Let’s start with a disclaimer: there’s no such thing as the perfect Las Vegas getaway. Because this Nevada oasis categorically refuses to be typecast. It’s a city that’s constantly reinventing itself and setting new bucket list goals. And it’s a place where exotic, indulgent, and borderline unbelievable experiences coexist with some of the world’s most breathtaking sights – both natural and manmade.
4 days won’t be remotely enough to let you experience everything that sets Las Vegas apart. But it’ll give you just enough time to sample some of Sin City’s finest offerings and fascinating surrounds. In this 4-day guide, we’ve included something for every variety of traveler, from foodies and entertainment buffs, to thrill seekers and nature lovers.
The perfect Las Vegas getaway must begin with a perfect introduction to the city. But don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting to hit too many destinations on your very first day. Depending on when you arrive, we recommend getting started with a pancake breakfast at the stylish Primrose bistro in Park MGM, or the hugely popular lunch buffet at Wynn. If you choose the latter, you can work off your post-lunch stupor with some retail therapy at the Wynn Esplanade. Bear in mind, however, that the posh boutiques and brand outlets here aren’t for the budget-conscious!
To keep your first evening in Las Vegas manageable, try sticking to one casino resort for food, entertainment and clubbing. While practically any hotel on the Strip can keep you occupied for hours, head to Bellagio Hotel and Casino to cross multiple items off your must-see list. Take a tour of the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and get a ringside view of the spectacular Bellagio fountains by night. Satisfy your health-conscious cravings at Harvest, Chef Roy Ellamar’s innovative restaurant with a farm-to-table menu. And if you haven’t had your fill of high-end shopping, take a walk down the elegant Via Bellagio.
Entertainment in Las Vegas is in a league of its own, in terms of both variety and quality. You can literally fill any available time slot in your itinerary with a concert, DJ performance or comedy show. But for your first evening, you’ve got to treat yourself to a Cirque du Soleil experience. Bellagio hosts ‘O’, a magical aquatic-themed performance featuring jaw-dropping acrobatics, theatrics and synchronized swimming. Remember to check the show’s schedule in advance, and just in case it doesn’t run the day you’re in Bellagio, a quick Uber ride will get you to MGM Grand where you can watch ‘KA’, another spell-binding Cirque du Soleil rendition that blends combat with acrobatics.
There’s plenty more to do by night, but we’d recommend turning in early because you’ll need to be up before sunrise on Day 2!
Days 2 and 3:
With so much to see and do, it’s easy to feel hard-pressed for time during your Las Vegas holiday. But if you leave the city without touring the awe-inspiring natural scenery around, you’d be missing out on an experience of a lifetime. The iconic Grand Canyon is of course the star attraction in this part of the world. But there’s plenty more to see and experience, including the surreal Antelope Canyon, the jaw-dropping views from Horseshoe Bend, the spectacular Hoover Dam overlooking the largest reservoir in the US, and a bunch of picture-perfect towns set against scenic backdrops.
Many people opt to take day tours to Antelope Canyon and other nearby natural destinations but the distance involved makes a two day tour more feasible. Organizing a quick trip that accommodates all these stops can pose quite a challenge even for seasoned travelers. If you’d rather not spend half your holiday driving around the desert and racing against time, opt for a popular 2 Day Grand Canyon Antelope Canyon Tour, packed with sightseeing and thrills and designed with your comfort in mind.
On Day 2 of your perfect Vegas getaway, you will be picked you up from your hotel around 6 am and make a stop at Hoover Dam before driving you to the Grand Canyon. With spectacular desert scenery outside your window and complimentary snacks, drinks and Wi-Fi on board, it’ll be quite an enjoyable ride. Stop for lunch at the historic town of Williams, Arizona, before finally arriving at Grand Canyon National Park. Admire the splendor of the canyon at leisure from 3 different viewpoints, before calling it a night at a comfortable hotel in Page, Arizona.
Start the day 3 with a drive to Horseshoe Bend, home to a dramatic 180-degree turn in the Colorado River that makes for some truly mesmerizing views. After Horseshoe Bend, you will be taken into the Navajo Nation, a famous protected area which houses the Antelope Canyon. This dreamy slot canyon is a photographer’s dream. Sunlight enters its upper sections as surreal light shafts, illuminating its layered red and orange walls. The lower section of the canyon has more expansive rock chambers accentuated with gorgeous spiral arches. A guided tour and multiple photo ops later, enjoy a nice lunch at one of Page’s restaurants before driving again through colorful desert scenery on your way back to Las Vegas. You will be dropped off at your Las Vegas hotel around 8 pm on Day 3.
After two days of action-packed sightseeing, you’ll want to take it easy on the morning of Day 4. Spending a few laid-back hours at Radius, the rooftop pool lounge in Stratosphere, is a great way to replenish some of that lost energy. Next, give the Strip a rest and head to Downtown Las Vegas instead. This up-and-coming district has a quirky, youthful vibe minus all the high-octane mayhem of the Strip. Have lunch at Park on Fremont, a buzzy gastropub with a creative menu and lovely alfresco seating.
After lunch, take your pick out of any of Downtown’s unique experiences. Stroll past incredible specimens of street art in 18B, make a date with the history of organized crime at the Mob Museum, or step into Container Park, a quirky shopping mall built out of shipping containers. If you’re in the mood for a craft drink, Oak and Ivy at the Container Park is a great place to stop by.
Wrap up your Downtown tour by evening and head back to the Strip – this time around, for a bird’s eye view. There are some excellent helicopter trips you can take in and around Las Vegas and Papillon’s Strip Highlights is among the most popular. Watch the iconic buildings of the Strip from up above in this 15-minute chopper ride, even flying tantalizingly close to some of them. Oh, and did we mention there’s complimentary champagne on board, plus a limousine drop-off to your hotel?
Your final dinner in Las Vegas has got to be in someplace special. Head on over to Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, a popular joint at Caesar’s Palace with décor and dishes modeled after the famous reality TV show. After dinner (which you’ve got to end with the sticky toffee pudding!), step into OMNIA. This three-level nightclub with its frequent DJ performances and spectacular terrace views is perfect for those looking to party into the wee hours of the morning.
As an alternative to Day 4, if you didn’t get enough natural scenery on Days 2 and 3, choose another tour and get out and explore some more.
And finally, the perfect Las Vegas getaway shouldn’t end with a nasty hangover, so if you have time before your flight back the next morning, stop at one of the many juice bars on the Strip. We recommend The Juice Standard at the Cosmopolitan for a quick detox.
A few quick tips:
There’s no bad time to visit Las Vegas, but if you’re looking for a sweet spot between good weather and reasonable prices, plan your trip between March and May, or between September and November. Summer days can get way too hot to allow you to walk around much, and winter brings in even more tourists than usual. Plus, it’s easier to score good deals on hotels and activities during the shoulder seasons.
Our second tip for first-timers is that distances on the Las Vegas Strip can appear deceptively small on Google Maps. Going from one Strip hotel to the next on foot is actually quite a trek, so plan your activities accordingly, wear comfortable shoes, and walk through the interiors of the hotels wherever possible. Renting a car is also a good idea if you’re going to be weaving between the Strip and Downtown a lot. There’s free or reasonably priced parking in most Strip hotels and shopping centers.
Ready to blow off some steam in Las Vegas soon? Get out and enjoy the above perfect Las Vegas getaway!