Las Vegas is known as the world’s entertainment capital, offering endless opportunities for fun and excitement. Las Vegas is not only just about casinos and hotels, it’s about a gateway to many natural wonders and amazing road trips in the West. With so much to see and do, planning a four-day trip can seem overwhelming.
Here’s a detailed itinerary to help you make the most out of your stay in Las Vegas, combining the city with a nature escape for a short getaway.
Las Vegas - Day 1: Exploring the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is the most famous attraction in the city and for good reason. The Strip is home to some of the most luxurious hotels and casinos in the world, as well as renowned restaurants and highlights.
Start your day by grabbing breakfast at one of your hotel’s various cafes and restaurants. Then, go for a walk down the Strip and take in the many well-known landmarks.
The Venetian is a glamorous hotel replicating the romantic canals and architecture of Venice, Italy. You can opt for a gondola ride through the indoor canals and admire the stunning artwork, shops, and restaurants that line the way.
The Bellagio Fountains are one of the most iconic attractions on the Las Vegas Strip. These choreographed water fountains dance to music and lights, creating a mesmerizing display that’s free for all to enjoy. The fountain shows runs every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at night.
Another must-see landmark is the Mirage Volcano, which erupts nightly with fire and smoke. You can also stroll through the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, home to over 160 designer and specialty boutiques. Be sure to stop and take a photo with the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.
In the evening, catch a show or try your luck at one of the many casinos. Some of the most popular shows in Las Vegas include Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, the Blue Man Group, and Penn & Teller. If you’re a fan of magic, you can also check out David Copperfield’s performance at the MGM Grand.
Las Vegas - Day 2: Grand Canyon Day Trip
The Grand Canyon is one of the most stunning natural wonders of the world, and it’s only a few hours’ drive from Las Vegas. Indeed, Las Vegas is often the gateway for hiking trips to the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders such as Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park. If you want to explore the area in depth, you’ll need much more than four days!
While there are many ways to visit the Grand Canyon, a guided tour is the best method to make the most of your time and see the most breathtaking views. For those who are short on time, you can also book a helicopter ride to and into the Grand Canyon.
The South Rim is the most popular part of the Grand Canyon, and it offers the most scenic panoramas. You can take an excursion that covers transportation to and from your hotel, admission to the park, and a guided tour of the most picturesque spots.
If you prefer to explore on your own, you can rent a car and drive to the South Rim. There are many viewpoints and hiking trails to discover, so be sure to pack plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes.
Las Vegas - Day 3: Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam Tour
Las Vegas is surrounded by natural beauty, and a trip to Red Rock Canyon is a great way to explore it. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just a 30-minute drive from the Strip and has gorgeous vistas of the Mojave Desert.
You can book an excursion to Red Rock Canyon that includes transportation to and from your hotel, admission to the park, and a guided hike through some of the most picturesque spots. You can also rent a car and explore on your own.
After you visit Red Rock Canyon, head to the Hoover Dam, one of the world’s engineering marvels. The Hoover Dam is just a short drive from Las Vegas and is a popular tourist destination. You can take a guided tour of the dam or explore on your own.
Las Vegas - Day 4: Fremont Street Experience and Shopping
Fremont Street is located in downtown Las Vegas and has a vintage Vegas vibe. You can see the famous Viva Vision light show, a spectacular display of lights and music every night. You can also zip line over the crowds on the SlotZilla zip line or ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel, which offers stunning city views.
If you’re looking to do some shopping, head to the Fashion Show Mall, one of the largest shopping centres in Las Vegas. The mall has more than 250 stores and restaurants, including high-end brands like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Louis Vuitton. You can also check out the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, which features over 170 shops and restaurants.
If you’re interested in art and culture, go to the Arts District, just a few minutes from the Strip. The Arts District is home to galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, as well as the First Friday’s event, a monthly arts and culture festival on the first Friday of every month.
In the evening, head back to the Strip and catch another show or try your luck at one of the many casinos. You can also check out some of the nightclubs, bars, and lounges that line the Strip, such as the Omnia at Caesar’s Palace or the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan.
Las Vegas - Where to eat?
Las Vegas is known for its diverse culinary scene, with options ranging from affordable eats to fine dining experiences. Here are some of the must-visit restaurants in Las Vegas:
- Joel Robuchon: This three-Michelin-starred restaurant at the MGM Grand is a must-visit for foodies. It gives an exquisite dining experience, with a menu featuring French cuisine and an extensive wine list.
- Lotus of Siam: Located off the Strip, Lotus of Siam is known for its authentic Northern Thai cuisine. It has been featured in numerous food publications, including the late Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown.”
