We recently went to Vegas to celebrate my birthday and had the BEST time. Aside from both Tony & I coming down with terrible colds! But, we made the best of it, rallied and had an amazing time!
Initially, we planned the trip so that we could go to Blink 182’s residency at the Palms Resort & Casino. Blink 182 is one of our favorite bands, that both Tony & I have loved since we were younger. So finding out they were doing a residency at the Pearl Theater was reason enough to make the trip!
Ultimate Las Vegas Travel Guide
For me, no trip to Vegas would be complete without checking out awesome restaurants, catching some shows & sipping on over the top drinks! I put together a complete list of all of the things we saw, ate and drank when we were in Las Vegas, as well as a few other recommendations of spots we’ve gone to in the past! I love visiting Vegas (it’s such a quick and easy trip from San Diego), so I’ll keep adding recommendations as I visit new spots and try new things! If you guys ever have any recommendations I’ve missed, be sure to let me know!
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
Palms Casino Resort
This was actually our second time staying at the Palms. Last time we stayed here, it was before their massive renovation. They have a huge venue called the Pearl that Tony’s played at & we stayed at the hotel for the show!
The resort recently had a $620 million renovation & it’s literally so next level. If you’ve never been to the Palms, its about a mile off the Strip behind Bellagio and across from Rio & Gold Coast Hotel.
There are a few new restaurants including a new buffet (hell yea unlimited food), Scotch 80 Prime (a fancy steak house), The Lucky Penny, perfect for breakfast or a late night snack. And Send Noodles, great for picking up a quick bite or late night bowl of noodles.
Palms opened a brand new nightclub if you’re looking to party. APEX Social Club replaced Ghostbar, the rooftop bar with epic views Vegas. They also redesigned the casino floor and added a massive shark tank. Seriously, a giant shark in the middle of the room! The hotel added a ton of cool new art too. Like the massive neon “Wish You Were Here Sign” behind the front desk and the giant faux balloon letters spelling out “Palms” at the main entrance.
Our room was next level. We had a suite, complete with 3 TVs, yes 3! Massive marble dining table (hello Instagram aesthetic). Amazing lighting (yes, making it easy to photograph)! A well stocked mini bar with products from my favorite food & drink brands. They even had a Color Pop makeup kit for sale in case you forgot your toilet bag.
Las Vegas Restaurants
Black Tap Las Vegas
As many of you know, I’ve dreamed of going to Black Tap in New York. The last time I was in New York, the line was like 2 hours long and I didn’t get to try one of their famous over the top freakshakes.
Lucky for me, they just opened a location in Las Vegas! Ca-ching! Their menu is literally what dreams are made of. Right outside the The Venetian, Black Tap offers craft burgers, tons of awesome appetizers, their famous CrazyShake milkshakes, craft beer, and cocktails.
We ordered 2 burgers, one of which was their award-winning Greg Norman Burger, made from wag beef, with house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese and arugula. We also got their crispy brussel sprouts, deep fried pickles & a ton of fries.
For dessert, we got 2 different CrazyShakes. The Bam Bam is a Fruity Pebbles shake with a vanilla frosted fruity pebbles rim, fruity pebbles rice krispy treat, strawberry pop tart, taffy taffy rope, whipped cream & a cherry on top. The Cake Batter shake comes with a vanilla frosted rim with rainbow sprinkles, topped with a funfetti cake slice, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles & a cherry! FYI you can also make your shake boozy! Literally one of my favorite restaurant experiences in all of my travels! If you’re planning on taking pictures, I recommend asking for a table outside! We sat in a cozy booth inside, so the lighting was really dim.
Holy sugar overload! We went here right after we checked into our hotel. We were both feeling tired and sick, but after our meal and sugar intake, both got a major second wind!
Sugar Factory’s flagship restaurant and store is located on the strip, in front of the Fashion Show mall & Across from the Wynn. They also have a Chocolate Lounge on the upper level! Their signature menu offers everything from pancakes and sweet and savory crepes to salads, burgers and pizzas. Sugar Factory also has a long list of cocktails made with premium spirits, including their signature 36-ounce alcohol-infused smoking candy goblets.
We had so much fun here. Not only were our massive smoking goblets fun and tasty, our burgers & snacks were really good! It’s a fun stop for adults and even kids!
