Las Vegas is a glittering city, full of entertainment, twinkling lights, and fabulously long nights. The city of pleasure has so many options that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! So we created the perfect weekend in Vegas itinerary to help you plan a jam-packed 3-day trip to Sin City.

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Las Vegas is a glittering city, full of entertainment, twinkling lights, and fabulously long nights. The city beckons visitors with endless casinos to spend your money in and a plethora of shows – concerts, comedy, magic, musicals, Cirque du Soleil, things you can’t even imagine!

Restaurants and museums dot the Strip, and outdoor activities are also plentiful close to Vegas for an adventurous day out. The city of pleasure has so many options that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin! Luckily, we created the perfect weekend in Vegas itinerary to help you plan a jam-packed 3-day trip to Sin City.

This Las Vegas weekend itinerary was created by Practical Wanderlust’s very own Social Media Manager and intrepid Gen-Z traveler, Melissa. Take it away, Melissa!

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with FlyOver Las Vegas. Huge thanks to them, as well as to Melissa for volunteering as Vegas tribute while I lay at home, pregnant and exhausted. I have the best team!

Psst: Planning more Nevada and western adventures? …. Check out some of our other posts for inspiration!


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Las Vegas At-a-Glance ✍

Here’s a bite-sized snapshot of everything you need to know to plan your trip!

  • When to Go: Between February and April, when the weather is mild.
  • Where to Stay: If you really want that full Las Vegas experience, stay in a themed hotels along the Strip like the Excalibur or the Luxor. We also love this budget-friendly condo with a cute balcony to unwind in peace watching the bustle of the city.
  • How to Get Around: Most of Las Vegas around the Strip is pretty walkable, and for everything else you can take a Lyft or Taxi. If you do rent a car, use Kayak to find the cheapest option.
  • Top 3 Highlights:Walking the strip, experiencing FlyOver Las Vegas, and drinks at The Chandelier inside The Cosmopolitan.
  • Before You Go: Read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Or watch the movie with Johnny Depp!
Outside view of The New York Hotel in Las Vegas.
Spending a Weekend in Vegas is a right of passage, y’all!

Weekend in Vegas Travel Tips

Although I grew up in Oakland, California, until this trip I had never been to Vegas – and everyone I tell this always has this super shocked look on their face when I tell them! Like, I’m only 22 y’all… I turned 21 during the Summer of COVID and for obvious reasons wasn’t able to take the 21-year-old right of passage trip to Vegas with my friends. 

Truth be told, I’ve never really considered myself the “Vegas type.” Gambling isn’t exactly my favorite activity (I like my money to stay in my bank account where it belongs) and I wasn’t sure how much else there was to do. But when FlyOver Las Vegas reached out, I started researching.

To my delight, I found a ton of other awesome things to do in Las Vegas, and I was super excited to take a trip to experience it for myself! While my first Vegas trip was short-lived, I am now a Vegas convert, and  I can’t wait to go back and experience more of all there is to do there.

If you’re short on time like I was, here are a few essential tips to make the most of your weekend in Vegas:

  • Book everything in advance. Time flies by so fast in Vegas that I highly recommend you book tickets and reservations to activities and restaurants in advance!
  • Plan to fly in on a Friday and stay as long as you can. In my case, 3 days was all I had! If I could have stayed longer I would have, but three days was definitely enough to get a little taste of Vegas that left me wanting more. Follow this itinerary as close as you can to get a full experience in the heart of Las Vegas in this short amount of time.
  • Pick up a Go City Las Vegas Pass to save $$$ on attractions: The more you want to do in Las Vegas, the pricier it gets. The Go Las Vegas Pass includes entry into a TON of Las Vegas hotspots and activities for a bundled price. For example, the 4-choice Explorer Pass lets you pick four activities for $99, or you can choose an unlimited pass and squeeze in as much as possible to max out your savings. Four of the stops on this itinerary are offered on the pass, so the pass pays for itself! I’ve marked which stops are included on the pass.
  • It is possible to save money in Las Vegas! We’ve got an entire guide to Las Vegas on a budget written by a local, full of helpful tips to help you save cash. For my trip, I opted to walk or Lyft everywhere instead of booking a rental car, and this itinerary is designed to not need a car!


