So you’re planning a trip to Vegas…
Hmm can I please come with you? Seriously I love Las Vegas!
Right before our wedding we made our sixth trip to Sin City and every time we go I feel like there is still so much to left to discover, especially outside the city. One day, fingers crossed!
Most people assume the extent of Las Vegas is the Strip—bright lights, drinks, and shows filled with friends bonding over lost money and lost memories. And well all those things exists and have happened in Vegas, the city is so much more than that.
It’s a desert oasis brimming with world-class entertainment, restaurants, and shopping. Everything in extravagance.
The local vibe is chill. People open to new ideas and new experiences. It’s almost indescribable.
Of course I would love to spend a couple months exploring everything the area has to offer, but for most a long weekend trip here and there is all they can swing. So I thought I should start at the beginning—a long weekend itinerary for Vegas first-timers!
Although as a seasoned veteran I could go to Vegas, use this itinerary, and enjoy every minute of the trip.
I’ve compiled some of my Vegas must-sees and top activities into this 3-day, long weekend itinerary to help you make the most of your trip, spend more time enjoying yourself and less time researching places to go and things to see.
RELATED: FOR MORE DETAILS, CHECK OUT TRAVEL GUIDES
By all means if you are visiting Vegas for the gambling, do your thing, but you’ll quickly find that Las Vegas is much more than casino floors.
All photography by @studioist.
WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS!
You’re in Vegas, baby! With so much to do and see get ready for a couple jam-packed, but totally worth it days.
9 A.M. — Morning! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so start your’s at Bruxie (3782 S Las Vegas Blvd, South Tenant Block, Bldg D1, Las Vegas, NV 89109) with one of their waffle sandwiches. Yup, you heard me right…a WAFFLE sandwich.
10 A.M. — Walk the strip and take a quick trip around the world from the Eiffel Tower to New York City and Italy to Egypt. :) The city is synonymous with entertainment and there was no expenses spared when it came to development of the mega resorts that line the Strip.
Both sides of the Strip are lined with hotels, casinos, restaurants, shops, and attractions galore!
The mega resorts are design to be over the top…an experience in itself. They are also designed to keep people in so navigating these themed labyrinths can be tricky but is worth checking out what each has to offer.
The Strip is pedestrian-friendly and a walk down the Strip enjoying the atmosphere is an EXCELLENT opportunity for people watching. Trust me, the people watching in Las Vegas is perfection! Bonus: You can walk the Strip with your alcoholic beverage!
Do make sure to wear comfortable shoes are the strip clocks in at 4.2 miles in length.
Along the way keep an eye out for:
- The Bellagio Fountains
- The Fall of Atlantis show at The Forum Shoppes
- Flamingo Wildlife Habitat at The Tropicana
- Hershey’s Chocolate World Las Vegas at New York-New York Hotel & Casino
- Volcano Show, Salt Water Aquarium & White Tiger Habitat at The Mirage
At some point walk down the LINQ Promenade & take a spin on the High Roller. Located across from Caesars Palace, between the Flamingo Las Vegas and the LINQ Hotel & Casino, The LINQ Promenade is a lively laneway connecting Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip) to the High Roller observation wheel. It’s packed with shopping, dining, and entertainment. Walk this pedestrian mall for the most direct route to the High Roller.
The aptly-named High Roller is the world’s tallest observation wheel, topping out at 550-feet tall. Offering the best panoramic views of the city anytime of day, a 30 minute ride around the wheel is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a drink with your friends and take some amazing photos. Note: Ticket prices increase during evening hours.
4 P.M. — Relax in the room for a bit before getting ready for the evening’s activities.
6 P.M. — There’s no excuse to eat poorly while in Vegas. The city is packed with some of the world’s best restaurants including one of our personal favorite’s Nobu (3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109). Yes it’s a splurge but hey, you’re already dressed up and in Vegas so I say TREAT YO’ SELF!
8 P.M. — Time for your first show in the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Absinthe! This raunchy vaudeville variety show takes place in a circus style striped tent on the plaza outside Caesars Palace and features trapeze artists, burlesque dancers, comedians, and sideshow-inspired performers.
If your heart was set on a Cirque show, O is fabulous!!! I can’t speak highly enough of it. We were blown away by the beauty, athleticism, and creativity of all the performers. If you see O, just adjust the rest of the evening accordingly.
