In July of 2021, my friend and I went on a 4 day vacation to Las Vegas with a little day trip to the Grand Canyon. It was such a lovely time despite the fact that she was technically working from home during the trip. However, we managed to create an amazing four day itinerary which included shows, activities, lots of walking about, and tours.
When you're talking about Las Vegas, know that there's no shortage of things to see and do. There's something for everyone. From family approved shows and activities to the bustling nightlife and shopping, you won't be bored.
Did I mention the beautiful mountain ranges beyond the city or the numerous outdoor activities outside of Vegas? Las Vegas won't disappoint you, no matter what your interests are. Here's what our 4 day trip to Las Vegas consisted of!
Our first full day in Las Vegas consisted of us spending time at our resort. My friend was "working from home", so from 5am to 2pm she had to work (because of the 3 hour time difference, she was working from 8am to 5pm). On the other hand, I did my workout, worked on my blog for a while, and got some breakfast. After my friend was done with work, we discussed what we wanted to do later on that day.
Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N
The first activity we decided on doing was the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N activity at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. Steph and I are Marvel fans, so this was a no brainer. When we found this activity on Viator, we were stoked! The activity:
- is $35 per person
- interactive activities and games to play
- has the costumes and props used in the movies
- explains the use of costumes and props
- has information about the movies, heroes, and villains
We enjoyed ourselves, took a lot of pictures, and marveled at the costumes and props used in the movies. This is one of the lesser known activities in Las Vegas, because it gets overshadowed by the casinos and other things to do.
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Conveniently located right underneath the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N center, the Treasure Island Casino is just an escalator ride away. After the activity, Steph and I went into the casino to walk around. We only gambled for about 10 minutes.
I spent maybe $10 gambling at little slot machines, Steph probably spent about $20. Although Las Vegas is known for gambling, truth be told, neither one of us is big into gambling. But when in Vegas, you have to gamble at least once, so that's what we did.
Las Vegas Strip
After we finished gambling, we decided to walk along the Las Vegas strip. The strip is basically a stretch of Las Vegas boulevard with tons of restaurants, hotels and resorts, casinos, shopping centers, stores and more.
So, we started from the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino and walked towards the Eiffel Tower area of the strip. This was by no means the end of the strip. However, it was very hot (about 108 degrees Fahrenheit), we were hungry and couldn't manage to go beyond that point.
We stopped along the way and took a lot of pictures. From the Eiffel Tower to The Mirage Hotel, Venetian Resort with the beautiful grand canal shoppes, we weren't short on views.
Pitstop at Margaritaville
While we walked on the opposite side of the street, going towards Treasure Island for dinner, we made a stop at Margaritaville. Margaritaville was originally a song from the 70s by Jimmy Buffett which eventually turned into a whole franchise. If you're ever in Las Vegas, Key West, Orlando, or any location that has a Margaritaville, stop in and get a margarita!
That's exactly what Steph in I did. It was a nice way of "hydrating" ourselves from walking in the heat. I ordered a margarita called, "Last Mango in Paris". It was delicious! Although in hindsight, probably wasn't the smartest idea to have a margarita on an empty stomach.
Fun fact about Las Vegas, it's legal to be in public with an alcoholic drink in hand. It doesn't need to be in a brown bag or anything like that. As long as your drink isn't in a glass bottle, you should be good to go! So, you'll see a lot of people casually walking around, alcoholic drink in hand, enjoying their time in Vegas.
Dinner at Señor Frog's
Once we made it back to the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, Steph and I went to Señor Frog's for dinner. It's a Mexican themed restaurant franchise in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the USA that's known for the party atmosphere. But it's also family friendly (at certain times), so you'll see parents and kids there as well.
The vibe that day wasn't what Señor Frog's is known for. This could be due to COVID or the early hour we went for dinner. Anyways, we ordered some food and these HUGE drinks called "yard margaritas" or "yardritas". They're a whomping size, frozen alcoholic drinks, that are a task for finish. I had the Caribbean Daiquiri, which was delicious, with some cheese quesadillas.
After a margarita, this yard margarita was just icing on the cake for us. I thought the food was ok, not overwhelming or spectacular, but when you're hungry it'll do.
Shuttle Ride Home
After our little adventure, we waited outside the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino for our shuttle back to the resort. The cool thing about most of the resorts and hotels in Las Vegas is that they offer shuttle rides to and from your accommodation.
Our resort had shuttle services to the strip and back to the resort at designated times. In our slightly drunken state, this was perfect because we didn't need to try to get an Uber back.
With breakfast, a little afternoon swim, and blog work done, Steph and I discussed what to do for that day. Once we decided upon our itinerary, we bought the necessary tickets and took a 25 minute Uber to the downtown area of Las Vegas.
The Mob Museum
One of the places we decided to visit was The Mob Museum. Steph and I took a lot of classes on crime together in college, so learning about the mob is right up our street. When you purchase tickets to the museum, which cost $29.50, you get to:
- tour all 3 floors of the museum - you start on the 3rd floor and work your way down
- learn about the rise of the mob
- learn about the numerous crimes (violent crimes, organized crime, etc.) the mob committed
- learn how law enforcement attempted (and continue to) bring the mob to justice
The best part about The Mob Museum was the basement. The basement area has a speakeasy bar called, "The Underground". This establishment not only has the 1920s speakeasy vibe to it but the appetizers and drinks are inspired from that time period.
