Things to do in Las Vegas for First Timers

Things to do in Las Vegas
for First Timers

Ahh…Las Vegas, also known as, Sin City. I visited Las Vegas for the first time in 2022 and wanted to hit all the “bucket-list” experiences. I knew I did not want to gamble and sit in casinos the whole weekend away. Here, I made sure to hit all the top things to in Las Vegas for first timers.

Filled with casinos, shows, and much more, there are no shortage of things to do in Vegas. While you might think Vegas is one for gamblers and party life, there is much more Vegas has to offer. Even if going to the casino and clubs are not your thing, there are plenty of other activities that are noteworthy. 

See below for my top things to do in Las Vegas for first timers

1. Welcome to Las Vegas & Walking the Strip

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

You can’t come to Vegas and not get a picture with the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. It’s the perfect selfie, and photo op to begin your Vegas venture. Be prepared for a line, try to get here early so that you don’t have to wait too long.

After grabbing your picture, wander the strip. Here, there are always things going on and bustling with activities. You can check out the hotels, grab a drink, and take in all the sites.

2. Boozy Brunch

Brunch at Gidada in the Cromwell in Las Vegas

The food in Vegas is top notch. With several noteworthy restaurants, there are no shortage of great brunch spots to visit. Whether you’re waking up from a night out, or starting early with a day of site seeing, brunch and drinks are a great way to start out the day. Below are some of my favorites brunch spots:

GIADA at the Cromwell – Located at the Cromwell, I loved watching Giada on the cooking channel growing up, it was great to go and eat at her restaurant. Italian dishes and refreshing drinks, it’s a perfect way to start off the morning.

Yardbird Table & Bar – Located in the Venetian Resort, if you’re in the mood for Southern comfort food and craft cocktails, this is the place for you. Be sure to try the chicken & waffles along with a Bloody Mary.

eat. – Located in Downtown Vegas, it’s worth heading to this spot to brunch. Made with local and sustainable ingredients, this trendy menu will be sure to hit the spot.

Makers & Finders – Also located in Downtown Vegas, this is a great place if you’re craving coffee and a Latin cuisine. Be sure to get here early enough as there is often a wait to get seated.

3. Hit the casinos

I couldn’t come to Vegas without checking out the casinos. They’re everywhere and you’ll find many trying out their luck throughout the day. 

Whether you’re a high roller or just wanting to check out the slot machines, it’s an experience to have in Vegas for sure. 

4. Head to Downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas Downtown Mural

It’s worth heading off the strip to Downtown Las Vegas. There are noteworthy restaurants, bars, and things to do here:

Fremont Street – Fremont Street is its own attraction in downtown Las Vegas. The pedestrian mall has activities, restaurants, casinos, and has a light show. Be sure to do the SlotZilla Zip Line, this exciting experience takes you from the world’s largest slot machine to the world’s largest video screen. 

Neon Museum – This 2.62-acre museum displays signs from old casinos and other businesses. It’s a great place to grab cute photos. 

Las Vegas Art District (aka 18b) – If you happen to be in Vegas the first Friday of the month, the district hosts a block party with artists, food, vendors, and musicians. If you’re looking for a different vibe than the Strip, this is a great place to explore.

8. Check out cool bars

Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas

Vegas has cool and unique bars. See below for some of my favorites:

Chandelier – Located in The Cosmopolitan, this multi-story bar is gorgeous with great cocktails.

The Dorsey Cocktail Bar – Located in the Venetian, you can enjoy craft cocktails in a chic lounge.

Skybar – If you want great views, head to this bar located at Waldorf Astoria. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you get a fantastic view of the Strip.

High Roller – For a fun experience if you have a group, doing happy hour at the High Roller is a great option. The ticket includes an open bar and bartender for the full 30-minute rotation of the wheel.

Velveteen Rabbit – If you’re looking to head off the Strip, this is eclectic bar in downtown is a cool bar as well.

9. Enjoy dining experiences

Beauty & Essex Restaurant in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas

Las Vegas’s food scene is the perfect foodie’s spot, see below for my favorite restaurants. These places are great for dining and trendy ambiance. 

