Vegas – Take Two
The wonderful thing about travel is that there is no right or wrong way to experience a destination. While some love to have every second of their day planned, others prefer a more relaxed approach. The important thing is that the way you spend your time is entirely up to you. However, there are some occasions when you wish you did things a little differently.
I first visited Vegas back in 2009. I had just finished working at a Canadian ski resort and I was eager to go somewhere warm. After chatting with a few friends, it was quickly decided that we’ll fly south and spend a week in Vegas.
As this was my first time to Vegas, I was keen to experience all it had to offer, no matter how corny or cringeworthy the outing may be. However, we quickly got stuck into a sloth-like pattern of sleeping, eating and drinking. Our sleeping habits go so out of tune, we ended up sleeping all day and partying all night. It was enjoyable enough, but it wasn’t until the end of the trip that I realised just how little we had actually seen or done. And I was a little disappointed.
So, with a return trip to Vegas planned for March next year, I’ve put together a list of the things I’ll definitely do upon my return.
Visiting the Grand Canyon didn’t even cross my mind until the end of my stay, and by that point I had overblown my budget and was flying to Bangkok the very next day so I decided to pass. As it’s about 250 miles from Vegas, I’d probably opt to stay overnight, rather than going on a day trip.
Shark Reef Aquarium
Growing up in Western Australia where shark sightings are prevalent, I have a healthy respect and interest for dangerous marine life. Located at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the Shark Reef Aquarium is North America’s only predator-based aquarium and exhibit. With over 2,000 animals, including the sawfish, giant rays, green turtles, piranhas and the rare golden crocodile, it will be an exciting exhibit to see.
The “New York – New York” Roller Coaster
I had the opportunity to go on the roller coaster last time as I was there, but I was nursing a hangover so I decided to pass. I didn’t think the other people on the ride would want me to risk it. Located directly out the front of the New York – New York hotel, it costs $14 for an individual ticket, or $25 for a day pass.
Standing at 1,149 feet tall, the Stratosphere tower is the tallest observation tower within the United States. While I’m not the biggest fan of heights, I don’t think I’d be able to resist as the view from the top would be brilliant. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can go on one of the two rides which are located on top of the tower, the appropriately named Insanity and X-Scream, which both cost $12.
Fountains at Bellagio
I actually saw the fountain show the first time I was there and I was blown away. I never thought a fountain show would be so entertaining. Show times vary, but depending on when you’re there, it usually runs every 15 minutes or 1/2 hour.
The Neon Museum
Dedicated to preserving and displaying old neon signs, The Neon Museum collection boasts over 150 donated and rescued signs. Listening to the story behind each sign will be an interesting and unique way to learn about the history of Vegas. Price of admission is only $15 and it’s recommended to wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a couple of water bottles as you’re out in the hot sun the entire time.
Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at Mirage
Highly recommended by a friend, the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is a Siegfried & Roy creation. The main attractions are the panthers, leopards, white lions and white tigers. Located at the Mirage, it’s open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm daily and an adult ticket will set you back $17.00.
Vegas Indoor Skydiving
Standing in a specially designed vertical wind tunnel, the 120 mph worth of wind it produces is powerful enough to lift your body into the air and replicate the sensation of skydiving. While my fear of heights puts real sky diving out of the question, I figure $75 is a fair price to pay to experience something which is somewhat close to the real deal.
World’s Largest Permanent Circus
Clowns freak me out, but I haven’t been to a circus since I was 8 so I’d love to go again. Even though I’d imagine much hasn’t changed since then, it will still be fun nonetheless. Located at Circus Circus, it’s classified as the world’s largest permanent circus. It starts at 11am daily and admission is free.
What are your favourite Vegas activities? What shouldn’t I miss the next time I’m there?