As we began our descent into McCarran international airport, the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip drew nearer and nearer – 4.2 miles of neon lights – a party strip full of casinos, bars, clubs, and extravagant hotels. We collected our luggage and passed through the airport that had slot machines every 100 metres (only in Vegas!) and grabbed an Uber to our hotel – The Elara.
Our room was upgraded which meant we had a great view of the Paris Hotel and Caesars Palace from our 25th floor studio, but it only made us want to head out and explore! First night in Vegas and wow we were blown away – all the bright lights, big casinos and even bigger hotels. We took a while to just take it all in before heading to the Bellagio Fountains to watch the water show. After spending much of the day travelling and wanting to make sure we were on top form the following day we went back to our hotel.
The first full day in Vegas was spent exploring some more. We had a look around a couple of the hotels including Caesars palace and the Bellagio – where we had our first taste of gambling (although we were only willing to risk about $5!!!). We walked back to our hotel later that afternoon via the Miracle Mile shopping centre – which felt like we were in the Truman show (the ceiling was painted to look like the sky). After we made dinner, we had a few drinks before heading out for the evening. We spent most of the night at the Lily bar in the Bellagio (despite a round costing $36) – accompanied by a couple of English friends and a club rep! Time flies by in the casinos due to the oxygen they pump around the room, so before we knew it, it was 3am! Time to return back to our hotel and catch some Z’s.
Our second day in Vegas consisted of two pretty sore heads, so we took the morning very easy. In the afternoon, we ventured slightly further north on the strip up to the Palazzo and the Venetian. It was surreal – these hotels have whole shopping centres, clubs, casinos and food courts located within their grounds. The Venetian even has a canal to make it feel like Venice, which was bizarre! We saw the Bellagio Fountain water show a couple more times that day / evening and also spent a bit more time in the casinos – again, too scared to gamble anything too much!!
On our last morning in Vegas we headed down to the Fabulous Vegas sign, south of the strip. The walk is about 40 minutes, but definitely worth it for the cliche photo! The road takes you past the New York, New York, the MGM Grand hotel, and also the Mandalay Bay (which was quite sad to see in person given the tragedy that occurred there last year). As walking to the sign took up most of the morning, we only had a chance to have a quick look at the MGM Grand before lunch at Hooters (had to be done). After lunch we headed back to our hotel to pick up our bags and head to Alamo rent-a-car to get our SUV (our baby for the next four weeks)! Time for the road trip to commence.
Upon arrival at Alamo it seemed we had quite a selection to choose from, however due to our age a big GMC was off the cards so we opted for a Nissan Rogue (best of a not so great bunch) before getting on our way!
P.s. As we will be visiting so many places across the entirety of our road trip, we thought it would make more sense to provide updates weekly rather than by place! So… updates to follow… 🚘🗺