Oh, the glitz and glamour of spending a long weekend in Las Vegas, with its worldwide fame thanks to its neon signs, legendary casinos, luxury hotels, and fabulous entertainment.
Often referred to as “Sin City,” escaping day-to-day life by running away to spend a few days in Las Vegas has been popular for decades.
It is no wonder though: there are so many exciting things to do in Las Vegas that it can feel overwhelming!
Thanks to this 3 day Las Vegas itinerary, that stress will be alleviated and you will have a great starting point for your trip to Las Vegas.
A long weekend in Vegas is the perfect amount of time to do some gambling, see a show, and take in the top attractions in Vegas.
Here’s how to spend a perfect 3 days in Las Vegas, whether it’s your first getaway to Sin City or your 10th!
Note: This Las Vegas travel guide was written for Our Escape Clause by Las Vegas enthusiast Michelle Snell of That Texas Couple. Thanks for joining us, Michelle!
Table of Contents
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.
The Perfect 3 Days in Las Vegas Itinerary
Day 1 in Las Vegas Itinerary: Welcome to Las Vegas Sign, The Strip + A Night Out
Kick off your weekend in Vegas with a selfie at the iconic Las Vegas sign.
Everyone wants their picture with the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign!
Luckily, this sign is an easy first stop when trying to explore Las Vegas in 3 days.
Grab a cab or Uber and ask the driver to head south of the airport to the iconic sign.
The “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign is in the middle of the road, so be careful when crossing!
Designated as a historic landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this sign is a must-do during your Las Vegas vacation!
The placement of the sign designates the starting of the Las Vegas strip, so this is the perfect place to kick off your Vegas vacation.
Keep in mind that this is one of the most popular things to do in Las Vegas, so waiting in line to take a photo is common!
The earlier you start your morning (a big ask during a Las Vegas weekend getaway, I know), the better.
Explore the famous Las Vegas Strip.
The Las Vegas Strip has to be one of the most famous streets in the United States.
Once you arrive, you will immediately see why.
You are engulfed with recreations of iconic structures from around the world.
You will see a pyramid, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and more as you make your way down The Strip.
After checking into your accommodations, get started exploring the Las Vegas Strip, because there is a lot to see!
Each lavish casino on The Las Vegas Strip has its own unique attraction to lure in visitors.
For this Las Vegas itinerary, we are going to start at the south end of The Strip and make our way north, stopping at the most famous attractions along the way.
Of course, if one of these attractions doesn’t appeal to you, just skip it!
Getting Around The Strip
If your accommodations are not near the south end, you can take the city bus to get there, or you can reverse the order listed here.
The city bus is a surprisingly cheap and easy way to get around town!
Keep in mind that the distances on The Strip are deceiving.
You can look down the street and notice the sign for the hotel right next door… but the walk could take 15-20 minutes!
The casino properties are huge and you have to go over an elevated pedestrian bridge every time you cross the street.
The Best Things to Do on the Strip
Here’s what to keep an eye out for when exploring The Strip during the first day of your Las Vegas getaway.
Fair warning: perusing The Strip can easily take all day (or more), so take your time and soak up the over-the-top glitz!
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor
Where else in the United States can you take a picture in front of an Egyptian pyramid?
Only in Las Vegas!
The Titanic exhibit at the Luxor is a top-notch experience.
Upon arrival, you are given a card and you become one of the passengers on the ship.
As you explore the exhibits, you are treated to over 250 actual artifacts from the ship.
There are also several recreation rooms, including a replica of the Grand Staircase.
At the end of your journey, you get to learn whether your person survived.
New York, New York Hotel
Like many of the best hotels in Vegas, The New York, New York Hotel is an attraction in itself!
From the outside, you can see a replica of the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once inside, you feel as though you have been transported to the city street of New York.
One of the attractions in the New York, New York Hotel is the popular Big Apple Coaster.
The Big Apple Coaster is an adrenaline lover’s dream!
If you want to intensify your ride even more, be sure to add the VR experience!
The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas
You can’t miss the Paris Hotel and Casino. Just look for the Eiffel Tower!
The Eiffel Tower here is a half-size replica of the one that you will find in Paris.
You can make this a quick stop if all you want to do is take a picture of the tower and the Champs Elysses.
If you want to spend some more time here, ride the 46-stories of the Eiffel Tower to get an epic view of the Las Vegas Strip.
Taking this ride at night and having dinner atop the tower is one of the most romantic things to do in Las Vegas!
Bellagio Fountain Show (+ Beyond)
The main attraction at the Bellagio Hotel is the epic fountain show that takes place every 30 minutes right on the Las Vegas Strip!
