When you visit Las Vegas, you certainly won't be lacking in things to do. But the sheer enormity of the city and its laundry list of sights, attractions, restaurants, shows, recreation, and other activities could leave even the most intrepid traveler feeling a little overwhelmed.
The itineraries in this section are designed to help narrow the big list down a little while maximizing your time. This way you can spend less energy planning and more simply having fun. Each has a theme, but you can always mix and match to create your perfect Las Vegas getaway.
Instead of a step-by-step tour, the itineraries are broken down by morning, afternoon, and nighttime activities with multiple suggestions for each, again allowing you to customize your vacation in a way that makes sense for you.
The itineraries outlined here are for adults.
If You Have 1 Day
Spend most of the day casino hopping. These are buildings like no other (thank goodness). Each grandiose interior tops the last. You'll want to see as much as you can of CityCenter and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, both with enough eye candy to last you for your entire trip. But also be sure to see Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian, Bellagio, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace (including The Forum Shops and the talking statues), New York-New York, MGM Grand, and the exteriors of Excalibur and Luxor. Then at night, take a drive down the Strip. As amazing as all this is during the day, you just can't believe it at night. Aside from just the Strip itself, there are Bellagio's water fountains, which "perform" to various musical numbers and the volcano explosion next door at The Mirage. Eat at a buffet and have a drink at the top of the Stratosphere, goggling at the view from the tallest building west of the Mississippi (and leap off the top with SkyJump if you are so inclined and/or insane). Oh, and maybe you should gamble a little, too.
If You Have 2 Days
Do more of the above, as you may not have covered it all. Then head off to the Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, which is worth a look in that it's unexpectedly not Las Vegas. At night, take in a show. We think KÀ, O, and Mystère, productions from the avant-garde Cirque du Soleil, are the finest in Vegas, but there are plenty to choose from, including a selection of Broadway babies and headliners galore, including Céline Dion and Barry Manilow. Though buffets are still the most Vegas-appropriate food experience, genuine haute cuisine by celebrity chefs has invaded the town and you should take advantage of it. Ristorante di Mare, Sinatra, and Estiatorio Milos are our top choices (not to mention Joël Robuchon and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand, if you can afford the supreme pleasure), but you can't go wrong with Alizé or Aureole, plus there are branches of Olives and the Border Grill. More affordable, yet still fantastic, choices include Todd English P.U.B. and Hash House a Go-Go. Be sure to leave some time to go Downtown to check out the much more affordable casinos in the classic Glitter Gulch and to visit the Fremont Street Experience light show.
If You Have 3 Days
By now you've spent two days gambling and gawking. So take a break and drive out to Red Rock Canyon. The panoramic 13-mile scenic loop drive is best seen early in the morning, when there's little traffic. If you're so inclined, spend some time hiking here. If you want to spend the entire day out, bring lunch from nearby Red Rock Resort, and then do a stop at nearby Bonnie Springs Ranch, where you can enjoy a guided trail ride into the desert wilderness or enjoy the silliness at Old Nevada.
If You Have 4 Days or More
Plan a tour to Hoover Dam. Leave early in the morning, returning to Las Vegas after lunch via Valley of Fire State Park, stopping at the Lost City Museum in Overton en route. Alternatively, you can rest up by spending the day by the hotel pool or going to the hotel spa. At night, presumably refreshed and purged of toxins, hit the casinos and/or catch another show. There are lots of non-Cirque, nondiva shows that you haven't seen, such as the laugh-out-loud observations of Rita Rudner, or there is the arty weirdness of the Blue Man Group, or perhaps your trip won't be complete without a topless revue. You can also feast at dinner, because you certainly haven't tried all there is. There is some great work being done by restaurants not associated with brand-name chefs, such as Raku Grill and Andre's.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.