Taylor-Las-Vegas-Sign

A woman in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Next stop, Vegas baby! If you are an avid traveler like me, you most likely have had Las Vegas on your bucket list, even if you aren’t all about gambling and the party scene. I will admit that Las Vegas wasn’t at the tip top of my list of places to visit, but I knew I had to get there and experience it at some point. As a recent visitor to Las Vegas, I realized there are a handful of fun activities to enjoy for beginners that don’t necessarily involve the casino.

Woman in front of Love display at The Venetian Hotel

For my 29th birthday this past June 2020, I did a mini road trip with my mom and youngest brother that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. My road trip was a loop where I began at Grand Canyon West Rim and then made my way to Sedona and Page, Arizona and then up into Southern Utah before returning to Las Vegas. I got to enjoy a bit of “Sin City” along with all of the amazing natural wonders and National Parks that the Southwest has to offer and it was such a dream seeing all of the places that have been on my bucket list for so long.

A family in front of the iconic Las Vegas Sign

In this blog post, I am so excited to partner with other travel bloggers to introduce the most epic things to do in Las Vegas for beginners. Whether you are spending a weekend in Vegas, doing a road trip loop like I did or looking to book your next week-long vacation there, this vibrant city has so much to offer for anyone and everyone from the party life to fun outdoor adventures and an amazing culinary scene to talented art and entertainment!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Getting to Las Vegas:

The Las Vegas Strip at night

Unless you are doing a cross country road trip, mini road trip within the Southwest (if you live there) or a local trip to Las Vegas, you are going to need to fly there. Since I am from New Jersey and did my mini road trip from Vegas, I took an affordable flight to and from McCarran International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Since we were doing a road trip loop from Las Vegas, we rented a car from McCarran Airport to get around. Even if you aren’t planning to leave the area during your stay, I still recommend renting a car because there are quite a few gems outside of Las Vegas (in Southern Nevada) that most car services, such as Uber and Lyft, won’t take you to.

Traveling to Las Vegas on Credit Card Points: By Jess Litras

A woman in front of the Fabulous Las Vegas sign in Nevada
Photo by Jess Litras

Since living in California for the past three years, I’ve now been to Las Vegas at least once a year and can confidently say it is one of my favorite places to travel to. The endless things to do are what make it such an enjoyable place to be and the energy is always high.

A woman on her beginners trip to Las Vegas
Photo by Jess Litras

Not only did I enjoy my trip the first time I ever went, but I booked the trip completely on travel credit card points, which is a skill! It made visiting Vegas more enticing, but to be honest, I would have paid the full price if I had known the experience I was going to have ahead of time.

One of my top three experiences in Las Vegas are Topgolf, which is a bit off the grid as it is away from the Las Vegas Strip. At Topgolf, you could play golf, enjoy food and drinks as well as fun games and at the Las Vegas location, there are pools too because it is at the MGM Grand Hotel! Another top experience is attending the Cirque du Soleil show and also staying at The Venetian Hotel (talked about below).

The Rialto Bridge at The Venetian in Las Vegas

(In addition to Jess’ experience, I (Taylor) also traveled to and from Las Vegas using credit card points too! It’s amazing having a great credit card with awesome travel rewards. I personally use the Capital One Venture card.)

Staying at The Venetian® Hotel: By Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child

A woman enjoying the property of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

If you love Italy just as much as I do and want to get a taste of Venice here in the United States, I highly recommend staying at The Venetian located on Las Vegas Boulevard, which is also known as The Strip. In case you are unaware of what The Strip is, it is the area on Las Vegas Boulevard that is lined up with upscale casino hotels, restaurants, shops, performance venues and other attractions.

A woman standing in front of the canals at The Venetian Hotel

During our one night in Las Vegas, before we began our road trip, we truly enjoyed staying in The Venetian’s Luxury Two Queen Suite. It was spacious and the views were incredible! When you stay at The Venetian, there are two towers – The Venetian Tower and The Palazzo Tower. Overall, the hotel is HUGE, so you could access pretty much everything inside of The Venetian from the casino to the nightclubs along with the restaurants and entertainment areas. To me, having everything all in one place makes a huge difference! Back in my earlier 20s, when I used to go to Atlantic City with my friends on the weekends, I LOVED staying in hotels that had the club or bar inside of them. It’s super convenient and less stressful going straight from your hotel room to the party!

A boozy birthday brunch in Las Vegas

The night that we spent at The Venetian just so happened to be my actual birthday, so we got dinner at Mott 32, which is a high-end Chinese restaurant that has everything from seafood noodles (which is what I had) to dumplings and grilled lobster to fancy desserts. It was amazing! In the morning, we enjoyed a nice boozy birthday brunch at Chica, which is a Latin-inspired restaurant that features a swanky vibe. I savored the Dulce de Leche French toast and it was to die for! Some other cool foodie items at Chica are rum & butterscotch sticky buns, corn cachapa pancakes and more. (I also had a Bellini with my meal!)

