To kick off summer, I’m drifting away from Pacific shore to desert delight in Las Vegas —but will undoubtedly find water paradise in the Nevadan oasis. Just booked: a few places with a pool, one on, the other off the famed Strip. Pooling is quite prime for play in Vegas —not just slot and dice games. Also popular for water-themed diversion: elaborate Strip aquatic shows and in Vegas adjacent parts, Lake Mead adventures and water adventure parks. So, how is the Vegas pool and spa scene? Which are the top tier pools, splashing extravaganzas and off-Strip fun spots to experience? Get filled in on must-dos —and as a coda —take heed on prudent advice on how to stay hydrated in Vegas.
-Want the premier pool experience at a resort? Stay at Mandalay Bay, the “grand pool-ba” of resorts. With access to a whomping 11 pools on site, including popular “Lazy River” and “Wave Pool”, both great for wading. Pool grounds of this MGM property resemble a sandy island beach. Word to the pool wise: Get down early to pool area earlier to secure a beach chair. Spots to lounge and plop your stuff are at a premium especially during the holiday. If not, reserve a cabana —heavily pitched at all fine resorts. It is open for anyone to book regardless of accommodation status.
BUY THE RIGHT SWIM SUIT AT CUPSHE
-Desire a luxurious pool stay? Top cabana resorts to consider: Wynn’s Encore Club ($$$$) and Drai’s. What a godsend to have a cabana for the often oppressive Vegas sunbeam! Besides shading, the cabana experience includes comfy seating and attentive wait service for drinking and food grabs. Cabana rates typically range from $200 to $1000 for an allotted stay. Consider a rental if traveling with a big family or group. Reserve early for holiday stays. VIP GO CARD
-Find water falling along rocks alluring like me? Check out the Mirage. It’s arguably the prettiest Strip pool with its eye pleasing massive rock waterfall landscape. Poolside photo shots snapped here can be mistaken for those taken in Hawaii. Walking along Secret Garden path you are fooled that you’re somewhere island like else not Vegas. This MGM property is painstakingly decked with plenty of palms. Consistently rated a best Vegas pool center Strip, huge, not too loud but relaxing What “Para-para-paradise” (play chorus of Coldplay’s “Paradise” here). Experience the refreshing, sensational rock waterfall sounds from Bror Fredrik’s Mirage Pool Views from the 8:27 min mark)
-Pooling it family-friendly style? Mandalay Bay is a wonderful choice for its huge pool area but Circus Circus is better for young families to have quality time. Let the kiddies have the time of their lives at the resort’s water wonderland. No adults poolside will snicker at the kids ’cause the lil’ crowd rules here. Enjoy Circus Circus’ 50-foot waterslide tower with three slides – Mat Racer, Aqua Tube, plus Speed Slide Splash Zone, an interactive splash pad featuring water cannons, spill buckets and rain trees. Though not needed, it is an advantage to rent a comparably low priced cabana ($100) for its convenience.
-Pooling it true “Sin City” style? Be seduced by a bevy of top optional pools and pool parties. Top tier non-top resort pools include apropo Bare Pool at the Mirage and Moorea Day Club at Mandalay. Nude Note: Some topless hotels tend to be available only Monday-Thursday. Check with hotel on hours of operation. Adults-only pool parties at various day clubs may or may not live up to the “hot bodies and house music” filled hype. Judge for yourself ultimately. Be advised: If avoid long one waits to enter day club by booking a chair or cabana in advance or securing a guest list spot in advance.
–Pack poolside accessories to prepare for whichever pool hotspot you choose. Most valuable to bring: A waterproof carry item to hold a cell phone, pool key or camera. Go bigger on the bag if you want to put a bathing unit cover-up.
-Back to fam-friendly fare. When in Vegas, come for the beautiful & free water show! Bellagio’s Water Show is much ballyhooed and beloved. Water springs shoots up to 460 ft and dances to diverse tastes in music. Super touristy event but it doesn’t get old! Arrive 30 min to 1 hour along the boulevard to secure best views.
(See Rumble video of 4 min Bellagio Water show)
-At another grand MGM property is a fiery splash sensation. The Mirage Volcano is a first time in Vegas do for evening entertainment. Get a little Universal Studios action for free along Las Vegas boulevard. Time in your show before or after dinner or indoor show.
(Rumble video of Volcano show Mirage. Volcano free water dancing with fire.)
– See Spetacular visuals at Lake of Dreams Wynn. Arrive an hour early to get best spot
– Waterworld spetaculaire? Yes, please! Don’t miss the outstanding O by Cirque at Bellagio, restarting post Covid pandemic on July 1, 2021. The name “O” is influenced by the French langauge (the Enlish “o” letter sounds like “eau”, the French word for “water”. The spirited aquatic show features aquatic acrobat doing above water and underwater tricks (one seen here) “From Air to Ocean” segment. Great get at Half Off Ticket booths . Sign up for M Life card for possible future promotions.