The cool thing about this show is that the fountains are synchronized to the music and the songs change throughout the day.
While here, you need to go inside the Bellagio Hotel also.
The lobby ceiling is a beautiful display of art by glass artist, Dale Chihuly.
Just beyond the lobby is the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden.
The displays at the conservatory are created using natural plant materials and change with the seasons.
If that isn’t enough, the Bellagio is also home to the world’s largest chocolate fountain!
You can find the 27-foot tall chocolate fountain on display at the Bellagio Patisserie.
The Grand Canal of the Venetian Resort Las Vegas
For a taste of Italy right in Las Vegas, head to the Venetian Hotel and Casino.
A replica of the beautiful canals that meander throughout Venice greets visitors.
Hop on one of the gondolas to be swept away to one of the most iconic cities in Italy!
A gondola ride at the Venetian allows visitors to explore the hotel in a unique way.
Floating through the canals, you will go under bridges and beside cafes as you make your way through the hotel.
Take note that you have two choices when booking your gondola ride, an indoor ride or an outdoor ride.
Be sure to pick the one that you have your heart set on.
While at the Venetian, be sure you go inside and explore the hotel.
The lobby is lined with columns and beautiful Italian tile.
As you continue to explore, you will find that the common areas of the hotel are replicas of the gorgeous streets in Venice.
There is even a reproduction of St. Mark’s Square, the iconic square in Venice.
Keep your eye out for “street performers” also as they roam the street of Venice entertaining visitors.
Volcano Eruption at the Mirage
A little further, down the Strip, you will find the Mirage Hotel and Casino.
One of the most memorable Las Vegas attractions at the Mirage is the volcano–yes, a volcano!
The Mirage volcano erupts daily between 7 and 11 pm.
The eruptions take place on the hour, so this one is easy to fit into your Las Vegas weekend itinerary.
Day 2 Las Vegas Itinerary: Downtown Las Vegas, A Pool Party + Museums
Day 2 of your Vegas itinerary is taking you to the heart and soul of Las Vegas, downtown.
Downtown Las Vegas is the roots of the Vegas that we know today.
It is here that the iconic casinos originated!
The famous Freemont Street is also located in the downtown area as are some fun museums and quirky hotel attractions.
Vegas Travel Tip: If you are looking for a reasonable hotel deal, check out the downtown area.
Often the hotels here are way cheaper than hotels on The Strip!
Here’s what to do downtown during your second day in Vegas!
Explore the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.
The Las Vegas Arts District also called the 18b, is an 18 block thriving art community.
Here you will find an eclectic mix of businesses including boutique clothing stores, art galleries, antique stores, and of course, bars and restaurants.
The Las Vegas Arts District hosts a First Friday art walk on the first Friday of every month.
If your 3 day weekend in Vegas includes a first Friday, make sure to visit as they often have local artists on-site as well as live performances!
Pay a visit to the Mob Museum.
The Mob Museum, located in Downtown Las Vegas, is a great addition to your 3 days in Las Vegas itinerary.
This museum immerses visitors in the history and impact of organized crime.
The Mob Museum’s historic building helps to make the experience even more authentic as many famous mob-related hearings were held here.
A visit to The Mob Museum allows visitors to explore 3 floors and a basement.
One of the popular exhibits is the “Path to Prohibition” which takes you through the prohibition era and includes a speakeasy bar you can visit.
There are also exhibits on the history of organized crime, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre wall and evidence, a firearm simulator, and displays outlining the Kefauver Hearings.
Plan to spend at least three hours at The Mob Museum if you plan to explore all of the exhibits.
Attend one of the iconic Las Vegas pool parties.
A visit to Vegas is not complete with participating in one of its iconic pool parties!
The pools in Las Vegas turn into daytime clubs as DJs play music, bartenders serve up delicious cocktails, and everyone is dressed to impress in their best swimwear!
You can find at least one pool party every day in Las Vegas.
Most pool parties charge an entrance fee and can get rowdy.
If that is not your scene, then you can just lounge around the hotel pool and relax.
Want to make the most of the party? Book a pool party crawl in order to hit up several spots in one afternoon!
Check out the Neon Museum.
The Neon Museum is an absolute must-see during your 3 days in Las Vegas, and is best visited at night.
Full of “retired” neon signs from the hotels and casinos of Las Vegas’ past, the Neon Museum is quite a sight at night when the signs are all lit up.
Visitors will find over 200 signs here. While some of the signs have been restored, many have not.
Regardless, they are all cool to see!
You have the option of taking a self-guided tour or an hour-long guided tour during your visit.
Stop by the Fremont Street Experience.
