Summer is rapidly approaching (we’re hopeful, okay) and with that comes the FOMO we can sometimes experience while scrolling through social media and seeing the highlight reels of other people’s summer experiences. If you haven’t planned a trip yet for this summer, keep this in mind — there’s always Vegas!
If you can find even just three days to spare in your summer schedule, you can make a trip to Las Vegas work. Here are ten suggestions that you can use to kickstart your perfect Vegas itinerary.
1. Find the secret pizza parlor at The Cosmopolitan
In addition to hosting some of the best new restaurants on the Strip, The Cosmopolitan has an unnamed standing-room-only pizza parlor down a random corridor in the hotel. While you might have to ask a few people where to find it, the payoff is insanely delicious pizza and the adventure it took to find it. There are some old school arcade games to keep you entertained while you wait for your fresh slices.
2. See Absinthe at Caesars Palace
Largely credited for bringing about the Las Vegas burlesque revival, Absinthe has been running on the forecourt of Caesar’s Palace under a legitimate circus tent since 2011. It’s a small theatre-in-the-round making for an intimate, sexy, gravity-defying, hilarious, and unique show that is worth every single penny. If you have budgeted enough to see only one show, be sure it’s Absinthe.
3. Actually learn how to gamble
A lot of the major casinos on the Strip offer intro lessons which promise to turn beginners into betters in a single class. Whether you want to learn how to throw dice or you don’t *really* know the difference between Blackjack and Poker, you can reference this list for class info. You might not be a pro after one session, but you’ll learn enough to be confident for a couple bets.
4. Snag some Insta-worthy shots at Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Between the massive succulent and Mojave cacti collection, the botanical gardens, and the butterfly habitat, there are plenty of places to pose in this oft-unknown oasis in the Las Vegas desert. If you need a break from the overload of artificial atmosphere of the casinos, take a breather and a few selfies here.
5. Experience Indo-Mexican fusion at Desi Burrito
Only a stone’s throw from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, have your Uber swing through the drive-thru at Desi Burrito for the perfect pre-partying quick meal. You can BYO burritos, tacos, and bowls with a selection of Indian spiced meats, veggies, and sauces to pair with sides such as masala fries and loaded samosas. A solid foundation on which to build your night.
6. Have an indulgent day at Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace
Atone for your many Las Vegas sins by rejuvenating mind, body, and spirit at the highly awarded Qua Baths & Spa. You can access 50,000 square feet worth of Roman style baths, tea lounges, dry saunas, and what they call the Arctic Ice Room that features actual snow flurries. Set aside a good chunk of time — this is a Vegas experience you won’t want to rush through.
7. Savor some Old Vegas aesthetics at Hugo’s Cellar
There are more than enough flashy and chic new restaurants along the Strip, but for a real Vegas experience you want tufted red leather booths, table-side salad preparations, giant steaks, gin martinis, and lighting so dim you can barely see the people sitting at your own table. Hugo’s Cellar is in Downtown Las Vegas, which is a completely different universe from the Strip, so plan on making a night of it.
8. Have a pitcher of liquor-filled frozen lemonade at Wet Republic Ultra Pool
MGM Grand is home to Wet Republic, one of the rowdier weekly pool parties in Vegas, a true rite of passage for any first-timer or repeat visitor of Sin City. Honestly, you can choose any of the pool parties in Vegas, and for a guaranteed boozy good time, MGM Grand usually books some pretty big names (think Calvin Harris, Zedd, etc.) to host their blowouts. Even if this isn’t your usual type of scene, Vegas is all about being someone else for a little while!
9. Eat a hot dog topped with fried pickles at Beer Park
Paris Las Vegas is home to Beer Park, a massive rooftop bar overlooking the Strip equipped with plenty of misters to keep you cool, 36 craft beers to keep you hydrated (sort of), and bar games like beer pong and giant Jenga to complete your day drinking experience. Bonus tip: Beer Park offers a perfect view of the famous Bellagio Fountains, so make a point to be there at sunset for an especially beautiful show.
10. Buy a tacky souvenir at Bonanza
Lose yourself in the baubles and trinkets house in the self-proclaimed World’s Largest Gift Store, because it wouldn’t be right to leave Vegas without a fridge magnet to remind you daily of your bad decisions and even worse hangovers. If souvenirs aren’t really your speed, there is a massive collection of authentic Southwestern turquoise and silver jewelry like skinny cuffs and rings for every finger to peruse as well.