Las Vegas Travel Guide

Living in LA, Vegas is a really easy trip (about a 40-minute flight!) that’s always a good time.  But, since it’s typical to only go for a weekend, it’s important that you plan ahead for everything you want to do, see and, of course eat!  I asked travel writer Nadine Jolie Courtney to put together a list of some of her favorite Vegas spots for us and they are all just SO good.  Tell me, what are some of your favorite places to go in Vegas? Comment below and let me know what to check out the next time I’m there!

Nadine Jolie Courtney here! I’m a travel writer who makes it her business to know the best spots in every city, so I was thrilled when Katherine asked me for my Vegas recommendations.

I go to Vegas several times a year and am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest: from bars to restaurants to shows, there’s no shortage of new and cool in Sin City. Ironically, however, I usually find myself gravitating to the same few spots over and over. (Hey, if it ain’t broke…)

Here’s my guide to the best of Las Vegas:

WHERE TO STAY

ARIA

ARIA is easily my favorite place to stay in Vegas. It has some of the best views on the strip, boasts killer suites (the Sky Suites are AAA-Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star). smells like vanilla, features cool art installations, and is packed with a stylish, sophisticated crowd. Plus, the technology in the room is next-level, and those plush beds are heavenly.

The Cosmopolitan

On the rare occasions I don’t stay at ARIA, I’m checking into The Cosmopolitan. It’s a slightly younger, hipper crowd, and the restaurants here are fantastic (everything from Jaleo to Eggslut to Blue Ribbon to Momofuku to STK to Scarpetta). They’ve recently opened 21 new Boulevard Penthouses, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet, and they’re to die for.

WHERE TO EAT

é by José Andrés

My husband and I are true José Andrés junkies, and we are obsessed with é. The food is avant-garde, playful, inventive, and just plain awe-inspiring. You’ve got to see it to believe it. It’s pricey, but it’s worth EVERY single penny.

Libertine Social

A gastropub with incredible cocktails and a buzzing scene, from James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain. Plus, If you’re a vegetarian, there are some ridiculously good options (like the roasted beets, yum).

Sage at Aria

Gorgeous cocktails and epic food, all beautifully presented: Sage is an absolute must. Trust me. (Bonus: it has an Absinthe bar!)

Morimoto Las Vegas

Possibly my favorite Vegas sushi spot, from Masaharu Morimoto, the famous Japanese chef and star of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” It’s inside the MGM Grand, with three different offerings: a sushi bar, main dining room and Teppan tables.

Joël Robuchon

Another five-star restaurant that will set you back a LOT of money, this is the place to come if you’re celebrating an anniversary, are with your parents, or just want to go all out, true Vegas baller-style. It boasts (count ‘em) three Michelin stars.

Other Mama

From the moment it opened, this off-strip “oysters, sashimi and cocktail” spot has made a name for itself as the ultimate insider’s spot where chefs themselves are wowed. (Owner Dan Krohmer studied the art of sushi and Kaiseki in Japan and was sous-chef under Masaharu Morimoto in Philadelphia.) You won’t be able to decide what’s better: the beautifully presented dishes or the cool craft-cocktails.

WHERE TO PLAY

MARQUEE Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan

I always have a good time at MARQUEE. (Can’t say the same for other clubs in Vegas, and I’ve been to most of them.) It’s an eye-popping space, features great DJs, and also offers two smaller rooms: the Boom Box hip-hop room and the low-key The Library. (I once went and it was playing Nirvana). It also operates as a popular Dayclub with a gorgeous pool.

The Laundry Room at Commonwealth 

The Strip gets most of the tourist attention but old-school Fremont Street is where you’ll find the coolest (and most authentic) Vegas bars. Prohibition-style speakeasy The Laundry Room—hidden within Commonwealth bar—is one of my favorites for killer craft cocktails. And, yes, you do need a password.

Herbs and Rye

Another off-strip gem, Herbs and Rye serves up classic drinks like the Vieux Carré, plus shockingly delicious bar bites and epic steaks. This is where the mixologists go to drink, which tells you everything you need to know.

WHAT TO SEE

MAGIC MIKE LIVE LAS VEGAS

Does this even need an explanation? It’s co-directed by Channing Tatum, is at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and is destined to be your favorite thing in Vegas, ever. Go with your girlfriends.

Cirque du Soleil The Beatles LOVE

There are a seemingly endless number of Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas, and (from Michael Jackson ONE to KÀ to “O” to Zumanity) I’ve seen them all. The Beatles LOVE is my favorite—you know all the songs, and the choreography is trippy and mesmerizing.

ABSINTHE Las Vegas

Absinthe is a raunchy variety show featuring naughty circus acts in a theatre-in-the-round. It’s utterly hilarious, and a guaranteed good time.

For more travel tips and advice, make sure to follow Nadine on Instagram!

Image via Wikipedia

One Comment

  1. Ynema LaFuria says:

    Love your descriptive acessment of the best choices in Vegas. Would love to keep updated please, I travel extensively, & the information you provide is excellent & saves me a lot of wasted & money not wisely spent, looking for great places to explore. Thanks..
    Ynema

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