Las Vegas. This city is a mix of glamour and seediness; a place for fun but where you probably would not want to stay for an extended period of time. I’ve visited for a couple short breaks, most recently last October when I tagged along with Mr. Chuckles on his conference trip.
The new: Las Vegas Strip
We stayed at the Cosmopolitan which is located toward the end of the Las Vegas Strip. This is the only hotel with balconies and we were able to get a room with a view overlooking the Bellagio fountain. We enjoyed the restaurant selection here, especially the Momofuku which we ate at twice.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Vegas which hasn’t already been said by countless other travellers, so here are some photos. We also caught a Cirque du Soleil show and saw the magician David Copperfield, which I booked through the Tix 4 Tonight booth. I’d highly recommend that David Copperfield show; it was really entertaining and funny. Interestingly however, the couple sitting across from us were stone-faced the entire time. I don’t know what that was about.
The old: Fremont Street
We took an Uber to venture off the Strip and it was during this ride that we caught a glimpse of the real Vegas with its sketchy streets, vagrant characters, and bail bondsman offices at the corner of literally every block.
We eventually arrived at Fremont street, which is the classic old Las Vegas street that you’ve seen in the movies. It’s home to the famous Binion’s and Golden Nugget casinos, and features a light show on the LED canopy, called the Fremont Street Experience. We also saw some people zip lining across the canopy, which didn’t appear that appealing to me.
The fresh air: Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon
You only need about three days to get enough of the Vegas experience, so we added a day trip to the Grand Canyon to get a touch of nature.
There are several companies that offer bus tours to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas. We went with GC Tours which offered one of the lowest rates and most time at the Canyon itself, rather than subjecting us to the IMAX movie and gift shop stops that many other companies push. We opted for the South Rim, which is further away but is considered the ‘real’ Grand Canyon. The West Rim is actually owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, rather than part of Grand Canyon National Park itself.
The bus picked us up from our hotel at around 8 am, and then we drove to a stop at the Hoover Dam, which sits on the border between Nevada and Arizona.
We had our lunch stop at US Route 66, which is one of the original highways in the US Highway System. It served as a primary route for those migrating westward during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, starting in Chicago, Illinois and ending in Santa Monica, California. It was eventually removed from the US Highway System in 1985 with the rise of the Interstate Highway System. Many of the towns lining this route suffered major economic decline as it was decommissioned, but some areas have now been resurrected as historic sites.
One of these historic sites, now turned tourist pit stop, is Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In located in Seligman, Arizona. There is a small eatery there, although we just ate the packed lunch that the tour company provided.
After a 6-ish hours drive, we finally arrived at the star attraction, the Grand Canyon. We wandered through the park and admired this natural wonder of the world while observing other visitors place themselves in very precarious positions along the rim, trying to capture the best photos.
I still managed to catch some good shots without risking the tumble down a pit. 🤷🏻♀️ Living another day for more travels!