Sin City: A Quick Guide to Las Vegas

Known for its glamor and glitz, Las Vegas, Nevada, is a perfect vacation getaway. It has a little bit of everything and provides entertainment for casino-goers, shoppers, show-seers, and those who are hoping to enjoy some warm — if not hot: it’s in the desert, after all — weather.

Want some ideas on the places to stay and the sights and shows to see? Here’s a guide to the best Las Vegas provides.

Source: Thecelliststarlet / Wikimedia Commons

Places to stay

Wynn Las Vegas: “With a casino floor flooded with natural light, a botanical theme, and a collection of restaurants with rising celebrity chefs like Alex Stratta and David Walzog, Wynn Las Vegas has single-handedly redefined the standard of luxury in the Las Vegas casino hotel,” writes Travel + Leisure. The smallest rooms start at 620 square feet and continue to increase in size until you reach the villas, which top out at 7,000 square feet. Hoping to do some shopping? Enjoy Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Cartier, and Chanel boutiques in the shopping esplanade.

The Palazzo: Expect angora wool throws, marble baths, and sunken lounge areas in this resort. In the mood for some New Orleans cuisine? Be sure to stop by Delmonico Steakhouse. Fusion’s cocktail menu provides Brazilian, Peruvian, and Mexican drinks, according to Conde Nast Traveler.

Bellagio: “The Bellagio has all the Vegas-style luxury spectacle, but it still somehow remains classy. With 67 acres, there’s space for an indoor botanical garden, a 8.5-acre lake in the middle of the desert, boutiques that include Prada and Chanel, and five pools housed in an Italian courtyard,” according to Oyster. Visitors can dine at Le Cirque or Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Prime Steakhouse, or enjoy the famous 1,200-plus dancing water fountains.

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Sights to see

The Shops at Crystals: There’s tons of boutique shopping at this mall, which makes for the perfect day for any fashion fanatic. But the mall is more than that. According to Vegas, Crystals is like its own metropolitan city, providing stunning architecture, gardens, water displays, and shopping. There’s a real aloe tree, a colorful, living flower “carpet,” and even a tree-house fixture where diners can sit and eat.

Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay: This aquarium has everything: sawfish, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha, jellyfish, and a golden crocodile. There’s more than 1.6 million gallons of water and 2,000 animals to see. Guests can participate in the dive with sharks program or feed a stingray or sea turtle.

The Grand Canyon: According to The Telegraph, the Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular sites in the United States, and it is right in Vegas’ backyard. You can even explore the natural wonder via a helicopter ride. What to expect? A combination of geologic color and stone formations that decorate a 277-mile-long canyon.

Source: Léo Pinheiro / Picasa via Wikimedia Commons

Shows to catch

Michael Jackson ONE: The show combines Jackson’s No. 1 hits, original recording studio master tapes supplied by the pop star’s estate, and Cirque du Soleil magic for an entertaining night at Mandalay Bay’s  newly renovated theater, USA Today writes.

Blue Man Group: “Some Las Vegas shows are not for everybody. Blue Man Group is. Well, everyone that wants to have fun in Las Vegas. You’ll be entertained like never before, you’ll surprise yourself with the need to tap your feet and you’ll engage your senses with a desire to experience it all,” said Zeke Quezada, an About.com writer. It’s complicated, basic, and advanced, and is perfect for the whole family.

Celine Dion: The show is in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace; it is a musical presentation featuring Dion and 31 musicians she performs with in a venue that seats 4,300. There’s no dancing in this show, writes USA Today. It’s an intimate and soulful experience that focuses on her incredible voice and extravagant costume changes.

Source: Professor Bop / Flickr

Bars to grab a drink from

PRESS: A new bar in the Four Seasons, it offers handcrafted cocktails, small plates, and desserts that can be served at the bar, in the lounge, or on the outdoor patio, according to The Telegraph.

Commonwealth: This bar can be found in the Fremont East district of downtown and is a mix of art and architectural influences. “Commonwealth is more than a bar, it’s a meeting place for the good of the people who are ready to experience a new kind of downtown Vegas,” the swanky hangout advertises.

Minus5° Ice Bar: Cool down in the Minus5° Ice Bar at the The Shoppes at Mandalay Place inside Mandalay Bay and at the Monte Carlo. (The minus 5 actually means 23 degrees Fahrenheit.) Guests are given insulated jackets, gloves, and boots before entering, and the walls, sculptures, and seating that are all fashioned from ice, Vegas writes. And as icing on the cake, the glasses are made out of ice.

Ghostbar: On the 55th floor of the Palms, this breathtaking bar has a stunning sky deck framed by boxwood hedges. “The vibe at Ghostbar is uber sophisticated. Inside, the décor features Murano-style chandeliers, porcelain tile flooring, plush banquettes with ornate wood-carved legs and a fireplace filled with flameless candles,” Vegas writes. “Techophiles will be mesmerized by the 47-inch TVs located behind the long bar that showcase Ghostbar’s live social media feed and create an interactive experience.”

Restaurants to dine at

Jaleo: This restaurant is the definition of intimate. It seats only eight diners, with the chef taking guests on a one-of-a-kind culinary extravaganza, The Telegraph writes. The centerpiece of Jaleo Las Vegas is an open-fire wood grill specially designed to cook paella the authentic Spanish way.

LAVO: It can be found in the Palazzo and features an extensive menu of Italian favorites, including brick oven pizza, ravioli, and spaghetti. “The restaurant is known for its meatballs, which are so large that one can be shared with the entire table,” writes CNN Travel. “LAVO also features a lounge and nightclub, so diners can extend their experience into the early morning hours.”

Simon Restaurant and Lounge: Located in Palms Place, celebrity chef Simon Kerry emphasizes fresh seasonal ingredients and high-quality dishes. Foodies can look forward to the junk food platter — a collection of classic desserts, including cotton candy, brownies, and caramel corn, according to CNN Travel.

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