5 Things to Do in Vegas

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1) Visit the Valley of Fire – Hands down one of the most beautiful landscapes in the US. Valley of Fire is a national park located just an hour outside of Vegas. In Vegas, you can easily rent a car for $20 a day and make your way to the park. It costs $10 to enter the park for a day and it is open all year. For those who want to stay a little longer, you can also camp on-site. It’s the perfect place to trek for the day, go for a picnic or simply to drive through and admire the incredible view. What you’ll see? Ancient trees, petrified logs and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. There’s also a lot of wildlife in the park from birds to lizards to jackrabbits and if you’re lucky you might even get to see bighorn sheep!

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2) Go tour the Neon Museum – If you want to learn about the history of Vegas, go to the Neon Museum. The hour-long tour costs $18 per adult and is well worth your money. Located in a huge “neon boneyard” as they call it, right by Freemont Street and Old Vegas, the Neon Museum contains so many incredibly beautiful pieces of history from the strip. You’ll learn so much in just an hour that it’ll make you appreciate Vegas in a whole new way. Some of my favorite neons were the Moulin Rouge, The Stardust and the old Golden Nugget sign.

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3) Eat the best BAO with locals at Fat Choy – Located just off the south end of the strip inside the Eureka Casino, Fat Choy is the coolest little dive diner style restaurant. Fat Choy initially started off as a food truck, then was located in a hair salon and now at this latest location. Run by Sheridan Su and his wife, this super laid back restaurant offers the best Bao I’ve ever tasted. Everything is made fresh with the best ingredients. The flavours are spot-on and oh-so comforting. A must: The Tofu and Mushroom BAO!

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4) Check out the Mob Museum – The Mob Museum is a brand new museum in Vegas that opened three years ago. It’s located right off Freemont Street in the Old Vegas. If you’re fascinated by the history of Vegas or just American mob history in general, this is a must-see. You’ll need 1-2 hours to visit the space. The museum is incredibly interactive, filled with tons of videos, photos and items from convicted mobsters and cases against the mob. It’s really neat to get an insider’s look at all the stuff that went down in Vegas during the 1900s.

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5) Go eat at the Eiffel Tower – As cliché as it sounds, the Eiffel Tower is actually one of the best spots to eat on the Vegas strip. Not only do you have the most beautiful view of the Vegas strip and the Bellagio fountains right in front of you, you also have the best service and yummiest dinner to choose from. The ambiance is incredibly romantic and the food selection is topnotch. Though I’ve never been to the actual Eiffel Tower for dinner, I was surprised by just how magical the whole experience felt! It’s the perfect location for a romantic evening, which you can then continue in the beautiful Paris Casino.

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Valley of Fire

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Though the ocean is definitely my element, I recently found a kinship with the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Maybe it’s because I found a place who’s colors matches my fiery mane… 😉 The one thing that’s for sure, is that the day I spent at Valley of Fire, was one of the best days of my life. Seeing 4000 year-old petroglyphs, 150 million-year-old petrified logs are just some of the things that make this place so amazing! If you have yet to give this place a visit, you’ll want to make the drive out there next time your in Vegas!

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Photos by @Offner

Converse – Chuck Taylor Dainty (get them here)

Anine Bing Cropped Jeans with slit – charcoal (get them here)

Zara TRF green square cut t-shirt (get it here)

Stella & Dot Gold Signature Engravable Bar (get it here)

Wave necklace from Etsy

A New Vegas Experience

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Ah Las Vegas! One of the craziest places I’ve been to on earth, where pretty much anything goes. To some, this place fulfills all of their fantasies and to others, this place inspires nothing at all. Having been to Las Vegas now close to a dozen times, either for short stays, shows or as a way to get to California, I definitely felt like I had seen it all. I don’t really gamble (unless you call playing $5 in the Michael Jackson slot machine gambling…) and I don’t go out clubbing, so Vegas doesn’t really appeal to me unlike a lot of people. Or at least I thought it didn’t… Until I went to Vegas last month and got a completely different view and experience. The reason being, I did things in Vegas I never thought I would do. Vegas is really what you want it to be. If you’re on the lookout for a new Vegas experience here are a few recommendations:

