Las Vegas is a glittering city, full of entertainment, twinkling lights, and fabulously long nights. The city beckons visitors with endless casinos to spend your money in and a plethora of shows – concerts, comedy, magic, musicals, Cirque du Soleil, things you can’t even imagine!
Restaurants and museums dot the Strip, and outdoor activities are also plentiful close to Vegas for an adventurous day out. The city of pleasure has so many options that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! Luckily, we created the perfect weekend in Vegas itinerary to help you plan a jam-packed 3-day trip to Sin City.
This Las Vegas weekend itinerary was created by Practical Wanderlust’s very own Social Media Manager and intrepid Gen-Z traveler, Melissa. Take it away, Melissa!
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with FlyOver Las Vegas. Huge thanks to them, as well as to Melissa for volunteering as Vegas tribute while I lay at home, pregnant and exhausted. I have the best team!
Psst: Planning more Nevada and western adventures? …. Check out some of our other posts for inspiration!
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Weekend in Vegas Travel Tips
Although I grew up in Oakland, California, until this trip I had never been to Vegas – and everyone I tell this always has this super shocked look on their face when I tell them! Like, I’m only 22 y’all… I turned 21 during the Summer of COVID and for obvious reasons wasn’t able to take the 21-year-old right of passage trip to Vegas with my friends.
Truth be told, I’ve never really considered myself the “Vegas type.” Gambling isn’t exactly my favorite activity (I like my money to stay in my bank account where it belongs) and I wasn’t sure how much else there was to do. But when FlyOver Las Vegas reached out, I started researching.
To my delight, I found a ton of other awesome things to do in Las Vegas, and I was super excited to take a trip to experience it for myself! While my first Vegas trip was short-lived, I am now a Vegas convert, and I can’t wait to go back and experience more of all there is to do there.
If you’re short on time like I was, here are a few essential tips to make the most of your weekend in Vegas:
- Book everything in advance. Time flies by so fast in Vegas that I highly recommend you book tickets and reservations to activities and restaurants in advance!
- Plan to fly in on a Friday and stay as long as you can. In my case, 3 days was all I had! If I could have stayed longer I would have, but three days was definitely enough to get a little taste of Vegas that left me wanting more. Follow this itinerary as close as you can to get a full experience in the heart of Las Vegas in this short amount of time.
- Pick up a Go City Las Vegas Pass to save $$$ on attractions: The more you want to do in Las Vegas, the pricier it gets. The Go Las Vegas Pass includes entry into a TON of Las Vegas hotspots and activities for a bundled price. For example, the 4-choice Explorer Pass lets you pick four activities for $99, or you can choose an unlimited pass and squeeze in as much as possible to max out your savings. Four of the stops on this itinerary are offered on the pass, so the pass pays for itself! I’ve marked which stops are included on the pass.
- It is possible to save money in Las Vegas! We’ve got an entire guide to Las Vegas on a budget written by a local, full of helpful tips to help you save cash. For my trip, I opted to walk or Lyft everywhere instead of booking a rental car, and this itinerary is designed to not need a car!
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Weekend in Vegas: Friday Night
After flying or driving into Vegas, you will want to go straight to your hotel, check in, and cool off. After you’ve settled in and recharged yourself up a bit, you’ll probably realize you’re starving and it’s time to get your weekend foodie on.
Chances are you’ll only have enough energy for dinner and drinks tonight, which is the perfect way to spend your first night in Las Vegas!
You’ll be walking all down the strip after dinner, but I promise it’s not very far – and experiencing all the lights and sounds as you walk is the perfect way to begin your weekend in Vegas.
Dinner at Tacos El Pastor
After being on a plane or in the car for hours, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long line at a bougie restaurant where you’ll also be waiting extra long for food. Let’s save the extra AF foodie experiences for later.
Right now, if you’re like me, you’ve probably reached that point in your hunger that goes from hungry to HANGRY. What better way to satisfy your hanger than with some quick and delicious tacos? You’ll find the best tacos on the strip at Tacos El Pastor.
