Friday, July 8, 2016

Viva Las Vegas: Travel Guide to the Strip



Hi friends! So I know I've been away for awhile but I am back with a super fun post today! If you follow me on Snapchat (@samanthagoble) and Instagram (@samantha_goble) and if you don't you should cause I post on there daily, I recently went to Vegas! I spent 5 days in what should be renamed to the city that never sleeps. It was an incredible, whirlwind and slightly tiring 5 days but SO much fun! Today I'm recapping my trip and sharing what I got up to while I was there! 

This is gonna be a pretty picture and text heavy post so I apologize but it's gonna be packed full of good stuff! :) 

(Also I apologize for some of the photos having Snapchat captions on them. I primarily used Snap to document the trip and forgot to save the photos before I added the text.... #oops)

Where to Stay?

So I went with a really good friend of mine and her two daughters and stepdaughter we stayed at her condo at Polo Towers which was amazing. It was right on the strip, had super nice rooms and was conveniently located to basically everything. It had a full kitchen (fridge, stove, dishwasher, sink, microwave), full bathroom, dining room, living room and of course a bedroom. If you are staying for more than 2 days I definitely recommend a condo! As far as other places obvious choices are the big hotels like Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, Venetian, etc., but if those are out of your budget more wallet friendly like Marriott, Hilton, etc. are also an option! Just do a quick Google search can help you find the perfect hotel for your stay! 

Where to Eat? 

Restaurants range from celebrity restaurants like Emeril and Gordon Ramsey to your typical fastfood like burgers and fries. Whenever I'm on a trip I try to eat at places that are new and that I don't have at home. Also most of these are lunch/dinner places and that's because we didn't start our day till 11am or later so more lunchtime. If we did eat breakfast it was at our hotel and we ate cereal that we brought or granola bars and fruit. 

Shake Shack: Right next to New York New York (3790 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109) | Open: 11am- 12am | Menu: Burgers, fries and shakes | Price:


I had the single Shackburger and order of fries and boy oh boy was it good! It could be I was eating at midnight and hadn't eaten anything basically all day but nonetheless it hit the spot perfectly. The prices were super reasonable, under $10 for my meal. If you're looking for a quality burger joint that will fill you up without breaking the bank Shake Shack is it! 

Cabo Wabo: In front of the Miracle Mile Shops/Mall (3663 S. Las Vegas Blvd #160, Las Vegas, NV 89109) | Open: 8am-12am | Menu: Mexican and cocktails | Price: $$ 


We ate here for lunch and I have to say I was pretty impressed with the food. I thought it was going to be overpriced and bland but it was actually very fresh and flavorful. I got the grilled chicken tacos sans salsa arbol and pico de gallo instead with rice and refried beans and the rice and beans were some of the tastiest I've had. They are also known for their drinks and if I ever go back I'm definitely ordering one! In addition to lunch/dinner items they do serve breakfast till 11am. Overall their food is tasty, pretty reasonable my meal was under $20 and has a great view of the strip if you choose to sit outside! 

Cafe Bellagio: Inside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino (3600 Las Vegas Fwy Las Vegas, NV 89109) | Open: 6am-12am | Menu: Breakfast, lunch, dinner | Price: $$


Wanting a little bit of everything we decided to try the Cafe Bellagio. Located in the beautiful Bellagio hotel, overlooking the beautiful gardens, the cafe was exactly what we wanted. It had everything from breakfast, to pasta, sandwiches and more. I had the pancakes and they were light, fluffy and the perfect meal at like 10pm. Haha! It was a bit pricey, as far as breakfast goes, I believe $15 for 3 pancakes but hey you're in Vegas on vacation. Overall the quality was excellent, the food tasted great and the view spectacular. If you don't mind paying a little extra for the gorgeous view of the gardens the Cafe Bellagio is the perfect breakfast stop!

Caneletto Ristorante: Inside the Venetian at the Grand Canal Shoppes (3377 S. Las Vegas Blvd #2440, Las Vegas NV 89109) | Open: 11am-12am | Menu: Italian | Price: $$$


This was by far the fanciest restaurant we ate at but when you're on vacation you gotta splurge a little! The restaurant is located inside the Venetian at the Grand Canal Shoppes and overlooks the palazzo and the gondola rides, talk about a pretty view! They have authentic Italian cuisine serving fresh, homemade pasta and sauces. I got the vermicelli (aka angel hair) al pomodoro (aka marinara sauce) but instead of angel hair I substituted penne. The pasta was the biggest penne I've ever seen and some of the best and the sauce was fresh and flavorful. The pasta was around $18, pricey, in my opinion for a pasta dish but with the views and atmosphere was worth it. 

