Hands down, my favorite place to visit is Las Vegas. I had been there multiple times before this latest trip which we’re going to discuss shortly. It has this aura representing a symbol of fun and mystique. It’s the purest form of escapism that not many places come close to offering. Additionally, traveling with my family for my 30th birthday to my favorite place was a trip to remember.
Come Fly With Me And Let’s Visit Las Vegas
Frank Sinatra said it best, no? He’s synonymous with Las Vegas and the song always gets me in the mood to fly somewhere. As someone who lives in NY, flying to Las Vegas is going to be the quickest and best option.
I chose to fly on JetBlue from JFK (my favorite NY airport) and left NY around 7:30 AM. For me, flying out early is the best course of action. First off, when you arrive at your destination, you’re there early in the morning with the whole day ahead. The last thing I want to do is take an afternoon or evening trip. You’ll lose one of your vacation days as the flight takes up the majority of the day.
So why JetBlue? Ultimately, after researching various airlines and looking at flight prices, JetBlue offered me the price I was most comfortable with. My preference was a price around $400 price which I’ve paid before, however, this time prices were higher than expected.
An Unexpected Surprise Flying JetBlue On My Way To Visit Las Vegas
Where JetBlue caught me by surprise was how comfortable their main cabin seats were and the available legroom. I hadn’t flown JetBlue in a while so this was a great improvement. For a while, I exclusively flew Delta and I wasn’t a fan of their main cabin product. The JetBlue main cabin felt like Delta Comfort seats which are an upgraded option when flying Delta. If the JetBlue main cabin is this comfortable, I am anxious to try their premium offerings.
The biggest mind-blowing benefit of JetBlue’s main cabin was the unlimited snacks which didn’t cost anything extra. The flight attendant came by with the snacks and said, “Take as many as you’d like”. I’m sure other airlines would do this too, but JetBlue was the first to make it clear upfront. That goes a long way in my review of the airline.
Couple the snacks with free movies, TV shows, live TV, and music available to all passengers on the plane. The movie selection was quite extensive and while I didn’t watch the live TV, this was a nice value add. If it was football season and I happened to be flying on a Sunday, I could watch the game. (Go, Giants!)
The LINQ Hotel and Casino
I always recommend you use Lyft or Uber to get to your hotel. I’ve never done anything else and the good word you visit Las Vegas is to avoid taking a taxi. It will cost you more money. While I’ve taken a shuttle to my hotel in the past, there are people going to other hotels. You could be on that shuttle longer than you’d like, so I don’t recommend it.
Once I arrived at the hotel, I went to check-in. The look of The Linq was modern and appealed more to the younger crowd, especially at night. The music was blasting as Vegas came to life. It was certainly clear the age range that the hotel was targeting. It’s also one of the most affordable hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. It’s going to be financially reasonable for those who cannot afford a higher-end option like Caesars Palace.
A Standard Room Overview
The room itself was modern but had a typical standard hotel room feel. It was nothing special, but you’re not going to live in the room when in Las Vegas. The three biggest perks of the room were having a refrigerator and a stand-in shower. Pumps were attached to the shower wall for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. I thought this was very convenient. I also am not a bathtub person whatsoever, so I appreciate a stand-in shower.
My only complaint was the bathroom door. It was a sliding door that didn’t have any locking mechanism to it. Considering I was sharing the room, this was extremely annoying. Everyone wants privacy when doing their business. If you slide the door closed too quickly, its weight would reopen the door. You had to gently and slowly close the door to give yourself some semblance of privacy.
Dinner, Shows, Gambling, the Hoover Dam, and the High Roller… Oh, My!
For my 30th birthday, I wanted to “outdo” my previous Vegas trips. Well, to say we were successful in doing so would be an understatement because I had an incredible time.
Let’s start with dinner. Over the first two nights, we went to the Eiffel Tower restaurant and the Sinatra restaurant respectively. Both restaurants said Happy Birthday without having told them at the restaurant. Once I figured out how they knew, I was even more impressed with their hospitality. It was a very classy touch by both establishments.
When I scheduled both reservations they each asked, “What brings you in?”. All businesses want to know how you heard about them. The fact I was coming in for my birthday made its way from reservations down to our server – impressive!
The Eiffel Tower gave me a free dessert which I didn’t ask for. The Sinatra restaurant gave me a birthday “thank you” card for dining with them. A very tasteful gesture by both restaurants. Oh… I had a delicious NY Strip steak at both restaurants. Steak is one of my favorite foods to eat when dining out!
