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Vegas is a magical, mystical place.  That’s about the only thing most people agree with.  When I tell people I am going to Las Vegas, I get one of three different reactions: 

  • “You are so lucky that you get to go to Vegas!”
  • “Why the hell do you want to go to VEGAS?!?”
  • “That sounds fun, but I have no desire to ever go to Vegas”.

So I lied.  I do sometimes get a 4th reaction and it is the only one that’s really acceptable: “I’m in, where are we staying?” 

So which are you?  If you’re not yet, you’ll be ready to book your next Vegas trip after I show you all the ways to do Vegas right.  Vegas has something for everyone, so if you’ve had a bad experience or don’t think it’s for you, I’ll show you the blueprint for your personalized Vegas experience.

Before we jump into what type of trips you can (and should) be taking, let me first explain why Vegas is my go-to vacation destination.  Here are a few of the reasons why I end up in Vegas at least 3-4 times every year.

Two words:  Direct Flights. 

I live in Indianapolis.  It’s a midsized, Midwestern city with one of the nicest airports in the country.  But that doesn’t mean there are tons of direct destinations. We have some vacation destinations (Orlando, Florida Beaches), one new international flight (Paris), big states (Texas and California), major cities (DC, NYC, Chicago, Boston, Denver), and some midwestern destinations (Kansas City, Charlotte, Minnesota).  All of these are hit and miss and often change with the season.  You know where I can fly direct anytime on multiple airlines?  Vegas.  It’s not always the cheapest flight (it is 4 hours after all), but there are top airlines (Southwest) and budget airlines (Frontier, Allegiant, & soon to be Spirit) that have a wide range of flight times. Even if you live at a smaller airport hub, they probably have connecting flights to Vegas.


Hotels for Every Occassion & Budget

If I want to go to NYC or Chicago to take in a ball game or a show, the hotel bill is going to be steep.  On busy weeks or weekends, you choose between location and budget. Not so with Vegas. If you want to stay in style, there are (relatively) affordable rooms at amazing 5-star hotels. Need to save some dough? You can stay next door to an amazing hotel for a quarter of the price.  There are only a few weeks in the year where the prices are heavily inflated (CES, NYE to name two), but there are almost always a deal to be had.  And if you’re flexible, you can get amazing rooms for bargin basement prices.  One random October I booked a $125 a night room at the Cosmo (first time at the hotel) and was upgraded to a Fountain View suite for $40/night.  It was one of the coolest views in Vegas for $165/night.

Not a bad view from my suite at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Perfect for Short-Trips…

Here’s where I will lose some of you but hear me out. I’ve gone to Vegas for a long weekend (and do almost every year for Labor Day) and I’ve gone for 8 days in July.  I had a great time both times. Short trips are pretty standard and the conventional wisdom is don’t do Vegas more than 3-4 nights.  There are not too many vacation locations that you can pack a full week of fun and feel like it was worth the trip in that short of a period, but Vegas nearly always delivers.  Whether for a boys trip, a bachelorette party, or just a quick away, Vegas is a perfect short-trip destination.

… And Enough to Do for a Week

I don’t buy that you can’t have fun for more than a few nights.  I think you just have to be a bit more creative.  For the week that I was in Vegas for 8 night, I started with a rager with the boys for 3 nights and then my wife came in for a nice relaxing long weekend of pool days and shows and dinners at night.  I was in the club on a Wednesday night, playing blackjack with the boys on Thursday, watching the amazing Absinthe on Friday, and having an incredible dinner at one many amazing restaurants on Saturday. 

I could visit the grand canyon during the day or rage with Snoop Dogg who was DJ’ing a pool party last Labor Day. I could have a lazy spa day or just hang out at the hotel pool. Even with a limited (or barely existant) budget, I could have a vacation that looks much more like an all-inclusive (without the beach) than the night portrayed in The Hangover.





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Sports, Shows, Golf, Gambling, Concerts, & Amazing Experiences

There is always something I want to do that I’ve never done in Vegas.  I’ve been 9 times in the past 3 years and each time I still do something I’ve never done. And there’s always a few things that never get old no matter how many times I’ve experienced them.

In the next two weeks this December of 2018, the following acts will be in concern somewhere in Vegas:  Celine Dion, Tenacious D (THEY STILL PLAY? I’d totally be in), The Righteous Brothers, Boyz II Men, Gwen Stefani, Wayne Newton, 6 different Cirque du Soleil shows, 12 musicals, 16 magic shows, 6 hypnotism shows, 43 comedy shows (including Carrot Top, Jay Leno, and Andrew Dice Clay), plus about 50 other shows ranging from adult (Little Miss Nasty) to variety (V – The Ultimate Variety Show) to award-winning production shows (Absinthe & Blue Man Group).   

Love golf?  There are experiences in Vegas you can’t find anywhere else.  The Royal Links Golf Club has eleven holes inspired by Open Championship rotation courses including the Road Hole and Hell Bunker from the Old Course at St Andrews and the Postage Stamp from Royal Troon. 

No, you are not on the Old Course at Saint Andrews… the mountains give it away.

Want something they don’t offer in your local club?  Female caddies like the Parmates are available at many of the Vegas courses, offering advice on your shots like you can only find in Vegas.  And if you want to stay in the AC, check out the Top Golf which offers fun for the family and a pool to cool down on those hot Vegas summers.

There’s literally something for everyone.

And the Food.  You Can’t Forget the Food!

If I ate every meal in Vegas for a year at a different restaurant, I’m pretty sure there would still be a few places that I feel like I’ve missed.  Unless you’re living in a foodie haven like NYC or San Fransisco, the food scene is going to blow you away. I have to admit, I like the finer things in life, but the scene doesn’t just include expensive steakhouses or fine dining.  There’s something for every taste and every budget!

My favorite meal ever – Sage at Aria

Love Marky-Mark, the Funky Bunch, and obsess over the Wahlburger clan?  There’s a Wahlburgers location.  Never made it to Cali and want to order the Animal-Style burger off the “secret menu” at In-N-Out Burger?  There are multiple locations where your bill will be about what you’d spend at your local fast-food burger joint.  Never made it to Chicago and want to try the famous deep dish?  There’s a world-famous Giordano’s. Want a slice of NYC without the traffic?  Beauty & Essex has a second location in the Cosmopolitan. 

And don’t get me started on the famous chefs who call Vegas (at least a temporary) home.  Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has multiple restaurants.  So does Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, José Andrés, Joël Robuchon, Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller… It would actually be much quicker to name famous chefs that don’t have a spot in Vegas. If you love the food network, Vegas will bring your face-to-plate with some of the best food by the top chefs on the planet.

Some more food porn from Lemon Grass @ Aria 

So you now know why I always consider Vegas, lets get into the type of trips that can make Vegas a winner now matter what you’re looking for.  Maybe you’ve only been for a 21st birthday or a bachelor party or had a bad experience and are hesitant to give it a try.  Maybe you don’t like to party, drink, or gamble and never would have considered Vegas.  Or maybe you think it’s too expensive or extravagant.  I’m here to tell you that Vegas can work for every type of vacation.

You know it’s a crazy food scene when the place that served this went out of business

What happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. The party central, sin-city vibe has always been a hallmark (and if that’s what you’re after, Vegas can deliver), but there’s much more refined fun.  From shows, to sports, to food, and much more awaits you in Fabulous Las Vegas.  

Will I see you there?

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