Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010
If you are lucky enough to be attending the 2011 Miss America pageant, you are probably already OVER THE MOON about the upcoming pageant. And why wouldn't you be? It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a Miss America crowned, and the 90th anniversary no less!
The Miss America / Las Vegas experience is wonderful, but it can also be a little overwhelming. I've put together a little guide to help you get the most out of your trip!
I am always lucky enough to stay in the Planet Hollywood for pageant week. I think it's worth the extra money to be where all the action is. However, if that's not an option for you, there are plenty of nice places along the strip. If you do stay at another hotel, don't waste money on taxi cabs. There is a tram you can take down the strip and the weather is nice enough that you can walk to and fro.
If you are attending the entire pageant week, you will need to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Las Vegas. While this sparkling city is known for MANY things, cheap eating is not one of them.
There are a handful of restaurants in Planet Hollywood. My personal favorites are Planet Dailies, P.F.Chang's, and Yolo's. The buffet in Planet Hollywood is also really great.
My advice is to hit up the ABC store in the shopping area and get some granola bars, bottles of water, and snacks for throughout the week. They even sell fresh fruit! That way, at least breakfast will be one meal you aren't buying in a restaurant. For lunch, hit up the buffet or split something with a friend. Earl of Sandwich is another one of my Planet Hollywood faves - it's a bit pricey but the portions are good for splitting.
For dinner, remember that the bulk of the people at Planet Hollywood are there for the pageant and that means you are all going to the same place at the same time. Plan ahead so you can have dinner before the show - get reservations, head to dinner early. Or, tough it out and get some food after the show.
Paris is right next door and they have some epicly good restaurants as well.
There are lots of pageant activities that go on throughout the week. There is the tradeshow, where I will be all week so be sure to come by and visit me. You can also buy all kinds of pageant stuff, meet Miss America sponsors, etc.
There is the Miss America parade this year, and of course the preliminaries at night.
There are also TONS of fun things to do in Las Vegas and you will have some down time to experience them.
My favorite thing to do is go down to the Bellagio and walk through their beautiful lobby and then into the gardens. There is also some SERIOUS shopping in the Bellagio. I've heard the M&M store is fun and it seems to be hugely popular every year. Of course, you don't want to miss contestant visitation after the preliminaries.
For the preliminaries, of course you will want to dress up. Don't get crazy - you spend most of your time sitting down in the dark. So, look nice but also be comfortable. It's pretty chilly in that theatre, so bring a wrap or a sleeve. You will be grateful for it.
During the day, aim for comfort. Seriously. You're going to be schlepping around and walking a ton. I know you want to look cute, and I encourage you to do so, but bring a comfy pair of kicks and some yoga pants. Again, you will be grateful for them.