What to do on your first trip to Vegas

Hey Vegas Virgin! Yeah, I’m talking to you. For one reason or another, you’ve yet to step foot in this wild and crazy town, but sooner or later, you’ll cave and come see what all the hype is about. When you do, the first thing you want to know is that you’re going to need a drink in your hand. And then, you’re going to walk down with the street with it. That’s right, in Vegas we like to sip and stroll and it’s perfectly legal. We both know you can’t do that in your hometown so by all means, throw caution to the wind and drink up. Here’s what you should do on your first trip to Vegas:

Bet you wish you had a tree house like the one at the Bellagio Conservatory.

Bet you wish you had a tree house like the one at the Bellagio Conservatory.

Walk through the Bellagio Conservatory

You’ve probably paid a pretty penny to visit lush botanical gardens in the past, but here, you walk right on in. The Bellagio Conservatory sees 15,000-18,000 visitors every single day, and that’s for one simple reason: They’re friggin’ awesome. Five times a year they change out their floral displays, using roughly 86,000 blooms in one season. The skill and artistry of the 120-person horticulture team is like nothing you’ve ever seen before so don’t miss it.


Oh la la, the Bellagio Fountains in all their glory.

Watch the Bellagio Fountains

While you’re at the Bellagio, step outside to see one of the most photographed attractions on the Strip – the free fountain show. The 8.5 acre lake has 1,214 jets that rocket streams of dancing water 460 feet into the air. Each show is choreographed to songs ranging from Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars, with music genres so diverse it’s like having a jukebox in the middle of a sprinkler system on steroids.


Free entertainment via professionals and amateurs at the Fremont Street Experience.

Get crazy on Fremont Street

I’m not sure what you’ve heard, but it’s probably all true. Fremont Street, including the Fremont Street Experience and the Fremont East bar district, is pretty much the land of ultimate debauchery. The entire corridor is like a giant block party with kiosks, zip lines, free concerts and party goers of various level of sobriety. After you’ve witnessed this whole new level of “shock and awe,” head over to the Fremont East district for one of the best bar scenes in all of Vegas.


From this altitude you can see everybody’s check liver lights coming on.

Take a helicopter ride

One of my favorite things to tell people is that you can take a helicopter ride over the Las Vegas Strip for right around a hundred bucks. It’s such a unique experience that too many people overlook because they’re low on cash and don’t think they can afford it. If you skip one expensive meal at a fancy Strip restaurant, your helicopter ticket is paid for. This is one item on your bucket list you’ll never forget.


Life is better by the pool at Drai’s.

Float in one of our pools

Whether or not that means your hotel pool or one of the bumping and out-of-control dayclubs, you’ll never look at it the same way after you’ve been to Vegas. From the 15-acre pools at the Flamingo to the wave pool at Mandalay Bay and even high-end and posh spots like Encore Beach Club and Marquee, this ain’t your backyard pool party. Here’s a fun tip: Check out the “toptional” pool clubs where you can let it all hang out in places like Moorea, Bare and the Venus Pool Club.

Absinthe is the ultimate “do not try this at home” kind of show.

See a show

Three words: world class entertainment. You’d be hard pressed to find a city with better shows than Vegas. Yeah yeah, we see you Broadway, but our productions are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. We’ve got mind-boggling acrobats, global superstars and some of the best dancers in the world. Plus, there is sometimes a whole lot of nakedness from the show and probably you too, depending on how many trips to the bar you’ve made before the curtain comes up.

CRUSH_Surf and Turf_Jim Decker

Please wipe away your drool. This is the Surf & Turf at CRUSH.

Be prepared to eat

Las Vegas is a foodie’s died-and-gone-to-heaven-dream-come-true, so bite the bullet and see what all the fuss is about. Book a fancy-schmancy dinner in one of our restaurants that are a lineup of who’s who in celebrity chefs. There are so many, it’s like reading their names out of a celebrity phone book: Andrés, Batali, De Laurentiis, Fieri, Gagnaire, Mina, Puck, Ramsay, Robuchon, Savoy – you get the picture, now make the reservation. If you have the palate but not the Benjamins, it’s cool, just head to downtown Las Vegas. Carson Avenue is like an unofficial restaurant row and it’ll be a fraction of the cost.

6.20_Calvin Harris_Hakkasan_Photo Credit Al Powers

Hakkasan is what nightclub dreams are made of.

Get your nightlife on

You may not be a club person, and that’s cool – there are plenty of places to take in nightlife besides a nightclub. But since this is your first time, you really should check out a club at least once, because they’re the sickest in the country. With the world’s hottest DJs dropping the beat on the regular, your Vegas nightclub experience will probably be the beginning of a night you won’t really remember but will talk about for years. Clubs like Marquee, XS and Drai’s have incredible outdoor patios when you need to cool down from dancing your face off. Omnia and Hakkasan are cool kids everybody wants to be or be with. Want a bar district instead? Head to Fremont East in downtown Las Vegas.

Card player with full house

If you see these five cards in your hand, it’s about to be a very good day.

Do a little gambling

Oh you don’t know when to hit, stand, double down or split? That’s cool. The Vegas casinos will teach you how to play most of their games for free. But let’s get real – you’ll probably be paying for those lessons with your losses unless you’re one lucky S.O.B. And there’s a chance you are. You can bet as much or as little as you’d like, depending on the table. But if the pressures of playing cards and slangin’ dice are too much for you to handle, sit right on down at a slot machine. It’s a great way to get free drinks (if you’re winning of course).


No pic, no proof. You gotta stop at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

Take a selfie at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign

This is a rite of passage for all Sin City vacation goers. Created in 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is an iconic symbol for us and photographic proof that you came to party. Plus, it’s free. You also never know when Elvis or a handful of feather-wearing showgirls will be there to pose with, so drop them a couple bucks and say cheese.


Ever heard of a game called 30 minutes in Heaven on the High Roller? Neither have we.

Become a High Roller

The High Roller at The LINQ Promenade isn’t your average Ferris wheel. There’s nothing average about it. And it’s not really a Ferris wheel; it’s an observation wheel — the biggest in the world at a staggering 550-feet-tall. Yes, you read that right: 550 feet. That’s nine feet taller than the Singapore Flyer and 107 feet taller than the London Eye. It currently holds the Guinness World Record for largest observation wheel on the planet. With panoramic views of the Strip, the valley and the mountains, there’s something to see from every angle.


Born a Buckeye - raised a Hoosier. I grew up in a one-horse town that straddles the Indiana/Ohio state line and until 2006, was in two different time zones. There were three stoplights and a whopping 48 students in my graduating class. Fast forward a few years later, I was bitten by the travel bug and decided to head west. It seems like no matter how long I live here, there’s always something that still makes my jaw drop. That’s what I love about Vegas; you never know what you’re going to see next and that’s what makes living here so much fun. Basically, if you’re bored in this town, there’s something wrong with you…not the city. I’m an avid traveler with an incurable case of wanderlust so stay tuned for all the tours, attractions and shopping adventures that Sin City has to offer.