ULTIMATE LAS VEGAS ACTIVITY + RESTAURANT LIST
Planning my 24th birthday was whirlwind. I went from trying to plan an international trip, to moving it to Asheville, NC, to finally (and last minute if I may add) deciding to go to VIVA LAS VEGAS. And oh was it worth it! I'll have some of the best memories to remember for years to come from my Vegas experience. Vegas is doable to achieve on a budget, but it's still important to stretch your normal budget out just in case you find an experience you truly don't want to pass up. There were a variety of places to eat along the strip that were more affordable than high end restaurants and activities averaged at $30+.
Your main expenses for Vegas will be your flight and deciding on a hotel along the strip. There are hotels for every single budget. From luxury to budget inns, you can find something you are comfortable with that fits everyone's budget in your party.
The huge variety of hotels honestly overwhelmed the hell out of me trying to plan a last minute trip to Las Vegas. So quite honestly, I would recommend one of the following hotels based on what they offer, room size, overall experience, and location on the strip.
- Paris Las Vegas Resort & Casino ($$) - I was lucky to find an old friend via twitter that shared her boyfriend's booking code with me and I got my friends and I this hotel at half price. What a deal! This pretty much drove my decision to book here and the rooms were decorated nicely, spacious for 3 people and felt like a walk along Paris. The Gordan Ramsey restaurant is also located on the main floor. There is a direct connection to their sister hotel, Bally's which made it easy to have more restaurants, shopping, and casinos to choose from.
- Planet Hollywood ($$) - My friends who have traveled to Las Vegas on more than one occasion enjoyed their stay here and it also would have been my main backup if I couldn't get a room at the below more expensive hotels. This hotel is straight forward and has a good enough location on the strip to main parties and experiences.
- The Venetian ($$$) - O M G. I pretty much fell in complete love with this hotel. Just complete adoration. It's a pretty penny, but a luxurious experience from top to bottom. Next time I travel to Vegas I'm definitely booking here!
- Caesar’s Palace ($$$) - This hotel was literally all things gold and a top place to go gambling. Do note that some of the high end hotels that people go to gamble do have higher bet minimums versus other places.
- Bellagio ($$) - Phew, definitely another luxury hotel that I considered that offered plenty of restaurants, casinos, and location on the strip was ideal.
LAS VEGAS THINGS TO DO
Groupon has a variety of deals for Vegas attractions and things to do. Groupon will give you a well rounded understanding of things you may be interested in doing when you arrive. It will definitely show you how there are SO MANY places to see, things to do, and the FUN you will have. Check back for Groupon deals closer to your trip date especially for major attractions. A lot of places require reservations now and the lines are long.
- Sky Diving $150 (near seven magic mountains) shuttle transportation is offered
- Marvel station $26
- Eiffel tower viewing deck $20
- Vegas Trike Night Tour of the Strip $125 for two people
- The LINQ zipline $25
- Hip Hop Crawl party bus 12-4pm $50 - Hop on the party buses where you receive liquor provided free of charge and ride around the Las Vegas strip for an hour and a half listening to hip hop music, dancing, and having a great time.
- Museum of dream space $28.5 groupon: Visitors can attend the digital art museum and immerse themselves into the unique, magical atmosphere of the exhibition
- GoJump Sky Diving $150 - book ahead!
- UTV Tours on Groupon Most people love doing this joyride experience riding through Nevada desert on ATV's!
- Las Vegas ATV’s - This is a cheaper option for ATV experiences in Vegas $92
- Las Vegas UTV Tours $116
- El Dorado Canyon UTV Tour $169
LAS VEGAS STRIP
- Michael Jackson Tribute Show at the Stratosphere Hotel. The Stratosphere Hotel also is a 360 restaurant that turns while you are eating! One of the best views in Las Vegas $100+
- Freemont Street Experience: Fremont Street is full of casinos, shops, restaurants, and a zip line – there is something for everyone! This is known as the old Las Vegas strip and you'll expect to see more locals on Freemont enjoying the sites, performers, restaurants and bars
- Slot zilla zip line $29-49 - highly recommended and fun zip line experience
- The Pool Marquee at Cosmopolitan Hotel
- Take a photo at the famous Las Vegas Sign towards the end of the strip
- Visit the Forums shop fountain at Caesar’s Palace.
- Gondola Tours: The gondola tours are one of the most iconic activities you could do in Venice, Italy so why not take a quick trip to Italy while in Vegas? The Venetian hotel is gorgeous and has the same gondolas to experience a lovely day on the water. They have both indoor and outdoor options and it starts at $36. Onboard, you’ll pass the Ponte Di Rialto (Rialto bridge) and a representation of the Piazza San Marco.
