Updated: Oct 29, 2020
I keep hearing over and over that Vegas is for single people only, and that this is the place you go to get wild, go off limits, spend all the money you don't have etc, etc, etc.
This is what I think about it: The beauty and the curse of Las Vegas is that this city can be whatever you want it to be.
Vegas can perfectly be a family-friendly vacation or the craziest bachelor's party ever. What you get is up to you.
Every time I travel, I am looking for different and exciting experiences, and that's exactly what I do whenever I'm in Vegas. There's always something new to see and do here, and I've nailed down my favorites, plus some "can't miss" so that your adventurer soul can make the most out of Sin City.
Here's my complete Vegas travel guide:
Driving: 4h from LA
Flying: 1h from LAX
Once in Vegas, most attractions are on the Strip, so you'll be walking most of the time.
There's the Monorail, that stops at most hotels, also shuttles, and even limos to get the party started. Like I said, Vegas can be as mild or wild as you want it to be.
Most casinos started charging for parking a while ago. Here's the list of the places where you can still park for free on the Strip:
- Treasure Island
- Venetian/ Palazzo
- Circus Circus
- Casino Royale/ Best Western
- Wynn/ Encore
- Miracle Mile Shops
- Fashion Show Mall
WHERE TO STAY
I usually recommend booking a hotel right on the Strip, just because staying at one of the themed resorts/casinos, to me, is one of the coolest parts of the entire Las Vegas experience.
There are cheaper options just off of the Strip and the surrounding areas, so it depends on your budget and priorities. I live a short drive away from Vegas, so I don't have to spend on plane tickets, which allows me to spend some more money into a nice room with a view.
Look for 4 and 5 star resorts, they are much more affordable here!
THINGS TO DO:
♥️ #1: Take A Tour Around The World
Many Casinos are inspired in worldwide destinations, so being a traveler myself, that is one of the things that makes Vegas special to me.
One of my all time favorites, this hotel truly transports you to the City of Lights, and includes a half scale replica of the Eiffel Tower (with an observation deck and restaurant), a sign in the shape of the Montgolfier Balloon, a 2/3 size Arc de Triomphe, a replica of La Fontaine des Mers, and the front of the hotel resembles the Paris Opera House and the Louvre.
Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck
Arguably the best views of the Strip!
I personally like it better than the views from the Stratosphere due to its central location on the Strip.
Tickets start at $18/person before 7pm & $22 anytime
I'm simply in love with the Venetian. I guess that's how you're supposed to feel in such a romantic and charming place like Venice, right?
The Venetian is opulent and every room is a suite about twice the size of an average hotel room, and features an all-Italian-marble bath. Plus award winning restaurants, nightclubs, luxury shopping (Grand Canal Shoppes is so beautifully designed that you do feel like you are strolling the piazza) and more.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
If you buy at Madame Tussauds Box Office you pay $29.95/adult & $24.95/child (3-12).
Buy tickets online at their website and get better deals (click here).
One of the most romantic things to do in Vegas! We took the indoor gondola a few years ago and it was very sweet, especially for the serenade, so it depends, if you’re cheesy like me, you might just love it despite the $$ price.
Indoor or Outdoor ride: Take a voyage through the graceful Venetian canals or experience open-air romance.
Shared Gondola (seats 4): $29/person
Private Gondola (for 2): $116
Some “premium” dates such as Xmas & NYE are more expensive. Double check before you go.
Simply iconic. This resort speaks for itself. Luxurious, a real landmark and absolute must see!
Every spring, summer, fall and winter brings a new floral showcase that is a MUST to anyone visiting Vegas. It is really breathtaking. Also, this attraction is completely free.
When the seasons turn and the displays rotate, 90% of the trees, flowers and plants in the conservatory are recycled, good job Bellagio!
The Fountains of Bellagio are one of the most iconic attractions in Vegas, and good news, this is also completely free.
More than a thousand fountains dance in front of the hotel in sync to opera, classical, Broadway hits and pop music. This is claimed to be the most choreographically complex water feature ever conceived.
It happens every day, and here are the showtimes:
Mon-Fri: Every 30min from 3-8pm and every 15min from 8pm-midnight
Sat & Holidays: Every 30min from 12-8pm and every 15min from 8pm-midnight.
Sundays: Every 30min from 11am-7pm and every 15min from 7pm-midnight.
One of Las Vegas' biggest landmarks and not just because of "The Hangover".
It was inspired in the Roman Empire and includes stunning architecture such as a 20ft (6.1 m) statue of Augustus Caesar near the resort's entrance, as well as a performance venue called The Colosseum.
