31 Hours in Las Vegas, Nevada with Passport Magazine
8:00 A.M. Get Checked In: Laying on your oversized, ultra-comfortable bed in the Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas with its super-boutique accoutrements is sure to help you get over any jet lag fast. The panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows make waking up in Vegas a whole lot easier and the higher-caliber, gay-friendly crowd that congregates in the Wynn/Encore (neighboring properties) make staying in Vegas both posh and comfortable.
11:00 A.M. Get Bloody (Marys): Waking up in Vegas doesn’t sound too bad when the Wynn’s delightfully sunny pool-side restaurant Tableau is your first stop. Elegant and whimsical, Tableau offers an array of classic American breakfast and lunch with a twist. Try the strawberry balsamic smoothie (or in Vegas-style, the Bloody Mary) to kick start your day, or indulge in the white chocolate and orange French toast as you gaze out at the sun-soaked cabanas. Be sure to check out the vegan menu for an eco-friendly take on an already inspiring breakfast.
Keep reading after the jump…
1:00 P.M. Get History: It wasn’t always flashy lights and glam shows for this Western town. Trace the history of Vegas from its humble beginnings to the desert oasis we see today at The Mob Museum. Learn how the Mob profited off American prohibition and the ultimate consequences that the Amendment caused in Las Vegas and throughout the country. This interactive museum sheds light on America’s oft-forgotten mob culture, and guests experience the good, the bad, and the gory. Afterward, a walk down the New Orleans–esque Vegas Downtown is in order.
3:00 P.M. Get Culture: Who says Vegas doesn’t have any culture? After you’ve finished being mesmerized by the Bellagio’s fountains, walk (probably with “Fly me to the Moon” still stuck in your head) inside and find some inner calm at the Fine Art Gallery at Bellagio. You can’t miss the current exhibition “Claude Monet: Impressions of Light.” The small gallery peppered with some of Monet’s pastoral works stands in stark contrast to the blitz and bling of Vegas, which is much needed as visions of OMG what happened last night? still dance in your head. The 20 Monet paintings and eight additional pieces are transportive —you just have to see it.
6:00 P.M. Get Rest
9:00 P.M. Get Steak (or Steak-like): Before heading out for the evening, slide downstairs next to the Parasol Down lounge and into the SW Steakhouse. Guys, don’t forget your collared shirt! Snag a table facing the Lake of Dreams so you won’t miss the nightly show. Seafood, Nebraskan steak, and Kobe beef (for those willing to splurge) are all on the menu, but don’t dismiss SW’s vegan options! This is one steakhouse that is a five-star experience, no matter what your taste.
11:00 P.M. Get Scared Eli Roth may be best known as the sick mind behind the Saw-movie trilogy, but the director pulls out all of the stops for his new endeavor, a year-round haunted house called the Goretorium. You may want to bring a change of panties when you walk through this 30-minute hell ride, or at least grab a drink at the aptly named Baby Dolls Lounge (which has a wall made up of entirely doll heads). We were in love with the Christmas theme throughout the haunted house as the creepy actors chase you through superbly designed sets (umm a girl’s stomach being cookie-cutter-ed and a ginger bread bakery with bodies thrown in) forcing you through the labyrinth to meet Santa’s deranged brother Sick Nick. As you squeeze your way (literally) out, you’ll be ready to get your Vegas-style partying on.
12:00 A.M. Get Drunk: Immediately when you walk inside Piranha, you can feel and very much hear the dance music thumping from the sound systems and see some very sexy Latino go-go boys dancing to everyone’s delight. The high-energy and exciting environment adds to the general sense of friendliness of the crowd and it of course helps that the drinks are strong and moderately priced for Vegas standards. There are two main dance floors playing different dance beats, each with their own bars and svelte bartenders ready to serve. There is a very cozy VIP Lounge in the mezzanine area, which overlooks one of the dance floors, a very nice spot to chill-out for sure. The crowd is as diverse as Vegas with mix of ethnicities, mostly younger however and a strong local crowd presence. A definite place not to miss while in Vegas, plus it’s not too far off the strip.
8:45 A.M. Get Out: Head out on a Pink Jeep Tour and experience what the Nevada countryside has to offer—and believe us—it’s spectacular. It’s worth it to book with Pink Jeeps as everything is taken care of, including pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, admission tickets, a personal guide, and light snacks and endless water. Since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed about heading to the Hoover Dam—it may have been that I watched National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation one too many times. There is something about creating/engineering/building something so grand and impressive during a time when the country was so downtrodden that evokes a powerful sentiment within me. So, I choose to do the Hoover Dam Upgrade Tour (yes the rest of the Team Passport had no choice), but it was a good pick and our guide, a German- expat named Jurgen, takes us right in the shadow of the dam and into an inflatable boat where the calm waters of the Colorado are dwarfed by the man-made structure. Then, we venture up top for a tour of the dam itself—a top-to-bottom experience. We were lucky enough to be with two delightful straight couples (though you can privately book your tour), who put up with this gaggle of gays (God bless them!), and we have a wonderful day snapping shots over canyon overlooks where the red earth cascades into the rich blues.
2:30 P.M. Get Packed
3:00 P.M. Head Home