Las Vegas: 24-hour itinerary

Las Vegas Insider
The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. (Photo: Ray Laskowitz / lonely Planet Images)
The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
You didn't come here for the culture or to study the delicate desert ecosystem. Don't worry, we're not offended; our economy pretty much depends on that being the case so with only 24-hours to play with our toys, indulge guilt-free in the Vegas that gave Sin City its name. We won't judge.

Fuel up

Assuming it's going to be a long day and an even longer night, head directly for the immortal Vegas icon — the buffet. Just about every casino has one so pick the one that suits your budget; the buffet at the Wynn costs US$20 ($31) for lunch vs the Tropicana's buffet, US$9.99 ($15.50).

Gamble and drink

It's axiomatic. Make a day of it or just pop a quarter into a "one-armed bandit" for a chuckle. For a classier experience try the Bellagio; for the déclassé, Slots A Fun is about as déclassé as it comes.

Grab a yard-long daiquiri at the Rockhouse Bar or a classic martini at the Bellagio's Petrossian Bar (hand-stuffed olives!).

Walk it off

Either outside or in the "faux outside" of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, or the Canal Shops at the Venetian.

Get your blood pumping, then disco nap

The rides at the top of the Stratosphere should do the trick. But only take a 50-minute-or-less Nanna nap!

Dress and dine the part

Err on the side of dressy; you'll be glad you did when you see fellow travellers summarily dismissed from nice restaurants, clubs and lounges for their shabby attire.

If ever there was a time to plunk down a huge chunk of change, this is it. Make your reservations as far in advance as you can. Splurge like mad at Restaurant Guy Savoy or at the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in Vegas, Joël Robuchon (US$250 ($390) per person for an six-course tasting menu; US$385 ($600) for 16 courses, or dine at the bar, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon for only about US$125 ($195) per person).

The main event

As important as the protein on your plate. Music fans, grab a last-minute ticket to whatever is playing at The Joint, House of Blues, Wasted Space or The Pearl at The Palms. Club fans, hit the hottest hot spots in town: Tao, Tryst, Pure, LAX, Jet, The Bank, Body English ... Hipsters and cognoscenti, hit the Downtown Cocktail Room, The Griffin, Beauty Bar and Sidebar. Just bring cash, women and your enduring patience, all of which will get you in faster.

After-hour power

You can sleep on the plane. Hit Drai's Afterhours at Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon and cover your drink for safety.

Late night bites

Since omelettes taste better as the hour grows later, grab one in the tack-tastic environs of the legendary Peppermill Restaurant.

Night cap

The sun is threatening to show itself and your flight is just a few hours away. Time for one last cocktail for the road. The Peppermill's "fireside lounge" is a scene straight out of an '80s movie and all the better for it. Cab it back or walk and enjoy a desert sunrise and a view of the Strip rarely seen by anyone but the street cleaners.

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.

See for yourself! Get great deals on hotels and super-cheap flights to Las Vegas now on

Next: 72-hour itinerary

User comments
The very last place I would want to see. How could such a place exist?...oh forgot, it was set up by gangsters to steal & launder drug money. Now why is that not up in lights? Close the place down, it is embarrasing to humanity. No I'm not a religious nut, just cannot imagine a sadder place in the world.
One of the best nights out in Vegas for the unpretentious is the dueling pianos at the Times Square Bar in New York New York Casino. These guys rock the crowd like no where else in Vegas. Get there early for a table or just rock with the crowd. Great fun.
The peppermill is an interesesting place to dine at during late hours (expensive though.) Many of the local hookers go there to enjoy the fruits of their nights' 'labor' by indulging in a high grade steak before heading home for a good day's sleep. A much less expensive freakshow to experience can be found in the Denny's near the foot of the stratosphere (kitty corner to a somewhat ghetto carl's jr.) I don't recommend walking from the strip. Avoid a wrong turn and a stroll through the nearby residential neighborhoods by cabbing. Donna street (near the stratosphere,) is crip territory. A few years back a couple of brit tourists made the mistake of a late night strol there and where gunned down by a 13 yr old who in his own words "had nothing better to do." stay aware of you surroundings and you should be fine. Once inside the Denny's you and your party will enjoy an endless parade of Colorfull latenight characters and conversation with a staff who has seen it all.