Ending the Vacation in Las Vegas


With just hours before my flight was to leave, I had just enough time to cap off my trip with a good meal.  And there’s perhaps no better place to eat in Las Vegas than Garduño’s at the Palms.  If you’ve read my Arches & Canyons trip, you know my plans included a stop here, one year earlier.

That night, Garduño’s was closed for a private engagement, thankfully this night, it was open.

Garduño’s is a New Mexico based restaurant, so they know how to do Mexican right.  First, they bring you chips and salsa.  Incredible.  Then the main dish arrived. Out of this world.  I heartily recommend the Chile Verde con Machaca, a green chile dish with shredded roast beef.

Garduño’s only operates restaurants in Arizona, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, but you can order their salsa online.  Click here for their website.

After stuffing myself on green chile, I dropped a few bucks in a slot machine, and left the Palms Casino.  The Palms is located off the Strip, on the other side of the I-15 freeway, so you get a nice view of the strip from their parking garage.

I had just a few minutes left before my airport check-in deadline, and I was determined to use every last second.  So I took a few minutes to drive up and down the Strip, and snap a few photos at the same time.

You can find the familiar “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign at the southern end of the strip.  It’s in the middle of the road though, so it’s a bit hard to reach.  Limos regularly stop at the edge of the road to allow tourists to pose in front of the sign, but there’s really no good place to park.

More recently, a parking lot has been added in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard, which makes it much easier to stop in front of the iconic sign.

Just for the heck of it, I snapped a few long-exposure pictures as I drove up the Strip one last time.

And with that, my vacation ended.  Ten days, 2,838 miles.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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