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Are you making your first trip to Las Vegas? Wondering what activities and attractions you need to add to your itinerary? We thought it would be fun to throw together a list of our “must do” activities that every first timer to Vegas should consider. Tastes obviously vary wildly, use our list as a starting point as you plan your maiden voyage to Sin City!
To our followers/subscribers that are savvy Sin City vets, feel free to add your “can’t miss” items for first time Vegas visitors in the comments!
Get to Fremont Street at LEAST one night: The Fremont Street Experience is a stark counterpoint to the Strip. Neon displays are alive and well, gaming limits are lower, and there is an assortment of entertainment options ranging from free concerts, street performers, and overhead light shows on the Viva Vision Canopy (which is getting an upgrade as we type!). Our favorite aspect of Fremont though is that the slots are a touch looser than they are on the Strip.
Sign up for a players card upon arrival: By using a players card you give the casinos an opportunity to rate your play resulting in potential freebies/discounted rooms in the future based on your play. In Vegas, you don’t have to be a high roller to earn perks.
See also: Our beginners guide to earning comps!
Enjoy drinks with a view: The lights of Vegas are intended to be seen, there is no better way to do it than at a bar allowing you to take in the entire city. Our favorite option for a cocktail with a view is at 107 SkyLounge at The Strat which is, you guessed it, 107 stories up. Better yet, visit during happy hour to score half price drinks from 4-7pm. After your drink, walk out to The Strat’s observation deck for free.
On the topic of cocktails – Get something unique: There are no shortage of drink options in Las Vegas which range from a simple beer to slushie drinks the height of a 7 year old. Two cocktails though stand out as a must for first timers.
- Verbana Cocktail at Cosmopolitan: A citrus tequila drink garnished with a szechuan flower or “buzz button” that, when consumed, acts as a fireworks show in your mouth throwing your taste buds into overdrive. Why simply get drunk when you can get drunk while enjoying a cocktail that is also an experience. Win-Win.
- Frozen Baileys at O’Sheas: The consistency of a malt, but made with frozen Baileys Irish Creme. It’s cold. It’s refreshing. It’s delicious. It’s also the perfect cure for a hangover.
Take advantage of free activities: Casinos still offer a number of no cost attractions to draw the gaming public in and all should be in contention for a spot on your to-do list if you are a Vegas newbie. We recommend making time for the Bellagio Fountains and Conservatory, Mirage’s Volcano, Fremont Street Experience’s light show, the Pawn Stars pawn shop, taking a photo with Binion’s $1 Million cash display, strolling through Flamingo’s wildlife habitat or just bouncing from property to property.
See a show: The city of entertainment wont leave you disappointed regardless of your tastes. Options range from acrobatic Cirque du Soleil shows, comedians, and top tier singing talent to include Lady Gaga, Celiene Dion, and Janet Jackson. Often times, discount show tickets can be purchased at the numerous Tix4Tonite locations up and down the Strip.
Visit the Neon Museum: If you have even the faintest interest in Las Vegas history, the Neon Museum is an attraction that will put a perma-smile on your face. Historic neon signage from current casinos and properties long gone are on display during the day, and come to life at night as part of the Brilliant display which uses projectors to bring the signs back from the dead.
Eat at a top tier buffet: Buffets are often thought of as being focused on quantity over quality at an attractive price point. High end Vegas buffets, however, will blow the first timer away. Offerings at Wynn, Caesars, Cosmopolitan, Aria and even M Resort off the strip delight guests with small portions of high quality and much fancier food options than are slung around at your local Old Country Buffet.
Happy Half Hour on High Roller: There is no better way to take in Vegas for the first time than in the middle of the Strip from 550 ft. in the air. Opt for the happy half hour ticket, a touch more expensive, but you’ll have access to an open bar for the duration of your 30 minute round trip. From experience, you can fit a lot of rum and cokes into that time frame.
Seek a Thrill: Believe it or not, options for entertainment in Vegas exist outside of gaming, shows and chemical ingestion. If adrenaline is what you seek, options exist to include the Big Apple Coaster at NYNY, jumping off Strat’s SkyPod in a 855 ft. free fall, 3 additional (and terrifying) thrill rides that sit atop Strat and 3 separate zip line experiences.
Get a room with a view: When booking directly with resorts on the Strip, you will often have the option to pay a few more bucks to get a room with a Strip View. As a first time visitor, you deserve to wake up to a stunning view of the city as opposed to an air conditioning unit on the roof.
Anything else you would add to our list of things every first time visitor to Las Vegas should do? Let us know in the comments!