I had a drink called, "Hemingway's Last Muse". The drink was ok, the flavor was a bit interesting to me. If I had another chance, I'd pick another drink for sure. Overall, it was such a fun and unexpected surprise, so don't forget to head to the basement!
Dinner at The Pizza Rock
About a block away from The Mob Museum, there's this restaurant called, "The Pizza Rock". It had some Italian cuisine but also American dishes as well. Steph and I ordered our dinner and ate it before our next activity.
The food was ok but it wasn't the best in the world. The spaghetti and meatball dish I had could have been done better. But what we both liked about the place was the atmosphere, vibe, and cool items in the restaurant. Steph loved the staff's shirts and menus as it was inspired by music.
Walking Ghost Tour
With dinner done, we moved towards The Mob Museum to meet our tour guide for the walking ghost tour. Now, if you're into the paranormal or ghost tours, this is a cool way of hearing ghost stories and getting a little tour of the downtown area.
The walking ghost tour:
- is about 1.5 hours long
- cost $24.99
- was a small group (5 people total)
- takes you through the downtown area and Fremont St
- discusses the history of Las Vegas, the mob, and stories of tragedy
- tour guide took us through a street art alley way to look at local artist's works
The cool thing with the tour was that after you were done, you were literally a 2 minute walk from the busy section of Fremont St. So, you can walk the whole street, stop into stores, restaurants and casinos (The Golden Nugget is there), and have a great night. It's very lively and colorful!
A new day brought about new challenges of trying to figure out what to do for the day. Shows, such at "Thunder from Down Under" and "The Comedy Show at the Stratosphere" were sold out for this day. If you're interested in these shows, definitely purchase tickets ahead of time. However, we did manage to find an activity and show to do for the evening.
The Hunger Games Exhibition at MGM
The first activity we did for the day was The Hunger Games Exhibition at MGM. MGM is a HUGE casino and hotel. Give yourself ample time to make your way through this place to get to the exhibition.
Once you get to the exhibition, know that:
- it costs around $29
- takes about 1 hr at most to go through everything
- it's very small and quick to go through
- there's an archery game inside where they teach you how to use a bow and arrow
- there's costumes from the movies
- there's some interactive games
Overall, Steph and I weren't that impressed with the exhibition. Of course, we love the movie franchise and Katniss. However, this wasn't like the Marvel Avengers station so it was underwhelming.
With the exhibition done, we walked around MGM. Did I mention this place is HUGE? I never knew how large or massive places like this were until we were inside it. Multiple floors, different gambling machines, restaurants galore, an arcade, and tons of activities. There are also several locations for indoor pools as well.
One restaurant that Steph and I ate at, "Grand Wok", was a very expensive but decent place to eat inside MGM. The restaurant has a cute little panda outside it, so you shouldn't miss it. I couldn't imagine staying in a place like that. It's a literal maze and it's always packed with people. But you'll definitely find some things to do here besides gambling.
Walking the Vegas Strip
Now that we've explored MGM and went to The Hunger Games Exhibition, we figured we'd finish the remaining quarter of the Vegas strip. On this side, you'll find more casinos, stores like the Hershey's store, restaurants, and shopping centers.
You can walk the whole strip in about an hour and some change, depending on your speed, pedestrian traffic, and the heat. It's quite an experience seeing all the casinos, buildings and resorts.
Miracle Mill Mall
For the comedy show we purchased tickets for, we were a bit early and were lost trying to find the right location. After some confusing directions from the resort staff, we realized we had to make our way through the Miracle Mill Mall to get to the comedy show room.
The first thing that struck us as neat was the painted blue skies on the ceiling. Combined with the lighting, it made it seem as though you were outside. It's so cool to look at, plus there's lots of stores and restaurants. By the way, this is all connected to the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. So, if you're in the area, look for the Planet Hollywood sign, then go towards the left of it as this is the entrance to the mall.
Steph and I got some drinks from this little restaurant and bar called, "Flights" while we waited to enter the show. A side note about this comedy show, they won't allow you into the show with your own alcoholic drinks unless it's from this restaurant called "Showgirls Grill", which is located next to the entrance to the show.
However, no one really checks to see if your drinks were from this restaurant. You can either take a chance and bring your drinks inside without hiding them, or hide them like Steph and I did.
Las Vegas Comedy Club
Finally, it was time for the comedy show to begin! The show started around 8pm and lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. The opener for the show was ok but the real comedic act, Edwin San Jaun, was hilarious! He was amazing, had us laughing for most of the show. Edwin told a lot of Asian and Filipino jokes, which he said was because he is Filipino and has encountered quite a lot of funny but rude stereotypes in his time.
After the show, you can go outside and continue to walk around the strip as Las Vegas has numerous establishments which are still open after 9pm. I loved walking along the strip at night, seeing all the bright and beautiful colors of the buildings, there's nothing like it.
