Ever wanted to have the ultimate 48 hours in Las Vegas? Well, here’s the itinerary you need to follow if you want to experience the best Sin City has to offer..
Friday 11:00am – Land in Las Vegas and Check-In
You’ve landed in McCarran Airport and the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip are drawing you in like a siren. Before you can get started, you need to check-in. Being a place for everyone, Vegas has hotel options for all budgets. At the top, the Wynn, Venetian and Bellagio (approx. $180-$240 per night) are always impressive. If you’re on a smaller budget, the Luxor, LINQ and New York New York (approx. $75-$100 per night) are somewhat more affordable options that are still located on the strip.
Friday 1:00pm – Grab a Snack
Grabbing a quick bite to eat in Las Vegas couldn’t be easier. The U.S. is famous for fast food restaurants and Sin City is no exception. Alongside the more familiar McDonald’s et al, you’ll find In and Out Burger, which is essentially McDonald’s but better. This is the perfect spot to fill a hole and fuel you up for a session on the gaming floor. Pro tip: Get the Double-Double – Two 100% American beef patties, cheese, freshly baked buns and all the fixings.
If you want something a bit fancier, head over to Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood and order one of his signature burgers. They’re definitely on the pricey side, but in my opinion they’re worth every penny!
Friday 2:30pm – Hit the Casinos
To really get the most out of your 48 hours in Sin City, we would suggest doing some research before you arrive. By using some of the information out there, you can get a handle on what games are available and which ones will suit your playing preferences. As a general rule, slots are the most popular game online and live. When you scroll through a typical best slots sites list, you’ll see two main types of game: three-reel and five-reel. Put simply, the leading online slot sites boast a range of games with themes and dynamics designed to suit all players.
The Venetian, Caesars and the Bellagio all have slot machines. However, the loosest slots are Downtown. When you play online, you can expect return rates of up to 99%. On the strip, the RTP is more like 90%. However, if you head Downtown to the more affordable Fremont Street, you’ll find better payouts. El Cortez is often touted as the place with the loosest slots, but the Golden Nugget also has spinners with RTPs topping 95%.
Friday 6:00pm – Become a High Roller
To start your evening session, take a ride on the LINQ High Roller. A giant observation wheel, this ride will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of the strip and, if you choose the drinks package, you’ll get an open bar as you circle the skyline. Once you’ve had a few drinks, head over to a buffet and fuel up for the night ahead.
For an all-round experience, the buffets at the Wynn, Bellagio and Caesars are a must. The famed Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars is spread over 25,000 square feet and has an average of 500 dishes on offer each day. What’s great about this place is that there’s just as much focus on quality as there is quantity. The Chinese BBQ and dim sum often receive rave reviews, while the freshly made tortillas and endless piles of seafood are always a hit.
Saturday 11:30am – Monkeying Around
When you’re all spun out on slots, it’s time to delve into Vegas’s extracurricular activities. For the active, Axe Monkeys is a great way to get out your anger. Located about 15 minutes from the strip, this unassuming warehouse is where you can play darts with a twist. For $25, you’ll have an hour to throw axes at wooden targets. If you need a bit more to hold your interest, you can pay more to throw everything from ninja stars to mini swords. For those that still need to get out some aggression, Axe Monkeys also has a rage room where you can smash bottles and mirrors until you’re all out of anger.
Saturday 2:00pm – The Desert Dash
Once you’ve thrown some axes, a trip into the desert will see you arrive at the Vegas Mini Baja Chase. With prices start at $89, you’ll be able to suit up and race through the Nellis Dunes in specially modified dune buggies. Hitting speeds in excess of 20mph (trust us, that’s fast) as you race up and down almost vertical sand dunes, this is an experience you won’t soon forget.
If you’re on your own, you can join other drivers and follow in the tracks of an experienced guide. For groups, you can set up your own little race under the supervision of an expert. Of course, you could stick to the more traditional type of racing and drive some muscle cars. However, we think Baja racing is a unique experience that will suit drivers of all skill levels.
Saturday 7:00pm – Take in a Show
If there’s one thing Vegas does just as well as gaming, it’s shows. Cirque do Soleil’s O and Ka are must-watches, while recent creations such as The Beatles Love and One Michael Jackson are fantastic. In addition to Cirque, you’ve got visiting international artists, singers, Terry Fator, Penn and Teller and more.