Another must-do on your Vegas itinerary is the Fremont Street Experience.
Located in Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is an experience like no other.
The entire street is covered in a canopy that contains 12 million LED lights!
This alone is unique as it is the largest audio-video light show in the world.
You can witness the 6-minute light show for yourself every hour.
In addition to the cool show taking place over your head, this area of Las Vegas also boasts a zip line that allows visitors to soar over the crowd below!
The zip line, known as ZipZilla is 7-stories high and two blocks long!
The Fremont Street Experience is truly like a big street party. There are always free concerts happening in the street, fun bars, and historic casinos.
Fremont Street is the perfect place to end the second day of your Las Vegas getaway.
Day 3 Las Vegas Itinerary: Discover the Southwest Beyond Vegas
A day trip out of the city is a necessity during your long weekend in Las Vegas!
While it’s easy to forget when surrounded by the neon lights and casinos, Vegas is in a prime location to access some of the most incredible landscapes in the USA, from the Grand Canyon to the Hoover Dam.
Once you get away from the glittering lights of The Strip, you will find that Las Vegas is home to numerous outdoor activities, from hiking to horseback riding.
These day trips can be fun to self-drive, and if you’d like to go independently, we highly recommend renting a car for the day through Discover Cars (they’ll make sure you get the best deal).
If you’d rather not deal with transportation, though, don’t worry–guided tours are also easy to come by, and we’ll link some highly-rated options below.
Here are some of the absolute best day trips from Las Vegas to consider!
Valley of Fire State Park
If you are a fan of the bright red sandstone that often dots desert terrain, then the Valley of Fire State Park is the perfect day trip for you.
The Valley of Fire State Park is home to over 40,000 acres of this beautiful stone.
Not only that, but petroglyphs found here date back over 2,000 years!
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) added Park amenities such as campgrounds, roads, and stone cabins in 1931.
Named The Valley of Fire State Park in 1935, this was the state of Nevada’s first state park.
Today, you can visit the Visitor’s Center to learn more about the history of the park and see exhibits of historical artifacts before heading out on one of the fabulous hikes in the park.
There are several trails to choose from for all ability levels.
The Valley of Fire State Park is located about 55 miles outside of Las Vegas.
Getting to the park is easy as there is only one main road through the park, the Valley of Fire Scenic Byway.
Just driving the Scenic Byway allows for some fabulous views!
The Hoover Dam
One of the most popular day trips from Vegas is a visit to the Hoover Dam.
Built between 1931 and 1936, the Hoover Dam is an architectural marvel and is a National Historic Landmark.
Located just 30 minutes from Vegas, a trip to the Hoover Dam is an easy day trip.
During your visit here, you can take a guided tour to learn all about the workings of this historic site.
The dam towers over 700 feet above the Colorado River and houses 17 generators that produce over 4 billion kilowatts of electricity a year.
If you want a great view of the dam, head to the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
This popular day trip is a fabulous way to visit the Hoover Dam!
Grand Canyon-West Rim
Everyone should see the Grand Canyon at least once their life, I mean; it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
Lucky for you, the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is accessible on a day trip from Las Vegas.
Do take note though, the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is a 2.5-hour drive from Las Vegas, so this does make for a long day.
If you are up for it, it makes for a very memorable day also.
Some companies even offer a helicopter tour, greatly cutting down on your travel time and creating an incredibly memorable experience (who could forget having lunch on the floor of the Grand Canyon?).
One of the top attractions at the West Rim is the Skywalk.
The Skywalk will have you walking on glass more than 4,000 feet above the canyon below.
If that didn’t get your adrenaline going, then soar 500 feet above the canyon on the zip line course!
Red Rock Canyon
Attracting millions of visitors a year, Red Rock Canyon is a popular outdoor recreation area near Las Vegas.
The canyon is over 195,000 acres and is Nevada’s first Conservation area.
Hiking, horseback riding, geological features, rock climbing, and enjoying a 13-mile scenic loop drive are among the best things to do in Red Rock Canyon.
The red sandstone mixed with the beautiful gray limestone on the cliff-facing makes the canyon a gorgeous display.
The geological features found at Red Rock Canyon display the unique quality of the Mojave Desert.
With more than 25 hiking trails, you are sure to find one that meets your skill level.
For the more adventurous souls, try your hand at rock climbing while visiting Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon boasts more than 1200 named rock-climbing routes ranging in ability levels.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Another easy day trip from Vegas is Lake Mead. Lake Mead is located approximately 30 minutes outside of the city.
While not as well known by tourists, Lake Mead is a fabulous retreat, especially during the warm weather months.