Of course, we saved the best for last. On our final day in Las Vegas, my friend Stephanie and I took a day trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona! We purchased the tickets ahead of time to ensure they wouldn't run out. Our flight was after 11pm that evening, so with most of the day to spare, a day trip to the Grand Canyon seemed doable.
Grand Canyon Day Tour
Our day trip to the Grand Canyon consisted of more than just a bus ride out to the canyon. The day tour:
- cost $179
- trip out to the West Rim of the canyon
- trip out to the Hoover Dam
- trip to Guano Point in the Canyon
- an optional Skywalk walk (costs extra)
- breakfast (at The Omelet House) and lunch included in the tour
- free cold water bottles throughout the trip (have to stay hydrated!)
- hotel pick up and drop off
- there's also a helicopter option as well but costs extra
For the price we paid, there was quite a bit included! A lovely, air conditioned bus which picked us up from the designated hotel, took us to all the points listed above, and back to our hotel. This whole day trip was quite a long one.
Hotel Pick Up & Breakfast
We had to meet at Bally's Resort around 6:15am to be on board the bus by around 6:30am. Once on the bus, we drove to "The Omelet House" for some breakfast. Breakfast was already included in the price you paid for the tour. You just had to fill out a piece of paper with your breakfast options. You also filled out your lunch choice as well.
Breakfast was good, typical diner food if you ask me. However, they made these homemade chips which were very good. We boarded the bus around 8am to head out towards the Hoover Dam.
The Hoover Dam was about a 30 minute drive from the breakfast place we ate at. I thought it'd be a longer drive. Once there, we had about 20 minutes to go up the winding stairs to the bridge to see the dam. It's such a feet of engineering, it's truly a sight to behold.
Another cool thing about the bridge was that at one point, the states of Nevada and Arizona touched. It's quite a long bridge and we didn't have enough time to go to the other end of it. Since we only had 20 minutes, we got 3/4 of the way on the bridge, took pictures of the dam, and went back to the bus.
The awesome thing about this tour was that every time you got back on the bus, they gave you free cold water bottles. You didn't have to worry about staying hydrated if you didn't bring water with you.
Grand Canyon - West Rim
From the Hoover Dam, we drove about 2 hours to the Grand Canyon's West Rim entrance. I loved seeing the views from the bus of the mountains, canyons, and the Colorado River. The landscape out west is truly marvelous.
Once we arrived at the West Rim entrance, the people who paid extra to take a helicopter ride over the canyon were dropped off. The rest of us had to get ourselves scanned in. Once that process was done, we got back on the bus to go to the Skywalk area.
This is an optional component of the day tour. If you don't purchase it through the travel app of your choice, you can always purchase your ticket once you're there.
The Skywalk was amazing! You're basically walking in a big U shape on see through glass, high above the canyon. They give you protective footwear to wear on your shoes so you don't scuff or damage the glass. There's also cool information on the native tribes in the region, so you have something to read while you wait on the long line for the walk.
If you're afraid of heights, it's up to you if you're feeling up to this kind of activity. My friend Steph has a fear of heights but I was so proud of her because she walked along the whole platform! You can have your pictures taken on the walk by staff but that costs $17 to $60.
Note: you cannot bring any electronic devices, cellphones, money, cameras, keys, basically anything on you onto the Skywalk. The staff will give you a locker key to put your things inside.
Once your Skywalk activity is over, you can walk in the area and explore the landscape, take in the views, and go inside traditional Native American homes. It was a pretty cool experience, but if you go off the beaten track, do beware of scorpions and other bugs or snakes.
Guano Point - Lunch at the Grand Canyon
What can I say about this? Having lunch near the edge of the Grand Canyon was such a wonderful experience. Although the food was ok, the views were stunning. This was one of the highlights of the tour.
After lunch, you can wander around Guano Point until your designated time, then you have to head back to the tour bus. While we were walking around, our tour guide pointed out a cool rock with a fossil in it! Loved seeing something like this and knowing that the Grand Canyon used to be under water.
Las Vegas Strip - One Last Time
Finally, with our day trip complete, Steph and I returned to the Las Vegas strip around 5:30pm. We figured, let's walk the strip one last time before we leave that evening. We walked all the way to The Hard Rock Cafe to get some dinner before our flight.
After dinner, we went into the M&M's store to browse around. Steph ended up getting a few things. Once again, we walked down the strip saying our good-byes to Las Vegas. We did manage to catch the water works show at The Bellagio in the evening, it's such a cool thing to see! We went to MGM to catch an Uber back to our resort to pick up our luggage and head to the airport.
I have to thank the Retirestyle Travel blog for the awesome recommendations and list of things to see and do in Las Vegas. That's how I discovered the Mob Museum and other activities. Be sure to check out his blog here.
Who knew Las Vegas had so much to offer!? What Steph and I both agreed upon is that Las Vegas has a variety of things to see and do. It's not all about the casinos and gambling. There's a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, state and national parks nearby, tours galore, and so much more. You can literally come back to Las Vegas and have a completely different experience every time.