1-day Itinerary in Las Vegas
Explore the best things to do in Las Vegas in 1 day based on recommendations from local experts.
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Once you pass the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign along Las Vegas Boulevard South, it won't be too long until you're cruising the Strip. Sin City's notorious artery acts as the epicenter of any Vegas getaway. Here you'll find Las Vegas' most iconic landmarks, including the Bellagio Fountains, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, Las Vegas, the pyramid and sphinx belonging to The Luxor and The Venetian's Grand Canal.
The "Strip" technically runs from Mandalay Bay on the south end (home to an aquarium and a man-made beach) to the Stratosphere casino on the north end, where you'll find the tallest free-standing observation tower in the country (this is where you'll go for the perfect Vegas photo).5-25 minute walk; 5-10 minutes by car
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This Strip staple offers plenty of ways to lay your money on the line, from table games and slot machines to a race and sports book. This is also the choice casino among many high-rollers due to its high-stakes tables. What's more, this casino hosts the World Poker Tour, among other tournaments.
But there's more to the Bellagio than the casino floor. Even those who don't gamble praise the Bellagio for its upscale atmosphere and variety of amenities and attractions.5-10 minute walk
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A staple of the Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace has been welcoming visitors to Sin City since the 1960s. Since then, it has made an appearance in such popular films as "Rain Man," "Showgirls," "Iron Man" and "The Hangover." Those who choose to gamble at Caesars will find themselves in ancient Rome, with massive columns and frescoes paying tribute to the casino's namesake. Those who prefer to use their money in other ways can make their way to The Forum Shops - home to about 160 specialty stores, the newly revamped Fall of Atlantis animatronic show and a 50,000-gallon aquarium.
You'll also find one of Sin City's most famous nightclubs. Formerly PURE, Omnia nightclub underwent extensive renovations before debuting in 2015. The club houses multiple dance floors and lounges with frequent celebrity hosts and popular DJs throughout the year. Plus, the venue's rooftop offers unparalleled views of the Strip. Recent travelers noted that it's one of the most upscale clubs on the Strip, so expect to pay steep cover and drink prices.15 minute walk; 5 minutes by car
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Why spend the money to cross the Atlantic when you can get a decent taste of Italy right in Vegas? Nestled along the Strip, The Venetian replicates the highlights of Venice, complete with gondola rides along the Grand Canal. Visitors can get a taste of what life is like in the Queen of the Adriatic thanks to The Venetian's Streetmosphere program: singers, stilt walkers and "living statues" recreate the typical scene you'd likely encounter in the real Venice for those who opt to spend the day perusing the wares in the Grand Canal Shoppes.
For $29 per person, you can take a gondola ride along the Grand Canal anytime between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; on Friday and Saturday, gondola rides are offered until midnight. Some recent visitors said they found the rides to be overpriced, but said the atmosphere was romantic.10-15 minutes by car
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Back in the day, not even Vegas' neon lights could distract Americans from Sin City's darker side; today, The Mob Museum sheds light on the city's pervasiveness in the 20th century gangster era. Las Vegas' former federal courthouse – located in the downtown area a few blocks northeast of the Fremont Street Experience – now houses distinct interactive exhibits devoted to exposing America's mob history.
Visitors to the museum will learn about such notorious gangsters as Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel and John Gotti and the dedicated G-men and FBI agents, like J. Edgar Hoover, Eliot Ness and Harry Anslinger, who worked to quell crime across the country. The Mob Museum walks travelers through a detailed history of mob activity in the U.S. and around the world, from the rise of organized crime families to the intricate gambling scams still perpetrated today. Recent visitors said they found the staff to be extremely knowledgeable and the exhibits to be in-depth and well curated.5 minute walk
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Fremont Street used to be dominated by classic but less-frequented casinos that seemed past their prime. But now, this section of downtown Las Vegas is once again ready to compete with the Strip for visitors' attention.
Occupying several blocks of Fremont Street near the Mob Museum, the Fremont Street Experience includes the immense Viva Vision light show with 12.5 million LED lamps and a 550,000-watt sound system. The area also has several other distractions, such as food stands, souvenir shops and the SlotZilla zip line that sits 10 stories above the pedestrian walkway.10-20 minutes by car
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Las Vegas knows how to go big – especially when it comes to entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that a performance company like Cirque du Soleil thrives here. Translating to "Circus of the Sun," Cirque du Soleil is known for its incredible acrobatic feats, which are performed with an unrivaled level of artistry.
Cirque du Soleil's performances are inspired by a variety of natural and cultural elements. For example, the "LOVE" show (performed at The Mirage) pays tribute to the legendary rock band, the Beatles; meanwhile "O" (which can be seen at the Bellagio) has water playing a crucial role in the performance. Other Cirque du Soleil performances around town include "Michael Jackson ONE" at Mandalay Bay, "Mystère" at Treasure Island, "Zumanity" at New York-New York, "Criss Angel MINDFREAK LIVE!" at the Luxor and "KÀ" at the MGM Grand.
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Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019
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