Monday, January 22, 2018

4 Free Things We Did in Las Vegas... and 5 For The Next Trip


(In an effort to freshen up the "wanderings" part of my blog, I want to start incorporating more travel posts, so this is my first attempt!)

I was so excited to go to Las Vegas for the first time last year, but I was also a bit worried about the costs - the restaurants, the gambling, the drinking - it wouldn't be cheap!  So I did some research before we left and came up with a list of things that we could do for free.  Because our trip was rather short and my list was really long, we only got to a few of them, so I guess that just means I'll have to go back!

1. Walking the Strip and checking out the casinos.  After parking our car, we basically walked anywhere we wanted to go along the Strip.  There's so much to see both inside and outside the casinos.  The themed hotels are so ornate and busy, we didn't even need to gamble to have fun.  And with the way we ate, we definitely needed the exercise.



2. The Park.  The Park is an outdoor area located between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York hotels.  It offered some respite from the craziness of the Strip and also housed some very cool sculptures.


3. The Bellagio fountains  The fountains run on a schedule, so it's pretty easy to figure out when you should get there to see the show.


4.  The Welcome to Las Vegas sign.  The sign is actually located down Las Vegas Boulevard from the heart of the Strip, but since it was on the way to where we were staying, it was a quick stop for us.  There's actually a parking lot in the center of the road, which makes for an easy visit.  Also, it was quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be!


So, we ended up hitting the major tourist attractions while we were there, but if (when) we go back, there are five other attractions I'd like to check out, all for free:

Neon Museum: The Neon Museum houses an outdoor collection of classic neon signs.  Most of their collection is accessible through guided tours for a fee, but they also have a gallery of 9 restored signs that is open and free to the public, 24/7.

Ethel M. Chocolates: The Ethel M. Chocolates factory is actually located in Henderson.  You can do a free self-guided tour of the viewing aisle to catch a glimpse of them making the chocolate, and afterwards you can take a walk through their Botanical Cactus Garden, the largest in Nevada.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden: The conservatory at the Bellagio houses a multitude of plants, flowers, and trees, and the design is changed for each season.  Unfortunately, we were in Las Vegas for the couple days each quarter when the Garden is closed to create the next season's scene!

The Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo: Inside the flashy Flamingo resort is a wildlife habitat that features fish, turtles, and of course, flamingos. 
 
ARIA fine art collection: All over the ARIA hotel campus, you can find stunning pieces of public art, from sculptures to paintings.

Las Vegas isn't just about gambling and drinking - there really is something for everyone, and you don't always have to spend a ton of money to have fun!
 
What are some of your favorite Las Vegas attractions?  What's your favorite thing about Las Vegas?
 


30 comments:

  1. What a cool concept for a trip! I have always wanted to visit Las Vegas and have been hesitant because of the cost. You have given me incentive to seek these types of venues on my next trip. Free is always good! :)

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    1. It is! I'm starting to look for more free activities on other trips we take, too.

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  2. I have only been to Vegas once. It was for a big girls trip and I found out I was pregnant 3 days before. It took a little oomph out of the trip but I enjoyed walking the strip and the fountains. I hope to get back and some of those spots sound cool to check out. Love the pics!

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    1. Thanks! It's a fun place to walk around, and we could have used a day or two more there.

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  3. Let's all go! Seems like there would even be stuff for Miss Luna to enjoy!

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  4. Sounds like a fun trip! I've spent a little time in the Las Vegas airport, changing planes on my way to somewhere else, and seen the strip from the air, but never actually visited there. Maybe someday! I have relatives not too far from Vegas.

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    1. My husband was a little hesitant about going, but he ended up having fun. Plus, there's good places to hike if you're willing to drive a bit.

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  5. I would want to just wander and explore too, I think. The wildlife habitat and the neon museum both sound great. I didn't know about either one. And of course the Strip and the LAs Vegas welcome sign would be must-do's. :)

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    1. Yes, I wish we had gone to the wildlife habitat. For some reason, we just never ended up going in that casino.

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  6. This looks fantastic! I love that you've chosen stuff that's enjoyable but free. That's so awesome. Beautiful pics, too!

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  7. Oh great pictures! I don't know if Las Vegas would be a city I could love, I am not a fan of gambling but I am intrigued by the city as a whole, its buildings and monuments such as that small Eiffel Tower. It has to be beautiful all lit up at night, too! :)
    Thank you so much for sharing this! :D

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    1. We actually didn't gamble at all while we were there! My husband was a little worried because we don't really gamble anymore, but we found plenty of other things to do. The Eiffel Tower is cool, you can actually go up in it! It has great views, it's where I took the first picture from!

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  8. I haven't been to Las Vegas yet (or even the US) but it's on my list for someday. I'm glad it isn't just about gambling and drinking. :D

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    1. It's definitely not! I mean, we did drink, but we didn't gamble. There's so much to see!

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  9. Fun post idea. I always enjoy hearing about people's travel adventures and it's been years since I've been to Las Vegas, so the refresher is nice. (And, it's hard to beat free!) Maybe I need to work in a trip there sometime soon.

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    1. This was our first time and I'm glad we went. I'm not sure Tom is dying to go back any time soon, but it was fun!

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  10. Fun post! Traveling to Las Vegas is on my bucket list, so I'm definitely taking notes on all of these attractions. It's nice to know there are so many free options, especially considering cost is one of the main reasons I haven't been there yet. I'm glad you had a great trip!

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    1. Thank you! I knew it was not going to be a cheap place to visit, so I was pleasantly surprised at all the free attractions!

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  11. My husband and I are going to Vegas for our 20th Anniversary next year. We are so excited too! So many places to go and see!!!

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    1. Awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time!!

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  12. Great post! I haven't been to Las Vegas yet, but I do hope to go there some day. I only knew about the Strip and the sign, but the park and the fountain look really nice too! And I'd definitely love to visit that neon museum and the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo. Hope you'll get to all the places you want during your next visit!

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    1. There's so much to see along the Strip, and there's lots of other places if you're willing to drive a bit - places to hike, etc. I'd also like to check those out if we go back!

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  13. My best friend wanted us to do a trip to Las Vegas for her 22nd but it never ended up happening :( Money wise I was relieved lol but I was also bummed because I would love to go to Las Vegas. The Park looks really cool! I'd love to see all the sculptures in person. That's also funny that the Vegas sign looks much smaller in person. That chocolate factory sounds amazing too.

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    1. I've wanted to go for years, and I finally convinced my husband to go. I wish we had gone out to the chocolate factory. LOL, I assumed the sign was huge - it's not!

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  14. I went to Vegas with my parents when I was a kid. I mostly remember doing a crap ton of walking up and down the strip and through hotels lol. But yeah, the hotels really are so ornate that they'll cool just to look at! And it's great that some of the shows, like the fountain one, are free. Ooh that is a cool sculpture! And how cool that you went to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign!

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    1. Yes, we did a lot of walking, too! I love the themed hotels, they are so fun. I wish we had seen more of the free shows around or more of the art pieces that are within some of the hotels - we just didn't have a lot of time. The Last Vegas sign was crowded every time we passed it - there were always brides and grooms taking pictures there!

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  15. This sounds like a great trip! My husband and I are at least planning on passing through Vegas on our way to the Grand Canyon for a vacation this year, so I'm book marking this in case we want to do anything in the city :)

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!