Wedding chapels aside, Las Vegas is a great place for a trip with your significant other. You’ll never run out of ways to spend quality time together.
Table for two
Las Vegas is a foodie’s paradise. While buffets and steakhouses remain part of Vegas’s DNA, its fine dining is something special. If you’ve got a favourite celebrity chef, they’ve probably got at least one restaurant in Vegas, and many of the world’s most recognisable eateries have an outlet in the city – think SUSHISAMBA, Nobu, Momofuku, Night + Market, Din Tai Fung, Eataly, the list goes on.
While I have barely scratched the surface of the city’s dining options (although not for lack of trying), I can impart these suggestions: Mott 32 at The Venetian is fantastic for high-end Chinese food while surrounded by opulent interiors, and be sure to taste the Hot & Sour Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings.
If you’re organised enough, pre-order their signature dish, the incredibly indulgent Applewood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck in advance. Availability is limited. Another favour you need to do for yourself is visit Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan, if only for the Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon & Tomato Soup Dumplings. Are you sensing a theme here?
A grand side trip
The Grand Canyon isn’t easily accessible from Vegas – the closest entry point, the West Rim, is 2.5 hours away by car. But if you want to take a special trip during your romantic vacation, a helicopter ride to this natural marvel may be just the ticket. Seek out a tour that offers limousine pickup to and from your hotel for added luxury.
Hit the shops
If you’re after some ‘me-time’ at the shops or keen to browse as a pair, Vegas is a great place to do so. If high-end is where your heart lies, head to The Shops at Crystals, touted as America’s only all-luxury shopping destination. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace has great variety – make sure to stop by Urban Necessities and see their incredible wall of sneakers, where there are hundreds of pairs on display.
This shop is so cool they won’t even let you try anything on, and everything is final sale. The Grand Canal Shoppes in The Venetian and the Fashion Show mall are also must-visits for buys at a range of price points. Be sure to hit up the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets for some designer bargains.
If you’re nursing a hangover, don’t feel like drinking, or you’ve got kids to entertain, don’t worry, you won’t runout of alcohol-free activities in Vegas.
Vegas is a place to discover top-notch entertainment. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of performances on offer and not sure what to choose, rest assured that if the act has a residency in Vegas, it’s going to be a great show. Whether you want to see an A-list singer, a celebrity magician, a Cirque du Soleil spectacular or laugh-out-loud comedy, you’ll find it in Vegas. The Comedy Cellar at Rio is highly recommended. Don’t let the off-strip location deter you, the calibre of comedians is outstanding.
Walk the walk
Walking along Las Vegas Boulevard at night is a free activity that is a feast for the senses. See the neon nights up close and personal, and make sure to watch the water dance at the Fountains of Bellagio. The fountain display takes place in the afternoons and evenings every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the time of day.
There are galleries, museums and art installations well worth a visit in Vegas. Learn about Vegas’s bygone years at the Neon Museum, which displays famous signs from old casinos and other businesses that once lit up the city; or discover the history of organised crime in the United States at The Mob Museum.
Visit AREA15, an entertainment precinct billed as a “wanderland” of art, music and amusement. It features a range of immersive experiences, such as Omega Mart, an interactive art installation which allows you to explore an extraordinary supermarket that bursts into surreal worlds and unexpected landscapes.
View contemporary art at amazing galleries, such as the Martin Lawrence Galleries. Housed within the Forum Shops, it is known to feature works by 20th-century masters including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí. Visit Fremont Street to see the original Las Vegas Strip and delve into the city’s early history, or surround yourself with artwork in the Las Vegas Arts District, named by The New York Times as “the least Vegas neighbourhood in Vegas”
If you have in fact gone to Vegas to let loose, there are many ways to do so. Here are some tips for a great night (or day) on the town.
Drink and drive
For golf lovers, what could be better than a few hits with friends? How about having a waiter at your beck and call to deliver cocktails while you do so? Topgolf is a driving range with a difference, with each bay boasting a booth where you can order food and drinks too. It costs less if you play during daylight hours, so it’s a great way to get the party started in the afternoon.
From golf club to nightclub
Naturally, Vegas is known for its big-name nightclubs – Marquee, OMNIA, Hakkasan, TAO, to name a few. Look out for an evening with a famous DJ or performer, but be aware the headline acts tend to come on late – usually around 1am – so you’ll need stamina. If staying up that late doesn’t appeal, many of Vegas’s top venues are also dayclubs. Vegas is famous for its pool parties, but you’ll have to time it well, as being outside in the peak of summer in Vegas can be unbearable, even if you are by the pool.
Know the tricks
It’s a whole other world in Vegas, where the rules of normal society don’t always apply. When it comes to a night out, there are a couple of tips which are worth knowing. One is that drinks on the casino floor are ‘free’ – you just need to tip the waitstaff a dollar or two. Another is that it’s legal to drink on the street, so you’re welcome to take your margarita with you as you make your way down the Strip (provided it’s in a plastic vessel). Also, visiting Vegas mid-week makes for a more cost-effective trip. The city is busy year-round so you won’t miss out on a vibrant atmosphere.
Photography: Caesars Entertainment; Barbara Kraft; Las Vegas News Bureau; Martin Lawrence Galleries; Peter Ruprecht; The Venetian Resort Las Vegas