90: Las Vegas NV ~3 Day Itinerary
Updated: Jun 12
Howdy! As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, I recently went to Vegas. Taking advantage of a three day weekend, we flew in Thursday, explored based off a loose itinerary from Fri-Sunday, and then flew back Monday. Below is a blend of things we did and things I'd still like to do. Museums need reservations now? And calling the Bucchanal Buffet a week in advance wasn't far enough out for them to schedule us, at all, during the days we were in town. Ah well! Next time, right?
This is not a kid-friendly itinerary, though if you leave out Fremont St. after dark, and stay inside the resorts at night, as opposed to exploring the strip, it can be.
Arrive. Best not to schedule any reservations for after, since airlines maintain a realm of chaos. Will you be delayed one hour? Five? Who knows. When you land, go straight to the mega resort of your choosing, on the strip. Check in, ditch your things in the room, and head back out to explore. Plan on being flexible with your dinner plans. To eat at most of the restaurants in the resorts, especially for dinner, there is probably a wait if you don't have a reservation. You could wander away from the strip and find food elsewhere, for more affordable prices, and reasonable rates. If you're staying at MGM, I've found it's a lot harder to get sat for dinner, than at restaurants in the Venetian, Caesar's Palace, The Bellagio, and The Wynn. Can't speak for New York-New York, Paris, the Aria, Cosmopolitan, Treasure Island, The Mirage, nor Excalibur, since I mostly just cut through. I think the issue with MGM is there is a physical barrier, separating it from most of the strip, so folks staying there are more likely to eat inside, as opposed to wandering next door to see what other options there are. Walking around, there basically isn't an easy way to get "next door." I wouldn't stay at MGM just because it's a pain to get around from there, on foot. I also suggest not staying at hotels that are far from the strip, like the Strat, because the ubers add up. The Luxor and Mandalay Bay look out of the way, too, in my opinion. If you want to gamble, stick to a set budget, and maybe hit the casinos your first night.
The Bellagio Fountain performs every 30 minutes from 3pm to 6:30pm, and every 15 minutes from 7pm to midnight. Try to be around to watch it, at least once. While you're in the area, head inside the Bellagio to check out their Botanical Garden.
The Volcano, out front of the Mirage, erupts on the hour at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and 11pm. Try to be around to watch it, at least once.
7:50am: Be on the line to enter the Buffet at The Wynne. They open at 8am. It's best to make a reservation in advance, if you can. The food is good, filling, and from all over the world. They also have bottomless mimosas. Being a breakfast buffet, this was cheaper than many other buffets in the area.
10am: Be among the first to enter Omega Mart that day. You can book a reservation in advance for 10am. If you have a bag, pay the $3 to store it at the front counter and don't lose your receipt. Omega Mart appears, at a glance, to be a surreal consumerism-themed exhibit masquerading as a tiny grocery store. It's actually a massive adventure park. Beware though, if you have a stroller or any mobility impairments, you're experience might be more limited than their average customer. There are elevators, but some spaces are only reasonable accessible by stairs, or crawling through a tunnel. Though, they did block off their old slides, and one of the tunnels, between my first visit and my second. Plan on staying at least 2 hours.
~12:30pm: By the time you leave Omega Mart, sometime in the afternoon, the rest of Area 15 should be open. Explore it. Wink World, upstairs, has a quick timed exhibit, that you can buy a reservation for in person, if you didn't in advance. Wait times aren't long, as far as I've seen. Haley's Comet is a zipline upstairs. There are a couple of different places to get cocktails, sweets, snacks, and souvenirs. Expect anything food or drink related to cost more than it would elsewhere. If you want lunch, there are some options. There's golf, axe throwing, I believe, virtual reality, and an arcade, so plenty to do, depending on your interests. This is where I got most of my souvenirs. Illuminarium, next door, also has immersive shows going, with space and safari themes. If you want to check on out, book a reservation in advance.
~6pm: Head to the Bucchanal Buffet, at Caesar's Palace, for dinner. You want to have made this reservation several weeks in advance. The food is great, filling, and from all over the world. They're pricey but a bargain for the quality and range of what you're getting. Also, I found that they were surprisingly cheaper than a lot of the restaurants I passed in the mega resorts.
