Laura Janelle Downey

Forbes Travel Guide Correspondent

  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Laura Janelle Downey is a correspondent who covers Atlanta for Forbes Travel Guide. After receiving a master’s in journalism at Florida A&M University, she landed in New York City as a reporter for People, where she once followed Billy Crystal to the men’s bathroom just to get a quote. Since then, she has been a fashion/entertainment editor, magazine journalism professor and managing editor of 944 and Vegas/Rated magazines. Her favorite pastimes include hitting the spa, finding out which Five-Star hotel has the most comfortable bed and trying out delicious dishes in any given city.

  • On May 16, 2013
  • On May 15, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What are the best places to see a play in Las Vegas?

    Photo by Geri Kodey and courtesy of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts When you’re in Las Vegas, it’s a must to head downtown and catch a play at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The state-of-the-art performing arts center hosts a Broadway Las Vegas series where during the 2013 season, guests can see shows such as Billy Elliot the Musical (during a limited run in May) and Catch Me If You Can (during a limited run in June). And also in June, Green Day’s American Idiot will run for six days as a season special. Although I’ve had seats in the box tier as well as the orchestra, I encourage people to purchase tickets in the gold circle section of the orchestra — it gives you a great view and makes you feel like you’re a part of the entire experience. But before the show begins, don’t forget to stop by one of the bars to snag a souvenir Smith Center sippy cup filled with a beverage of your choice — I always order the white wine!
  • On May 15, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What are the best places to see a play in Las Vegas?

    Photo by Geri Kodey and courtesy of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts When you’re in Las Vegas, it’s a must to head downtown and catch a play at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The state-of-the-art performing arts center hosts a Broadway Las Vegas series where during the 2013 season, guests can see shows such as Billy Elliot the Musical (during a limited run in May) and Catch Me If You Can (during a limited run in June). And also in June, Green Day’s American Idiot will run for six days as a season special. Although I’ve had seats in the box tier as well as the orchestra, I encourage people to purchase tickets in the gold circle section of the orchestra — it gives you a great view and makes you feel like you’re a part of the entire experience. But before the show begins, don’t forget to stop by one of the bars to snag a souvenir Smith Center sippy cup filled with a beverage of your choice — I always order the white wine!
  • On May 13, 2013
  • On May 13, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What are the best bakeries in Las Vegas?

    One of the best bakeries in Las Vegas is family-owned Freed’s Bakery on Eastern Avenue. The establishment specializes in creating custom cakes for any occasion including birthday, anniversary, bachelor/bachelorette, retirement and more. When I lived in Las Vegas, I went to Freed’s to create a birthday cake for me and it was spectacular. I just told them that I’m a basketball player and that I love vanilla and strawberries. They created a cake for me in the shape and color of an NBA-size basketball. It was fun, creative, tasty and perfect for my party in the two-bedroom suite at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa in Summerlin.
  • On May 9, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey is now following New Delhi
  • On May 9, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What are the best places for dessert in Las Vegas?

    My two go-to spots for desserts in Las Vegas include Payard Patisserie & Bistro in Caesars Palace and Bread & Butter in Henderson. I can’t talk enough about pastry chef François Payard’s white rocher wafers. This crispy confection, which is shaped like a cluster is light and delicate. Although the treat comes in milk and dark flavors as well, my absolute favorite wafers were the white-coated ones. They are so good that by the time I made it home (and I used to live on the Strip!), they'd be all gone. The other place I can’t rave enough about is Bread & Butter in the suburb of Henderson, Nev. My pick there is the red velvet whoopie pie. The moist dessert is filled with a cream cheese frosting that is heavenly. If you’re in Vegas, you must visit these two places. Your life will be changed!
  • On May 9, 2013
  • On May 9, 2013
  • On May 9, 2013
  • On May 8, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What is the best new nightclub in Las Vegas?

    The best new nightclub in Sin City is Hakkasan Las Vegas at MGM Grand. Packed with electronic music big names such as Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, deadmau5 and Tiësto, the five-level, 80,000 square foot hotspot pumps beats into the wee hours of the morning. Partygoers will want to hit the fourth floor where the main nightclub is (as well as VIP booths and floor-to-ceiling LED screens) before heading to the mezzanine on the fifth floor for a little more privacy with a group of friends. But if you want to make a really big night of it beforehand, grab dinner at Hakkasan's restaurant where chef Ho Chee Boon and his talented team serve dishes such as silver cod with champagne and Chinese honey — you’ll leave feeling satisfied on so many levels!
  • On May 8, 2013

    Foodies are gearing up for Vegas Uncork'd! If you're going, here's a handy guide to the event: http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/eat-and-drink-your-way-through-vegas-uncorkd

  • On May 6, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What’s happening this weekend in Las Vegas?

    Tons of foodies are going to flock to Sin City this upcoming weekend for Vegas Uncork’d. The annual event, which takes place May 9-12, is in its seventh year. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend this mega culinary event held at Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Bellagio. Celebrity chefs participating in Uncork’d include Nobu Matsuhisa, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, Michel Richard, Joël Robuchon and more. Most events are sold out at this point but if you’ve planned ahead, you probably have tickets to everything from the Master Series dinners to the Bellagio Block Party: Cured, Smoked, Braised, Grilled and Toasted. If fine fare is your thing, then attending Vegas Uncork’d is a must for your to-do list.
  • On May 6, 2013
    Laura Janelle Downey answered the question: Laura Janelle Downey

    What’s happening this weekend in Las Vegas?

    Tons of foodies are going to flock to Sin City this upcoming weekend for Vegas Uncork’d. The annual event, which takes place May 9-12, is in its seventh year. More than 6,000 people are expected to attend this mega culinary event held at Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Bellagio. Celebrity chefs participating in Uncork’d include Nobu Matsuhisa, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, Michel Richard, Joël Robuchon and more. Most events are sold out at this point but if you’ve planned ahead, you probably have tickets to everything from the Master Series dinners to the Bellagio Block Party: Cured, Smoked, Braised, Grilled and Toasted. If fine fare is your thing, then attending Vegas Uncork’d is a must for your to-do list.
  • On May 3, 2013