If you follow me on instagram, you already know I was in Vegas not too long ago. I went with my mom, and we had so much fun exploring. We stayed at Mandalay Bay this time ’round and made sure to try new things because I’m all about that life. I’m passionate about collecting memories with loved ones – it’s the kind of happiness money can’t buy.
Watch a Cirque Du Soleil Show or Five
Cirque Du Soleil sure knows how to deliver. Their performances are expensive but almost always worth the price. I say “almost always” because we saw our first not-so-great show in Vegas. I feel bad saying that, but hey, gotta keep it real. I was really excited to see R.U.N, their first live action thriller – their words, not mine – and it was a bust.
It was kind of like a Romeo/Juliet + Kill Bill thing with gangs, and although there were some cool moments, it was a flop as a whole. The choreography wasn’t great, and it all just looked super fake to me. There was also this torture scene that was gory and gross, and I wasn’t a fan – it didn’t add to the story at all, and it just felt like they did it for shock value. I still gave them a standing ovation at the end though because I felt bad – there weren’t many people in the audience, and the ones that were there seemed less than thrilled.
However, my mom and I bought tickets last minute to Michael Jackson One, and that was phenomenal. In fact, so phenomenal, I’d pay money to see it again. And I don’t know if you guys knew this, but you can get discounted tickets if you’re staying at the resort they’re being played at so we got ours for 40% off. We also ended up moving forward to better seats later on because it was about half full. The ushers don’t care so don’t be shy. I know because I literally asked them if I could move up, lol. I’ve also seen “Ka” and “O” and those were amazing as well so definitely make sure to book a show or two when you’re down there. I’m dying to see “Mystere” as well so that’s on my list for next time.
Check out Tokyo Discount
Soooo this is kind of a random bullet point, but if you like Japanese culture, Tokyo Discount’s a must. It’s located in Vegas’ ginormous Chinatown – it’s about a 15 minute drive from the strip – and they have all sorts of cool stuff. Think anime plushies, delish snacks you can’t find in the states, fun interior decor and so much more. I spent a good hour browsing, and I highly recommend it for fun gifts and the like. Whether you decide to buy or not, it’s a cool place to get your browse on.
Eat, Eat, and Then Eat Some More
Vegas has such a great food scene. I actually had to cancel a handful of food gigs on the last day because my mom got really sick, but I was especially looking forward to Partage. Oh well, I’ll just go next time! Nom highlights from this trip were as follows: Buddy V’s, Nuro Bistro and Saint Honore.
Buddy V’s does really great Italian food, and it’s located inside the Venetian so parking’s free. The service is on point, and the view’s great so remember to request a table by the window when you make a reservation. They have a pretty big menu, but everything’s delicious. I’ve tried a bunch of different dishes, and I have zero complaints. We got their osso bucco and shrimp scampi as entrees this time around, and both were delicious. Their beef and lasagne’s also really good, and I’ve heard amazing things about their sea bass.
For appetizers, their meatballs are strong, their charcuterie’s solid, and their grilled octopus is scrumptious. If you’re craving greens, the toscano’s great, and it comes with large pieces of prosciutto, which is always a plus in my book. And regardless of how stuffed you are, you need to get their nutella cake for dessert. Add a cappuccino for perfection.
Next up, Nuro Bistro. This unassuming hole in the wall is located on 4255 S Durango, and they specialize in Cantonese style noodle soup and Hainanese chicken. Yes, the chicken was nomtastic, and it came with 3 magical sauces and a bowl of THE most flavorful rice, but the winner for me was their wonton noodle soup. Think 4 fat dumplings stuffed with pork and shrimp, served in a light but flavorful broth with perfectly cooked al dente noodles with a texture so beautiful you could cry.
Oh, and did I mention a giant bowl was only $7.99? I know, straight up insane. Pro tip: ask for a side of hot chili oil to spice things up. They also have several affordable apps available so make sure you order a few to start – their Chinese broccoli was great, the cloud mushrooms were delicious, and the spicy bean curd’s a must for tofu lovers. Their chicken wings are supposed to be crazy as well so give ’em a try when you go. PS. if you check in on yelp, you get $1 off any drink of your choice so make sure you take advantage.
