Off the Vegas Strip

The first time I visited Las Vegas, I was completely awed by the city. The neon lights, 24/7 energy, and unique buildings made it like nowhere else I had ever visited. While it may have one too many shadowland-like areas to challenge Disneyworld for its title of the happiest place on Earth, it easily wins best adult playground!

My love for Vegas (and adult playgrounds) has had me returning to the city at least once a year for the past decade. Just this past weekend, I saw two fantastic concerts: Aerosmith and Billy Idol. Back home in Houston, we patiently wait months for our favorite band to make its appearance. Yet in Vegas, any night holds the potential to see your favorite band or artist. And it’s just a quick trip for a perfect, long weekend of fun!

The Palms & Billy Idol

Billy Idol’s concert brought me back to the Palms. During our last visit, we stayed there while it was having a major overhaul. At first, my husband was a little bummed at not being on the strip but the amenities at the hotel easily made up the difference. And now the hotel is a beautiful upgraded version of itself!

Their concert venue, Pearl, is the perfect name for this location as it is a real gem. It is an amazing location to watch your favorite artist! Its shape and size make you feel like you have front row seats, no matter where you are seated. Here was my view of Billy Effing Idol! And no, we were not on the floor.

Before or after the concert, restaurant options like Greene St Kitchen make you feel like you have stumbled into a secret speakeasy locale. And according to the locals, you may also find Cardi B or Marshmello at the Palms’ new Kaos pool. Pro Tip: your ticket stub is entry to the swanky APEX Club.

Hard Rock, Good People & Farewell Tours

At the recommendation of our friends and concerting partners in crime, we stayed in the Hard Rock Casino this past weekend. It has been by far our best experience with hotel staff. The room was pretty amazing and well-priced too. Dining options like Mr. Lucky’s gave a 24/7 option that also had amazing service and tasty food options. Pro tip: check out their Bloody Mary!

The Hard Rock has been purchased by Virgin Record’s Richard Branson and will close for 8 months after this year’s Super Bowl for a remodel and rebrand. I was impressed to read that its employees have been offered a sweet incentive package to come back when it reopens. Kudos to this company for recognizing the great potential they have in their staff too! We will be returning to Vegas in January and look forward to staying in Hard Rock one last time before it starts its new chapter. Pro tip: Check it out before it’s gone!

Off the Strip Tip

If you are thinking of finding a location off the Strip, I recommend:

  • Make a list of your nonnegotiables (casino, dining options, etc)
  • Read reviews on TravelAdvisor and my fellow bloggers
  • Then book!

I speak from experience! On one trip, we stayed at Trump International Hotel. Since we are not big gamblers and had recently quit smoking, the Trump appealed to us since it did not have a casino. While it was wonderful to walk to our beautiful room without going first through a smoke filled casino, the dining options were limited and there was no entertainment on site. We spent more than usual on Ubers and taxis to take us to places that had more activity. While it may not have been the ideal place for us, it could be a perfect place for a visiting family!

Don’t forget Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV) is another option that some visitors swear by as their go to. The Fremont Experience is a must-see when visiting. With options like The Hotel D and Golden Nugget, it also has great options to stay. Personally, I love the old Vegas feel with its neon and vintage machines. Locations like Container Park add a family friendly element too.

No matter where you stay in Vegas, make it an adventure!

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