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The 3-Day Las Vegas Itinerary Every Traveler Needs
In most cases, spending three days isn’t nearly enough time to experience everything a city has to offer. And while that’s true for Las Vegas as well, three days is the perfect amount of time to explore the madness and chaos of Sin City without burning out or breaking the bank. With that in mind, we’re excited to share our 3-day Las Vegas itinerary with you.
While we think our itinerary will appeal to a lot of people, we also understand that every traveler has different interests, needs, and budget concerns. With that in mind, use our 3-day Las Vegas itinerary as a guide, but feel free to substitute, ignore, or add activities as you see fit.
Day 1: The Strip
Spend a full day seeing everything The Strip has to offer.
When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of The Strip. After all, traveling this 4.2-mile street takes you past Egyptian pyramids, New York City skyscrapers, and the Eiffel Tower—all in one day.
If you’ve got energy to burn, walk this iconic street and stop anywhere that looks interesting. Or if you want a break from the desert heat, take the bus, a cab, or an Uber.
These are all great options if you know where you’re going, but we think the best way to see The Strip is by taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour. On this tour, you can get off at whichever stop(s) look interesting, spend as much time as you want exploring, then catch the next bus and continue your journey.
Along the route you can take a selfie in front of the ‘Welcome To Las Vegas’ sign, catch a musical water show at the Bellagio Fountains, and admire the Roman ruins at Caesars Palace.
Other stops include The Church of the West, Las Vegas’s most famous wedding chapel, and The Stratosphere, a 1,149-foot observation tower with spectacular views of the Las Vegas Skyline.
A bus tour is an especially good choice for first-time Vegas visitors. Not only will you get a spectacular view from your open-top seat, but every bus has a guide who will give you insider tips and historical trivia.
The route takes 2 hours and 30 minutes if you don’t get off and explore, but could easily take the entire day if you make a few stops to look around, play a few slots, and grab a bite to eat.
And speaking of food, there are tons of restaurants on The Strip worth checking out. Whether you want to splurge on Michelin-starred French cuisine, cut into a juicy steak, or just want to grab a taco to go, there’s no limit to what you can eat on The Strip.
If you still have energy left after your busy day of sightseeing, head to a show. After all, Las Vegas isn’t called the Entertainment Capital of the World for nothing. Here are our top picks for Las Vegas shows reopening in 2021.
But if you’re beat from a busy day of sightseeing, there’s no shame in calling it an early night. After all, you’ve still got two more jam-packed days in your 3-day Las Vegas itinerary.
Day 2: Downtown Las Vegas
For day two of your 3-day Las Vegas itinerary, we’re sending you to Downtown Las Vegas. Abbreviated DTLV, this area is the historic center of Las Vegas. When The Strip was just another empty expanse of desert, locals and tourists gambled, dined, and shopped in DTLV.
And while The Strip is the modern lifeblood of Vegas, much of what originally made the city famous still exists. What’s more, downtown is a great place to take a break from the frenetic pace of The Strip without feeling like you’re missing out on anything. Plan 15 minutes to get from The Strip to downtown via car.
The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum has thousands of pictures, videos, and exhibits about the history of organized crime.
Start your day off with a visit to The Mob Museum. Located in Las Vegas’s former federal courthouse, this interactive museum details the history of organized crime in 20th century America. You’ll learn about notorious gangsters like Al Capone and John Gotti, as well as the G-men and FBI agents who worked tirelessly to shut down the mafia.
In addition to the thousands of pictures and archival photos, the Mob Museum also has one-of-a-kind immersive experiences. One is the Firearm Training Simulator. In this exhibit, live the experience of law enforcement officers during use-of-force situations. Another exhibit worth checking out is The Speakeasy, a 20s-style bar complete with Prohibition-era cocktails and snacks.
The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum is the last stop for decommissioned neon signs in Las Vegas.
For a totally different museum experience, take a 15-minute walk over to the Neon Museum. The highlight of the museum is the outdoor exhibition space lovingly dubbed ‘The Neon Boneyard’. Since 1996, The Neon Boneyard is the final resting place for 200 beloved neon signs from bygone eras.
You can explore The Neon Boneyard at your own pace or opt for a one-hour guided tour that goes into the history of the signs and of old Las Vegas. In addition, you can reserve a spot in the North Gallery for a private photo shoot or a special event.
The Fremont Street Experience
Spend a night eating, drinking, gambling, and playing at The Fremont Street Experience.
After a busy day exploring Las Vegas’s cultural gems, unwind at The Fremont Street Experience. This pedestrian mall truly exemplifies the “playground for adults” vibe that Las Vegas works hard to cultivate. Even better, it’s only a 20-minute walk from the Neon Museum.
While there, take your picture with a million dollars at Binion’s Casino, play some penny slots, or say “howdy” to Las Vegas’s original cowboy mascot, Vegas Vic.
Adrenaline junkies will be tempted by SlotZilla, a 12-story, slot machine-inspired zipline that gives riders a bird’s eye view of Fremont Street. For something more lowkey, check out the nightly Viva Vision light show. This free light and music show consistently wows visitors thanks to the awe-inspiring combination of high-resolution graphics and concert-quality sound.
Day 3: Day Trip Out Of The City
While there’s plenty to keep you busy for three full days in Las Vegas, there are also tons of great day trips not from the city. Our top choices include the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and the Grand Canyon.
The Hoover Dam is only a 45-minute drive from The Strip
About 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas sits the engineering marvel that is the Hoover Dam. Completed in 1935, the Hoover Dam spans the Colorado River and the Black Canyon while providing power to Nevada, Arizona, and California.
But more than keeping the lights on, the Hoover Dam has become one of the United States’ most recognizable landmarks. Here, you can check out the lake and dam vistas from the top of the dam for free, or pay a little extra to tour the visitor center and the powerplant.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Walk, hike, bike, or drive in the beautiful Mojave Desert.
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located just 17 miles southwest of Las Vegas, but feels like it’s on another planet. That’s thanks to the wide-open vistas punctuated by red rocks of every size, shape, and hue.
You have a few options when visiting. Either follow the 13-mile scenic car route through the desert, or hike on over 30 miles of trails. However you choose to explore, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views of the Mojave Desert.
The Grand Canyon
Ambitious travelers can make it to the West Rim in 2.5 hours.
If you’re feeling extra-motivated, take advantage of your proximity to The Grand Canyon before you leave Las Vegas for good. The West Rim of this massive natural wonder is only about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Las Vegas, but there are also plenty of tour companies that take care of the transportation and ticket reservations for you.
The most popular way is by bus, but if you’re looking to splurge, helicopter tours are also available. While there, take a walk on the glass-bottom Grand Canyon Skywalk, or for a truly immersive experience, ride a mule to the foot of the canyon.
Book Your 3-Day Las Vegas Trip Now
With your 3-day Las Vegas itinerary in hand, we hope you’re feeling motivated to book your next trip to Las Vegas. If you’re still hesitating, find out how to save money on flights, food, and accommodations during your trip.