- Crimson and bloom (good for photo ops!)
- Custom kings for custom shorts/shirts
- Neon Museum $20
- Fountains of bellagio: Fountain display and water show is every 15/30 minutes from noon to 8:00 PM
- M&M’s Las Vegas Experience: Create your own personalized M&M’s. Next to MGM hotel.
- One of the most pumping clubs in Las Vegas, the Hakkasan nightclub
- Planet 13 Las Vegas Dispensary and the Reef Dispensary are both immersion experiences for the 420 lifestyle $40+
- Ice Bar Las Vegas - cocktails and drinks in below freezing weather with ice sculptures, or enjoy the fire room (regular temperature) and have drinks lit on fire or other drinks below freezing point. I loved this in Orlando! $30+
- Area 15 Las Vegas - AREA15 is an immersive playground, all rolled into a vast and vibrant space. Throw an axe, wander through a bamboo volcano, race on a zip line, or explore. Grab a free entry ticket online!
OUTDOOR EXCURSION EXPERIENCES
- 7 Magic Mountains - Magical colorful stones 20-30 minutes from the strip and a top art attraction that visitors love seeing
- $119 Kayaking 6 hour kayaking experience wafting through blue green sparking waters within the canyons
- Red Rock Canyon: Located only a few miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area houses a variety of challenging hiking trails, wonderful views and amazing rock climbing. If you love the outdoors and want a break from partying, Red Rock Canyon is the perfect day trip. $65 tour on airbnb
- Valley of Fire: The city is central to many stunning National Parks, including the Valley of Fire. Get ready to take plenty of photos. These guided hikes make it easy by providing transportation. $170. 1 hour away from the strip.
- Antelope Canyon: A hike through the famous Antelope Canyon is one of the most enchanting things to do in Las vegas. Although its far, you'll be covered with a sense of calmness and relaxation through this outdoor atmosphere. This experience is 4.5 hours away from the strip and $184.
- Hoover Dam: If you get the chance to take a trip to Las Vegas, ensure a day’s left available to tick off one of the United States’ most popular destinations: the Hoover Dam. Rent a car for the day and stop by the Hoover damn which is only an hour away (and you'll get to tick off another state!).
- Zion National Park: TAnother nearby state, Utah, offers more hiking opportunities and breathtaking earthly views. My trip to Utah included visiting Zion National Park and I would highly recommend visiting, even if it is only for a few hours. This national park offers stunning and vibrant colors that will make all your pictures look unbelievable. 2.5 hours away in Utah and $30+
- Death Valley Tours: $250
- Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour $150 and 4.5 hours away.
- Black Canyon Water rafting Tour $130 and 2 hours away.
VEGAS DAYCLUBS + NIGHTCLUBS
If you're going to Vegas you definitely will need to find a promoter on instagram to get on the lists. Some of these nightclubs have hour long lines or super expensive covers. You may see higher covers for men, free covers for women, or 2 drink requirements. A promoter helps you get into the venues faster than those walking in and there are usually express lines and starter drink tickets to use if you're on the list!
Contact the promoter Brad: +1 (702) 217-3741 and text him the days you are arriving and number of people. He will do the rest. Confetti canons, strobe lights, top hits, pool parties, and celebrity appearances are what you can expect at a Las Vegas club. Below are the hottest day and night clubs to consider going to on your next trip to Vegas!
- Mandalay Bay Daylight Beach Club: one of the biggest and best pool parties with Top 40’s hip hip and private cabanas and pools with free drink tickets. This was my favorite day club we went to that we ended up going twice. A lot of the times celebrities will make guest appearances on stage with the DJ. If you go, try the full appetizer platter! It's so good and easy to share with friends while you sip drinks at the bar. We met so many cool people including those that had the private cabanas and pools separate from the huge public pool. They shared their space with us, food, and drinks too and we stayed all day long.
- Jewel Nightclub: pop, hip hop, air and confetti cannons, and bright lights
- XS Nightclub: ready for a night swim party? This was one of the biggest clubs we went to and it was absolutely c r a z y. I was definitely astounded and caught off guard.
- Drai’s Nightlcub: has several celebrity appearances including people like T.I. and Rick Ross with lounge table seating and upscale vibes
- Embassy Nightclub: offers limo rides to pick you up from your hotel to drop you off at the club
- Hakkasan Nightlub: at the four-star MGM Grand, this club will drive you absolutely crazy. The nightclub includes an incredible lounge, a massive Oriental-themed garden with a bar, and an enormous dance floor.
