...Doesn't stay in Vegas for very long!
Back in October 2022, which seems like forever ago now, we travelled to Las Vegas. With our tickets in hand, we'd planned to spend our time exploring the Strip, eating good food and drinks, and paying tribute to our teenage emo years at the When We Were Young Festival due to take place on our first full day in the desert. I guess you could say a solid 75% of this itinerary was achieved however we didn’t even get as far as stepping foot in to the Festival Grounds! The day after we landed into Macarran International, we were getting ready to head to the Festival, black band t-shirts and eyeliner aplenty. But at 10am we saw an announcement purely by chance, to say that the festival had been cancelled due to high-speed winds. Fan-bloody-tastic. We’d travelled all that way for this once in a lifetime music festival, and it got cancelled. Some would say there’s worse places to be for a cancelled music festival though, right? So off we went, with an unexpected extra day to explore. So what did we do? Well what do you think you do when you go to Vegas? Drink? Check! Gamble? Check! See Katy Perry? ...Check!
On arrival, we checked into the Flamingo Hotel & Casino which is located slap-bang in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. One thing to know about the strip – It is HUGE. It’s also not a strip in the sense that you can walk in a straight line and expect to go in and out of each hotel as you please, oh no. You need to walk in and out of the hotels, up and down escalators and over bridges to make your way down the strip. So what should only be a 10-minute walk could actually take you 25 minutes so pack your comfiest shoes! And don’t expect to get taxi’s everywhere if you’re trying to do it on the cheap! Taxis can cost anywhere from $20 for a 5 minute ride, to $50 for a 10 minute ride depending on the time of day.
The thing about the Flamingo is that it puts you exactly where you need to be if you’re wanting to be right in the middle of it all and you’re probably going to get some incredible views of the Bellagio Fountain which is almost directly opposite!
We opted for a room with a strip-view, which included a view of the Bellagio Fountain – It’s an impressive sight to be seen, especially at night!
You can book a stay at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino by clicking here
So... What shall we do?
So with the festival being cancelled, we headed towards The Mirage after discovering amazing reviews for a wonderful little brunch place situated inside called The Pantry. Our first proper morning in Vegas with our first proper taste of a Vegas breakfast – Yum!
One thing I love about America is the FREE filter coffee refills, what a dream! You don’t seem to get anywhere that does this in England (I could be wrong) but what a lovely little perk!
Our server at the restaurant was a lovely gentleman, probably in his late 60’s, early 70’s – A total sweetheart, I just wish I could remember his name! Once we’d stuffed ourselves almost too much to be able to move, we eventually made our way around some of the hotels to see what all the fuss was about! We had a look around The Venetian and got lost in St Mark’s Square, followed by a walk down The Linq high-street towards the high-roller which we were going to go on but the winds were too high so we gave it a miss! Then we had a walk up towards Caesars Palace – And what a place that is! The hotels really are as crazy as they appear in the movies.
Throughout the day it came to light that a lot of the bands that we’d come to see performing at the festival had decided to put on some last-minute pop-up shows that day, in and around Vegas, for those who’d missed out. We spent almost all afternoon trying to get tickets to see my favourite, Bring Me The Horizon. But when there’s only 3,000 tickets one sale and 88,000 people in a queue trying to get them, we were unfortunately out of luck. So what did we do instead? Well.. From Bring Me The Horizon to… KATY PERRY. Yes, you read that correctly – We managed to get tickets to see the very last show at Resorts World for Katy Parry’s PLAY! And it was absolutely brilliant.
If you think you're seeing Katy Perry dressed as a toilet roll in a giant toilet, then you'd be absolutely correct.
Happy Birthday, Ste!
Our second day in Vegas happened to be Ste’s birthday and fortunately the winds had died down a little so it was back to full sunshine, blue skies and a walk up the strip in the opposite direction to the day before – We went to Sugar Factory for brunch and got high off the sugar content from the pancakes, milkshakes and crepes which definitely set us up for the rest of the day. We headed towards the New York New York Hotel (where we would’ve stayed back in 2020 had covid not cancelled our trip). We spent most of the afternoon there, dipping in and out of shops, gambling on some of the Blackjack tables and had a few drinks to celebrate before catching the monorail from The Excalibur to the Luxor. The monorail only takes a couple of minutes. No doubt you’ve probably heard of the Luxor. It is a lovely hotel, and is usually always a great option for those wanting to travel on a budget, however the location isn’t great – If you’re wanting to be on the strip and you don’t want a lengthy walk or a 15-20 minute cab ride, I wouldn’t advise staying here. If you’re not bothered about location, then perfect! You cannot fault it! We hopped off and walked a further 20 minutes to the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign – because a trip to Vegas isn’t complete without a photograph in front of the Las Vegas sign, is it? Ps. Check out the couple in the background.. I wonder what they did in Vegas?
Some of you will already know that our favourite pizza chain EVER is Grimaldis and we always go here when we’re visiting New York. So you can imagine our delight when we discovered there was a Grimaldis Pizzeria in The Venetian? I bet you can guess where Ste wanted to go for his birthday tea? Correct. And it was everything we wanted and more.
Find out where you can visit Grimaldi's Pizzeria by clicking here
For that evening, I’d pre-booked us tickets to visit The Neon Museum – A place in Vegas where old neon hotel signs go to be restored and placed on display for everyone to enjoy. A neon-lover and influencers dream, I must say. Although one thing to bare in mind, if you are visiting in the evening of the ‘cooler’ months, make sure you take a coat and wrap up warm because we did not plan to be freezing cold in the middle of the Nevada desert, that’s for sure! That being said, the tour was incredible. So informative and engaging and they really do give you so much history behind their key pieces! I would highly recommend anyone visiting The Neon Museum if you’re wanting something a little bit different on your trip to Vegas! You can book tickets to the Neon Museum by clicking here
My final comment for that day.. Did you know you can get birthday cake out of a vending machine? No, me neither. That was until this day.
Shop 'Til You Drop, Literally...
Our final day in Vegas comprised of lots of drunk shopping – If you don’t come home with Vegas memorabilia have you even been? We explored the old town and Fremont Street where we found an awesome bar called Hennesey’s Tavern where they were serving homemade vodka lemonade (this is the reason for our drunken shopping) at $6 a glass. It was a no-brainer!
That evening, we had a reservation booked for a fancy-pants restaurant inside the Bellagio Hotel with a table overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Lago by Julian Serrano is a stunning Italian restaurant serving the finest Italian cuisine curated by a Michelin Star Chef. We’d made a pact that we would only go for one fancy-pants meal in Vegas and well, we really did splash out here and it was worth every penny. It doesn’t really get much better than chowing down on a bowl of the most delicious white truffle pasta accompanied with a bottle of Juliet Perrier Champagne, overlooking the Bellagio Fountains with your favourite person, celebrating, and finally getting to go on the trip of a lifetime.
Vegas, we loved you. San Francisco, we’re coming for you… More to follow!
Please note: All of this trip was paid for by us, none of it was gifted and the reviews, tips and recommendations are purely my own.