We were on our way to Las Vegas.
The City of Sin, the city of gambling, and the city of insane partying.
Was I super excited to go? Not really, but it was my boyfriend’s first time in the US so we decided to spend the weekend in Vegas, one of America’s most recognizable cities.
And boy was I wrong about this place – let me tell you why.
The Beginnings of a Fabulous Weekend in Vegas
We landed at the McCarran International Airport in the evening around 9:00 PM.
As soon as we exited the airport, we hopped into a cab and after a quick 10-minute ride, arrived at the dazzling Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
It was grand. It was spectacular. It was also my first time staying at a 5 star hotel.
The place was sensational.
Upon walking in, we were greeted with sparkling marble floors and a stunning glass sculpture hanging over the reception area. Following the divine smell of flowers, we walked a bit further inside and discovered the conservatory. It was filled with hundreds of flowers, plants, trees, and even a waterfall. Like a mini botanical garden, the Bellagio Conservatory is flower art at its finest.
The nice thing about it is that it’s completely free (even to visitors not staying at the Bellagio) and the theme changes five times a year.
After checking into our gorgeous (and huge) room, we set out to explore the strip.
Upon walking out of the hotel, the famous Bellagio fountain show was just beginning. The dancing fountains, synchronized to music, were just as spectacular in person as they are in the movies! This is another free attraction that is worth seeing.
Pro tip: reserve a table at Eiffel Tower Restaurant, just across the street from Bellagio. You’ll have spectacular tourist-free views of the Bellagio fountains accompanied by premier French cuisine and wine.
The first night we skipped out on a sit-down restaurant and made a beeline for In-N-Out Burger. It was my first time trying THE famous west-coast burger that boasts a passionate following, and I was not disappointed. The burgers were so fresh and so delicious.
Tip: Order your burger “animal style”. This is where the burger is cooked in mustard and is topped with pickles, grilled onions, and EXTRA secret sauce.
Day Two of a Fabulous Weekend in Vegas
On our second day in Las Vegas, we decided to venture off of the Strip. We rented a car and headed to the Hoover Dam.
This engineering masterpiece sits on the Nevada-Arizona border and holds back the mighty Colorado River. Originally named the “Boulder Dam”, it was constructed for three main reasons: to prevent flooding, help irrigate the desert and to generate hydro-electricity. This incredible structure was built in just 5 years during the Great Depression. The dedicated workers who helped construct the magnificent Hoover Dam were paid 50 cents an hour and only had 2 days off in the entire year – the 4th of July and Christmas!
We ended up taking the Hoover Dam Tour, which was $30 per person. A bit pricy in my opinion, but honestly so worth it. We learned a lot more about the construction and incredible history than we would have had we just walked the top of the dam. Though, if you’re short on time or on a budget, you can just pay the $10 parking fee and walk around without having to take a tour.
After touring the Hoover Dam, we then continued our day trip to the Mojave Desert to see the Valley of Fire. You can read about our amazing desert experience here.
When we arrived back in Las Vegas, we went straight to our room to get ready for the world’s most famous acrobatic performance…Cirque du Soleil! We hadn’t planned ahead or done any research on which show we wanted to see. After arriving at the ticket booth, we asked for a recommendation for the best Cirque du Soleil show. The guy behind the counter suggested we see Zumanity. Honestly, I wish we had done a little more research beforehand as the show was much more risque than we were expecting, but the acrobatics were incredible nonetheless.
After the show, we headed over to The Chandelier, a multi-level lounge inside the Cosmopolitan that takes the shape of an actual chandelier, with thousands of Swarovski crystals dripping from the ceiling. Their creative cocktail menu, friendly staff and great vibe made it the perfect place to people watch and relax.
Day Three of a Fabulous Weekend in Vegas
On the last day of our weekend in Vegas, we spent the morning chilling at the Bellagio pool before strolling down The Strip to The Venetian. This slice of Italian paradise in the middle of the Nevada desert is mega impressive. The inside of the hotel is a remarkable replica of the original city of Venice complete with canals, its very own St. Mark’s Square, serenading gondoliers, shopping, and everything else over-the-top that you can think of.
That’s a wrap! Our fabulous weekend in Vegas is proof that you don’t have to be super into gambling or partying to have an amazing time in the entertainment capital of the world. There is so much more to this place than the stereotypical Sin City that it’s known for and I hope you take away a little extra inspiration from this blog when planning your trip to Las Vegas.