A Day in Las Vegas: The Insider’s Guide

HYPERLOCAL

When it comes to travel, it’s nice to have an insider’s perspective. Here at Blueprint, presented by CBRE, we are fortunate to have an expansive network of local colleagues around the globe who are not only real estate experts, but also local tastemakers. We have asked them to give an insiders perspective to some of the best, most iconic cities across the globe. Today we explore Las Vegas, Nev. 

City: Las Vegas

Country: United States

Nicknames: Sin City, the Entertainment Capital of the World

Population: 2.2 million

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What is your favorite public space? Why?

Springs Preserve. Featuring museums, galleries, botanical gardens and more than 3 miles of walking trails, this 180-acre cultural and educational destination celebrates Las Vegas’ rich history while also promoting a sustainable future.

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Where can you find the best view of the city?

The Stratosphere boasts 360-degree views of Las Vegas from the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. Grab a drink at AirBar, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out one of the outdoor rides. True thrill seekers can descend the tower via the SkyJump, an open-air leap from 829 feet above the Las Vegas Strip.

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You are going for a bike ride. Where do you go?

Red Rock Canyon. The fully paved, 13-mile scenic drive requires a 1,000-foot elevation change, but the effort pays off with views of the Joshua tree-flecked desert landscape and stunning sandstone formations. The area also offers mountain biking trails of intermediate to advanced difficulty.

What is the best place to discover local music?

The Las Vegas Arts District, known as 18b (short for “18 blocks,” the amount of area the District originally encompassed in downtown Las Vegas), offers a diverse lineup of live music, from reggae to jazz to industrial rock to Bollywood hits. For a classic Vegas experience, check out The Bootlegger, which features nightly musical entertainment from legendary performers and up-and-coming talent.

What is the “don’t judge a book by its cover” restaurant?

Its location in a stucco-coated, off-the-Strip retail plaza doesn’t promise much, but walk through the front door of the Golden Steer Steakhouse and you’re transported back to Vegas’ golden era, when stars like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Muhammad Ali dined on filet mignon and lobster in the red leather booths. Neither the menu nor the decor has changed much since the restaurant opened in 1958.

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Favorite place to watch a game?

The Thomas & Mack Center, home to UNLV’s Runnin’ Rebels basketball team, has long been the go-to sports venue in town. But T-Mobile Arena, the state-of-the-art facility that will host the NHL expansion franchise Golden Knights (who are set to begin playing during the 2017-18 season), may give the Thomas & Mack Center a run for its money.

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Best public transportation experience?

The Las Vegas Monorail hugs the length of the Las Vegas Strip, connecting passengers to the Convention Center, casinos and other attractions along the route. The cars are air-conditioned, making the monorail a comfortable and convenient way to get around during the warm Vegas summer months.

Favorite place to unwind?

Located just 30 minutes from the Strip, the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa feels like a world away. Relax at the lakeside pool, indulge in a signature spa treatment or launch a paddleboat, kayak or stand-up paddle board from the resort’s private beach.

Favorite place to be inspired?

The First Friday Art Walk, held on the first Friday of each month in downtown Las Vegas’ Arts District. During this monthly get-together, local galleries open their doors, food trucks and other vendors line the streets and the community comes together in celebration of local art and culture.

Best place to be alone?

Akhob. Hidden away in a secret back room on the fourth floor of the Louis Vuitton store in CityCenter, this permanent installation by artist James Turrell is a silent, immersive perceptual experience. Akhob consists of two chambers with a circular opening at each end, filled with slowly changing light that shifts through a variety of vibrant hues over the course of a 24-minute cycle. Admission is free and open to the public, but you must call and reserve a time slot in advance.

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Best place to feel like you’re not in your city?

Clark County Wetlands Park is an unexpectedly lush natural environment nestled within the desert. Walking and biking trails wind through a network of streams and ponds, offering ample opportunities to view the nearly 300 species of animals that inhabit the park.

Best insider place to take the kids?

The Discovery Children’s Museum features 10 interactive installations, highlighted by The Summit, a 70-foot tower with 12 levels of hands-on science exhibits, as well as slides and climbing structures. Visitors who make it to the top of The Summit are rewarded with a stunning view from the museum’s rooftop.

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Best independent shopping venues?

The most unique shopping experience in town can be found at Downtown Container Park, where a 40-foot-tall praying mantis greets visitors at the entrance (and breathes fire and plays music from sundown to close). Repurposed shipping containers house local retailers selling clothing, jewelry, art and more. If you’re there on a weekend, check out the free live music on the main stage.

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Best hidden gem museum?

The Neon Museum collects and preserves some of Las Vegas’ most iconic signs from establishments like the Stardust, Caesars Palace and the Golden Nugget. The outdoor exhibition space, known as the Boneyard, houses more than 200 signs, some dating as far back as the 1930s. The Boneyard is only accessible to the public via an hour-long guided tour, so be sure to book online in advance.

Best place to get a local specialty?

Vegas is known for its nightlife, and the Peppermill is a favorite place for locals to kick back with a classic, tropical-inspired cocktail. Built in 1972, the Peppermill’s pink neon lighting, rows of houseplants and indoor fire pit offer a one-of-a-kind ambience.

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