- Raku: This Japanese restaurant is a hidden gem found off the Strip. Raku has traditional Japanese dishes, including grilled skewers, sashimi, and sushi.
- Mon Ami Gabi: Located in the Paris Las Vegas hotel, Mon Ami Gabi is a classic French bistro. It offers a wide range of dishes, including steak frites, escargots, and quiche.
- The Peppermill: This retro-style diner has been a Las Vegas staple since 1972. It is known for its oversized portions, including its famous fire pit desserts.
- Carbone: Carbone at the ARIA Resort & Casino is a retro Italian-American restaurant serving classic plates like Caesar salad, spaghetti and meatballs, and veal parmesan.
- Hell’s Kitchen: Hell’s Kitchen at Caesar’s Palace is a restaurant inspired by the hit TV show, highlighting signature dishes like beef Wellington and lobster risotto.
Las Vegas - What are the best shows?
Las Vegas is known for its spectacular entertainment, including a wide variety of shows featuring world-class performers, dazzling productions, and breathtaking stunts. Here are some of the best shows in Las Vegas:
- Cirque du Soleil: Cirque du Soleil has several shows in Las Vegas, including “O” at the Bellagio, “Mystere” at Treasure Island, and “Ka” at MGM Grand. These shows feature stunning acrobatics, aerial performances, and visual effects that will leave you in awe.
- Michael Jackson ONE: Michael Jackson ONE, a Cirque du Soleil show, is a tribute to the King of Pop at Mandalay Bay, featuring acrobatics, dance, and multimedia effects set to Jackson’s iconic music.
- Absinthe: Absinthe is a raunchy and irreverent variety show at Caesars Palace that combines burlesque, comedy, and circus acts. It’s not for the faint of heart, but a memorable experience.
- Blue Man Group: The Blue Man Group has been a staple of Las Vegas entertainment for years, with their high-energy percussion performances and wacky antics. You can catch their show at the Luxor.
- Penn & Teller: Penn & Teller is a legendary comedy magic duo performing in Las Vegas for decades. Their show at the Rio combines comedy, magic, and social commentary for a unique and unforgettable experience.
In addition to the shows I mentioned earlier, Las Vegas also has several residencies for popular musical acts. Here are a few of the current ones in Las Vegas:
- Katy Perry: Katy Perry recently extended her run. With a spectacle full of chart-topping hits and elaborate stage designs, the pop star is exceeding everyone’s expectations. And who wouldn’t want to hear hits like “Waking Up in Vegas” right in the middle of the Strip?
- Bruno Mars: Bruno Mars has a residency at the Park Theater at the Park at MGM, performing his funky pop and R&B hits in a high-energy show.
- Usher: Usher has a residency at the Park MGM, performing his R&B and pop hits in a flashy and energetic show.
These are just a few of the many incredible shows that Las Vegas has to offer. Be sure to research and book your tickets in advance, as shows can sell out quickly.
For Mastercard holders, you can benefit from interesting discounts on various shows in Las Vegas!
As an official partner of Cirque du Soleil in Canada, Mastercard® is proud to offer their cardholders access to preferred seating and other special offers for Cirque du Soleil Touring Shows in Canada as well as resident shows in Las Vegas.
Since ticket purchases will be billed in US dollars, make sure you use a Mastercard that doesn’t charge a foreign exchange fee, such as the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®!
Las Vegas - Where to stay?
Las Vegas - Famous Hotels
While they are not the most affordable properties in Las Vegas, these hotels are quite famous and iconic, so, understandably, you might want to stay in one of them.
To offset the costs, you should employ Travel Rewards. A good strategy would be to use a card without foreign exchange fees, a card with an accelerator on travel purchases and one with a generous bonus like the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®.
- Bellagio: The Bellagio is a posh resort known for its iconic fountain show and elegant accommodations.
- The Venetian: The Venetian is a luxurious Italian-themed resort where you can go for a gondola ride on its canals.
- Aria Resort & Casino: The Aria is a sleek and modern hotel in the heart of the Strip.
- Wynn Las Vegas: The Wynn is a luxurious resort known for its upscale accommodations, world-class amenities and an on-site golf course.
Las Vegas - Marriott Bonvoy
You have various options for where to stay in Las Vegas with Marriott Bonvoy and redeem your free night’s award. Indeed, there are quite a few properties for under 35,000 points per night, and you can also top-up with points in case the one you are interested in is a bit more expensive.
Earning enough points for a short getaway in Las Vegas is fairly easy because both the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card and the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card offer generous welcome bonuses, which can cover a couple of nights.