Beauty & Essex – Located in the Cosmopolitan, I think this is a must do for foodies. The food and drinks are phenomenal, and the vintage setting is the perfect ambiance. 

Momofuku – Also located in the Cosmopolitan, this inventive Asian fare will be sure to hit the spot.

Hell’s Kitchen – If you watch the TV show, you won’t be disappointed making a reservation here. Located in Caesar’s Palace, Hell’s Kitchen decor and dishes are inspired by the TV show.

10. See a show

The shows in Las Vegas are amazing, see below for my favorites:   

Absinthe – This is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen. It is the perfect combination of acrobatics and comedy. It is an adult show and on the raunchy side of humor. Absinthe may or may not be your cup of tea, depending on what kind of humor you are looking for. 

“O” by Cirque du Soleil – Cirque du Soleil is truly a masterpiece and a perfect show for all genres. 

11. Party all day (and night)!

The Vegas party scene is one to experience especially if you’ve never been to Vegas. You can hit up a pool party during the warm months in the day, and head to the popping night clubs at night. See below for options for day parties and night clubs.

Day Parties

Marquee – Located at the Cosmopolitan, this location offers two pools, several bars, and a gaming area.

Drai’s – Located in the Cromwell, you get great views of the Strip here, be sure to show up in your fashionable swimwear to be pool party ready.

Nightclubs

Marquee – Located at the Cosmopolitan, you can party during the day and night here. The high energy here makes it stand out from the other clubs.

XS – Located at Wynn Las Vegas, this gold-accented dance club has an inside and outside. This is a favorite of many! 

12. Bonus - Venture out!

Hoover Dam 2

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of places to visit a little way outside of Vegas! From quick drives to day trips, Vegas is a perfect home base for some of Nevada’s and Arizona’s natural wonders. 

Seven Magic Mountains – Head to the desert for the perfect instagram photo. These colorful 7 painted boulders are perfect for snapping that insta post. It’s only a short 25-minute drive out of Vegas.

Hoover Dam – If you’re able to visit the Hoover Dam, I would recommend especially for your first time. This concrete-arch gravity dam is an incredible engineered structure with plenty of history behind it. This is only about 45 minutes from Vegas.

When we visited, we did a combined tour of the Seven Magic Mountains and Hoover Dam so that we did not have to rent a car. See here for details.

Valley of Fire – If you’re looking to do an all-day hiking activity, head to Valley of Fire State Park. Home to 46,000 acres of red sandstone, there are plenty of day hikes you can take to explore. This is about 50 minutes from Vegas.

I hope this post helped plan out your trip to Las Vegas!

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7 Comments

  • Dreaming In French Blog
    Posted April 4, 2022 5:24 pm 0Likes

    I’ve been to Vegas a couple times already, but these tips were helpful for me. Might try a boozy brunch next time.

  • Linda (LD Holland)
    Posted April 6, 2022 6:43 pm 0Likes

    There is indeed so much to see and do in Las Vegas. A trip to remember. We have seen some awesome shows there. Great to include some of the great day trips you can take from Las Vegas.

  • Marianne
    Posted April 7, 2022 8:39 am 0Likes

    We have been to Vegas a couple of times, but I look forward to going back with the kids someday. There are so many interesting things to see and do that are family-friendly, when you have no interest in gambling!

  • Leah Tierney
    Posted April 7, 2022 3:47 pm 0Likes

    We’ve never been to Las Vegas but would love to go. Definitely saving this guide to use when we can afford to go; thanks for sharing.

  • magdalena
    Posted April 7, 2022 10:24 pm 0Likes

    I didn’t know Las Vegas had so much to offer. I will definitely use your tips when I go there.

  • kmfiswriting
    Posted April 8, 2022 1:50 am 0Likes

    This is a great list of things to do in Vegas for first timers. I’ve been there countless times and you’ve included a few things I want to explore.

  • Ildiko
    Posted April 8, 2022 11:53 am 0Likes

    Great suggestions for a Las Vegas getaway. I would so enjoy the food scene there. While I am not into casinos, I would love to hike in the Valley of Fire. That sounds so picturesque! Thanks for sharing.

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