Tacos El Pastor has pretty much everything you can think of getting at any good taco shop. The options are endless and they’re all hella good! This is coming from a Mexican girl who grew up in Oakland (city of the best tacos, LA can’t even come close to Bay Area Mexican food). So take my word for it, you’re going to leave super satisfied and ready for a drink, or a few.
While tacos are (of course) their specialty, I recommend trying their popular Mexican Mulita which is basically like a quesadilla with double tortilla like a sandwich instead of being folded and it’s filled with meat and anything else you want to add to it! I also recommend the steak fries and steak burrito.
- Travel Tip: I suggest you take a Lyft or Taxi to Tacos El Pastor since you’re probably starving and wanna get there ASAP. Also, you’ll be doing plenty of walking after dinner!
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Stroll the Strip
Head to the strip – wait, you’re on the strip! That’s right, walk down the same street you’re on (S Las Vegas Blvd) toward the center of the strip where you’ll find all the big hotels like The Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, Venetian – and enjoy the show.
Yup. The show.
Walking down the strip is literally a free show, y’all – bright lights and screens everywhere, street performers and entertainers on every corner.
Take your time to observe the lit screens and signs all around you and stop to watch the street performers if you see them – and tip them too! You’ll see a bunch of girls dressed up from outfits with glitter and feathers all over them amongst people in cop outfits.
- Heads Up: Beware! Cosplay ‘cops’ will stop you on the street and fake ‘arrest’ you and ask you to pay if you take pictures as they suggest you do. If you snap any pics, please be kind and tip them for their time … or just remember to NOT snap any pics! (Also, they’re not real cops, so … don’t let them arrest you if you’re not into it.)
While walking down the Strip, one of the first hotels you’ll walk past is The Venetian, which gives total Venice in Vegas vibes. I highly recommend you stop here for a taste of Venice, where you can float down the grand canal in gondolas beside cafes, shops, and beneath arched bridges.
There is an indoor and outdoor Venetian gondola ride – each ride offers its own unique views, both equally enchanting and tons of fun. A singing gondolier pilots every gondola! Surrender to the romance of a live serenade from your one-of-a-kind ride through the canals in The Venetian transporting you to Venice.
Stopping for a fountain show while walking down the strip is also a must. The Fountains of Bellagio is a daily show in Las Vegas in front of the Bellagio Hotel which is right on the strip. It is a combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio delivers a spectacular performance with its majestic fountains.
They play a different song at every show and they range from popular artists like Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra and The Beatles – you can always expect something different! The shows run all the time, and just check the schedule for the fountain show for running times.
After the fountain show, go inside The Bellagio to experience their indoor Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Each season, the 14,000-square-foot Botanical Garden is turned into a showcase of sights, sounds, scents and colors.
Spring, summer, fall and winter are all featured – as the seasons change, so do the displays. The talented Conservatory team is committed to sustainability and does everything they can to replant and repurpose as much of their living plant material as possible.
After falling head over heels with all The Bellagio has to offer, keep walking down the strip and let yourself be guided by the unique vibes all around you. You’re sure to quickly find entertainment everywhere as you walk.
Honestly, just pick a hotel and get lost in it. Vegas hotels are full of shops, slot machines, bars and restaurants all over!
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Stop for Drinks at Fat Tuesday
After those tacos and a few blocks of walking, you’ve hopefully made some space for drinks! If it’s your first time in Vegas you’re probably wondering where everyone gets those long frozen drinks you see everyone carrying while walking down the strip.
Fat Tuesday is the place for any fan of tasty slushy drinks! There are many Fat Tuesday locations up and down the Vegas strip from The Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay. The first one you’ll see if you stay walking down the street from Tacos El Pastor is about a mile down right between The Mirage and The Venetian resort.
They have a nice variety of flavors of boozy slushies like 151 Colada (Malibu Rum + 151 Rum + Pina Colada), Banana Banshee (Everclear + Banana) and Lynchburg (Jack Daniels + Lemonade). There are a bunch more flavors with orange juice and other mix-ins, you can mix and match em too – every location has different flavors!
You really get your money’s worth here, in my opinion. There are five different sizes, but eight different cups to choose from, including the “Super Yard.”