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The Perfect Weekend in Vegas Itinerary

Night time aerial view of Las Vegas with the Bellagio Fountain show.
Night time aerial view of Las Vegas with the Bellagio Fountain show. Nighttime in Sin City is lit!

Weekend in Vegas: Friday Night

After flying or driving into Vegas, you will want to go straight to your hotel, check in, and cool off. After you’ve settled in and recharged yourself up a bit, you’ll probably realize you’re starving and it’s time to get your weekend foodie on. 

Chances are you’ll only have enough energy for dinner and drinks tonight, which is the perfect way to spend your first night in Las Vegas! 

You’ll be walking all down the strip after dinner, but I promise it’s not very far – and experiencing all the lights and sounds as you walk is the perfect way to begin your weekend in Vegas.

The asada fries at Tacos El Pastor.
The Asada fries at Tacos El Pastor are next level!

Dinner at Tacos El Pastor

After being on a plane or in the car for hours, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long line at a bougie restaurant where you’ll also be waiting extra long for food. Let’s save the extra AF foodie experiences for later. 

Right now, if you’re like me, you’ve probably reached that point in your hunger that goes from hungry to HANGRY. What better way to satisfy your hanger than with some quick and delicious tacos? You’ll find the best tacos on the strip at Tacos El Pastor.

Tacos El Pastor has pretty much everything you can think of getting at any good taco shop. The options are endless and they’re all hella good! This is coming from a Mexican girl who grew up in Oakland (city of the best tacos, LA can’t even come close to Bay Area Mexican food). So take my word for it, you’re going to leave super satisfied and ready for a drink, or a few.

While tacos are (of course) their specialty, I recommend trying their popular Mexican Mulita which is basically like a quesadilla with double tortilla like a sandwich instead of being folded and it’s filled with meat and anything else you want to add to it! I also recommend the steak fries and steak burrito.

  • Travel Tip: I suggest you take a Lyft or Taxi to Tacos El Pastor since you’re probably starving and wanna get there ASAP. Also, you’ll be doing plenty of walking after dinner!


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The fountain show at The Bellagio.
The Bellagio is a great place to stop by and watch the fountain show!

Stroll the Strip

Head to the strip – wait, you’re on the strip! That’s right, walk down the same street you’re on (S Las Vegas Blvd) toward the center of the strip where you’ll find all the big hotels like The Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, Venetian – and enjoy the show. 

Yup. The show.

Walking down the strip is literally a free show, y’all – bright lights and screens everywhere, street performers and entertainers on every corner.

Take your time to observe the lit screens and signs all around you and stop to watch the street performers if you see them – and tip them too! You’ll see a bunch of girls dressed up from outfits with glitter and feathers all over them amongst people in cop outfits. 

  • Heads Up: Beware! Cosplay ‘cops’ will stop you on the street and fake ‘arrest’ you and ask you to pay if you take pictures as they suggest you do. If you snap any pics, please be kind and tip them for their time … or just remember to NOT snap any pics! (Also, they’re not real cops, so … don’t let them arrest you if you’re not into it.)

While walking down the Strip, one of the first hotels you’ll walk past is The Venetian, which gives total Venice in Vegas vibes. I highly recommend you stop here for a taste of Venice, where you can float down the grand canal in gondolas beside cafes, shops, and beneath arched bridges.

There is an indoor and outdoor Venetian gondola ride – each ride offers its own unique views, both equally enchanting and tons of fun. A singing gondolier pilots every gondola! Surrender to the romance of a live serenade from your one-of-a-kind ride through the canals in The Venetian transporting you to Venice.

Stopping for a fountain show while walking down the strip is also a must. The Fountains of Bellagio is a daily show in Las Vegas in front of the Bellagio Hotel which is right on the strip. It is a combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio delivers a spectacular performance with its majestic fountains.