–Must-do marine tip for Vegas? What? Yes- head to the Aquarium at Mandalay Bay , home to exotic sharks, sea turtles and a variety of marine life. Marvel not only at sea creatures but at the aquarium grounds itself. Want aquarium discounts? Check out deals here or join M Life for possible discounts.
-Yet another attraction for marine lovers? It features the most adored marine ones dolphins and 2.5 million gallons of water. See the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage. Lush foliage and an array of palm trees surround the Dolphin Habitat, a research facility that offers education about these adored creatures. Rest easy if you don’t like animals — dolphins don’t perform here. However, at times, visitors can catch the animals engaged in natural play.
-Love a simple, scenic boat ride? Nevermind the touristy nature of it and get on a gondola at the Venetian. The next best thing to the authentic gondola in Venezia, Italia. Get to the gondola early in the day to beat crowd. Main options for the gondola- ride indoors or outdoors? Indoors for scenic Canal Shoppes backgrounds in photos? Latter option better for natural lighting ? Either choice is fine. Save a few bucks on the ride by getting the Grazie Rewards card.
-Seeking to soak and be well? The spa’s the thing for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation, which includes jacuzzi, hydrotherapy and various treatments involving soothing water and steam. Making a reservation is always advisable for your stay and arrive 30 min earlier if possible. Access to full hotel spa (treatment rooms, pools and gym) is sometimes limited to hotel room accommodation guests but a number of resorts offer a day pass for full spa entrance. Upscale Strip and off-Strip like these featured on LasVegasDirect.com are premier spa hotspots.
-Okay, leaving Las Vegas city for water-themed recreation. Lake lovers rejoice! Choose either Lake Las Vegas or Lake Mead for laidback floating or river tubing. LLV is an artificial lake, about 320-acre in area, surrounded by a 3,592-acre developed area. Lake Mead, formed by Hoover Dam, is the largest manmade reservoir in the United States, spanning over 110 mil long in Nevada and neighboring Arizona. For river tubing, revelers can be towed or free-float on the tubes or “donuts”. Highly recommended: head to lakeside professional water sport businesses to float safely.
-Like it rougher on the water? Be daring and go water skiing, kayaking or wakeboarding at the lake. Relax, the water is warm! Check out “sit’-on-top” kayak rentals at Desert Adventures.
–Cruises (Lake Mead) If rafting or wakeboarding is not your idea on of riding the water, go on a Lake Mead cruise. This is also a great option if your don’t feel comfortable and welcomed to go overseas cruising in early post-pandemic days. Sightseeing cruise rates start from $35 per person but add in about $100 more for national park fee, food and cruise adds on to thoroughly enjoy the cruise experience. See full fee schedule.
-Break away from the beaten Strip path and see natural waterfalls. Catch a glimpse of the Mary Jane Falls, approximately 35 miles NW from Las Vegas. Best time to visit is from April to December.
–Head to Wet N Wild is the general off strip option for splish-splash rafting , sliding and swim. Best time to visit here? During a less crowded weekday in June or July when the park is open for throughout the day. In August and September, the park may be open only on the weekends. The park goes dark in the fall and winter. Check current schedule for operation hours. Though not crucial to add, cabana rental is available. Post pandemic Re-opening May 27th.
–Take a dip at Cowabunga Bay , the quaint, local fave off strip water park. Come on down, dudes! Located in east of Vegas in Henderson, CB boasts having the world’s largest man-made wave. Other splash entertainment Guidance here- pretty much ditto as Wet N Wild. For the 21+ crowd, there are occasional DJ and similar parties to drink and mingle.
–Now, don’t forget to hydrate. For any Vegas trip, be sure to pack plenty of water a quality water bottle. Make room in your suitcase or cooler for a study water bottle or pack single use a few bottles. Get a 32 oz for personal use and refill.
Marinarena highly recommends…
Epic Water Filters Nalgene 32 oz or similar- with proprietary, multi-patented blend filter eliminates up to 99.99% of the harmful contaminants. Fill with tap water, not saltwater.
–Lastly, if without a water bottle or if you forgot to pack water bottles, buy bottled water off Strip in markets if you can. Please avoid paying ridiculous $5 + minibar prices in your hotel resort room. Almost criminal resorts push these on guests. If on the strip, go to stores like CVS and Walgreens for reasonably priced bottles or find a small convenience shop , such as Century Food Mart.
Above all, keep hydrated and travel on, peeps!