8:50pm: Be on the line for "KÀ" by Cirque du Soleil. The show starts at 9:30pm, but the line is insane, and they will start without you if you're at the back of the line. Yeah, you'll eventually reach your seat, but how much of the show will you have missed by then? You want to have booked your reservation at least a week in advance. Every Cirque du Soleil show I've ever seen, was impressive, but the technical effects of this one, are remarkable.
7:55am: Be on the line to enter the Garden Court buffet at Main Street Station Casino. They open at 8am and don't take reservations so there might be a slight wait. I haven't been but they come highly recommended online and I plan to stop there on my next trip. The prices look reasonable on their website.
~10am: Explore the strip. There's so much to see!
2pm: Enter Zak Bagan's Haunted Museum. Make a reservation in advance. I don't suggest paying for the upgrades to the tour. When I went, the folks who paid extra crawled through a short pitch black tunnel (wherein one person lost their lanyard), and they got to spend a few minutes in some basement with a mirror. The main tour is plenty spooky without paying for extra. The tour lasts roughly 2 hours.
~4:30pm: Grab a coffee at The Writer's Block and enjoy the literary vibe. I haven't been but it's on my list for next time.
5pm: Head inside the Burlesque Hall of Fame. I haven't been yet, but it looks like a fun afternoon, out. You want to make a reservation in advance. Based off reviews, the museum is small but the guides are knowledgeable about the subject, and the tickets are affordable. It might not be appropriate for children.
6pm: Head inside the Neon Museum. Make sure you make a reservation in advance. The lights are on after dark so you want to come at sunset at the earliest. The tour should be at least 45 minutes. Looking at the website, there are night time tours, one of the bone yard outside, and the other featuring music and archival footage, so I'd do both.
8:00pm: Head to the Andiamo Steakhouse. They're my favorite non-buffet restaurant, thus far. The steak is perfect but I preferred the Gnocci Gorgonzola Con Punti. I made a reservation 20min before I showed up and didn't have a problem.
~9:30pm: Head outside to Fremont Street. Enjoy the hourly light show and the live performances from each of the three stages. There are ziplines. Probably don't bring children though. There will be dominatrixes spanking adults in the street, and some of the show girls are in nipple pasties, as opposed to sparkly bras. If you want to gamble, the locals said the odds are better at the casinos on Fremont St, than on the strip.
Sunrise: Take pictures with the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign. The crowd won't have arrived yet so you can take your time posing. This is also the best time to take pictures anywhere touristy, because people are still asleep.
~8am: Head inside Café Hollywood for breakfast, as they open. There probably isn't much of a wait. The food is good, varied, and the prices are reasonable. It's mostly American food.
~9am: Explore. There's so much to see!
1pm: Head over to the Big Apple Coaster and Arcade at New York-New York. You must be 54" to ride but there are plenty of games. The website lists tickets as being about $19, I believe to ride the coaster once. There are package deals that are $70+ for bulk arcade credits and 2+ rides. If that's a little steep for your liking, you might prefer Pinball Hall of Fame, back by where you took Vegas sign pictures earlier. I've been there and it's fun. If you decide on going to the Pinball place, bring cash. Or, there is an arcade at Area 15 and another, I believe, at MGM. So you've got options.
5:30pm: Be on line to enter the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur Resort. You want to make a reservation in advance. It looks like Medieval Times, it you've ever been, or The Dixie Stampede, but medieval, if that's a better point of reference. The show starts at 6pm but being early never hurts. Dinner is included.
After Sunset: Check out the High Roller. You want to pre-purchase an evening reservation online. The Ferris Wheel is a half hour long, so you have plenty of time to see Las Vegas in all it's lit-up glory.
Pack up your room, and make sure you're not forgetting anything before checking out. The concierge will print out your boarding passes and can hold your luggage while you explore some more, if you have a later flight. Try and eat before you get to the airport. Prices might be similar but the quality will be better in the city. Also, if you like Asian food and you've got time, maybe swing by the Las Vegas China Town Plaza. They have a couple of bakeries, some bubble tea shops, Korean Barbecue, sushi, a grocery store, and clothing/furniture shops, etc. When you finally head to the airport, tell the driver which terminal you're aiming for. It should correlate with your airline.
[Edit: After my trip, I've been seeing lots of Las Vegas-based TikTok videos. One featured a new (to me) immersion experience well worth checking out. The place is called Fantasy Lab, and it's a multi-floor art installation at Fashion Show: Las Vegas, with a subconscious/dream theme. I plan to check it out on my next visit and I hope you'll do the same!]
Thanks for stopping by! I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!