The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

What is cool about The Venetian Hotel is that the grounds make you feel like you’re in Venice. There are canals both inside and outside of the hotel and you could take a romantic gondola ride like you would in Italy. Other things to do at The Venetian is see a show. Click here to see The Venetian’s entertainment schedule. There are also six nightlife spots, 26 restaurants, four large pools with cabanas, two large casinos and more! What is cool about The Venetian is that there are six celebrity restaurants: Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse and Lagasse’s Stadium; Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and Solaro Poolside; Buddy Valastro’s Buddy V’s Ristorante and Carlo’s Bakery; Thomas Keller’s Bouchon; Lorena Garcia’s Chica (where I had my birthday brunch) and David Chang’s Majordōmo Meat & Fish and Moon Palace. No matter what, you will not be bored at The Venetian.

Hotels on The Strip Worth Visiting Even If You Aren’t Staying at Them: By Travel with Me! By Carly Marie

Las Vegas at nighttime
Photo by Carly Marie

Las Vegas is one of those cities where there is never a shortage of fun to be had. Between the incredible shows, the luxurious pool parties, world-renowned restaurants and do I even have to mention the casinos? If you’re visiting Vegas, chances are you will be staying on or near The Strip as that is where all of the action happens! I highly suggest spending a day just enjoying the neighborhood. These four hotels on The Strip will blow your mind! Even if you’re not staying in any of them, it’s still worth going in for, at the very least, to wander around:

The Luxor: Known as one of the most unique hotels on The Strip, The Luxor resembles an ancient Egyptian pyramid! I recommend grabbing a drink at the Aurora Bar. The ceiling features a mesmerizing light effect that is meant to look like the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

New York-New York Las Vegas: Looking for a little thrill ride? New York-New York Hotel & Casino by MGM Resorts has an actual roller coaster ride at the hotel! Ticket are only $14 USD and it’s an absolute blast.

Bellagio: Known as one of the top luxury hotels in Las Vegas, it is important to not miss out on the famous Bellagio water show when you’re in Vegas! The show takes place every 30 minutes from 3pm to 8pm and then every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight PST. In the evenings, there is an added light effect, which is really captivating.

Paris Las Vegas: No Vegas trip is complete without seeing an iconic city skyline view! Paris Las Vegas Hotel offers an incredible viewing experience from their replica Eiffel Tower, which is 46 stories high. You can purchase tickets for $16 USD.

Exploring The Strip and Seeing Cirque du Soleil: by The Traveling Footprints

Las Vegas Boulevard

There are so many things to do in Las Vegas aside from the well-known gambling at the various casinos and partying it up at one of the many infamous nightclubs. Whenever someone asks us what they should do in Vegas, we always mention the following two things:

Floral display in the Bellagio
Photo by The Traveling Footprints

The Strip: One of the top things to do during a Las Vegas trip for beginners is taking the time to truly explore the Las Vegas Strip as each area has its own décor and unique global theme. One minute, you’ll be experiencing Venice by the gondolas at The Venetian and then you’ll be in “France” by the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. Not only do the hotels on The Strip have themed exterior architectural elements and world renowned replicas, the interiors also have some pretty amazing and beautiful pieces to admire. For example, the Bellagio has one of the most beautiful and breathtaking interior conservatory and botanical gardens showcasing 14,000 square feet of floral bliss. At the change of each season, an extremely talented team of designers and horticulturists transform the expansive space into a floral haven. Every time we visit Las Vegas, this garden is a must visit for us.

Floral display at the Bellagio in Las Vegas
Photo by The Traveling Footprints

Cirque du Soleil: During a trip to Vegas, we highly recommend watching the world famous Cirque du Soleil production called the “O”. This is like no other Cirque du Soleil experience as they have a dedicated theater inside the Bellagio that is specially catered to the water elements of the show. This particular production was inspired by “the concept of infinity and the elegance of water’s pure form”. We would highly recommend purchasing your tickets online far in advance as it is typically a sold-out show, even though it’s been running for many years now. Even when we went last June 2019, we were fortunate to have pre purchased advanced tickets as there were so many people still trying to acquire last minute seats. To put it simply, if there is one Cirque du Soleil production to see, it’s this one! We’ve had the pleasure of watching several of their productions and nothing compares to the “O”.

The Best Vegas Pool Parties: By Caitlin of My Darling Passport

Women at a pool party in Las Vegas
Photo by My Darling Passport

Las Vegas is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert and it can get hot! (Like over 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot!) Finding some respite in a hotel pool is a popular activity, but pools in Vegas aren’t your typical rectangular shaped swimming holes, they’re epic water playgrounds. Whether you want to attend a dance party in the water, lounge with a handcrafted cocktail or take a ride through a shark tank, you’ll find a pool to fit your needs. Visiting an extravagant pool is a must-do for Las Vegas beginners.

Encore Beach Club: One of the most popular pools for partying is Encore Beach Club at The Wynn. This pool’s design is reminiscent of a Turkish bathhouse and it offers three levels for clubbing in the water. Encore is known for its rotating list of celebrity DJs who keep the party going all day long.

Garden of the Gods Pool: The Garden of the Gods Pool at Caesars Palace is themed to match the hotel with its ornate Roman architecture. Here, guests can play swim-up blackjack! Those looking for a more relaxing experience can indulge in a poolside spa treatment through the hotel’s award winning Qua Bath & Spa.

Park MGM: Park MGM is a boutique hotel in Vegas and the pool area has a more sophisticated vibe. This is the perfect pool for someone who wants to experience a bit of the Vegas pool action in an intimate setting. The pool area is lined with glamorous cabanas for the ultimate afternoon pampering.