The Forum Shops is home to some of the most luxurious stores in the world, and just like the Roman Empire, built to impress.
The Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis is a complex of 7 exclusive pools free only to hotel guests (these are, to me, the most opulent and beautiful pools of all Vegas).
No need to cross the country over to the East Coast. Vegas brings the Big Apple to you, including replicas of its most famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State & Chrysler Buildings, Grand Central Terminal and even the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Big Apple Coaster
This roller coaster right on the Strip now offers virtual reality features! It combines real G forces, drops and high speed with a virtual battle against alien invaders. Tickets start at $15.
Because who doesn't love pyramids? Well, Luxor's is similar in size to some real pyramids in Egypt.
The Luxor Sky Beam is the strongest beam of light in the world, and uses curved mirrors to collect light from xenon lamps and focus them into one intense, narrow beam.
Blue Man Group Show
Tickets start at $59, plus applicable taxes and fees.
Named after the city of Rio de Janeiro and inspired by the Brazilian culture!
It's a 1min10sec zip ride at 800ft from one tower to the other at the Rip Hotel.
Tickets are $25 (buy here)
Watch an amazing show volcano eruption show right on the Strip, featuring explosions, fireballs and music.
Show happens every day and is completely free: 8pm, 9pm and 10pm only.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
See bottlenose dolphins, white tigers and lions, and leopards, and get closer with exclusive experiences such as a behind-the-scenes VIP tour.
- Other Resorts & Casinos Worth Visiting:
Sophisticated. Provocative. Contemporary. Named the best hotel in the world in 2013, it offers residential-styled living spaces, private terraces and breathtaking skyline views of the Strip.
We recently stayed at the "Cosmo" for the first time and had an amazing time. It is not on the cheaper side of the resorts but it was well worth it. Being a hotel guest, I went to a couple of their pools and found my newest favorite spot to photograph the strip - by the Boulevard Pool.
The Chandelier lounge, inside the Cosmopolitan hotel is a 3 level experience inside a curtain of sparkle! Here's how the hotel describes it:
Bottom of the Chandelier (Level 1): A high-energy spot in the middle of it all that transcends the notion of the classic casino lounge.
Inside the Chandelier (Level 1.5): With every detail carefully considered, this sophisticated sanctuary offers fine, hand-crafted cocktail for the true experience seeker.
Top of the Chandelier (Level 2): An inviting lounge that showcases the splendor of The Chandelier, giving guests a glimpse into the mystique and magic of the world within.
Considered two of the finest hotels in the world and home to some of the best restaurants in Vegas!
A garden of extravagant, bright colored flowers! This attraction is completely free to visit and truly impressive. You'll find living trees, hanging flower balls, a carrousel and a hot air balloon created with flowers. The hot air balloon shown below is 20ft high and made out of approx. 60,000 which are changed every two weeks!
Lake of Dreams
A spectacle of music and imagery created by more than 4000 lights by the fully enclosed 40ft waterfall inside the Wynn. Show is free and happens every 30-min from 8pm-12:30am
The largest single hotel in the United States with 6852 rooms! Love the golden lion on their main building.
The new kid on the block, Park MGM beautifully combines urban style with gardens and... drumrolls please... it's the first smoke-free casino in Vegas!
Another thing not to be missed here: Eataly! It's simply the largest Italian marketplace with restaurants in the world.
Shark Reef Aquarium
Home to more than 2,000 animals, including sharks, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha and a Komodo dragon.
Adults: $25 / Seniors (65+): $23 / Kids (4-12): $19 / Kids (3 & under): Free
Mandalay Bay Beach
Includes a wave pool, lazy river, a lagoon and cabanas for daily use.
Non-Hotel guests can enjoy it with paid admission from Monday – Thursday (blackout dates apply).
Adults: $20 / Kids 4-16: $10 / Kids 3 and under: Complimentary
This hotel sits on one of the most central locations on the Strip.
Highlights for the LINQ Promenade, including many great restaurants, bars and shoppes, as well as the fun attractions I'm listing below:
Fly LINQ Zipline
Fly at the speed of fun 12 stories above The LINQ Promenade on the Strip’s only zipline experience. Tickets start at $25 online (buy here)
Imagine Singapore Flyer or London Eye, only bigger. It's simply the highest Ferris wheel in the world, and I couldn't miss the chance to ride it! I confess it does feel intimidating looking at how insanely huge that thing is. Fyi, the wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution and rises 550 ft above the Strip.
