2021 Las Vegas Guide // 2021
Updated: Jul 13
If you are looking for a Las Vegas guide in 2021 then I have g
\ot you covered! From where to stay, where to eat and everything else. Whether you plan on staying on the Las Vegas Strip or heading to Old Vegas (Fremont Street) I have rounded up all my favorite spots and recommendations into this one post. Now let's talk VEGAS!
We actually have been twice in the past year and it was night and day difference from October 2020 to June 2021. We went last year for Alec's birthday and COVID restrictions were a lot more in place. Masks were required everywhere and lots of things were still closed. You also could only go to your own hotel pool. BUT GOOD NEWS- 2021 everything was WIDE open! So if you are heading to Vegas get ready for a good time!
WHERE TO STAY
I can't say I'm the best expert on this since I have only stayed at 1 hotel. But it's pretty great and I have one on my bucket list too!
We love The Venetian. We stayed there during both of our trips. You just get so much bang for your buck! The rooms are huge. If you get a room with 2 queen beds, you also get a sitting area so plenty of room to pregame or hang out if you are with a group. If we are being technical we actually stayed in the Palazzo-which I think is the newer building. We absolutely love it. Even though they have a ton of pools, they don't get a ton of sun because of how they are nestled on the strip. Just a heads up!
I am DYING to stay at The Cosmo though! It probably is my favorite hotel overall. The vibe/atmosphere plus the restaurants, speakeasies and bars are SO fun! It would be perfect for a birthday or bachelorette. I'll get into all the cool places inside the Cosmo here in a second..
WHERE TO EAT
The best part of Las Vegas is how incredible all of the food is! Seriously it is a foodie paradise. Here are some of our favorites!
HEXX @ THE PARIS HOTEL
BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS. Need I say more? If you want to kick your day off tipsy then you need a reservation to Hexx, and YES, you do need a reservation. They normally are reservations only. The food is also so great! The spinach and artichoke dip, juevos rancheros, chicken and waffles- YUM! Plus they serve their mimosas with cranberry juice, pineapple or orange! They even brought a little chocolate cake out for my sisters birthday!
BEAUTY AND ESSEX @ THE COSMO HOTEL
This speakeasy tapas spot is another one of our favorites. Located in the Cosmo hotel you have to go through the pawn shop to get to it. The dark vibe and fabulous food makes for a great night. I cannot recommend the grilled cheese dumplings enough. Thank me later. The little french dips, mexican street corn ravioli and tuna poke tacos were also soooo good!
BLACK TAP @ THE VENETIAN
You may recognize these insane milkshakes from their NYC location, where the line is normally wrapped around the block to get in. Luckily in Vegas, it's normally not that busy. They do not take reservations so there is a line sometimes. This is a super casual spot right by the sports book in the Venetian. They also have a patio thats on their little canal, which is perfect for when the weather is nice!
SADELLES @ THE BELLAGIO
This spot is perfect for a girls trip to Vegas! It's super instagram-worthy and perfect for brunch. This one you'll want to get reservations for. It overlooks the Bellagio pool! I can't remember the food being anything fabulous but I loved the atmosphere and vibe. Ladies- this spot
LAVO @ THE BELLAGIO
This one is family style Italian food with the BEST view of the fountains and the strip. Make sure to get a reservation and ask to sit on the patio or have a view of the fountains. All of the food we ordered definitely could have been enough for each of our own meals, but it was fun to order a bunch of different things and try them all! We went around sunset so we got the day time and night time view of the fountain show and strip. (10/10 recommend)
CATCH @ THE ARIA
This is a boujee-er option for sure. Catch is a high end sushi restaurants with locations in NYC and LA. I had to go once I heard how great the sushi was and how cute the restaurant is. We just went for cocktails and apps but it was AMAZING. Plus we even had some celeb sightings. This is a major insta-opp and the place to be!
TACO BELL CANTINA ON THE STRIP
Hey don't knock it. I am not the biggest Taco Bell fan but late night eats at the Cantina just hit different. It is 2 stories and has boozy baja blasts! Even if you don't want to eat, it's worth checking out. Plus, like everywhere else in Vegas- you can get married there!
WHERE TO DRINK
While you can drink just about anywhere in Vegas, I wanted to share some of our favorite bars and speakeasys!
THE HIGH ROLLER @ THE LINQ
We have done the High Roller twice now and love it! They are now doing the High Roller Happy Half Hour where your ticket will include an open bar for your entire ride! I don't think the price difference is that much more and if you are a quick drinker, you can get your moneys worth! I would advise to buy tickets in advance, but you have to stand in line whether you are prepaid / booked or not. (which is totally ridiculous) so up to you if you want to buy in advance or wait and get them once you are there. It is a bit cheaper to do it online beforehand!
CHANDELIER BAR @ THE COSMO HOTEL
A MUST. I recommend booking drinks here after dinner at Beauty and Essex. They are right across from each other. You quite literally sit inside a 3 story chandelier and enjoy cocktails- it is FABULOUS. You may have heard of their famous mouth numbing drink thats not on the menu. Try it at your own risk, I personally did not enjoy it but it was fun to try it! Regardless this bar is SO cool and can't recommend it enough.
GHOST DONKEY @ THE COSMO
We found this speakeasy on Tik Tok and so glad we did! It is a mexican-themed speakeasy in the Cosmo and the drinks were SO good. Its right in the back of the food court and it's just a black door with a donkey on it. It is super small but so worth checking out!
ICE BAR (MULTIPLE LOCATIONS)
So this had potential to be super fun but we were SO COLD. We went when it was warm out so we weren't dressed for how cold it was. Even with the parka and mitten, we were shivering the whole time. They have locations at the Linq and at the Venetian. We opted to do it at the Linq after the high roller! Highly recommend buying tickets online beforehand and looking for discount codes. You'll save a pretty penny!
