Bellagio Las Vegas pastry kitchen and champagne tasting.(Photo by Elisabeth Rae Collett, MSN)

Bellagio Las Vegas pastry kitchen and champagne tasting.

Turning 30 has a stigma attached to it, and for good reason - 30 means you're old enough to be an adult, but (if you're anything like me) you think you're young enough to be figuring it all out still.

When the time came to plan a celebration for my 'dirty 30' birthday, I felt compelled to do something both grown-up and youthful. So, what could be the perfect plan for this 30-cusp partier? The logical answer is Las Vegas! Sin City is the perfect setting for both a refined and off-the-charts celebration.

I thought I was nuts only planning a four-day, 3-night Vegas trip, but it turned out to be the perfect amount of time to explore this adult wonderland. The best part about this travel hot spot is that you can make your adventure one you'll want to tell everyone about, or one that 'stays in Vegas.' Here's how to make 30 a birthday to remember - for both unlimited and economical budgets!

Also see:

Vegas: Blowing the budget

Stay: The choice of hotels in Vegas is overwhelming, but there's only one place that best sets the tone for your Dirty 30 extravaganza: THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Tucked back from the strip, this boutique hotel lures you in with low-light hallways where you'd expect to see A-list celebrities - and you'll feel like a star here too, considering the hotel only offers suite accommodation.

Poolside at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas.(Photo by Elisabeth Rae Collett, MSN)

Poolside at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas.

If that's not your scene, match your personality to one of Vegas's other top hotels. If you want to experience the atmosphere of the roaring 20s, you can hit the Venetian. If you want something exotic, you've got MGM Grand with its stunning lions and Mirage for its famous white lions and tigers (the exhibit is named after Siegfried and Roy). Caesars, one of Vegas' most popular hotel and casinos, is vast and offers a very real impression of Roman architecture and design. The pools at Caesars make me imagine myself as an ancient Roman, basking in the sun in a toga with someone feeding me grapes while another person fans me with large leaves (hey, one can imagine)!

Sage Chef Shawn McClain and MSN's Elisabeth Rae Collett at Sage at ARIA, Las Vegas.(Photo by Ryan Maule for MSN)

Sage Chef Shawn McClain and MSN's Elisabeth Rae Collett at Sage at ARIA, Las Vegas.

Eat: On the roster of unbelievable experiences should be dinner at the relatively new restaurant, Sage at ARIA, CityCenter. Under the guidance of acclaimed chef Shawn McClain, the food seems to be prepared with a minimalist-turned-alchemist twist. The kitchen crew takes simple produce, meat and seafood and turns them into gold.

Completely surprising was Sage's boiled egg dish on the dinner menu - I guarantee you that nothing tastes better than this totally familiar, yet completely new, dish.

Sage restaurant at ARIA, Las Vegas.(Photo courtesy of Sage.)

The rich interior adds to the experience at Sage at ARIA, CityCenter, in Las Vegas.

And, while your taste buds savour the rich flavours, your eyes savour the rich surroundings of the restaurant. Tall, but subtle gold pillars, deep-coloured drapery and art by both Paulin Paris and Renoir adorn the softly-lit and inviting restaurant. I think dining out should be an experience that changes how you feel about food, and that is exactly what Sage did for me. It sits in the top five restaurants I've ever been to.