1) Vegas Watersports. Located in the beautiful National Recreation Area of Lake Mead, just 30 minutes away from the Vegas strip, Vegas Watersports is a small company held by some rad locals that offer people the chance to wakeboard, wakesurf, waterski, etc. in the most gorgeous setting. We had the raddest guide, who is a full-time Las Vegas firefighter but also an avid wakeboarder. He was super welcoming, friendly and incredibly fun to spend time with. We spent two hours on the boat with him. He had prepared some cold water bottles, a great music selection and also had the best tips to improve our boarding chops. He also got us to try wakesurfing, which I can say is now one of my newest addictions! Not only was Lake Mead super quiet and peaceful, it was beautiful beyond belief and the water was incredibly warm. We finished our excursion with a super relaxing and refreshing swim in the lake before heading back to the marina. Our excursion was probably two of the best hours of my life! If watersports isn’t for you, the national park is also a great place for camping, picnics and trekking.

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2) Michael Jackson One.  Ever since I was a kid, my dad has taken me to pretty much every different Cirque du Soleil. I had seen “O” a couple of years ago in Vegas and was floored, but nothing had really prepared me for the experience of Michael Jackson One. It’s Cirque du Soleil at its finest. It’s the neatest combination of theatre, music, dance and acrobatics all wrapped into one breathtaking performance. Though tickets are somewhat pricey (over $100 US per person), it’s well worth the cash. The show brings you directly into Michael Jackson‘s universe with all of his greatest hits as a soundtrack. The show made me laugh, gave me chills and even made me shed a tear. It’s 90minutes of non-stop action and performances that will pull on your heartstrings. A truly magical experience!!

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3) Sensi. One of the top destinations on my travel bucket list is Hawaii. While we were staying at the Bellagio we decided to try out Royden Ellamar‘s Hawaiian inspired restaurant called Sensi for dinner one night. The idea behind the restaurant is to find sustainable and local raised products to make some culinary innovative creations inspired by the island life. Their menu is varied, they have a lot of fresh fish, seafood and meats as well as several vegan and vegetarian options. The thing that really stood out to me was originality and flavors. The “Vegan Tofu Scallops” I ordered was probably the tastiest vegan dish I’ve had in a while. They also had a great wine selection and the overall atmosphere was incredibly relaxing.

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4) Mix At Delano. If you’re looking for the dreamiest view of the Vegas strip, look no further than the Mix at Delano. This incredibly beautiful restaurant and lounge is located at the very top of the recently built Delano casino. You can choose to be seated indoors or outdoors on their beautiful outdoor patio. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Their lounge and restaurant both have a very modern and edgy vibe. The Mix is the perfect place for a date or a tasty drink with friends.

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5) Pro Gun Club. The following activity definitely won’t be for everyone. If you’re looking for a unique Nevada experience that is more on the wild side, this might be for you. I’m not at all a gun advocate, on the contrary guns scare the living crap out of me. That said, in Vegas the gun culture is so present it’s impossible to go to Vegas without seeing signs for shooting ranges or gun shops. I had heard of this interesting place tucked away in a remote location in the middle of the Nevada desert, just 30 minutes from the strip. Though I would have never gone on my own, I know that it was something Offner had been wanting to try once in his lifetime, as a way to educate himself more than anything else. After having done it once, I can honestly say I would never do it again but I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn about safety and the power of these actual things. The time I spent there was very overwhelming so I would say that it is not for the faint of heart. That said, the people who worked there were all very gracious and kind.

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What do you like doing when you’re in Vegas? Send me your recommendations!

Feeling Southwestern #DailyOutfit

Today’s outfit is inspired by my current obsession with all things Southwestern. I think I initially developped my love for that style a few months ago, when I started following The 2 Bandits on twitter and instagram.  All of Tamar’s designs are influenced by the south.  I’ve also had the chance to travel to Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California on several occasions and have always been inspired by the architecture, art, clothing and general culture there.  Today’s outfit puts a little bit of warmth and sunshine into this cold and grey day in Toronto.

Today, I’m wearing a southwestern navajo print top, a vintage thunderbird (I LOVE thunderbirds!!) & carriage brown belt, a denim jacket and classic mid-calf brown suede boots.

jan 29th 2013

H&M denim jacket (get it here)

Public Butter vintage thunderbird belt

Kitson LA wrapped vintage brass bracelet

H&M dark blue trousers (similar ones here)

Steve Madden brown suede boots