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I went on a 3 day trip to Las Vegas with my mam and sister and it absolutely blew our minds. I don’t think we really knew what to expect but we fell in love with the desert city. Here’s everything you need to know about spending 3 days in Las Vegas including a sample Las Vegas itinerary to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
3 Days in Vegas – My Complete Las Vegas Itinerary
Obviously all these times are approximate, you don’t have to get up at 9.30am! I know some of you won’t be having breakfast at all and will be heading straight to lunch (perhaps the liquid variety). This is just an example of the perfect Las Vegas itinerary including a lot of the stuff that I did and hence am happy to recommend.
*Note – we usually just had two meals per day while in Vegas because we found the portions SO BIG. So it was either breakfast and dinner or breakfast and lunch. We had our hotel room stocked with snack from CVS too, just in case, but we found two meals a day was plenty. Obviously everyone is different but costs will certainly mount up if you’re having 3 restaurant meals a day in Vegas.
9.30 am – Breakfast – (We loved Denny’s because it’s cheap and tasty and Margaritaville because of the location and the food. But there are plenty of more sophisticated options!! Check out the “where to eat in Vegas” section below.)
10.30am – Uber/Lyft to Neon Museum
10.45am – Neon Museum (More details later)
12.15pm – Uber/Lyft to Fremont Street
12.30pm til evening – Wander around and enjoy Fremont Street. There are plenty of places to have lunch/diner and a plethora of activities to keep you busy (zipline anyone?). There is also lots of wonderful street art. For more info skip to “Things to do in Las Vegas” below.
7pm onwards – If you’re a gambler then the casino is the place for you! Or if you’re like my family and don’t like to gamble then attend one of the legendary Vegas shows (Magic Mike Live is UNREAL as is Celine Dion!).
BED – ready for another day of exploring Las Vegas.
8.30am – Breakfast – Hash House a Go Go at the LINQ (open 24hrs, perfect for the earlyish start!)
9.30am (depends on your hotel) – Pick up for Grand Canyon Day Tour with Papillon Tours.
9.30am – 3.00pm – Grand Canyon Tour.
3.30pm – Dump your stuff back in the hotel, maybe have a bit of a rest and then head out onto the Strip. Wander from hotel to hotel (they’re all magical) exploring the wild designs and inner workings. The Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, The Flamingo, The Aria and the MGM Grand are among my favourites to wander around. Grab yourself a Fat Tuesday’s giant slushy cocktail to slurp on while you wander.
7pm – Stop by Bally’s Grand Bizarre shops for some comfort food to line the stomach and a couple of drinks.
9pm – Watch the Bellagio fountain display (it’s on every 30 mins from 12pm – 8pm depending on the day and then every 15 minutes from 8pm-midnight)
9.30pm – If you’re a fan of Vanderpump rules of The Real Housewives then you’ll want to have a cocktail or two at the new Vanderpump loung in Caesar’s Palace. Of course, there are plenty of clubbing options too – OMNIA at Caesar’s Palace, Light at Mandalay Bay, Jewel at Aria and many many more. Whatever you’re into!
9.30am – Uber/Lyft to Omelet House – North Vegas.
9.45am – Breakfast at Omelet House.
11am – Short Uber/Lyft to North Premium Outlets for discount shopping. We spent maybe 2.5 hours here, you could definitely spend longer depending on how much you like to shop and if you want to have lunch while there.
2pm – Uber to Stratosphere Tower to experience all the wild adrenaline-fuelled activities they have on offer. Or just check out the observation deck if you don’t fancy dangling off the side of a building over 1,000 ft in the air.
5pm – Head back to the Strip, maybe have a bit of a rest or finish packing.
6pm – Dinner ( we are not mad foodies and are easily please so we loved the Cheesecake Factory in the Forum Shops, but you can obviously be more classy!). Le Cirque is a beautiful themed restaurant. Cabo Wabo is a great spot for people watching on the Strip because of their large outdoor patio.
8pm – Last few drinks or bets before getting an early night and heading home in the morning!
