About JoAnna H
Lives in Las Vegas, Nevada
Since Sep 2009
I am a full-time freelance writer based in Las Vegas. When I'm not sleeping in hotels, eating out at restaurants and enjoying new attractions, you can often find me writing about them. Beyond Las Vegas, I travel and write frequently about destinations throughout the Southwest United States, especially those in Arizona, Southern California and Utah. I'm an outdoorsy person and enjoy hiking, camping and backpacking in the United States' national parks.
Observation Decks & Towers
Fountains, Performances, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Bars & Clubs
Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Gift & Speciality Shops
Game & Entertainment Centres
Nothing says Las Vegas extravagance like walking through the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. They don't construct themed resorts like this anymore, and walking through this part of the property really does feel like wandering the pathways of Venice. Even if you don't plan to do any shopping, watch the gondolas float by, take some photos and enjoy the people watching.
The world's highest observation offers a view of Las Vegas that can't be found anywhere else. A ride on the High Roller takes 30 minutes to make a full rotation. Enjoy the 360-degree view, which takes in both the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding desert scenery. A televised commentary provides information about the construction of the observation wheel as it reaches its peak height of 550 feet.
No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without a stop at the Bellagio Fountains. The famous fountains dance to a mixed array of music starting in the early afternoon and running until late at night. During the winter months, a variety of holiday songs are shuffled into the mix of Broadway tunes, rock-n-roll hits and pop favorites.
This impressive indoor conservatory requires a full-time staff of more than 100 people to design, construct and maintain the themed, walk-through gardens. It goes through five iterations each year – for spring, summer, fall, winter and Chinese New Year. Live music is performed daily in the gardens.
This three-story bar is nestled inside one of the largest chandeliers in the world. Each level of this massive structure has a different theme: The bottom floor is upbeat with a DJ, the second floor is known for its specialty craft cocktails and the very top level is particularly intimate. Regardless of whether you stop for one drink or three, the chandelier is definitely worth seeing.
This locals' favorite in downtown Las Vegas is located in Emergency Arts, where many entrepreneurs and creative connoisseurs have offices. The Beat is casual and laid back, and folks hunker down here for hours at a time, catching up over coffee or sandwiches. It's a great place to start a day in downtown Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas has flourished in recent years, and the Downtown Container Park is one of the best things to come out of the development. Made out of shipping containers, this self-contained, family-friendly area has several locally owned retail shops and dining facilities. There is also an outdoor stage where occasional concerts and events are held, and in the middle of the Container Park is a large play area made of repurposed shipping containers. Overall, it is a fun, relaxing place to let the hours pass by.
The famous Fremont Street Experience has attracted visitors to downtown Las Vegas for many years, but the newly unveiled zip line that runs down the spine of the pedestrian zone provides a new way to experience a classic favorite. Ride the zip line one of two ways – either sitting 77 feet high above the street riding 850 feet down the Fremont Street Experience or laying down Superman style 114 high for a trip that rides 1,700 feet.
Though it is located in the throes of action in downtown Las Vegas, Park on Fremont is a welcome retreat away from all the chaos. The highlight of this restaurant is an outdoor dining area that looks like a comfortable backyard patio complete with a hidden seesaw and a hopscotch board made of mosaic tiles. It's a place where locals gather to share a small plate after a long day at work or a drink before heading out for the evening.
If shopping is high on a visitor's list of things to do in Las Vegas, then this outdoor mall is an absolute must. There are more than 150 shops ranging from high-end retailers to well-known name brand stores with prices slashed to just a fraction of the usual cost. It's not uncommon to see shoppers loaded down with bags packed with goodies they can't wait to take home with them.
Fly like a bird – in a high-speed wind tunnel – at Vegas Indoor Skydiving. For every Las Vegas visit there is a good Las Vegas story, and this one adds an adrenaline-pumping adventure without the fear that often accompanies jumping out of an airplane. Highly trained staff help ease fears with lots of guidance prior to three turns to fly in this controlled environment with wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour.
This French bistro is not only popular for its food but also its enviable location across the street from the Bellagio Fountains. It is one of the few restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip with street-side dining on Las Vegas Boulevard and is always busy as people enjoy their steak frites while people watching on one of the busiest roads in America.
Held in a permanent circus tent in front of Caesars Palace, Absinthe is part burlesque, part acrobatic performance and completely memorable. Told through the fog of an absinthe stupor, it mixes raunchy comedic pieces with Cirque du Soleil-like feats of balance and flexibility. The intimate nature of the performance space combined with the over-the-top vulgarity at times mean that it's not appropriate for everyone, but those with an open mind will enjoy it.