I purchased the Yard Dog, $20 the first time for the cup and the slushie but after that it was $13 for refills. You can also add an extra shot or two to your drink for a couple extra dollars. Depending on how far you’ve gotten walking and what time it is, you can finish walking to your final activity for the night (yep, there’s more!) or hop in a Lyft.
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Ride the Big Apple Roller Coaster
The Big Apple Coaster is the most iconic and fastest roller coaster on the Strip and it’s SO FUN! Adrenaline junkies and roller coaster fans, y’all are gonna love this ride.
It’s most fun to ride at night when the hotel and the whole strip is lit up with colorful lights! The views at the top are amazing, and then suddenly you drop and everything is a flash of bright lights and loud screams.
You’ll find the coaster at the New York-New York Hotel, one of the most iconic hotels on the Strip. It offers the sights, sounds, and energy of New York with incredibly real recreations of famous landmarks including the Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty.
This experience is truly immersive, y’all – when you reach the main entrance of the ride, it’s like stepping into the NY subway station. The ride cars are even themed like the iconic yellow taxi cabs all over New York, what is more NY than that?!
Once it’s your turn, hop into your taxi cab and speed through NY in Vegas reaching up to 67 mph with sharp twists (there’s literally a sharp 180-degree twist on this ride), turns, and a 180-foot drop.
The ride is so much from the first huge drop to the very last turn! It is also a lot longer than I expected. Definitely worth my $20. (Psst: this is also one of the choices on the Las Vegas Go City pass!)
If you’re feeling tired by now, go get some rest as you’ve got all of tomorrow to explore. Or if you’re up for it, go to the casinos and test your luck or go get a drink at a bar in your hotel. You can also go back to the strip and stumble upon a new adventure. It’s Friday night and you’re in Las Vegas – have fun!
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Weekend in Vegas: Saturday
Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi not only has the cutest name ever but also the cutest French bistro setting. It’s definitely giving the most authentic French vibes in here, y’all.
We recommend getting a table outside for max French bistro vibes to capture your most Instagrammable pics with the Paris Hotel air balloon sign in the background.
Why didn’t I get a pic of myself like this? Cause I was too busy ordering and eating! So please take my advice and snap the perfect pic of yourself at brunch.
The patio offers amazing views of the strip and is perfectly located right across The Bellagio where you can literally watch the fountain show!
Okay now that you’re done snapping pics you can get to business and order some food and drinks. If you’re having a boozy weekend then you can start your morning with one of their three brunch cocktails – Gabi’s Bloody Mary, St. Germain Spritz or a sparkling cocktail. I also ordered coffee because I need it to function for the rest of my day.
The menu at Mon Ami Gabi is perfect because it has a relatively short selection which I usually prefer since that narrows down my options! The menu includes French classics like eggs benedict, salmon platters and french toast.
Fuel up, say “oui” a lot, admire the view of the city from the outside seating right on the strip, and head out for more Las Vegas weekend fun.
- Travel Tip: If you’re a fan of walking like me then you can just walk over to FlyOver (it’s a .7 mi walk, about 12-16m from Mon Ami Gabi). If not then feel free to take a Taxi or Lyft!
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Experience FlyOver Las Vegas
FlyOver Las Vegas is a high-tech flight ride attraction that recently opened on the Las Vegas Strip. You’ll be soaring over 22 of the American West’s most stunning destinations – all without ever leaving the city. Have y’all been on Soarin’ in Disney? Well, FlyOver is like Soarin’ but BETTER!
Suspended inside a 52.5-foot spherical screen, you’ll feel every sweeping movement of the journey as you glide through some of the country’s most picturesque landmarks in the West. From soaring over Monument Valley in Arizona to flying over the twinkling lights of the strip and seeing the iconic redwoods in California from the vantage point of a helicopter, every site offers its own unique natural beauty.
I had the most fun time ever at FlyOver, y’all. Once you step inside from being outside in the hustle and bustle of the Strip, you’re instantly transported somewhere else!
After buying your tickets, you’ll head through the calming hallways that lead you to FlyOvers waiting area where you can find bathrooms, lockers, a lounging area and even a bar! (If only real airports were this nice.)
They call FlyOver the ultimate flying experience for a reason. From the entrance to the pre-shows before the ride, every moment tells a story. And the ride itself was so much fun! I am honestly such a nerd for virtual flight rides.
