Last week I went to Las Vegas! And it was totally awesome. It was my second time in sin city and besides walking down The Strip, my cousin and I also spent some time in downtown Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park and Zion National Park (Utah). In this Travel diary Las Vegas I’ll tell you all about my short trip to the United States.
The Strip & downtown Las Vegas
When you’re in Las Vegas, you obviously want to go for a walk on The Strip. So many bright lights, the insanely big hotels, entertainment is everywhere. We absolutely enjoyed watching the amazing fountain show of Bellagio, which was dancing on Lucy in the sky with diamonds of the Beatles.
We also tried to gamble a little, we put one or five dollars in a slot machine in every hotel we passed, but unfortunately, we lost it all. We mostly spent our time on The Strip eating and drinking, there are so many amazing restaurants and bars to try! Our favourites: The Cheesecake Factory, The Buffet in Aria and the Sugar Factory (the cocktails are huge!)
On the sunniest day of our trip, we went to downtown Las Vegas, where we learnt a lot about the history of the city in the Neon Museum. It’s really impressive to see all the old neon signs up close, they are huge! You can only visit the Neon Museum with a tour guide, so make sure to book it in advance on the official website.
The Hoover Dam & The Valley of Fire
One of the things I really wanted to visit while I was in Las Vegas, was the Hoover Dam. This is a very special place to visit, it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, looking at this insanely big structure. To get a good look at the dam, we walked up on the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, where you can see how big it really is.
Tip: You can only get to the Hoover Dam from Nevada, but make sure to drive to the Arizona-side before you park your car. In Nevada, parking will cost you $10, and parking is free in Arizona (which is only a five-minute walk!).
Another great place to visit when you’re in Las Vegas is Valley of Fire State Park. When you’re driving towards the park, it’s all white/yellow sandy desert. When you arrive in the Valley of Fire, the sand and the stones are extremely red. It’s incredible to see how fast your surroundings change. The Valley of Fire is a great park for a scenic drive and do some short hikes. We went to the White Domes-area (where you felt like walking on the beach), which was really beautiful.
My absolute favourite hike was the trail to the Fire Wave. These rocks have the most beautiful colours I’ve ever seen and the view is stunning!
Zion National Park
For two nights, we stayed in Springdale (Utah), near Zion National Park. Two years ago I hiked the Angels Landing Trail, one of my best hiking experiences ever. During this trip, my goal was to hike to the top of Observation Point. A difficult trail, some of the paths were covered in ice, but we made it! And it felt so good, what an amazing place and what a fantastic view!
Where did we stay?
Since we only had six nights, and loads of things to see, we decided to stay in three different hotels. We spent our first two nights in The Mirage, on the northern part of The Strip. Every morning we woke up before sunrise (don’t you just love jetlags?), and it was a magical moment to see the sun coming up behind the mountains.
Our second hotel was in Springdale, Utah. We spent two nights at Flanigan’s Inn, a five-minute walk to Zion National Park. Great location and it had a nice hot tub, to relax after a long day of hiking in Zion.
Our last hotel was MGM Grand, on the south side of the Las Vegas Strip. This is one of the biggest hotels in the world, so we got lost a couple of times. We stayed in a large stay well room (with special matrasses, lightning, etc). ON our last night in Las Vegas, we went to see Cirque du Soleil: Ka, a great show with a huge stage that kept on spinning around, and very impressive acrobatics. Highly recommended!
Going to Las Vegas for just one week was a crazy plan, but it was an amazing experience. I can’t wait to visit this city again and explore more of the amazing National Parks in the area.