Mon, November 8th, 2010 - By

Getting a Tan in Las Vegas

We all know the biggest draw for heading to Las Vegas: cash.  Who doesn’t want to arrive in Vegas as a pauper and leave on their own private jet?  Unfortunately, the statistics are against you.

Despite this, you’ll end up no doubt spending a lot of time inside – Vegas is kind of engineered this way.  But that’s a shame, especially for those of us who live in damper climes, because Vegas gets well over 300 days of sunshine a year.  I was just there (October) and it was roasting hot and humid.

You don’t have to spend all day in over-oxygenated air conditioning.  Take a minute to get outdoors and get some colour on your skin.  Here’s where.

Mandalay Bay Pool

Mandalay Bay Wave Pool

I’ve heard that Mandalay Bay’s swimming pool and “beach” area is the best in town, and once you see it, it’s hard to disagree.  Like most places in Vegas, it is busy, but there are thousands of chaise lounges, one of those rivers where you just float down, a wave pool, and tons of places to just relax and chat with mates over a cocktail.   And in case you had forgotten that Vegas is in the middle of the desert, there is a beach with 2,700 tons of sand.  Oh, and of course, in 2007 Mandalay ‘upgraded’ the pool area to include a beachside casino.  Just saying.  It’s still an awesome pool though.

Guests have free access but you can also obtain a day pass for $15.

Tao Beach at the Venetian

Tao Beach

Get your sexy on at Venetian’s rooftop Tao Beach. The New York Post called it one of Vegas’s sexiest pool clubs, and once you arrive you’ll see why, as you might just spot a celebrity or two hanging out in the if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford beach cabanas.

Many of the amenities are Asian-inspired (odd, yes, for a place called “Venetian,” but hey, it is Vegas) including a tasty bistro and oversized cocktail menu. At night, Tao Beach turns into a super sexy nightclub, complete with floating Japanese lanterns and light show. It’s worth sticking around for, just bring a change of clothes!

Camping at Lake Mead

Lake Mead Camping

Are the throngs of bikini babes and drunks at the strip beach clubs too much for you?  Then get out of town – a great option if you want a “are we really still in Nevada?” experience is to go camping over at Lake Mead.   The popular option is to bring an RV, but you can also just pitch a tent on a beach, so in the morning you just roll out, grab a coffee and the sun cream.

If camping just isn’t a reasonable option but you’d rather have something more low key like this, you can grab a hotel in nearby Boulder City, where the Lake Mead park headquarters are located, and be just a quick drive to hiking and suntan access.  You can stay in Vegas too, just be mindful of the traffic glut, especially in/out of the strip.

Ladies and Gents Who Lunch

mon ami gabi patio brunch

So, maybe you aren’t feeling so confident to strip down to your itty-bitty-bikini but you really do want to hang out on the strip where the action is.  Then why not hit one of the many alfresco restaurants in Vegas to get some fresh air?  Some venues that have outdoor terraces:

  • Bouchon (French, at the Venetian)
  • The Country Club (America, at the Wynn)
  • Mon Ami Gabi (French, at the Paris)
  • Pink Taco (Southwestern, at the Hard Rock)
  • Botero (Steakhouse, at the Encore)
  • Spiedini (Italian, at the JW Marriott)

As with many restaurants in Vegas, reservations are a good thing.  And if you want a good table in a sunny spot?  Well, you better call now.

Image credits: emmandevin, juliesjournal, leyla_arsan, coolmikeol

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not criss-crossing the world to have his next travel adventures, he is spending time hanging out on his own website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, November 8th, 2010 at 12:53
Category : How To...
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