Hard Rock Cafe: Down by MnM World (3371 S. Las Vegas Blvd #120, Las Vegas NV 89109)
Open: 8am-2am | Menu: Burgers and American classics | Price: $$ 



You can't go to Vegas without stopping at the Hard Rock Cafe! From the rock and roll atmosphere to just good ol' American food you can't go wrong. I got the Jumbo Combo and split it because it is a TON of food! I got the potato skins instead of the bruschetta and then the rest that it comes with. The potato skins and southwestern eggrolls were my favorite. That southwestern dipping sauce is the bomb diggity. The combo was under $20 which is very reasonable given the amount of food. The Hard Rock Cafe is a must eat at for the music atmosphere, classic American food and drinks!


800 Degrees Pizzeria: In front of the Monte Carlo (3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas NV 89109) | Open: 11am-2am | Menu: Pizza, Salad, Gelato | Price: $$



We had burgers, pasta, tacos so obviously we had to get some pizza too! 800 Degrees Pizzeria was super close to our hotel so we grabbed one before setting off on our day. It's all fresh dough spun right in front of you, fresh ingredients, custom pizzas and it's all baked within seconds. We got the Tropicale which is the original crust, red sauce, mozzarella, pineapple and ham. We also got a salad to split the gorgonzola which has lettuce, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and a super yummy vinegrette. We asked for no gorgonzola because I'm not a fan and instead I got some fresh parm on the side. Both were ridiculously delicious! The pizza was a thin, soft but crunchy crust and the pineapple and ham were a little sweet and salty, the perfect combo. I believe it was $13 for the pizza and about $10 for the salad which we split and it was more than enough food for two people. If you're looking for a great pizza place you need to stop by 800 Degrees!

Serendipity 3: Next to Caesar's Palace (3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89109)
Open: 9am -12am | Menu: American classics and their signature frozen hot chocolate and desserts | Price: $$ | 








Our last restaurant on our trip was Serendipity which came recommend by some friends and it did not disappoint! They are known for their signature frozen hot chocolates and decadent desserts but their menu wowed too! We ordered the nachos, coleslaw, french fries, sweet potato, jumbo donut, mac and cheese for one of the kids and grapefruit for the other. #caloriesdontcountonvacations  It seemed like every time the waiter came back we ordered something else because we would see food pass by and it all looked so good! They have sandwiches, all day breakfast, pasta, burgers, hot dogs, just good ol American food that is huuuge proportions and definitely shareable. Their prices are a bit high, $20 for a burger, but get the nachos and split them is totally doable on the wallet. For dessert we couldn't resist their frozen hot chocolate which was super chocolate and decadent. Literally drinking a chocolate bar but so good. A must eat at when in Vegas for the fun food and desserts! 

Okay I know that was long but if you don't go to fun places on vacation did you even take one? I'm all about the food when I travel! Haha! There are restaurants like every 10 feet, there's no shortages of fun, new and exciting places to eat while you are there! From traditional fast food to the restaurants inside the hotels to fun places like Margaritaville and Hard Rock there's something for everyone!
Now onto the what to do! 

What to Do? 

Since I was there with a family we kept it pretty G, no nightclubs or going out for us but we did do a TON of fun stuff! Honestly I didn't feel like I missed out on anything, except for maybe seeing Calvin Harris on Friday night at a nightclub that I woulda loved to do but that's for another time. Haha! We did lots of fun stuff and I had a blast. Everything I'm listing is for all ages not just kids. I think everyone would enjoy it! So let's get to it! 

Mystere, a Cirque de Soleil show: In Treasure Island Hotel




What is going to Vegas without seeing a famed Cirque de Soleil show? We saw Mystere at Treasure Island and HOLY CRAP I have never seen anything like it before! I've seen similar shows but nothing on this level or caliber of insanity. My jaw was pretty much on the floor the entire show. If you follow me on Snapcha you know what I'm talking about. It was so good!! I would HIGHLY recommend seeing it and with tickets under $100 it's a super affordable show for the family. 

Another show that I was really surprised with was the Mac King Magic and Comedy Show. It's not a big name or in one of the big hotels but it was surprisingly really good. It was hilarious, the magic blew my mind and I left there my sides hurting from laughing and wowed at the acts. It may not be like Houdini but it's a good show for some good fun. 

