So, you’re coming to Vegas, huh? That’s awesome! But you need to know how to crawl before you can fly, and with that in mind, there are some things you need to know before your trip.
You can do anything here — if the mind can imagine it, the wallet can support it, and the law allows it, you can do it here. But take precautions and pace yourself. Too many people treat a long weekend in Vegas as a sprint, but it’s a marathon. If you’re going to make it to the finish line still standing, maybe don’t try to go full Vegas in the first 15 minutes after your plane lands.
Second, you need to understand some Vegas logistics if you’re going to successfully navigate this city without wasting a lot of time trying to get from one place to another. Have something of a plan of where you want to spend your time when you book your hotel and work out a general strategy from there.
Allow us to explain: don’t book an off-Strip hotel if you’re not going to have a car and don’t want to rely entirely on Lyft to get everywhere. Also, don’t assume you can stay in an off-Strip hotel and walk anywhere because you can’t; this is not a walkable city. If you want some semblance of walkability, stay downtown on Fremont Street, but also know that most of the hotels down there are “dated” at their finest and it’s not exactly close to the Strip.
If you want to walk the Strip, maybe don’t stay at the far ends of it. And pick a property that has places you want to eat at, drink at, gamble at, etc., because while you may have the best intentions of seeing the whole city, once Vegas happens it’s pretty easy to settle in where you’re at already, so you’d better be happy with it.
Third, just because it is the desert doesn’t mean it’s hot all the time. In fact, in the winter, it is often quite chilly, so ditch your January pool party fantasies and check out our guide to the best times of the year to visit Vegas.
Fourth, however much money you think you’re going to spend, double it. Nothing in this city comes cheap when you’re on tourist duty.
And, finally, Las Vegas is a city full of surprises. Sure, there are all the shows and the celebrity chef restaurants and super clubs, but there is also an abundance of unique cultural attractions — from only-in-Vegas museums to an exquisite performing arts center — as well as excellent restaurants in the neighborhoods as good as anything on the Strip, a burgeoning craft beer and spirits industry, and incredibly easy access to some of the best terrain for outdoors enthusiasts anywhere in the country.
Simply put, Vegas is as Vegas does: it can be anything you want it to be. So, decide what exactly you want to get out of it and plan accordingly.