Off the beaten track in Las Vegas – here are insider tips (Picture: Getty Images)
Nothing dazzles quite like Las Vegas – from its breathtaking stage performances to its enchanting fountains, late-night casinos and star-stuffed wedding chapels.
But while you may *think* you know the city of lights, no one understands this scintillating town better than those who live and breathe it.
We’re talking to the people at Virgin Atlantic, of course, who understand the beating heart of this limitless, neon-lit mirage in the Mohave Desert like no other.
It’s not only the entertainment capital of the world, but it’s a culinary and cultural mecca, an architectural extravaganza where you can see the Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Venice’s Grand Canal all before breakfast.
Meet the expert: Andrew (Las Vegas Airport Manager) shares his tips for making the most of the city (Picture: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
It truly is a destination unlike anywhere else in the world, but to discover the vibrant essence at the core of Vegas, follow the expert advice of those in tune with its charms and secrets.
Hardly in the business of gatekeeping such classified information, Andrew (Las Vegas Airport Manager, Virgin Atlantic) has shared his seven essentials for every Vegas-goer’s itinerary – from food-lovers to adventurers, and everybody in between.
Because, forget the roulette tables – watching the locals is the easiest way to unlock the hidden riches of this city, didn’t you know?
Leave the Strip for the best foodie spots
Andrew has two places you can’t miss off the menu: ‘For breakfast or brunch, get off the Strip and head to Sunny Side Up or Rise n Shine on W Flamingo/215.’
The vibrant city is packed full of sophisticated watering holes and welcoming sports bars (Picture: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
Check out some Vegas sporting greats
‘Show your support for Vegas Golden Knights NHL team (Go Knights, Go!) at Beerhaus from 5pm on a game night,’ Andrew advises.
‘Soak up the atmosphere and stay until the cheerleaders and drummers come past around 6.30pm.’
Get off the beaten track
‘We have five national parks nearby, we’re spoilt!’ Andrew says. ‘My favourite walk is at Red Rock around White Mountain Loop.
‘Allow a couple of hours and it’ll feel like you’re in a different world from the Strip.’
Andrew’s most helpful hack?
‘You can also enjoy Red Rock without the exercise by driving the scenic drive on a scooter or in a little buggy. Look at Scoot City Tours.’
Andrew’s ‘favourite walk’, the Red Rock around White Mountain Loop, is a feast of the eyes (Picture: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
Drink where the locals do
‘The absolute best cocktail bar in Vegas is the Golden Tiki. It’s around 10 minutes from the Strip and is where the locals go.’
But that’s not all…
‘For karaoke, The Cat’s Meow in Downtown is a lot of fun and they take it really seriously.’
Fancy your aim? AxeHole Vegas is great if you want to drink a beer and throw an axe, according to Andrew.
‘They also have a rage room where you can smash up computers, crockery or whatever else they have with a sledgehammer.’
Things will be great when you’re Downtown, where bars are truly The Cat’s Meow (Picture: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
There’s plenty to get up to in this part of town, including letting off steam with a little axe throwing (Picture: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority)
Shop off the Strip
The answer is easy, so says Andrew: ‘Downtown Summerlin. They have everything!’
Get out of town (just for a bit)
Las Vegas is the name of the game, but if you’ve got enough time, Andrew suggests: ‘If you go to the Hoover Dam, head to Boulder City – it’s like a wild west town. While you’re there, stop by Dam Brewery or Grandma Daisy’s ice cream shop.’
Perhaps a helicopter tour is more your vibe? Andrew suggests you contact a company at North Las Vegas airport.
‘They’re really friendly and usually cheaper than the ones that depart from the airport.’
How about getting in a kayak right at the bottom of the Hoover Dam and float gently downstream?
Kayaking down from the bottom of a national monument? Simply hop on over to the Hoover Dam (Picture: Getty Images)
It sure is a novel way to travel, and Andrew recommends intrepid travellers use desert-adventures.com, which has the permits to get in and get you close.
‘They will meet you at Willow Beach, which is a fairly easy six-hour paddle downstream. Pack a picnic and aim to pass a point called Emerald Cove in the early afternoon when the water looks like kryptonite.’
Getting to Vegas has never been easier
Whether you’re a foodie or nature-lover, every Vegas enthusiast can find their own speed and better yet, getting across the Atlantic is now a mere hop, skip and flight as Virgin Atlantic launches direct flights between Manchester and Las Vegas from June 2024.
For the summer season – June 2 until October 25 – you can jump on one of Virgin Atlantic’s plush A350 aircraft, flying direct from Manchester Airport three times a week, with travellers able to purchase seats now.
The Virgin Atlantic sale is now on.* Book direct flights from Manchester to Las Vegas at VirginAtlantic.com
*The Virgin Atlantic Sale runs from 00:01am on Monday 18 December 2023 to 23:59pm on Wednesday 31 January 2024 for travel 1 January to 31 December 2024. Bookings are subject to availability. Virgin Atlantic full terms and conditions apply. help.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/policies/terms-and-conditions
From an expert who knows the city best.