The ride is about 8 wonderful minutes long and you’re transported to every destination in the most beautifully graceful way. There are sights, sounds, smells, mist, and wind for a deeply satisfying multi-sensory experience.
After your flight, you make your way to the gift shop where you can get yourself some gear from all the places you just visited.
Now that you’ve shopped till you dropped, continue your journey at the bar, The Lost Cactus. ALL the drinks are amazing here, and part of the experience too. Their cocktail creation is so much fun, from purple gin to glitter and smoke bubbles!
I’m not ashamed to say I tried every drink on the menu (even though it was before lunch – when in Vegas!) and they were ALL delicious. But, if I really had to choose, my favorite was the Prickly Pear Margarita. My mouth is literally watering thinking about it.
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Lunch at The Crack Shack
After all that flying and drinking, you’ll probably be hungry. I mean, I was starving – but what’s new?
Luckily, The Crack Shack is right across the street. And let me tell you, this is really some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.
There’s a long selection of delicious chicken sandwiches. The Cali Drip is fire, it’s their take on a Mexican torta which has fries, jalapenos and a crunchy torta roll instead of their usual brioche bun.
Like I said, I was hella hungry, so I also ordered the Fire Nugs and the Mini Biscuits. Both are so so good! The biscuits are so soft and buttery and they’re served with miso maple butter, and if you love butter as much as I do then you have to order them.
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Go to a Museum
There’s so many museums for you to go to in Vegas. Here’s the top three I suggest visiting:
The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum was created years ago as a final resting place for old neon signs from hotels that have been closed or renovated. There’s lots of classics to look at, some from well known places and some more obscure ones.
Here you can find signs like the Stardust Hotel & Casino sign, Aladdin’s Lamp, and the Moulin Rouge sign. The Moulin Rouge was one of the most historically important hotels in Las Vegas as it was the first racially integrated casino in the US – unfortunately, it lasted only 6 months before being shut down. But its legacy lives on at the Neon Museum!
Entrance pricing ranges between regular admission and guide tours. It’s $14 for regular admission or the guided tours are $28. If you like, you can come in the evening when the signs are lit up to get a guided tour and learn about every sign in the Main Boneyard. The tour is about an hour, so listen to your tour guide and enjoy the history and nostalgia of old and new Las Vegas!
Keep in mind that cameras are not allowed here! You are only allowed to use your phone camera so don’t go getting in trouble while you’re trying to set up your tripod for the perfect instashot.
Have fun and enjoy the bright and energetic energy here. Seeing all the lit up signs at once is magical and it brings it even more life when you can hear about the history behind every sign. Open your eyes and ears to be transported back to the times of these signs!
The Mob Museum
If you’re even remotely interested in the history of the mob or Las Vegas in general, the Mob Museum is a must! The Mob Museum presents an exciting and detailed view of the Mob’s impact across America – in Las Vegas and other parts of the world. It also showcases the efforts of law enforcement to bring down the Mob.
There are three tiers of passes you can get at the Mob Museum, they go up in price as you add interactive experiences to your pass. There are a selection of interactive experiences that you can participate in here like distillery tour/tasting, firearm training simulation and a crime lab. (Psst: The Mob Museum is also one of the choices on the Las Vegas Go City pass!)
Let me give you a quick overview of each floor in the museum and the exhibits you can find there.
Let’s start with the basement where you can find a speakeasy that takes you back in time to the prohibition era! Downstairs you will find a bar – because this is Vegas, and every attraction needs a bar – with prohibition-era cocktails surrounded by stories, images and artifacts from the roaring 20’s. The mob played a huge role in the smuggling and spread of alcohol and production of moonshine despite how illegal it was during prohibition.
On the first floor, you’ll learn about what kinds of techniques and technologies were necessary for law enforcement agencies to bring down the mob. There is also an exhibit named 100 Years of Made Men where you’ll see the faces and stories of the most notorious mobsters in US history from Al Cappone to Griselda Blanco the “Cocaine Godmother”. The history of cocaine smuggling and the rise of the cartels in the US is one of the most interesting exhibits on this floor. It even goes into international crime and analyzes famous criminals and crime groups all over the world!
