Las Vegas – The Locals’ Inside Secrets
Step away from the casinos, the sound of slot machines, the pumped-in oxygen, and the crowds. Ease into Vegas behind the scenes. This is where the locals go to relax, eat delicious food, and cool down from the madness.
Celebrity hairstylist Brannon Zimbelman’s “Brannon Creative Studios” takes getting a haircut to a new creative level. Picture a beautiful loft space used for photo shoots, events, and other creative endeavors, and plant yourself in a comfortable chair while Brannon gives the cut of a lifetime. “The clientele that comes to our space is anyone from rock stars, professional athletes, to business travelers,” he said. “We also see a lot of Vegas locals that know about this secret gem. We are off the beaten path, so you either know about it, or you don’t. That is why it is special. It’s like a secret club.”
After your secret haircut, dive over to Henderson for culinary delights. Only a five-minute drive from the Strip, locals love La Loma Mexican Restaurant. Lauded for its unforgettable view of the entire city of Las Vegas, locals advise on every menu dish and give extra credit to the guacamole and margaritas. As a bonus, I suggest ordering the langosta in the ‘Estilo Puerto Nuevo Style’. The taste will transport you to the quaint fishing village of Puerto Nuevo in Baja California that is famous for its superb lobster dishes.
After dinner, get creative into the night and play at Insert Coin(s), a video game bar. These guys are serious gamers who created a lounge showcasing famous DJ’s and video games. Imagine stepping into the best video game arcade of your life combined with every console currently available, a full bar, and a dance floor that goes big until all hours of the morning. Founder Chris LaPorte describes the experience. “It’s not uncommon for first-time guests to actually say, “wow” once they walk through the doors. There are arcade blips and flashing lights to the left of you, a huge LED-lit Tron-inspired bar in front of you with people playing Xbox 360s, and then a row of super-plush oversized sofas on your right with guests playing anything from Atari 2600 to Super Nintendo to PlayStation 3. In the back, a DJ spinning in front of an oversized video screen playing hits covering multiple genres and eras. It’s a stimulus overload but best of all, it’s a feel-good environment.”
By 2 am, after playing video games all night, I’m in the mood for sushi. Search for ‘sashimi in Las Vegas’ and the online result is a plethora of famous restaurants from Nobu to Shibuya. Not shown in the first page listing is Kaizen, a local sushi restaurant. If you want to be low-key and not spend a fortune, eat where the locals have sushi. Out till early morning? Choose their location next to the Hard Rock Hotel. It’s open till 6 am. What is not to love about yellowtail sashimi at 3 am after playing video games all night? This atmosphere of cool music and videos will ease you into bedtime.
Upon waking up the following day, the question is to hike or not to hike? Depending on your overall energy, you have a choice. The scenic drive around Red Rock Canyon can be fabulous and the rigorous hike is something special. Locals say to pack a lunch/dinner and begin the hike before 10am or after 5pm, depending on the heat. Within one hour, you can reach a high point in the canyon with a beautiful view of the color red and Las Vegas in the background. It’s perfect for a picnic. Home to the Mojave yucca and the Joshua tree, Red Rock Canyon also offers sights of wild horses, jackrabbits, western-banded gecko, ravens, and red-tailed hawks. Remember to bring binoculars and plenty of water, and make a lot of noise. Those mountain lions are fierce.
In Vegas, choose your downtime wisely. With a plethora of options, you could get stressed out trying to choose how to relax. Trust the locals and fit one or more of these in your next Vegas timeline.
More inside Tips:
During the recent “Magic Fashion Tradeshow” in Las Vegas, we asked a few exhibitors how they spend their downtime.
“I rented a house off the Strip for downtime. It was hassle-free to enter the home and use the extra time saved from not walking to the casinos to chill. A good resource for houses in Vegas is Vacation Rentals by Owner.” – Laura Schmalstieg of Falling Whistles
“Go out to Green Valley Ranch and watch a concert. Drive up to Hoover Dam. Drive big “dozers” for fun and ride the coasters on top of the Stratosphere.” – Andy Gothings of Salence
“Jog from Mandalay Bay to Whole Foods and buy a green tea latte with goat milk and then speed walk back.” – Jennifer McVey of Marley Audio Products
“Order room service and relax in the room or spend some time in the Caesars Palace Spa. It is the best.” – Sarah Maxwell of Youngblood Cosmetics
“There’s downtime here? Just kidding. I like to wake up at 5:30 am and walk the Strip at least once while in Vegas. No one is on the Strip at that time and the lights are still on.” – Adam Ahdoot of Sol Republic
Lindo Michoacan Restaurant
645 Carnegie Street
Henderson, NV. 89052
laloma @ lindomichoacan.com
4480 S. Paradise Road, 900 (across from the Hard Rock Cafe)
Sun-Thurs: 5:30-4 am, Fri-Sat: 5:30-6 am
10271 Eastern Avenue #109
Red Rock Canyon
Directions from Las Vegas (10 minutes) – Take CR-215/Bruce Woodbury Belt, Take the NV-159/Red Rock Canyon, Turn onto NV-159 W/W Charleston Blvd and continue to follow NV-159, Turn right onto Scenic Drive.