Anddd last but not least, Saint Honore for beignets. I got an order of their nutella stuffed ones, and they were to die for. They’re made to order so they come out pipin’ hot, and they’re honestly some of the yummiest I’ve ever had.
There was just something so special about the dough, and they went crazy on the filling, like there was an entire jar between the 3 pieces I got. They were realllly affordable too (under $5), which was awesome. If you want something a little less sweet, just get ’em with powdered sugar. You’re welcome in advance.
Shop ’Til You Drop at North Vegas Outlets
The Premium Outlet Mall in Vegas is ah-maaaaaa-zing, but it’s huge so I recommend either going twice or having a game plan. Here are the stores I recommend:
- 7 for all mankind: check out their discounted racks in the back
- Aeropostale: browse their jeggings and their non-branded clearance stuff in the back
- ALLSAINTS: I love their clothing, but even their outlet store is pricy. They have SOME deals though so it’s worth a stop.
- Armani Outlet: they have a huge selection with big markdowns so take a look.
- Burberry: it’s a hit or miss with this store – sometimes they have great promos, other times not so much. With that said, I’ve gotten some great deals on outerwear and bags here so I recommend going.
- Escada: if you like fun and colorful prints, you definitely need to stop by. This Vegas outlet has a huge collection, and they’re not shy about marking things down.
- Joe’s: I sound like a broken record, but go for their discounted racks in the back.
- rag & bone: their clothing’s also usually pricy, but I recently copped a blazer here for like 1/5 of the price so I’m all about this Vegas location right now.
- Salvatore Ferragamo: stop by for discounted designer bags, shoes and belts.
- Schutz: bummed I didn’t get to check out this store so go for me so I can live vicariously through you.
Geek Out at the Mob Museum
I love, love, love museums so when a friend told me about this gem, I couldn’t resist going. It’s run by a nonprofit organization who’s goal is to educate the public on organized crime and its impact on society so it’s packed with information. There’s actually quite a bit of “scary” stuff inside so I probably wouldn’t take a young kid, but that’s totally up to you.
There’s also a speakeasy and distillery on site so you can grab a drink at the end. General admission’s $26.95 pp, but students can get in for a discounted rate. Unfortunately, parking’s not free, but there’s a convenient lot next door for $7.
Shop Some More at the Fashion Show Mall
This ginormous mall is located on the strip, and it has over 200+ stores including high end designer boutiques. Want to know where I spent the majority of my time though? Zara and Forever 21. Pittsburgh doesn’t have clothing tax so I buy all my stuff there while visiting fam. I used to go HAM at my local F21, but they recently closed [insert uber sad face here] so I was thrilled that this Vegas store was so large. Think 2 HUGE floors packed with clothing, but not a disorganized packed like you’d expect from F21.
I was so, so impressed, like there wasn’t a single shirt out of place! And they had a cool BOGO 50% off promo happening so I ended up getting a classic blazer and a chic animal print coat. I’ve been wearing the latter out a bunch, and I’ve gotten compliments every time. I’ll make sure to feature it on here soon so you guys can see as well!
Zara was fun as always. I’m a huge fan of their designs so I spent a good 4-5 hours there over the course of two days. I’m pretty sure me and my mom tried the entire store on. I left with a bunch of $9 shirts and a pair of cute printed trousers. I had my eye on an adorable animal print bag, but it was too expensive ($40) so I ended up passing. Lucky for me, it was available on black Friday for a discounted price of $19 so I ended up ordering one for myself. See, it pays to wait. Patience is a virtue, frands.
Alright guys, that’s it for my latest travel guide. I hope you enjoyed reading all about my trip to Las Vegas. I keep going back and forth between writing casual vs. more formal. Do you guys have a preference? Do you like it when I talk about my personal experiences or would you rather have me be more general? Let me know by leaving a comment below, and make sure to check back soon for fresh new content. Until then, see more on my travel or DMV tab. Until next time, loves!