I’ve been to Las Vegas more than most Californians have in their twenties. And I have absolutely no shame. So if you need of a couple of activities to do when visiting the “City of Sin,” this guide has more than enough things to try. Whether it’s your first time in Vegas or your tenth, this is what you should with with 48 hours in Las Vegas!
I don’t exactly know why I love Las Vegas so much. My husband makes fun of my relaxed attitude by calling me a “free spirit.” So much in fact, that he calls me Dharma from Dharma & Greg. Perhaps it’s the laissez-faire vibe of Vegas that makes me love it so much. But whatever the reason, I ain’t fightin’ it!
Your liver might hate you if you’re in LV longer than 48 hours. But if you do stay longer, check out the other options listed throughout this post. And if you want to hack your way through Vegas with these insider tips, make sure to read this post!
9:00 am Breakfast at Bacchanal Buffet
Have you ever wanted red velvet pancakes, fried chicken and waffles and crab legs all on one plate? Now you can at Bacchanal Buffet. Las Vegas prides itself on its buffet scene, but no buffet is better than Bacchanal. Located inside Caesar’s Palace, this buffet has it all (and it’ll cost you). If you want to load up before a day of drinking and debauchery, this is the place to do it!
Other options: Wicked Spoon, Cravings Buffet, The Buffet at ARIA
11:00 am Party at the Encore Beach Club
After breakfast, and maybe some gambling along the way, it’s time to hit up Vegas’ legendary pool party scene. There are plenty of options here, but a classic spot is the Encore Beach Club. Held at the luxurious Encore Hotel on the north side of the strip, this place is always packed! Make sure you head there on the earlier side to avoid the line and stake your claim if you don’t have a daybed. And remember, dress to impress!
Other options: Marquee Day Club, BARE, Wet Republic, Rehab Beach Club
3:30 pm Late Lunch at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar
Okay so this one is a tad touristy, but hear me out! After a day of drinking, you’re not only gonna want to stop somewhere close by, but absorb a bit of that champagne you’ve been drinking all day in the sun. Guy Fieri’s menu is a tad over-the-top, but his s’mores monte cristo will make you thank me later. After you stuff your face, head to your room for a refreshing nap and wardrobe change for the evening.
Other options: Earl of Sandwich, Hexx Kitchen + Bar, Grand Lux Cafe
6:30 pm Cocktails at the Chandelier Bar
One of the fanciest and coolest places you can pregame in Las Vegas is inside a chandelier at The Cosmopolitan! While the prices are steep, nothing will make you feel more luxurious than sipping a cocktails in one of 3 floors of the biggest chandelier made of thousands of crystals. Their cocktail menu is always changing, but expect fresh and offbeat ingredients to make classic drinks you already know and love.
Other options: The Dorsey, Oak and Ivy
8:00 pm Dinner at Sinatra
Back to the Encore you go, only this time you’re in for a bit more refinement. Sinatra is my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas! Perhaps its the large, friendly portrait of Frank himself or maybe the Wynn cocktail with a hibiscus flower is what makes it so special. Either way, you’ll fall in love with the mid-century vibe, delicious Italian food and incredible service.
Other options: Sugarcane, Zuma, é by José Andrés
11:00 pm Party it Up At Omnia
If you’re into partying at one of Vegas’ newer clubs, then you have to hit up Omnia! I’m not a fan of it’s incredibly packed tables and claustrophobic dance floors, but it does have one of the best views of the strip! Regular headliners include Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan. As usual, women pay $20 less for entry and expect to pay a pretty penny for those tables!
Other options: XS, Marquee, Hakkasan, Surrender, Ghost bar, Drai’s
3:00 am People Watch and Binge at the Peppermill
Every Vegas trip has a weird and creepy story, right? You’ll definitely find that at the Peppermill at 3 am. From drunkards to locals to new friends, you’ll see it all here. You can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into Old World Vegas with the mirrors and strange decor. But it’s here that you’ll get your bloody mary fix (to cure your eventual hangover of course) as well as people watch. If you’re into something a little more crazy, there’s always the Olympic Garden!
11:00 am Absorb the Alcohol with the Best Donuts in the Country
If you’re not sleeping in while you’re in Las Vegas, you’re doing it wrong. Take this morning to chill out and get some much needed sleep. But you’re also going to want to absorb all of that alcohol from the night before. This is where The Donut Bar comes in. It’s a little far off the strip, but so worth it for donuts voted the best in the country! Try a Big Poppa Tart (with an actual poptart inside) or their creme brulee donut. Nd don’t forget the milk on draft!
Other options: Mon Ami Gabi French Restaurant, Eggslut, Hash House A Go Go
12:30 pm Wander the Strip
Take this time to explore what Las Vegas has to offer. There’s nothing like taking your crew down the strip, buying cheesy margarita slushies, dancing (drunkenly) with buskers, and gambling at casinos along the way. If you’re feeling in a touristy mood, this is definitely the place to go! If you’re looking for more of an authentic vibe, check out the other options listed below!
3:00 pm Enjoy the S&S (a.k.a. Spa and Shopping)
Las Vegas has some of the best shopping in the US! For us Californians, the sales tax is down by about 1% (which helps a lot if you’re shopping for major designers). Hopefully, you’ve won some money from blackjack and can reward yourself with a new bag or shoes. Wander the The Shops at Crystals or the Caesar Forum Shops for some of the newest products in art, fashion and design! After that, treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon at one of the biggest spas in the world, The Canyon Ranch SpaClub Las Vegas at The Venetian.
Other options: Las Vegas Premium Outlets, Miracle Mile Shops, The Spa at Encore, Spa & Salon at ARIA
6:00 pm Eat a Healthy Dinner at EATT Gourmet Bistro
Some if not most of the best dining is found off the strip and EATT is no exception. Take a break from the crowds and feed yourself some nourishing, healthy French food. This family owned restaurant brings healthy, organic and even Vegan options It’s like treating yourself to a gourmet meal for the price of In-N-Out! Personally, I recommend that ratatouille and the goat cheese tartine!
Other options: SkinnyFATS, Greens and Proteins
8:00 pm See a Show
This decision I leave to you as there are many styles and preferences when it comes to seeing show. Personally when it comes to Cirque de Soleil, I feel like if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. I’ve been dying to see Absinthe (which I hear is crazy raunchy) and there’s always a cool magic show playing in Vegas. But there’s also music concerts, comedy shows and strip teases!
Don’t let the strip fool you. It seems easy to walk from one end to the other, but it usually takes about an hour or more. Unless you have time to kill or it’s not super hot out, take a car.
Public transportation varies in Las Vegas. There’s definitely a bus (though I wouldn’t recommend it) and many hotels offer shuttles free of charge! You’re most likely going to be taking a taxi or a Lyft/Uber. Just make sure the taxi driver doesn’t rip you off by taking the long way.
Las Vegas’ hotel scene can be incredibly expensive. Of course lodging off the strip is going to be your cheapest option. But if you want to stay on the strip for cheaper, utilize the Hotel Tonight app or Airbnb. I’ve used both of those platforms and have saved as much as 75% compared to what hotel sites were asking for.