What I did-
NSCA National Conference-
The main reason I visited Vegas was to attend the annual National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) conference. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through NSCA, I have to earn continuing education credits to keep my certificate active. One of the ways to earn credits is by attending NSCA conferences. Since I could get free flights and I could visit a new city, I decided to go to the conference.
Walked down “The Strip”-
Las Vegas Boulevard is better known as “The Strip.” It is the first thing most people think of when they think of Vegas. There are numerous hotels and casinos along the Strip, as well as other attractions such as arenas for Cirque du Soleil, Sports, and other entertainment. Also, the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel and casino put on a water show throughout the day and night.
After Las Vegas Boulevard, the second most iconic street in Las Vegas is Fremont Street. Similar to Las Vegas Boulevard, Fremont Street also has various hotels and casinos. The west side of Fremont Street is known as the “Fremont Street Experience” and is a covered, but outdoor, mall. At night there are light shows on the inside of the canopy. There are also free concerts, a zip line, and various other types of entertainment. The east side of the street has relatively recently undergone a revitalization and added placess to eat, drink, and have fun.
Kà by Cirque Du Soleil-
Cirque Du Soleil is a popular acrobatic entertainment show. “Kà” is one of the Cirque Du Soleil shows located in Vegas. It features and impressively unconventional, moving stage. Unlike other Cirque Du Soleil shows, Kà follows a story line and incorporate forms of martial arts into its show. I was able to use travel points to get a ticket to the show.
Eiffel Tower at Paris Hotel and Casino-
The Paris Hotel and Casino features a half-scale replica of France’s famous Eiffel Tower. The top of the tower offers some very nice views of Las Vegas. I was also able to use travel points to go up the tower.
Where I ate:
Lotus of Siam-
Lotus of Siam is a very good Thai restaurant, and it was one of the places Anthony Bourdain visited on his trip to Vegas. I ordered the Kang Hoh, which is a dry pork curry with mixed vegetables.
Tacos El Gordo-
Tacos El Gordo has good food for good prices. The catch is, there is usually a long wait. They offer various types of tacos such as tripa, lengua, cabeza, and al pastor. There are separate lines depending on which type of taco you want, so you want to make sure to line up in the correct line.
The Commonwealth is a bar located near the Cortez Hotel on Fremont Street. It is much more laid back than other places in Vegas, and also often features live music.
The Laundry Room-
The Laundry Room is a speak located inside the Commonwealth bar. It derives its name from being the old laundry room for the Cortez hotel. To gain entry, you need to text the phone number for the Laundry Room and ask about reservations or availability. Although they have a small menu, you are encouraged to simply describe the flavors you like to the bartender and have a personalized drink created for you. Also, the popcorn is very tasty.
One of Las Vegas’s top “cheap eats” restaurants, Bruxie claims to serve the original chicken & waffle sandwich. Though it isn’t incredibly healthy, it was very tasty.
Eggslut is a quick-serve breakfast place. Their signature dish features coddled eggs served over puréed potatoes in a jar.
In N Out Burger-
In N Out is a fast food chain in the western United States. They offer cheap (although not very healthy) food. Also, they have a “secret menu” with items like a three by three and animal style.
The Mandarin Oriental is a cocktail bar with great views of Las Vegas Boulevard. While it is relatively expensive, the cocktails and view are very good.
Where I stayed:
Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino-
The Paris Las Vegas Hotel is located on the Strip. It was the site of the NSCA conference. By using the conference rate, I was able to use credit card points to pay for my stay there. The casino and lobby are painted to make it seem like you are outdoors even when you are inside. Also, they make it seem like it is always daytime. They have a very small, basic fitness center (that may cost an extra fee) and a pool that features views of their Eiffel Tower replica.
How I got around:
Lyft and Uber-
Lyft and Uber are both available in Las Vegas. Most drivers I spoke with, however, preferred driving with Lyft.
Since I was already staying on the Strip, I walked to most of the places I went. Las Vegas has very low humidity, so I didn’t sweat as much as I normally would have. However, I had to use a lot of eye drops due to the dryness.
My Favorite thing:
The Laundry Room speakeasy was awesome. It is a hideaway from the craziness of Vegas with a great environment and great drinks.
My Least favorite thing:
It felt like there was a lack of depth to the city. There were many lights and many impressive facades, but I don’t have a strong desire to return to Vegas.
For next time:
Next time I am in the Las Vegas area I would like to get out of city and visit places like the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.
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