Coca-Cola World: By the MGM Grand Hotel




If you are a Coke fan like me you HAVE to go to the Coca-Cola store/world when in Vegas! It's two levels (I think) of all things Coke, from apparel to drinkware, gifts and more it has everything Coke related. My favorite part beside getting a super cute photo with the Coca-Cola bear was trying the various Coke drinks from around the world! It is a MUST DO! It was so much fun to try all the different drinks from various countries like Madagascar, Japan, Brazil and more. Some are good and other's not so much... It's such a fun experience for kids, 20 somethings, parents, grandparents, anyone who likes Coke and is willing to try something new! I highly recommend it!

MnM World: By the MGM Grand Hotel


Just down the way from the Coke store is MnM World, an equally amazing place to go! Its 3 or 4 floors of nothing but MnM gifts and memorabilia. You can get personalized candies, shirts, cups, stuffed animals, seriously everything you could ever want that is MnM related is there. 

Hershey's World: By New York New York Hotel 


So this is the only photo I snapped while inside Hershey's World but it kinda speaks for itself.... It is two levels of all things chocolate and Hershey's. Super fun if you're a huge chocoholic like I am and love sweets. I seriously was a kid in a candy store, pun intended, I was in chocolate heaven. 

Fountain Show in front of the Bellagio Hotel



 One of my favorites that we saw was the famed fountain show in front of the Bellagio hotel. It's free, starts every 15 minutes I believe and lasts just a short while. It's a fun water show that is just gorgeous against the Vegas lights. It was something to see and a beautiful end to the night! 

The Hotels and Shops

One of the things I was so excited for was to walk through the big hotels and see the insides and shops. I've heard so much about them I was pumped to finally see them in person! 



The Venetian 

The Venetian was one of my favorite hotels we walked through. It's not only gorgeous on the inside the hotel/casino part but there's a full on mall within it too. It's literally like a mini city inside, it's insane! It has shops from high end designer like Tory Burch and Barney's to affordable shops like Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret. They have tons of restaurants and of course the gondolas which you can ride too!

Caesar's Palace

Caesar's Palace is an equally gorgeous hotel/casino that also has the mall/mini city inside of it. Also boasting the Forum which is home to designers like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Balenciaga, Cartier and the most elite brands. I died walking past all the gorgeous shop fronts and drooling at my dream handbags, shoes, etc. They also have affordable brands like Gap, H&M, Sam Edelman, etc. The inside is also stunning and you honestly lose track of time since there's no windows and you feel like you're outside in Greece. Caesar's Palace was another favorite hotel! Definitely a must do when in Vegas!!



The Bellagio 

The Bellagio's lobby is breathtaking. The ceiling is filled with multi-color hand blown glass pieces that just mesmerizes. The hotel has several high end shops like Tiffany's, Chanel and Valentino. We actually walked through the entire hotel and I loved just exploring around. There was this cute little gelato shop that looked so good so if you go let me know how it is! Haha! 

They also have a garden inside that is themed throughout the year. The pieces are beautiful and the flowers look almost fake. This season's theme was under the sea, very reminiscent of Finding Dory which was so cool! It was super fun to walk through and just admire all of the beauty. 

The Vegas Strip

The Strip

Walking the Vegas Strip at night is classic. Seeing all the buildings lit up during the night is so pretty and just makes you feel alive. Everything looks so different during the night than in the day. I think it looks waaay prettier. We walked it some nights and drove through it others. It's a sight to see and probably one of the top must do's. 



New York New York

Walking the strip during the day is still super fun and has beautiful sites to see too, don't get me wrong! But there's just something about it all lit up at night that makes it a little special-er. 

Gambling

Me at Caesar's Palace

Obviously I couldn't leave Vegas without gambling just a little! I put in $20 for my gambling adventure at Caesar's Palace and miraculously only lost $5, I left with $15 still in my pocket. Seriously I don't know how I did it.... The atmosphere of a big, famous casino is super fun and gives you this whole new feeling and vibe than anywhere else in Vegas. I loved it! Also getting card multiple times was also fun. Lol. I got asked like 4 times to show my ID and people kept looking at me because they didn't think I looked old enough to be gambling! #ForeverLooking16 


Whew that was a long one! I apologize for the length I just wanted to make sure I included everything! If you stuck with me through all of that go out and treat yo self, you deserve it! ;) 

I had the best time in Vegas and had so much fun! I loved doing everything and felt like it was a really great, well rounded trip. I can't wait to go back, maybe for a girl's weekend again! 


What are your favorites to do in Vegas? Have any places I need to go next time? Share them below in the comments! 

Till next time!




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