A 3 Day Weekend in Las Vegas Itinerary You’ll Want to Steal
If you’re considering spending a 3 day weekend in Las Vegas, then keep this itinerary at hand and bookmark it for quick reference while you explore this unique destination in Nevada.
Sin City is a thrilling destination for a weekend escape, a romantic break, or an all-friends adventure. Featuring the right amount of entertainment, gambling, and nightlife, as well as the perfect dose of incredible natural landscapes, Las Vegas certainly knows how to deliver a fun-packed vacation that will be hard to forget.
Best time to visit Las Vegas
The city of pleasure is a rewarding destination no matter the weather or time of the year. However, located in the middle of a desert, the best time of the year to visit is spring, between February and May, when the temperatures are mild and pleasant.
Also, the months between September and November are ideal to avoid scorching hot summers or extremely cold weather.
Winter is considered off-season in Vegas, which can be a good opportunity to find accommodation deals for those traveling on a budget. Summer can be overly packed with tourists and prices tend to be quite high.
Moving around in Las Vegas
Unlike many other US destinations, the Las Vegas taxi system is an affordable way to move around town. There is also an efficient public bus service (RTC or Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada) with bus routes operating 24 hours a day along the Strip and downtown area, providing easy and quite cheap transportation.
Those road-tripping the area will enjoy driving around Vegas, so do consider car rental for your Nevada escape. For more inspiration, be sure to check out the top road trips in the USA and the best-kept secrets of Nevada.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
Known for its impressive hotels, resorts, and casinos, there is a vast selection of hotels all over the Strip and in the central area of Vegas. These are the ones I recommend checking out.
Affordable accommodation in Las Vegas
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino is in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas and it proudly features the Citrus Grand Pool Deck, the largest pool deck in town. The hotel and casino is only 400 meters from Fremont Street Experience and 200 m from the Mob Museum. Check prices and availability here.
Mid-range accommodation in Las Vegas
Plaza Hotel & Casino is at the beginning of the Fremont Street Experience. The hotel has different restaurants and a casino with slots, table games, and a sports book. All guest rooms offer a work desk and an in-room safe. On the site, guests can also take advantage of the food court featuring a variety of fast food options. Check prices and availability here.
Luxury accommodation in Las Vegas
Hampton Inn Tropicana is a beautiful hotel located West of the Las Vegas Strip. The guest rooms include a refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee maker. On the premises, guests can enjoy a tropical outdoor pool with a waterfall and a hot tub.
There is also a bar that features specialty cocktails and light bites while free coffee is provided 24 hours a day. The Strip is less than half a kilometer from the venue. Check prices and availability here.
Best Things to Do in Las Vegas in Three Days
With plenty of interesting things to do and places to discover, Las Vegas is an interesting destination. Worldwide known for its incredible casinos and eclectic nightlife, Las Vegas is also an entertaining destination for those who don’t enjoy gambling, housing great museums and exhibitions, amazing restaurants, unique architectural wonders, and a lot more!
Las Vegas Day One
Devote your first morning in Vegas to exploring the indoor Conservatory and Botanical Garden at The Bellagio, in this incredibly beautiful garden you can admire the refined gazebos and classy architecture portraying an amazing collection of plants, flowerbeds, and gardens but also sounds, colors, and fragrances displayed through gardens dedicated to every season of the year.
The gardens are free to visit and, right after you can also admire the magnificent fountains at Bellagio. The Fountains of Bellagio feature a daily show that impresses people of all ages with its incredible ensemble of lights, music, and dancing waters.
There are several shows at any time of the day, playing a wide variety of music. If you’re interested in experiencing the fountains, you can check the official website for the schedule of the shows.
In the afternoon, head to another iconic place in town, the Big Apple Roller Coaster, a landmark attraction on the Strip that guarantees many fun rides! The place is overcrowded all hours of the day but especially at dusk when, after the sun has set, the lights of the city add a colorful spark to the experience.
This roller coaster is located at The New York New York, a famous hotel on the Strip that you cannot miss either since it features incredible copies of some of the most famous NY sights and landmarks, including the yellow cabs and the subway, as well as Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the legendary Brooklyn Bridge. Expect to spend at least two hours exploring and snapping fun photos at this venue.
Whether you’ve come to Vegas to gamble or not, don’t miss some nighttime fun at any of the many hotels & casinos along the Strip. You can visit any of them and try your luck, or simply enjoy a drink and witness hundreds of visitors enjoying the colors and sounds of the gambling halls.
Second Day in Las Vegas: A Landscape of Museums
If you’ve never been to Vegas before, probably you didn’t know that the city is not only about gambling. In fact, over the last decades, the city has seen important growth in cultural attractions, artistic venues, art exhibitions, and other interesting activities to enjoy in town.
The city hosts some really interesting and quite different museums and thematic exhibitions where you can learn about the origins of the city or some of its most characteristic traits.
