Last week, my husband and I took a quick trip to Vegas to celebrate his birthday and just to get away for a few days before we get back into the full swing of the school year.
The week before we left for our trip, I had basically decided that I was going to hate Vegas because it was going to be hot and crowded. Much to my surprise, I was wrong. we had a really good time and saw all kinds of great things. I don’t know that it’s a place I’d like to visit over and over again… (there’s just so much to see in the world!) but we had a great time and I’m so glad we went.
Vegas was just one of the places on our Must See List, so on a whim I emailed our travel agent to see what it would cost to go for a few days. I was so surprised when they quoted us 4 different resort hotels on the strip ranging from $950 to $1200 for 3 nights.
We opted for the cheapest option, which was The Mirage, and I am so glad we did! The Mirage was beautiful and clean. The service was great. There were plenty of food options, shopping, a great pool, and lots of slot machines.. plus it was in walking distance to everything else on the strip.
Honestly, we knew that it didn’t matter which hotel we stayed in, we could just travel from one casino to another to check them out for ourselves, and the main hotel was just where we would be sleeping. We went into most of the hotels on the strip while we were walking around. Actually, we ended up walking about 10 miles one day popping in and out of the casinos and being touristy.
My favorite casino resorts were The Bellagio (So pretty!), The Cosmopolitan (Just felt very posh and Insta-Worthy) and The MGM Grand (The New York City setup inside was so cool!). But again, they were all very nice. I have no regrets with where we stayed.
Save your room money for spending on food and drinks… because none of that was cheap.
We didn’t get out of most meals for less than $100, and mixed drinks were around $17 a piece. I had big plans to go buy cases of seltzers and beer to put in our in room fridge… but when we got there we found that it was a fully stocked mini bar and could not be used for personal use. We also did not have a coffee maker or a microwave, which just seemed super weird to us.. of course this is all probably normal for a resort, just not what we expected. So, just a heads up!
Being a very big tourist city, Vegas is a FOODIE’S Paradise! Everywhere you look is covered in amazing restaurants and new experiences. Honestly, I don’t think you could even eat at them all if you lived there so make a list of what you really want to try and get to eating!
Our big food destination was Dick’s Last Resort. That was a non-negotiable for this trip. If you’ve never heard of Dicks, it’s a hilarious place for people with thick skin. Basically, the staff is paid to bully you. We were absolutely rolling listening to our waitress make penis jokes at my husband’s expense, call the man next to us Grandpa over and over (He wasn’t much older than us), and scream at some kids to get back in their damn seats every time they moved at all.
It was dysfunctional and possibly my dream job. Our waitress was way too good at her job. I loved when the man next to us was leaving and our waitress said “Ok, Grandpa you’re really old so you probably won’t remember but you had a good time today.” An added bonus was her screaming at my husband to put her meat in his mouth when he didn’t finish our chicken wings.
I didn’t think the food was amazing, (we shared an appetizer platter) but the atmosphere was great, and our drinks were good! Plus, we got to keep our drink glasses, so we got to haul them all over Vegas in my crossbody bag.
Another notable food was The Hello Kitty Cafe at The MGM Grand. It’s just a little food truck outside of the MGM Grand. They have coffee, lemonade, donuts, and Hello Kitty Merch. So cute!
I also loved the cake vending machine at Harrah’s, from the famous Cake Boss. We ended up going back to Harrah’s the next day and enjoying a slice of cake at PizzaCake, Buddy’s pizza and cake restaurant. I don’t normally eat a lot of sweets, but the cake was worth it! So yummy.
At the Mirage we ate at The Still, Diablos (twice!), The Pantry and we had an amazing breakfast at Paradise Cafe. We wanted to eat California Pizza Kitchen, but they were closed on Tuesday when we tried. All were very good!
