Las Vegas is a classic U.S. travel destination.
It’s vibrant, usually packed with people, larger than life, and there’s likely something to do for ANY personality type -- even if you’re not all that into gambling or drinking.
That said, Vegas is also a notorious party spot, and a great place to host a girls weekend or a bachelorette party.
Whether you want to hit the town or unwind by the pool, Las Vegas aims to please.
Some people love it, some people say it’s not for them, but I say every adult should visit Sin City at least once, just for the experience. As someone who has been there quite a few times over the years, I thought I’d provide some guidance for your next trip.
Here’s what I’d do:
1. Stay at the Cosmopolitan -- more on the WHY soon!
You’ll want to stock up on drinks before arrival (either in your suitcases, if you’re checking a bag; remember, you can pack unopened, sealed booze), or do a quick grocery store run with your Uber driver en route to your hotel or rental property. You’ll likely pay a little bit more for drinks in Las Vegas, but that goes for almost EVERYTHING in the city, especially on the Strip.
So, it’s worth it to be able to make some drinks in your hotel room, rather than buying them out at the casinos, bars and restaurants. Also, like we just said: Prepare for some major sticker shock on most items in Vegas.
Oh, and you can walk around with your drinks!
But like I said -- the Cosmopolitan is your spot. It’s sleek, centrally located, modern, there’s a DryBar (blow-out salon), and it packs great bars and restaurants, too. We’ll touch more on specifics soon!
2. See a show or some type of live event.
I’m kind of particular about how I spend my time on vacations, and I’ll be honest: At first, I didn’t love the idea of sitting around for two or three hours instead of exploring a new city. But I did see “Love,” which is a Beatles-themed cirque du soleil show, in my early 20s, and I took my then-boyfriend to a Floyd Mayweather boxing match at MGM years later.
Both were definitely worth it! I feel like you can’t escape Vegas without an experience like this.
And although tickets to live boxing are pretty costly, I think a lot of the shows and concerts are a bit more moderate. Look up what’s being offered prior to your trip, and you might be surprised by all the options.
3. EAT to your heart’s content.
OMG, this could be a whole separate article.
I’ve been to Las Vegas at least seven or eight times (it wasn’t as big of a trek when I lived in California), and I still feel like I haven’t even eaten at a fraction of all the amazing restaurants I see on TikTok. (Nor could I afford them!)
But if you’re going, do some research beforehand.
Obviously, what you want to do about meals will depend on your personal preferences, how fancy you want to go, your budget, how much time you have, how many people are in your group, etc.
My most recent girls trip, we ate at Beauty and Essex (dinner), Wicked Hop (brunch buffet, and you SHOULD do a Vegas buffet; this one is adorable and everything’s mini and perfect), and I did a few low-budget places not with the group as well, like Eggslut, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Milk Bar and more.
See, and this is why I recommend the Cosmopolitan for a hotel. It’s incredibly centrally located on the Strip, as mentioned -- like, right in the middle of all the action, very walkable, and you don’t even have to leave the property for some of the best eats. All those places I just mentioned are inside the Cosmo.
Plus, there’s a fun off-menu drink you can ask the bartenders about on the casino floor that will turn your mouth a little tingly, and the Chandelier Bar is as Instagrammable as it looks.
Other good Vegas eats include Mon Ami Gabi (inside Paris), Wolfgang Puck (inside MGM), Nacho Daddy (on Fremont Street), Andiamo (inside The D; and if you have a connection to Detroit, it’s one of those “IYKYK” situations), the patio bar outside Wynn (I think this is called Lake of Dreams, but you must get a cocktail and appetizers here; it’s beautiful), and honestly, whatever you could possibly want from the Vegas food scene, I feel very confident saying, the city can deliver.
I have about 10,000 places on my “must eat at” list, and I can’t decide if that number is an exaggeration.
4. Hit up a pool party.
This might sound kind of youthful, but it’s really fun, especially on a girls trip. You can eat, drink, dance, float down a lazy river (if you’re at Mandalay Bay or MGM) or even relax in a cabana.
Wet Republic is where my friends and I went in our 20s, and I highly recommend the experience! Who doesn’t want to feel like a kid again?
5. Something outdoorsy
I think starting your day with a group hike or trip to the Hoover Dam might be cool, especially if most of your Vegas trip is eating-drinking-gambling. Get off the Strip for a bit! It’ll be a refreshing change of pace.
Here are some ideas:
- The Hoover Dam, as mentioned, which is about 40 miles from the Strip, (which isn’t bad if you have a rental car). I did this with my brother in 2010, and it was a cool experience, although we only spent about an hour or so there.
- This link looks super helpful: It’s 10 Top-Rated Hiking Trails near Las Vegas
6. Take at least a half-day for Fremont Street, if not a full day.
It’s just SUCH a different experience from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s most certainly worth the $40ish Uber ride, and it’s super cool to take in the Old Vegas vibes.
Things are a little bit more affordable and laid back, the people-watching is incredible, and you can find some cool off-the-beaten path places, as well.
Nighttime is pretty wild.
I love this park, which is an awesome space -- you can even shop and drink there! -- and it’s changed so much even in the past few years.
7. And re: what to skip, here’s what I say.
- The roller coaster at New York-New York, and zip-lining on Fremont Street (neither activity is my style, so I really can’t justify waiting in line for either experience).
- The Miracle Mile shops near Planet Hollywood (these are probably the same as the stores in your local mall, so unless you forgot to pack something important, like a bathing suit, pass. There is SO much better shopping elsewhere).
- Chain restaurants -- with one exception: I do realize some people live in super rural areas, so you might not have TopGolf or a Buca di Beppo anywhere near your house. If that’s the case, who am I to tell you no? Go live your best life!
Finally, going to Las Vegas while there’s something big happening in the background, like March Madness, can be really fun! Definitely check what time of year you’ll be visiting. My friends and I did a girls trip during the NCAA Tournament, and the atmosphere was electric after our team won a big game.
And finally, the people-watching is just unmatched. Whether you’re on Fremont Street or not, it’s just the best of the best.
Post up with a cocktail and take in the masses, honestly from anywhere, and the city is guaranteed to please.