15:44 PM

Viva la vacation: two days in and around Sin City


Editor's note: Ashley Iaccarino is TPA's Communications Manager who recently scored a great deal on Frontier to Las Vegas. Here's her story.

Soaring buildings, LED billboards and a mass of people looking to cut their losses – yes, even at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Las Vegas is beautiful on the outside. On the inside, gamblers throw bills on green felt tabletops and Roulette pills bounce cautiously from number to number before landing in a fated slot.

Nearly five hours in the air landed me at McCarran International Airport, located just minutes from the Las Vegas strip. We landed late in the afternoon, and our first stop was the southwest corner of Utah to visit Zion National Park and stargaze from the sunroof of our rental. The quick road trip took us just under two hours – 120 minutes of beautiful scenery surrounded by fire-colored mountains. The vast landscape was unfamiliar to my boyfriend and me – both Florida residents. Even on our drive back to Vegas the next day, it never got old.

The next morning, we headed back to Nevada to try our luck on the Vegas strip. Check-in at Caesar’s Palace wasn’t until 4 p.m. (we opted not to upgrade to the Caesar’s Suite), so we decided on some sightseeing and snacks instead.

Our first stop took us to a famous hotel with a 44-foot chandelier that spans multiple floors of the building. We visited a food hall-like space with breakfast, lunch, dinner and ice cream options, deciding to test out China Poblano, a fusion concept with both Asian and Mexican fare. We both stuck to the right side of the menu, indulging in ahi tuna ceviche and a sweet and spicy lo mein.

After finally checking-in, it was time for a quick cat nap. Then more food.

Dinner was at Tender Steakhouse located on the ground floor of the Luxor hotel. A 14-oz end cut of prime rib was enough to share accompanied by the creamiest Gouda mac and cheese I’ve tasted. After dinner came a true Vegas night out: gambling and enjoying the atmosphere at the Bellagio and MGM Grand.

The next day was more of a low-key Vegas experience, but maybe even more enjoyable than the first. We had breakfast at the well-known Egg Slut (where the line was about 90-people deep, but worth the wait) and digested our breakfast with a walk down the Strip.

As typical tourists would, we took a selfie with the Welcome to Las Vegas sign and stopped by the pawn shop featured on Pawn Stars in hopes of snagging a photo with Rick Harrison. He wasn’t there, but we did get a good shot with his cardboard cutout.

The final stop on our trip was maybe our favorite: Fremont Street. This street, known as the ‘second most famous street in Las Vegas’ is somewhat of a pedestrian mall covered by a massive LED ceiling and surrounded by older casinos and older restaurants. Street performers danced and painted as onlookers enjoyed their artistry and zip-liners flew by overhead.

A red eye on Frontier Airlines brought us back to Tampa by early Tuesday morning. The roundtrip flight cost just $63 each and was smooth and comfortable.

Looking to hit up Las Vegas? Frontier, Southwest and Spirit Airlines all fly nonstop to Sin City from Tampa International Airport. Check out the strip, dine until you have to loosen a button and be sure to stop by Fremont Street before your trip ends.