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The Ultimate 3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary

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Whether you’re a gambler or not, you just hit the jackpot by landing on this massive 3-day Las Vegas itinerary. Read on for a detailed look at several fun things to do in Vegas along with a bunch of practical info about visiting the neon oasis in the Nevada desert.

While it’s still known as Sin City, Las Vegas is much more than casinos, bars, and strip clubs. Sure there are still plenty of those, but the more appropo nickname these days is the Entertainment Capital of the World.

There’s basically nothing you can’t do in Vegas. Where else in the world could you battle a zombie apocalypse, play KISS-themed mini-golf, go to a circus, get wild at a pool party, and have Elvis marry you…. all in one weekend?!

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the world-class culinary scene and epic nightlife. You can easily plan your entire 3-day Las Vegas itinerary around where you eat and party, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Excited yet? I know I am! I’m honestly planning two trips to Vegas this year at the moment and am pumped to share some tips with you on making the most out of a visit to Sin City. Let’s get this show on the road!

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3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary

Day One

  • Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
  • Tour of the Strip
  • Dinner, drinks, and a show on the Strip

Day Two

  • Day Trip to Red Rock Canyon or the Hoover Dam
  • Mob Museum/Neon Graveyard
  • Fremont Street

Day Three

  • Brunch Buffet
  • Choose Your Own Adventure

Day One of Your 3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary

Once you’ve checked in and set your bags down, it’s time to get this Vegas party started. For day one, I recommend hitting the Strip to take in all the sights. 

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

If you need that pic with the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign for the ‘gram, go ahead and start your journey off there. While you’re down on the southern part of the Strip, I recommend popping into the Pinball Hall of Fame to play some classic games. 

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign, Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

Tour of the Strip

Heading north, you’ve got so many options it’ll make your head spin like the wheel at the roulette table. There’s the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay ($20), Titanic exhibit at Luxor ($32), Big Apple Coaster at NYNY ($19), High Roller Ferris wheel at the LINQ ($23 day, $34 night), and so much more. 

With just a 3 day Las Vegas itinerary, you won’t be able to see and do it all. I recommend making a list of Las Vegas must see attractions based on your own personal tastes. It’s also a good idea to check out websites like Groupon to see if there are any good deals on entrance tickets.

Even if you don’t gamble, it’s fun to wander through the massive casinos on the Strip. One of my personal favorites is the Bellagio, where you can watch the fountain show outside and head in to explore their conservatory and botanical gardens. 

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Bellagio Fountains, Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

Dinner, Drinks, and a Show on the Strip

Whenever you feel a bit parched or famished, you’ve got endless choices for food and drink. From fast food joints up to Michelin Star restaurants and dive bars to classy rooftop joints, there’s something for everyone here. For the nicer places, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance.

They call Las Vegas the Entertainment Capital of the World, and for good reason. No matter what night of the week it is, there are dozens of shows going on here. On any given night, there’s live music, sporting events, stand-up comedy, magic shows, and of course the incredible Cirque du Soleil

Since there are so many shows going on, there are always deals to be had. Drop by one of the Tix4Tonight booths on the Strip to see what shows are running a promotion while you’re in town. Sometimes you can save up to 50% off tickets. 

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He Lives! Elvis Performing in Vegas. Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

Day Two of Your 3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary

Moving right along with this jam-packed Las Vegas itinerary, day two starts off with a whole new adventure. Well, you’ll probably want to grab a coffee and some breakfast first. It’s going to be another big day in Vegas!

Day Trip to Red Rock Canyon or the Hoover Dam

While the Strip is fun and all, when you plan a trip to Vegas you should definitely include at least one jaunt outside the city. The most popular options include the Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Dam, both of which are easily visited in half a day.

Just half an hour from the neon lights of Vegas is the impressive Red Rock Canyon ($15 per vehicle). It features a scenic 13-mile loop that you can drive and there are also several hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties. Just be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water for the intense desert sun and heat!

It takes a bit longer to reach the Hoover Dam (about an hour from the Strip), but it’s well worth it to take a tour of this engineering marvel ($30 for a tour). You can choose to rent a car and get yourself to either place or just hop on a tour. 

Back in the city, you’ll probably want to swing by the hotel to rest for a bit and get ready for another night on the town. Or perhaps you’d rather hit the casino floor and try your luck. Then again, sitting by the pool with a cocktail sounds pretty awesome. You’re definitely spoiled for choices on a 3-day Las Vegas itinerary!