Second floor is all about the connection between the Mob and Las Vegas. In the 1940s and ’50s, mob connected individuals were responsible for the bulk of the resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, transforming this remote railroad town into an international gambling destination. As the casino industry grew, so did the increase of law enforcement involvement – however, before that, millions were smuggled out of Las Vegas casinos from scheming mobsters and you can learn all about it here!
Finally, on the third floor, you’ll learn about the birth of the mob which turns out can be traced back to the late 19th century where Irish, Italians and Jewish immigrants struggled to survive. In their suffering, many took the ‘easy’ way out of struggling and turned to crime and violence. In addition to the birth of the mob, you’ll get even deeper into the history of prohibition and it’s lasting legacy and effect in America.
The history and information here is abundant! The museum is self paced or you can book a guided tour if you want. Be intentional with your time and the kinds of things you want to learn about. You could easily spend hours here!
- Travel Tip: There is a FREE Shuttle bus from downtown that takes you to the Arts District, Mob Museum and Fremont Street. It doesn’t pick up from the Strip, but you can take a cheaper LYFT to the Strat to get closer. Click here for more information on the free shuttle. Also, The Mob Museum is one of the choices on the Las Vegas Go City pass!
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Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum
This one’s for my paranormal lovers. The Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum was built in 1938 in Downtown Las Vegas and was originally owned by Cyril S. Wengert, a prominent businessman. It was formerly known as a historic Las Vegas mansion and turned into a haunted museum after it was learned that a lot of spooky sh** happened here!
Through the decades, hostile spirits have been known to roam the halls of the museum terrorizing past occupants, workers and family members who passed away there whose energy remains.
Long-time Las Vegans even claim dark rituals took place in the home’s basement during the 1970’s. Paranormal enthusiasts visiting the museum tour-guided experience will venture down creepy winding hallways and secret passages into more than 30 rooms that rival scenes from Hollywood horror films, setting the stage for frightening facts about each historic and cursed item.
If you are spiritually sensitive (like me) in any way, you WILL have a headache, nausea, or general discomfort in some rooms. Just be mindful, respectful and have fun!
After you’ve had an afternoon full of exploring museums, take a Lyft to ARIA Resort and Casino where you’ll be going to dinner!
Dinner at Din Tai Fung
Dumpling Heaven. That pretty much sums up this delicious restaurant!
Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese dumpling house, located inside ARIA Resort and Casino on the first level. With just a few US locations, two-hour waits and lines have been known to be a thing at Din Tai Fung. However, we had reservations so there was no need to go through that! (Book yours in advance!)
To get to Din Tain Fung from the front desk, follow the right-hand walkway next to Lobby Bar, passing the ARIA Resort Club Lounge on your right. Din Tai Fung will be on your right-hand side.
We arrived to watch Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) come to life. You can watch the kitchen crew behind a glass in an assembly-line of dumpling creation. They rolled each wheat skin wrapper, filled it with pork/shrimp/chicken/veggie filling and placed it in a bamboo steamer to cook.
But this is still Las Vegas, so that means drinks! The drink I ordered was delicious and pretty – it was the Pear Lychee Martini. While I really enjoyed my drink, next time I’d love to try their Lychee Mojito and Yuzu Margarita. If you’re wondering what Lychee is, it’s a small fleshy fruit Native to China that has a very sweet and aromatic flavor resembling a grape with hints of rose.
We ordered so many varieties of soup dumplings/XLBs, wontons, dumplings, greens, noodles, and rice and it was ALL so good!! I would highly recommend you order the Spicy Wontons (they really aren’t that spicy) but they’re so flavorful! They have a variety of fillings too, from shrimp, chicken, veggie and combination. Another must is the Kimchi Dumplings. The kimchi flavor in them is light and delicious, not at all as pungent as eating kimchi by itself. Try them for something outside of the regular protein filling options, they won’t disappoint!
Even the appetizers are amazing, like the vinegary cucumber salad, juicy sweet & sour pork ribs, and crunchy sauteed green beans with garlic.
It was a feast. I definitely recommend you order as much as you can here – the portions are actually pretty small so it’s perfect for sharing a variety of things.
