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How to Spend the Perfect One Day in Vegas

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So you’ve got one day in Vegas, and you want to know the best way to spend it. 

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Planning a week-long trip to Las Vegas can be overwhelming, much less just one day.

There’s so many different facets to the city, so many different things to do, so we want to make this as simple as possible. We’ve tailored this itinerary just for travelers like you wanting the full Las Vegas experience with only one day in the entertainment capital of the world.

Keep reading to learn how to spend one day in Vegas!

How to Get to Vegas

Plane flying over the vegas skyline

There are a few ways to get to Las Vegas!

You can fly into the Harry Reid International Airport, drive in on one of the many highways, or take a bus.

The easiest way to get to the city is to fly and then take a taxi or ride share to where your hotel is. You could also take a bus from the airport, but be sure to ask for help as it can be hard to figure out where the bus picks you up!

How to Get Around Vegas

Skyline of vegas from above under an orange sky

There are plenty of ways to get around Vegas, whether you’re looking for public transportation, a ride-sharing service, or by foot.

The RTC Transit operates many bus routes throughout the Las Vegas area. Once we got to our hotel, we mostly used the bus to get to and from the Strip, and it worked perfectly.

If you’re looking for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, you can find them in Vegas. Just open the app and request a ride. Note that prices for these apps can skyrocket in Vegas, especially in the evenings when everyone is trying to get one.

We mostly got around Vegas on foot during our trip. The Strip itself is fairly walkable, especially if you’ll mostly be staying in the same area during your trip.

Lastly, you could also bring your own car or rent a car for your duration in Vegas. This will allow you a lot more freedom, but parking can be hard to come by.

Where to Stay in Vegas

There are many places to stay in Vegas, but if you’ll just be spending a day there, you’ll want to stay directly on the Strip if you can! Here are a few great options.

The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod ($)

Located on the northern end of the Strip, the STRAT is truly an underrated budget-friendly accommodation. They have a variety of rooms available, and there are also shops, fun shows, and even restaurants right at this location. Not to mention it’s home to tons of thrill rides.

Click here to check current rates!

New York New York ($$)

New York New York is styled after, you guessed it, New York City. Home to a popular roller coaster, tons of shops, and many New York-themed restaurants, this is a great mid-range place to stay. It’s situated closer to the southern end of the Strip.

Click here to check out rates!

View of The Venetian hotel at night by the water

The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas ($$$)

For a truly luxurious stay, book a night at The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas. It’s central on the Strip and even has a gondola ride right on-site. Plus, there are tons of luxury shops and the rooms are above and beyond. Stay during the week for lower rates.

Click here to check out rates!

1 Day in Vegas Itinerary

Grab Breakfast at Babystacks Cafe

Las Vegas houses some of the most unique restaurants in the west. You can find some real gems just by walking around the Strip. But we’ll save you some time since you do only have one day in Vegas. 

Babystacks Cafe is a relatively new addition to the Vegas scene. Since opening its doors in 2010, it has quickly become a local favorite.

The cafe’s menu is overflowing with choices, including over 15 different kinds of pancakes (the Red Velvet pancakes are a MUST), omelets, skillets, and other creative combos.

I could not think of a better way to start your day in Vegas.

Explore Red Rock Canyon

Road leading to red rocks

When most people think of Las Vegas, I know their first thought isn’t nature.

In fact, it’s more than likely casinos, and don’t worry we’ll get to that, but with a 20-minute drive from Babystacks Cafe, you can find yourself in some of the most vibrant colors nature has to offer.

The red rocks are remarkable, surrounded by green brush and various shades of red, green, and yellow wildflowers. 

Whether you take your car on the 13 miles scenic loop drive or trek through the red rocks on a few hikes, it is a sight you will never forget.

This desert truly does have some hidden beauty in the towering red cliffs.

In fact, if you pick the right trail, you might stumble upon some waterfalls. If you already have a national park pass, you’re good to go right in!

Head back into the city to experience Omega Mart

To quote from their website, Omega Mart is “Astonishing. Unpredictable. Mind-bending.” And let me tell you, they hit the nail on the head.

Located in the Area15 entertainment district near the Strip, Omega Mart is a trippy immersive art experience featuring work from a variety of artists, including quite a few local ones.

This is a piece of art that mimics the surrealism of Las Vegas itself.

