Top 7 Tips for Vegas First Timers


Sam Brooks

View of the Las Vegas Strip from the Paris hotel’s Eiffel Tower.

When I first laid eyes on “Sin City,” it looked like a giant sandbox from the air except for a section of buildings that seemed like they were standing extra tall against the flat barren terrain. This city has so much to offer that, for a first-time visitor, narrowing it down can be difficult. These are the top tips for Vegas first timers.

7. Get Gambling

With hard-earned money in hand and an eager smile, this beginner raked in $200 after a few minutes and $20 in a penny slot machine. But I was too terrified to belly up to the big boys at the craps, roulette or blackjack tables. If you’re going to hit the casino as a first timer, go with an experienced gambler. It may sound like a given, but having a guide and confidant makes approaching any machine or table a little less intimidating. Have no fear and roll those die, beginner’s luck might strike you as well.

6. Take it all in

Once the sun goes down, take an evening stroll through the Las Vegas Strip. It is the only place in the world where a Roman palace, medieval castle and great pyramid sit within walking distance of one another. It’s mandatory to see them all on your first visit. A cautionary tip for the first-time strip walker: people walking the strip dressed in costumes – ex. Darth Vader, Pikachu,  Elmo, etc. – charge to have their picture taken. Avoid their pleas for pictures or be prepared to give knock-off Pikachu $5 for a pic.

5. Get an obscenely large alcoholic slushy   

These foot-long or larger drinks are a wonderful way to stay cool while walking down the strip in the middle of June. Shops like Fat Tuesday’s and Señor Frog’s serve up the frozen concoctions. The drinks can run between $16-$25 depending on the cup size and add-ins. The foot-and-a-half tall cup, with a light up “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign that now sits in my cupboard, was $18 and the deadly delicious drink lasted quite some time.

4. Watch the Bellagio water show from the Paris Las Vegas hotel

While the Bellagio water show is spectacular from the ground, the birds-eye view from the Paris Las Vegas hotel’s more than 500-foot Eiffel Tower replica, is the only way to truly understand the enormity of it. Tickets are required for access to the observation deck and can be purchased in the Paris for $25 per person. Tickets are valid for the entire day and multiple trips up are welcome. Go on up and see Las Vegas like never before.

3. Ride the rollercoasters   

Las Vegas has a few notable rollercoasters that are sure to please any adrenaline junkie. The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has a carnival vibe to it and offers two larger coasters, one of which features a 90-degree drop. Be sure to visit the New York New York rollercoaster and Stratosphere rides to experience all the thrills Las Vegas has to offer.

2. Watch a Cirque du Soleil performance

Seeing a Cirque du Soleil performance is like witnessing a magical ballet. The acrobatics are death defying and mind boggling while the show keeps the audience engaged. Ticket prices vary based on which show you select to watch. For showtimes, is the place to go. Do yourself a favor and add one of the shows into the itinerary.

1. Dance the night away at the Electric Daisy Carnival

The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) has quickly become one of Las Vegas’ biggest summer attractions. The heat during a Las Vegas summer is no joke, the festival is being moved to Memorial Day weekend beginning 2018 for a cooler climate and even chiller vibes. Spanning three days at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it is a place brimming of peace, love and respect, where people from all over the world come together in celebration of music, life and harmony. Any Las Vegas first timer should make EDC a stop on their list.

With the endless possibilities for adventures to have, the first-time visitor to Las Vegas can easily get overwhelmed. With guidance from this recent Vegas noob, go forth in confidence that, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.