Nevada USA

Why Vegas should actually be on your bucket list (And it has nothing to do with partying)

Clubbing. Partying. Unlimited alochol. The Hangover movie. Strippers and Magic Mike.

I’m pretty sure this is the stereotype of Vegas we all have in our mind. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not far off…if that’s what you like. 

For me, I’d never had any interest in visiting Vegas. I don’t drink much and I’m not a party animal – so why on earth would I go to the party capital of the world, and love every second of it?! 

Lee’s been to Vegas three times now, twice before he’d met me. And he loved it. But he’s not a party animal either and so it took him a couple of years to convince me that it was a good idea. 

Boy he was not wrong. 

Vegas – the family holiday destination

I was more than surprised to find that Vegas is actually considered to be a family destination for many American families. No matter where we went, there were kids running around, family activities and family-friendly shows. So there’s a lot more to Vegas than first meets the eye. 

In the run-up to our holiday, we did a lot of research about what to do – we had the upper hand considering Lee had been there before, so we did this part of the research after we’d booked the flights. And do you know what…the list of things to do was immense. I had pages of activities. We wanted to do it all; go to shows, go shopping, visit the famous Vegas sign, visit the local national parks, take a trip to the Grand Canyon, road trip to LA, visit Disneyland, drive fast cars, and so much more – not all of which we were able to do.

More than just partying

Since we’ve been back, I’ve had a lot of people say to me ‘I don’t think it’s my thing’ or ‘I’ve never wanted to go’.

Well, let me tell you, neither have I.

But what is it that you look for in a holiday?

Sitting by a pool with a cocktail? Yep, every resort hotel has that.

Going to a bar or an evening show for some entertainment? Yep, Vegas has that too.

Want free entertainment? Depending on which hotels you go to, there’s a whole host of free daily activities – you can watch Circus acts at Circus Circus, visit the flamingo habitat at the Flamingo, see the botanical gardens and the famous musical fountains at the Bellagio, watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage, and marvel at street performers at the Venetian.

In fact, I was surprised by just how much there was to do that didn’t involve partying hard and getting drunk. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of that too. You may find yourself occasionally dodging a hen or stag party on the casino floor and avoiding scantily clad show girls on the strip.

Heading out of the city

But let’s take a step back a minute. Sure there’s loads to do in Vegas but you’re forgetting that Vegas is perfectly situated to allow you to do other things outside the city.

For example, did you know there’s a ski resort an hour’s drive from the strip? Crazy, right?

Not only did we fit in a few days in LA (a 4-hour drive away) which I’m unashamed to say included Disneyland, we also managed to visit the Grand Canyon (2 hours away), the Hoover Dam (1 hour away), and the Valley of Fire (1 hour away).

There’s also loads of other trips that we didn’t have time to fit in like an animal sanctuary 2 hours away, a Police car chase experience on the outskirts of the city and Antelope Canyon, just a few hours away.

At the end of the day, we were able to visit three states, two iconic cities, two national parks, one of the greatest wonders of the world and be endlessly entertained night and day in 40 degree heat – what’s not to like? 

Agreed, Vegas isn’t for everyone. It’s perhaps not the sort of place I’d recommend to my parents. You’ve got people smoking indoors everywhere you go, so so many people, expensive food and drink, and people ready to accost you in the streets to earn a few bucks. 

But next time you tell yourself Vegas isn’t for your bucket list, think again – it might be exactly where you need to go. 

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16th April 2020
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