Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Snapshots of Las Vegas // Day 2 // Museums & The High Roller // August 2016

In August KC and I headed to Vegas with his parents, his sister, and her (then) boyfriend, (now) fiance. :) We planned a mixture of together and "on our own" time, and were able to fit in so many cool places and things.

You can read about Day 1, here

On day 2, we split a taxi with Kels and Jacob, and the four of us did a tour of the Neon Museum and then hit the Mob Museum. We had lunch together before parting ways until we met up again for the High Roller observation wheel in the evening. Day 2 may be my favorite day of the trip! We visited such neat places! :) & the view from the High Roller stole my heart!

just a little light graffiti. :) 

blurry but I like it! 

a little more...

Eat: Ah, so many great places to eat in Las Vegas! 
  • Triple George Grill
  • Sprinkles... if you're into that kind of thing... 
  • BBQ at Ellis Island - so, so good! & I'm not a huge BBQ person!
See: The Neon & Mob Museums, The view from the Linq High Roller and the strip at night.

Shop: Most of the shopping in Vegas is reminiscent of mall shopping elsewhere in the US. Those shops that do not resemble it are likely ultra high-end shops. Think Valentino, etc. Not my jam, but cool to see if it is yours! :) Here are a few shops that I enjoyed for my typical (post card, souvenir, quirky or unique items, boutique type shops) shopping. 
  • Neon Museum Gift Shop - Downtown - This shop had so many cute post cards, and other souvenirs that had designs based on the vintage neon signs. Also, lots of fun books for design or mid-century modern lovers. Much needed water bottle purchase location after a tour in the summer!!
  • Mob Museum Gift Shop - Downtown - This shop has TONS of stuff. Much of it is mob or gangster related. Tons of Italian themed items too. I enjoyed the variety, and the shop was huge! I got a shirt that says, "Mangia, mangia!" - which means "eat, eat!" :) HAH
  • Walk the strip and through the casinos. Tons of cool reproduction architecture. :) 
  • Visit the Neon Museum - Downtown - You can do a day or night tour, and you can also get combo Mob Museum & Neon Museum tickets. We saved about $10 per person that way! The Neon Museum is the type of museum where you purchase your tickets for a specific tour time, so it's best to book in advance! (if you buy the combo and visit the Neon Museum first, the Mob Museum ticket can be used at any time within 7 days of your Neon Museum tour). You gather inside the gift shop, and wait for your tour to begin. A knowledgeable guide will walk you through the "Boneyard" on an hour long tour. You'll get to see the massive signs, and learn a good bit of Vegas history along the way. As a bonus they have a stock of umbrellas that you can use to shade yourself from the sun. - a big deal for a super pale person like myself! Some people think that this museum is sad, because these signs are no longer in use in the casinos, etc. but I think it is really cool that they have a new purpose! They aren't thrown away, or blown up, they are displayed and used to teach! - so, depends on how you think of it, I suppose, but I choose to think "half glass full". :) 
  • Visit the Mob Museum. - Downtown - (again we purchased the combo ticket!). This museum is in an old bank(?) and contains three floors of mob history. From early days of immigration all the way to current issues related to organized crime, this museum covers SO MUCH INFORMATION. It's filled with traditional exhibits, video clips, simulations, interactive exhibits, etc. I was really amazed by all the different things they did, and how thorough it was! I really didn't know anything about mobs or organized crime, but it was so neat to see and learn about. I thought it was especially interesting that they have part of the brick wall from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in the museum. - wow! As a word of advice, the museum does contain some content that is a tad graphic. It is avoidable if you want to avoid it, but you may not want to bring super young kiddos. - totally up to you, just a head's up!
  • Ride the Linq "High Roller" - The Strip - This was hands down my favorite part of our time in Las Vegas. The view from the top of this wheel is INCREDIBLE! This is the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, and boasts an incredible view from 550 feet in the air, on a worth-the-money 30 minute ride. You are in an enclosed pod, complete with seating, windows all around, screens that tell you how far up you are, and a truly great soundtrack. We were in a pod with 8 total people, but there was quite a lot of room for walking around. We never felt crowded! They also have special offers, like riding in a bar pod, doing yoga on the wheel, and champagne + chocolate to accompany your ride. I felt that this was 100% worth the splurge. Book online if you can to save money.
Favorites: The view from the "High Roller" and The Neon Museum.

New Experiences: Nevada, Vegas, Learning about Neon Signs and Organized Crime, Riding the tallest Ferris wheel in the world.

Random Tips:
  • Order tickets in combos or online when possible, you will save money. 
  • Don't go in the summer unless you LOVE the heat.
  • Plan a mixture of "VEGAS" things and things you normally like to do when you travel. Balance is key!
We were so glad to have a fun family trip to Vegas! Glad to get to see a place that my in-laws love so much! :)

Have you been to Las Vegas? What did you think?

Are you a high-end shopper? Or do you prefer small shops?

Have you been on a large Ferris or Observation Wheel? Where, and What did you think?!

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