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A Weekend in Vegas for Those Who Want Nothing to Do with the Strip


Vegas baby!

Alright so I going to go through this like a list and will be as descriptive and personal about everything as I can be but keep in mind –I’m in VEGAS BABY! Life moves fast and we don’t sleep. No seriously, we don’t sleep! And what might surprise many newcomers to the city is just how much of the true Vegas experience has nothing to do with the strip! (Not that there is anything wrong with sitting around the Bellagio, but trust me, there is more!)

1. Hotels:

Don’t be fooled. There are some pretty awesome spots to call home for a few days that don’t involve the Strip including a wide variety of boutique hotels, and affordable retreats in addition to mega-resorts which could become the epicentre of the party in Vegas at pretty much any time.

Rumor:

Rumor boutique is a smaller, somewhat quiet get away but it is cute, romantic and has every little touch that you would need for a nice Vegas trip. Great staff, beautiful suite options, pool and dining options, which include  breakfast in bed. It is also minutes away from anything you would want to do in town. Not bad right?

Artisan:

Artisan Boutique Hotel is a personal favourite of mine. It has possibly the most unique set up and room decor of any property in town, a restaurant, bar, lovely pool (that is clothing optional) and a party that doesn’t start until 3AM. Artisan After-hours is a real thing and it guarantees that you will always have something to do.

Palace Station:

There are several Station Casinos throughout the Las Vegas valley, some which even include major resorts such as Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock. It is Five minutes from the Strip and within ten minutes of most of everything I am about to mention regarding things to do in Las Vegas. Still off the Strip, the Palace Station gives you affordability, comfort and convenience.

Hard Rock:

You didn’t think I would leave out this hot spot did you? Hard Rock is indeed NOT on the Strip but has all of the Strip perks. Amazing nightclub and performance venue as well as multiple dining options and one of the most talked about pools/beach experiences in Las Vegas. Rehab Pool party is a brand in itself; definitely not a bad perk. Still less than two miles from Las Vegas blvd, you don’t deal with obnoxious tourists who are stumbling down the side walk but you still get all of the amenities of a major resort.


2. Entertainment:

Kiss Monster Mini Golf:

One word: cool. Neon lights, glow in the dark everything, KISS music blasting, and a kick-ass mini golf course. Alcohol available as well so you could take your try at putting a bit tipsy if you’d like. This place is just cool.

Gun Store:

Okay, the Gun Store has pretty much everything fun that you could do in your spare time in Las Vegas. Sure, you won’t find any slot machines, blackjack tables, or roulette wheels, but you will find hard hitting excitement and lots of fire power. The range includes several different packages for every type of gun enthusiast and is definitely a winning experience for any visitor to Las Vegas!

Red Rock:

Yes we have mountains. Go hike. Camp. BBQ. Or just go because its beautiful. If you are lucky you might find a wild borro as well. I didn’t know about these either until I visited and went for a hike!

Downtown Container Park:Exploring DTLV’s Container Park:

There is a new place to be in Las Vegas, and that place is the fabulous Downtown Container Park (DCP). So there you go, if you didn’t know, now you do!

Need To Know:

I’ll get into some of the cool details in a bit but first let’s get down to the need-to-know information so you know what you’re doing when you get there. Retail shops are open Monday-Saturday 10am to 9pm and Sunday 10am to 8pm. The food and beverage locations are open Sunday–Thursday 11am to 11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am to 1am and just so you know, no one under 21 is allowed after 9pm. The DCP is located at 707 Fremont St. If you need to get in touch with them the main office can be reached at 702-637-4244. No pets are allowed at DCP but service animals are not a problem. Unfortunately, there is no on site parking at DCP but it is located right in the heart of Downtown with plenty of parking options.

Dining Options:

I’ve worked out the perfect way to attack DCP and get the most out of your day. While it may be a bit ambitious, the visit can be done and it is well worth every minute. Here we go: Start off with lunch at one of the several restaurants Big Ern’s BBQ offers authentic BBQ in authentic Las Vegas fashion. From the meats and sides for the grown ups to the separate 10-and-under menu, there is a wide array of choices.

Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon also has his hand in another sure to be hot spot eatery Pork & Beans, with a menu that includes artisanal sausage and bean dishes as well as other options. The kitchen is lead by Chef Nona Shivley, and so I encourage you all to indulge with some beans and a beer at this fresh new location.

For all of you health nuts, don’t think I left you out. I’d also like to mention the new gourmet vegan and raw food eatery Simply Pure. I can’t personally speak to the experience of Simply Pure because I am fueled by a diet of red meat, chicken, fish and vodka. However, I have it on good authority that Chef Stacey Dougan’s vegan spot uses only the freshest ingredients, tastes pretty good and will probably help one live a healthier, longer life than my diet which could kill me any day (and just may).

Shop

There are more than 20 retail shops and specialty boutiques, as well as some pretty cool art galleries. Not taking anything away from big name retailers, but you won’t find an Abercrombie & Fitch or an H&M at DCP. This place is loaded with eclectic, creative and unique places to spend your day browsing. I’ll start with 702DTLV. Self-proclaimed as “a unique boutique for a unique city” they offer apparel, decor, bags, accessories, jewelry, and much more. This is definitely a spot you must check out while here! Want to grab a quick snack while you’re out and about? Slide by CUPKATES for their mouth watering selection of cake pops, cookies, and tons of other sweet treats that you can nibble on as you continue to roam on your journey around DCP.

Unique Art Galleries & Other Fun Things to Do!

Black Bird Gallery is the new location from award-winning studios and features some of Las Vegas’ best emerging artists. There are several galleries that you should be certain not to miss, but Downtown Container Park is a work of art in itself. Truly one of the most unique and creative architectural creations that I have ever seen, the shops and restaurants inside literally resemble real life containers. Want to have another kind of fun? One word: Treehouse. The Treehouse is DCP’s one-of-a-kind interactive play area for children but adults can enjoy some of the cool features as well such as the 33-foot tall slide, NEOS place system, a wet zone and more.

When the Sun Goes Down:

Is everybody getting an idea of how cool DCP is? Local Las Vegas business owner Daniel Bakley describes DCP as “as a good date night type place. Lots to drink and eat and they usually have live music and DJs late on weekends.” Live music, outdoor fitness classes, and variety acts are just a few of the things you can get into when the sun goes down. For a schedule of the things going on , you can check out the calendar at www.downtowncontainerpark.com.

Is this a direct quote?

Downtown Container Park is awesome. It’s unique, artistic and nothing like we have ever had in Vegas. As the world’s leading city of entertainment, we pride ourselves on being ahead of the game. DCP is a perfect addition to our ever growing city and surely a highlight of the artistic emergence that is Downtown Las Vegas. So if you have not yet been, get it together girl! This is definitely a place that we all should embrace and I am confident that all will enjoy. Maybe I’ll see you down there and if I do, you better buy me a drink, seriously.

Arts District:

The Art’s District lies in Las Vegas nestled in between Downtown and The Strip. It is collection of locals, local music events and arts and crafts as well as a cool place to visit. You will have to see it to believe and I would definitely recommend doing that!


3. Shopping:

Las Vegas has the nest shopping the world. Crystals, Forums, Fashion, the Wynn…the list goes on, If you are looking for some deals that are exactly on the string then definitely head to North Premium outlets. They have top designers and a fraction of the price.

Well, have we given you enough to fill up your weekend full of off the Strip activities? You must be hungry. Starving even. There are a number of classic and delicious places to grab a bite to eat. Las Vegas is definitely not lacking when it comes to dining options.

I consider myself somewhat of a foodie. These are a few of my favourite spots that you might not read about in a random tourist guide.

Here in Las Vegas we are lucky enough to have some of the premiere restaurants, bars, shopping as well as the greatest entertainment all at our disposal. We have the best of everything everywhere we turn. Where else in the world can one find five Louis Vuitton’s within a mile of each other? Nowhere, that’s where. In Las Vegas we expand on things till they are almost beyond belief but I feel that within that breaking point there are several forgotten diamonds in the rough that may not be in the midst of all of the lights but should definitely be remembered. They make Las Vegas what it is as well. In all honesty, THEY are what make VEGAS what it is to me.!


