Viva Las Vegas! Sin City is, of course, known for its vices. Bars, casinos, over-the-top shows, indulgent meals, and opulent accommodations are all typical of a trip to Vegas. But, there's so much more to explore than just what's on the Strip. Even though there's a lot to take in, two days might be the perfect amount of time to see it all. Either way, come prepared with plenty of cash and be ready for anything (and I mean anything).
The very first thing you'll want to do when you arrive in Vegas is cruise or walk down the Strip to take it all in. Take some time to adjust to the nonstop party of Vegas, do some people-watching, and check out a few casinos if you're curious. Plus, it's nice to be able to walk around with a drink while you explore. Vegas is one of only a few places in America where you can walk down the street with a cocktail.
In a place as flashy as Sin City, if you're going to make your restaurant stand out, you either need to top the glitz and glam of every other spot, or make some seriously good food. Lotus of Siam falls into the second camp, with their amazing Thai food. The garlic prawns and crispy duck with panang are legendary, but they also make a mean drunken noodle, this is Vegas, after all! Plus, it's not too expensive, so you can save some money for the slots later on.
If you can manage to stay sober after exploring the Strip, then you'll want to check out the Dig This Heavy Equipment Playground, a one-of-a-kind Las Vegas adult sandbox. Visitors are trained on heavy machinery, like bulldozers and excavators, and then turned loose to complete a series of tasks, or just dig around. It's not cheap, but seriously, haven't you always wanted to play around on a digger?
If you want the real Vegas experience, then splurge for a meal at a truly opulent steakhouse. Run by iconic chef-to-the-stars Wolfgang Puck, CUT is fine dining at its finest. Everything here, even the creamed spinach and pre-entree bread selection, is mind-blowingly delicious. And expect top-notch service, as well. You deserve it, high-roller!
It's time to test your luck! The Mirage is one of the better places to try your hand at roulette, with one of the only single-zero games on the casino's main floor, which means bigger winnings. Enjoy the drinks and poke around the place; make sure to check out their iconic attraction, a giant erupting volcano.
So, you didn't strike it rich at The Mirage. No worries, maybe you'll have a better time at The Venetian. It offers pretty much any game you could want to play, from classics like blackjack and poker, to more obscure ones like Caribbean Stud.
More gambling, more clubs, more restaurants! Stop at Caesars Palace if only because it's one of Vegas's most iconic casinos. Just don't ask if Caesar actually lived here, because if you've seen The Hangover, you probably already know the answer. The Shops at Caesars Palace are also world-renowned, there's pretty much an entire mall inside this massive resort.
The Bellagio is all class, so even if you lose big, you'll still feel swanky as you do it. And end your day by watching their dancing fountains, which are even more impressive all lit up at night.
And at the end of the night, you'll want to crash somewhere comfy and thoroughly Las Vegas-y. The Flamingo has been around since 1946, and its brightly-hued Miami theme is retro kitsch at its finest. Plus, it was opened by notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel. Hunter S. Thompson once stayed here, and "Viva Las Vegas" and the original "Ocean's 11" were filmed here. How much more Vegas can you get?
After last night, you'll need a hearty breakfast to get you feeling human again. Whether you want something light, like a salmon and pesto scramble, or you're going all in for the massive sage fried chicken and waffle tower, Hash House A Go Go is the place to come to recover from a rough night. If your method is more "hair of the dog", they make awesome Bloody Marys, and they also offer something called the "O'Hare of the Dog", which is just a 24 oz. Budweiser in a bag and a side of bacon.
People often forget that there's more to Vegas than just the Strip. So, do yourself a favor and head a little off the beaten path to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum. This museum isn't huge, but it's a well-curated tribute to the art of the tease, featuring vintage costumes and pictures.
Make The Mob Museum the next stop on your tour of Vegas beyond the casinos. Artifacts, videos, interactive displays and more help to explain the history of organized crime in America, and how Vegas came to play a huge role in the mob's history. At three floors, you should leave plenty of time to browse everything they have to offer. Oh, and since this is Las Vegas, they serve beer, which you can drink while you explore the exhibits.
The gallery of the Neon Museum has about 60 retired, iconic Vegas neon signs in it, but if you can, book a tour to walk through the Neon Boneyard. It's two acres large with 150 more retired signs from Vegas hotspots that have either closed or replaced their old neon for something even more eye-catching. Try and go in the evening if you can to see everything all lit up.
If all of that Vegas decadence is getting to be a little overwhelming, hit up Carson Kitchen for dinner. The menu is simple, the atmosphere is sleek, and everything is delicious. If you only get one thing here, though, make it the crispy chicken skin appetizer.
It's not as famous as the Las Vegas Strip, but Fremont Street is just as poppin'. There are also lots of hotels and casinos in this part of town, plus, you can pose for a picture with a million dollars in cash at Binion's, play vintage slot machines at The D, take a shot with a scorpion in it at Nacho Daddy, or zipline off the world's largest slot machine and over the street at SlotZilla.
And on your way back to the Flamingo (or wherever you're staying) stop by for a nightcap at the amazingly kitschy, totally retro-tastic Frankies Tiki Room. Here, you'll find plenty of locals, as well as a huge menu of fruity, tropical drinks that are all as tasty as they are strong. Plus, it's open 24 hours, so you don't have to worry about getting there before last call.
The best time of year for a 48-hour adventure in Vegas: It shouldn't be too hard to find deals for your trip to Vegas, no matter the season, so just consider that summers in the desert can get incredibly hot...and that nighttime in the desert can be a little chillier than you might expect. Also keep your eyes peeled for big events happening in Vegas, and avoid those times if you want to find better prices.