The Golden Nugget: One of the most outrageous pools in Las Vegas can be found at The Golden Nugget Hotel. This pool is home to “The Tank”, where a 30-foot water slide takes riders right through a 200,000 gallon shark tank! (This is definitely one of the most unique things to for beginners in Las Vegas.)

Las Vegas’ Chinatown: By Shalyn of Sightseeing Señorita

Las Vegas' Chinatown
Photo by Sightseeing Señorita

I love Las Vegas because you can feel like you’ve travelled around the world just by exploring one fun-filled city. You can see replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower and you can even ride a gondola at the beautiful Venetian Hotel. But why stop there? You can also experience some of the best Asian culture that America has to offer. Next stop: Chinatown!

When most people think of Chinatown, they think of San Francisco or New York City, but Chinatown Las Vegas is just as impressive and it’s perfect for Las Vegas beginners. The Chinatown in Las Vegas is just a few blocks west of The Strip on Spring Mountain Road, so it’s just a short walk away. Start at the ornate Chinatown Plaza gate – it is huge, colorful and looks like you wandered straight into China.

Chinatown is one of the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas for eating out, so you’ll never leave hungry! Some popular favorites are Chengdu Taste for Sichuan-style cooking and Chubby Cattle if you’re looking for hot pot dishes with a Mongolian flair. Just because it’s Chinatown doesn’t mean you can’t get your Japanese fix here too! I recommend heading to Raku for your Japanese favorites, such as sushi!

Vegas Beyond the Casino: By Smridhi and Srishti of Brown Girls Passport

Two women on a trip to Las Vegas
Photo by Brown Girls Passport

Vegas is all about the casinos, right? WRONG! As people who don’t drink or know how to gamble, we had to look for things to do in and around Las Vegas. So, here are our favorites, which are perfect for Las Vegas beginners:

In Vegas, we highly recommend watching a Cirque du Soleil show. We saw the show “Ka” and it was amazing! Both of us have never seen something like that before. We also enjoyed dining at various vegan restaurants and in Las Vegas, we highly recommend Violette’s Vegan Café! They have delicious dishes and we actually went back to try more on their menu.

A woman in Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Brown Girls Passport

When it comes to Las Vegas day trips for beginners, we first recommend the Valley of Fire State Park as it is an absolute stunner! The landscape of this park is so unique and you could find a cool rock wave at the end of the Fire Wave trail. Please note that there is barely any shade at Valley of Fire, so please make sure you bring sunscreen and extra liquids to stay hydrated. (We also recommend seeing the Seven Magic Mountains too along the way!) The second day trip we recommend are Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Hoover Dam is a concrete dam in the Black Canyon between Nevada and Arizona. It is a cool place to check out and even go on a hike! Learning about the dam and visiting a man-made lake is an amazing experience and both of them are beautiful! You can choose to take the tour of the power plant too!

Seven Magic Mountains by Francesca of Homeroom Travel

A woman enjoying Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas
Photo by Homeroom Travel

When visiting Las Vegas for the first time, there are many things to do, especially if you’re coming from Los Angeles, California. One of the most unique attractions for Las Vegas beginners is the Seven Magic Mountains. This art installation, created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, is a popular stop when visiting Vegas. Completed on May 11, 2016, the Seven Magic Mountains sit on three acres of federally owned land.

The colorful Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas
Photo by Homeroom Travel

This artwork was originally commissioned by the Artist Protection Fund and the Nevada Museum of Art and it cost $3.5 million USD to make. There are 33 limestone boulders painted in bright neon colors and each weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 tons. The Seven Magic Mountains were only supposed to be on view for two years, but the contract has been extended since its popularity has grown. It is now one of the largest land-based art installations in the world.

The Seven Magic Mountains are located 10 miles south of the heart of Las Vegas. To get there, take I-15 and get off on Jean Dry Lake. It is clearly marked and there is a nice parking lot next to the exhibit. It takes about 20-30 minutes from The Strip as well as McCarran Airport to get to the Seven Magic Mountains. Nevertheless, it is a fun and unique exhibition to see and a popular Instagram spot!

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: By Rebecca Noelle

Two women at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

Located 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservatory Area. The Strip can be super overwhelming. For beginners traveling to Las Vegas, if you are not a gambler or drinker, leaving The Strip is one of the best things you can do for your own fun and enjoyment.

Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

There are 56 hiking trails throughout Red Rock Canyon and these trails range in size from 1.1 miles to 14.5 miles. I recommend you use All Trails to plan out your trip to study the trail that works best for your skill level. Thankfully, you can check if the trail is hard, moderate or easy and whichever you choose, make sure you bring enough snacks and water! Remember you are in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservatory is a big spot for cyclists to also escape the city and cycle through cool nature. If you are not a hiker nor have the desire to walk around the area, there are a few parking lots you can use to park off the main road and cycle there. It’ll be rare to enter a parking lot and not see a car without a bike rack or cyclists finishing or starting a ride!

Red Rock Canyon at sunset
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

If you want a place to enjoy a beautiful sunset in the Vegas area, I highly recommend you come to Red Rock Canyon. The sun hitting against the red rock adds an extra glow to this entire area, making the red, orange and white hues vibrant that photos cannot do justice. You will definitely enjoy exploring this beautiful landscape!

