Last February we flew with Swoop Airlines to Las Vegas. It was my first time experiencing the fascinating city that really truly never sleeps. The night we arrived, it had lightly snowed which was incredibly rare in Las Vegas. The next morning was bright blue skies and my first time seeing the surrounding mountains was that it was covered in snow and not the normal red rocks. It was a beautiful sight.
We divided our weekend up to explore both the Strip as well as Downtown Las Vegas. When we first arrived, we checked into The Downtown Grand. A perfectly located hotel which I found extremely comfortable. Halfway, we were lucky enough to spend our remaining nights at the Palms Casino & Resort which has now become one of our favorite hotels ever. Read our full reviews of both hotels here.
On almost all our recent trips, we always have done some sort of extreme activity: ziplining in Whistler, ATV-ing in the muds of Orlando, RZR-ing on Cougar Mountain. Sun Buggy looked like the perfect activity where you get to drive a dune buggy speeding on the Nellis Dunes. It’s a great way to check out the desert right outside of Las Vegas. They picked us up from our hotel and drove us out past the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and onto their offices. We got fitted for helmets, goggles, and gloves and shown a quick tutorial and safety guidelines.
They then drive us again out to the sand dunes with all the buggy separated in smaller groups with a guide. Rishi drove first then we switched halfway, driving for a total of an hour. It was so much fun! Going high speed up and down steep dunes, drifting left and right as the sand covered us with dirt. Our adrenaline was so high and we were loving every second in that buggy. After we were done, they drove us back to the office then back to our hotel. It felt a little long from the time we got picked up to the time we got to start driving, but it’s okay as long as you know it days 4 hours end to end for a 1-hour buggy ride. It was definitely a thrilling experience which we both highly recommend.
If you are going during the Winter, it can get pretty cold after sunset. Here are a few activities we checked out to get out of the cold.
Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay has got a neat Shark Reef Aquarium. It was my plan to check out almost all the big hotels on the Strip and we were able to walk through the almost all the grounds to finally land at the Aquarium. It wasn’t busy around 7 pm and walked straight in without any lines. It was really nice inside, almost relaxing.
The best part is one big tank to view all the different types of sharks and stingrays. The aquarium was quite small; we were able to see everything in about thirty minutes. If you’re bringing kids to Las Vegas, it’s a good spot to take them.
Virtual Reality at LEVEL UP inside MGM Grand
Right near the Strip’s entrance to the MGM Grand, there is a Virtual Reality Experience at the LEVEL UP area. Having never tried something like this we were excited. Usually, you need to reserve in advance as they have timed games but the staff were great and took us right in as it wasn’t busy. We got a quick tutorial, entered an empty room and put on our gear (VR headset and goggles, and a toy gun). We played 3 game types, player vs player and it was a crazy experience! We were both totally immersed in a different world and running around the room eliminating each other. We had a blast and highly recommend it for people who are looking to try something new!
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art at Bellagio
After checking out the beautiful grounds of Bellagio Hotel, we came across the Gallery of Fine Art. Not knowing what I was going into, I expected it to be an art gallery. It was not at all. The main attraction inside is a 45-second experience. They put you into a tiny room, the “Infinity Mirrored Room”, one or two at a time, close the door, and the room comes alive. I felt I was transported into the Lantern Festival in Thailand. Everyone needs to check this out in Las Vegas!
Food in Las Vegas
Dining in this great city was literally both our favorite thing to do. Every single meal we had anywhere was perfect, delicious and lip-smacking. We had too many places to eat and not enough time! We highly suggest everyone do a trip just to eat. Forget the partying, forget the gambling – go to eat!
Primrose is located inside Park MGM. The adorable restaurant is great for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The decor and atmosphere is beautiful and romantic. It reminded me of all the upscale brunch spots near Central Park in New York City. I had the Mediterranean plate and Rishi had the Eggs Benedict. Food was amazing and fresh. Coffee and mimosas were delicious and done right. The staff was so friendly. Perfect spot for brunch.
La La Noodle inside Park MGM
The last meal of our trip before heading to the airport was at La La Noodle. We had the crispy lobster dumplings, General Tso’s Chicken and the Drunken Beef. All three was super fresh and delicious. It was too much food for two people. We highly recommend the Lobster Dumplings; they had huge pieces of lobster and well worth the price.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours
This was our first time ever doing a Food Tour and it was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had! The bar for all other food tours has been set extremely high. Lip Smacking Foodie Tours organized and executed this tour perfectly. There is a very good reason they are rated 5/5 on Trip Advisor with 1700 reviews.
We went on the Afternoon Culinary Adventures Tour which tours us to 4 renowned restaurants. We met our guide, in front of “Focus”, a giant water wall outside of Aria. She was incredibly informative with all the art pieces we walked by on our way to our first restaurant. She also gave an in-depth history of each restaurant which was filled with fascinating details. Our first stop was at Javier’s where we seated at the most exquisite table with the custom LipSmacking menu, one usually reserved only for celebrities. As soon as we sat down, we were served. Not a minute was spent waiting around. We then headed to Estiatorio Milos where the food was served immediately, 3 items. It was more light, fresh food that would help you digest the previous meal. After we headed over to Momofuku and were served another 3 items from the menu; salad, pork buns, and ramen. We ended the tour at Mastro’s Ocean Club, a beautifully designed steakhouse in the middle of the Shops at Crystals and was served full sized deserts 3-4 different types of them!
Every single item we ate was beyond delicious. The tour was so incredibly well organized with custom menu’s we could take home. The guide was super professional and gave us treats at the end; a booklet of more food recommendations a tin of mints. We never waited around
If you have any questions about our trip to Las Vegas, feel free to email me at [email protected]