This incredible recreational area spans over 1.5 million acres, crossing canyons, mountains, valleys, and two lakes.
Visitors here can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking during their time in the Lake Mead Recreation Area.
The two lakes found here are Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, both of which are great lakes for recreational activities.
Lake Mead has over 750 miles of shoreline, making it a great place to spend a day on the water.
Where to Stay For a Weekend in Las Vegas
Since you only have 3 days in Las Vegas, I would recommend staying close to all of the action.
For this to happen, you can choose between staying on The Strip and staying in the historic downtown area.
Either of these choices makes a memorable base for your long weekend getaway, and each will allow you a fun and unique experience during your visit to Vegas.
Here are a few popular, well-reviewed options!
The Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip will put you right in the center of everything The Strip has to offer.
This budget hotel has an excellent casino and the famous High Roller Observation Wheel nearby!
Looking for something outside the Strip?
The Golden Nugget is a popular mid-range hotel in Downtown Las Vegas.
On-site, you will find 10 restaurants, a great spa, and 2 pools.
For a mid-range hotel on The Strip, consider staying at the MGM Grand.
Not only does the MGM Grand have a great location, but it is also home to numerous attractions.
Here you will find shows, concerts, Top Golf, and more!
Check rates & book your stay at The Golden Nugget or the MGM Grand!
Finding a luxury hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is easy as there are plenty to choose from!
One of the best of these is the famous Bellagio Hotel.
Imagine having a suite overlooking the fountain show every night!
Where to Eat in Las Vegas, NV
Finding a great meal in Las Vegas is easy.
The food here ranges from hot dogs to Michelin Star restaurants, so it is easy to find whatever you are in the mood for.
If you want a full tour of Las Vegas’ food culture and to enjoy offerings from its many celebrity chefs, this popular food tour is the perfect addition to your weekend and will make sure you sample a wide variety of what Vegas has to offer, while learning about the city’s unique culinary history along the way!
Looking for some more restaurants to enjoy?
Here are a few popular additions to Las Vegas itineraries!
Hash House A Go Go
Hash House A Go Go is known for being one of the best deals on the Las Vegas Strip.
Here guests are served up huge portions of famous hashes in hot iron skillets.
These hash skillets include can include eggs, fried potatoes, meatloaf, vegetables, mozzarella, a biscuit, and more.
The gigantic meals here are almost guaranteed to soak up all of those cocktails you’ve had!
Giada at the Cromwell
The famed Food Network star, Giada opened her first restaurant right here on the Las Vegas Strip.
Giada’s serves up delicious Italian food in a great atmosphere.
Guests can try dishes such as lemon spaghetti, lobster ravioli, and vegetable Bolognese rigatoni.
Hell’s Kitchen at Caesar’s Palace
Most people are familiar with Hell’s Kitchen thanks to the popular television show featuring Gordon Ramsey.
Located inside Caesar’s Palace, this restaurant is easily accessible and even offers the option of a prix fixe menu.
Go for the baked macaroni and cheese during your visit!
Getting Around During 3 Days in Vegas
It is relatively easy to get around during a Las Vegas weekend getaway.
Like most big cities, Las Vegas offers taxi cabs, Uber, and Lyft rideshare.
While The Strip is long, most people do tend to walk this area so that they don’t miss any of the iconic Las Vegas attractions found along it.
If you don’t want to walk, you can take the monorail which will allow you to navigate the Las Vegas Strip in 15 minutes!
Another option is the Las Vegas Deuce bus.
The Deuce offers two routes that are specifically for the tourist areas of The Strip and downtown.
The Downtown Loop is a free shuttle that also includes an opportunity to stop at the Arts District.
I would not recommend renting a car during your time in Las Vegas unless you are renting it for one of the day trips noted above or you’re road-tripping to Vegas from San Diego, LA, Phoenix, or beyond–Las Vegas makes an excellent stop on a bigger southwest road trip!
Want to self-drive a day trip from Vegas?
When to Visit Las Vegas, Nevada
While Vegas is undoubtedly a year-round destination, spring and fall are the ideal times to spend a few days in Las Vegas, especially if you want to enjoy Las Vegas without gambling (during the hot summer months, the casinos offer a reprieve from the heat).
The times between March to May and September to November bring moderate weather and some of the best travel deals.
During this time, the temperatures are mild enough for you to enjoy being outside and can still enjoy the pool parties!
The winter months bring about colder temperatures and increased prices as Las Vegas is a very popular holiday destination.
Don’t visit in the summer unless you don’t mind putting up with intense heat during your long weekend in Vegas!
Las Vegas is known to be over 100 degrees during the summer months!