One of my all time, favorite bakeries finally has a location in Las Vegas! Located inside the Cosmopolitan, Milk Bar has tasty treats like crack pie, soft serve ice cream, birthday cake truffles & more! Just like their OG location in New York, Milk Bar Vegas serves “Milk Quakes”, over the top delicious milkshakes. The best part is that, because it’s Vegas, they have a liquor license and you can get a spiked version! One of the highlights of the trip was getting Birthday Cake’s to celebrate with! You can even order them online and have them delivered to you across the country!
Carson Kitchen isn’t on the strip, but is located in the trendy Fremont East district. They have amazing crispy chicken skins, bacon jam and one of the best burgers of all time. We tried their Buffalo “wings” that are surprisingly made form pork and were pleasantly surprised (let’s just say there were no leftovers). There’s also a great upstairs patio you can eat on, just wait until the weather cools down a bit!
Ok, so the name sounds a little funny. But Bazaar Meat (located in the SLS) is José Andrés’ creative take on a steakhouse. Think: foes gras cotton candy, caviar flights, wild boar sausage, buffalo style bison, a 10 lb suckling pig & tons of steak options. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to treat yourself to a fancy night out with some amazing eats.
é by Jose Andres
While we’re Talking about José Andrés, I have to mention é. A super exclusive tasting experience in the Cosmopolitan. There are literally only 9 seats. It’s just off to the side of Jaleo (also a great restaurant). They only seat people twice a night, at 5:30 and 8:30, so you have to make reservations way in advance. You get over 20 small bites in under 2 hours. Prepare for sensory overload because most of the dishes are based on gastronomic experimentation (aka cotton candy empanadas)!
I always thought that Hakkasan was just a nightclub. But they also have a trendy, yet intimate restaurant next door. Hakkasan serves Cantonese cuisine, meaning they have both wok and dim sum chefs. I recommend checking it out if you’re seeing a show at the MGM or planning on a night out at the club next door!
Joël Robuchon is one of France’s most famous chefs. There are actually two restaurants, Joël Robuchon and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon that are side-by-side. If you want to visit one of his restaurants in America, these are your only two chance! Joël Robuchon is a little fancier and more expensive, while L’Atelier is a little more casual. Either way, you’re in good hands. Don’t forget to order a glass of champagne and some of their home made desserts!
Literally the fanciest sushi restaurant I’ve ever been to. Mizumi is actually one of the only US restaurants to serve certified authentic Kobe beef. The location is beautiful and has a view of an outdoor Koi pond and waterfall. The food? Even better! They’ve got hot robata and teppanyaki means, fresh sushi and shahimi and so much more!
Omg… give me all of the fried chicken from Yardbird. I love some good southern comfort food. Located inside of the Venetian, Yardbird is like, gourmet comfort food. Their fried chicken is brined for 27 hours and served with honey hot sauce, cheddar cheese waffles and watermelon. Literally dreaming of it right now. They also have four choices of different buttermilk biscuits, made fresh daily! I recommend pairing your meal with a classic old fashioned!
Las Vegas Bars
The Mermaid Lounge
Mermaids do exist… in Vegas! This bar totally reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes, in Hook when Robin Williams is saved by mermaids in Neverland! Grab a drink at The Mermaid Lounge and take in their 117,000 gallon saltwater aquarium, featuring tropical fish and mermaids! Definitely one of the most unique spots in Vegas!
Atomic Liquors is Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar! It’s called Atomic Liquors because it used to be the spot people would grab drinks at, sit on the roof & watch nuclear test explosions in the desert! It’s an awesome spot to grab a craft cocktail and learn a bit about Nevada’s radioactive history!
Commonwealth is a two story, rustically renovated bar. Think: crystal chandeliers and rustic wood. They even have a secret bar called the Laundry Room! The bar also has a great roof top bar area for taking in views.
The Chandelier bar is definitely the highlight of the Cosmopolitan. You walk in and are greeted by an INSANE three story chandelier surrounded, lobby bar. As you look up from the ground level, you see layers of dangling crystals and beads. Basically every kira kira users dream. The lounge also has a ton of killer cocktails.
Located inside of the Venetian, The Dorsey is an upscale lounge, complete with oak, brass, leather & marble trimmings. Very classy. The cocktails were created by a famous New York mixologist, the Penicillin being one of their signature craft cocktails. You can make a reservation to visit here.
