How much can you do with one weekend in Las Vegas? That was my question as I boarded my flight for a short winter getaway in the desert. When you’re at home, most weekends go by in a flash, but this weekend I wanted something different. Vegas offered the perfect opportunity to try something new, and it also didn’t hurt that the weather was a lot nicer than Canada.
Here’s what I managed to get up to with 3 days in the city:
12:00 noon Since you only have a weekend in Las Vegas, there is no time to waste! Check into your hotel (or drop off your bags if your room isn’t ready) and get ready to hit the town. I stayed at the Tropicana, which welcomes its guests with warm chocolate chip cookies. That earns them extra points in my books.
1:00 p.m. Go out for lunch. Whether you’re looking for burgers, sushi, or Mexican food, you’ll have no problem finding a spot on the Strip.
2:00 p.m. After lunch take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. If you have a little time, you may want to go hotel hopping. Yes, when you’re in Vegas, visiting hotel lobbies is a thing. You won’t believe the lavish interiors.
5:00 p.m. Treat yourself to a buffet dinner, because this city does buffets like no other.
7:00 p.m. There is no shortage of entertainment in Las Vegas, so take your pick. I watched Michael Jackson’s ONE by Cirque de Soleil, but other popular ones include LOVE The Beatles, The Blue Man Group, and David Copperfield. Whether you enjoy comedy, magic, or concerts, Vegas has something just for you.
7:00 a.m. Grab a quick breakfast at the hotel and fuel up for a busy day ahead. The Beach Café at Tropicana does a nice breakfast buffet with fresh fruits, omelets, cereals, and even chicken tamale pie.
8:00 a.m. Make your way over to World Class Driving for an experience you won’t soon forget. If you’ve ever dreamed of test driving luxury cars this is the place for you. I joined the Exotic Car experience and spent the morning cruising around Lake Mead in a Porsche, a Lamborghini, and a Ferrari. It’s a total adrenaline rush.
12:00 p.m. All that driving will make you work up an appetite, so this is the perfect time to grab some lunch. If you’re looking for a bargain, consider an establishment off the Strip.
1:30 p.m. One of the great things about Las Vegas is that you’re never too far from nature. Drive about 20 minutes west out of the city and you’ll find yourself at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is part of the Mojave Desert. Prepare to be wowed by the towering rock formations and the rich colours of the landscape. I spent the afternoon touring the park with Pink Jeep Tours, which offered a nice combination of driving and light hiking. However, if you’re an outdoorsman you’ll want to leave the car behind and hit the trails on your own.
5:00 p.m. Arrive back at your hotel and freshen up before hitting the town again.
7:00 p.m. Treat yourself to a fancy steak dinner. I was lured to STRIPSTEAK by the promise of duck fat fries as an appetizer and boy were they good. However, the star of the meal was the filet mignon – tender and cooked to perfection. Dinner here is a splurge, but you’re allowed one of those when in Vegas.
8:30 p.m. Take another wander down the Strip because it looks completely different at night. Soak in the sights like the glowing Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas or the water fountain show at the Bellagio.
9:00 p.m. Next comes the big decision: head back to the hotel for bed or see where the night takes you.
8:00 a.m. Grab a quick breakfast at your hotel before heading out.
9:00 a.m. Be ready for your shuttle bus pick up, which will take you to Henderson Executive Airport. After presenting identification and stepping on the scale (they have to make sure the chopper is balanced), you will be able to board the helicopter for your flight to the Grand Canyon. Along the way you will fly over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Fortification Hill and the Colorado River. The views are spectacular so don’t forget to bring your camera.
10:00 a.m. Upon landing in the Grand Canyon you will be served a glass of champagne to toast with your fellow travellers. Relish the views and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
1:00 p.m. For today’s lunch head over to Social House Sushi. This restaurant is located inside The Crystals and it’s a value spot that offers great food. They have a $20 lunch special that includes 3 courses. I recommend the teriyaki salmon donburi with a cup of hot sake.
2:30 p.m. Spend the afternoon at your own leisure, perhaps at the Neon Museum where old Vegas signs go to rest.
7:00 p.m. Grab dinner at the restaurant of your choice.
9:00 p.m. Head over to The Chandelier located inside The Cosmopolitan because this is one of the coolest bars in Vegas.
11:25 p.m. Pop a dollar into one of the slot machines. You can’t leave town without having gambled at least once.
11:30 p.m. Bid Las Vegas farewell and go catch the red eye so you can be back at work on Monday morning. No one will even know you were gone!
Have you been to Las Vegas?
What were some of the highlights?