9:30 P.M. — Walk towards The Cosmopolitan, making sure to stop and watch the Bellagio’s world-famous dancing fountains. These fountains are magical + completely free I might add! Depending on the day of the week and time of day, shows will be every 15-30 minutes.
If you have time to spare, walk inside the Bellagio. Admire Dale Chihuly’s huge floral glass sculpture Fiori di Como on the ceiling of the lobby. This glass work…
Continue past the front desks to the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens for seasonal displays carefully crafted by their team of 140 horticulturists. The displays typically include thousands of colorful flowers, rare plants, and perfectly manicured bushes. It’s open 24/7 and is a great place for photos.
Lastly don’t miss the world’s largest chocolate fountain just down the hall!
10:30 P.M. — Cheers! Time for drinks inside one the largest chandeliers in the world! Chandelier is a three-story bar that is a must for your trip to Vegas. Enjoy one of the bar’s specialty drinks while surrounded by strands of dripping jewels. Open 24 hrs.
TBD — If you’re in need of a late night sweet treat, check out Milk Bar located on the second floor of The Cosmopolitan. This bakery puts playful spins on desserts and is famous for their Cereal Milk Soft Serve. You know when you have cereal and the best part is drinking the sweetened milk after…yeah it’s like that! Right now they don’t serve dairy-free soft serve at any of their locations, but they do have assorted gluten-free Birthday Cake Truffles, cake-cake, and cookies.
By this point you’ll probably be pretty tried and that’s fine, you still have two more full days here. If you’ve rallied and want to stay out, by all means be my guest. Enjoy yourself and be safe! (No impromptu visits to the tattoo parlor…etc)
VIVA LAS VEGAS!
10 A.M. — Get your brunch on—buffet style! Vegas is known for over-the-top, must-see-to-believe buffets and Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is the holy grail, serving more than 500 dishes daily.
11 A.M. — Get your swimsuit on, order a mimosa, and take advantage of that year-round sunshine at your hotel's pool. I’d recommend a chair near some umbrellas or tree shade because the sun is strong. Don’t be a fool. Apply lots of sunscreen then relax.
If you’re staying at the Aria, check out Herringbone’s seafood-focused menu for lunch or small bites. Yum!
For a quicker bite, hop across the street to Nacho Daddy (3663 Las Vegas Blvd, Ste 595, Las Vegas, NV 89109) and load up on gourmet, piled-high nachos. Plus they have an extensive gluten-free and vegan menu. :)
3 P.M. — Shower, change, and get ready for this evening.
4 P.M. — Dealer’s Choice: Pre-dinner shopping, drinks, or gaming.
For shopping, depending on the experience and price point you’re looking for the Strip offers several options like The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Miracle Mile Shops, The Shops at Crystals, and Fashion Show Mall.
For gaming, well by now you’ve probably realized there is no shortage of gaming options so head onto any casino’s floor and do what you do.
You may want to grab a snack while you’re out as dinner will be late tonight.
7 - 7:30-ish P.M. — Check the schedule at Las Vegas’ newest venue T-Mobile Arena. The venue hosts everything from NHL games to UFC fights to music headliners.
Alternatively select another show or experience to enjoy.
10 P.M. — On the way back to the Strip, take a stroll through The Park between the Monte Carlo and New York New York. The newly opened urban area has several open-air restaurants and is especially hopping on arena event nights.
It’s time for dinner though and there are tons of restaurants around this area so whatcha in the mood for? There’s everything from Japanese sushi bars to steakhouses to gastropubs to the East Coast’s burger of choice, Shake Shack.
11 P.M. — “Hey guys, you ready to let the dogs out?” Heck yes! If you’re up for a late night, check out Hakkasan (3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, MGM Grand’s five-leveled epic nightclub hosting artists like Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, and Kaskade.
Or for one of the city’s infamous pool parties, head to XS for a unique nightclub/swim experience in and around the Encore’s pool, soundtrack provided by club resident DJs including David Guetta, Alesso, Diplo, and Marshmello.
Be advised there are strict dress codes for both nightclubs—no athletic wear of any kind including tennis shoes, shorts, and hats, no jeans with holes, collared shirts required for men, work boots, indecent swimwear, etc. Bouncers will turn you away at the door if your attire is not up to their standards.