They play a different song at every show and they range from popular artists like Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra and The Beatles – you can always expect something different! The shows run all the time, and just check the schedule for the fountain show for running times.

After the fountain show, go inside The Bellagio to experience their indoor Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Each season, the 14,000-square-foot Botanical Garden is turned into a showcase of sights, sounds, scents and colors. 

Spring, summer, fall and winter are all featured – as the seasons change, so do the displays. The talented Conservatory team is committed to sustainability and does everything they can to replant and repurpose as much of their living plant material as possible. 

After falling head over heels with all The Bellagio has to offer, keep walking down the strip and let yourself be guided by the unique vibes all around you. You’re sure to quickly find entertainment everywhere as you walk.

Honestly, just pick a hotel and get lost in it. Vegas hotels are full of shops, slot machines, bars and restaurants all over!


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Slushee drinks at Fat Tuesday.
Every day is Fat Tuesday in Las Vegas!

Stop for Drinks at Fat Tuesday

After those tacos and a few blocks of walking, you’ve hopefully made some space for drinks! If it’s your first time in Vegas you’re probably wondering where everyone gets those long frozen drinks you see everyone carrying while walking down the strip.

Fat Tuesday is the place for any fan of tasty slushy drinks! There are many Fat Tuesday locations up and down the Vegas strip from The Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay. The first one you’ll see if you stay walking down the street from Tacos El Pastor is about a mile down right between The Mirage and The Venetian resort.

They have a nice variety of flavors of boozy slushies like 151 Colada (Malibu Rum + 151 Rum + Pina Colada), Banana Banshee (Everclear + Banana) and Lynchburg (Jack Daniels + Lemonade). There are a bunch more flavors with orange juice and other mix-ins, you can mix and match em too – every location has different flavors!

You really get your money’s worth here, in my opinion. There are five different sizes, but eight different cups to choose from, including the “Super Yard.” 

I purchased the Yard Dog, $20 the first time for the cup and the slushie but after that it was $13 for refills. You can also add an extra shot or two to your drink for a couple extra dollars. Depending on how far you’ve gotten walking and what time it is, you can finish walking to your final activity for the night (yep, there’s more!) or hop in a Lyft.


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Ride the Big Apple Roller Coaster

The Big Apple Coaster is the most iconic and fastest roller coaster on the Strip and it’s SO FUN! Adrenaline junkies and roller coaster fans, y’all are gonna love this ride

It’s most fun to ride at night when the hotel and the whole strip is lit up with colorful lights! The views at the top are amazing, and then suddenly you drop and everything is a flash of bright lights and loud screams. 

You’ll find the coaster at the New York-New York Hotel, one of the most iconic hotels on the Strip. It offers the sights, sounds, and energy of New York with incredibly real recreations of famous landmarks including the Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty.

This experience is truly immersive, y’all – when you reach the main entrance of the ride, it’s like stepping into the NY subway station. The ride cars are even themed like the iconic yellow taxi cabs all over New York, what is more NY than that?! 

Once it’s your turn, hop into your taxi cab and speed through NY in Vegas reaching up to 67 mph with sharp twists (there’s literally a sharp 180-degree twist on this ride), turns, and a 180-foot drop.

The ride is so much from the first huge drop to the very last turn! It is also a lot longer than I expected. Definitely worth my $20. (Psst: this is also one of the choices on the Las Vegas Go City pass!)

If you’re feeling tired by now, go get some rest as you’ve got all of tomorrow to explore. Or if you’re up for it, go to the casinos and test your luck or go get a drink at a bar in your hotel. You can also go back to the strip and stumble upon a new adventure. It’s Friday night and you’re in Las Vegas – have fun!


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Street view of the strip by New York Hotel and the MGM.
Street view of the strip by New York Hotel and the MGM.

Weekend in Vegas: Saturday

Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi

Mon Ami Gabi not only has the cutest name ever but also the cutest French bistro setting. It’s definitely giving the most authentic French vibes in here, y’all.

We recommend getting a table outside for max French bistro vibes to capture your most Instagrammable pics with the Paris Hotel air balloon sign in the background. 

