Ramon is the creator of Travelling Companion. He focuses on flight review, hotel reviews, and helping stretch your travel dollars, miles, and points further.
Exploring the Las Vegas Strip Overview
My third trip to Las Vegas left me with the feeling that I had enough of Las Vegas for a while.
Pros- Easily Accessible via Walking, Numerous Entertainment Options
Cons- Expensive Drinks, Oppressive Summer Temperatures, Unimpressive Show, and Phony Attractions
Las Vegas Strip Trip Report
Las Vegas Strip Trip Overview
Aria Resort and Casino Deluxe Queen Room Review
Aria Resort and Casino Dining and Activities Review
Exploring the Las Vegas Strip
American Airlines Boeing 737-800 LAS-DCA Review
Walking the Strip
One of the great things about staying on the Las Vegas Strip is how easy it is to access all of the hotels, restaurants, and entertainment on the strip as as a pedestrian. During the day we spent a lot of time exploring the strip by walking. Because of the many unique hotel concepts which seek to bring ideas an architecture from around the world to Las Vegas it can be interesting to walk around the Strip and check out the hotels.
We found one of the easiest ways to access the Strip from our hotel during the blazing heat was walking through The Shops at Crystals which is a luxury shopping mall attached to the Aria. This mall featured luxury brands including Gucci, Tiffany & Co., and Lalique. I found that this mall represented the glitz and glam of Las Vegas which seems to push everyone who visits to open up their wallets and throw caution to the wind. I resisted this push and did not but anything in the pricey mall during our stay.
During our stay we also walked by Paris and the Bellagio Fountains. I like the Bellagio Fountains and I would recommend stopping by to watch the fountain show if you visit Las Vegas.
One of surreal things we saw on our walk were the gondoliers taking people for gondola rides and singing in the pond outside The Venetian . To me it just seemed ridiculous to have gondola rides in a man-made pond in the middle of the desert. I understand that most people will never be able to see gondoliers in Venice during their life, I haven't had the opportunity to do so either, but the way it is done in Las Vegas still seems phony and strange.
The biggest downside to the Las Vegas Strip in the summer is the oppressive heat. While we were in Las Vegas it was over 110 degrees. While the humidity was low you can only walk so long in this heat and we found ourselves dipping into the hotels to cool off or into a store to grab a bottle of water whenever we could. Having been to Las Vegas in the the spring, winter, and summer my advice is to avoid going to Las Vegas in the summer. The sun makes it very difficult to enjoy being outside during the day and even going from one hotel to the next can wear you out.
Las Vegas Strip Entertainment
In the past when I visited Las Vegas I had the opportunity to see some great entertainment. Las Vegas offers numerous entertainment options but expect to spend a lot if you want to purchase beverages while watching any of this entertainment. The biggest draw in Las Vegas for me are the unique entertainers you can see any of the week. Because of numerous artists in residence in Las Vegas you have the ability on any given night to probably see more entertainers than anywhere else in the United States. The draw for me are the top DJs that have partnerships with the Las Vegas nightclubs. On a previous trip to Las Vegas I saw The Chainsmokers perform at XS nightclub in the Encore Hotel. When I found out I was going to Las Vegas again I jumped at the opportunity to see another DJ.
This time around we decided to see Calvin Harris who was performing at the Omnia nightclub located inside Caesars Palace. We bought our tickets in advance for $64 which I thought was reasonable for a concert. However, be warned that many of the nightclubs in Las Vegas have separate pricing for males and female even to attend concerts. In this case it was about $20 cheaper for females.
This was my first time ever going to the Omnia nightclub and I was very impressed. Before the show started we went outside to the roof deck and I was floored by the view of the Las Vegas Strip from Omnia. The nightclub is located at the center of the strip and the views offered were amazing.
When we entered the nightclub itself I was also impressed since it was multi-level and at the center had a massive display which changed shapes throughout the Calvin Harris' performance. The nightclub also had an impressive sounds systems and dancers hanging down from the ceiling. The biggest down side to Omnia were the very expensive drinks among the most expensive I have ever seen and the club's water policy which made no sense. During the oppressive summer heat this nightclub refused to provide us any tap water or even ice for drinking and only sells bottle water. At the nightclub a mini-bottle of non-brand water cost about $10 a bottle. To me this policy along with the prices was a strong reason not spend any money on drinks at the nightclub and another reason to avoid Las Vegas in the summer. I really enjoyed the show at Omnia and I would recommend going to the Omnia if you are in Las Vegas and get the opportunity but once again I would recommend not going during the summer.
This trip to Las Vegas was also the first time I have gone to a traditional Las Vegas show. Our group decided to go see MindFreak Live! by Criss Angel at the Luxor. I was really impressed by the design of the Luxor with its imposing entrance and hotel rooms housed inside a pyramid. Since we saw Criss Angel his show has moved from the Luxor to Planet Hollywood with the cheapest tickets going for about $70.
I was excited to see my first Las Vegas show but I left the experience disappointed. I personally found his magic tricks to be unimpressive and the videos included in the whole experience dated. Hopefully, he has updated his show since he moved to Planet Hollywood. However, I would suggest anyone going to Las Vegas skip this show unless you are a big Criss Angel or magic fan.
My third visit to Las Vegas was fun but left me feeling like I won't be back for a while and definitely not in the summer. While I really enjoyed my stay at the Aria and seeing Calvin Harris performance at the Omina I did not like the oppressive summer temperatures, the expensive drinks at the nightclubs, what I found to be unimpressive first Las Vegas show, and phony attractions at the various hotels along the Las Vegas strip. If you do end up visiting Las Vegas my recommendation is do not go during the summer, see a DJ show, and stay on the Las Vegas Strip so you have easy access to all of the attractions.