If you have room, don’t forget about dessert! There are a bunch of buns and dessert XLBs you can try, like The Chocolate and Mochi XLB. Next time I would like to try the Sweet Taro and the Sesame filling XLB and buns, or the Red Bean Sticky Rice wrap that is wrapped in bamboo leaves. Yum!
Congrats, you’re stuffed silly with dumplings! And it’s Saturday night in Las Vegas, so it’s time for some more drinks.
First, head from the ARIA to The Cosmopolitan which is located right across the street. Take your time and explore around any shops you feel called to or stop and play at the slot machines in either hotel for a bit!
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Drinks at The Chandelier inside The Cosmopolitan
Okay but seriously, this was probably the most memorable moment and drink I had on my entire trip.
This was recommended to me by one of our FlyOver hosts. She mentioned there was a drink at The Cosmopolitan that involves eating a flower that numbs your mouth. I was immediately all over it because I love weird sh** like that.
Turns out the drink is called the Verbena and that flower that you chew is a Sichuan flower. This drink itself is a verbena and ginger flavored margarita!
My friend and I went into The Cosmo that night with a mission. How were we about to find this one specific drink in this giant hotel with hella bars? Well, intuition is really real and my friend’s came through that night.
We walked in on the 2nd floor and saw a huge chandelier dead center of the hotel and walked straight towards it to find out it was a bar. We went inside and down level 1.5 (there are 3 levels: 1 / 1.5 / 2) where we found the bar and successfully ordered the drink as soon as we got there! I think it might have been calling to us…
The Chandelier is such a beautiful place. You’re literally standing in the middle of a HUGE chandelier, with purple accent lights everywhere and comfy couches for you to sit and marvel at the beauty and energy while you enjoy your drink!
If you’re as fascinated by this drink as I was, basically just tell the bartender you want the “mouth numbing drink” (or just be normal and ask for The Verbena drink) and he’ll go make your drinks and come back with instructions. You eat the little yellow flower and chew for 10-15 seconds (just trust) and then sip on your drink.
My mouth was so numb y’all. I don’t even feel that kind of numb when I go to the dentist! It’s such a funny and unique experience, even talking feels weird with your mouth that numb.
Go try it if that’s your kinda thing. If it’s not, then you should STILL definitely go try something new! Cheers!
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Ride the High Roller
The High Roller is one of the coolest Ferris wheels ever because it takes you 500+ feet in the air with views of all of Las Vegas right above the Strip. You can see ALL the hotels and attractions from a bird’s eye view. It’s such a unique experience to see the entire Strip from above – it almost feels unreal!
The ride lasts about 30 minutes and gives you a 360-degree view of Vegas and has spacious cabins that you can walk around in, which hold up to 40 people in each.
For my fellow boozy travelers, you can get on a Happy Half-Hour cabin that includes an open bar and bartender for one full 30-minute rotation of the wheel. It’s $60 vs the usual $34.75 for a regular cabin so y’all better be ready to drink up and make it worth it!
For the ultimate lovebird Las Vegas experience, you can even get married on the high roller. Yup! You can have the most unique wedding ever, 550 feet in the air, heart racing and butterflies in your tummy – both from the exhilaration of being so in love and so high in the air. It really doesn’t get any more Vegas than that (well, maybe if your officiant is an Elvis impersonator).
If you have the Las Vegas Go City pass, you can also go ziplining at the LINQ!
After your ride you’ll either be tired from the day, drunk from drinking all day, both, OR you’re ready to keep going … and, in that case, you’re my kind of person! The Strip beckons, so head out and see where the night takes you… after all, it’s your last night in the city that never sleeps!
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Weekend in Vegas: Sunday
Breakfast at Eggslut
I have loved Eggslut since the first time I tried it in Los Angeles, so when I saw that it was here in Vegas (located insideThe Cosmopolitan) I had to have it. The best thing about the sandwiches is the bread. All sandwiches are made with brioche bread, delivered fresh daily.
There are only a few different options on the type of sandwich you can get but all of them are unique. The Fairfax has scrambled eggs and chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and sriracha mayo on a warm brioche bun.