Valley of Fire State Park: By Krystal and Eric

A bride and groom getting married at Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Krystal and Eric

When you think of Las Vegas, you probably think of the bright lights, street performers or the endless wave of casinos and restaurants. While all of these certainly have their place in my heart, there is a whole different side to the Vegas area that is worth exploring and makes for a unique vacation! A side that is magical in a new way; a side that will pull you in and leave you being a different person. This place is Valley of Fire State Park.

The valley is aptly named for the deep-red tones of the rocky land and if you catch it at sunset, you’ll get a glimpse of the rocks lighting up. The valley itself is an official State Park of Nevada where you can hike, camp, explore petroglyphs and get lost in the winding roads. Ps. You can even run away with your closest family and friends and host an entire wedding, like we did!

The drive out there is a sight to see on its own with red rocks the size of mountains towering over you and welcoming you into untouched land. The landscape slowly becomes more barren and dramatic the farther in you drive. Each mile is more beautiful than the last and you’ll find yourself asking how a place like this even exists. The Valley of Fire is by far our favorite place on Earth! For all Las Vegas beginners, if you’re lucky enough to experience the Valley of Fire, make sure you allow a full day to explore and check out two of our favorite places: The Seven Sisters and The Cabins.

The Neon Museum: By Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

Another cool thing to do in Las Vegas if you spare extra time is tuning into Sin City’s history by visiting The Neon Museum. This cool non-profit organization was founded in 1996 and it is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas neon signs for educational and cultural purposes. It is a great way to travel back in time and even though I unfortunately didn’t have the time to personally visit The Neon Museum during my Southwest road trip, I still got to enjoy a 360 Virtual Tour on the museum’s website because I LOVE neon signs so much! They are so dreamy to me.


A sister and brother in Las Vegas

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top things to do in Las Vegas for beginners. If you have any questions on this collaborative post, please email me at [email protected]

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

Best Things to do in Las Vegas for Beginners

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20 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 17, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    This was so informative. I feel we have to go back and try all the beautiful and fun places your friends recommended. Now I feel bad we only went for one day. More the reason for us to go back ~ photographs brought everything to life. Sounds like you can really make a fun filled vacation at Las Vegas even if you are not a gambler. Thank you all for the awesome tips for a perfect vacation to Las Vegas for beginners.

    Awesome guide/blog Taylor and her friends ~ <3

    Love you,
    Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on July 18, 2020 at 5:40 am

      Thank you mom! Yes, we’ll definitely have to go back in the future. 🙂 Love you too! xoxo

  2. Jackie on July 18, 2020 at 7:24 am

    This is such a great guide! I’m always seeing flight deals from my airport to Las Vegas, I think I may plan a trip before too longer, it sounds like there’s tons to do even if you don’t like gambling!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you Jackie! Yes, I totally recommend going now especially that flights are cheaper. There are so many awesome things to do there. 🙂

  3. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished on July 18, 2020 at 9:53 am

    I love Red Rock Canyon! I also think Vegas has super fun food options if you know where to look!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Yes, I totally agree Daisy! 🙂

  4. Maria on July 19, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Love this guide Taylor! I’m not a gambler either and I still had a great time when I visited Vegas. Reading your post made me realize that I still missed out on a few things though. Reason to go back!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you Maria! Yes, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Vegas, which is so awesome! 🙂

  5. Cristina on July 19, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    This is an amazing blog post. I haven’t visited Las Vegas yet, but I would like to go. I’m saving your post for the future 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you so much Cristina and yes, you totally have to go when you do a trip to the American West. 🙂

  6. World of Lina on July 20, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Oh I’m seriously DYING to visit Las Vegas! It must feel so surreal to actually be there. Can’t wait for that day to happen!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      Yes, it really was cool to be there. Vegas has so much to do and there is something for everyone. 🙂

  7. Nicola Lavin on July 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Such an informative guide. You are making me want to book a trip. Such a cool place to celebrate your birthday!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you Nicola and yes, it was a lot of fun! 🙂

  8. Thrifty Campers on July 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Wow beautiful photos. Looks like amazing sightseeing to take in and explore. Thanks for all the tidbits. The venecian sounds like a good place to stay for I have yet to visit venice. I also never new until now that vegas pools were not your typical average kind lol. Sounds like a blast🙂

    • Taylor Deer on July 28, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Thank you!!! Yes, it’s definitely a city that offers something for everyone! The Vegas pools definitely look like a blast. 🙂

  9. Elena Pappalardo on July 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    There’s so much more to Vegas than I had even realized! You’re definitely making me consider at least a stop-off here! Love all of your pictures.

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you Elena! It’s definitely a city everyone has to experience at least once. 🙂

  10. MacKenzie on July 31, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I felt the same way you did about Vegas before I visited – it wasn’t at the top of my list, but I was still interested in going! BOY, am I glad I did, for many of the reasons you compiled here! Vegas is so much more than gambling, and I had such a great time. Thank you for compiling all these wonderful things!

