Las Vegas in 24 Hours

Photo by Rian Castillo

Make every second count in Las Vegas

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We think that spending only 24 hours in Vegas is cruel and unusual punishment. It’s not enough! You’ll need at least 48 hours to really get your groove on. But if your time is regrettably limited, you can still have some serious fun. Here’s a bare-bones plan for making the most of your first (but hopefully not your last) day and night in Sin City.

Friday in Las Vegas

3 p.m. Wheels down at McCarran International Airport (LAS)Tip the skycap at baggage claim $20 to skip to the front of the taxi line, or pre-arrange a pick-up with a limousine service or Lyft.

4 p.m. Pick up your room keys at the front desk of your hotel. Note: 4PM is usually the earliest time you can check into your casino hotel room. If you’re arriving much earlier, drop your bags off at the bell desk in the hotel lobby, then come back later to check in.

4:30 p.m. Stash your bags in your hotel room or suite. Change into your swimsuit and pad outside to the pool, or head to the nearest bar for happy hour instead.

6 p.m. Time for a killer dinner. You made a reservation already on OpenTable, right? If not, download the free app and check out what’s still available, or tip your concierge to get you a last-minute table at a hot restaurant.

7:30 p.m. Showtime! If you’ve already bought tickets in advance, now’s the time to make your way to the theater and find your seats, maybe for a little comedy or magic, a Cirque du Soleil show, or a celebrity headliner concert.

9 p.m. We’re betting that you’re itching to gamble by now. After all, you’ve been in Vegas for six hours already, and you’ve probably dropped a few bucks in the slot machines just on the way to dinner. Roll the dice in craps, sit down for blackjack, or ante up in a poker room.

11 p.m. Nightclubs are just starting to fill up, so get yourself into the VIP line and wait to be ushered to your table for private bottle service. If the red carpet ain’t for you, catch a bus or a taxi downtown to the Fremont Street Experience, then go bar hopping with locals in the Fremont East Entertainment District.

Saturday in Las Vegas

3 a.m. Whether you’ve been clubbing on the Strip or getting low-roller kicks downtown, you’re gonna be hungry for a night-owl special now. The classic choice, especially if you’re a fan of vintage Vegas, is the Peppermill coffee shop on the Strip. But we’re also partial to a post-midnight run out to Chinatown, west of the Strip.

4:30 a.m. Stumble back to your hotel room for a cat-nap.

10:30 a.m. A quick shower and you’re ready for brunch at one of Vegas’ biggest, most mountainous buffets. A Bloody Mary may be exactly what the hangover doctor ordered.

Noon If you’ve never been to Vegas before, amble up or down the Strip, stopping to gawk at kitschy landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Bellagio Fountains, and the Venetian Gondolas, then ride the High Roller observation wheel. If you’re not into sightseeing, chill at a pool club or a spa, go shopping, or do some more gambling.

3 p.m. Time’s up! 24 hours goes by so fast. You’ll need to stay one more day. At least.

Got your own ideas about what makes the perfect day in Vegas? Let us know by leaving a tip or hint below.

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