VANDERPUMP COCKTAIL GARDEN @ CAESAR'S PALACE
I have never seen an episode of Vanderpump Rules but this cocktail garden was so cute, we couldn't pass it up. They don't take reservations, and normally there is a line to get in. It's nestled in the Caesar's casino and you would never know once you step inside. I think they serve food too but we just went for drinks after dinner! Definitely a fun spot for Bravo fans or for a girls trip.
SPEAKEASY @ THE MOB MUSEUM
If you plan on going to Old Vegas and want to feel like you are going back in time to a real speakeasy then you've got to swing by the Mob Museum! Ask the people at the front for the password and head to the basement to get let in. It is an old fashion feel and really unique!
GRAB A DRINK @ FREMONT STREET
We finally went to Old Vegas and loved it! If you are balling on a budget during your trip, then this is where you want to be. Drinks on the street are SO cheap. We are talking HUGE beers for $12. They also have daiquiris in yard sticks you can grab and walk around with.
THINGS TO DO
HIGH ROLLER AT THE LINQ
In case you choose to not do the Happy Half Hour, I still think the Linq is the best view! It's so beautiful at night. Highly recommend!
TAKE A HELICOPTER RIDE OVER THE STRIP
I did this as a surprise for Alec's birthday and it was SO COOL. I paid extra to take their shuttle so I knew we would get there on time. I was nervous to rely on Uber and it was about the same price. I didn't get us a private tour, but they do have that option. Ours was a shared helicopter with about 6 people total, including the pilot but we were so mesmerized by the views we didn't even notice. It was a short flight but we both thought it was so worth it. We got super close to the stratosphere and went over the Raiders field too. We also got a glass of complimentary champagne after our flight- hello Bachelor vibes! There are also options to fly to the Grand Canyon, picnics and all sorts of combos. If you are wanting to do a helicopter tour- Vegas is a really cool spot to do it!
ZIPLINE OVER OLD VEGAS
Please enjoy these fabulous action shots we got while going on the zipline. (digital copies included in your ticket!) If you want a quick thrill on Fremont Street, then you need to do the zipline! We did the one that's higher up and goes 35 mph. It was sooo fun- but I will say it is super quick. Grab tickets beforehand and make sure you are there for your time slot.
WALK AROUND FREMONT STREET
Grab a taxi (yes a taxi and not an uber!) and head to Fremont Street for a not-so-glam Old Vegas vibe. It's only a 10-15 minute drive from the strip and it's definitely worth a day trip over. The covered street has bars along the side and plenty of casinos to gamble. Table minimums are lower and overall, everything is cheaper! You can shop for souvenirs, do a bit of gambling and walk around and explore.
VISIT THE LAS VEGAS SIGN
A MUST! It is a little out of the way so you really have to plan on getting an Uber to go there.T he line also gets crazy long- but it's iconic people!
*Tip: skip the line and just stand off to the side. It's not the same shot but it's pretty dang close and alleviates waiting in the scorching desert heat for a pic.
*OR- there's a similar type sign in old Vegas on the other side of the zipline tower. Makes for another cute backdrop!
VISIT THE WORLD'S LARGEST DISPENSARY
Not that I am encouraging anyone.. but the world's largest dispensary is right off the strip! I personally haven't been but have had friends go and say it's still cool to check out. It is legal in Vegas- again do what you want with that information.
WATCH THE FOUNTAIN SHOW @ THE BELLAGIO
A classic but a must when in Vegas! You can go during the day or at night. I think they are more frequent at night, but I forget how often it plays. Check it out after dinner or just stop by while you're walking around!
RENT A CABANA FOR THE DAY
We chose to go to the Waldorf Astoria pool since we could rent it for the day, rather than having to hit a food and beverage minimum. It was not a pool party vibe but honestly it was a perfect day to relax for a bit after my sister's 21st. We ordered cocktails and food and lounged until it was time for dinner! If you want a more poppin' experience then try out the Circa pool or look for other pool parties happening! Or chill by your own pool and just grab a chair! Either way- the pool is always a good idea.
GENERAL TIPS & FAQS
Answering some FAQs and sharing some of my favorite tips and hacks for your next trip to Vegas!
HOW SHOULD I GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE RESORT?
We ran into the issue of not having an Ubers available when we landed in Vegas. We ended up having to go to the taxi line and getting a taxi to take us to our hotel. Honestly it was so much faster and easier than waiting forever for Uber or Lyft to find a driver.
SHOULD WE UBER OR TAKE A TAXI?
We found overall Lyft was cheaper and quicker, but taxis were the way to go.
BUY YOUR SOUVENIRS ON FREMONT STREET
They have tons of souvenir shops on Fremont street and everything is way cheaper! You can get shot glasses for $1.50 and everything else is probably 1/3 of what you would pay on the strip or at your resort. They actually had huge selections too!
WHERE COMFORTABLE SHOES
You walk ALOT. Even if you Uber from place to place it can be half a mile or more just to get out of the resorts. These places are huge and the Vegas is strip requires alot of walking. Just be prepared!
DO WE HAVE TO WEAR MASKS?
When we went (June 2021) fully vaccinated individuals did not have to wear masks, and most people didn't. We wore them in Ubers if the drivers were wearing them, but I am not sure they were required.
If you are off to Vegas, HAVE A BLAST! There are still so many things on my bucket list like 7 Magic Mountains, road tripping to the Grand Canyon, Area 51 and more. I hope you found some new places to try out and found all my tips helpful! Cheers!