Continued from 4 days in Las Vegas as a Tourist (Day 2)
Trip Date: 15th October 2016
After spending 2 days just around the Las vegas strip, we decided to start with other nearby attractions for the 3rd day.
Bonnie Spring Ranch
Our first stop of the day was going to be Bonnie Spring Ranch. Bonnie Spring Ranch is located close to the Red Rock Canyon and is the perfect place for you to get a old wild west town feel. It is not very far from the strip and we were there in about 35 mins after starting early around 9 AM.
While the Old Wild West feel is certainly worth visiting the ranch for but I was there for a different reason. I had visited the ranch about 4 years ago and saw hundreds of peacocks roaming around freely. Sometime early in the morning they had a feeding session for the peacocks too and it was a sight to behold. However, this time around we were little disappointed. We just saw a couple of peacocks.
They also have a petting zoo and a toy train ride which would excite the kids. However, we chose to skip both those attractions.
While all these are just side attractions, Bonnie Spring Ranch is best for their horse riding. I have rode there during my first visit and it was quite a fun experience. The horses were well trained and we were taken along the old Spanish trails. They even picked us up from our strip hotel. However, this time around, we skipped the horse riding too.
We ended up spending only a short time at the ranch and then decided to make a move to the Red Rock Canyon Loop.
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful mountainous terrain area perfect for hiking. The hills are themselves so colorful and looks like painted in red, brown, etc. Since we are not much into hiking, we decided to instead do the scenic Loop. The Scenic loop is about 10-15 miles loop road which starts at the Canyon Visitor Center and takes you up close to all those hiking trails and mountains.
We just made one stop on the loop road at Calico Hills. It was just a 5 – 10 mins short trail that lead close to the mountains. So it was well worth a stop to get a lot of close up snaps. After spending about 15 mins, we started from there. We did not make any further stops on the loop and instead enjoyed the scenic beauty right from the comfort of our car. From start to finish it took us close to 1 hr to return back to the main road.
Fees: Around $7 per Car.
By the time we were done, it was almost time for lunch and we chose to head there next. Since we were again going back to the strip to finish off with few remaining attractions, we decided to stop somewhere between the Red Rock Canyon and the Strip for lunch. Angara Indian Spice Grill in the Summerlin area sounded like the perfect option. They served a buffet style lunch with typical Indian dishes like samosa, tandoori, curries, etc. Compared to other restaurants I ate during the trip, I was not much happy here. I felt that the samosa filling was a little stale, the chana masala was overly on the tangy side and overall all the dishes tasted pretty ordinary. I would not go there again, if given a second chance.
Flamingo Wild Habitat
Post lunch we were headed directly to the Vegas strip. We first stopped at the Flamingo Casino and made use of the free self parking for our car. We then walked right to the Flamingo Wild Habitat. Flamingo Wild Habitat is like a mini birds section of zoo. They had a few ponds with flamingos, ducks, etc. It is located somewhere around the center of the Flamingo Casino and Hotel.
Also, there was a beautiful waterfalls setup and a large number of fishes swimming around. They were also providing an opportunity to get photographed with macaws. Since it was a little crowded, we missed the opportunity to do so. It just took us a short while to walk through.
LINQ High Roller
Once we were done with the Wild Habitat, we were then headed to the high roller. The High Roller is supposed to be the largest observation ferris wheel in the world. We were more than enthused to get onto the ferris wheel to catch some gorgeous daytime views of Vegas.
RK had pre purchased tickets to the High Roller online. However we noticed that there was a gift shop inside Flamingo Casino, right opposite to the Wild Habitat, which offered ticket discounts to the High Roller. Since it was during the afternoon, the High Roller was not very crowded. We were in fact able to get into the ferris wheel within 5 mins of standing in the line.
The cabins were super cool and looked very futuristic. We just had one more elderly couple along with us and we had the luxury of moving around the cabin as we wished. The ferris wheel was rotating super slow, so that you are allowed time to get a good glimpse of the views. It took about 30 mins or so for a full rotation and needless to say the views were just amazing. One of my most favorite and highlights of our trip.
Price: Around $20 for daytime adult tickets.
Freemont Street Experience
Once we were done with the High Roller, we quickly picked up our car from the parking and headed downtown. Since it was the final day around the strip, we wanted to purchase some souvenirs to take along with us. We heard that the shops around the Freemont Street Experience offer inexpensive gift items.
We parked our car in a paid parking nearby and walked straight to the Golden Nugget Casino first. We were interested in seeing the World’s largest golden nugget which was kept on display there. It was indeed quite interesting to catch a quick glimpse. And then immediately I was attracted towards one of the blackjack table there. I sat down for a quick game and returned back happy after winning.
By the time we were done at the Casino, it was dark outside. The whole area was beautiful lighted up and there were lots of folks performing and the place itself was so lively. It is certainly a good place to people watch and have some fun. Also, they had a zipline called as SlotZilla which basically lets your fly over the Freemont Street area. We then roamed around for a bit and returned back empty handed without finding any worthy souvenirs.
We were then planning to drive to Rani’s World Foods supermarket to pick up dinner. But on the way, we saw a gift shop at the intersection of S Las Vegas Blvd and W Sahara Ave. We made a quick stop to purchase a few key chains and souvenirs. We then stuck with our plan and picked up dinner. Rani’s World Foods is an Indian supermarket and they had a small kitchen inside preparing fresh food. We ordered a couple of dishes and everything tasted fresh and delicious.
Since we were headed to Hoover Dam on the next day, we chose to spend the night close to Hoover Dam instead of the Strip. So we drove straight to the Hoover Dam Lodge and quickly retired for the day.
– To be continued (Day 4) –