Mob Museum or Neon Graveyard

Once you’re ready to make moves, head downtown to the old school part of Vegas. There’s enough to see and do here to keep you busy for the rest of the day and well into the night.

If you’re into museums, there are a few cool options over this way. The Mob Museum ($30 for general admission) is a fascinating place to learn all about the mafia, while the Neon Graveyard ($28 for a guided tour) features dozens of huge signs from Vegas icons of yesteryear. Visit both for a fun way to spend an afternoon outside of the casinos.

Fremont Street Experience

Once the sun goes down, you’ll want to check out the Fremont Street Experience. Here you’ll find a giant LED screen that has a light and sound show every hour from 6PM to 1AM. There’s also usually live music going on as well as plenty of street performers. It’s definitely one of the most fun free things to do in Las Vegas.

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Fremont Street Experience, Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

Day Three of Your 3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary

If days one and two weren’t amazing enough, just wait for the last of your 3-day Las Vegas itinerary.

Brunch Buffet

After that epic 2-day Las Vegas itinerary, it’s time to chill and indulge a bit on the third and final day. And nothing says “indulgent” like a brunch buffet with free flow French champagne!

That’s exactly what you’ll get at the legendary Sterling Sunday brunch at Bally’s. Use that bubbly to wash down Alaskan king crab, prime rib, lobster tail, rack of lamb, sushi, and much more. The brunch buffet runs $85 per person and reservations are a must.

While that’s probably the most famous one, there are plenty of other options for brunch in Vegas. Some alternative choices include the weekend jazz brunch at the Wynn ($68) and the Gospel Brunch at Mandalay Bay ($40) with New Orleans creole cooking.

buffet

Choose Your Own Adventure

If you’ve still got some time to kill before your flight out of town, it’s time to choose your own adventure. Walking off that glutinous meal certainly isn’t a bad idea, but doing it in the hot Vegas sun is.

Thankfully you’ve got some awesome options for fun things to do in Vegas that are indoors. My personal recommendation is to check out the psychedelic art installation that is Meow Wolf. It costs $45 and is worth every penny. 

Another one of my favorite semi-active, indoor things to do in Vegas is the neon-lit, KISS-themed mini golf course at the Rio. It’s only $12 for a round and you can jam out to a live radio DJ spinning all the KISS hits while you play.

Las Vegas is also home to several escape rooms if you’re into that. One of the most unique things you can do here is battle an oncoming zombie apocalypse in a simulation at Adventure Combat ops. I told you there was a dizzying array of options in Vegas!

That about does it for this beast of a Las Vegas itinerary. Grab one last beer and pop a few coins in the slot machine if you want – nobody’s gonna judge you here! Chances are you won’t be the only tipsy and sleepy person on your flight. Viva Las Vegas!

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KISS Mini Golf, Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

How to Get to Las Vegas

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, chances are you’ll be flying in. McCarran International Airport (LAS) is located just south of the Strip and has tons of options for direct flights. You can fly direct to Vegas from most major cities in the US as well as several in Canada and Mexico.

It’s easy to find some really cheap fares into Vegas, as they just want to get you in the door. They figure you’ll spend plenty of money once you get there! There are even slot machines waiting at the airport as soon as you get off the plane.

Las Vegas is also popular as a stop on the quintessential American road trip. It’s about 4-5 hours from either Los Angeles or Phoenix and just a few hours away from national parks like Joshua Tree and the Grand Canyon.

One thing to keep in mind when planning your Las Vegas itinerary is that weekends and holidays can be crazy busy here. If you can drive or fly in during the week, you’ll find better deals and way less traffic and crowds.

Finally, you can travel to Las Vegas by bus from a few different destinations. Companies with routes serving Vegas include Greyhound, Megabus, and FlixBus. We once caught the Megabus from LA for just $5 each, leaving us with more money for fun things to do in Vegas!

How to Get Around Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not only full of options for restaurants, shows, casinos, and fun things to do but there are also lots of travel options. They start right when you arrive at the airport and continue through your stay.

Travel to and from the Airport

From the airport, you have several options for getting to your accommodation. On the budget end, you can catch a local RTC bus from either terminal. You can grab a pass that’s good on all local routes for 2-hours for $6, 24 hours for $8, or 3 days for $20. 

Bus

Personally, I’m a big fan of using the bus to get around Las Vegas. You save a lot of money compared with taking cabs or renting a car, and there are some solid people watching when you ride the Deuce bus up and down the Strip.

Taxis

If you’d rather just get a cab, there are always plenty available at the airport. The city is split into zones with fares ranging from $19-27. There’s also a $2 charge tacked onto trips to and from the airport. 

