Ah, Vegas. If there were ever a place to splash some cash, it would be Las Vegas, Nevada. The city is chock-full with #sorrynotsorry extra experiences. There are world-famous shows to see, thrilling attractions to ride (a roller coaster in a hotel, anyone?) and quality restaurants to try. Overwhelming is an understatement.[related_articles]29501[/related_articles]
Lucky for you though, we’ve sorted through them all, and handpicked five of the best. Consider this your shortlist of Las Vegas must-dos totally worth the splurge.
#1 Take a race car for a spin
Ever dreamt of owning a Lamborghini, Ferrari or Porsche? While you might still be a few work promotions away from that goal, in Vegas, you can at least take one out for a spin.
Dream Racing, 20 minutes outside of town, will let you choose a fancy car’s make and model, run you through a simulator training of how to drive it on a race track, and then let you slide into the driver seat and rev your engine. Prices start at US$179 (AU$247) for five laps in a more basic – but obviously still ballin’ – car. The Lamborghini Aventador SV or Porsche 911 GT Race Car will set you back US$599 (AU$828).
Unlicensed drivers, not to worry, they’ve got you covered too – there’s a ride-along option that’ll still give you a feel of what it’s like to go 210 km/hour.
#2 Go on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon
A helicopter ride will always make for a special memory, but doing one over the Grand Canyon will no doubt be something you’ll tell your grandkids about. A Sundance Helicopters Grand Canyon Escape tour, which starts at US$399 (AU$551), will see your experience begin with a limo pick-up and some chill out time in a pre-flight lounge.
From there, you’ll board a chopper, fly over to the natural wonder and land for a champagne picnic and to take a few (read: fill your camera memory full of) snaps of you and the canyon before heading back home. Along the way, look out for the Mojave Desert, Hoover Dam, the Colorado River and Lake Mead.
#3 Sample Vegas’ high-end cuisine
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Vegas is filled with good food. There are eateries with Michelin-starred chefs, breakfast buffets with spicy mac and cheese (true story) and white-glove service Chinese restaurants. You name it, Vegas has it. But where to even begin? Enter Lip Smacking Foodie Tours.[related_articles]58105,56493[/related_articles]
The tours, run by Vegas local Donald Contursi, give you the chance to feast your way through the city’s finest feeds. For 2.5 to three hours, you’ll waltz your way through a curated list of restaurants, always guaranteed the best seats in the house and a sampling of the tastiest dishes.
If you’re keen to really live it up, book the Savory Bites and Neon Lights, which includes a helicopter ride with views of the Strip all lit up at night. It’ll set you back US$299 (AU$413) a person.
#4 See Absinthe
Sure, you can see Celine Dion’s show, or, very soon, Lady Gaga’s too. But, for something a little different, try Absinthe at Caesars Palace. Huffington Post once said about it: “If you only see one show in your entire life, make it Absinthe”, and it’s safe to say it lives up to the hype.
The show is essentially a blend of jaw-dropping acrobatics and impressive cabaret sprinkled with plenty of um-did-they-really-just-say-that adult jokes, but really, it’s impossible to describe. Set around an intimate, circular stage, ticket prices depend on how close you are to the action. If you’re seated at the front, expect to be picked on by the MC. Tickets start at $US99 (AU$137) for the back rows.
#5 Get pampered at the spa at ARIA
Chances are, with all this extra-ness, you’re going to get a little worn out. So, whether that’s the case, or whether you just can’t get over that bout of jet lat, consider pampering yourself at the swish spa inside ARIA Resort and Casino – The Spa & Salon At ARIA.
Choose from treatments like a Himalayan salt stone massage (from US$200 / AU$276), an intense hydrating ritual (from US$395 / AU$546) or a gemstone facial (from US$196 / AU$271), and afterwards, make use of the spa’s facilities.[related_articles]64674,44280[/related_articles]
Slip into the Shio salt room, said to improve upper respiratory breathing and illuminate your skin, lay on a Ganbanyoku heated stone bed, which will eliminate those pesky toxins from the body (it’s Vegas… it’s more than likely you’ll have overindulged), and curl up by a fireplace with a glossy magazine in the Fireside Lounge.[qantas_widget code=LAS]Check out Qantas flights to Las Vegas.[/qantas_code]
(Lead image: Nicole Harrington / Unsplash)
Sangeeta Kocharekar is a freelance travel writer. She grew up going on trips to India and Europe on school holidays, and hasn't stopped travelling since.