    • Taylor Deer on August 1, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you so much MacKenzie! I definitely cannot wait to go back and see/do more. 🙂

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Las-Vegas-Sign

A woman in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Next stop, Vegas baby! If you are an avid traveler like me, you most likely have had Las Vegas on your bucket list, even if you aren’t all about gambling and the party scene. I will admit that Las Vegas wasn’t at the tip top of my list of places to visit, but I knew I had to get there and experience it at some point. As a recent visitor to Las Vegas, I realized there are a handful of fun activities to enjoy for beginners that don’t necessarily involve the casino.

Woman in front of Love display at The Venetian Hotel

For my 29th birthday this past June 2020, I did a mini road trip with my mom and youngest brother that started and ended in Las Vegas, Nevada. My road trip was a loop where I began at Grand Canyon West Rim and then made my way to Sedona and Page, Arizona and then up into Southern Utah before returning to Las Vegas. I got to enjoy a bit of “Sin City” along with all of the amazing natural wonders and National Parks that the Southwest has to offer and it was such a dream seeing all of the places that have been on my bucket list for so long.

A family in front of the iconic Las Vegas Sign

In this blog post, I am so excited to partner with other travel bloggers to introduce the most epic things to do in Las Vegas for beginners. Whether you are spending a weekend in Vegas, doing a road trip loop like I did or looking to book your next week-long vacation there, this vibrant city has so much to offer for anyone and everyone from the party life to fun outdoor adventures and an amazing culinary scene to talented art and entertainment!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Getting to Las Vegas:

The Las Vegas Strip at night

Unless you are doing a cross country road trip, mini road trip within the Southwest (if you live there) or a local trip to Las Vegas, you are going to need to fly there. Since I am from New Jersey and did my mini road trip from Vegas, I took an affordable flight to and from McCarran International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Since we were doing a road trip loop from Las Vegas, we rented a car from McCarran Airport to get around. Even if you aren’t planning to leave the area during your stay, I still recommend renting a car because there are quite a few gems outside of Las Vegas (in Southern Nevada) that most car services, such as Uber and Lyft, won’t take you to.

Traveling to Las Vegas on Credit Card Points: By Jess Litras

A woman in front of the Fabulous Las Vegas sign in Nevada
Photo by Jess Litras

Since living in California for the past three years, I’ve now been to Las Vegas at least once a year and can confidently say it is one of my favorite places to travel to. The endless things to do are what make it such an enjoyable place to be and the energy is always high.

A woman on her beginners trip to Las Vegas
Photo by Jess Litras

Not only did I enjoy my trip the first time I ever went, but I booked the trip completely on travel credit card points, which is a skill! It made visiting Vegas more enticing, but to be honest, I would have paid the full price if I had known the experience I was going to have ahead of time.

One of my top three experiences in Las Vegas are Topgolf, which is a bit off the grid as it is away from the Las Vegas Strip. At Topgolf, you could play golf, enjoy food and drinks as well as fun games and at the Las Vegas location, there are pools too because it is at the MGM Grand Hotel! Another top experience is attending the Cirque du Soleil show and also staying at The Venetian Hotel (talked about below).

The Rialto Bridge at The Venetian in Las Vegas

(In addition to Jess’ experience, I (Taylor) also traveled to and from Las Vegas using credit card points too! It’s amazing having a great credit card with awesome travel rewards. I personally use the Capital One Venture card.)

Staying at The Venetian® Hotel: By Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child

A woman enjoying the property of The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

If you love Italy just as much as I do and want to get a taste of Venice here in the United States, I highly recommend staying at The Venetian located on Las Vegas Boulevard, which is also known as The Strip. In case you are unaware of what The Strip is, it is the area on Las Vegas Boulevard that is lined up with upscale casino hotels, restaurants, shops, performance venues and other attractions.

A woman standing in front of the canals at The Venetian Hotel

During our one night in Las Vegas, before we began our road trip, we truly enjoyed staying in The Venetian’s Luxury Two Queen Suite. It was spacious and the views were incredible! When you stay at The Venetian, there are two towers – The Venetian Tower and The Palazzo Tower. Overall, the hotel is HUGE, so you could access pretty much everything inside of The Venetian from the casino to the nightclubs along with the restaurants and entertainment areas. To me, having everything all in one place makes a huge difference! Back in my earlier 20s, when I used to go to Atlantic City with my friends on the weekends, I LOVED staying in hotels that had the club or bar inside of them. It’s super convenient and less stressful going straight from your hotel room to the party!

A boozy birthday brunch in Las Vegas

The night that we spent at The Venetian just so happened to be my actual birthday, so we got dinner at Mott 32, which is a high-end Chinese restaurant that has everything from seafood noodles (which is what I had) to dumplings and grilled lobster to fancy desserts. It was amazing! In the morning, we enjoyed a nice boozy birthday brunch at Chica, which is a Latin-inspired restaurant that features a swanky vibe. I savored the Dulce de Leche French toast and it was to die for! Some other cool foodie items at Chica are rum & butterscotch sticky buns, corn cachapa pancakes and more. (I also had a Bellini with my meal!)

The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

What is cool about The Venetian Hotel is that the grounds make you feel like you’re in Venice. There are canals both inside and outside of the hotel and you could take a romantic gondola ride like you would in Italy. Other things to do at The Venetian is see a show. Click here to see The Venetian’s entertainment schedule. There are also six nightlife spots, 26 restaurants, four large pools with cabanas, two large casinos and more! What is cool about The Venetian is that there are six celebrity restaurants: Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse and Lagasse’s Stadium; Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and Solaro Poolside; Buddy Valastro’s Buddy V’s Ristorante and Carlo’s Bakery; Thomas Keller’s Bouchon; Lorena Garcia’s Chica (where I had my birthday brunch) and David Chang’s Majordōmo Meat & Fish and Moon Palace. No matter what, you will not be bored at The Venetian.