Finally, when you’ve seen some of the best performers in the world doing their thing, a late meal will bring your trip to a glittering conclusion. For something truly special, Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand is a treat. A Three Michelin Star restaurant, this place brings a taste of French gastronomy to the desert. The tasting menu features lobster, frog legs and, of course, fine wine. Put simply, if you’re a fan of fine food, this is the place to eat.
Sunday 10:00am – Wave Goodbye
Before you can bring your 48 hours in Vegas to an end, you need to have a photo at the famous sign. Situated at the end of the strip, you’ll need a taxi to get there, which is why it’s not a bad idea to visit it on your way to the airport. Slip the driver an extra $10 to wait as you strike a pose before heading off for a well earned rest on the flight back home.
The 5 Best Shows To See In Las Vegas
While most people come to Las Vegas for a weekend of gambling, the city has so much more to offer visitor. We’re talking five-star restaurants, desert adventures (ATVs, ziplining, helicopter tours), sports, and over-the-top Las Vegas shows that you’ve got to see to believe.
If you’re heading to Vegas soon, I would highly recommend checking out any of these shows:
1) Absinthe, Caesars Palace
Absinthe is a fantastical blend of carnival and spectacle, featuring an assortment of incredible specialty acts of old-world burlesque, daring feats of strength and agility and not-so-common routines, performed in a 100-year old circus tent that holds a mere 640 seats, giving you a very intimate experience and putting you as close to the action as possible. This adults-only show delivers that “only in Vegas” experience, and it’s by far my favorite show in town.
2) Michael Jackson ONE, Mandalay Bay
In a word.. Wow! Michael Jackson ONE is an immersive journey that brings the King of Pop’s iconic hits to life, with riveting acrobatics, dance and visuals performed by the ultra-talented dancers and performers. This show is a heartfelt tribute to Michael Jackson’s work, innovative spirit, and legacy. If you can only see one (of the eight) Cirque du Soleil show while in town, this is the one to get tickets for. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
3) Carrot Top, Luxor
Carrot Top has been a staple of Las Vegas entertainment for nearly 20 years now, and I’ve seen him perform probably half a dozen times over the years, because he’s just that good. His crazy props and wacky inventions keep audiences in stiches as he pokes fun at pop culture, politics, music and whatever the real world has to offer. And unlike other comics who recycle jokes for years on end, his material is VERY current, often talking about things that happened just a few days ago! It’s a wildly entertaining show you just can’t miss.
4) Blue Man Group, Luxor
Blue Man Group will rock your world, blow your mind, and unleash your spirt. Watch as these three bald and blue men put on a musical extravaganza like no other, combining innovative technology, heart-thumping music and well executed humor to create one grand performance. And the Vegas show has even more music, theatrics, audience participation, and sensory overload than ever before. Blue Man Group is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
5) Fantasy, Luxor
In a town known for countless topless revues, Fantasy rises to the top, with the Strip’s sexiest dancers delivering your wildest fantasies in a variety of titillating costumes. This sultry show keeps guests engaged with a great soundtrack (sung live), sizzling performances, and when the costumes hit the floor, your jaws will drop to the same level. This is one show where you want to sit as close to the stage as possible, trust me on that.
There’s no question about it, Las Vegas has some world-class entertainment, with something for everyone, and new acts constantly hitting the Strip. So make sure you set aside some time on your next trip to take in a show or two. You’ll be glad you did!
Las Vegas Has Lots More To Offer Than Just Gambling And Buffets
If you’re looking for entertainment, Las Vegas is the place to be. Whether you’re planning a guys weekend or a nice vacation with the wife, Sin City is plentiful when it comes to fulfilling all your desires. From over-the-top shows, sporting events, culinary experiences, and so much more, the new Las Vegas offers something for everyone’s tastes.
I come to Las Vegas at least once a year. Why? Because Las Vegas is one of my favorite cities in the world. People have a preconceived notion that Vegas is all about gambling, showgirls, drunken debauchery, all-you-can-eat buffets, and Elvis impersonators, but I’m here to tell you that there is so much more to Las Vegas.
On my recent trip to Las Vegas, I stayed in an executive suite at Mandalay Bay courtesy of MGM Resorts. It was quite an upgrade from my regular Vegas digs (ie. cheapest room I can find), with a comfortable King size bed, a huge sitting area, and a killer view of The Strip. Oh, and did I mention that my bathroom mirror had a built-in TV, so I could watch football while enjoying a nice soak in the tub? Baller status for sure!
After checking in and getting settled in, I met up with the rest of the group for cocktails at the Skyfall Lounge, a favorite spot of mine. If you haven’t been here before, it’s an amazing bar on Delano’s 64th floor where you can enjoy some handcrafted libations while watching the sun set over The Strip.