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
So ideally you want to stay on the strip. During my trip with my family we stayed in Caesar’s Palace, yep the one from “The Hangover” and a bunch of other movies. It was literally like a small city inside a hotel. There are definitely towns smaller than this hotel. I think that’s just how Vegas hotels are, they don’t want you to leave so they have everything you could ever need from Starbucks to shopping malls.
We really enjoyed our stay there. They have express check in and check out machines which help avoid long queues. It was a bit of a walk to our room, but with all the eating and drinking we did on the trip we were glad of the exercise. Caesar’s Palace is super central, right on the strip and right next to the Bellagio fountains. I’d happily recommend it to all kinds of travellers.
Of course there are plenty of wonderful hotels on the Strip in Vegas such as the MGM Grand, the Bellagio, the Venetian and many many more. You don’t have to stay on the Strip, but if you only have 3 days in Vegas then I think it’s best to be as central as humanly possible. Though there is a lot going on in North Vegas too and it’s probably slightly cheaper too.
Places to Eat and Drink in Las Vegas
WELL, this is going to be a looonnggg list. There are SO MANY insane and delicious places to eat and drink in Las Vegas. I first realised this when my friend Clair posted a photo from Vegas of a freakshake with a BURGER on top, A WHOLE BURGER. Vegas is the kind of place you could visit just for all the weird and wonderful restaurants, bars and bakeries.
There’s the Heart Attack Grill where if you weigh over 300lbs you eat for free (not endorsing this, but it’s certianly an unusual dining option). We LOVED Margaretaville for breakfast and breakfast cocktails as well as Denny’s (so cheap and delicious!). Apparently the Hash House a Go Go is great for breakfast too.
If you’re looking for sweet treats try MILK in the Cosmopolitan, Black Tap (famous for their freakshakes) in the Venetian, Sprinkles at the LINQ Shops and the Sugar Factory at Miracle Mile Shops.
For drinks in Vegas, Fat Tuesday’s is basically a rite of passage. They sell a variety of flavoured alcoholic slushy drinks. I loved the amaretto and pineapple one. You can buy a cup and then you get a discount on refills. There are a few on the Strip so you can bounce from one to the other. They’re absolutely delicious!
A LOT of the hotels do buffet meals options which can work out cheaper than dining in restaurants. The Flamingo buffet always seemed to have a huge queue outside it, which I took to mean it was good value for money and/or had great food. Bacchanal at Caesar’s Palace was named best buffet in Vegas by USA Today, so that’s got to be a safe bet too.
Vegas has A LOT of food and drink options to explore in 3 days, so if you’re a big foodie you might benefit from trying a Las Vegas food tour on your first day so that you get all the insider tips on where to eat and drink for the rest of your trip.
If you need more Vegas foodie inspiration then I highly recommend you check out these Instagram accounts – @lasvegasfood , @thelasvegasfoodie, @bestfoodlasvegas .
Things to do in Vegas
The Neon Museum – This “museum” isn’t like the boring ones I’m used to. The Neon Museum makes part of Las Vegas history come alive in the most vibrant way. With signs dating back to the 1930s there are plenty of stories to tell in this neon resting place.
It’s the perfect spot for a very Vegas photo, but it’s not just about that, some of the signs in this museum are iconic and it’s amazing to see them displayed in such an unusual way. I highly recommend a visit. You can take a guided tour or walk around by yourself. If you don’t opt for the guided tour then make sure to chat to the attendants dotted around the Neon Museum, they’re full of info and stories.
The Shows – There are SO MANY to choose from. We went to see Celine Dion at the Collosseum and we also went to see Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel. But honestly, even if you spent weeks in Vegas there would be a different show for every night of the week from Cirque du Soleil to Gwen Stefani and everything in between. Check here for all the up to date listings and tickets.
Fremont Street – No trip to Vegas is complete without a trip to Fremont Street, or Old Vegas as some call it. This is a bit of a party spot but there’s something here for everyone. The souvenirs are slightly cheaper than on the Strip.