You start out by entering a supermarket, where you can actually purchase the products, but with a closer look, you realize they aren’t actually the products you’re used to.

In fact, it just keeps getting trippier as you go along. It is recommended to carve out about an hour and a half to explore the store fully.

This is a can’t miss! Omega Mart will make your one day in Vegas unforgettable.

Eat Lunch at Maggiano’s

After an experience like Omega Mart, you’re already feeling a little separated from reality, and why stop there?

Visit Fashion Show Mall for some out-of-this-world Italian food at Maggiano’s. This family-friendly restaurant will fulfill all your needs for delectable cheesy pasta and crispy garlic bread.

Feel free also to spend some time walking around the mall. Fashion Show is one of the biggest malls in Las Vegas, resulting in a lot of events, stores, and restaurants. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’d rather have something more local rather than eating at a US chain, you could also consider heading over to Resorts World Las Vegas.

The bottom floor of this new hotel is filled with restaurants, including Mulberry Street Pizzeria which has some of the best pizza we’ve ever had!

Pizza with red sauce and ziti

Dessert at CJ’s Italian Ice & Custard

After shopping your heart out at Fashion Show, head a few streets down from the Strip to get a sweet afternoon snack at CJ’s.

This one-of-a-kind Italian ice cream shop has every kind of flavor, cone, and combination you could ask for, including a cone coated in cereal.

The vibrant colors and decorations fit right in with the rest of vivacious Las Vegas.

The atmosphere pulls you in, and you almost wish you didn’t have to leave. But don’t worry, CJ’s will be around the next time you come to Vegas.

Beat the crowds on the Strip and explore Fremont Street

People walking on a street filled with lights

We all know the Strip can be jam-packed when the sun goes down.

With only one day in Vegas, scoping out the area first isn’t a bad idea.

Spend some time walking around, seeing what you can during the day, and keeping an eye on the things you’ll want to head back for.

This is the time to relax a little before experiencing the true vivacity of nightlife in Las Vegas.

Take a trip down Fremont Street, but I would suggest doing it strapped to a cable and not on foot.

The Slotzilla Zipline will give you an unparalleled view of one of Vegas’s liveliest streets.

There are plenty of shows, live music, and other events to experience as well. 

Check out some of the casinos and get some pre-game gambling in. Maybe win big before even starting the evening!

Get the Vegas Experience at Peppermill Restaurant and Lounge

Peppermill Restaurant is an essential part of the Las Vegas experience and the place to be if you only have one day in the city.

Located in the heart of it all, Peppermill has been serving great food, drinks, and dessert to Sin City for around 40 years.

When you walk into Peppermill, you immediately get hit with the classic Vegas feel.

Even Hollywood has recognized Peppermill as being the face of Vegas.

Numerous movies have featured Peppermill Restaurant, including “Casino” starring Robert De Niro. This is a great tourist spot and a must-see for your one day in Vegas.

Nightlife in Las Vegas

After your full day experiencing the topside of Las Vegas, I’m sure you’re a little tired. Take some time to recoup because this is where your one day in Vegas really begins.

First, take a trip (and a picture of course) to the famous Las Vegas sign. You haven’t really been to Sin City if you haven’t seen the sign.

Picture of the las vegas sign at night

Now on your way to your choice of the nightlife scene, take a detour to the top of the Stratosphere and ride the rides hanging off the top.

Seeing the city all lit up below you is a surreal experience, and where else are you going to get to hang off a 1,000-foot tall building?

If rides are your thing and you didn’t ride the New York New York roller coaster earlier in the day, now’s the time.

New York hotel in Las Vegas

Once again, the lights of Las Vegas can be seen in the sky from miles and miles away, and riding on the New York New York weaves you in between those lights at 70 miles an hour. Definitely a worthwhile adventure.

Now, this is where the night is really up to you.

Remember walking around the strip earlier today? Now’s your chance to go to those places you wanted to see all lit up.

Hit up that bar you walked past, head into the Hershey’s Chocolate World, go see the fountain show lights at the Bellagio, stop into any number of casinos to try your luck, or see a show. The choice is yours. 

Fountains and light show in vegas

You’re in the entertainment capital of the world; there is always something to see.

Following this one-day itinerary will guarantee you the Las Vegas experience. And once you get a taste, chances are you’ll be back for more in no time.

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