Why didn’t I get a pic of myself like this? Cause I was too busy ordering and eating! So please take my advice and snap the perfect pic of yourself at brunch.

The patio offers amazing views of the strip and is perfectly located right across The Bellagio where you can literally watch the fountain show!

Okay now that you’re done snapping pics you can get to business and order some food and drinks. If you’re having a boozy weekend then you can start your morning with one of their three brunch cocktails – Gabi’s Bloody Mary, St. Germain Spritz or a sparkling cocktail. I also ordered coffee because I need it to function for the rest of my day.

The menu at Mon Ami Gabi is perfect because it has a relatively short selection which I usually prefer since that narrows down my options! The menu includes French classics like eggs benedict, salmon platters and french toast. 

Fuel up, say “oui” a lot, admire the view of the city from the outside seating right on the strip, and head out for more Las Vegas weekend fun.

  • Travel Tip: If you’re a fan of walking like me then you can just walk over to FlyOver (it’s a .7 mi walk, about 12-16m from Mon Ami Gabi). If not then feel free to take a Taxi or Lyft!


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Experience FlyOver Las Vegas

FlyOver Las Vegas is a high-tech flight ride attraction that recently opened on the Las Vegas Strip. You’ll be soaring over 22 of the American West’s most stunning destinations  – all without ever leaving the city. Have y’all been on Soarin’ in Disney? Well, FlyOver is like Soarin’ but BETTER!

Suspended inside a 52.5-foot spherical screen, you’ll feel every sweeping movement of the journey as you glide through some of the country’s most picturesque landmarks in the West. From soaring over Monument Valley in Arizona to flying over the twinkling lights of the strip and seeing the iconic redwoods in California from the vantage point of a helicopter, every site offers its own unique natural beauty.

I had the most fun time ever at FlyOver, y’all. Once you step inside from being outside in the hustle and bustle of the Strip, you’re instantly transported somewhere else!

After buying your tickets, you’ll head through the calming hallways that lead you to FlyOvers waiting area where you can find bathrooms, lockers, a lounging area and even a bar! (If only real airports were this nice.)

The Lost Cactus drinks at FlyOver.
The Lost Cactus bar has so many delicious cocktails – like the Sin City Cocktail with gin, Prickly Pear Margarita with tequila, Desert Sunset with orange vodka, and the Non-alcoholic Gold Rush with orange juice!

They call FlyOver the ultimate flying experience for a reason. From the entrance to the pre-shows before the ride, every moment tells a story. And the ride itself was so much fun! I am honestly such a nerd for virtual flight rides. 

The ride is about 8 wonderful minutes long and you’re transported to every destination in the most beautifully graceful way. There are sights, sounds, smells, mist, and wind for a deeply satisfying multi-sensory experience.

After your flight, you make your way to the gift shop where you can get yourself some gear from all the places you just visited. 

Now that you’ve shopped till you dropped, continue your journey at the bar, The Lost Cactus. ALL the drinks are amazing here, and part of the experience too. Their cocktail creation is so much fun, from purple gin to glitter and smoke bubbles! 

I’m not ashamed to say I tried every drink on the menu (even though it was before lunch – when in Vegas!) and they were ALL delicious. But, if I really had to choose, my favorite was the Prickly Pear Margarita. My mouth is literally watering thinking about it.


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The Senor Croque Sandwich at The Crack Shack.
The Senor Croque Sandwich at The Crack Shack. (Photo Credit)

Lunch at The Crack Shack

After all that flying and drinking, you’ll probably be hungry. I mean, I was starving – but what’s new? 

Luckily, The Crack Shack is right across the street. And let me tell you, this is really some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.

There’s a long selection of delicious chicken sandwiches. The Cali Drip is fire, it’s their take on a Mexican torta which has fries, jalapenos and a crunchy torta roll instead of their usual brioche bun. 

Like I said, I was hella hungry, so I also ordered the Fire Nugs and the Mini Biscuits. Both are so so good! The biscuits are so soft and buttery and they’re served with miso maple butter, and if you love butter as much as I do then you have to order them.


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