Las Vegas is the gleaming city of neon lights and extravagant hotels and casinos that are found in the middle of the Nevada deserts.
The City of Sin is the place to spend money and to have a great getaway, and a weekend in Las Vegas is the perfect length of time to spend here. Any longer and you might find yourself running out of cash in the casinos!
But there’s more to see of course than the inside of hotels and the rows of slot machines, and our Las Vegas itinerary also takes you to the city’s unsung museums and to iconic natural sights like the Grand Canyon.
To inspire your trip here’s our ultimate guide to having a great weekend in Las Vegas!
Don’t leave home without: DK Eyewitness Top 10 Las Vegas
Ultimate Weekend in Las Vegas Itinerary
Day 1 – Las Vegas Itinerary
Day 1 of your weekend in Las Vegas begins on the Strip, as you explore the most iconic hotels and casinos that have made the city so famous.
Save some time to play the tables or the slot machines, but if you’re not a gambler then there’s still plenty to enjoy when it comes to the Vegas atmosphere.
Walk the Strip
Any weekend in Las Vegas has to begin with a journey along the Strip. This is the most famous place in the city.
The huge, long boulevard carved from the desert where you can find bars, restaurants, theatres and of course the extravagant hotels and casinos that attract millions of visitors every year.
You can walk along the Strip, hopping from casino to casino, you can take an open-top bus tour or you can go all out and hire a stretch limo Vegas style.
Explore the strip on this great food tour! Discover the gastronomic delights found along the Las Vegas Strip with this guided food tour.
Stop at landmark resorts and eateries including the New York New York, Aria, and The Cosmopolitan. Sample both American classics and innovative creations while learning about the city’s unique culinary culture.
Visit the Venetian
One of the most famous hotels to add to your Las Vegas itinerary is the Venetian.
If you’re not staying at a particular Vegas hotel you can still go for a visit (just make sure you follow the dress codes), and the Venetian should be top of your list.
Visiting the Venetian is like taking a trip to Venice because here you’ll find canals and gondolas, and an Italian atmosphere.
Visit the Grand Canal on an outdoor gondola ride during this Super Saver Romance Package. Then dine at Buddy V’s Ristorante located at the Venetian Hotel and Casino.
Choose to enjoy all the activities consecutively on one day, or spread them out over the course of your stay.
Explore Inside Caesars Palace
After enjoying the delights of the Venetian, take a trip to another of Las Vegas’ most iconic hotels, Caesars Palace.
The hotel is a huge Las Vegas icon, and it’s built-in a pseudo-Roman style to replicate a sense of grandeur and of the ancient times in the middle of the desert.
Play the tables, have a drink or stay for lunch at Caesars Palace.
See the Eiffel Tower
Las Vegas is an extravagant city, and you can quickly be transported from Venice to Caesars Palace, and then to Paris with a visit to the Eiffel Tower.
This hotel and casino is a scale replica of the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, and you can take a ride to the viewing area high up for outstanding views above the city and beautiful panoramas over the Nevada desert in the distance.
Take in glittering views of the Strip from the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, and experience the iconic French monument in living color, half-scale and Vegas-style.
Step up to the edge, for aerial views of the Bellagio Fountains, the glowing High Roller, and Sin City’s unforgettable, vibrant downtown.
Watch the Bellagio Fountains
When it’s the evening, then make sure you pass by the Bellagio Fountains, for an impressive light and water show.
The show is on until midnight, right outside the impressive entrance to the Bellagio Hotel.
Afterward, head into the hotel to see the grandeur of this most famous of Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
Cover the entire Las Vegas Strip on this whirlwind tour with a private driver to chauffeur you around. Stops include the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, the Fountains of Bellagio, the Bellagio Conservatory, and the Fremont Street Experience. A bottle of wine or Champagne is included.
Catch a Las Vegas Show
This is a city built on entertainment and no weekend in Las Vegas is complete without seeing a show.
There are quite literally hundreds of shows to choose from, and every hotel and even more theatres and bars have their own schedules every night of the week.
You can catch classic performances, such as the Cirque du Soleil or famous singers and songwriters, or you can head to lesser-known bars for a more low key, up and coming entertainment.
There’s no better way to end the first day of your Las Vegas itinerary than with a show on the Strip.
Day 2 – Weekend in Las Vegas
On the second day of your Las Vegas itinerary, it’s time to see the alternative side of the city.
Take a trip to nearby Red Rock Canyon to escape the casinos and for a taste of Nevada’s nature, then explore the city’s under-visited museums.
Hike in Red Rock Canyon
If you didn’t stay out too late the night before, then a great way to start your second day in Las Vegas is to take a trip to Red Rock Canyon.
Located just half an hour from Downtown, this is an impressive area of natural beauty right on the edge of the city.
This beautiful canyon is known for its red, sandstone rocks, and it makes for a great change from the neon lights of the Strips.
Get here early though, before the crowds arrive and before the Nevada heat kicks in.