One of the best spots to grab a drink and a snack while you’re exploring the strip. Libertine Social is located inside of Mandalay Bay. You have your choice of “vibrant cocktails, some of which are even on draft!
Vista Cocktail Lounge
Looking for a view? Stop by Vista Cocktail Lounge at Caesars Palace. Inside you’re actually surrounded by LED video screens that recreate metropolitan skylines from around the world! If you’ve got some extra cash, check out their massive punch bowl for sharing, it costs almost $100 but is a fun experience for sharing!
Double Down Saloon
A 24 hour punk themed bar!? Count me in! Double Down Saloon is famous for their signature “Ass Juice” cocktail (lol’ing as I write this). They’re located off the strip, but a quick Uber ride away. Even better? they’re open 24 hours a day and don’t have a cover charge! Head into the bathroom for some kitchy rules (like “You puke, YouClean”). When you order the “Ass Juice” it legit comes in a toilet bowl shaped shot glass.
Fireside Lounge is every Instagrammer’s neon dream. Located inside of the Peppermill, it’s a legendary spot and quintessentially Vegas. The indoor bar is surrounded by a neon glow, but is more of a fireside lounge. Tables surround fire pits, fountains, cozy seating, complete with a neon color palette. Don’t forget to order their 64 oz Scorpion Drink!
Things to do in Las Vegas
Cirque de Soleil
Ok, so there are a TON of Cirque de Soleil and “similar” options available in Vegas. I’ve seen Humanity, Ka, Michael Jackson’s This Is It & The Beatles LOVE. So far, the Beatles LOVE is my favorite by a land slide. I’ve hear that La Rev and O are also amazing, but when it came to purchasing tickets, LOVE was the best bang for your buck. LOVE was the perfect blend of music, dancing & acrobatics.
High Roller at the LINQ
I was a little weary of getting on a massive ferris wheel in the middle of the strip. But it was literally one of my favorite parts of our trip! It’s not your average ferris while. It is more of an “observation” wheel. It’s actually the biggest one in the world, clocking in at 550 feet!
The LINQ Promenade is one of down town Vegas’ newest hot spots, featuring a ton of shopping, dining & entertaining, all outdoors.
Before getting on the High Roller, you can order drinks at their bar. We opted for a drink & a jello shot – because duh, Vegas. Then, you step into an air conditioned pod that gives you a view of the entire strip (and beyond). The ride is actually totally smooth. It’s not like you’re rocking around on a ferris wheel. For an extra special viewing, visit at night for a glowing view of the strip!
Only in Vegas can you hit some golf balls in a night club like atmosphere! TopGolf has a location with awesome views of the strip, featuring a driving range that serves food & drinks. You can even get bottle service while you work on your swing!
Shark Tank at the Golden Nugget
Head over the Golden Nugget and go swimming with sharks! The hotel has a huge waterslide that takes you through a shark filled aquarium. They also have a ton of tours that you can take behind the scenes to feed and learn more about their sea creatures.
One of the most unique miniature golf courses I’ve ever been to, KISS by Monster Mini Golf is a KISS themed putt putt course inside of the Rio! They also have a Rock & Roll themed wedding chapel where you can get married by your favorite rock star minister! You can get married by anyone from Marilyn Manson to Katy Perry!
Hit the Spa
Every resort in Vegas has a spa. But which one is the best? I recommend checking out ESPA and getting a massage. It’s a great way to detox after a crazy night or just relax after hitting the strip. Located in the Vdara, ESPA is over 18,000 square feet and features signature European heat experiences. A great way to take your body through a therapeutic journey of temperature changes, reboot & relax!
Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience is a 24 hour outdoor mall with a massive LED canopy. You can even zip line through the mall off of a two story slot machine replica called SlotZilla! There are tons of awesome restaurants, bars & activities to check out while you’re there.
Did you know there’s an entire museum dedicated to housing old neon signs in Las Vegas?? You can see all of the old neon signs from past hotels, clubs & casinos at the Neon Museum. You can walk through their Boneyard and see hundreds of old signs on display too.
Helicopter Ride Over the Strip
If you’re looking for a little adventure, book a helicopter ride over the strip! I recommend booking at night so you can catch a view of the city lit up.
The “Eiffel Tower”
Can’t make it all the way to France? Vegas even has a recreation of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris resort! It’s a great spot to take in views of the strip. They also have a really romantic restaurant and famous brunch service from the top! You can even get married there!