Weather In August
The weather was actually not bad at all. Planning a trip to Vegas in August was probably not my smartest move ever. I pretty much psyched myself up to remember that it was going to be incredibly hot and we were going to be miserable. We made lots of wise cracks about the fact that everyone told us it would be a “dry heat” but they were right! In Kansas, we are used to having a very high humidity. 75 to 80% Humidity is honestly just to be expected during the summer time. Vegas hung closer to 17% humidity when we were there. The day we walked for hours on end? I never broke a sweat. I also never got a sunburn which I thought was crazy. I wore sunscreen, but at home I usually tend to burn anyway. Maybe because I didn’t sweat my sunscreen off, but who knows. I’m so glad I didn’t let the weather app on my phone scare me off from exploring because I never would have thought it was 97 degrees while we were wandering around.
Vegas fashion is so fun and everything goes! I saw t-shirts and jean shorts, I saw crop tops, sparkly dresses and everything in between. Heck, that doesn’t even mention the showgirls in thongs standing on the street to get photos taken.
During the day, I wore tank tops and shorts. During the evening, I dressed a little more fun. I wanted to take some sundresses to wear during the day, but I didn’t find any I loved before I went. The only time I felt out of place was in the bathroom at the Bellagio. Every other woman was wearing a dress or workout clothing and I just kind of felt under dressed to be walking around the casino! If I did that over again, I’d have shopped a little harder for some casual sun dresses.
I found this very cute bodysuit from Amazon and worn it one night when we went to a show! I loved my outfit and need a reason to wear it again.
The other night I wore leather leggings and a graphic tee. Again, loved that one too! The third night I didn’t bother dressing up, which was also fine. Go as crazy or as casual as you want.
So, like I mentioned we went into just about every casino on the strip. Looking at the map before our trip, I was a little overwhelmed. We had tickets for a show at Ceasar’s Palace and to me it looked like we were going to be walking around the scary streets of Vegas to get there. Would we need a cab? Um.. no. We did not go out walking around after dark, besides on the way home from our show, but really everything was much closer than I pictured.
I also had no idea that so many of the casinos on the strip are themed and made to look like different cities! The Luxor is Egyptian themed, with some amazing pyramids and Egyptian Artifacts. The New York Hotel is complete with a statue of Liberty and a Huge Apple. The Bellagio and the Venetian are designed based on Italy. The Paris Hotel has an amazing Eiffel Tower… and there’s just too much to list all of. I kept getting surprised over and over when we discovered something new.
We were right next to Cesear’s Palace and when we walked in, we were surprised to find an entire shopping mall! The Forum Shops at Cesear’s Palace was gorgeous and proof that malls can still thrive in America, apparently. I could have wandered around and stared at the painted ceiling all day. Later I found out that just about every casino, (except ours) has a similar mall inside! They were fun to wander through.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, there’s a roller coaster that flies around New York and a giant observation Ferris wheel that looks over the city. I would not enjoy those things, but my teen totally would have.
Speaking of kids… I could not believe how many kids were there! When I got there I said “I would never bring my children here” but when I left, I was all…. our teenager would have so much fun here. Now, don’t get it twisted.. I’m not booking a trip to take her, but I can see how people can take their kids. It really was a fun place and a great experience. It was not all slot machines and alcohol like I expected.
There are so many different shows to be seen in Vegas! We only booked one, so we could keep our options open. We went to see Absinthe in the Speigletent at Cesar’s Palace. I totally didn’t know it was in a tent until we got there, but man was that a cool show. Think… circus acts… but super raunchy and dirty and hilarious. This was such a cool show and was worth every penny! I’m so glad we went.
I’m not a gambler. Neither of us are really, but when in Rome… or Vegas or whatever… We both played slots. I spent a whole $20, he spent $80. No big winnings, sadly. We did get Rewards member cards at the MGM desk and since we are a Veteran Family that got us a military discount in many locations! Definitely sign up for a rewards card when you arrive.
Have you ever been to Vegas? Which was your favorite sight?
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