The Gaucho Sandwich made with thin slices of Wagyu tri-tip steak, egg, chimichurri, and arugula, and the Truffle Hash Browns are so freakin good, y’all. There’s even a cheeseburger-style one because it’s never too early to start your day with a cheeseburger!
- Tip: Try to get there as soon as possible as they close early – the lines can get hella long. Don’t expect to eat there, because the seating is limited but you can always take it to go. There’s plenty of random nooks with benches and chairs around the hotel. Keep your eyes peeled for an empty seat and make yourself comfortable anywhere!
Explore Springs Preserve
The Springs Preserve offers a variety of attractions focused on the history and development of the Las Vegas Valley and how sustainable lifestyles play into its future. There are exhibits on native landscaping, water conservation, efficient technologies, and information on the infrastructure that brings water to the desert.
Off the beaten path of your typical day in Las Vegas, this is the perfect little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip. There are interactive exhibits, a children’s playground, art galleries, the Divine Cafe, a gift shop, 3.5 miles of trails, and multiple gardens.
You can spend so many hours here! I spent two hours here and barely scratched the surface. The Nevada State Museum is attached to the preserve – it’s an awesome place to see the history of Nevada and is included in admission to the Springs Preserve.
As you explore the trails, you will find that a wealth of evidence reflects thousands of years of local history. Native American peoples, European exploration and settlement, ranching, railroads, and of course, water, have all shaped what you will see on your journey.
Here you can learn that after the last glacial age ended in the Las Vegas Valley some 12,000 years ago, this area slowly became a desert. Small streams and springs provided life-sustaining water to the few people who lived here.
Spanish maps of the period called this area “The Land of Northern Mysteries.” American map makers simply put the word “unexplored” on the territory.
The area was not completely uninhabited, though. The Pueblo Peoples, Patayan (ancestors of the Yuman groups) and Nuwuvi (Southern Paiutes) used the Las Vegas Springs and Las Vegas Creek until European American settlers began ranching in the valley in the 1860s. They left behind remains of their campfires, stone tools, clay pots, houses, and foodstuffs.
You can also visit the Origen Museum which has a small outdoor animal area of lizards and other reptiles, and a seasonal butterfly exhibit.
When you’re all done exploring, take a Lyft or Taxi to Park on Fremont for lunch. It’s a 10-13 minute drive!
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Lunch at Park on Fremont
Park on Fremont is the most fun and eccentric restaurant in one of the best areas of Las Vegas.
The decor here is wacky and fun – from taxidermy behind the brick bar to chandeliers and neon signs, so make sure to really look around when you’re here.
Inside, there are cool dark tones mixed with rustic vibes and art all over the walls. Farther in, the back patio with outdoor seating feels like you’re stepping into an enchanted garden. You’ll find lush foliage woven through the walls and all of the trees lined with string lights making for a beautifully lit up dining garden.
Feel like having some fun after a flight of their long list of beers? There’s a seesaw and an oversized Jenga to play with in the ‘secret’ side patio. The back patio is perfectly decorated and a great spot for large groups – don’t forget to call and make a reservation for your larger party.
Foodwise, the garbage fries are an absolute go-to, topped with cheddar and provolone cheese, bacon, jalapenos, green onions, tomatoes, avocado, chipotle ranch, a fried egg and steak or chicken. They’re so yummy and flavorful!! And even better – there’s a vegan version of them available! The garlic fries with aioli were also delicious (yes I LOVE fries so much we got two versions), and my chilaquiles were the bomb!
I also recommend the wings – they’re tossed in a delicious and spicy but not too spicy buffalo sauce. You also can’t go wrong with a burger here, though it’s not a regular burger – it’s stuffed with onions, bacon and cheddar cheese – because why would you want a regular burger when you can stuff it with bacon?
The drinking possibilities are endless here, y’all. There’s a looong list of beers along with a constantly rotating selection! Not to mention there’s also a long AF list of signature cocktails, mules, bloody marys and even large shareable drinks. They have a GIANT mule that serves up to six people! But also, who has six friends?!??
Whether it’s for brunch or just drinks, I know you’re going to have a great time at Park on Fremont! After you’re done, step outside and walk around, you’re already on Fremont Street where you’ll be exploring next.
