Las Vegas…people have lots of opinions about this town.
In fact, for years I was not a fan….until I went away from the main strip.
Conferences and events always bring me back to this city, so it’s nice to know of a few spots that will make my visit more about amazing up and coming businesses and less about slot machines and cigarette drenched hair (yuck).
Las Vegas is having an incredible moment for creative opportunity and experimentation, not to mention no shortage of amazing 3rd wave coffee shops. So whether you’re ready to jet set tonight, or have plans of seeing the night lights in the near future – this the perfect way to spend 24 hours in Las Vegas…
10:00am Post Flight Coffee Run
Mothership: When I first posted this photo on instagram, someone accused me of being in Echo Park, a hip little suburb of Los Angeles. But in truth – there are some hip little spots popping up in the suburban and downtown sidelines. Mothership roasts their own beans and have quite the tempting pastry case. Located only 10 minutes from the airport, this is the perfect place to hit first to fuel your jam packed day ahead.
10:30 Culture Stop
Neon Museum Tour: You can visit this spot several times and always find new details. This neon graveyard has been carefully curated over the years and is now an amazing history tour. Try and book this tour in the earlier hours (or a night time tour when they turn on the lights), otherwise you might melt from the heat! Trust me – it’s really really hot out there…SOS SPF!
Makers & Finders: This coffee shop and cafe has popped up on downtown’s vintage row and since new businesses have been thriving – like a brewery next door! Get yourself an ice tea (or lavender latte!) and make a hard decision between the empanadas or the chorizo brussel sprouts. Don’t forget to build in a little extra time to browse the surrounding vintage shops for some amazing atomic-styled home decor!
Eat: If you would prefer to skip right over to the old downtown area – Eat is a great brunch option just off of the container district. A wide variety of treats – go sweet with breakfast items or skip straight to lunch with one of my favorites – The Shrimp Po’Boy (which is surprisingly fresh and light)!
1:00 Old Downtown Exploration
Downtown Container Park: Small gift shops, live music, food and drink – this is a great little oasis in the madness of tourist stops that provides the perfect pit stop, especially if you have kids.
The Beat: Need more caffeine?! Looking to increase your record collection!? You can do both here and even pop into a hidden gallery in the back if you’d like to soak in some local up and coming artists.
Donut Bar: This place is a mad house…but if you come back after 1:30 it’s two for one donuts! And I should really point out that these donuts are not only insane (think entire pop tarts or oreos stuffed in the middle) but they are about the size of your head. Not kidding.
4:00 Happy Hour & Small Bites:
La Comida: This is a great spot if you’re in the mood for a margarita and some shade. Great people watching from the patio as well.
Park on Fremont: Small bites, craft cocktails & cool decor? This has it all and you can even bring the little ones onto the front patio until 6pm.
Yard Bird: If you’ve already headed back to the main strip – this is a great spot that doesn’t feel TOOO Vegas with a great happy hour. Fried green tomatoes and deviled eggs, if this dosen’t push you through the rest of the evening, I’m not sure what will!
7:00 – See A Show!
I highly recommend the cirque show O….but if Britney is more you’re thing, I will not judge!
Just get out of the casino and be entertained.
9:30 Dinner & Drinks:
Bardot Brasserie: A little slice of Paris hiding in the back corder of the Aria casino. With little foot traffic passing by, this might be one of the best little spots to relax on the strip. Take a seat at the bar, order up a rosé, escargot and then transport yourself away from the flashing lights.
Herbs & Rye: If you aren’t intimidated by a 30+ page cocktail menu, this is the place for you! Specializing in classic drinks from the Gothic Period all the way through Prohibition and onto the Tiki Craze, not only will you get an excellently crafted cocktail, you’ll get a history lesson about your choice as well. Still hungry? They’ve got steaks and baked potatoes for you!
Frankies’ Tiki Room: Needing more Tiki? Frankie’s is a historical classic that will have you stepping back into time with a Mai Tai in hand with first step into the wild tropical decor. This place is amazing, but if you’d like some newer-school tiki be sure to check out The Golden Tiki. Either way, you will fulfill your needs of island drinks, visual kitsch and a sudden need for bedtime in a snap.
10:00am Pre-Airport Buffet
Wicked Spoon: Okay, where I might not be into casinos…you have to hit at least one buffet when you’re in town. Everyone has their favorite, but I really think this is the best one. Amazing options that continuously refresh and rotate, you can return to the same station 3 times and be offered something completely different. Spicy pork buns, fried chicken sliders, sushi….not to mention an insane pastry and gelato counter. Give yourself a couple hours here before heading back home – and you might as well get the bottomless mimosas because…Vegas.
This is my perfect 24 hours – what about your favorite spots to visit in Las Vegas?! Let me know below!