Here are some of the best Marriott Bonvoy properties in the city:
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection: The Cosmopolitan is a trendy and modern hotel located on the Strip. As part of the Autograph Collection, it offers a unique and independent experience with spacious rooms, a large casino, and various dining and entertainment options.
- The Westin Las Vegas Hotel & Spa: The Westin is a non-gaming hotel just off the Strip. It features comfortable rooms, a full-service spa, and a variety of dining options.
- JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa: The JW Marriott is a luxurious resort located in the suburb of Summerlin. It features spacious rooms and suites, a full-service spa, a championship golf course, and a variety of dining options.
- Las Vegas Marriott: The Las Vegas Marriott is just off the Strip and features comfortable rooms, a large outdoor pool, and a variety of dining options.
- Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel: The Renaissance is a modern hotel located just east of the Strip. It features stylish rooms, a rooftop pool, and a variety of dining options.
Las Vegas - How to get there with points?
Air Canada has direct flights from all major airports in the country to Las Vegas. The standard cost in Aeroplan for those flights should be between 20,000 and 30,000 points.
Aeroplan credit cards are known to offer very generous sign-up bonuses. Indeed, depending on the number of people in your party, you could earn enough points to travel to Las Vegas with just one of these credit cards.
Furthermore, all the credit cards mentioned above come with various perks, such as free luggage for yourself and up to 8 people on the same reservation.
When using Aeroplan, we always suggest aiming at a valuation of 2 ¢ per point. While I don’t find it challenging to hit that target for North American travel, it often relies on the cash price of the flight, which varies a lot depending on the route and the season.
For example, Google Flights came up with these results for a short getaway to Las Vegas. There is a stopover in Toronto, but the price is relatively low, so employing Aeroplan doesn’t make much sense here unless you specifically want to avoid having a connection.
Therefore, the best type of points to use in this situation would be Travel Rewards. Book the cheapest flight you can find and redeem the points for a statement credit. For example, you could use Aventura points for a free flight to Las Vegas.
Fixed Rewards can also be of good value for flights within North America. A few programs offer them, such as American Express, CIBC Aventura, RBC Avion Rewards, etc.
Since we can find interesting fares to get to Las Vegas with WestJet, the WestJet Rewards program deserves mention.
A single WestJet dollar is the same as a real dollar. It’s straightforward and easy to understand and use. Book your flight with WestJet after signing into your account, and apply your dollars to the cost of your flight.
However, you cannot redeem WestJet dollars to pay taxes or fees. They can only be used to pay for a flight’s base fare (or towards the base fare of a hotel or vacation package).
While you can never genuinely travel for free with WestJet dollars, they can reduce the price of your little getaway to Sin City. Also, you can easily earn them with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard and its welcome bonus.
Also, an annual companion voucher is offered with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. You can bring someone with you for a discounted fare on one flight per year. You must pay any applicable taxes and fees, as well as a fixed usage fee; for Las Vegas, that fee would be $119.
As an added bonus, you’ll receive a free checked bag for yourself and up to eight other passengers travelling on the same reservation with that credit card, similar to the Aeroplan credit cards.
Las Vegas - How to get around?
Getting around Las Vegas is relatively easy, with various transportation options available. Here are some of the best ways:
- Taxis: Taxis are a convenient way to get around Las Vegas, with taxi stands at most hotels and casinos. However, fares can be expensive, especially during peak hours.
- Ride-Sharing Services: Services like Uber and Lyft are popular in Las Vegas and can be a more affordable alternative to taxis. The ride-sharing pickup locations are generally located at designated areas in most hotels and casinos.
- Monorail: The Las Vegas Monorail is a quick and convenient way to travel along the Strip. The monorail has seven stops along the Strip, including the MGM Grand, the Flamingo, and the SLS Las Vegas.
- Walking: Walking is a popular method to get around Las Vegas, especially on the Strip. But be prepared for long walks and hot temperatures during the summer months.
- Renting a Car: Renting a car can be a good option for visitors who plan to explore areas outside of Las Vegas, such as the Hoover Dam or Red Rock Canyon. However, parking can be expensive, and traffic can be congested during peak hours.
- Public transport: The Centennial Express (CX) provides direct airport access, which is very practical to get from the Strip to LAS airport in about half an hour.
Whether you want to explore the natural beauty in nearby National Parks, take in a show, or try your luck at the casinos, this four-day itinerary will ensure you make the most of your time in Sin City.
A trip to Las Vegas can be expensive, especially if you are into gambling! However, there are many ways to make it more affordable with points and miles.