Tammy/ April 19, 2018/ General Post, Retirement, Travel/ 4 comments

It truly is becoming a small world with all of the methods of travel being so readily available.  We love to travel and keep finding new places and even new things to do in places we have traveled to repeatedly over the years.  I wanted to add our favorite travel destinations for some ideas on your future travel.

We have timeshare properties in different places but would travel to even more destinations if we hadn't bought the timeshares.  It's just really difficult to schedule time outside of our home resorts until we totally retire, so we'll have more locations then.

Las-Vegas-At-NightLas Vegas

Las Vegas is located in Nevada's Mojave Desert.  It is best known for its 24-hour entertainment, casinos, amazing food (endless restaurants), and don't forget that exhilarating nightlife!  We were married in Vegas in 1988, so it's one of our favorite places to go for obvious reasons.  The casino and wedding chapel are no longer there, but the memories are very dear to us.

Every year we go and every year there are new shows, restaurants and things to do.  We never run out of new things to see and do because it is always changing.  It's like a new city each time, but still familiar enough to know what and where we always want to return to.

Our Favorite Things to Do In Vegas
1.  Restaurants

We are foodies at heart.  For health reasons, we have had to curb our appetite, but during our vacations and trips, we indulge a little more than usual.  Vegas is a virtual oasis of places to eat and we never get bored with the choices.  We just remember to drink more water (as people often confuse hunger with dehydration and in the desert you can become dehydrated really quickly), keep moving as exercise decreases your appetite, don't skip breakfast and eat more regularly.  When we are really hungry we tend to eat more.

We prefer not to eat at chain restaurants that we have at home when we are on vacation, so we've done some expensive meals to treat ourselves.  Our tastes have changed over the years and the restaurants are continuously changing.  We've tried places like Gordon Ramsay's Steak House located in the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and it was VERY pricey.  We've had pricey before, but this food was very mediocre, to say the least.  We were extremely disappointed.  It was just not great.

Save yourself the disappointment and go to Golden-NuggetVic & Anthony's Steakhouse inside the Golden Nugget if you want a fantastic steak or seafood dinner.  The Golden Nugget was originally built in 1945 making it one of the oldest casinos in the city.  The location has been renovated, towers built and has gone through multiple “hands” until it's purchase by Landry's in early 2005.  They completed a 14-month, $100 million renovation in November 2006 and in December 2007 they completed a $70 million Phase II project.  Another phase was the 500-room $150 million hotel tower completed on November 20, 2009.  With all of this renovation, The Golden Nugget has become quite spectacular again.   Vic Anthonys RestaurantVic and Anthony's Steakhouse has maintained the historical charm of the Golden Nugget and has routinely been voted one of the country's best steakhouses.  We adore the Au Gratin Potatoes and won't consider a meal there complete without them.  We rarely visit Vegas without having a meal at Vic & Anthony's and have never ordered anything we regretted ordering.

Top of the WorldAnother meal that was a true experience was at the Top of the World restaurant at the Stratosphere.  It is 844 feet above the Las Vegas Strip.  You can watch helicopters fly by and see the lights of the Las Vegas strip all around.  It's an award-winning restaurant with a gourmet menu.  We had the Chef's Tasting Menu and every bite into my mouth was a burst of flavors I had not experienced before.  My mouth still waters when I think about it.  Was it expensive?  Yes.  I think it was somewhere around $100 each, but included 4 courses of tasting with the 4th being the desert.  It's not just a meal – it's an experience.

Our favorite way to experience restaurants is to look at our Trip Advisor app and see what is around that is highly rated.  It's the way we get to find the choices others found interesting.


2.  Shows  …

The most heard-about shows when we first started visiting Vegas every year were the Cirque du Soleil shows.  There are currently seven of these shows.  The first one we saw was located at the MGM Grand.  It was exciting and the others paled in comparison as their stages weren't as complex.  The KÀ stage is continuously morphing and the acrobatic performers take you from beaches and jungles to mountaintops.

Mystère is at Treasure Island and was the first permanent Cirque du Soleil production in Vegas.  Heavy in acrobatics, it is energetic and includes some comedy.