Hotels on The Strip Worth Visiting Even If You Aren’t Staying at Them: By Travel with Me! By Carly Marie

Las Vegas at nighttime
Photo by Carly Marie

Las Vegas is one of those cities where there is never a shortage of fun to be had. Between the incredible shows, the luxurious pool parties, world-renowned restaurants and do I even have to mention the casinos? If you’re visiting Vegas, chances are you will be staying on or near The Strip as that is where all of the action happens! I highly suggest spending a day just enjoying the neighborhood. These four hotels on The Strip will blow your mind! Even if you’re not staying in any of them, it’s still worth going in for, at the very least, to wander around:

The Luxor: Known as one of the most unique hotels on The Strip, The Luxor resembles an ancient Egyptian pyramid! I recommend grabbing a drink at the Aurora Bar. The ceiling features a mesmerizing light effect that is meant to look like the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

New York-New York Las Vegas: Looking for a little thrill ride? New York-New York Hotel & Casino by MGM Resorts has an actual roller coaster ride at the hotel! Ticket are only $14 USD and it’s an absolute blast.

Bellagio: Known as one of the top luxury hotels in Las Vegas, it is important to not miss out on the famous Bellagio water show when you’re in Vegas! The show takes place every 30 minutes from 3pm to 8pm and then every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight PST. In the evenings, there is an added light effect, which is really captivating.

Paris Las Vegas: No Vegas trip is complete without seeing an iconic city skyline view! Paris Las Vegas Hotel offers an incredible viewing experience from their replica Eiffel Tower, which is 46 stories high. You can purchase tickets for $16 USD.

Exploring The Strip and Seeing Cirque du Soleil: by The Traveling Footprints

Las Vegas Boulevard

There are so many things to do in Las Vegas aside from the well-known gambling at the various casinos and partying it up at one of the many infamous nightclubs. Whenever someone asks us what they should do in Vegas, we always mention the following two things:

Floral display in the Bellagio
Photo by The Traveling Footprints

The Strip: One of the top things to do during a Las Vegas trip for beginners is taking the time to truly explore the Las Vegas Strip as each area has its own décor and unique global theme. One minute, you’ll be experiencing Venice by the gondolas at The Venetian and then you’ll be in “France” by the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel. Not only do the hotels on The Strip have themed exterior architectural elements and world renowned replicas, the interiors also have some pretty amazing and beautiful pieces to admire. For example, the Bellagio has one of the most beautiful and breathtaking interior conservatory and botanical gardens showcasing 14,000 square feet of floral bliss. At the change of each season, an extremely talented team of designers and horticulturists transform the expansive space into a floral haven. Every time we visit Las Vegas, this garden is a must visit for us.

Floral display at the Bellagio in Las Vegas
Photo by The Traveling Footprints

Cirque du Soleil: During a trip to Vegas, we highly recommend watching the world famous Cirque du Soleil production called the “O”. This is like no other Cirque du Soleil experience as they have a dedicated theater inside the Bellagio that is specially catered to the water elements of the show. This particular production was inspired by “the concept of infinity and the elegance of water’s pure form”. We would highly recommend purchasing your tickets online far in advance as it is typically a sold-out show, even though it’s been running for many years now. Even when we went last June 2019, we were fortunate to have pre purchased advanced tickets as there were so many people still trying to acquire last minute seats. To put it simply, if there is one Cirque du Soleil production to see, it’s this one! We’ve had the pleasure of watching several of their productions and nothing compares to the “O”.

The Best Vegas Pool Parties: By Caitlin of My Darling Passport

Women at a pool party in Las Vegas
Photo by My Darling Passport

Las Vegas is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert and it can get hot! (Like over 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot!) Finding some respite in a hotel pool is a popular activity, but pools in Vegas aren’t your typical rectangular shaped swimming holes, they’re epic water playgrounds. Whether you want to attend a dance party in the water, lounge with a handcrafted cocktail or take a ride through a shark tank, you’ll find a pool to fit your needs. Visiting an extravagant pool is a must-do for Las Vegas beginners.

Encore Beach Club: One of the most popular pools for partying is Encore Beach Club at The Wynn. This pool’s design is reminiscent of a Turkish bathhouse and it offers three levels for clubbing in the water. Encore is known for its rotating list of celebrity DJs who keep the party going all day long.

Garden of the Gods Pool: The Garden of the Gods Pool at Caesars Palace is themed to match the hotel with its ornate Roman architecture. Here, guests can play swim-up blackjack! Those looking for a more relaxing experience can indulge in a poolside spa treatment through the hotel’s award winning Qua Bath & Spa.

Park MGM: Park MGM is a boutique hotel in Vegas and the pool area has a more sophisticated vibe. This is the perfect pool for someone who wants to experience a bit of the Vegas pool action in an intimate setting. The pool area is lined with glamorous cabanas for the ultimate afternoon pampering.

