Sharing a local's take on the best of Las Vegas
As part of our “travel like a local” series, we recently interviewed our friend (and Las Vegas local) Ryan Lyons about what it’s like to call Las Vegas home. Consider his “best of” tips when planning your next trip to Las Vegas.
No Vacation Required (NVR): A lot of people dream of living in a place like Las Vegas. Tell us what it’s like to call Las Vegas home.
Ryan Lyons (RL): Las Vegas is exactly what most people think—a true playground for the young and old! Calling Las Vegas home means I can be entertained by the most amazing world-class shows, indulge in some culinary delights from world-renowned chefs, and do my grocery shopping at 2:00 a.m. It can be as quiet as you want it to be with plenty of low-key local hangouts, or as busy as you can handle with all the bustling nightlife.
NVR: Let’s say someone is planning a trip to Las Vegas. How long do you recommend they stay, and what area do you recommend they stay in?
RL: I often hear people say that a weekend is more than enough time to spend in Vegas, and my response is, “Well you must have only taken in the sights of the Strip!” or “Why? Because you drank too much the first day!” Really, I think a good four or five days gives anyone enough time to really explore what Vegas has to offer: the Las Vegas Strip, a dazzling show or two, a day on Lake Mead boating, and a great hike at Red Rock Canyon. The Las Vegas Strip is always a central location to stay, however I suggest looking off the Strip to find some great deals.
NVR: What are three can’t-miss activities?
RL: That’s tough, but here are three ideas:
1. Enjoying a helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip.
2. Seeing one of the highly acrobatic shows.
3. Experiencing the many delights of the Fremont Street Experience.
NVR: As an acrobat—and former character in Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas—of course you recommend that people see a highly acrobatic show. What’s your current favorite?
RL: Le Rêve will always be my favorite, but Mystère has always had a soft spot in my heart with its old school Cirque du Soleil vibe, and some pretty dynamic acrobatic acts.
NVR: Where is one place you take all of your out-of-town guests?
RL: If I can pull them off the Strip, I take them to Red Rock Canyon for a nice hike.
NVR: Red Rock Canyon is a great suggestion. How long will it take visitors to get there from the Strip?
RL: A quick 30-minute drive will get visitors to the Red Rock Canyon, where a 13-mile scenic route awaits them.
NVR: Okay, we’re going to make you give it up. What’s your insider restaurant pick? Why?
RL: I really enjoy dining at STK at the Cosmopolitan—great atmosphere, great cocktails, and always a great steak!
NVR: Well, I guess we know where you’re taking us for dinner—STK! What’s your favorite steak from the menu?
RL: The filet done medium with a peppercorn crust is my style. For a side, go for the mushroom pot pie. So delicious!
I think more visitors need to venture off the Strip!
NVR: And we’re going to make you do the same for your favorite bar? Why?
RL: A local hangout not far off the Strip called Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a very laid-back space, offering house-made ingredients for their craft cocktails, and a dozen or so beers on tap. It’s eclectic, a bit vintage in style, and they have the friendliest staff ready to offer you something delicious to drink.
NVR: Now let’s get really personal. What makes Las Vegas “home” for you? What keeps you there?
RL: My house, my dogs, the warm weather, and the fact that Vegas is such an easy destination. You can have visitors at your doorstep almost all the time!
NVR: What’s one thing that you think more visitors should know about Las Vegas?
RL: Most visitors do not get to experience the true offerings of Las Vegas, beyond the bright lights! From the beautiful cabins up at Mount Charleston, where you can ski during the winter, to the cooling waters of Lake Mead on a hot summers day, all are within a half-hour to 40-minute drive away from Las Vegas Boulevard.
Ryan has called Las Vegas home for over a decade and was an inaugural member in the smash hit Le Rêve. He enjoys working out, his dogs, and contributing his time to charitable causes he’s passionate about. Oh, and planning his wedding!
What do you like about Las Vegas?
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