I love Las Vegas. On paper, I feel like I shouldn’t like it: a city erected in the middle of a desert that struggles to sustain it, full of cheesy entertainment, tacky themed restaurants and hotels, and smoky casinos. However, over in the past 10 years or so, Las Vegas has reinvented itself. Hotels now strive to provide a more inviting ambiance (with windows!), sophisticated entertainment and night life, and a range of dining experiences, some from well-known chefs and restauranteurs. Food is no longer seen solely as fuel to keep you going while you gamble; and for those of us who don’t care to gamble at all, it’s enough of a draw to keep us coming back to Sin City on a regular basis.
My ideal visit to Vegas is a 3 day/2 night weekend trip during the warm months of spring or fall. There are frequent direct flights from SFO to LAS, making it an easy trip logistically. I prefer to stay at a hotel with a great pool and decent restaurants on site or nearby (I like the SLS/W Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan, and Wynn/Encore). The evenings are centered around a good meal and maybe a show while I’m there (I highly recommend Absinthe or a concert at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan – we saw the Strokes there a few years back and it was awesome). I usually don’t gamble or stay out late, and I’m totally okay with that.