Over Christmas, Nick and I spent some time in Las Vegas. Because we weren’t visiting family in Seattle, Connecticut or Alabama, we decided we didn’t want to be in California either. We’ve been Californiaed out and wanted to be entertained. Having been to Vegas for New Years three years back but not for Christmas, we decided it would be fun. We can care less for the casinos and smoke-infested environment, but we go because of the shows.
I know most (if not all) of my U.S. readers have gone to Las Vegas and are familiar with the environment there, but I wanted to share pictures to my non-U.S. readers that aren’t acquainted with Sin City yet.
We arrived later in the evening and checked into our smoke and casino-free hotel, Vdara Hotel & Spa. This hotel was our sanctuary when we weren’t out and about. It’s a very nice hotel and our suite was like an apartment. I recommend this hotel if you hate smoke as much as we do. After checking in, we walked to Mandalay Bay for some vegan pizzas.
Our walk back from Mandalay Bay
We had dinner at Lemongrass at our sister hotel, Aria, and then went and saw a Cirque du Soleil show, O, at the Bellagio Hotel. The show was an amazing performance of acrobatics, contortionists, synchronized swimming and pyrotechnics. We sat in the front section, only six rows up from the stage and I highly recommend being up close if you can snag some good tickets. However, avoid the first three rows because that is the wet zone if you don’t want to get splashed.
Elaborate decorations from inside the Bellagio
We ventured outside of the strip to Whole Foods Market during the day to load up on fruit, snacks and juices. For the most part, we ate our normal raw diet during the day on our trip and only ate out for dinner. After our grocery shopping, we ate an early dinner at Mint India Bistro. This Indian restaurant has lots of vegan options and it ended up being the best dinner and food experience we had while in Vegas. After this delicious meal, we headed back to the hotel and walked over to Caesars Palace, where we went and saw Jerry Seinfield. This is the second time we’ve seen Jerry now and we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. Jerry knows how to work the crowd and we had such a great time. I laughed so hard I teared up, and Nick’s face was hurting from all his laughing.
We took it easy this last full day and ventured out to the Nike outlet two miles outside the strip. After that, we couldn’t resist returning to Mint Indian Bistro again for their lunch buffet.
On our last night, we caught the Bellagio water fountain show. Because of windy conditions previous nights, the show was canceled. It was really cold out, but it was worth it.
Where to stay if you want to avoid the smoke and casinos: Vdara Hotel & Spa or The Trump Hotel; however, Vdara is on the strip and Trump Hotel isn’t.
Recommended shows: a Cirque du Soleil show and a magic show. Don’t miss out on Jerry Seinfield if you happen to be there while he’s there.
Recommended vegan eats: Find something off the strip. Food on the strip is not great and is overpriced, especially for vegan food. Mint India Bistro was outstanding and is off the strip on 730 E Flamingo Rd. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to cab it, go to Tamba Indian restaurant. We’ve eaten there at the lunch buffet the last time we were there and it was delicious food as well. It’s located in the Hawaiian Marketplace, right across from the Aria Hotel. If you want pasta, you can’t go wrong with the vegan options at Il Fornaio. This Italian chain has great spaghetti pomodoro, good bread and pizzas. We also learned that the Wynn Hotel has vegan menus at their restaurants. However, it’s fine dining and they have a dress code. We didn’t care for the pretentious environment and didn’t want to pay $26 for a plate of pasta.
Las Vegas has a little something for everyone — except kids in my opinion. We go purely for the shows. Without them, we probably wouldn’t return. It’s way too smoke-infested and crowded for our liking and although we had a fun time, this trip was enough for us. We will stay away for a long while.