Las Vegas is the ultimate New Year’s Eve destination. While it is a perfect party city at any time of year, there’s nothing like ringing in the new year there. I started 2017 in Vegas, and it’s definitely a midnight hot spot.
Ready to start counting down to 2018? Here’s the lowdown on going to Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
What to Expect
The strip closes down to cars from 7 pm to 3 am– that means walking only and lots of car traffic. Be prepared by leaving lots of time between activities in case of delays.
Book everything in advance. The earlier you can start planning your trip, the better! New Year’s Eve reservations tend to fill up months in advance.
Prepare to pay a lot. From accommodations, to cover charges, to food and drink, New Year’s Eve in Vegas comes with a lot of extra costs.
Where to Stay for New Year’s Eve
The Venetian Las Vegas: A five-star suite on the Strip? There’s no better way to start the new year in style! It’s home to the second largest casino in the world (the numero uno honor now goes to its sister property, the Venetian Macao in Macau).
Palazzo: I love the chic, oversized rooms here! With suites at nearly twice the size of your average Las Vegas hotel room, the Palazzo has the largest standard suite on the Strip.
Encore at Wynn: The Encore Tower Suites are the premier VIP experience. With its exclusive Tower Suites pool, a private entrance, and complimentary in-room breakfast, I always feel pampered here.
The Morning of New Year’s Eve
Head to brunch and get the party started!
EAT: I love this place for classic comfort food. And, thanks to the sustainable and organic ingredients, it doesn’t feel quite so much like a guilty pleasure.
Andre’s Bistro: A little more French style, this brunch comes with all the butter, sugar and delicious pastries you could ever want.
Herringbone: Enjoy a leisurely brunch here on the comfy outdoor patio that overlooks the pool. There is so much variety on the menu that you will have endless combinations of dishes to try.
Makers & Finders: This adorable coffee shop also serves up a mean Latin style brunch!
Activities During the Day in Las Vegas
Visit Seven Magic Mountains: Open from May 2016 to May 2018, the Seven Magic Mountains in the Ivanpah Valley just outside of Las Vegas is a must-see. This vibrant installation in front of the vast landscape of the Nevada desert is truly unique.
See a show: Las Vegas really does have world-class entertainment. From music to magic to comedy, there is something going on every night of the week.
Get your photo in front of the Vegas sign: Snap a pic to document your time in Vegas in front of the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign!
Prepare for New Year’s Eve
Get your hair done at Dry Bar in the mall: My hair is always either straight or in a fun bun, so for New Year’s Eve I left it up to the professionals to help me out. The ladies at Dry Bar gave me the perfect look plus a fun little pre-party cocktail!
Get your nails done at the Essie salon: Go for some gold or silver glitter polish to match your NYE outfit.
Shop: Las Vegas is one of my favorite spots in the world to go shopping. From the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian to the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace to the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, there are so many amazing shops here where you can find the perfect party dress!
Helpful Tip: Pick up a pair flip flops before going out, because you’re likely gonna have to walk back to your hotel after midnight and it can be a far and cold walk. They really saved our lives!
Helicopter Tour over the Strip: There is nothing like seeing the Las Vegas completely lit up from the sky. Sundance Helicopters offers an impressive selection of tours!
High Roller Happy Hour: Drinks at 550 feet above Vegas? You can spend 30 minutes in a cabin on the High Roller with an open bar and incredible views.
Dinner Spots for New Year’s Eve
HEXX at Paris Las Vegas: An ideal location to watch the Bellagio fountains, the HEXX has tasty food and a fun chocolate exhibition kitchen. Be sure to check out the Chocolate Bean-to-Bar Tasting & Education.
Beauty & Essex: When is the last time you rocked a sequin dress? In Vegas, there is always an excuse to glam it up. The Beauty & Essex has a vintage vibe and delish food that is great for a pre or post-NYE celebration. Take note, though, they’re open for only dinner.
Giada at the Cromwell: Celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis knows a thing or two about good food, and she is serving up first-class cuisine seven days a week at her California-inspired Italian eatery.
Lago at Bellagio: The best way to kick off the new year is with an epic fountain show, courtesy of the Bellagio. With delish vegan and gluten-free choices, there is something here that everybody in your group will like.
Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay: With award-winning chefs, novel cocktails, and a fresh take on classic American dishes, this place is a foodie’s dream.
Where to Ring in the New Year
High Roller at The LINQ Hotel & Casino: How can you pass up the world’s tallest Ferris wheel? Bring your camera, and get ready for your best Vegas selfies.
Minus 5 Ice Bar: There’s nothing cooler in Vegas than the ninety tons of ice that have been turned into a winter wonderland full of fun, interactive ice sculptures.
Absinthe at Caesars Palace: It’s easy to see why Absinthe is considered one of the best shows in Vegas history. An incredible blend of cabaret and acrobatics, this is unlike any other show around.
Lounges and Bars
Chandelier: This über chic spot has signature drinks and a multilevel setup with three unique bar experiences.
Commonwealth: Be sure to hit up downtown Vegas on New Year’s Eve and check out this swanky cocktail bar.
Mandarin Bar: With floor-to-ceiling windows offering unbeatable views of the Strip, this is the place to grab a one-of-a-kind cocktail.
The Dorsey at The Venetian: Dance the night away to one of its first-class DJs, or chill on the couch and chat with your besties over drinks at this local fave.
XS: The ultimate party spot, the XS club has top-notch DJs and a swimming pool. Although it’s a bit too cold on NYE to really enjoy the outdoor portions of XS, they should top your summer to-do list.
JEWEL Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino: This ultra sleek club has top DJs pretty much every night of the week. Check out its VIP experience for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve.
Marquee: One of Vegas’s hottest clubs to see and be seen, this trendy locale has multiple dance floors and a pool deck.
Hakkasan: This is one of the best places to hit on any occasion, especially New Year’s Eve. And, unlike most clubs, it has some great food.
Tao: Another place for amazing Asian food and endless entertainment, TAO is the perfect spot to party the night away.
New Year’s Day
Power through the pain, and take a helicopter over the Grand Canyon: One of my best memories from Vegas is flying over the Grand Canyon. There is so much to see beyond the bright lights of the city, and I highly recommend getting out and seeing the desert. The view of the Grand Canyon from above is breathtaking.
Kick the Hangover with Bloody Marys at Yardbird: It’s not easy to get good old-fashioned Southern comfort food when you’re traveling abroad, so I always make a beeline for places like Yardbird when I’m home. This indulgent, from-scratch grub is, as they say, soul healin’ and their classic Bloody Mary is the perfect drink to start the new year right!
Go to the speedway and race: Feeling the need for speed? Head over to the racetrack for a dose of adrenaline and a little driving competition.