WEEKEND GETAWAY: LAS VEGAS - VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I used to believe that Las Vegas is going to be one of those cities that I'd visit probably once in my life. Who would knew I would be back here for the fifth time in the last two years?

OK maybe the reason I kept coming back is not because of how much I love the city but because of how close it is to a lot of National Parks -- Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Canyon to name a view; and we wanted to visit some of those this time (which I will post on a separate post) so here we were again, back in the Sin City :)

Before heading out to the parks, we kicked-off the trip with a nice meal in the city. Las Vegas is home to many celebrity chefs owned restaurants like Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, José Andrés, Wolfgang Puck, David Chang, you name it. Every top chef in the world has a restaurant in the Strip.



Our first culinary stop is Momofuku by David Chang. I'm always skeptical with fusion food especially when it comes to Asian fusion. David Chang seems to really get it right though. That ramen noodle is ridiculously delicious! 

The goal of this Vegas trip, really, is to visit Valley of Fire State Park which was made famous by a lot of photographers on Instagram recently. The drive was only less than an hour from Vegas which made this place a photographer's paradise. 




We managed to do two hikes in the park -- Mouse Tank and Fire Wave Trail, both gave a different view of the park. We were blown away by how vast the park is and I was surprised that it doesn't hold a National Park title! 


This is the spot that was made famous by those Instagrammers and I just had to take a shot too! 



The next day, while still having our rental car with us for another couple of hours, we drove South from the Strip to hit up another Instagram spot, Seven Magic Mountains. As expected, the place was packed with people taking selfies so we didn't stay long. The art piece is cool but only visit if you have free time to spare :) I wouldn't make this a must-go place.  

Our last culinary stop was one that was made famous by the ever-charming Gordon Ramsay, The Hell's Kitchen. We even got to take a photo with Chef Michelle who was the winner from the last season of Hell's Kitchen! 






So Gordon Ramsay didn't disappoint. Those scallops and Beef Welly were out of this world! 

Here's my itinerary if you guys are interested..

Thursday
• Fly to Las Vegas from SFO in the AM
• Lunch at Momofuku + Milk Bar
• Pick up rental car 
• Drive to Valley of Fire State Park
     * Drive to Elephant Rock 
     * Mouse’s Tank (0.75miles RT) 
     * White Domes Trail (1.25miles RT) 
     * Fire Wave Trail (1.25miles RT)
     * Pastel’s Pink 
     * Atlatl Rock 
     * Arch Rock 
     * Firecave 
• Dinner at Carbone 
• Stay a night at Aria Hotel 

Friday 
• Day trip to Seven Magic Kingdom 
• Return rental car 
• Go back to hotel to enjoy swimming pool 
• Lunch at Shake Shack 
• Watch The Beatles' LOVE
• Stay a night at Aria Hotel 

Saturday
• Take a whole day guided tour to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park 
• Dinner at Momofuku + Milk Bar
• Stay a night at Aria Hotel 

Sunday 
• Breakfast - room service 
• Spa day until around 3pm
• Fly back to SFO at night

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