Besides eloping, Las Vegas is a fantastic choice to celebrate a milestone birthday in style.
While we all may not be as adventurous as the guys in The Hangover, Vegas certainly has something for everyone with first class entertainment, dining and yes, people watching. Here’s your guide to eating, drinking, clubbing and entertaining in Vegas.
Of course, with all the new hotels recently opened up in Las Vegas, it is jaw dropping to simply peruse the many hotels and see the incredible architecture (like the restaurant suspended in the picture above).
Clubbing Las Vegas
Get your vacay off to wild start and head out on your first night. With so many clubs in Vegas, it’s hard to choose one. So why not go on a club tour? Nite Tours of Vegas will do that and then some. They’ll pick out 4 or 5 of some of the hot spots. With them you’ll have access to an expedited line where cover fees are taken care of and transportation on a booze filled bus.
Expect to have about 10 people on your bus. Our hosts were friendly and enthusiastic about the tour, though this may not be for everyone. The drinks on the bus are rather cheap, like smirnoff ice. I attribute my hangover to the champagne served on the bus, not the grey goose tonics I drank in the club. All in all a fun experience.
Don’t do clubbing? If you left club hopping in your twenties and crave a more sophisticated spot to sip cocktails, the Chandelier Bar (pictured above) is for you. The unique bar spans three different levels. And it is enveloped in a giant chandelier, hence the name. Leave it to Las Vegas for over the top decor. Each level has a different drink menu.
Stay in Las Vegas – Flamingo Resort
As far as vegas strip hotels go, for the price Flamingo is a good value. While an older hotel, they have kept it updated. The rooms were spacious and very clean. Although none of the restaurants at the hotel are anything special, the breakfast buffet is a good value especially if you have the food and beverage credit of $20 per day.
Keep in mind, any amenities you may be used to at other hotels, don’t come in to play at vegas hotels unless you are a big gambler. Want a refrigerator to store some of those huge leftovers? That’ll be $15. Want to check in early? That will set you back $30. Oh and check out is 11am, not noon as I found out before I could take a shower before checkout. Sorry fellow plane mates!
The Flamingo’s pool was nice but not spectacular by Vegas standards. It was so crowded in fact, I could only stand it for one afternoon. Note that the main pool is 21+ and the family pool is rather tiny.
Side note: An alarm went off twice during our stay, once at 5 am and we never learned what the cause was.
Las Vegas Entertainment
This is a relatively new dining and more area opened in the last couple of years.. Here you will find shopping, dining and high roller ferris wheel. The high roller soars 550 feet in the air and is the tallest of its kind in the world. Prices vary, but a good deal is the happy hour from 4-7 pm. for $24.99. Get unlimited beer or well drinks. There’s also another happy hour starting at 11pm but the inside scoop from our bartender was that the day view of the mountains was better than the night view. Cost for night ride with open bar: $40+pp. Tip: I don’t think it is worth more than the $24.99 happy hour option.
Been to the Cirque shows and looking for something different? I highly recommend ABSINTHE. This is part stand up comedy, part acrobatics like cirque and part burlesque show. In between fits of laughter, I was mesmerized by the sheer feats of acrobatics . Be aware this takes place outside caesars in a tent as opposed to the most shows which take place inside hotels. The intimate venue is an incredible setup for the show. ABSINTHE is rather raunchy so if you are easily offended, this is not the show for you. However, this is one show that truly lives up to all the hype.
Legends in Concert
At the flamingo, this show includes celebrity impersonators for Michael Jackson, Cher, Tom Jones, Lady gaga and more. With 3 showtimes, catch the act even if you aren’t a night owl. Listed prices are around $70, but I saw many ticket offers for $35 – just ask at the box office in the Flamingo.
Dining in Las Vegas
Never resting on its laurels, sin city always seems to be able to modernize and reinvent itself. Several years since my last visit, and there are a slew of new and exciting restaurants to try.
Todd English PUB
This upscale pub is unlike most restaurants you can find in vegas. With a very diverse beer menu they offer not only a fresh raw bar but quite nice pub food too. Take advantage of happy hour specials between 3-6 daily like $2 oysters and $3 sliders. Oysters were deliciously fresh. A lobster roll served in 3 small bites with drawn butter was sinfully good as well.
Need a coffee fix and Starbucks won’t do? I feel you. That’s why you should head on over to the Sambalatte. All of their coffee is fair trade and it is a lovely, serene and quiet atmosphere. Get the Nutella latte. You’ll thank me.
RX Boiler Room
“The alchemy of food and cocktails” rx boiler room located above RM seafood in Mandalay Bay is a terrific option for those looking for expertly crafted cocktails paired with a unique spin on comfort foods. Think shrimp corn dogs.
Foodies don’t do buffets, right? Well, you must try them in Las Vegas. While hotels like Caesar’s with the Bacchanial buffet are well known for their gargantuan offerings, don’t overlook more affordable options like the Paris buffet. Modeled to resemble a quaint french town, here you’ll find all kinds of specialties including duck al ‘orange, pastas with truffle sauce, and macaroons. But expect a wide variety of other choices too. The buffet is a deal for just $30 including non-alcoholic beverages.
The most inventive and creative dishes I had during my stay are at Yusho, a new restaurant located in the Monte Carlo. Though casual, this is unlike anything else on the strip. Can’t decide which cocktail to order? Get the cocktail flight – a sampling of 5 is $25. Look for items like chicken skins, hamachi kama with peanut sauce and the mother of all noodle dishes, the monster ramen, a 40 ounce portion of ramen with skewers if both shrimp and pork.
Disclosure: some of our meals and entertainment on this trip were complimentary, but the opinions expressed are our own.