Birthday weekend in Vegas? Why not!? We all know the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but that only applies to the stuff you are too ashamed to talk about! I have to say I have no regrets from Vegas, or at least not too many! The regrets I have I will share with you. This was my first time here, and to be honest, Vegas really isn’t for me. It’s just too much. Too much money, too many people, too much stimulation, too much cigarette and cigar smoke…but there are still a lot of great things to do in Vegas!
One of the best pieces of advice I got before I went, was to go to CVS or Walgreens for beer or wine to drink while walking around. Yes, you can drink on the streets here! These are not your regular pharmacies by any means, they are HUGE with quite the selection of cold adult beverages too! You will save money getting drinks here because otherwise you will pay top dollar at the bar in the casinos or restaurants.
Now some advice from me to you. Don’t take a taxi! They are SUCH a rip off here! One day, we took a cab to a location about 1 mile away, which took about 8 minutes, and it ended up being almost $18. With Lyft, a similar ride would have been maybe $8-10 or less, and we had a $5 discount on top of that. I would highly recommend getting Uber or Lyft. If you are new to either, you can use my codes and get some free rides! (Click here for Uber and here for Lyft).
The best restaurant I’ve ever been to was on our first night, at the SW Steakhouse at the Wynn for my birthday. What an experience! First of all, we had 2 waiters for our table…and it was just the two of us. All the staff are super attentive, and there is no detail overlooked. For tables with more people, you would see a parade of food runners come out, so everyone got their food at the exact same time. Very impressive. Our mistake here was that we ordered too much, had a lot of leftovers, and no way to reheat them afterwards! It’s ok though, the steak was still delicious cold! This restaurant is business casual, so save your jeans and t-shirts for a different place. Every 30 minutes, they have a really cool show where the waterfall is, and they are all different. SW is not cheap, but if you are looking for a special night out, this place will blow you away.
Since we were already at the Wynn for dinner, we got tickets for Le Reve, which was a recommendation from my yoga instructor in Houston. We originally wanted to see Cirque du Soleil’s O, but because of the recommendation and location, we decided on Le Reve, and were not disappointed! This show has the similar water features as O, but the seating is in the round. We got the cheapest tickets they had, and we were in the 2nd row, making eye contact with the performers. Really cool! It is called the “splash zone” but you might get a drop of water here and there, that’s all. Great story, death defying stunts, and other acts that leave you asking “how did they do that!?”
On our last night, we saw Calvin Harris at Hakkasan, which was pretty incredible. This might not be for everyone, as it gets really crowded but we had a blast. I would say the best experience is if you have a lot of money to spend on bottle service in a private booth, this way you get your own area, plenty of room, and drinks when you want them. But we did not have friends to split this with or the money to spend on it! We found a VIP option online, which was little over $100 each, came with a $100 bar card, and hardly any wait in line. I know that sounds like a lot of money to drink with, but for a cocktail and tip, you are looking at about $20 a drink. Otherwise it was about $50 per ticket just to get in. I’d say we got the best deal! We hung out in the bar area, which is off the dance floor, but you still got a great view. Calvin Harris did not come on until about 1, and around 230, we waited in a short line and got a spot on the dance floor right in front of him. The sound is incredible, the light show is mesmerizing, and the other effects like the blast of fog and confetti really made it a lot of fun!
Throwing my money away is not my idea of fun, so gambling isn’t my favorite thing. If you play on the penny slots, and give yourself a limit, it can be fun. You win a few bucks, you lose a few bucks, and you get a decent amount of play time. I also played a little craps and roulette with the guidance of my husband, but again, throwing away my money to the casino is not my idea of fun. “These casinos weren’t built with the money of winners, it was built with the money of losers.” So true!
A few other fun things to do in Vegas are taking a ride to the Freemont St Experience. This is “Old Vegas” and you will see some of the signs that you would see in older movies, the dark and dirty old casinos, and lots of people watching! At night, they have a really cool light show that is a must see! I almost forgot to mention that we stayed at the Cosmopolitan, which is a Marriott property, and a really fabulous hotel and casino. We walked through many casinos, but this was by far my favorite. A little fun fact we learned, was on the 2nd floor, there is a sort of pizzeria speakeasy. There are no signs for this place, just a hallway you walk down and BAM you are in a pizzeria! This came in handy after Calvin Harris. They are open late too which was convenient.
This only scratches the surface of what to do in Vegas, but these were a few fun things we did, that I would highly recommend for anyone going for the first time, or returning!