10 Absolute Must Do's In Las Vegas For First Timers

10 Absolute Must-Do’s In Las Vegas For First Timers

By Elle
Last Updated:

Thinking about planning a trip to the glitzy world of Las Vegas for the first time? We’ve got the lowdown on all the things you gotta do for your first time in this massive and extravagant city.

I’ll be honest though, there are infinite amounts of things to do in Las Vegas. For example, after only about 20 trips to Las Vegas, I discovered super unique experiences like the Marriage Can Be Murder Dinner Show and the EscapeIT (IT-themed escape room) experience.

If there’s one thing Vegas knows how to do right, it’s entertainment.

The city is always popping up with new things to do, but our 10 absolute must-dos in Las Vegas for first-timers are always consistent. These activities are going to properly introduce you to the grandness of Sin City.

Take a picture by the Welcome To Las Vegas sign

Welcome To Las Vegas Sign

When you hit up Las Vegas for the first time, there’s one thing you absolutely can’t miss: snapping that Insta-worthy pic by the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.

You’ve seen it in movies, on TV, and probably all over your Instagram feed. This sign is the real deal! It’s like the Eiffel Tower of Vegas – you gotta have a pic to prove you’ve been there and done that.

The sign is Vegas in a nutshell – glitzy, glamorous, and oh-so-colorful. You can find it at the southern end of the Strip by the Pinball Hall of Fame.

Address: 5100 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119

PRO TIP: For even more vintage Las Vegas signage, head to the Neon Museum and Boneyard, home to dozens of Old Vegas signs. It’s extra cool to see at night!

See the Bellagio fountain show and garden

Bellagio Water Fountain Show

Bellagio’s famous water fountain show is a must for first-timers. This free water show features lights and music (genres include classical, opera, Broadway, and even pop songs) to give visitors a quintessentially Vegas experience.

The fountain show runs every half hour during the day and every 15 minutes in the evening. We recommend catching it in the evening for an extra-wow experience!

From there, head into Bellagio to see the beautiful Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, featuring larger-than-life floral displays that change seasonally.

Each season, the talented Horticulture and Engineering teams transform the 14,000-square-foot Botanical Gardens into a showcase of inspiring sights, sounds, scents, and colors! Depending on when you go, you’ll be able to enjoy a different landscape featuring Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, along with a special display for Lunar New Year.

Drink a Fat Tuesday

Fat Tuesdays are a must when it comes to having yourself a successful Las Vegas trip. These oversized frozen drinks are famous for their flamboyant size and crazy colors.

When the weather gets warm, you’re most definitely going to see Fat Tuesdays in everyone’s hands while walking down the Las Vegas Strip. It’s easy to see why — it’s the absolute best spot to grab yourself a cheap frozen drink right before taking a stroll on the Strip!

If you want to feel a bit more than tipsy, they offer you the option to add a shot(s) to your daiquiris for an extra dollar a shot. Cheap drunkenness, gotta love it!

Everyone’s drink of choice at Fat Tuesday differs depending on who you ask, but our group loves to order the Big Stick flavor off their secret menu, which tastes like a Big Stick ice pop but with alcohol!

You can find Fat Tuesdays in multiple hotels such as The Venetian, Casino Royale, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The LINQ, etc.

Eat at an extravagant buffet on the Strip

Bachannal Buffet at Caesars Palace
Round 2 at Bacchanal Buffet!

No first trip to Las Vegas is complete without at least ONE buffet on the Las Vegas Strip!

Treat yourself to a feast full of unlimited crab legs and bottomless mimosas at one of Vegas’s famous buffets like Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars PalaceThe Buffet at Wynn Las Vegas, or Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan.

PRO TIP: You might get sticker shock looking at the price tag of these buffets, especially during lunch and dinner. For a cheaper buffet, opt for a breakfast meal. For an all-out splurge, choose a buffet that serves crab legs! It’s worth it if you love seafood.

Check out this article for a list of our favorite seafood buffets in Las Vegas.

Watch a show

Courtesy of Awakening

Las Vegas has a world-class theater scene. From burlesque to magic, Cirque de Soleil to comedy, there is a show for every type of person and every sort of budget. And the best part is, there’s a show happening every single night in Vegas so there’s no excuse not to watch one!

A few shows that we think are perfect for first-timers include:

Awakening – The Wynn’s brand-new spectacular production features fantastical creatures, dazzling visuals, a compelling narrative, and a touch of lighthearted comedy.

“O” at Bellagio: Another mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil show, “O” combines water, acrobatics, and theatrical performances to create a unique and romantic experience.

Any other Cirque du Soleil show – Cirque shows are all the rage here in Vegas. They’re great shows for first-timers in Vegas because they’re high-production, overly stimulating for all your senses, and will likely leave you wowed (and maybe even wanting to watch another one!).