Take a break from the casinos and work off those free drinks on a hike through Red Rock Canyon, a favorite local getaway from Las Vegas.
A guide helps you choose from three trail options to match your hiking level and interests. Enjoy sandstone scenery and desert vegetation as you explore the Nevada wilderness.
Visit the Mob Museum
In the late morning, you can head back to the Strip or you can take a trip to the excellent Mob Museum, to learn more about the intriguing history of Las Vegas.
This exciting museum tells the story of organized crime across the city and across the rest of the United States, focusing on the law enforcement officers that risked their lives to battle the Mobs and the gangsters.
Purchase your Mob Museum admission ticket here.
See the Neon Museum
Las Vegas is known for its neon signs and advertisements, and at night the city is lit up spectacularly in a dazzle of neon.
But where do these neon signs go if they’re replaced or taken down?
Many of the most iconic will make their way to the Neon Museum, a unique establishment that has collected and preserved this unusual piece of local history for visitors.
Go Zip Lining
After exploring the museums, then take a wild ride on a Las Vegas zip line before heading for dinner or drinks, more gambling or perhaps an evening show on the Strip.
Las Vegas is turning into an urban adventure playground, and many of the hotels and casinos have zip lines, some even inside the hotels themselves and others between hotels.
Fly through the city and enjoy a thrill like no other on the second day of your Las Vegas itinerary.
Feel the adrenaline rush of soaring over the top of Las Vegas on the motorized VooDoo ZipLine at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Soar up to 33 miles per hour at more than 500 feet off the ground in a comfortable, 2-seat chair.
Take off from VooDoo Lounge and travel 800 feet to the Ipanema tower, with a 360-degree, open-air view of the Las Vegas Strip along the way. Then make the return trip facing backward.
Day 3 – Long Weekend in Las Vegas
On the last day of your long weekend in Las Vegas, we recommend taking a day trip from the city.
This is your chance to visit the iconic Grand Canyon, the most dramatic canyon in the country. On the way, you can stop off at many more famed destinations, including Hoover Dam.
Read more 15 Best Day Trips from Las Vegas
Take A Helicopter Tour
If you’re really splashing the cash while on your Las Vegas itinerary, or if you’ve won big on the slot machines, then one of the best – but priciest – ways to start your final day is to take a helicopter tour.
It’s not cheap but it is an experience, and that’s what Las Vegas is all about. You can fly over the city and see the skyline, resorts and the Strip from a unique angle.
Or better yet, you can take a tour all the way out to the Grand Canyon, for a flyover of the most incredible natural attraction in the USA.
When you land, then you’ve still got the rest of the day to enjoy Las Vegas, to hit the Strip again, or to just make the most of the casinos, the shows or the hotel facilities, restaurants and bars.
View the Las Vegas Strip from above during a helicopter tour at twilight. Toast your aerial adventure with Champagne before an exhilarating flight. Soar over Sin City for 10-12 minutes in a state-of-the-art chopper.
Your expert pilot provides narration on the sights, including casino resorts such as the Luxor, Caesar’s Palace, and the Venetian.
Book a Grand Canyon Tour
But if a helicopter tour isn’t in your budget, then you can still take the much longer overland route to the Grand Canyon.
You can rent a car and drive yourself, but it’s a long way, so you will want to consider an organized day tour from Las Vegas so you can just sit back and enjoy the desert scenery flying past the window – especially if you had a late night in Vegas.
A whole day tour to the Grand Canyon South Rim usually takes 12 hours there and back, but there are plenty of stops and things to see on the way.
The highlight is, of course, the Grand Canyon, and you have epic views over what is one of the deepest and most extensive canyon systems in the world.
Escape to the Grand Canyon for this exciting sightseeing adventure. Enjoy your scenic flight from Boulder City to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, flying over Hoover Dam and beautiful Lake Mead along the way.
Then descend 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) below the rim of the canyon to a private landing spot. Enjoy a Champagne picnic lunch, and soak up the view before the return trip to Las Vegas.
Visit the Grand Canyon Village
As well as visiting the Grand Canyon, visitors also have the chance to explore Grand Canyon Village.
This remote settlement was originally built as a railroad town by pioneers, but today its main function is tourism, due to its close proximity to the south rim of the Grand Canyon and its historic buildings.
Much of the town dates back to 1901, including the old railway depots, and Grand Canyon Village is preserved as a National Historic Landmark District.
Taking a walk through the town is like taking a step back in time to the turn of the 20th century.
See the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is just a short journey away from Las Vegas, but most Grand Canyon tours will stop off here on the way there or back, as it’s one of the most famous works of engineering in the USA.
Built during the Great Depression in the 1930s, Hoover Dam has supplied Nevada and many of the surrounding states with power for decades, while at the same time it’s become a hugely iconic tourist attraction in its own right.
Visit the Hoover Dam on this all-inclusive tour from Las Vegas. With a knowledgeable guide, learn about the history and mechanics of the dam through engaging and informative commentary. Walkthrough the displays and exhibits at the Visitor Center, then take the Powerplant tour.
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