Claiming itself as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World,” Las Vegas attract tourists from around the globe. Many foreigners see “Vegas” as the epitome of American culture while Americans, themselves, roll their eyes at the city’s indulgence. If you’ve never seen Las Vegas, you might be wondering how the dry desert of southern Nevada attracts such attention. For better or worse, the city famous for risky gambling, scantily clad women, fine dining, and endless lights is mesmerizing. Just two hours south of St. George, Las Vegas is definitely worth a visit.
While the extravagance of Vegas can be overwhelming, there are ways to enjoy the city without getting caught in its trap. We have a suggested itinerary to get your started.
1st – Arrive early.
If staying at the Coral Springs Resort or in the larger St. George area, leave in the morning and plan to arrive in Vegas before lunchtime. Perhaps not surprisingly, “Sin City” is relatively quiet during the morning-early afternoon hours.
2nd – Park centrally.
Park in any one of the resort parking lots for free. We suggest picking a hotel like the Paris Las Vegas, the Cosmopolitan, or the Bellagio as all are centrally located (map here).
3rd – Choose a great restaurant.
Vegas is known for their fine dining. You’ll find recognizable venues such as the Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s. But, with a little research, you open yourself up to much richer experiences. For lunch, I recommend Grimaldi’s at the Palazzo. New Yorkers wait in line for hours at the Brooklyn location. In Vegas, no need – there’s plenty of room! So take advantage.
4th – Spend the afternoon exploring and shopping.
Use this quieter time to explore the strip. There are plenty of attractions worth your while. Consider visiting the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory, the CBS Television City Research Center, or the Bellagio Conservatory Garden – free attractions worth your while. There are also countless places to shop. The Cosmopolitan is the most condensed and easiest to navigate, though you’ll find mini-malls up and down the strip. Be sure to factor in some down-time. All of the walking and stimulation can be exhausting.
5th – Sit down for dinner.
After a long day, you’ll be excited to sit down and eat. If you want to go true Vegas-style, check out any one of these buffets (five are reviewed here in USA Today). If you want a finer dining experience, check out these Top 10 Vegas restaurants. They are on the pricier end, but the experience is worth it.
6th – Attend a show
Years ago, the Cirque du Soleil ensemble took Vegas by storm and has never left. Today, there are 8 Cirque shows performing in Las Vegas, all of which are fabulous. For a musical experience, consider “The Beatles LOVE” or “Michael Jackson ONE.” For a more acrobatic experience, consider “Zarkana.” For an overall spectacular accompanied by theatricality, consider “O” or “Ka.”
7th – Take in the Strip
After your show, unwind and take in the spectacle of the Las Vegas Strip. Choose a look out point, take a photo, and appreciate the view. I recommend the bridge at the Bellagio from where you can see the famous Bellagio fountain show. For a smaller crowd, consider the gallery at the Venetian or the bridge just outside it that crosses Las Vegas Blvd.
After a day like this, you’ll be happy to return to the Coral Springs Resort, kick up your feet, and sleep.
A few resources:
- In planning your trip, the Vegas.com “Attractions Page” is a great place to start. They have categorized Vegas attractions, restaurants, etc. making planning the trip easy.
- The Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas website will include all the information on each show currently performing in Vegas
- Shopping in Las Vegas website
*Image Credit: lasvegas.com