To celebrate my mother’s 50th birthday I offered to take her to NYC for a long weekend, but my mom didn’t want to deal with jet lag and she really loves Vegas so when she countered with a suggestion for a long weekend in Las Vegas I agreed. While searching for airfare I found 3 Nights & Air for $346 p/person at Treasure Island via Expedia and the rest was history.
Tip #1: If you plan to do any gambling at all (I don’t but my mom does), sign up for a player’s club card in every casino you play in. When you use your card while playing a slot machine or giving it to the pit boss at a table game, you will accrue rewards points that can be used for free stuff, or at the very least, be eligible for discount hotel rates for future trips that the general public is not eligible for (based on your play).
Catch the 6AM flight outta Portland
Arrive in Vegas at about 11:30.
Catch Belltrans shared shuttle directly to TI ($15 r/t p/person)
Drop bags at the hotel and walk to the Bacchanal at Caesar’s Palace (Groupon deal for Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace — All-You-Can-Eat Brunch Buffet for Two, with Two Mimosas or Draft Beers, and Two VIP Line Passes for $70 [slightly cheaper because I had another coupon that stacked]). I loved the seafood (snow crab & shrimp!), prime rib, and dessert area (Crem Brulee was my favorite). Our waitress was fantastic here and never let our glasses get low (including the champagne!).
Check into the hotel and sleep for a couple of hours since we only got three hours.
See the volcano explode at the Mirage hotel (Free)
Earl of Sandwich– The Montague sandwich was hot and delicious. I made it into a meal for about $10 total.
Watch the Bellagio night fountains (Free)
Tip#2: There are many discount sites such as, Groupon, Goldstar, Travelzoo, Living Social and Theatermania that offer discounts on attractions and dinning. Purchase your tickets online.
Walk to Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan ($35 each plus tax & tip). This was my favorite brunch that we tried! The Cosmopolitan is gorgeous, and though we had to wait in line for about 20 minutes, it was worth it. The eggs benedict were lovely alongside the smoked salmon. The bone marrow was flavorful and perfectly cooked. The sushi was always fresh. The dessert section here didn’t have the best Crem Brulee, but I loved the Thai tea gelato!
Buy a 3-day pass for the bus ($20 each) to avoid the midday heat. If you take more than four trips you get your money’s worth!
Go Shopping! Check out the Fashion Show Mall (or go to the North Shopping Outlets – become a VIP member first so you can get the coupon book.)
Thunder from Down Under Saturday 9 pm- Excalibur. Mom booked it using a Groupon. It seemed to be most popular with bachelorette parties. Think Magic Mike XXL with less hot guys. We had great seats here and I think my mom was kissed three times that night while a future bride sitting behind us fumed!
Take the Duce Bus to Freemont Experience. Catch a live music performance and a light show. Enjoy street performers. Maybe do the zipline here (we passed on it this time). This is a must-see, even if you have to catch it at midnight like we did!
Tip #3: If you can, visit Vegas Monday-Friday because everything is much cheaper!
Walk to breakfast at Paris Baguette in the Venetian. They have a tasty Poke Bowl and an upstairs terrace to people watch from. I may have also had a delicious fruit tart after my poke but we won’t tell my personal trainer! We happened to catch a mini-opera performance just outside of the restaurant for free, too.
Walk over to the Bellagio to see the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.
Wander through New York New York to let mom gamble a bit. If you have kids, it seems like the roller coaster is really popular. Take the Duce back to TI.
Senor Frog’s (Groupon $28 f/2 yard drinks for a $66 value). My Mother Frogger made with top shelf tequila was perfection in a yard glass and it was originally $48.
Take the Duce Bus to the Spice Market Buffet 6PM –Planet Hollywood (Groupon $49 f/2 dinner w/unlimited drinks). Not recommended. Made me feel sick after. The snow crab was the best here, though.
Walk over to see KA at 9:30 PM at MGM Grand- AMAZING and highly recommended. I loved the mix of the acrobatics, martial arts, and comprehensible story line. Nice music too. Check out Tix4Tonight for up to 40% off. Our seats were only four rows from the front and we were only steps away from the performers who were frequently running through the isles. Incredible!
Take the Duece down to New York New York for lunch at Bruxi. Everything here is basically served with a waffle. I loved the pesto and grilled chicken on the waffle but was not impressed with the Belgian chocolate Sunday that my mom and I shared.
Souvenir shopping with mom
Spend time at the pool/hotel
Try to get a pic at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign- located just south of Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. (Free, but we ran out of time to do this!)
Leave at 3:30 to catch Belltrans shuttle to airport
I’m so thankful that my mom and I were able to get away for a long girl’s weekend. Las Vegas isn’t NYC, but we still had a great time. It was so fun to spend time with my mom and catch up after all the months we’ve spent apart while I’m overseas! In the end, KA was my favorite thing to do in Vegas followed by the Freemont Experience and just wandering around the hotels to see all the crazy architecture.
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Comment below: Did I go to your favorite spot in Vegas? Is there something I can’t miss the next time I end up in Vegas?