As someone who lives in Vegas, I would say I got to know it well in the last 4 years. On my first few days as a tourist here I walked the strip and saw so many things at once. Since then I think it’s the perfect way to experience the city. During the years living here, I discovered more and more unique things that I love and think everybody should experience.
This is my list of things to do on the strip if you have a very short time. I divided it to must-see and between. If you decide to walk the strip in the order I recommend, then between the musts you’ll get to see a few more things. I give details on all of them so you can make your own decisions on the musts.
At the end of the list I will give more tips that will help you change its order to fit your own needs.
Must: Breakfast in Paris
“Mon Ami Gabi” is a great place to have breakfast especially because they have the most amazing view of the Bellagio fountains! Yes, the food is great. Prices are a little high but for a short trip in Vegas they are worth it in my opinion.
The experience of sitting in such a gorgeous location will be printed in your brain forever.
- I recommend making a reservation and asking a better seat upon arriving. You don’t have to sit outside to see the fountains, they also have an area near the window that overlooks it.
You can try other places to eat but I recommend startingyour day at this area, in the middle of the strip.
between: Walk the strip north
In order to get to the right bars and shows at night, this course is the best to take. So once you finish breakfast, don’t be tempted to cross the road and watch the fountains because they are so much better at the dark.
once you’re back on the strip, outside the Paris hotel, facing the Bellagio, Turn right and start marching to the flamingo hotel.
between: Get a fat Tuesday
Right before the flamingo hotel you have a fat Tuesday stand. You can take a virgin drink or an alcoholic one. But the crazy bottles are the real fun!
between: Watch flamingo’s
If you go inside the Flamingo hotel, I recommend going to watch the cute pink flamingos. It’s nothing amazing but a nice activity.
between: Do the Linq Promenade
This avenue is relatively new, and it’s beautiful. It connects the flamingo hotel with the Linq hotel. You have cute stores, restaurants and displays. If you just want a snack, they have a colorful ice-cream shop. Or you can share Gordon Ramsay fish&Chips on the go.
Must: Venetian canals
The Venetian is a definite must when in Vegas. It’s an absolutely gorgeous hotel with its inside skies, lavish architecture, ceiling paintings, and of course – the gondolas. The area outside is enough if you’re in a rush but I recommend walking inside and seeing all the wonders.
More options inside:
- Shop for souvenirs. The Venetian has plenty of stores to browse for gifts.
- Take on the gondolas. I personally don’t see the appeal, you stand in a very long line, which who knows how much time will take. Then, you “sail” between the stores while people are staring at you… I may be missing something because other people seem to love it, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s a must!
The Venetian has plenty of food to offer you. The shops have a food court if you’re looking for something quick. Another option is the Grand Lux which have endless options. Lately I tried Chica and loved it. They have a great lunch menu.
between: Pass to the Palazzo
Since you’re marching your way to the next “must” on my list, you might as well pass through the Palazzo, which is connected to the Venetian. The Palazzo has different seasonal displays that are worth checking out as well.
- Lobby Display
Changes seasonally, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer size of it.
- Fountain display
When crossing the casino from the lobby, you’ll see a small pool area. This area always have different displays that are simply breath taking and Instagram worthy.
Must: Wynn Hotel
The Wynn is always a must. I am still hypnotized by its displays after almost 4 years of living in Vegas.
- Fountains & Waterfalls
Walking towards the Wynn from the Palazzo, you’ll walk by a colorful lighten fountain featuring old songs like Sinatra’s. The waterfall is also breath taking and a popular location for a picture.
- Horse Carousel
I’ll bet you wouldn’t be able to take your eyes off of this one.
- Air Balloon
Another flowers creation that is just mesmerizing.
- Seasonal display
If you’re lucky enough to be in town while some holiday is going on, the hotel creates a display especially for the occasion. And as expected from the lavish hotel, they never fall short.
- Stop for coffee at “Lakeside”
Another Luxurious spot with plenty of colorful art.
between: Cross the strip
Time to start the other side where all the night action starts. In front of the Wynn is the fashion show hotel. I wouldn’t waste my time there… It’s nothing special. If you have more shopping to do, wait until the Forum shops at Caesar’s. It’s a much more exiting location.
between: Take a picture with Treasure Island
The cool hotel front is defiantly worth a picture, but spare your time and don’t walk inside the hotel. You won’t find much.
Must: Volcano fire show at Mirage
Entertaining and free, what can be better? This show is very exciting and very, very, HOT.
between: Go inside Mirage
If you can spare the time, the hotel design will give a much needed tropical vibe to your day of traveling the desert.