The street art around this area is also phenomenal. If you have time and it’s not too hot wander the streets going from one mural to the next, just make sure you have some water (or a Fat Tuesday’s) with you. Also make sure to check out the Downtown Container Park for a quick bite to eat or some quirky gifts.
If you want a bit more excitement how about the legendary SlotZilla zipline? Or maybe the Fear the Walking Dead Experience? There’s no shortage of ways to spend time around Fremont.
The Strip – Well, it wouldn’t be worth visiting Las Vegas without spending some time on the strip. Don’t be surprised to see nearly-naked show girls of all shapes and sizes walking around posing for photos. It’s worth spending a few hours just wandering in and out of the various large hotels because the themes and decorating is just next level.
It’s a bit like being in a giant version of Epcot except much, much more maze-like. One minute you’re under the Eiffel tower then you’re on a gondola in Venice, it’s fantastic. You could spent hours in each hotel, they all have their own shopping, dining and entertainment options, it’s wild.
Grand Canyon Helicopter Day Tour
For me, this was the highlight of our trip. We organised out tour with Papillon. The tour we booked is called the Grand Celebration Tour. It lasts for 4.5 hours and includes hotel pick up (mini van), helicopter flight across the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and down into the Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon landing with champagne picnic lunch and return hotel drop off (mini van).
It was absolutely MAGICAL. The landscape was out of this world. I cannot recommend this trip enough. The photo opps are off the charts from both the helicopter and down in the canyon itself.
The packed lunch was actually very tasty too with a sandwich, cookies, crips (or chips as they call them in the US) and fruit served in a lovely little woven picnic basket. Chipmunks scurried around nearby rocks hoping for some crumbs which was pretty cute too.
If you only do one day trip from Las Vegas, this has to be it. I took hundreds of photos! It was such a stunning way to see this beautiful natural wonder. It’s been on my family bucket-list for a long time so it was great to finally tick it off.
Shopping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a great city for shopping. Unlike a lot of other major cities, Las Vegas outlets aren’t out of the way at all. We visited the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets and they were only 10 minutes in an Uber (around $13) from our hotel on the Strip. I always find runners are the best bargains. I once got two pairs of Adidas runners for less than $50. There are a couple of other outlet malls in Vegas but I believe North is best.
The Strip has quite a bit of shopping on offer as well. I introduced my sister to the wonderful softness that is Aerie when we were wandering down the Strip. There are several side areas full of shops such as the LINQ shops, Bally’s Grand Bazaar Shops, Miracle Mile Shops etc.
Each hotel has its own shopping area and some of these are HUGE. In Caesar’s Palace they have the Forum Shops, which is essentially a mall that looks a lot like Rome. There’s even a show at one of the fountains called “Fall of Atlantis” which is fun to watch and only lasts 10/15 mins. No shopping in Vegas is JUST shopping, there’s always something a little bit extra and over the top.
How to Get to Las Vegas
The easiest way to organise a short trip to Vegas is to book with a local travel agent. We booked with Tour America for this trip, well, my mam did, my sister and I had nothing to do with it since it was technically our Christmas present.
If you’re booking your own trip and decide not to go via a travel agent then the easiest way to get to Vegas, if you’re in the UK or Ireland, is to fly direct with British Airways from London Heathrow. If you’re flying from Dublin like we were then you can book a ticket from Dublin to Vegas with British Airways with a connection in London Heathrow.
Your bags will go all the way through to Vegas when you check in at Dublin so all you have to think about is getting from one terminal to another in Heathrow. I recommend booking a ticket with AT LEAST 2.5 hours transfer time in Heathrow.
Vegas McCarran airport is only 15 minutes from the Strip so the best option is to grab a taxi. It should only cos around $20. On the way back to the airport I recommend a Lyft or Uber as that should be cheaper again.
ANYWAY, there you have it, all you need to know for your 3 days in Las Vegas. Trust me, you’ll have the time of your LIFE whether you follow my Las Vegas itinerary or not. But, and I may be biased, I think mine is the best ;).
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