Las Vegas: 72-hour itinerary

Las Vegas Insider
The Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. (Photo: James Lyon / lonely Planet Images)
The Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
Got three days to make it count? Take the 24-hour itinerary and spread it out, injecting items from this list along the way.

Get down to business

Located within Donald Trump's pretty new tower, an exact replica of the infamous Trump Boardroom — from his show The Apprentice — could probably spice up even the most mundane of quarterly managers' meetings.

Hit the beach

From about March through October, Vegas' adults-only and "European-style" pools (read: topless) reign supreme. Among my favourites is the demi-sized, rooftop puddle, Tao Beach. With a because-we-said-so kind of door and a strict no-jerk policy, Tao Beach keeps it classy. As would be expected, most pools offer bottle or pitcher service, VIP cabanas often with video games, fans or misters, and other luxury services like "tanning butlers" and "mood directors".

Press the flesh

Ladies, give the pole a twirl at Stripper 101; gents, check out a vintage burlesque show like the ones at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce.

Think globally, eat locally

At the centre of town, Firefly serves up Mediterranean tapas and the best sangria in Vegas late into the night. Amid the notorious sex and swingers clubs of East Sahara's Commerce Centre is Lotus of Siam Thai, a heavily guarded locals favourite with three menus (one offered, two by request only). Close to Chinatown and buried in a strip mall sits the unassuming Raku (phone +1 702 367 3511), the latest buzz-worthy Japanese eatery. On the west side, close to Summerlin, locals flock to Vintner Grill, which is hidden in a banking complex.

Also to the west are, Nora's Cuisine, Nora's Wine Bar, Rosemary's Restaurant, The Grape Street Café and Pin Kao Thai. South Strip-siders hit the Town Square Mall for its assortment of new, trendy-but-accessible options. And the East-siders may be mourning the loss of Viaggio but in its place, the Hilltop Café and the Downstairs Bar host exciting wine- and beer-tasting dinners.

Get out!

Adrenaline is actually on tap in the state of Nevada; only weather, price and distance can be deterrents. Red Rock Canyon provides ample hiking, rock climbing, and horseriding opportunities. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and driving enthusiasts regularly while away weekends here. To the north, Kyle Canyon hosts the closest snow sports locale (albeit a bit mom 'n' pop) at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort; a far more comprehensive, satisfying twin-mountain resort is found three hours away in Brian Head, Utah.

Just 30-45 minutes northwest of the city, Mt Charleston offers alpine hiking and mountain biking in stark contrast to Red Rock's sandstone playground. If comfort trumps all, Pink Jeep Tours offers guided tours to Red Rock and Mt Charleston, as well as to the Hoover Dam, Eldorado Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park, with hotel pick-up and drop-off. Maverick's Helicopter

Meet market

Assuming Vegas has only one industry (the money-making kind) locals synonymously refer to themselfves as industry members and gather in droves at locals/industry events. The natives, while restless, can also sometimes be exclusionary, especially at bars and lounges, where they might not be particularly keen to meet someone from overseas. Don't take it personally.

But if things work out, get hitched

Las Vegas is still the wedding capital of the world, but if you're coming to get married, bear in mind that the old 24/7 nuptual atmosphere is no more. Begin by applying for a marriage license at the County Clerk's Office. Both parties must have valid ID, such as a driver's license or passport. The cost is US$55 ($85) per couple. The Las Vegas Wedding Bureau is open from 9am to midnight, seven days a week, including holidays. No blood test or waiting period is required.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

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User comments
Your article missed out mentioning a very important trade in Las Vegas. Legalised prostitution. Otherwise, yes Las Vegas is all you crack it up to be. A gambler's paradise, ultra bright lights and instant marriages. Not my kind of town.