Must: Walk to Caesars Palace
Caesar’s Palace has the biggest land out of all the hotels on the strip, and it uses it masterfully. From the greek-like fountains to the huge statues, there’s plenty to see and take pictures with.
between: Go inside to the forum shops
Caesar’s Palace has a wonderful shopping experience without having to spend a penny 😉 The eye-catching decor of greek sidewalks, indoor skies and huge statues and fountains will make you want to stay there all day.
The forum shops have a big variety of stores, from the coolest H&M branch you’ve even seen to Louis Vuitton’s spectacular windows. Window shopping was never more entertaining.
Must: Bellagio fountains at night
The grand jewel of the Las Vegas Strip! If you missed it since breakfast, which I’m sure you did, now is the time to basque in all its glory. Arrive a few minutes before the show starts in order to get a good spot. You can catch the show every half an hour (7:00, 7:30, 8:00 etc) and after 8 PM every 15 minutes. Click for the schedule.
between: Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Some of Bellagio’s displays are even more worth the time then the fountains. If you don’t have too much time skip it. But if you love feeling that you’re in a small piece of heaven – check it out. The display is seasonal.
Click here to see all of the displays from the prior year.
Must: Cosmopolitan chandelier
World’s largest chandelier is more stunning than you think. Watching a three-story crystal chandelier in real life is baffling. The sparkle is out of this world, and yes, another amazing location for pictures!
Must: Dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s burger
When walking out to the strip from the second floor of the cosmopolitan, you have a bridge on your left leading to the Planet Hollywood hotel and the one in front will lead you to the Aria hotel.
I highly recommend getting a Gordon Ramsay burger at Planet Hollywood. You’ll get the experience of trying out an amazing chef restaurant while not paying too much for it.
The main problem with this option is the wait time is often 30-40 minutes to get seated. On a short schedule this is not ideal. They won’t take reservations, but you can call to ask what is their time estimation.
If you decide not to eat there, I would skip the Planet Hollywood hotel completely and continue walking straight to the Aria.
between: Walk through the crystal shops.
If only for the beautiful design of the building and unique stores windows. The Crystal mall is connected to the Aria and has only high-end brands.
between: Walk to the NY NY hotel.
Personally, I don’t think this is a must at all. Yes, it has a cute mini version of the Brooklyn bridge, the liberty statue and some iconic buildings. But… It’s a mini version! It did not give me New York vibes at all… If you’re big fans of the big city then maybe you’ll enjoy it better than I did. But if not, there are better things to see.
The Luxor is a cool looking black pyramid, and since I organized this trip to be that way, you’ll arrive there at dark and see its awesome beam of light. Walk inside to see the cool architecture and some “Egyptian” decor.
Must: drinks at the foundation room at Mandalay Bay
A grand ending to a grand day. The foundation room is a bar on the 63d floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Even if you’ll go up just for the pictures, it’s totally worth the trip. It’s a beautiful view and will give you the perfect Las Vegas experience.
- Time: If you want to divide these activities to different days I recommend thinking about the specific areas of the strip. They way I planned it, you’ll have a verity of activities in the same area so you won’t have to go from one side of the strip to another. It will cost you valuable time in taxi lines and strip traffic, and a waste money as well.
- Transportation: Las Vegas strip has a tram\monorail that goes through all the MGM group owned hotels. Click here for the stations and schedule information.
- Food: If you don’t want to keep with my recommendations of food (after all, there are so, so many wonderful restaurants in Vegas) then plan where you’ll eat in advance! The possibilities are endless so being confused may cost some valuable time. Planing in advance what you’ll eat or at least what your possibilities are will create a big difference in your schedule. Obviously if you’re not a picky eater like me and eating anything is easy for you then forgot about it 😉
- Pack: If you do decide to do the strip in one day, dress accordingly! It’s hard to walk this much in one day, especially if you’re not used to it. wear comfy shoes. It’s not easy to be dressed for an entire day so you can carry a few things with you. Consider the fact that you’ll walk all day with your belongings so don’t take too much.
- Gambeling: I did not include gambeling on the schedule because you can gamble in each of these hotels at any time.
Remember: The shorter the time, the better you need to plan it! planing saves all the time in the world to actually enjoy the moment instead of trying to figure out what’s next. Take screen shots, bookmark your favorite places on yelp and keep your list on your phone.
There is so much more to do in Vegas that is not on the famous strip. Since this is for a trip for first timer’s with a short time, I included only the strip.
I would love to hear what are you most exited about in your trip to Vegas? Is it the sight seeing, gambeling or like me, all the food? 😉