UNLEASH America 2023 is almost upon us, and whilst that is almost certainly reason enough to pack your bags and head straight for Las Vegas, we thought we’d tease you even further with our guide on everything that makes Las Vegas a must visit destination – because there will always be room for a little fun and games when you’re not on the exhibition floor at CAESARS FORUM.
Sin City. The Entertainment Capital of the World. Disney for Adults. Call it what you will, but one thing’s for sure: there’s a little something for everyone in the neon-drenched city of Las Vegas. As Hunter S. Thompson once famously wrote, “In Las Vegas, the universe seems to be conspiring to make you happy.”
And indeed, this vibrant city has been a hub of hedonism and excess for decades, drawing in visitors from around the world who seek to experience the thrill of the Las Vegas Strip, the glamour of the city’s legendary casinos, and the endless array of world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment options that it offers. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran, this guide will help you navigate the city’s many attractions.
The best entertainment the US has to offer
First and foremost, there must be a mention for the legendary Cirque du Soleil. No group of entertainers embody the spirit and spectacle of Las Vegas quite like the Montreal-based circus troupe, and they have truly found their home in Las Vegas: from the aquatic wonderland of “O” at the Bellagio to the fantastical “Mystère” at Treasure Island, Cirque du Soleil’s shows in Las Vegas are a must-see for anyone who has an inclination towards the more heart-stopping end of the performing arts spectrum. If that sounds like too much excitement then you can always head to one of the many headlining shows on Las Vegas’ strip. Upcoming music residencies include Adele, Maroon 5 and Carrie Underwood.
However, you don’t even need to step foot into a show for entertainment in Las Vegas. The strip offers more than enough entertainment as you walk past the many neon-lit casinos. Street entertainers, first-class people watching and some of the best shopping experiences you can wish for are all there for you to enjoy with a simple walk down the famous strip.
There’s also some of the world’s best comedians in residency at Las Vegas if you fancy a side-splitting evening after all of the gambling and sight-seeing. Take a trip to see Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand for some top up emerging and established comedic talent, or if you fancy staying away from the hotels for a while you can always visit the famous Comedy Cellar which has been called home by comedians such as Bill Burr, Michelle Wolf and Colin Jost.
Las Vegas has some of the best bars around
Las Vegas: the land of excess, the city that never sleeps, the neon oasis of the desert. Sin City has a reputation for having some of the best places to drink in the whole of the US, and for good reason. If you want a good time and a libation in one of the strips’ many casino hotels then you should look no further than Ghost Donkey in the Cosmopolitan hotel. This bar has a moody, low-key Las Vegas vibe – think prohibition bar with a boldly-lit twist. If being on the strip is getting too much for you then you might want to haul up in one of the city’s many dive bars and saloons. These are home to the ‘real Vegas’ characters.
If you sound brave enough for that then you should try the storied Double Down Saloon on Paradise Road. Here you’ll find live punk music, interesting conversation and an electric drinks selection. But if classy is where you want to be when you’re in Vegas then the à la mode cocktail bar to be seen at is Oak & Ivy, who are known for their barrel-aged bourbon cocktails and elegant interiors – this is the sort of spot to explore your inner Don Draper.
One thing that Las Vegas is often overlooked for is their craft beer explosion in recent years. If you go a little north of the strip towards Downtown you’ll stumble upon the Arts District. This area is home to several craft beer brewery taprooms and will surely quench the thirst of any IPA loving hop-chaser, especially the trendy and hipster-clad Servehzah Bottle Shop and Tap Room.
An exciting and innovative restaurant scene
Exit the blackjack table and head straight towards a chef’s table, because Las Vegas has a little something for everyone when it comes to food. While Las Vegas isn’t like New York, Philadelphia or Chicago in that it doesn’t have a dish or a cuisine that it can call its own, it’s also completely unrestricted from any convention or tradition, and this makes for a melting pot of great international foodie experiences.
If an Asian-inspired culinary journey is what you’re after then Roy Choi and David Chang, both of whom have made their mark on the culinary world, have restaurants you must try. Roy Choi, the mastermind behind the Kogi BBQ truck in Los Angeles and consulting chef on the film Chef, has brought his Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine to the Strip with his restaurant Best Friend at the Park MGM. The vibrant and eclectic atmosphere is matched only by the bold flavors of Choi’s dishes, which range from classic Korean dishes like kimchi jjigae to innovative takes on tacos and burritos.
While just next door David Chang and his restaurant Majordomo Meat & Fish at the Venetian will have you mesmerised with the innovative fusion dishes. The menu at Majordomo is a mix of flavors from all over the world, with dishes like Korean-style BBQ short ribs and whole roasted sea bass.
There’s of course some world-class fine-dining options to be had in Vegas for those who don’t mind spending up to have a unique culinary experience. é by José Andrés is one of the standout options in this case, with his whopping 20-course tasting menu voyage into Spanish avant-garde cooking.
If that seems like one too many plates of food for you then you might consider heading to Joel Robuchon at the MGM grand for some of the best French cuisine that side of the Atlantic.
It doesn’t have to be all fusion and flash though, with some amazing low-key dining options that will still create a memorable and long lasting impression. Bar Code Burgers just off the strip offer incredible belly-busting burgers in a relaxed sports bar setting. While Evil Pie (owned by the family of the daredevil stuntman) have pizzas by the slice to rival some of the best in New York.
Fremont Street offers up an exciting alternative to the strip
Fremont Street, the historic heart of Las Vegas, is a destination that cannot be overlooked. While the city’s famed Strip is certainly a glittering wonder to behold, it is Fremont Street that offers a more authentic, even poetic glimpse into the soul of this desert metropolis.
Here, one can step back in time to the days when neon signs and slot machines were the bread and butter of the city’s economy, and the American dream was just a spin away. Fremont Street is home to some of the city’s first-built casinos, it’s a little less glam, but all the more charming for it. You’ll find great bars and restaurants here that still hold the same bustle as the strip, but offers a more diverse and less touristic feel.
The architecture of Fremont Street is a testament to the city’s storied past, with vintage storefronts and Art Deco signage that harken back to a time when Las Vegas was still a young and wild place.
As you stroll down the street, the sights and sounds of the city envelop the senses: the clink of coins in slot machines, the buzz of bright lights, the laughter and chatter of revellers from all walks of life and here, Fremont Street shows that Las Vegas is more than just the strip. Don’t miss out on it.
Last but certainly not least: UNLEASH America 2023
Yes, all of that high-flying entertainment and world cuisine sounds fantastic, but this is the reason why we’re all going to be in Las Vegas come April. UNLEASH America is back and is better than ever. Ranked as the number one HR conference, UNLEASH is where the top tiers in HR come – to do business, to learn, and to be inspired.
UNLEASH America has been the world’s most influential HR marketplace for over a decade now. We’re the proving ground where the cutting edge gathers to cut its teeth – as well as where the global innovators who shape our industry congregate. We have some of the best keynote speakers in the entire HR tech industry, with headliners this year including Erin Meyer, Kiran Ahuja and futurist, Maurice Conti.
With more to look forward to than ever before, make sure you’re in Las Vegas to experience UNLEASH America 2023 and everything else that Sin City has to offer you.
Grab your UNLEASH America tickets and join the rest of the HR community, industry-leading vendors, and the world-class speaker lineup.
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