‘O' is at the Bellagio.  The name ‘O' came from the phonetic pronunciation of “Eau”, the French word for water.  Swimming, diving and performing in water, on the water or above the water … incorporating acrobatics.

Zumantiy is at New York-New York.  This production is very provocative and NOT kid friendly.  The theme is sex and “love”.

Love is the Beatles Tribute at the Mirage.  It was entertaining and colorful.  I especially loved it because I'm such a huge Beatles fan.  This production interprets the lyrics of the Beatles' songs with costumes and theatrical performance, freestyle dance and extreme sports.

Michael Jackson ONE is at Mandalay Bay.  This production is a tribute to Michael Jackson.  The show is loud and energetic with dancers performing to Michael Jackson's hit songs and gymnastics blended in.  The show ends with fireworks and a hologram of Michael Jackson.

Criss Angel's Believe is at the Luxor.  This show is less Cirque du Soleil than Criss Angel illusions.  People give it a low rating because of that, but if you go as a Criss Angel fan you probably would give it a much higher rating.

We have seen Donny and Marie, Celine and various comedians, each with their own reasons to go see them.

Donny and Marie Osmond were very entertaining and continue to provide families with good fun.  They provide music, dance, and humor.  Their classic hits never grow old for me.  Great show.  What was supposed to be a six-week commitment has provided over 10 years of fun and entertainment.  They tend to sell out …. so be sure and book in advance.

Celine Dion was everything I had hoped she would be.  She was elegant, exciting, engaging and a wide range of musical styles.  Her voice always gives me chills.  The orchestra and stage setup were beyond other shows and beautifully incorporated into her show.  I would say this is a “must see” show!


3.  Tours  …

We've enjoyed every tour we've taken, but these are our favorites:

Red Rock Canyon – This is a day trip and 4-hour and 6-hour tours are the average length of time forRed-Rock-Canyon these tours.  Usually includes lunch.  Red Rock Canyon was once home to the area's Native Americans.  Learn about the area's geography, ecology, and history.  Opportunities to get out and walk around with lots of photo opportunities.  Beautiful scenery.

Hoover DamHoover Dam Tour – There are lots of options for visiting Hoover Dam.  Our tour went through the Visitor's Center and offered a plant tour.  We did the “Walk on the Top” stroll over the dam.  We had a professional guide that gave area facts and answered questions along the way to and from the Dam.  Lunch was included.

 

Pawn Stars VIP Tour (Combo Behind The Scenes Tour) – This tour included three different “Behind-the-Scenes” tours.

  1. Count's Kustoms Car Tour – Cruise by “Pawn Stars” regular Danny Koker's automobile restoration and customization company, Count's Kustoms, home to the show “Counting Cars.”  Amazing customizations and classic cars to see.
  2. Pawn Stars VIP Tour – featuring the family-run Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. The shop itself is Pawn-Starspacked with thousands of interesting items, from artwork by famous artists to Super Bowl rings.  We didn't get to see/meet Rick Harrison, Richard “Old Man” Harrison, Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison or Austin “Chumlee” Russell, but maybe you will.
  3. Tanked – Home to the hit show “Tanked”.  See the larger-than-life aquariums and acrylic exhibits for the one-of-a-kind clients.  Meet the staff.  Tanks that look like cars, phone booths, pyramids and more.  They were filming the day we were there, so we didn't get to meet Robbie Redneck, but The General came out to talk to us before we left.
  4. Toy Shack – collectible toys like vintage Hot Wheels and Transformers at The Toy Shack, owned by “Pawn Stars” toy expert Johnny Jiminez.
  5. American Restoration – Metal artist Rick Dale, his teenage son and the staff at Rick's Restorations take rusty, old items like slot machines and gas carts and magically return them to their original luster. They describe the process and show you pieces currently in the restoration process.

Grand Canyon Tour – We didn't purchase a tour for this.  We just drove to the Grand Canyon.  The West Rim is an ideal 3.5-hour-drive day trip destination from Las Vegas, Nevada.