- Omni Nightclub: bottle service nightclub located inside caesar's palace hotel
- New Elia Beach Club: both day and night pool parties with top hits
- Encore Beach Club: hosts day and night pool parties
- Marquee Nightclub: huge club with rooftop patio located in the Cosmopolitan hotel
- Wet Republic Club: another top party with plenty of pools, cabanas and daybeds
BREAKFAST + BRUNCH
- Cafe Lola - cute decor and known for their 24k gold lattes!
- Eggslut - fun restaurant and highly recommended for breakfast
- Mrs. Coco Cafe - cute decor and a perfect spot for brunch
- Blueberry Hills Family Restaurant
- Mimosa Gourmet - This restaurant is off the strip but worth the short drive. HUGE mimosas and if you finish in 15 minutes you get it for free! The food was so good and plentiful I couldn’t even finish it all.
- Lakeside at the Wynn - High-end American seafood eatery with amber & red decor, a wood oven & lake views.
- STK at the Cosmopolitan/Larry’s - both have private rooms to book. - Hip, lively restaurant & lounge at the Cosmopolitan serving steaks in a dark, ultramodern setting.
- Fogo de Chao - A Brazilian steakhouse where they keep the meats coming. Every single meat you can think of, they have it.
- Top of the World at the Stratosphere - Rotating American restaurant on the 106th floor of Stratosphere Tower offering panoramic views and good food.
- Gordan Ramsey Hell’s Kitchen - 3 course meal starting at $75. There’s different locations and different menus on the strip but definitely book in advance as it's usually reserved months ahead sometimes
LUNCH + DINNER
- Hexx - inventive signature cocktails and american eatery
- Nacho Daddy - gourmet nachos and a top fav restaurant on the strip
- Secret Pizza at the Cosmopolitan - super long lines but everyone loves their pizza!
- Joe’s stone crab in caesars - seafood
- Smith and Wollenkeys steak next to MGM
- Catch - Asian style seafood with steaks and craft cocktails in a stylish setting
- Beauty and Essex - This is a unique lounge that is actually a pawn shop!
- Sugar Factory - the classic restaurant located in many well known cities around the US
- Oyshi sushi - all you can eat sushi
- Dirt dog street food hot dogs
- Capriotti’s sandwich shop - award winning sub sandwiches and philly cheesesteaks
- Cafe Rio - Mexican Grill
- Chayo Mexican kitchen - huge margaritas
- Flippin Good Chicken - made to order burgers, shakes, and fries
- Flamingo Garden Bar / Elevated hotel- this is a casino bar with tropical cocktails & waterfall/lagoon views. They also have huge margaritas!
- The Tipsy Robot: this is a cool futuristic bar that delivers your cocktails by conveyor belt. "mixology perfected by technology" time to take a trip to the future with robots making your drinks!
- Grape Street Wine Bar - I loved this wine bar. This is more upscale and outside the strip in Summerlin, NV. It was so delicious and also happens to be OJ Simpson’s favorite restaurant so you may just catch him there
LAS VEGAS TRAVEL TIPS
- Double check wifi is available in your hotel or resort. Hotels usually only have Wifi for only 2 devices per room. Additional devices are $15+ per device.
- Be ready to tip in the hotels!
- Try the $20 trick - slide $20 with your ID during check in to the front desk to see if they will automatically give a “complimentary” room upgrade. If they don’t budge, play it off and act like it was an accident!
- If you want a photographer check out Omer/Pixo2 IG: powerfuldreams
- Make sure to bring extra money for taxi cabs because Uber/Lyft may be at capacity for rides or have a shortage of drivers. My friends and I spent a total of $300-400 on just Lyfts alone for the weekend we stayed
- Have a higher budget for Lyft/Uber each ride can be $30-40 each even if its a short distance down the strip
- The strip is fairly long and can take up to 30 minutes + to walk to one destination but all rides are only 5-7 minutes
- Try to check groupon for activities, shows, and things to do on the strip before booking online.
- Reserve tickets ahead of time for big activities like the zipline, and UTV tours and activities on fremont - they were sold out for days and even a week ahead.
- You may have this long list of ideas of what you plan to do and then may not even have time to do even half of it. Oh well, go with the flow because you're bound to have a great time!
I'm so glad I experienced Vegas last minute for my 24th birthday and hope this travel guide provided you some ideas and starting points for planning your next Vegas trip. There is honestly so much to do you definitely won't get bored. Remember even if you didn't get to do some of the activities on your list, you may find something even more fun along the way. Plus you can always plan to go back! I know I'm happy my current role has a warehouse in Las Vegas which allows me to continue exploring outside the strip and see more of what Las Vegas has to offer.
Have any favorite restaurants or things to do in Vegas that you experienced? Comment below or email me at email@example.com and I'll add it to the list for other's to enjoy as well ;)