These are some of the museums I recommend checking out in Vegas, pick at least two for your second morning in Vegas (or more!)
Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum: Fans of horror stories and scary scenes will be fascinated by this place featuring over thirty terrific rooms with unusual exhibitions including haunted mirrors, a haunted van, or the devil’s rocking chair.
The bone-chilling experience blends a cursed collection of curiosities with true accounts of old malevolent hauntings and rituals that once took place inside the historic 1938 Wengert Mansion rivaling any scene from Hollywood horror films.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum: Offering a completely different, family-friendly experience, this is one of the most important exhibitions in the city. The venue showcases a dozen dedicated sections exploring the modern world, the prehistoric era, and all those millions of years of evolution.
The Neon Museum: This is Las Vegas’s most celebrated outdoor museum, the perfect destination to learn about the history of Vegas and some of the most famous neon signs that once lit up the city’s nightlife. The collection includes over 200 restored neon signs from some of the most famous casinos and attractions. This is one of the best places to visit at night, any day of the week.
National Atomic Testing Museum: In this place, you can learn about the key role that the state of Nevada plaid in history during the times that atomic bombs were first developed and tested. The museum portrays some of the weirdest objects used for and related to the US atomic testing program.
Madame Tussaud Las Vegas: Are you into wax figures and selfies with celebrities? If the answer is yes, then this can be the best place for you when in Vegas. Over here, you’ll be able to meet wax counterparts of famous musicians, actors, models, politicians, and other notorious characters. Buy your Entry to Madame Tussauds with a Gondola Cruise ticket here.
One of the most bizarre exhibitions in town, this is a must-visit place for travelers wanting some extra fun! The museum features an impressive collection of pinball machines from every decade since the fifties.
Discovery Children’s Museum: Perfect for families exploring Las Vegas, this is a place that was thought to inspire, educate, and entertain through interactive spaces that encourage hands-on learning through all kinds of play related to science, art, math, technology, and engineering.
The Mob Museum: A favorite attraction in town, this interactive museum is inside a former federal courthouse and post office. The exhibits take you through the fascinating history of organized crime from the beginning to the present day telling you incredible stories from the side of the law and the Mob.
After checking out some of these odd exhibitions, you might need to spend some time in the open. You can head to the Strip for a walk (without falling into the temptation to enter any casino), or check out the city from a completely different point of view. Buy your Mob Museum ticket here in advance.
For that, I suggest checking out the spectacular views of Las Vegas and the Strip from the top of the High Roller at the LINQ. This incredible observation wheel looks out over the city offering truly unforgettable sights that you won’t easily forget. Buy your ticket in advance here.
Las Vegas Day Three: Venture in the Nearby Grand Canyon
A day trip from Vegas can be quite a rewarding experience if you love natural landscapes and unexplored scenarios. And even when there are several different day trips to pick from when staying in Vegas, the Grand Canyon is too much of a tempting attraction to overlook.
Although it can be quite an experience to embark on such an adventure on your own, I would strongly suggest booking an organized trip that takes care of transport and excursions while you just sit back and relax enjoying the panorama without any fear of getting lost.
These are some of the Grand Canyon tours I recommend, they’ve been chosen according to rating and popularity, but also taking into account fees and extra services offered during the day.
Grand Canyon West & Hoover Dam Tour with Meals: This is a popular tour that lasts about 10 hours and that includes a stop at the famous Hoover Dam.
During this day trip experience on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, you will check out the Joshua Tree Forest and Eagle Point at the edge of the Canyon. The fee includes breakfast and lunch as well.Check prices and availability here.
Grand Canyon West Rim Airplane Tour: If you don’t have so much time to spare, this is a perfect day trip idea and can be unexpectedly affordable if you consider that the price can be easily split among friends in a small group.
The experience comes with panoramic views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Grand Canyon West Rim on a scenic flight from Las Vegas. Hotel pickup and drop-off add extra value to the whole experience. Check prices and availability here.
Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend: Probably the most awe-inspiring place to visit near Las Vegas, this 17-hour tour takes you to visit three of the best sights in the southwest of the country. Starting with the magnificent wonders inside the UNESCO-listed Grand Canyon.
Next up, you’ll soak up the dramatic views of Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide to finally admire Horseshoe Bend, the horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. Check prices and availability here.
A final note on planning a weekend in Las Vegas
Las Vegas can be such an amazing destination if you’re looking for fun itineraries, city excitement, night adventures, and unique natural landscapes. And the best of it all is that you won’t need more than just three days in Las Vegas to take advantage of the many stunning things the city has to surprise you.
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Gabi Ancarola is a journalist and travel writer who has lived over 20 years in Italy, and has been living in Crete for the last five years. She hosts culinary tours, translates and writes for her Crete travel blog The Tiny Book. She’s written for Greek Reporter and published several travel guides about Greece.