After our revelry on Friday, we didn’t quite drag ourselves out of hotel until the sun was setting once again. But we had quite the motivation — we were about to fly over The Strip on a Las Vegas Helicopter Tour.
When we were greeted at check-in with champagne, we knew this was our kind of tour. Then came the dreaded helicopter tour weigh-in, where seat assignments are made based on weight distribution. The stress of being weighed without getting to see the resulting number paid off though — I got the front seat!
A mini-bus escorted us to the helicopter, just a long enough ride to drain those glasses of bubbly.
With our headsets on, I could chat to Olivia and Kirsten in the back and eavesdrop on the two loved-up couples they we were riding with. The combination of darkness and a slightly windy night sent a jolt of fear through me as we took off, but it passed as we pulled up over the glowing lights of the Las Vegas Strip.
I mentally mapped out our many options for the night ahead as we flew over the now-tiny casinos and hotels, from the fountain show at the Bellagio, to the high-rise of The Aria, past The Venetian, over to The Wynn. And the many luxurious pools we had knock-out views of had me planning a return trip in the summer. Angling slightly and soaring around the observation deck of the Stratosphere, I felt like I was in a flight simulator. Bringing me back to reality, our pilot joked and chatted with us about the history of Las Vegas.
While I didn’t want to tour to end, I couldn’t wait to get out and tear up the city we had just had seen from a completely new angle. The flight lasted about 15 minutes, and had carried up 22 miles up and down The Strip, from the casinos and hotels on the south end to Freemont Street and downtown Las Vegas towards to the north.
While the tour itself is excellent, I do think the helicopter could use an upgrade. Compared to my fantastic experience with the ampitheatre-like views from the Eco-Star Helicopter I rode in Hawaii, this one provided more limited visibility. I had an excellent view from my front seat, but the seating layout in the back (two three-person benches facing one another) means that those with left-side seats (when facing the front of the helicopter) get great views, while those in the middle are slightly obscured. The couple in the right-side seats seemed somewhat disappointed with what they could see. As seating assignments can not be made ahead of time, it is a bit of a gamble. But hey, this Las Vegas after all — sometimes a gamble pays off in the most amazing way, with views like this:
On thing that’s not a gamble? Booking through Viator. Those that had booked directly through the helicopter company had paid $130…. nearly twice what Olivia and Kirsten did! Through Viator, the Las Vegas Night Strip Helicopter Tour costs $74.99, a $15 fuel surcharge paid at check-in. This includes the flight, a champagne toast, and post-tour transportation to the Excalibur Casino.
Setting off for a glam night that would include cocktail tasting at Chandelier Bar, dinner at STK, and dancing at Marquee, we were flush with excitement. This tour is the best hype-up imaginable for a night out on the town — we had just seen every inch of the glittering Las Vegas strip and had a kick of adrenaline to boot. I can’t think of a better way to kick off another night of Vegas-style birthday adventures.
I think this was better than seeing a Vegas show! Would you do a helicopter tour over Las Vegas?
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I am a freelancer for Viator and participated in this tour in order to write a review for their site. They did not request a favorable view on either their site or my own. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, mine.