Join the Circus
In most cities, you need to wait until an interesting production passes through as part of a world tour. Unless you live in, say, New York or London, you might not have much choice in your stage entertainment throughout the year. Las Vegas is an exception. Here your choices are so rich that you might have trouble picking. We bet you won't even have the time to drop by the craps table while you try to catch all the must-sees.
Let’s zoom in on the Cirque du Soleil, for instance. Zumanity, O, KÀ, Mystère and more are literally always available at this resort or the other. The productions are all full scale, with specially built venues to accommodate the grandiose performances and ample audiences. They cost a pretty penny and are highly addictive, whether you are into aquatic prowess, comedy or musical interludes. And that’s at least one and a half hours of your Vegas stay spent away from the slot machines.
Zumanity, New York - New York, 3790 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. newyorknewyork.com
O, Bellagio, 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. bellagio.com
KÀ, MGM Grand, 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. mgmgrand.com
Mystère, Treasure Island, 3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. treasureisland.com
Shop Till You Drop
All due respect to Milan and Paris, but Las Vegas is a worthwhile competitor when it comes to shopping. Designer or high-street, international or homegrown — when it comes to fashion, Las Vegas has you covered. Or uncovered, if you like.
We dare you to think of a brand that you can’t find in Las Vegas, whether at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, the Caesars Palace Forum or Aria. Michael Kors and Salvatore Ferragamo are right at home in the Nevada desert. And quantity is not all Vegas shopping boasts. Fashion houses such as Cavalli, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Christian Louboutin all make sure the city's shops are full to the brim with all their offerings, from highest end to more budget-friendly pieces. And to top it all off, brands often make pieces exclusive to Sin City and showcase their most indulgent creations here. Just compare the Victoria’s Secret store in Caesars Palace to one in Manhattan and see for yourself.
Grand Canal Shoppes, 3377 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. grandcanalshoppes.com
Caesars Palace Forum, 3500 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. caesars.com
Aria, 3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. aria.com
Sin City is man-made from top to bottom. You will be hard-pressed to get a glimpse of the sky, let alone native turf, when visiting Vegas. But don’t let the blazing lights distract you from the fact that you are very close to some breathtaking natural treasures, too. Take a chopper ride to the Grand Canyon and the city's glitz and glamour will pale in comparison to its breathtaking beauty and sheer size. After another short flight you'll be blown away by the dusky sunset over the Hoover Dam.
Because this is Vegas, baby, you won’t be slumming it on tour, either. Limo pick-up service right from your hotel and a luxurious helicopter that seats you comfortably are complemented by a champagne picnic at the Grand Canyon. Just give Sundance Helicopters a ring. Hint: Pick the afternoon tour so you get nighttime Vegas views. You'll be mesmerized as you fly back over the lights of the Strip to the crooning voice of Frank Sinatra.
Sundance Helicopters, 5596 Haven St., Las Vegas, NV. +1 702-736-0606; sundancehelicopters.com
Frolic with Animals
The Mirage Hotel and Casino is home to an aquarium/zoo with dolphins and white tigers, lions and leopards. The entry is quite easy and does not require advance booking, so you can literally just waltz in last minute.
3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. +1 702-791-7188; mirage.com
On the very tip of the Strip, Mandalay Bay also has a shark habitat. It's a very busy attraction, so expect long lines. The hotel itself has lovely grounds, and it's close to the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, which you will probably want to take pictures of — so the trip to the edge of the Strip is not in vain.
3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. +1 702-632-4555; mandalaybay.com
Eat Yourself Happy
Obviously you expect a cornucopia of cuisines in Las Vegas. Just make sure you leave room to try something extraordinary as you eat your way through the Strip. Pop into the Bellagio, home of the wonderful Conservatory & Botanical Garden. Simply admiring the elaborate, three-hued chocolate fountain inside the Jean Philippe patisserie is indulgent enough. Try the truffle-infused fries on the side of your juicy burger at Gordon Ramsay Burgr at Planet Hollywood. Expect to wait in line for ages, which only makes it that much more indulgent at the end.
3600 Las Vegas Fwy., Las Vegas, NV. bellagio.com
3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. +1 702-785-5555; gordonramsayrestaurants.com
Indulge multiple senses while you nibble on decadent pasta at Sinatra at Wynn. You can probably guess the playlist for the night, but did you know you'd be dining alongside Frank’s Academy Award as well?
3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV. +1 702-770-5320; wynnlasvegas.com