Rideshare Apps

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also popular choices. It can be a little tricky to find the pick-up locations at the airport, so just ask around if you end up wandering in circles. For detailed information about getting to and from the airport, click here to check out their website.

When you’re at one of the big casinos on the Strip, chances are several drivers are already waiting out front. It’s definitely a convenient and affordable way to get around the city.

Monorail

A fun way to get around on the Strip is by taking a ride on the Las Vegas Monorail. It connects the MGM Grand to the Sahara with several stops in between. It’s not exactly the most convenient way to get around Vegas, but for $5 a ride it’s worth hopping on at least once.

Free Shuttles

There are also several different free shuttles that you can take advantage of. Many of these are run by hotels that are off the Strip to help their guests get to and from the top Las Vegas tourist attractions. 

Car Rentals

As far as renting a car goes, I would say that’s only necessary if you want to head out of town on a day trip. Who wants to deal with traffic and parking in Vegas? Leave the driving to someone else and have yourself an adult beverage or two!

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When to Visit Las Vegas

There really is never a bad time to tackle this Las Vegas itinerary. The city is bumping 24/7/365 and there are always special events going on. That being said, some times are definitely more pleasant than others.

It being the middle of the desert, it can get uncomfortably hot in the summer. It’s still tolerable, though, as all the casinos blast the air conditioning and many of them are connected by covered walkways. You will feel like you’re about to melt on the sidewalk when you have to step outside, though.

The winter months can get downright chilly in Vegas, so that’s not the best time to visit if you’re hoping to sunbathe and hit pool parties. For the most pleasant weather, try to plan your 3 day Las Vegas itinerary in spring or fall. 

More important than the weather, if you ask me, is the event schedule. Vegas hosts conventions and other big events throughout the year and prices are always higher at those times. Be sure to check the calendar to see what’s going on and plan accordingly.

If I’m not traveling to Vegas for a specific event, I usually try to go from Sunday to Wednesday. Rooms are typically half the price or less early in the week than they are on the weekend, and you’ll have way smaller crowds to deal with.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas

As with most things in Vegas, your options for accommodation run the gamut. There are budget hostels, mid-range chain hotels, and of course the massive luxury casino resorts that Sin City is famous for.

One thing to keep in mind when booking a place to stay in Vegas is the not-so-sneaky resort fee that most places tack on to the bill. This can be up to $50 extra per night, per room, so it’s definitely something you want to keep in mind. 

Here are a few different options for where to stay on this 3-day Las Vegas itinerary for all budgets:

  • BudgetHostel Cat: If you’re looking for more affordable accommodation, Hostel Cat is a great option! They are the closest hostel to the strip so you save in transportation costs. And they foster a great community atmosphere with plentiful space to meet others. Join the group trips to enjoy the nightlife with their hostel discount. Hostel Cat is located at 1236 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104.
  • Mid-RangeThe D Casino & Hotel: In a prime location just a three-minutes’ walk from the Fremont Street Experience, The D is in a great area. This hotel offers a fun and energetic atmosphere just a short walk from many Vegas attractions. It’s a solid mid-range hotel at a budget price. It’s located at 301 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101.
  • LuxuryAria Resort & Casino: Aria is where it’s at! One of the newest resort hotels just minutes from the Strip, this is the place to see and be seen. Rooms are luxuriously decorated and even have blackout curtains for when you go to bed in the wee hours. Aria is located at 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158
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New York New York Hotel on the Strip, Photo Credit: Grateful Gypsies

Where to Eat in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is definitely a foodie’s paradise, as you can find basically every type of cuisine and restaurant imaginable here. My best advice is to pick a couple of nice places you really want to try and make reservations for dinner. 

Other than that, you’ll always be able to find something tasty nearby. Every big resort on the Strip has dozens of options for eating and drinking, including the famous buffets.

Here’s a little list of some of the best places to eat in Vegas to get you started:

Sasha at the Flamingo Hotel

Las Vegas is Waiting for You!

You know that old saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?” Well, that clearly isn’t true anymore, as the word is out that Vegas is a top travel destination that appeals to far more than guys trying to reenact “The Hangover” at a bachelor party.  It’s a top pick for one of the favorite cities in the United States.

Whether you’re a single traveler, a couple, a group of friends, or a family, there’s something for you in Vegas. It’s such a fun place to visit that chances are you’ll be plotting your return before your Las Vegas itinerary is even finished! 

If you have some recommendations for things to do in Vegas, places to stay, can’t-miss restaurants, or anything else, just leave a comment below!

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