We Hated Las Vegas and It’s All Our Fault

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Vegas didn’t win us over at all.  Actually, we hated Las Vegas.

But much of it was our own fault. We really really really wanted to like it and had great hopes when we arrived.

But we made so many mistakes in Las Vegas…

Heart attack grill in Las Vegas is just one of many over the top restaurants. We didn't like Las Vegas but it was because we made 5 mistakes - find out what they were.

Las Vegas Mistake #1

Coming straight from Portland, after a marathon of eating in the best restaurants in Portland and sightseeing.

We loved the chilled Portland culture and had totally settled in. Las Vegas was like a bucket of ice cold water – startling and dumbfounding.

Valley of Fire Wedding in Las Vegas - learn to plan the perfect wedding in Las Vegas.

Mistake #2

We planned 5 days in Las Vegas so we could attend my sister’s Valley of Fire wedding and also check Vegas out.

Everyone told us 5 days was far too many, especially the people who loved Vegas. They were right. Five days is too long to spend in Las Vegas. Less is more in Sin City.

Shooting a gun in Las Vegas is just one of many activities you can do. Unfortunately they all cost quite a bit of money which is why we did not like Las Vegas.

Mistake #3

We spent most of our time on the strip. We know everyone says to get off the strip but felt so overwhelmed by zany expensive off-strip activities – did you know you can drive a bulldozer or tank? Would you want to?

We had a great time shooting guns and heading to In-N-Out Burger for the secret menu  but most things didn’t appeal to us and you can only walk the strip with the rest of the herded drunken tourists so many times.

Las Vegas slot machines - one of the many things to do in Las Vegas.

Mistake #4

We weren’t excessively drinking or gambling. This seems to be a key factor in Las Vegas, tourists treat it like a frat boy keg party.

People are obnoxious, even more so than at an all-inclusive resort. In a city where anything goes, people morph into juvenile alcoholics.

Maybe if we had more to drink we wouldn’t have felt like the designated driver in an open bar.

Mistake #5

We don’t smoke. Perhaps we’re spoiled that you cannot smoke indoors in Toronto or really anywhere in Canada but people smoking on the casino floors was gross.

We couldn’t find a nook to hide from the stench of smokers.

El Cortez on Freemont Street in Las Vegas - just one of many things to do in Las Vegas.

We tried to escape by going to Freemont St, where everyone said we had to go. 

But it just felt like an older, more kitschy version of Vegas with girls, gambling and gluttony.

Vegas we wanted to like you, we really did….

I wish I could say we’d never return but there’s no escaping Las Vegas as there are SO many events. 

Next time we must be better prepared.

So if we go again, what’s your best suggestion?

Lead Image: Larry

Join the Conversation

  1. Mike Devitt says:

    We did Vegas a couple of years ago and stayed in the Platinum Hotel, just off the strip. This was perfect as it allowed us the peace and quiet of a non-gambling hotel, coupled with a great rooftop pool and away from the crowded strip.

    I’m with you on the smoking.The place is let down by allowing this to happen and gives many of the hotels a dusty, dingy smell.

    We would use Vegas as a base to see some of the other great attractions close by like the Grand Canyon which has to be seen by Helicopter. It’s expensive but the most unforgettable experience.

    BTW, Love that picture of the two of you on the rock!

  2. Next time get off the strip! I highly recommend heading to Boulder City to see Hoover Dam, browse antiques, and eat at some awesome small owned restaurants.

  3. Wow, thank you for writing this. I had almost the exact same trip experience as you when I went to Vegas the first time!! I wondered if I did something wrong, because I didn’t think I could have such a rotton time when all my friends and family seem to enjoy the city so much! I’m pretty easygoing and easy to please, but I’d definitely do things differently if I return…
    I’d highly recommend a trip to the pinball museum (www.pinballhall.org)! That was the absolute highlight of my stay, and I can’t wait to go back.

  4. Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon

  5. I love Vegas. I don’t drink or gamble when I go. There are a ton of things to do and see there. 5 days is too long. If done correctly 1 day is equivalent to 3 days there. Head over to the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead, and Lake Las Vegas. Take in one of the many great shows they have. There’s so much to do with lots of fun to be had.

  6. Alouise says:

    My friend and I went to Vegas last year, and I told her that 5 days in Vegas would be too much, but she didn’t believe me. After day 1 she’d seen everything she wanted to see.

    I loved Freemont Street. My first trip I didn’t get to go there, so I made sure to spend a couple of hours on Freemont. We were there early in the evening, and we just checked out the live music, and food trucks. If I went back to Vegas I’d rent a car, and spend some time outside the city, maybe check out Red Rock Canyon. Freemont Street I’d go back to, but I don’t have any desire to go back to The Strip. Just not my thing.

  7. Murissa says:

    I’ve been 10 times. I am a bit of a gambler – I enjoy Black Jack, betting on the horses and I am a sucker for the Sex and the City slots but of course they get tiring. 3 Nights is my max there and I always go to see a show. Love at the Mirage is my all time favourite.

    There are some bad hotels too. I prefer the Wynn because of their pool and their parasol bar. Driving expensive fast cars at the track, grand canyon tours and hiking helps you endure when the kitsch and hooligans become repulsive.

  8. Peter Parker says:

    Hi, Thanks for sharing, It is a beautiful destination for wedding destination.

  9. John Daniel says:

    Lovely place for honeymoon.

