Woohoo, new travel guide up today! Las Vegas is known for being the city of excess, and with so many options for food, clubs, shows and more it can be a bit overwhelming to research things to do in Vegas. After several trips to Sin City and a recent week-long stint there for work and play earlier this month, I've created this travel guide that includes a mix of well-known must-do's on the strip, as well as a few hidden gems off the beaten path. Cheers!
Day 1Day 2
- Check-in. Since Vegas is basically just a giant strip of hotels with a ton of stuff inside them, your hotel options are pretty endless. We stayed at Aria for the weekend and I usually have a pretty good experience there. It's centrally located, nice, and usually reasonably priced. V'dara next door is also a good bet and is usually a little cheaper than other hotels since there is no casino. I'd also recommend The SLS Hotel if you prefer something slightly off the strip and out of the fray, but still close enough to easily hop in a cab and be on the strip in ten minutes. I stayed there during the week (that's where the Marie Antoinette-inspired room pics are from) and loved it.
- Buffet. You'll probably be hungry when you arrive in Vegas, and nothing is more Vegassy than a buffet for lunch. Bacchanal at Caesar's Palace has been voted best buffet several times, and I found it to be pretty delicious. While the dumplings and sushis in the Asian section are good, don't fill up on those like I did first thing. Where you'll really get the best bang for your buck is at the primo meat station, as well as the seafood station. Save room for the giant dessert bar.
- Drybar. Start your trip out with a blow out so your hair is looking fly all weekend long. The Drybar in Vegas has a DJ and a full bar.
- Pinks. You're probably not going to be hungry yet at this point after that huge buffet lunch, but at some point (probably when you're drunk) you should try to fit in a hot dog from Pink's.
- Sprinkles ATM. Head over to The Linq to walk around and explore. Enjoy the novelty of one of Sprinkles' few cupcake ATM machines and have dessert before dinner, because why not?
- The High Roller. Take a ride on the world's largest observation wheel! The High Roller has amazing views of the strip and takes 30 minutes to go all the way around. Try to time your trip so that you can catch the sunset from up there—it's spectacular! You have the option of hopping on a ride with a bar inside it, or you can grab a drink from the bar downstairs beforehand and bring it up on your ride with you. I've done the High Roller a couple times now with friends and everyone has just loved it!
- Purple Zebra. If this is your first time in Vegas and you've never drank a sugary drink out of an oddly-shapred container (like the Eiffel Tower or a long-necked Fat Tuesday's cup), you probably need to experience that. The main Purple Zebra location at The Linq is under construction this summer, but there's a smaller bar inside of The Linq Hotel as well. They have some yummy options and will let you sample and mix and match. I ended up with a pina colada strawberry daiquiri situation that I drank out of a zebra hoof cup and I was pretty pleased about it.
- Rose. Rabbit. Lie. This relatively new Supper Club at the Cosmopolitan was so much fun! Fair warning, the service is super slow (make reservations and you still might have to wait a half hour at the bar), but you really won't mind because the ambiance is so fun and there's great live entertainment. Between the tap dancer, break dancer (both of which happened right by our heads on the booth behind us), and the singers and musicians, there was so much talent and entertainment. The food was also delicious!
- The Chandelier. After dinner, grab a drink inside the beautiful Chandelier bar at the Cosmo.
- Clubs. Check out the Vegas EDM Calendar to see which DJs are performing at clubs in Vegas while you're in town. Text a Vegas promoter and let them know which club you're interested in going to and they'll help you get on the guest list. I mentioned one promoter, Michelle, who we worked with for my Vegas Bachelorette, and her number is (908) 770-3570. XS is my favorite club in Vegas, and I'll talk more about it in the Day 2 itinerary...
- Pool Day. Nurse your hangover, get some sun, and drink and relax at the pool. We opted to hang out at Aria's more relaxing pool, rather than their clubby pool, since we're not 21 any more and just the idea of listening to loud music all day and all night gave us a headache. Room service or lunch at the pool is always a good way to go after a first night in Vegas.
- Eiffel Tower and Bellagio Fountain Show. Get ready for a night out! Start your evening by taking a trip up the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. It's totally silly but really fun, and made us nostalgic for our honeymoon in Paris. :) The views are great, and again I'd recommend timing it so you can watch the sun go down from the top. You'll also have great views of the Bellagio Fountain Show!
- Bouchon. Head to The Venetian for dinner at Bouchon (make reservations in advance). The food is delicious, and you might as well continue the Parisian theme with some steak frites. ;)
- XS. Depending on your schedule and which DJs are playing, be sure to work XS into your club itinerary at some point! It's my absolute favorite club in Vegas. They always have great DJs (I've seen David Guetta and Kaskade most recently perform there and it was SO FUN) and I love that they have an indoor and outdoor area. The outdoor area has a pool in the middle and there are some platforms and shallow areas where (if you're like me, and have no shame) you can kick off your shoes and dance. After that experience, dancing in a pool barefoot is basically the only way I want to party at a club from now on.
- XS has become really popular so a couple extra tips are in order. I remember when I went with Omied years ago and it was pretty easy to get in just by chatting with a promoter on the street. This time around, our promoter hooked us up with ladies getting in free + a drink ticket, and guys having to pay $30. However, once we entered the outdoor part of XS, we were told that if we wanted to go into the indoor area of the club, we would have to go back outside and pay another $40 (both guys and girls). We opted to pass on this and stayed outside and were pretty happy with our decision. Omied walked through the indoor area of the club to get to coat check and said it was a shit show, and I actually love the outdoor area because it's its own scene with the pool, booths, some places for seating and smaller dance area. Did I mention the dancing in the pool with your shoes off part?? The best.
- Check XS' calendar because looks like they're also doing a "Sunday Night Swim" with their DJs which sounds so freaking fun!
- After a night of Vegassing, Secret Pizza is in order. While there are no signs, it's pretty easy to spot this "hidden" pizza place on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan by the line of hungry drunkards jonesing for a delicious slice of pizza.
- Neon Museum. The Neon Museum in Vegas is one of those off the strip tips that I mentioned earlier. Known as the "Neon Boneyard," this outdoor museum has tons of old Neon signs from Vegas hotels of yore. You must book a guided tour beforehand. If it works with your schedule it would be fun to do a tour around sunset time, so you can see the signs during day time and lit up in the evening. For our schedule, we went during the day time and it was still really cool.
- Sambalatte. Rainbow lattes at the Monte Carlo. Basically enough said. I did it all for the 'Gram.
- Old Vegas. Fremont Street or Old Vegas is where Vegas locals hang out. It was fun to walk around and explore here and I loved all the neon signs at sunset.
- Nobu. People kept telling me we had to go to Nobu, and while it was a bit pricey and the portions were small, the food was delicious. My recs are the Japanese snapper with dry miso, miso cod, and rock shrimp.
- Mystere. Gotta catch a show while you're in Vegas! Mystere is a quintessential Cirque du Soleil show and just amazing.
Those are all my tips and recommendations for things to do in Vegas! It's a crazy place and I'll also say that three days in Vegas is plenty! Any more and it starts to get a bit exhausting and overwhelming (for me, at least!). What are some of your favorite Vegas spots??