TBD — Bedtime :)
Today is escaping the chaos, enjoying Old Vegas, and getting to know the laid back, artistic side of the city locals love.
10:30 A.M. — Breakfast at Hash House A Go Go (Plaza Hotel - 1 S Main St, Las Vegas, NV 89101). The menu is considered “twisted farm food” and the portions are huge so bring your appetite!
12 P.M. — One-hour guided tour of The Neon Museum & Boneyard (770 N Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101). Don’t forget to book online in advance.
If you need a pick me up, check out The Beat Coffeehouse (520 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101) then browse their vinyl record collection.
1:30 P.M. — Walk around, shop, and grab a drink at the Downtown Container Park (707 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101).
3 P.M. — Late lunch of fresh plant-based street food from VegeNation (618 E Carson Ave Ste 120 Las Vegas NV, 89101). We made to visit overtime we are in town because it’s delicious!
Street art is everywhere is Downtown Vegas so make sure your camera is charged or space is available on your phone. I’m guilty of constantly being out of space.
4:30 P.M. — Explore the Vegas of yesteryears as Fremont Street was and/or still is home to some of the city’s classic casinos and hotels like Binion’s Horseshoe and the Golden Nugget.
The street is lined with buskers such as street performers, dancers, impersonators, and artists.
Make sure to get a drink at the wooden bar in The Golden Gate Casino, Las Vegas’ oldest casino. It was reportedly frequented by the original Rat Pack in the 1960s.
Along the way keep an eye out for:
- People zooming superman-style overhead from the Slotzilla Zipline
- The chance to get your photo with $1,000,000 cash at Binion’s for free
- The world’s largest golden nugget at…you guessed it, the Golden Nugget.
- The world’s largest Keno Board outside The D Las Vegas
- Vegas Vic outside The Pioneer Club
- Main Street Station’s antiques & curiosities collection
Here you will also find more affordable gaming options (i.e. $5 tables, not $100+ tables). More bang for your buck as they say.
7 P.M. — Grab a drink at the local watering hole, Commonwealth (525 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101), and enjoy its eclectic decor, funky vibe, cool cocktails, and bistro-strung rooftop. Definitely more chill than the Strip.
10 P.M. — Whenever your hungry, Flock & Fowl (150 N Las Vegas Blvd #100, Las Vegas, NV 89101), Evel Pie (508 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101), and countless other unique, and some not-so-unique, eateries will be waiting.
11:15 P.M. — Take the party to a funky, more intimate favorite, the Velveteen Rabbit (1218 S Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89104). With a seasonally rotating menu, vintage decor, and cozy atmosphere, you’ll fall in love with the hidden gems of Las Vegas.
For a totally different experience of the Fremont Street Experience from day to night, make sure to walk back through the casino-lined pedestrian street and don't forget to look up as Viva Vision takes over the sky. Showcasing the world’s biggest musical acts on the the world’s biggest video screen (It’s 1,500 feet long and 90 feet wide!) Check their website for the schedule.
Don’t get too crazy tonight as you don’t want to join the hoards of hungover people that will inevitably be at the airport tomorrow. :) Show them you can handle Vegas!
TILL NEXT TIME
- Did you end up on a roof?
- Do you have a new tattoo?
- Was blackmail material collected on you?
If you answered “no” to all of these then CONGRATULATIONS, you survived your trip to Vegas!
Before heading to McCarran to catch your flight, start your day by detoxing with a juice from Pressed Juicery on the second level promenade of the Aria, or for something more substantial an egg sandwich from Eggslut on the second level of The Cosmopolitan.
If you have time, get your picture with the iconic neon Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on your way to the airport.
If you want to see more of the strip or top Vegas attractions during your stay, hop on a Big Bus Tour. Not going to lie you will look like a tourist, but hearing the history of the city and its attractions from a local guide without wearing out your best shoes is completely worth it. I’d recommend riding the tour for the entire duration, then planning your hop-on hop-off attack on the second go round.
n1. If you’re set on riding the High Roller in the evening take advantage of their happy hour specials and ride aboard a pod with a bar cart, enjoying unlimited drinks during your spin.
n2. Make sure to book show tickets and make restaurant reservations in advance for the most flexibility and availability.