Welcome to Las Vegas sign

If you’ve been following my blog recently you’ll know that I just came back from an incredible 21 day honeymoon in North America. So far this had taken me to Washington DC, Santa Monica, the Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park! And we weren’t done yet!

The 7th leg of the adventure took us to the bright lights of Las Vegas where we spent 3 days trying to figure out if the city was anything other than an adult’s playground… TL;DR – it wasn’t!

Day 1 – First impressions

Having just driven hours through the desert from Death Valley, with it being mid-afternoon it was a blissful sight to finally be met with the signs for Las Vegas and see human habitation again on the outskirts of the city.

Las Vegas was somewhere we felt we had to visit whilst we were in the California area. You live life hearing about the city, seeing it on TV, reading about the stage shows and seeing pictures of the Bellagio Hotel fountains so arriving into Vegas had a strange sense of familiarity about it.

First things first however we dropped off our hire car with Alamo at the airport and jumped in a taxi to the Aria Hotel where would spend the next 3 nights.

The Aria

Upon arrival at the Aria, the first thing we were met with was the hotel’s extravagant display – being late September everything was decorated up in a Halloween theme which looked pretty impressive…

The Aria Halloween Display 2016

We checked in at reception and were immediately offered an upgrade to a Tower Suites room as we were on honeymoon. Naturally, we obliged! The Tower Suites upgrade meant we received a corner room in the hotel and a full suite that included a lounge and extra living space instead of a basic room… it was amazing! The rooms were huge and everything electric in the room was controllable from several tablets including TV, heating, curtains and lighting!

With every button on the tablets tested and the novelty wearing off ever so slightly we booked ourselves into dinner at the Mexican restaurant in the hotel, Javier’s. Exhausted from a day of travelling we turned in for the night.

Day 2 – Las Vegas sign, exploring the strip and Cirque du Soleil

Our 2nd day in Vegas was intended to be a really chilled out and relaxing one where we could just wander around the strip and explore each of the hotels. What we didn’t really appreciate was quite how long the Vegas strip is! Walking from one end to the other is a serious distance so if you’re going to do it, be prepared to put in the steps!

Las Vegas sign & the strip

Leaving the Aria, we headed straight out towards the Las Vegas sign to snap a typical tourist photo! The sign is however a decent distance away from the strip, well beyond all of the hotels so in the heat of the desert it was quite a struggle to get there! It’s also located in the middle of the highway so you have to wait quite a while for the lights to change to get across the road.

At the sign, due to its popularity there was a queue of people lined up to get their photo done – it’s incredibly civilised and felt very British! The queue did however move at the pace of a snail so after 15 minutes of not moving, stood burning in the heat, we took a leaf out of other tourists books and took a photo just off-centre of the sign between the queuers changing over – et voila! Perfect.

Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Leaving the Welcome to Las Vegas sign behind us, we headed back along the strip and took a look at the various sights and all of the crazy hotels that the strip has to offer!

Le Rêve – The Dream – Cirque du Soleil

Seeing a show in Vegas had been on our list of highlights and you really are spoilt for choice. There’s a show going on every night in pretty much every one of the major hotels. I tried to press for Lionel Richie’s “All the Hits” show but now being married, I had to concede to the wife’s demands! So instead we sorted out some tickets for Le Reve by Cirque du Soleil.

The show was incredible with trapeze artists, acrobats and high dives. It was action packed with a lot to take in and was nothing like I’d ever seen before as everything was performed over a pool.

Night walk back to the Aria

With the show done we walked our way back along the strip to the Aria, taking a look at some of the night-time sights that the far end of the strip had to offer.

Arriving back at the Aria at midnight, we headed for dinner at the late night eatery, the Aria Cafe.

Day 3 – Helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon

The 3rd day of our Vegas trip was a pretty special one and also too expensive for me to think about! We enjoyed a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon with a champagne picnic in the canyon before flying back to the airport via a tour of the strip.

Sundance Helicopter Tour

First things first, a limo pick up at the Aria to take us to the airport…

Limousine Pick Up

Once at the airport we were collected by our pilot and given the safety briefing before taking flight over the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. We landed in the Canyon and were served lunch before flying back via the strip.

The helicopter tour was an incredible experience and one I definitely won’t be forgetting anytime soon!

Drinks at little Venice in The Venetian

With our feet safely back on the ground we headed back along the strip to explore some of what the hotels had to offer before stopping for a quick game of roulette at Caesars Palace before heading for some fruity cocktails at The Venetian!

Jean Georges Steakhouse at ARIA

We finished off our 3rd night in Las Vegas by heading for a steak dinner at Jean Georges Steakhouse at the Aria who upon hearing of our honeymoon surprised us with a special dessert!

Day 4 – Heading to New York!

Waking up on day 4 meant the end of our adventure in Las Vegas. I wasn’t sure what to expect when heading to the city however all things considered we had an absolutely amazing time there. Despite the city pandering to the need for adults to unwind with drinking and gambling, the city offered one of the best experiences of the honeymoon. There was loads to see and experience there with the likes of the Grand Canyon really offering something extra special.

Packing up our bags we checked out of the Aria, jumped in a cab and headed to the airport to start the final leg of our honeymoon with an incredible 4 nights in New York.

By Nick

Nick is the founder of Life of Man with a passion for trying out the latest technology, eating out at the best local restaurants, trying the latest IPAs hitting the craft beer scene travelling the world. As a parent Nick loves to spend time with his family and write about days out as dad blogger.

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