The Golden Nugget: One of the most outrageous pools in Las Vegas can be found at The Golden Nugget Hotel. This pool is home to “The Tank”, where a 30-foot water slide takes riders right through a 200,000 gallon shark tank! (This is definitely one of the most unique things to for beginners in Las Vegas.)

Las Vegas’ Chinatown: By Shalyn of Sightseeing Señorita

Las Vegas' Chinatown
Photo by Sightseeing Señorita

I love Las Vegas because you can feel like you’ve travelled around the world just by exploring one fun-filled city. You can see replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower and you can even ride a gondola at the beautiful Venetian Hotel. But why stop there? You can also experience some of the best Asian culture that America has to offer. Next stop: Chinatown!

When most people think of Chinatown, they think of San Francisco or New York City, but Chinatown Las Vegas is just as impressive and it’s perfect for Las Vegas beginners. The Chinatown in Las Vegas is just a few blocks west of The Strip on Spring Mountain Road, so it’s just a short walk away. Start at the ornate Chinatown Plaza gate – it is huge, colorful and looks like you wandered straight into China.

Chinatown is one of the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas for eating out, so you’ll never leave hungry! Some popular favorites are Chengdu Taste for Sichuan-style cooking and Chubby Cattle if you’re looking for hot pot dishes with a Mongolian flair. Just because it’s Chinatown doesn’t mean you can’t get your Japanese fix here too! I recommend heading to Raku for your Japanese favorites, such as sushi!

Vegas Beyond the Casino: By Smridhi and Srishti of Brown Girls Passport

Two women on a trip to Las Vegas
Photo by Brown Girls Passport

Vegas is all about the casinos, right? WRONG! As people who don’t drink or know how to gamble, we had to look for things to do in and around Las Vegas. So, here are our favorites, which are perfect for Las Vegas beginners:

In Vegas, we highly recommend watching a Cirque du Soleil show. We saw the show “Ka” and it was amazing! Both of us have never seen something like that before. We also enjoyed dining at various vegan restaurants and in Las Vegas, we highly recommend Violette’s Vegan Café! They have delicious dishes and we actually went back to try more on their menu.

A woman in Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Brown Girls Passport

When it comes to Las Vegas day trips for beginners, we first recommend the Valley of Fire State Park as it is an absolute stunner! The landscape of this park is so unique and you could find a cool rock wave at the end of the Fire Wave trail. Please note that there is barely any shade at Valley of Fire, so please make sure you bring sunscreen and extra liquids to stay hydrated. (We also recommend seeing the Seven Magic Mountains too along the way!) The second day trip we recommend are Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Hoover Dam is a concrete dam in the Black Canyon between Nevada and Arizona. It is a cool place to check out and even go on a hike! Learning about the dam and visiting a man-made lake is an amazing experience and both of them are beautiful! You can choose to take the tour of the power plant too!

Seven Magic Mountains by Francesca of Homeroom Travel

A woman enjoying Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas
Photo by Homeroom Travel

When visiting Las Vegas for the first time, there are many things to do, especially if you’re coming from Los Angeles, California. One of the most unique attractions for Las Vegas beginners is the Seven Magic Mountains. This art installation, created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, is a popular stop when visiting Vegas. Completed on May 11, 2016, the Seven Magic Mountains sit on three acres of federally owned land.

The colorful Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas
Photo by Homeroom Travel

This artwork was originally commissioned by the Artist Protection Fund and the Nevada Museum of Art and it cost $3.5 million USD to make. There are 33 limestone boulders painted in bright neon colors and each weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 tons. The Seven Magic Mountains were only supposed to be on view for two years, but the contract has been extended since its popularity has grown. It is now one of the largest land-based art installations in the world.

The Seven Magic Mountains are located 10 miles south of the heart of Las Vegas. To get there, take I-15 and get off on Jean Dry Lake. It is clearly marked and there is a nice parking lot next to the exhibit. It takes about 20-30 minutes from The Strip as well as McCarran Airport to get to the Seven Magic Mountains. Nevertheless, it is a fun and unique exhibition to see and a popular Instagram spot!

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: By Rebecca Noelle

Two women at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

Located 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservatory Area. The Strip can be super overwhelming. For beginners traveling to Las Vegas, if you are not a gambler or drinker, leaving The Strip is one of the best things you can do for your own fun and enjoyment.

Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

There are 56 hiking trails throughout Red Rock Canyon and these trails range in size from 1.1 miles to 14.5 miles. I recommend you use All Trails to plan out your trip to study the trail that works best for your skill level. Thankfully, you can check if the trail is hard, moderate or easy and whichever you choose, make sure you bring enough snacks and water! Remember you are in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservatory is a big spot for cyclists to also escape the city and cycle through cool nature. If you are not a hiker nor have the desire to walk around the area, there are a few parking lots you can use to park off the main road and cycle there. It’ll be rare to enter a parking lot and not see a car without a bike rack or cyclists finishing or starting a ride!

Red Rock Canyon at sunset
Photo by Rebecca Noelle

If you want a place to enjoy a beautiful sunset in the Vegas area, I highly recommend you come to Red Rock Canyon. The sun hitting against the red rock adds an extra glow to this entire area, making the red, orange and white hues vibrant that photos cannot do justice. You will definitely enjoy exploring this beautiful landscape!

