a few casinos on the street, but it’s now more of a tourist shopping location complete with interesting street vendors and performers. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely a spot I recommend checking out, as it has a lot of history to it.
- What to wear: Something casual – this isn’t the nicest part of town so I recommend wearing something you’re not afraid to get dirty.
- Container Park – We found this shopping area while browsing online and since it was only a short walk away from Fremont Street we decided to stop by. While the space itself is super cute, and has some great restaurants, we were a little disappointed by the quality and selection of shops. Luckily, we found a great outdoor spot at a small restaurant where we ended up having a few happy hour drinks. It was the perfect spot to relax and have a drink in the afternoon, and seemed like the ideal spot for families. Overall, a nice spot to stop by if you’re in the area, but not somewhere I would go out of my way to see.
- What to wear: I personally wore the same thing that I wore to the Neon Museum and Fremont Street, so casual is definitely the way to go here!
Where to Eat:
- Peppermill – This restaurant was actually recommended in the Goop.com “The Un-Vegas Las Vegas Guide,” and was the only restaurant on the list under three $$$ signs. My mom and I made reservations here (although you definitely don’t need one) for our first night in the city. It ended up being a very casual place located towards the end of the strip (not far from Circus Circus), and offers a LARGE selection of food and drinks. The restaurant itself has a very old Las Vegas diner feel, which was very cool. I felt like I had just stepped back in time. Now for the food: my mom ended up getting the Focaccia Chicken Sandwich and I chose the Burger. Both were very good and two items I highly recommend if you find yourself there. We had a great time enjoying the atmosphere of the place and sipping our happy hour (happy hour runs from 9-11 p.m.) priced wine all night. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5!
- Park on Fremont – This particular spot was a Yelp find. My mom and I knew that we would be spending the day down by the Neon Museum and then heading right to Fremont Street, so we decided to look up places to stop at for afternoon drinks and appetizers. If you weren’t aware, Vegas is HUGE on happy hours if you take the time to look. Almost every restaurant we ate at on our trip had some sort of food/drink special, so we ended up saving a lot of money that way. This particular place had two for one drinks and half priced appetizers. Plus, the best part was that the weather was gorgeous and they had outdoor seating, so we had a great time sitting and enjoying our food and drinks. For appetizers, we ordered the mac & cheese balls and the garbage fries. I’m not sure if it was the few drinks that we imbibed, or the food itself, but everything we had was amazing! The mac & cheese balls were delicious (picture below – I mean seriously, how good do these look?!?!?) and were the perfect serving size, but I especially enjoyed the garbage fries. This place was deifnitely a homerun in our book!
- What to wear: Keep it casual! No fancy dresses or heels at this restaurant.
- Yard House – If you’re looking for a local spot off the strip, this restaurant is a great choice. It’s about a 10-15 minute ride from the strip (around an $17 UBER), but it’s definitely worth it! We headed there on Thursday night for our last dinner in Vegas, and the place was completely packed. They have a great selection of beers, and an eclectic selection of food. We started with the Poke Stack and it was absolutely amazing! I then got the Ahi Crunchy Salad for my entree and my mom got the Southern Fried Chicken Breast, and both were extremely tasty! My mom’s chicken was a little cold the first time around, so they took it back to make her a new one, and ended up giving us the entree for free. If you’re looking for great food and beer, and exceptional service this is the spot!
- What to wear: Semi casual – I wore a skirt and top this night and felt that I was dressed appropriately.
- Cucina by Wolfgang Puck – This restaurant was another Yelp find (clearly Yelp was a necessity on this trip). We saw on their site that they had happy hour all day everyday so we knew that it was our kind of place. The restaurant is located in a large shopping mall at the beginning of the strip so we were a little skeptical, as we don’t usually eat in mall type settings. We ended up being pleasantly surprised with the food, drinks and service. We sat at the bar to enjoy the happy hour special, and snacked on their half priced appetizers, like the arancini, which was very tasty! For our entrees, I got the Cheese Ravioli and my mom got the fettuccine carbonara and both were excellent. Overall, this was a very good meal!
- What to wear: This place was a bit nicer than the other restaurants that we went to, so I ended up wearing a really cute lace dress and felt like I was dressed appropriately. I wouldn’t go all out with your look, but I’d avoid anything super casual, like shorts and a t-shirt.
Where to Stay:
- The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – I stayed here the first time that I went to Vegas with my friends, and thought it was the best decision we could have made. While it’s a little ways off the strip, that makes it so that the casino floor and restaurants aren’t crowded with people all the time. Since we knew that this would be a low-key trip, we decided to stay here this time around too, and it ended up being the perfect choice! We had booked a regular double queen room, but had heard that if you slip a $20 bill between your ID and credit card and ask if they had an upgrade available, they would give you an upgrade if one was available. Luckily, we ended up being upgraded to a beautiful suite with the most amazing bathroom. On top of that, one day unfortunately the pool had to close early for maintenance so the staff ended up comping our lunch and drinks by the pool the next day – talk about great customer service! Overall, a great experience here and I can definitely see myself staying there again on my next trip to Vegas. You can see a few pictures from our stay at the Hard Rock below!