Mmmm, chocolate…

What is the best way to get to Ethel M chocolate factory from the MGM Grand? Is there a bus scheduled or is taxi the better idea?

(United Kingdom)

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The Ethel M Chocolate Factory, where some of the world's best treats are made, isn't anywhere close to being within walking distance. It's 15 miles or so away from the Strip. It is possible to reach it via city bus, but it would be a long trip. Not only are Vegas bus rides slow in general, but a trip to Ethel M would require a transfer. So, while taking the bus is the cheapest option, I'd advise springing for a taxi if you really want to visit. Cabs do cost quite a bit more out of pocket, but you know you'll be able to come and go on your own schedule, not at the mercy of a bus that may or may not be on time. (Use our Taxi Fare Estimator tool to get an idea of how much the trip will cost.)

The Ethel M factory is open from 8:30am-6:30pm each day, and the self-guided tours are free. (Note that tour hours are slightly different from store hours; Monday-Thursday 8:30am-4:30pm.) I'll warn you, though, the tour is a bit underwhelming. Not only is there not a single Oompa-Loompa to be found, but the "tour" itself consists of walking down a moderate-length hallway and peering through windows at employees at work. It's fairly interesting in the same way that TV shows about how products are made are interesting, but the fascination wears off quickly. There is a very nice cactus garden at the factory that is as much a draw as the chocolates, but even though I like the candies produced here, the Ethel M Chocolate Factory doesn't come close to making my "Must See" list.

If you still want to tour the factory, it might be worth combining it with some other sightseeing activity. Several Hoover Dam tour operators stop at the Ethel M factory on the return leg of the trip, and that would seem much more worth it. Taking a taxi all the way out to the factory for a few minutes of chocolate-watching is a lot of effort for what I feel is something of a disappointment.

Of course if you're more interested in simply eating the high-class chocolates, you could visit the wonderful store inside the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip north of Treasure Island. I really shouldn't even call it a store, because it's something more than that. The shop is complete with plush seating and a relaxing atmosphere. If swanky cocktail lounges served chocolate and confections instead of beer and booze, this is what they'd look like.

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2 responses to “Mmmm, chocolate…”

  1. Steve the Texan said:

    Dena, A trip to the observation deck atop the Stratosphere at night would be on my list (even better, a helicopter tour of the nighttime Strip, if you don't mind spending the money), as would be catching at least one show (Zumanity is about the sexiest right now, but pushes a lot of boundaries; Jubillee! is sexy in an old-school Vegas kind of way) and enjoying at least one top-flight restaurant.

  2. Dena said:

    Visiting Vegas for the 1st time in Nov to celebrate my husband and mines 5 year anniversary. Besides a gondola ride any other romantic must dos while we are there?

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