Exploring the World of MGM Resorts Las Vegas

MGM Resorts

The sunset beyond the Las Vegas Strip made the balcony in our suite at The Signature at MGM Grand a great addition.

Here is what I think: When visiting Las Vegas, there are a few ways to go about lodging. Stay in one of the older casinos in Downtown Las Vegas where you can take in the craziness of Fremont Street. Stay off Strip somewhere. After all, Las Vegas is a big city with so much more to offer than just gambling and the Strip. Or, you can stay right in the heart of the gaming, parties and silliness right along the Las Vegas Strip. I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way to do it, but staying in one of several properties of MGM Resorts Las Vegas worked for us.

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Seven Reasons to Visit Traverse City

Seven Reasons to Visit Traverse City

Finding the right destination for a traveling family can be difficult. Each family member probably has his or her own unique interests, and it can be tricky to find a place that keeps everyone happy. When we traveled to Traverse City, Mich., in September I knew we would find a good mix of natural beauty, shopping, water sports, food and wine to keep our family of three happy. Unsure if the northern shores of the lower peninsula of Michigan is the right spot for your family? These seven reasons to visit Traverse City might help make the decision.

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Should You Visit Las Vegas With Kids?

Las Vegas with kids

One of many swimming pools at the MGM Grand would keep any family occupied for days.

My wife and I have just returned from an action-packed several days in Las Vegas with our friends, a group trip to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, our vow renewal and friendships. There were 12 adults and no children. And honestly, it was pretty weird for Stacey and I. We travel frequently, almost always with our son. I’m not opposed to visiting Las Vegas with children; in fact, I might just be in favor of it. But should you visit Las Vegas with kids? That’s a question I can’t answer for others. But my observations might help you decide.

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We’re Getting Married by Elvis in Las Vegas

Married by Elvis in Las Vegas

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Yes, the ceremony is booked! It’s hard to believe, but finally after all these years we’re getting married by Elvis in Las Vegas. At 7 p.m. sharp on a quickly approaching Friday in The Little Vegas Chapel on the Strip we’ll stand in front of Elvis to say I do … with four friends doing the same. What else would you expect from a group of friends from Memphis all visiting Las Vegas for the first time? I think a triple vow renewal with Elvis at a little chapel on the Strip sounds about right.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes Three-Hour Guide

Sleeping Bear Dunes

The biggest challenge to cramming as many activities as possible into a small window of time is actually being able to enjoy everything on the itinerary. On our recent three-day visit to the Traverse City, Mich., area, we were faced with this situation as we wanted to experience as much of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as possible, while also visiting other attractions along the Leelanau Peninsula. So in our attempt to experience the beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in just a few hours, we followed this Sleeping Bear Dunes three-hour guide.

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Hotel Review: West Bay Beach Resort Traverse City

West Bay Beach Resort

Yes, this happens just off the beach at the West Bay Beach Resort.

For parents traveling with children one of the biggest challenges isn’t what the kids will eat in a foreign land or how many times the little ones will say how bored they are in a museum. The biggest challenge we have dealt with over our eight years of traveling as parents is finding privacy in a hotel room we are sharing with our son. We finally found it at the West Bay Beach Resort Holiday Inn in Traverse City. And no, we didn’t have to book adjoining rooms to gain that privacy. A recent renovation at the West Bay Beach Resort Holiday Inn ensured us we could have some privacy while giving our son the feeling of having his own room.

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Discovering Traverse City Family Fun

Traverse city family fun

Pyramid Point at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City, Michigan. Photo Courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

Way up north near the top of the mitten of Michigan sits the small community of Traverse City and the surrounding beaches, lakes and vineyards found along the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas. Traverse City might be on the radar of Midwestern travelers, but for our friends back home in the Southern U.S., they seem confused about our upcoming Michigan trip discovering Traverse City family fun.

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Friday Travel Inspiration: Puerto Vallarta’s Rio Caule

Puerto Vallarta's Rio Caule

On the drive into the rainforest in the Sierra Madre Mountains above Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is a unique scene that gets into what I feel is the real Mexico. Much like the rural South in the United States that I’ve known and loved for most of my life, there seems to be a unique friendliness in the simple architecture of the structures adjacent to Puerto Vallarta’s Rio Caule as it rises into the mountains.

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Puerto Rico Outdoors: El Yunque Hiking

El Yunque hiking

Visiting Puerto Rico is more than just the beaches, food, culture and San Juan nightlife. There is plenty of Puerto Rico outdoors fun, especially with El Yunque hiking adventures. El Yunque National Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest in the United States, and its location about an hour from San Juan makes it a good day trip to enjoy some Puerto Rico outdoors adventures.

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Travel Lessons Learned By Our Son

Travel Lessons

Sketching with a certain Monet in the background at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

As the Rebirth Brass Band randomly comes on my iPod I’m reminded of our trip to New Orleans this spring. I’ve been to New Orleans many times but it was our son’s first visit. And considering we live just up the road in Memphis it won’t be his last. But it has me thinking about the unique travel opportunities we’ve had in the past year and the travel lessons learned by our son.

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