Wow, what a month! We never thought we would ever say this, but yes, a month in Las Vegas is FAR too long even when we consider it our home away from home. There is so much to do here, even if you don’t go hang out at the strip, but most of the great vegan food is at the Wynn and the Encore which means we spent a fair amount of money on food this month. We even had a chance to try out the brand new Impossible Burger at Andreas at the Wynn.
If you’ve never been to Vegas, you really have to give it a chance. Even if you aren’t a gambler or a big drinker, there are so many other things to do on and off the strip. There are many shows you can see, like Cirque du Soleil or a comedy show, stroll through each hotel to marvel at the architecture, explore the outdoors at Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and eat ALL the foods!
Where we stayed
We stayed at the Hitchin’ Post RV Park in North Las Vegas as we had gotten a pretty good deal for the month. While the park itself is nice enough where people tend to keep to themselves, the noise from the fighter jets flying regularly overhead can be quite a bother. Check out our in-depth blog detailing all of the amenities available there, why we chose it, and what we think about the park.
Where we ate
We were most looking forward to all of the amazing vegan food! It’s the number one reason why we love Vegas so much. Las Vegas has some incredible vegan options both on and off the strip. At the Wynn casino, we were able to eat twice at Mizumi and four times at Terrace Pointe Cafe. At the Encore casino, we were able to eat at Wazuzu and tried the new Impossible Burger at Andreas. Near the strip, we ate at Beerhaus, which we had never tried and is one of the cooler places we ate. Off the strip, we stopped by Ronald’s Donuts, Vegeway, Vegenation, Panevino, Nacho Daddy, and Pancho’s Vegan Tacos.
One of the things that we learned is that you’re almost guaranteed a great meal if you eat at one of the restaurants in the Wynn or the Encore, but it’s going to cost you. If you decide to eat off the strip, you’ll save some money, but you’re taking a much bigger risk as we had a few sub-par meals out there.
What we did
During the month, we went to a couple shows, including Defending the Caveman and Cirque du Soleil – Ka. Aaron had actually previously seen both of these shows and still enjoyed them the second time. The comedy show was a fun, especially since we got a great discount, so it was cheap entertainment and of course, Cirque du Soleil is always amazing. We also did manage to get off the strip and do some exploring of the area surrounding Las Vegas, which is something we haven’t had the chance to do much in our many previous trips.
Red Rock Canyon
We didn’t get to spend as much time at Red Rock Canyon as we had hoped but wow are the sights and scenery beautiful! The red color that is splashed all over the rocks is so striking that photos and video really don’t do it justice. We were able to use our interagency park pass to get in for free. That thing is definitely worth the $80 annual fee!
White Rock- This was one of the two different hikes we did at Red Rock Canyon. The hike itself isn’t too bad with an elevation gain of about 600 feet, but we only made it about 1.3 miles into it before we had to turn back because the wind was ridiculous! It was so bad that it was blowing dust and dirt in your face and on multiple occasions we almost lost our hats. But the views were beautiful and the rocks gorgeous.
Moenkopi Loop- We did the 2-mile loop that went up the side hill and it was a really easy hike. It took us about an hour to do the full loop with an elevation gain of about 200 feet. Once you reach the top of the hill, you’re offered a full 360 panoramic view of the area, which was stunning.
Allegedly there are some bighorn sheep and tortoises that are regularly found in the area, but unfortunately, we did not see any while we were there. We didn’t get to spend nearly as much time exploring Red Rocks because it was easily a 45-minute drive to get to the visitor’s center, but if you’re in the area, we definitely recommend checking it out!
Hayden’s parents came out and stayed in Las Vegas for the weekend and we went with them to see the Hoover Dam. Of all of the times that we have stayed here, we have never had a chance to make it out there. We started off watching the brief history video that it seems like every place you visit forces you to sit through… you know what I’m talking about. After that, we had plenty of time before our tour of the dam began so we wandered around the top, taking photos and reading the different plaques interspersed along the walls.
For the actual tour, we got to go into one of the areas where the turbines were that actually generate the hydroelectric power in the dam. We learned that there were quite a few design choices made that coincided with where you were in the dam. For example, the colors changed when you moved from the turbine rooms to the tunnels in the dam itself. We learned about how the dam was put together and how they continuously monitor for movement and “seepage” (they don’t use the term leak) in the walls. While it was a pretty cool experience, one can’t help but wonder the damage to the environment and wildlife that occurred because of the dam’s construction.
Neon Bone Yard
The same weekend we went and visited the Hoover Dam, we also went to the Neon Bone Yard. This place was pretty cool and was chock full of the old neon signs that used to be prominent on the strip. We learned a lot of the history of casinos that are no longer standing or have been rebranded and probably more than we’ll ever need to know about the neon bending trade courtesy of some sign makers who were on the same tour. If you’re into history, this is a pretty cool place to check out. They also do night light-ups of some of the signs that still work or have been repaired, however, we did not get a chance to see these.
We won’t be returning to Vegas for the better part of two years due to our itinerary and it just may take us that long to recover!