Then we made our way next door to Alain Ducasse’s Rivea, where we had a sensational dinner. I decided on the Maine Lobster for my main course and it was delicious, but that Angus Bone-In Ribeye sitting across from me looked pretty incredible as well. We ordered a bunch of desserts for the table, and all were amazing.
Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman
But the fun wasn’t over yet. After dinner, we made our way downstairs to the Mandalay Bay Event Center to check out Orlando Salido vs. Miguel Roman fight. They hooked us up with ringside seats, and we were so close to the action! It was a great match, with Roman scoring a 9th-round TKO victory over Salido.
Veranda at Four Seasons
The next morning, we met up for Sunday Brunch at Veranda at Four Seasons, and I was psyched to try out their legendary weekend breakfast buffet, as I had heard great things about it. It’s pretty mind blowing, their buffet has everything under the sun (just look at the menu). Since we weren’t eating again till dinner, I made sure to “sample” pretty much everything, and I could barely walk by the time I was done!
STRIPSTEAK by Michael Mina
Dinner that night was at STRIPSTEAK, acclaimed Chef Michael Mina’s first steakhouse, which has racked up an impressive number of awards from some of the biggest names in the biz. Needless to say, I knew I was in for a real treat, and boy was I right! Their 8oz Mishima Reserve Filet Mignon is one of the best steaks I have ever had. The massive Australian Lobster Tail was to die for. The Gratin Potatoes were pretty incredible as well. And make sure you save room for dessert, because they’ve got some epic offerings.
Michael Jackson ONE
Afterwards, we headed over to watch Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, and this show completely exceeded my already-lofty expectations. Words can’t even begin to describe how amazing this show was, it is such an immersive experience that brings his iconic hits to life, with riveting acrobatics, dance and visuals performed by the ultra-talented dancers and performers. If you’re going to see a Cirque show while you’re in Las Vegas, make it Michael Jackson ONE. You won’t be disappointed!
Rí Rá Irish Pub
The next day, we met up for lunch at Rí Rá Irish Pub, an authentic Irish Pub (in Vegas!) that was constructed from a pub meticulously restored in Ireland then shipped to Mandalay Place. How’s that for authentic? They have some great pub fare to choose from (try the Fish & Chips), along with an extensive beer menu. If you’ve got a hankering for some Guinness, you’ve come to the right place. At night, they have got some great live entertainment, including traditional Irish Sessions and visiting bands direct from Ireland.
WNBA Press Conference
After lunch, we went to the House of Blues for a press conference with the WNBA and MGM Resorts, where they revealed the name of their new WNBA team (the Las Vegas Aces), and you could feel the excitement in the air as they announced exciting details surrounding the team and their upcoming season. I’m definitely looking forward to taking in a game the next time that I’m in town.
Mixology Class with Tony Abou-Ganim
Before dinner, we got to take part in a cocktails and mixology class with Tony Abou-Ganim, master mixologist at Libertine Social. Tony showed us how to whip up some of his signature drinks, and while we didn’t get to twirl any bottles like in Cocktail, we learned how to make some of his signature cocktails.. and I had a pretty good buzz going on by dinnertime, as the drinks were pretty strong.
We stayed here at Libertine Social for dinner, and let me tell you, James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain’s upscale gastropub has a great menu featuring upscale New American fare. The chef offered to bring us out some of his favorite plates, which we enjoyed family style.
Our final day in Las Vegas began with a little poker lesson in the Poker Room, followed by a friendly poker tournament (for bragging rights). As it turns out, I have a knack for Texas Hold’em, quickly amassing a huge pile of chips in front of me, and ultimately walking away with the coveted Champion’s chip.
Afterwards, I headed to the BATHHOUSE Spa at Delano for a relaxing spa treatment, a 50-minute massage that I was seriously overdue for. Once the treatment was done, I took advantage of the various spa amenities (heated whirlpool, sauna, steam room), before getting a shower and heading back to my room.
Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar
For dinner, we all piled into a stretch limousine (so Vegas!) and headed over to Monte Carlo, where we ate at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar at the Monte Carlo. An acclaimed Chicago classic, Bavette’s embraces French flair without the formality, blending fine dining with unabashed fun. Tasty cocktails, an insane seafood tower, and some delicious steaks made for a memorable last meal.
Vegas Golden Knights
Now you didn’t think we’d leave town without catching at least one Vegas Golden Knights game, did you? After dinner, we headed over to the T-Mobile Arena to cheer on the Golden Knights as they faced off against the Hurricanes. It was a packed house, with the locals really taking to their new NHL team. It’s kind of crazy watching an ice hockey game in the middle of the desert, but that’s the magic of Las Vegas .