You can browse the whole selection of Las Vegas shows here.

Dine at your dream restaurant

If you didn’t already know, Vegas is a mecca for dining. You should try to experience one while you’re in town.

There are too many world-famous restaurants here to count! Many of these restaurants have grown insanely popular in their origin city and have expanded to Las Vegas.

For example, here are some of the most world-renowned restaurants that have opened a location in Vegas:

If eating at a sit-down restaurant is on your itinerary, be sure to make reservations if they offer it!

Go to a dayclub (during pool party season)

Encore Beach Club
Encore Beach Club | Courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas

If your idea of an awesome daytime activity includes lounging around the pools under the desert sun, dancing to live music played by top DJs, drinking summer cocktails, and gorging on delicious poolside chicken tenders, then you’ll probably want to plan to hit up a day club on your Vegas trip!

Pool party season at the day clubs runs from April to the end of October. Encore Beach Club at Encore Las Vegas, Daylight at Mandalay Bay, TAO Beach Club at The Venetian, and WET Republic at MGM Grand are some of the most sought-after pool parties across the Strip.

So between all the venue options you can choose from, how do you pick which club to go to? It all depends on what DJs and special performances you want to catch! We personally like using this site to check who’s playing at what club all across Las Vegas.

After you’ve found the perfect day club for your epic day, reach out to a promoter who works at the club of your choice to get on the guestlist (for free entry or discounted admission). They may even be able to hook you up with a specially-priced day club cabana / table at the nightclub for bottle service.

Go clubbing at least one night

Zouk Nightclub
Zouk | Courtesy of Resorts World

Round out one (or all) of your nights with dancing and music at Las Vegas clubs like XS at EncoreZouk at Resorts WorldOMNIA at Caesars Palace, or Marquee at The Cosmopolitan.

Clubs in Vegas are not your average club featuring an unknown DJ mixing up beats. Clubs in Vegas are next level. Expect the world’s top DJs and musical artists to be playing/guest performing from 1:30 AM onward!

We’re talking Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Gryffin, Kendrick Lamar, Tyga, Lil Jon, French Montana, Rick Ross, Alesso, John Summit, and so many more.

If it’s 4 am and you find the clubs closing but you’re not yet ready to turn down, head to Drai’s After Hours at The Cromwell for even more partying.

If clubbing is not your thing, there’s still a lot of nighttime fun to be had. You can just head to a bar or ultra lounge at any hotel on the Strip, or spend the night karaoke-ing at one of these karaoke spots in Las Vegas!

PRO TIP: Typically, you’ll find the celebrity DJs and guest features on weekends (from Thursday to Sunday). From Monday to Wednesday, clubs will usually have local DJs playing.

Take a ride on the High Roller

The LINQ Hotel and Experience Las Vegas
Courtesy of The LINQ

Make your first time in Vegas extra memorable by soaking in the sky-high views of the Las Vegas Strip with your friends. One of the best spots to get sky-high viewpoints of the Las Vegas Strip is on the High Roller.

The High Roller Observation Wheel at The LINQ, one of the world’s tallest wheels, provides unforgettable 360-degree views of the city. For those of you who want to spice up your 30 minutes on the wheel, they offer an open bar package that allows you to enjoy unlimited drinks for the full 30-minute ride!

Be amazed by The Sphere show

The Sphere Las Vegas
Courtesy of KSAT

If you’ve driven on the highways of Las Vegas (or have been on social media at all), chances are you’ve seen The Sphere. Located by The Venetian, The Sphere has two main features — the outside and the inside.

The outside always has some cool projection going on, making it perfect for photos. The inside features an even cooler experience called The Sphere Experience. The Sphere Experience is a two-part multi-sensory experience lasting approximately two hours. In all honesty, it’s two hours of immersive amazement.

First, you’ll get to explore The Atrium. There’s a 360-degree avatar capture, a mesmerizing 50-foot holographic installation, and a few other cool tech features.

Then, brace yourself for an immersive cinematic experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen with Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Postcard from Earth.’ This specially commissioned film is a sci-fi portrait of our planet, leveraging Sphere’s cutting-edge technologies to transport you to new worlds without ever leaving your seat. 

On a budget? Just skip going inside. The outside of The Sphere is cool enough to see!

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10 Absolute Must Do's In Las Vegas For First Timers

10 Absolute Must-Do’s In Las Vegas For First Timers

If there’s one thing Vegas knows how to do right, it’s entertainment. Here are our 10 absolute must-dos in Las Vegas for first-timers.

About The Author - Elle
About the author

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in Las Vegas (and around the world too)!