4. Dining

Top This Pizza:

Pizzas are topped with lots of cheese, fresh vegetables and the best meats. Godfathers Supreme, Taco, Philly Steak, Italian Stallion, BBQ or Buffalo Chicken are just some of the crave-able flavours you can enjoy at Top This Pizza. You can eat in, order online and they will even deliver. You really can’t beat the convenience. Top this Pizza is definitely “doing the most” because even if pizza is not what you are craving there are multiple options available to appease your appetite such as sandwiches, paninis, wings and fingers, fresh made salads, soups, pasta, desserts, and drinks. And all options are as delicious as the other, all equally delectable. Top This Pizza also offers catering services for parties, business luncheons or conventions, and can accommodate any size group. Their staff is eager to serve and ready for new orders, so make this the place to call.

Battista’s Hole in the Wall:

If we are going to make a quick list of some of Las Vegas’s fabulous little hidden gems of dining, then I thought it would be appropriate to start with a LEGEND. Battista’s Hole in the Wall is a fine dining authentic Italian treasure. It has been a family owned and operated business for over 30 years. A convenient location and amazing culinary selection make this a local’s dream destination. You can come and enjoy fantastic cuisine and the vibrant nostalgic atmosphere of what was old Vegas and still remains as NOW Vegas. Pick an entree, soup or salad and you are almost done. Now you just have to deal with the issue of Battista’s offering up unlimited house wine and garlic bread. That little perk is quite a nice addition to a meal that has somewhat endless entree options. A very cheesy lasagna, several different pasta arrangements, chicken dishes, veal, fish, and some tasty steak choices. Not bad for a “hole in the wall.” I will take it!

Kona Grill:

There are undeniably a handful of sushi places on the Strip. Time and time again I have been to very good but very overpriced sushi restaurants. This time around I wanted to find a place with food on par with Strip restaurants but without the high priced bill. After talking with a few local friends they let me in on a Las Vegas sushi staple. Kona Grill is the place to go; enough said! It is not your everyday sushi spot because Kona has EVERYTHING! They put their own twist on many different dishes that gives them a cool “swagger” that resonates well with customers. Kona calamari, flat breads, full entrees that include filet and oh yea, remember, they DO SUSHI TOO!!

TOFU HUT:

I have been to this establishment for everything from a random lunch, a birthday, and even a 4AM din din following a night at the club. Tofu Hut really is that kind of comfort food that you really need in the wee hours of the mornings as well as being delicious at every other time as well. You select your choices of meats and vegetables. Meats that YOU will be cooking on the grill at the table in front of you! Very quick, and very simple. I enjoyed the experience of cooking the meats at the table. It has the ability to turn dinner into a party without really even trying. Grilled brisket, pork, chicken, beef ribs and endless arrangements of vegetables will keep you picking and choosing all night, and that is alright because Tofu Hut is 24/7!

M&M Soul Food Cafe:

You know we had to have a soul food spot on the list and we have a great place for you:

M&M Soul Food Cafe holds it down and keeps it as real as it can be. Open from 7AM -8PM, not exactly what people expect from a Vegas eatery but trust me they shine when it comes to their delicious food. They have everything from fried chicken and pork chops to catfish and gumbo. M&M covers all of the Southern bases. Delicious side items like collard greens, candied yams, red beans and rice…and A LOT of other dishes. The entire atmosphere in M&M was completely welcoming and I definitely know that I have a go-to Southern food place when I am in need of some good old home cooking.


How was your weekend? I’m sure you managed to play a few dollars in a slot machine and hopefully you won. Most importantly though, you got to see aspects of Las Vegas that are not always highlighted in the brochures and hopefully you’ve come to realize that there is a lot more to this fabulous city than the billboards and bright lights of the Strip.


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