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Take a Tour of Fremont Street
Take a guided tour of Fremont St from an experienced local that can show and tell you about the history and culture of this fascinating part of town.
Fremont Street was the first paved street in Las Vegas in 1925 and received the city’s first traffic light in 1931.
In its early days, Fremont Street was sort of the ‘Main Street’ or also known as the ‘Old Strip’ of Las Vegas due to its proximity to the main transportation hub of the day, the city’s first train depot, where the Plaza Hotel and Casino stands now.
Today Fremont Street is much different than the strip, it’s like the more laid back and chill version of it. In the evenings, there are a bunch of street performers, impersonators, and other artists on the street.
Fremont St is also famous for one special thing – its overhead light show, named Viva Vision. It’s a free nightly show that features 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound – it is another super fun and a free show! It starts at 6pm and ends at 2am. Each show is 6-7 minutes long and runs every start of the hour.
There are a bunch of other activities you can take part in at Fremont St., from SlotZilla Zipline that soars 11 stories above Vegas and five blocks long to free live concerts, literally every single night, from local bands to famous superstars. See their event calendar to see their everyday free concert line up!
When you’re finished exploring this area, take a LYFT back to the strip (or hop on the free shuttle to get you close, so your LYFT is cheaper.)
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Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower
For your final Las Vegas thrill, you’ve gotta big. Er, tall – 460ft in the air, precisely!
The Las Vegas Eiffel Tower is a half-scale replica of the real one and is an amazing experience with awesome views of the city. It’s also one of the choices on the Las Vegas Go City pass.
Say your goodbyes as you marvel at the Las Vegas skyline for one last time inside of one of the most romantic landmarks in Vegas. It’s the perfect place to snap pictures of Vegas from above, look through some binoculars at the mountains and desert in the distance, and watch the Bellagio fountain show as the city twinkles far below you.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
First and foremost – you will find a HUGE price difference in absolutely any hotel in Las Vegas if you book for midweek rather than on a weekend. (I know this is a weekend itinerary, but if you’re short on cash, take a few days off!)
If you can, you’ll want to stay right on the Las Vegas Strip for this itinerary. That will put you close enough to the action to walk or transit everywhere you want to go.
- Stay in a Hotel: For that full Las Vegas experience, there are a few themed hotels along the Strip that have surprisingly budget-friendly rates during certain times of the year (and on weekdays). Check prices for the Excalibur and the Luxor – you can sometimes find rooms for well under $100! To get a great deal we recommend using Kayak to price-compare prices on hotels for your trip.
- Stay in a Vacation Rental: You can often find a great deal on VRBO. I’ve seen everything from apartment or room rentals for under $50/night to entire condominiums for rent, and even this MGM Balcony Suite for around $100/night! This budget-friendly condo is on the strip and has a cute balcony to unwind in peace watching the bustle of the city. We recommend booking directly through VRBO because it has fewer fees and more flexible cancellation policies than Airbnb – also, we’re not fans of Airbnb’s unethical track record and lax security.
- Stay in a Hostel: If you’re truly on a shoe-string budget, a hostel is the least expensive option for Las Vegas accommodation on the strip. There are two hostels that are just a block off the strip, averaging only $30/night. Sin City Hostel and Hostel Cat both have fun social events like drinking games, BBQs, bar crawls and more!
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About the Author: Melissa is Practical Wanderlust’s Social Media Manager, a part time Business Entrepreneur student, and a full time creative who shares her journey across various platforms in hopes of touching others hearts and reminding them of everything they already knew but forgot. She strives to educate and inspire others to take care of themselves from the inside out on their journey to inner-standing themselves. When she’s not on socials, she’s committed to healing through doing what she loves which includes reading, hiking, exercising, yoga, meditation and cooking! Psst: Love plants? Wanna grow your own collection by supporting her small Latina-Woman Owned Business? Follow her on Instagram! @milisuuh @hijadelanaturalezaa
Are you already packing your bags to head out on a fabulous weekend in Vegas? Which stop on the itinerary are you most excited about? Think you’ll try that mouth-numbing drink?? Drop a comment below!
Psst: Planning more Nevada and western adventures? …. Check out some of our other posts for inspiration!
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