During an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ host shared his favorite hotspots and hidden gems in Sin City
Jimmy Kimmel is proving no one knows Las Vegas better than a local!
While chatting with PEOPLE about his involvement with the city's Excessive Celebration Encouraged campaign ahead of the Super Bowl, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host, 56, revealed his ultimate Sin City travel guide and shared how excited he is for the big game to finally be held in his hometown this Sunday.
“It's a lot of fun,” he says. “We always felt like Las Vegas was a small town, even though it's Las Vegas. So you still get that feeling when something big happens there, like the Super Bowl or the Formula One race. It's like when the circus comes to town.”
Kimmel — whose family moved to Las Vegas from Brooklyn when he was nine years old — tells PEOPLE he takes a lot of pride in his home city. In fact, heading back for the Super Bowl to “excessively celebrate” was a no-brainer for him.
“I will be in Vegas at the Super Bowl, and I’m looking forward to it. I have a 30-year-old son, so I'm bringing him with me,” he says, referring to his son Kevin. (Along with Kevin, Kimmel shares daughter Katie, 32, with his ex-wife Gina Maddy. He also has two younger children — daughter Jane, 9, and son Billy, 6 — with wife Molly McNearney.)
Down Memory Lane
Kimmel says Caesars Palace is his go-to place to stay because it’s “a great bridge between old Las Vegas and new Las Vegas.” Not only does the iconic hotel have “great restaurants” like Amalfi or MR CHOW, but it also strikes a nostalgic chord for the TV host because some of his family members and friends worked there when he was living in the city.
“It kind of feels like home and I wind up running into a lot of people that I know,” he says of the hotspot located on the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Less than a ten-minute walk from Caesars Palace is Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club, which he opened in 2019 at The LINQ Promenade. While he loves comedy clubs in general, Kimmel says he’s always stopping at his own whenever he’s in town because obviously, “we always have some funny people there.”
Growing up, he enjoyed going to Circus Circus to experience the thrilling rides at the theme park, but acknowledges it's perhaps not the most obvious hotspot these days.
“Circus Circus is a very weird place,” Kimmel recalls. “I remember on a rare occasion when my parents would take us out, they would take us to Circus Circus. You can see people walking on trapeze and playing all the Midway games. That's a lot of fun when you're a kid.”
Hidden Gems for First-Time Visitors
A “hip” place he says first-time visitors should definitely check out is the Downtown Container Park — a unique open-air shopping center that includes boutiques, restaurants and entertainment options.
“The Container Park is very cool,” Kimmel says. “They have really good restaurants and antique stores and the kinds of things that you wouldn't necessarily think about doing when you're in Las Vegas.” He adds that exploring the city’s downtown area, which is located just off the Strip, is a must to experience some of Las Vegas’ most underrated places.
Another downtown location he recommends is The D Hotel, specifically for a unique experience they offer there.
“It's called the Sigma Derby,” he explains. “It's this weird racing machine that looks like a child's toy. You can bet on a mechanical horse — it's a lot of fun. You gather around this machine and you bet on your horse and it's very social. It feels like a mix between gambling and a board game.”
A Restaurant for Everyone
As for dining options, Kimmel has no shortage of recommendations that include both luxury and budget-friendly finds.
“Some of the restaurants I like are Vetri, which is at the top of Palms and an incredible Italian restaurant with a great view. There's Carbone, which is a New York restaurant and they opened a branch in Las Vegas.”
As for his hometown favorites, “There's a place I used to go growing up called Farm Basket. That's way off the Strip, but it's a fried chicken sandwich place that is very important to my family.”
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Kimmel tells PEOPLE that he was excited to take part in Las Vegas's Excessive Celebration Encouraged campaign and spread the word that the desert oasis is “nothing but fun” as the city prepares to host the Super Bowl for the first time ever.
Launched by Visit Las Vegas and R&R partners, the campaign also offers a petition that football fans can sign to pledge they’ll “celebrate freely” in Vegas throughout the weekend of the Super Bowl.
To learn more about the Excessive Celebration Encouraged movement and sign the petition, visit change.org.
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Read the original article on People.