Food Travel

Las Vegas: A Travel Guide for First Timers

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.

As Las Vegas is my third travel guide (see Orlando, Denver). I feel compelled to point out what I focus on in mine. Whenever the hubs and I travel, we are on a budget, so there are many free or low-cost activities involved. We also really love to find hole-in-the-wall places – whether it’s a hard to find brewery in a basement or that amazing locally-owned restaurant that’s not in the middle of the ‘touristy’ section. We love to eat, drink, & experience new things. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, subscribe! because I have several more guides I am putting together.

Ok, let me say this about Las Vegas first, it is definitely one of the more costly trips we have taken. Food is expensive. Things to do are expensive. And gambling is expensive. However, with all that said, I love this place. SO MUCH. I’ve gone twice now & honestly, I want a Las Vegas trip every year.

One of the things to know is that you can find great deals on hotels during the week, which balances out the much higher prices during the weekend (also, they have resort fees!).

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

I’m biased, but I recommend staying near Fremont Street. It’s the older section of Las Vegas, but I prefer that area to the strip downtown so much more. Did I mention the hotels are cheaper here? Because they are. Also, I find gambling more fun in these casinos versus the gigantic ones on the strip.

As far as flights to Vegas, shop around and have flexible dates. There’s always a good selection, but sometimes changing a flight by a day can save you a lot of money. Also, subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights!

Okay, now on to the goodies!

What to See:

Neon Museum

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

This is the ‘boneyard’ for old Las Vegas neon signs. We went right before sundown so we were able to see the signs in daytime & lit up at night. It’s a really cool slice of Vegas history. Make sure to also get a ticket for their Brilliant show – it was so so cool & worth the price.

I should also say that I went there for the limited Tim Burton exhibition (it was the excuse for the whole trip :P) and it did not disappoint!

Las Vegas Oddities

This is not located on the strip or Fremont, so you’ll need to drive. The owner is cool as hell and the shop has exactly what it claims to – oddities. From serial killer letters to witchy ingredients, this is a locally-owned shop for all my fellow weirdo’s.

The Strip / Fremont Street Experience

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

I feel like this is self-explanatory, right?

Walk the strip (it’s LONG) to see all the huge hotels and casinos. Make sure you get all the photos of all the places. See the Bellagio fountains – the schedule can be found online. Walk the Luxor, Venetian, & Caesar’s Palace. Don’t forget about Circus Circus on the far end if you need your Fear & Loathing photo op.

Check out Fremont Street at night. The ceiling is lit up with LED’s, there are street buskers, & live bands. Visit the classic casinos like Four Queens & El Cortez. It’s a whole other world here & you should experience it.

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

Container Park

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

Located near Fremont Street, I just have to put this in the guide. It’s a pretty cool spot to look around, shop around, grab some food, drinks, or tattoos.

What to Eat/Drink:

Frankie’s Tiki Room

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

Also off the main thoroughfares, be prepared for the difference in lighting as it is DARK inside. It’s a kitschy, low-key tiki bar with some strong drinks and cool music.


Located off the Strip, this is authentic German food & beer. You’re gonna spend some monies, but the experience is worth it.


First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

Oh, look… I found an Asian-Latin fusion restaurant in Las Vegas, too. (See previous posts for others I am obsessed with). This place did not disappoint! Not on either of the main roads, you can find this gem in a tiny strip mall. GO & EAT!

Millenium Fandom Bar

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -

This is a nerd bar. It’s cool as hell. Located near Fremont, we went for a trivia night & it was the hardest trivia I’ve ever encountered. Geeky decor & punny drinks makes this a place I recommend.

Other Advice:

  • Set a daily gambling limit. This is important if you’re on a budget!
  • Don’t worry about a sleep schedule. It’s gonna be weird. Your sleep cycle is gonna be all over the place.
  • Remember to have fun because the house always wins.

Okay, that’s it! When I started this, I did NOT realize how much I had to share about Las Vegas, but I guess that just goes to show you how much I love this place. Now, go forth and have an adventure!

First Timer Guide to Las Vegas - What to do, eat, & see! -