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Vegas for Haters

Golden Nugget Casino Las Vegas

I had been to Las Vegas 4 times and I always hated it. Even being used to New York pricing, I find it Vegas soul-sucking expensive. The Strip is not my scene; I don't like rowdy woo-girls***, obnoxious frat guys, or anyone who can't hold their liquor making a fool of themselves. I see there are good qualities about Vegas, but there are shows and most of the same restaurants in New York. Vegas reminds me of a year-round New York Times Square New Year's Eve- minus the cold. I understand why it's so special for a lot of people. And, unfortunately, it is a great location for trade shows. 

So you must imagine how surprised I was to meet my husband in the pool of Planet Hollywood. We felt an obligation to return to the scene of the crime for our wedding anniversary. On my first two trips to Vegas (the other two were business trips), I made the mistake of not planning anything to do; sitting by the pool got old fast and I could only walk through so many casinos. This trip was also my first time going in a season other than summer, so I knew that sitting by the pool wouldn't really be an option. Let me tell you, I had such a great trip this time around, I even wanted another day.

Rent a car

It's very inexpensive to rent a car at McCarren Airport and hotels all have free parking. I truly think this is the key to my newfound Vegas love. It gave us freedom from The Strip.

Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas

Old Las Vegas

Dave and I ventured to Old Las Vegas and had a blast. Tormented by a reputation for disgusting, drug-addicted prostitutes and rednecks, Old Vegas has made a recent comeback. I think next time we visit, I would love to stay at the Golden Nugget. The Travel Channel boasts that the pool is "One of the Most Extreme Pools in the World." Why? Well, you get to swim through a shark tank! Shark Tank Tours are also available. There is also a two-story infinity pool.

Red Rock Canyon Area Las Vegas, NV

Old Las Vegas is set on Fremont Street, which has become a covered pedestrian street. At night, you MUST check out the Fremont Street Experience, where the street becomes a giant party and all the hotels are lit up.

When I travel, I love seeing really strange things; in Dallas, I made a point of going and getting a drink at the birthplace of the Frozen Margarita (yes, it was amazing.) So imagine how excited I was to hear that I could get my picture taken with $1,000,000. Yes, literally a million dollars. For free at Binon's (they give you a nice 8x10 souvenir photo!)

Red Rock Canyon

Hiking Red Rock Canyon has gotten amazing reviews on Trip Advisor as well as from all of my friends out west. Unfortunately, because of the government shutdown, we weren't able to go. There is a really great state park just down the road. This park has a small lake, which is the clearest, most beautiful lake ever. There are also some interesting trails to walk through. Trails are lined with really interesting plants and vegetation.

Red Rock Canyon Area Las Vegas, NV

The Stratosphere

While in the hot tub at Planet Hollywood, we got into a great conversation with a regular and the lifeguard. Apparently, The Stratosphere is the place to be. The revolving restaurant is pricy, but has great views of Vegas. Don't sit right at the window, but in the row behind. Why? These seats are facing the windows whereas the window seats face your partner. The Stratosphere is also home to an amusement park, bungee jumping and other thrilling adventures.

In-n-Out Burger

I also feel it's important to note that with a vehicle, you have the freedom to go to In-n-Out Burger as many times as your stomach can handle. Any East Coaster can tell you this is half the reason to travel out west.

Neon Museum Las Vegas, NV

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum had to have been my favorite part about this time around Vegas. This museum is a outside collection of all of the old neon signs of Las Vegas. Did you know that it costs around $150,000 to restore some of these signs, and that the most expensive part to restore is the base? The tour of the museum is an hour long and led by a insanely knowledgeable art historian. The tour is fascinating; the signs really tell the story of Las Vegas and how it came to be. The history of casinos; why so many weddings take place here; the history of the shows, and the mafia involvement. Did you know that The Strip isn't actually in Las Vegas? It's in Paradise, NV. It was moved to be closer to Los Angeles to attract the tourists before the Las Vegas and to avoid taxes. You can also take night tours of the museum. There are a few functioning signs and the rest are up lit.

After enjoying all of this, I am looking forward to returning and discovering more of the off-the-beaten track attractions in Vegas. I think next time a trip to the Mafia Museum is necessary.

** Episode of How I Met Your Mother for the best definition of this

 

Read 18774 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 02:23
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