We saw the Grand Grand CanyonCanyon Skywalk – a glass bridge that allows visitors to see the Colorado River flowing beneath their feet.  The West Rim is the perfect Grand Canyon destination for travelers hoping to avoid the crowds of the South Rim. Though it offers less iconic views of the Canyon, the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, which is owned and operated by the Hualapai Indians, offers many unique spectacular vistas.

 

Shuttle bus service helps you easily see all the different sites:

  • Eagle Point: Includes an amphitheater, art and gift store, and the Skywalk. Keep your eyes open for the Eagle Point’s eponymous eagle-shaped rock formation!
  • Guano Point: Here you can see remnants of a historical tram that once stretched 8,800 feet into a guano mine, as well as 360° views of the Canyon from Highpoint Hike.
  • Hualapai Ranch: Includes lodging and cowboy entertainment.

We will be going back in July 2018, so we'll post about more things we did then.  Currently, we plan to do a day trip to LA and maybe see Wayne Newton's home “Casa de Shenandoah”.  We'll let you know how it goes !

As always … please leave your feedback and comments below.  You can also share any information you feel we should add.  AND … don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter.

Tammy
abetterlifeafter50.com


Sites We Use for Planning Trips, Activities, Meals, Concerts, and Shows

Concerts and Shows:

  • Calendar of Events for the City You are Traveling to
  • Check TicketLiquidator for Shows in Vegas or wherever your travels take you …

TicketLiquidatorTicketLiquidatorThe Eagles tickets at Ticket LiquidatorPentatonix ticketsTicketLiquidatorTicketLiquidator


Hotels/Lodging:


Flights:     

Cheap Flight Sale! Book Now & Get Up To $15 Off. Use Coupon Code TLCHEAP15.


Parking:   

PARK 'N FLY Deals


 

Car Rentals:   

  • Kayak   Search 100s of Travel Sites at once.
  • Expedia   Travel booking website.

    Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.                                Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.
Great Cars, Greater Deals                        Where Renting is Simple


Travel Packages:   

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Tours and Other Things to Do:

  • TripAdvisor  Things to Do With Latest Reviews and Prices
  • Chamber of Commerce or Local Visitor Information Site for the City You are Traveling To
  • Expedia   Travel booking website.

 


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About Tammy

Focused on helping adults over 50 with information and products that aid in living an easier, happier, healthier, safer, and more financially secure life. We also have a spiritual side for those that are on a spiritual journey. If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below the posts and I will be more than happy to help you out. All the best, Tammy abetterlifeafter50.com

4 Comments

  1. Wow, that’s an excellent article about Las Vegas and things to do and see there. I like the fact that you’ve been there multiple times and that you know what’s good there and what places to avoid. I love to eat and I love steakhouses and the fact that you mentioned that Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse has usually been one of the best rated steakhouses in the country just makes me want to eat there even more. I really do want to travel to Las Vegas one day and was wondering what would probably be the best length of time to visit this 24 hour city?

    1. Hi Brian.  Thank you so much for your kind comments.  A lot of people go for long 4-day weekends, but we never go for less than a week.  There’s just so much to see and do that cramming it all in to 4 days is exhausting at our age.  I always want to have time to just relax while we are there.  We don’t gamble or drink so friends are always asking why we keep returning.  It’s the same every time … we love the energy, food and shows.  The tours are always a nice diversion too!  Hope you get to go soon …

      Tammy

      1. Yeah, I was thinking a week at the very minimum would be best. I want to see and do so much in Las Vegas, but of course I need to save up the money to enjoy it as well. I’m curious though, have you tried any of the buffets there and if you have, which ones would you say are the best?

        1. The buffets used to be a great deal and the food was good. Now you have to go to one of the expensive casinos and buy an expensive buffet. We usually do a buffet brunch at least once while we are there. My favorite has been the buffet at Ceasar’s. It’s really expensive, so we only do at the most 2. We’d rather spend our money on a nice restaurant where we are served fresh food. My husband can be a bit of a germaphobe! The other buffets are just mediocre and not at all convenient for us to get to since we don’t stay right on the strip. The traffic is horrible at night on the strip, so we avoid it except to go to a show or a nice dinner where we can valet park.

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