Q & A with Ashley Oñoz-Wright
Born a Buckeye - raised a Hoosier. I grew up in a one-horse town that straddles the Indiana/Ohio state line and until 2006, was in two different time zones. There were three stoplights and a whopping 48 students in my graduating class. Fast forward a few years later, I was bitten by the travel bug and decided to head west. It seems like no matter how long I live here, there's always something that still makes my jaw drop. That's what I love about Vegas; You never know what you're going to see next, and that's what makes it so fun to live and write here. If you're bored in this town, there's something wrong with you…not the city. I'm an avid traveler with an incurable case of wanderlust so stay tuned for all the tours, attractions, and shopping that Sin City has to offer!.
Why/when did you move here?
Vegas has been my home since 2007. When you grow up in a corn field in Indiana, it's kind of easy to feel like the world is passing you by. It's a wonderful place to have a mortgage and kids but I didn't have any of those, so I set out for adventure. And that's exactly what I got.
When did you start at VEGAS.com, and what does your job entail?
I'm the resident newbie on the team. I came onboard in February 2015 to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a travel writer and now I write about all things tours, attractions & shopping in the most exciting city in the world. From dishing on the latest fashion boutiques to screaming a bloodcurdling trail of expletives on our extreme attractions, I travel all around the region to show you what you can't miss on your next trip to Vegas.
What are your hobbies?
I am a certifiable travel junkie. As a lover of all things European, I hop across the pond every chance I get. Of course, I'd travel to just about anywhere, Europe happens to be my obsession du jour. I'm also a bookworm…as in card-carrying-member of the Henderson Public Libraries. One of my favorite things to do is check out a library book and head to the beach for the weekend, although as a redhead, that requires a serious amount of sunscreen and a makeshift "redhead shed" (also known as an umbrella) before I can do that safely.
Give us a random fact about yourself
I flip to the back of a novel and read the very last sentence before I even begin, and I am a staunch defender of the Oxford Comma (go ahead, Google it…I'll wait).
Give us your top insider tips about Vegas
- If you're headed from one end of the Strip to the other, don't ever let the cabbie take you down Las Vegas Boulevard unless you have nothing to do and all day to do it. It'll take forever and you'll spend a fortune to sit and gawk at traffic that is moving faster on the sidewalks. Remember the Rat Pack's Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin drives will take you anywhere you want to go in a fraction of the time. Koval Lane is great too.
- Eat whatever you want; you're going to walk it off anyway. That giant pyramid may look like it's pretty close by, but it's probably a lot farther than it seems. You'll be wiping the sweat from your forehead in no time, so go ahead and have that extra slice of cake at the buffet.
- Don't skip Fremont Street just because it's the grittier side of all the glitz and glamour. It's one of the best places in the city to people-watch with a pretty cheap drink in your hand. Regardless of how people feel about the buskers, if you're going to have your picture taken with one of the many "characters" don't forget to tip them, it's how they make a living. Not to mention, you don't want to be on the receiving end of a salty pirate's wrath because you're too cheap to slip him a buck.
- Breakfast at the Peppermill
Prepare for a little bit of Las Vegas cheese and portions to feed you for three days. The Peppermill on Las Vegas Blvd. is a tiny gem that transports you back to the days when Vegas was run by men in leisure suits that had big-haired bombshells on their arms. The décor hasn't changed since.
- Mandalay Beach's Summer Concerts
Where else can you stand waist-deep in a wave pool while you rock out to your favorite recording artists with a drink in your hand? Don't even think about wearing heels to these concerts. When you're not in the water, you have to trek through sand to use the facilities or get back to the bar. There's nothing cute about wobbling your way through a sea of drunken concert goers, so wear flip-flops that you can shove into your back pockets and use your free hands to double-fist your booze.
- Get a sky-high view
Nothing says Vegas like a picture-perfect view of the skyline. There are insane views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and High Roller, the Stratosphere observation deck, the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay and the Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub will provide a complete view of the Strip corridor's most photogenic attractions.
- Get off the Strip...
…unless it's your first time here. Las Vegas is a gateway for all kinds of outdoorsy stuff. You name it, we've got it. Snowy slopes, world-renowned hiking and rock-climbing, camping, boating, and even the beach are just a quick spin away. We have ghost towns, historical sites, and natural wonders that you won't find anywhere else. There's much more to Vegas than what you see on the Strip.