Las Vegas Weekend Itinerary: Arts and Culture
To the outsider, Las Vegas has never seemed like a paragon of fine culture. With imitations of those centers of culture Venice, Paris and Rome, much of the destination’s offerings appear to be simply that — imitations. But Las Vegas has an artistic side that far outshines the neon lights and is redefining itself as a haven for artists and culture.
When you arrive at the Strip, grab lunch at Lakeside at the Wynn. The patio has a beautiful scenic view of the Lake of Dreams, an open-air artificial lake that features music and light shows. Enjoy some of the best seafood on the Strip in this beautiful atmosphere. After finishing up, wander through the hotel and see if you can spot any pieces from owner Steve Wynn’s private collection, which are often on display.
Next, head to the Bellagio entrance hall, which features famed seasonal floral displays that you have to see to believe. From there, continue through the hotel to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Featuring curated exhibitions from artists around the world, this small but delightful hidden gem will transport you away from the Strip and into a new world.
If you’re looking for pre-dinner drinks, try the concoctions at Juniper, Park MGM’s cocktail lounge. With the Strip’s largest collection of gin, the mixologists here have some serious creative juices flowing. The curated cocktails come in fun glasses (including one shaped like a bird) or else have fun features like a melting cotton candy drink and even flames.
For dinner, slip over to Rivea for a meal with a view. This restaurant, located in the underrated Delano, offers by far the best view of the city. Get a seat on the patio if you can and watch the sunset over the Strip and the lights come alive between drinks and dessert.
Tonight’s agenda takes you to the famed Neon Museum, a graveyard of old neon signs from the Las Vegas Strip’s colorful history. The place is enchanting when the sun goes down. Join the tour to learn incredible history behind the Strip’s many famous residents and watering holes throughout the years.
Rise and shine early in the morning and hop over to Fremont for brunch at Park on Fremont. Enjoy your meal surrounded by a unique decor that features several taxidermy pieces and a full Cinderella carriage on the roof.
If you’ve been to Vegas before, you may not recognize 18b, Las Vegas’ art district. The region which was once a no-man’s land that tourists avoided at all costs. These days, however, it’s thrumming with a creative energy and it’s THE place to be for art lovers.
After brunch, take some time to wander the street murals from artists around the world. Drawn to the city by the annual Life is Beautiful festival, these murals stay up for years at a time, each displaying a unique style and subject. Wander over to Art Square where you’ll find a collection of galleries in three remodeled 1950s-era buildings. The area is also home to the famed Cockroach Theater, and if you feel inclined you can grab tickets for a later show.
If you’re in town on the first Friday of the month (or the Thursday before), explore the First Friday Art Walk or Preview Thursday. The event occurs once a month and galleries stay open late while street vendors set up shop.
Dinner will find you at Nobu in Caesars Palace for some world-class sushi. Indulge in the critically-acclaimed meal paired with perfectly prepared cocktails. After dinner, pause to watch the famous Bellagio fountains show, which runs every fifteen minutes.
Tonight, the whole Strip is your oyster, with plenty of entertainment options to pursue. There’s a show for everyone, whether you prefer stand up comedy, the raunchy comedic stylings of Spiegelworld’s Opium and Absinthe, or the artistic and death-defying stunts of Cirque du Soleil. Feast your eyes on Las Vegas’ world-famous entertainment scene and go home amazed.
Wake up early Sunday morning to take a drive into the desert. Half an hour from downtown you’ll discover Seven Magic Mountains, a public art installation comprised of seven colorful sculptures. The creative brain child of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, this installation was originally slated to end after two years, but is remaining indefinitely, so go sooner rather than later!
Check out some of our other Las Vegas Weekend Itineraries!
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