Valley of Fire State Park: By Krystal and Eric

A bride and groom getting married at Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas
Photo by Krystal and Eric

When you think of Las Vegas, you probably think of the bright lights, street performers or the endless wave of casinos and restaurants. While all of these certainly have their place in my heart, there is a whole different side to the Vegas area that is worth exploring and makes for a unique vacation! A side that is magical in a new way; a side that will pull you in and leave you being a different person. This place is Valley of Fire State Park.

The valley is aptly named for the deep-red tones of the rocky land and if you catch it at sunset, you’ll get a glimpse of the rocks lighting up. The valley itself is an official State Park of Nevada where you can hike, camp, explore petroglyphs and get lost in the winding roads. Ps. You can even run away with your closest family and friends and host an entire wedding, like we did!

The drive out there is a sight to see on its own with red rocks the size of mountains towering over you and welcoming you into untouched land. The landscape slowly becomes more barren and dramatic the farther in you drive. Each mile is more beautiful than the last and you’ll find yourself asking how a place like this even exists. The Valley of Fire is by far our favorite place on Earth! For all Las Vegas beginners, if you’re lucky enough to experience the Valley of Fire, make sure you allow a full day to explore and check out two of our favorite places: The Seven Sisters and The Cabins.

The Neon Museum: By Taylor of Brown Eyed Flower Child

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

Another cool thing to do in Las Vegas if you spare extra time is tuning into Sin City’s history by visiting The Neon Museum. This cool non-profit organization was founded in 1996 and it is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas neon signs for educational and cultural purposes. It is a great way to travel back in time and even though I unfortunately didn’t have the time to personally visit The Neon Museum during my Southwest road trip, I still got to enjoy a 360 Virtual Tour on the museum’s website because I LOVE neon signs so much! They are so dreamy to me.


A sister and brother in Las Vegas

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top things to do in Las Vegas for beginners. If you have any questions on this collaborative post, please email me at [email protected]

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Best Things to do in Las Vegas for Beginners

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20 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on July 17, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    This was so informative. I feel we have to go back and try all the beautiful and fun places your friends recommended. Now I feel bad we only went for one day. More the reason for us to go back ~ photographs brought everything to life. Sounds like you can really make a fun filled vacation at Las Vegas even if you are not a gambler. Thank you all for the awesome tips for a perfect vacation to Las Vegas for beginners.

    Awesome guide/blog Taylor and her friends ~ <3

    Love you,
    Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on July 18, 2020 at 5:40 am

      Thank you mom! Yes, we’ll definitely have to go back in the future. 🙂 Love you too! xoxo

  2. Jackie on July 18, 2020 at 7:24 am

    This is such a great guide! I’m always seeing flight deals from my airport to Las Vegas, I think I may plan a trip before too longer, it sounds like there’s tons to do even if you don’t like gambling!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you Jackie! Yes, I totally recommend going now especially that flights are cheaper. There are so many awesome things to do there. 🙂

  3. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished on July 18, 2020 at 9:53 am

    I love Red Rock Canyon! I also think Vegas has super fun food options if you know where to look!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      Yes, I totally agree Daisy! 🙂

  4. Maria on July 19, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Love this guide Taylor! I’m not a gambler either and I still had a great time when I visited Vegas. Reading your post made me realize that I still missed out on a few things though. Reason to go back!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you Maria! Yes, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Vegas, which is so awesome! 🙂

  5. Cristina on July 19, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    This is an amazing blog post. I haven’t visited Las Vegas yet, but I would like to go. I’m saving your post for the future 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you so much Cristina and yes, you totally have to go when you do a trip to the American West. 🙂

  6. World of Lina on July 20, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Oh I’m seriously DYING to visit Las Vegas! It must feel so surreal to actually be there. Can’t wait for that day to happen!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      Yes, it really was cool to be there. Vegas has so much to do and there is something for everyone. 🙂

  7. Nicola Lavin on July 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Such an informative guide. You are making me want to book a trip. Such a cool place to celebrate your birthday!

    • Taylor Deer on July 26, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you Nicola and yes, it was a lot of fun! 🙂

  8. Thrifty Campers on July 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Wow beautiful photos. Looks like amazing sightseeing to take in and explore. Thanks for all the tidbits. The venecian sounds like a good place to stay for I have yet to visit venice. I also never new until now that vegas pools were not your typical average kind lol. Sounds like a blast🙂

    • Taylor Deer on July 28, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Thank you!!! Yes, it’s definitely a city that offers something for everyone! The Vegas pools definitely look like a blast. 🙂

  9. Elena Pappalardo on July 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    There’s so much more to Vegas than I had even realized! You’re definitely making me consider at least a stop-off here! Love all of your pictures.

    • Taylor Deer on July 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you Elena! It’s definitely a city everyone has to experience at least once. 🙂

  10. MacKenzie on July 31, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    I felt the same way you did about Vegas before I visited – it wasn’t at the top of my list, but I was still interested in going! BOY, am I glad I did, for many of the reasons you compiled here! Vegas is so much more than gambling, and I had such a great time. Thank you for compiling all these wonderful things!

    • Taylor Deer on August 1, 2020 at 11:23 pm

      Thank you so much MacKenzie! I definitely cannot wait to go back and see/do more. 🙂

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