And with that, our Las Vegas adventure had come to a close. I can’t thank the MGM Resorts team enough for their hospitality, rolling out the red carpet for us and showing us a different side of Vegas than we’re normally used to. As you can see, Las Vegas has a lot more to offer than just gambling, with world-class dining, some incredible shows, and a growing sports franchise.
There’s something for everyone here, so come on out and experience it for yourself!
How To Live Large In Las Vegas Without Spending Big
Las Vegas is a fun destination to visit when you have some spare cash to blow. There are many luxury hotels to choose from, not to mention amazing restaurants, great nightclubs, and boutique shops galore, and plenty of casinos to gamble at. However, if you want to take a trip to Sin City without breaking the bank, there are plenty of low-cost activities that you can enjoy.
Here are some of our favorites that you should definitely add to your itinerary:
Fremont Street Experience
One of your first stops when you arrive in Las Vegas should be the renowned “block party” on Fremont Street in the downtown area, near the Plaza Hotel and Casino. The Fremont Street Experience attracts more than 25,000 people every day, and provides visitors with free live entertainment that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
The four-block corridor of Fremont Street is lined with restaurants, bars, specialty kiosks, and vintage hotels, and it’s covered by a humungous digital screen. The largest projection screen in the world, the Viva Vision canopy sits 90 feet above the ground and covers the approximate size of five football fields. The screen features over 12 million LED modules and a massive sound system, and enthralls visitors with a fantastic light show that runs every hour for about six minutes.
In addition, the Fremont Street Experience includes free live concerts on each of the stages where musicians, artists, and contortionists impress with their skills (or entertain with their lack thereof!). You can also do plenty of people watching, particularly at night when the alcoholically lubricated crowd gets quite wild.
Alternatively, you may want to see everything from above by enjoying the zip-line tours run by SlotZilla. While you do have to pay for this experience (prices start from $25), SlotZilla is something out of the ordinary that won’t set you back nearly as much as a night out drinking or playing blackjack. A 12-story, multi-million dollar zipline attraction inspired by slot machines, SlotZilla is the largest slot machine in the world, and features all sorts of oversize Vegas icons like showgirls, coins, dice, a martini glass, a pink flamingo, and more.
The service provides customers with two ways to fly across Vegas. The Zipline is the lower option (in both height and cost), and starts off 77 feet up in the air. Take this course and you will land halfway down the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian promenade.
For a higher and longer trip, take the Zoomline. It takes off more than 114 feet above the ground, and speeds flyers all the way down the Fremont Street Experience (about 1,750 feet), to a landing platform at the historic Golden Gate casino. The Zoomline sees customers flying “superhero-style” above the street, for an added experience, and hitting speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. The Zoomline costs $45, but you can save $5 on either of the two lines if you choose to ride before 6pm.
Hershey’s Chocolate World
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, another one of the cheap Las Vegas activities to check out is Hershey’s Chocolate World, located in the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Sure to be the sweetest store on the Vegas strip, this chocolate and candy shop is the flagship retail space on the West Coast for the brand, and spans a whopping 13,000 square feet.
Inside the two-story shop you’ll find more than 800 different products you can purchase, including numerous exclusive gifts and treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. The interactive space enables customers to try out new sweets, customize their very own chocolate bars, create keepsake photos, and even star in a television ad for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
While you’re in the store, make sure that you check out the enormous Hershey replicas of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. The building is made from 1,800 milk chocolate bars, while the statue has been created using close to 800 pounds of pure chocolate.
Neon Museum and Boneyard
Another attraction that’s easy on the wallet yet lots of fun to visit is the Neon Museum and Boneyard, which is located just north of downtown Las Vegas, on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard. Sin City was known for many years for its neon signs, particularly the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign that has greeted visitors since 1959. However, while the neon signs were introduced to Vegas back in 1929, and were widely popular from the 1930s to the 1980s, more recently LED and LCD screens have taken over and most of the old neon signs have been removed.
If you feel sad about the loss of these classically Vegas items, don’t worry — you can still see many of them at the Neon Museum and Boneyard, where more than 150 have been gathered in one place for preservation. Established in 1996, the museum continually adds new signs which are taken from remodeled or imploded properties. You can take a guided tour of the space, or check out the museum’s Visitor Center.
The attraction is open during the morning and evening, and costs from $19 for adults.