My Next Trip! February 2020




I am so excited to chronicle my first trip on the blog!


In a little over a month my husband, parents and I will be taking our annual trip to Las Vegas! My aunt lives there and throws a huge Super Bowl party every year and we always have such a fun time.


Anyone who knows me knows that I am completely in love with Vegas. Not even so much for the never-ending party aspect (goodness knows my best days are behind me as far as that's concerned lol), but just because it's such a fun, vibrant, energetic city with so many things to do and places to see. And the FOOD. IS. AMAZING. There are new restaurants opening literally every week.


You might be thinking what's the point of planning a trip to a city you've been to a bunch of times before? In some ways, trips to familiar places take even more planning because you have to dig a little deeper to find new things. However, with Vegas that's not really the case. I haven't even scratched the surface on all the experiences I want to have there, so without further delay let's dive right into my first pre-trip planning post!


Note: I'm going to keep this easy to read and break everything down by category.


Flight Stats

Airline: American Airlines

Duration: 2h 58m

Average RT Cost from DFW in February: $184

# of Stops: 0/Nonstop


Hotel

Park MGM

Room Type: Park MGM King

Resort Fee: $42/night

Incidental Hold: $100/day

Discounts: Exclusive member rate via MLife Rewards Program

Total Cost for 2 Nights (includes taxes & fees): $307.26

How I book: Via the hotel website. I'm a member of the rewards program and want to earn points for my stay + this is the only way for me to take advantage of any special offers I have from the specific hotel. If you're not concerned with rewards, definitely check out Hotwire and the like for awesome rates. Just be sure to do your research on any fees that will be charged when you actually get to the hotel so that you're not surprised after the fact.


My husband and I try to stay at a different hotel on the strip every time we come to town. Right now we're in a loving relationship with MGM hotels since that's the company that I have status with, but don't worry Caesars we're coming for you eventually! We went for a standard king room since this is a shorter trip and we'd rather save the splurge for another time. I would say Park MGM is considered a mid-range property (a step below the likes of Bellagio, Aria, Cosmo, etc), but even with that there are still additional fees that you'll need to take into account when setting your hotel budget. Nonetheless, the hotel is recently remodeled (it used to be the Monte Carlo) and has a fun vibe with a pretty mid-strip location so I'm excited to check it out.


Pro tip: If you're someone who travels to Las Vegas (or any city with major casino hotel chains like Atlantic City or New Orleans) with any regularity, it's worth it to join the hotel rewards programs. The 2 main players in Las Vegas are MGM and Caesars, and their programs are MLife and Caesars Rewards respectively. I'll do a full post on all of the main programs soon, but they are free to sign up for and can get you discounted rates, food and beverage credits and even comped rooms. Check out the links above to sign up online.


Food & Drinks

So if you couldn't tell by my glee above, trying new restaurants is one of my favorite parts of traveling and Vegas is truly a food paradise. Below are my must hits: These are places that we already have reservations at or that I am making a point to visit during the trip + some favorites that I'd love to visit again if I have time.


1. Primrose

Takes Reservations: Yes

Location: Park MGM

Type of Food: French bistro fare

Average Price of an Entrée: $17


From what I can tell the vibe of this brunch-y spot is as dainty and elegant as the name suggests. It gives me major garden party vibes (especially because there's actually a huge outdoor garden seating area) and the menu is described as "French countryside-inspired" so think hearty mains with an upscale twist. Also, bottomless mimosas. Yes.


2. Pizza Rock

Takes Reservations: Yes

Location: Fremont St (Downtown Las Vegas)

Type of Food: Pizza

Average Price of an Entrée: Most pizzas range from $18-$26


I have been trying to go to this upbeat pizza spot for over a year but somehow always run out of time before I make it downtown. While the thought of leaving the strip might sound like too much to bare I've been told that this pizza makes the slightly longer trip worth it. There are tons of options from classic Napoletana pizzas baked in a 900-degree brick oven to good old "American style" pepperoni. Plus, on weekend nights there's a DJ! Jam while you stuff your face! Fun!


3. Juniper Cocktail Lounge

Location: Park MGM

Average Price of a Cocktail: $17

Happy Your: Yes, Sunday to Thursday from 5-8 PM


This cocktail lounge is known for having the largest selection of gin in Las Vegas. So that's cool if you love gin, but if you don't there's still a menu full of interesting drinks. This place piqued my interest because the cocktails are definitely on the extra side with some combinations you wouldn't necessarily expect. Also the menu is really cool because it has drawn out diagrams of each drink (pic below). I know menu design is a weird reason to decide to visit a bar but I'm a writer/editor by trade so I enjoy these things lol.






Favorites I'd like to return to again:


1. The Henry

Takes Reservations: Yes

Location: The Cosmopolitan

Type of Food: Modern American Comfort Food

Average Price of an Entrée: Most are between $17 and $20


I like to think of The Henry as your favorite local diner food but SO MUCH BETTER. It has all of the basic greasy alcohol-absorbing foods you love like loaded tater tots and giant burgers. Except the tater tots are under a layer of extremely tender short ribs. And the burgers are topped with bacon jam. And it's open 24 hours! I have been there at 2 am and I have been there at noon and the food was bomb both times.


2. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Location: The Venetian

Type of Food: Southern

Average Price of an Entrée: $25


Hands down the best fried chicken wings I've ever eaten. Literally you just look at this chicken and it falls off the bone. Melts in your mouth. Outrageously good. If you have any positive feelings about fried chicken at all you need to go here.


Activities

I don't actually have any specific activities planned for this trip! Since it's only a long weekend and my Sunday is already spoken for, I'm excited to just relax, wander the casino and eat my weight in delicious things. Sometimes going with the flow is just what you need.


Et voila! This concludes the Vegas trip rundown. Hit the comments with any recommendations, and I'll talk to you soon!


xoxo

Nicole







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