  10. Mikeachim says:

    Not my scene. At all. Although some of my best writing is a result of feeling completely out of place, so I really want to visit Vegas at some point. 😉 But….#4. Yeah. No. I couldn’t deal with that for very long without wanting to become very, very drunk. Which I guess is how a lot of Vegas works?

  11. I expected to hate it and my expetations were very low but I ended up enjoying my time there (probably because my expectations were low). I spent 3 nights there, didn’t drink much or gamble more than $10 the entire time (on slots). I just stuck to the strip and loved watching all the free attractions like the Bellagio fountain and Mirage volcano. I swam at a couple of the pools and went to the Titanic Exhibition which was on at the time. Loved eating at the Paris Las Vegas buffet and enjoyed just people watching – there were some crazy ones! Vegas is completely not my scene and I have no desire to go back but I still did enjoy it despite its cheesy commercialism

  12. Camille says:

    I don’t know Ayngelina, I don’t think you guys should have any regrets about Vegas, it doesn’t sound so much like you made any mistakes but rather like maybe it’s just not your scene?! There’s nothing wrong with loving decent food, not being in the mood to party wildly, and not enjoying passive smoking – quite the opposite! 🙂 It sounds like I’m pretty similar to you and although I’d like to see the city someday, I’m not sure I’d be crazy about it either!

  13. Jay McGrath says:

    Three days in Vegas is usually more than enough for me. But I disagree with you, there’s tons of fun to be had even if you don’t drink. There are so many amazing shows there (cirque de soleil, burlesque, magic) and world class restaurants. Definitely recommend the Wynn buffet for Sunday brunch (the owner of the hotel is a vegam, there’s an awesome blend of hearty dishes and lighter fare) and there are tons of art galleries, designer shops for window shopping, and stunning pools to swim/lounge in. Vegas is what you make of it.

  14. JB & Renee says:

    I’m not a big fan of Vegas either. It’s a little too crazy for an introvert like me. Despite that, I was under the impression that there’s a lot to do in Vegas (as evidenced by Mistake # 3) so I found Mistake # 2 interesting:

    “Everyone told us 5 days was far too many, especially the people who loved Vegas. They were right. Five days is too long to spend in Las Vegas. Less is more in Sin City.”

    On that note, how many days would you say is ideal for Vegas?

  15. I wouldn’t go to vegas myself, but my kids love it, as there are a lot of kid things to do there.

  16. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    Shocking that you can still smoke in Vegas casinos. I hated that too.

  17. paris taxi says:

    I have been to Las Vegas 2 or 3 times, all at ages 3-6, and I never really like it. Of course at such a young age I was unable to take advantage of Las Vegas’s entire point, but it still doesn’t appeal to me. Very dirty, and unless you like getting drunk and losing money, boring. 5 days is too much, though. I think the most we ever spent 3 days, including arrival day and departure day.

  18. Timing is everything especially in Vegas. Go when the hordes are gone : between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Do the things most people don’t: museums, red-rock canyon, renting dune buggy’s. Avoid the Strip except for the times people are still sleeping or during the middle of the week. Smoking sucks and Nevada is a terrible state for non-smokers, again do the casino thing when it’s the least crowded. Focus on what Vegas does well: live entertainment that you won’t see anywhere else & save money by getting entertainment tix from the multitudes of ticket consolidators that are all over the strip. There are a lot of hipster Vegas residents and plenty of off the wall events catering to them that will definitely make you feel like you’re in Portland. Check out UNLV & interesting events they put on.

  19. I also hated the smoke. One day on the strip was fun. I won $75, got some free drinks, and people watched. The second day I went back to my friend’s house early so we could just get drunk in her house. You would like the photo ops like the one of your sister. I went to some places to see some crazy cool rock formations (but did not hike them, of course).

  20. I have three Vegas trips coming up, the third one is 25 days and I am already upset that it is going to end. I gamble though, so that is my main draw.

    If you do not wish to start a new life as a degenerate gambler, take advantage of the spas. You can find plenty off strip where you can get an hour long massage for $20 (Plus $20 tip of course) The Strip is something you have to see once, but once you have, it becomes nothing more than a maze of drunken “YEAH BUDDY VEGAS!” assholes. I avoid it at all costs.

    PS: It is Fremont Street, not Freemont, if you want to correct that (and then edit my post so no one ever knows?) 🙂

  21. Jason Carlin says:

    I just had my first trip to Vegas for work and ran up against a lot of the same complaints – 5 days is too long, I’m not a big gambler – but because it was for work, I stole time away when I could go and found things I liked. Given your taste, I’d say Container Park would be perfect. It’s a public space of repurposed shipping containers turned into galleries, the most perfect little cocktail bar and equally perfect wine and charcuterie place.

  22. I think when they said Freemont Street, they meant EAST Freemont Street, which many people confuse with the touristy section of Freemont Street. That’s where I always tell people to go out for a drink…there are several cute bars and restaurants there and it’s a good place to escape to when you grow tired of the crowds and the tourists. You sort of have to know where to go though! It can be confusing. If you come back, I recommend checking out Atomic Liquors, The Griffin and Gold Spike. Those are popular with college students and locals.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      These are great suggestions, thank you so much!

  23. Gunajit Barman says:

    I love the Eiffel Tower, I’ve never been to the Eiffel Tower, but I really want to go. When I also get married, after that both of us will go

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