Packing In As Much Entertainment As Possible
Moving onto the gambling… which worked out to my benefit this time around! I’ve always enjoyed games like Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Video Poker, and Craps. I was fortunate enough to get to play them all and make a profit of $200 for this trip. My first time coming out ahead since my first trip to Vegas when I made about $120. Regardless of whether or not I come out ahead, for me, you’re paying for entertainment. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy the games. If I lose it’s okay, but if I win it’s a bonus. The key is never to gamble more than you can afford to lose. I had some birthday luck on my side!
In regards to shows, I did something I had never done before: I saw a show each night. Four shows in total! Most of the time I’ve only seen two. I guess you can say I lived it up! Not to mention, I’m very grateful for everything I was able to do during this trip. The shows we went to were The Laugh Factory, Piff The Magic Dragon, Donny and Marie (concluded in 2019), and Masters of Illusion (not currently running).
I highly recommend the comedy shows at The Tropicana where The Laugh Factory is located. It’s always entertaining and very funny. It had been my first time back to The Laugh Factory since my first visit to Las Vegas. It’s a very affordable show and it lasts a solid amount of time to make it worth checking out. The comedians they have performing are always rotating. Going back multiple times can guarantee a chance to see new performers whenever you visit Las Vegas.
An Unfortunate Experience
Piff The Magic Dragon, who was on America’s Got Talent, was hilarious and leveraged his dry sense of humor. The magic wasn’t as great in my opinion and the theater was extremely small inside of The Flamingo. Having seen his performance from America’s Got Talent, I had thought the show would be a little better. It was shorter than expected as well. However, he’s not the headliner in The Flamingo so I wouldn’t have expected him to get a larger theater. I think one of the downfalls was there was an intoxicated woman at the show. She was a participant on stage and took control of the show instead of being a volunteer.
A Fantastic Show To Behold
The headliners at The Flamingo were Donny and Marie Osmond. We saw the Donny and Marie Show and I did not expect this to be as great as it was. My mom wanted to see the show and we came away impressed. The length of the show was perfect and Donny and Marie did a great job engaging the audience throughout. It was a big theater and you could see the stage no matter where you sit. Having seen old episodes of their TV show, I wondered how they would be in person.
The last show I saw was The Masters of Illusion at Bally’s (now The Horseshoe). The exciting part was I watched the show on TV when I was a kid. When I saw it was playing in Las Vegas, I jumped at the opportunity. Magic was a huge hobby of mine growing up and is still something I have an appreciation for.
There was a nice mix of stage magic, card magic, and grand illusions. There were also multiple personalities from each magician and their corresponding acts. Not to mention, it was a nice-sized theater. Finally, all of the magicians met outside with the audience after the show.
Thinking Outside The Box Activities
To change things up a little bit, we left the strip and went to The Hoover Dam. It was an interesting experience as it was the first time I did a tour off of the strip. I mostly like staying on the strip, but getting to see this man-made structure was incredible. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside the dam on this particular day. We did get to take plenty of pictures and learn about the Hoover Dam’s history. All very interesting, but for me, I tend to get more into historical tours that center around the Civil War. Also, there was only so long you could look at the structure. It kind of reminds me of what I’ve heard people say if you go and visit the Grand Canyon. The tour did come with lunch for everyone which was a plus.
A notable experience from my visit to Las Vegas was the High Roller. It’s a gigantic Ferris Wheel right behind The LINQ. The coolest part of this attraction was the open bar if you choose to ride at night. It takes about a half-hour for the Ferris Wheel to make a full revolution. You’ll get great views of the Las Vegas strip and plenty of opportunities to take pictures. There are about 10-15 in the pod with you. It’s not cramped either. There’s plenty of room for everyone. We were fortunate too that we had a very personable and friendly bartender on our pod.
Final Thoughts On My Visit To Las Vegas
As obvious as it seems, this trip to Las Vegas was memorable. The amount of extended family I was able to spend time with was wonderful. Moreover, my immediate family being there made it all sweeter. When you visit Las Vegas, it will leave you with long-lasting memories. I can’t thank my mom enough for all she did for me on this trip to make my birthday special. I highly recommend you visit if you’ve never been before.
One thing is for sure, even after being there four times, there’s still so much more I want to experience. It’s one of those places with endless things to do. I think that’s a huge selling point for any vacation spot. It’s why so many people visit Las Vegas each year.
When did you last visit Las Vegas? What are some things you’ve done there? Additionally, if you’ve never visited, has this article given you some ideas or increased your excitement to want to go? Finally, what would you like me to do to improve these reviews for you? I want these reviews to give you ideas and encourage your thirst to go out there and travel more.