It’s sometimes hard for me to believe, but there are people out there who really don’t like Las Vegas. I know, shocking, right? I know people who won’t even try Las Vegas because of the perception they have about what Las Vegas is all about. They don’t like gambling, they don’t like drinking, they hate anything that is kitschy or tacky, so they are absolutely convinced they would hate everything about Las Vegas. In fact, I’m sure there are people who think I have a gambling problem because I keep returning year after year; they just can’t wrap their heads around the idea that Las Vegas offers so much more than gambling and other vices. Does this sound like someone you know?
It’s my belief that almost anyone can have a good time in Las Vegas, as long as they do their research ahead of time and plan their trip around activities they would enjoy in an environment of their choosing. I think people who come to Las Vegas and hate it just didn’t “do Las Vegas” in a way that would have worked for them. To prove that, I’d like to kick off a little game here with you. It’s called “Vegas for the Anti-Vegas Visitor”.
If you could convince a Vegas skeptic to spend 48 hours in Las Vegas, with the idea that their itinerary would focus on things that are the antithesis of what they think Las Vegas is all about, what activities, hotels, and restaurants would you recommend?
I’ll kick it off with a few items on my list for Day One:
- So that they can see that they don’t even have to stay at a hotel with a casino, I’d recommend they stay at Vdara or the Signature at MGM Grand. (These are also non-smoking hotels, so they can’t complain about all the cigarette smoke, either.)
- With all the excellent spas available in Las Vegas, I’d recommend they spend a morning at one of the nicer spas nearby or in their hotel. Or if they’re on a budget, they could laze around the pool all morning reading a good book.
- After some upscale shopping in Caesars Forum Shops (or budget shopping at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets), I’d recommend afternoon tea in the Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental. How could they possibly complain about such a civilized activity?
- If that seems a little too “girlie,” I’d recommend a day exploring the desert outside the Vegas center, perhaps Death Valley or Red Rock Canyon.
- Dinner reservations would be at a restaurant overlooking the Bellagio Fountains – Prime Steakhouse, Olives, or Picasso. What kind of a vacation would it be if they didn’t splurge just a little?
- I’d suggest they round off their day with a performance at the new Smith Center, or perhaps one of the Cirque shows.
Okay, Vegas experts. Now it’s your turn: What Las Vegas hotels, restaurants and activities would you recommend for the anti-Vegas visitor?