Why I didn’t love Las Vegas
Vegas! It seems like the ultimate destination. Like New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London, Las Vegas gets so much publicity, both from a travel and entertainment viewpoint. I had seen the sights of Vegas on many TV shows and movies so I was super, super excited to visit.
We were able to squeeze 2 nights in Vegas in between driving from Death Valley and flying to Canada. I thought that might have been long enough to get a taster of this great city. I’m not a gambler so I reasoned I wouldn’t need too long sitting around at the slots.
So our first glimpse of Vegas was as we drove over a hill from Death Valley, via Pahrump (great name). My travel companion called out, “There it is!” and pointed to The Strip. It looked strange to me – deserts and hills all around, a sprawling surbubia, and then a few buildings popping up in the middle, all lit up and glitzy. “Is that it?” I replied… I guess my impression from all that TV watching was that it was a large metropolis of a city. So you could say I was a bit underwhelmed at first sight.
As we had a car we drove up the strip which was a great way to get a lay of the land, and by land I mean The Strip. I was quite content in Vegas to just wander up and down the strip looking at the hotels and casinos and popping into shops and bars. After we checked into our accommodation at The Luxor (appreciative of how cheap it was!) we then had to return our hire car to the airport and get a taxi back . We walked the strip all afternoon before our first night out.
We then tried to embark on a”Big Night Out” but after hitting up a few bars and clubs that were a bit flat in atmosphere we ended up heading home just after midnight. Let’s not mention our almost entry to a gentlemen’s club… ooh that looks nice… Huh? Why is it all men? Oh…
Our second day was spent flying a helicopter to the Grand Canyon, lunch and more strip wandering (now that’s a strange term). We had to be at the airport at 4am the next day so weren’t planning a big, late night. Of course we then had a big, late night. We found the Coyote Ugly bar, danced till 1am and got 2 hours sleep.
It seems my time in Vegas had all the right trimmings, yes? So why didn’t I love it there?
Glad you asked, here’s why:
- Too high expectations. I thought it was going to be AH-MAZ-ING so the bar was set too high. Way too high. I had the same experience in New York City. Damn you American TV.
- I’m not into gambling or drinking. Sure I’ll pop a coin in the pokies for a bit of fun, and I like a nice cocktail but my disinterest in losing money and getting drunk meant that I was looking for other ‘highs’.
- It all seemed a bit tacky to me. The buses with half-naked girls on them advertising strip clubs, the thousand or so people shoving leaflets in my face on every corner, the drunks and the sleazy men, the rubbish, the hard sell of everything from pyramid schemes to property scams, sticky casino floors, animals being treated poorly in the name of tourism – that’s not really my vibe.
- There was only 2 of us, with little cash and time, so creating a night out to rival The Hangover was tricky. I’ve seen America friends head there for hen’s nights and 30ths, heck even weddings… maybe it’s better in a big group? I just didn’t feel it.
- It just all seemed to be a big deal over nothing. If we even wandered a few roads off South Las Vegas Boulevard it felt very very ordinary. I felt like the strip of hotels and casinos seemed a bit out of place.
- It was just not my scene. Overly dressed up (or minimally dressed) girls, fast cars, men looking for a bit of action, skinny bikini clad ladies lying literally on top of each other beside pools, fast food, traffic, noise. Reading that sentence makes me think I may have loved visiting when I was 21, as opposed to visiting as a well-traveled adult in their 30s.
I am definitely glad I visited Las Vegas and checked it off my Bucket List. The highlights were Le Reve and The Grand Canyon trip – pretty obviously. I enjoyed seeing all the casinos and hotels and displays – yes the fountains at The Bellagio are pretty spectacular. I certainly didn’t need any longer in Sin City and I have no need to return. Because at the end of the day, I can shop, drink cocktails and dance in bars and clubs pretty much anywhere else in the world.