Las Vegas Guide for First Timers
Las Vegas truly is a place that has it all. From world renowned chefs and fine restaurants, hotels that transcend time, trendy shopping, and wild entertainment, you will be kept busy! I created for you this detailed Las Vegas guide for first timers to give you some ideas on where to stay, where to eat, and things to do on your visit to sin city!
Where To Stay In Las Vegas
There are so many options when it comes to booking a hotel in Vegas. We actually stayed in three different spots and I will review each below!
When walking through the mall of the Venitian it actually looks like the real Venice, with a stunning painted sky, shops, and canals. There are even Gondola rides! When checking in we were even greeted by an “Italian man” singing!
We stayed in the “Bella suite.” At the Venitian, all of the standard rooms (lowest rate) are suites, so you really can’t go wrong. One of our biggest regrets was not knowing that the drinks in the mini bars in Las Vegas have weight censors. Shane was very thirsty and picked up a Fiji water that he was going to replace the next day but we were charged after 60 seconds! My piece of advice: NEVER tough the mini-bars in Vegas! And be careful when storing leftovers from restaurants as well. The hotel will bring you another mini fridge to store these in!
There are 8 pools to choose from between the Venetian and the Palazzo, and no DJ’s were performing that day so it was nice to relax after our long hikes through Zion. Although I was a little bummed we missed out on a Vegas pool party! If you are looking to dance to world class DJ’s, hit up Encore Beach Club. You can hire a cabana for the day and if you utilize a promoter you will only have to pay a tip while enjoying your own private space with a TV, sofa, and snacks!
If you are looking for somewhere that is super inexpensive, look no further than the Flamingo. Click here for rates and availability!
We stayed here on our first night because we were going to be leaving super early the next morning to go hiking at Zion National Park and just needed a place to crash for the night. It was okay if you don’t mind the faint smell of cigarettes and minimal style.
Aria Resort and Casino
Although Aria is a little bit further down the strip and a tad bit more expensive, this was my favorite place we stayed in Vegas! Click here for rates and availability!I couldn’t believe how huge this resort was! The restaurants were fantastic, the spa was wonderful, and my favorite part of all of it was that you could control the blinds and the lights from a tablet in your room. Just hit “romance” on the tablet, and the entire mood of the room will change before your eyes, along with smooth jazz turning on from the TV. I also love Aria’s shampoo and conditioner- the concierge sent me home with an entire bag full because I loved it so much!
Where To Eat In Las Vegas
Of course I have to tell you about the amazing food in Vegas! When I used to think of Vegas I thought bachelorette parties and casinos, but now when I think Vegas I think FOOD! There are many famous chefs and restaurants in Vegas, the options are endless.
The first restaurant we tried ended up being our favorite – Zuma in the Cosmopolitan. Zuma is an award-winning contemporary Japanese restaurant that has a sushi kitchen, main kitchen, and robata grill. The dishes are meant to be shared and the music and vibes were on point. Be sure to try the Burning History cocktail – this was hands down the best drink I have ever tasted.
Javiers at Aria is hands down the best Mexican in Vegas. I loved the design and loved how intimate the space is. All day happy hour was also a plus and my favorite menu item was the ceviche de ahi.
If you’re looking for some excellent lunch spots, check out Olives at The Bellagio with free views of the fountain show! We also stopped at Ja Burritos one day. Shane got a sushi burrito and I got a bowl, both filling and delicious. The sangria wasn’t bad either!
Shopping In Vegas
Head to The Wynn and Encore Esplanades if you’re looking for luxury shopping and boutiques. The Venitian Grand Canal shops are also very fun to stroll through, with both designer brands and affordable shops. The Grand Canal runs through The Venitian and you can take a break from shopping with a gondola ride, making you feel as if you are in the real Venice!
Fun Things To Do In Vegas
- My favorite thing we did in Vegas was grab our camera and explore the strip. We visited the themed hotels of Paris, Venice, and New York, and on our last day we checked out the aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
- Head to the High Roller and for 30 minutes you can consume all of the alcohol you want while taking in the views on the the worlds largest Ferris Wheel.
- If you are looking for a fun and scenic day trip from the strip, rent a cheap car and head to Valley of Fire State Park. Check out this blog post to read about our getaway to The Valley of Fire!
- Visit Seven Magic Mountains on I-15 south of the strip
- Eat ridiculously insane milk shakes at Black Tap
- Take a picture under the Vegas sign – a 10 minute uber from the Bellagio
- Check out the Neon Museum
Where To Catch The Best Sunset In Vegas
For a glamorous view of the sunset, have a romantic date at Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel, although on the pricey end. The Skyfall lounge at The Delano also gives you panoramic views of Sin City. You can also opt to head out to Red Rock Canyon, 30 minutes away, or Valley of Fire, 1 hour hour. Here you will witness the desert rocks on fire and have a nice break from the glitz and glam of the strip.
The prettiest bar we had cocktails at was The Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Everything was sparkling and visually stunning. It is also fun to grab drinks along the strip and people watch, as there is no open container law.
We saw RL Grime at XS at Encore and I honestly wasn’t too impressed. The crowd was younger, and a promoter had us arrive very early so that we would not have to pay a cover. I think XS at Encore would have been a lot more fun during the day. I have heard that The Bank at The Bellagio and Hakkasan are both excellent night clubs and may have a better and more mature crowd with world class DJs.