Private cabin options and open bar happy hour, tickets start at $22 online (buy here)
Soon to be rebranded to The STRAT. Located north of all the other hotels on the Strip (fun fact: it's the only hotel on the Strip located in the city of Las Vegas).
The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the USA.
Tickets: $25 (buy here)
Rides at the top:
- SkyJump: Take an open-air leap from 829ft above the Strip. Holds a Guinness World Record as the highest commercial decelerator descent facility.
Price: $119.99 Per Jump
- Big Shot: This thrill ride catapults 16 riders from the 921ft high platform up the Tower's mast to a height of 1,081ft and down again.
- Insanity: A mechanical arm that extends out 64ft over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower at a height of over 866ft, at speeds of up to three 'G's. - X-Scream: This ride propels you and other riders headfirst, 27ft over the edge of the Stratosphere Casino, back and forth.
Prices vary, packages available!
♠️ #2: Hit A Nightclub/ Pool Party
If you like to party, you're in the right place. Las Vegas loves parties like nowhere else.
The Best DJ's in the world perform here. Pool parties are the place to be during spring & summer, and tons of nightclubs make sure the party goes on 24/7.
Needless to say, alcohol in any club, day or night, is very, very expensive. In Vegas, you gotta pay to play.
I'm listing my 2 favorites, but know that pretty much every resort has parties happening daily.
Nightclub: Omnia Nightclub - Ceasars Palace
A multi-level club that encompasses a lounge area, main room and mezzanine, as well as a rooftop garden with panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip. One of the most famous nightclubs in town.
Pool Party: Encore Beach Club - Wynn / Encore
Known for being the celebrities' favorite, we came down to watch David Guetta play.
The pool is gigantic, the place is beautiful and the drinks insanely expensive, it gets super crowded but the music is soooo good! We had a great time and I would definitely do it again.
Tip: Put your name on a promoter’s list to get free entry on clubs. Look for promoter contacts online!
♦️ #3: Food
I'm going to be honest. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Vegas is the food.
The entertainment capital of America has become a culinary icon in where all the reputable chefs own at least one restaurant. Here's only a few of the most wanted restaurants currently, note that advance reservations are highly recommended, and for some, mandatory.
Picasso - Bellagio
Guy Fieri’s Kitchen - The LINQ
Mon Ami Gaby - Paris
Bouchon - The Venetian
Grimaldi’s - The Venetian at Palazzo
Eataly - Park MGM
Gordon Ramsay’s Hells Kitchen - Ceasars Palace
Catch - Aria
Mizumi - Wynn
Raku - Downtown
Top of The World - Stratosphere
é by José Andrés - Cosmopolitan
♣️ #4: Vegas Beyond The Strip
Las Vegas is growing and that means that a lot of attractions are expanding to other areas of the city. Downtown and Chinatown are becoming more and more part of the scene and into the mainstream.
- Fremont Street Experience: Old town Vegas at its best!
- The Neon Museum: THE photo-op place made of old casino signs. All bloggers and influencers come here, except for me because I spent all my time eating and partying lol
- Seven Magic Mountains: Desert art installation comprised of 7 painted boulder totems up to 35 ft high, located aprox. 10 miles south of Las Vegas.
♥️ #5: Shows
Shows are a huge thing in Vegas. Grammy winners, world famous DJ's, comedians, magicians, think about the best performers on the planet. They all tour here and some even stay for an entire season. Definitely worth checking who's performing when you're in town.
There's "just" SEVEN Cirque Du Soleil shows currently in Vegas, that means that you gotta go watch one! Here's all of them and the hotels where they're performing at plus links for tickets:
- Ka by Cirque Du Soleil - MGM Grand: Tickets from $69 (buy here).
- Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque Du Soleil - Mandalay Bay: Tickets from $69 - $185.14 (buy here).
- The Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil - The Mirage: Tickets from $79 (buy here)
- R.U.N by Cirque du Soleil - Luxor: Tickets from $69 (buy here)
- Zumanity by Cirque Du Soleil - NYNY: This show is 18 & over only. Tickets from $69 - $175 (buy here)
- O by Cirque Du Soleil - Bellagio: Tickets from $98.50 (Limited View) - $295.00 (buy here).
- Mystère by Cirque du Soleil - Treasure Island: Tickets from $49 (click here for show dates/times + tickets)
Trust me when I say it, there's much, much more to Vegas than everything I listed here, enough to make it a totally different experience every time you travel to America's entertainment capital.
Download, completely free, the Vegas - The Strip Travel Checklist that I created so you can easily checkmark the attractions as you visit them! All I ask is that you share the love and pin one of the images in this post to support my work!
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