Las Vegas isn’t for the timid. It’s big, bold, bright and brass—that’s what makes it so fun! Every time I visit Sin City, I discover something new and have a different kind of adventure. Sometimes my husband and I take in as many Broadway-caliber shows as our pocketbook will allow; on other trips we’ve indulged in fine dining; on still others we’ve spent time strolling hand-in-hand through the Strip’s themed mega-resorts.
So whether you’re a shopper or a spa-goer, a sightseer or a slot player, Las Vegas has you covered. Throw in a little romance, and Vegas makes an ideal honeymoon destination. Here’s what I’d try to see and do if I were celebrating my nuptials in Vegas:
Where to stay
For the ultimate in accommodations on the Strip (Las Vegas Avenue; the center of action) book a stay at the Bellagio. It’s probably the most expensive of the mega-resorts, but if you’re honeymooning and can break the bank, go for it! This luxury hotel has nearly 4,000 rooms and more than 500 suites—to say it’s big is an understatement. The 65,000-square-foot spa offers every body treatment you can imagine, and has a fully equipped fitness center. On site are no less than seven fine-dining restaurants and seven casual restaurants, a humungous casino, dozens of upscale shops—you could stay here a week and never need to leave the property! Of course, you can’t miss the dancing water fountains out front; choreographed to accompanying classical music, the “water ballet” is especially romantic by night.
Where to eat
One of the most indulgent meals I’ve ever enjoyed was at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at the Paris Las Vegas hotel. Take an elevator 11 floors up from the Strip to enter this gourmet restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling windows afford magnificent views of Vegas’ dazzling lights. The dimly lit dining room invites romance. The cuisine here is all French—from escargots and camembert salad to sautéed sea bass and filet mignon in butter sauce to crème brulée and chocolate soufflé. So savor the rich flavors and worry about carb counting when you get back home.
What to do
Get tickets for a show. With the range of performances—magicians, comedians, concerts, musicals and traditional topless dancers—there’s surely a show in Vegas within your budget and tastes. My pick is a Cirque du Soleil performance—these can be pricey, with tickets starting at $75 and typically around $100, but oh-so-worth the money. The sets are magical, the music entrancing and the acrobatics amazing. Each show is different—in one, dancers and trapeze artists perform on, around and in a huge tank of water; another is set to favorite Beatles’ tunes—but I’m partial to Mystère, which has been drawing visitors to the theater at TI (formerly Treasure Island) for years. The accompanying, mystical score enhances the truly unbelievable acts, including Chinese acrobats, high-flying trapeze artists, bungee jumpers and silly clowns who keep the audience in stitches. (Book show tickets—and air, hotel and dinner reservations—at Vegas.com; see “Related Links” below.)
Go skydiving. Nope, you don’t have actually jump from a plane to experience the thrill of skydiving. Head to the “vertical wind tunnel” at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving, on Convention Center Boulevard., right off the Strip, that simulates an actual free fall. (See “Related Links” below.)
Visit downtown Vegas. Sure, the Strip gets all the glory, but there’s lots of history—and plenty of casinos, and the free Viva Vision sound and light show—in “vintage Vegas,” just a short bus ride from Las Vegas Boulevard.
See the sights. If you feel like getting away from the glam and glitter of the Strip, ride a horse, ATV or dune buggy in the neighboring canyons, mountains and desert. There are also helicopter tours, dirt-bike rentals and day trips to Lake Mead—excursions to consider if you get tired of pulling the handles of the slot machines. (See “Related Links” below.)