Travel the world

A Perfect Weekend In Las Vegas

The Las Vegas StripMany travelers come to the US on a quick two-three week jaunt, in much the same way Americans travel to Europe or Australia.

During a whirlwind tour, they’ll hit New York, spend a few days in Miami, and then hop over to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and/or Seattle.

They skip the middle of the United States entirely, with one exception:

Las Vegas.

The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas are (for many) the trip of a lifetime.

For me, Las Vegas comes with mixed feelings.

Lost Wages

This is a nickname for Sin City that I learned on a family trip to Las Vegas when I was around 8 years old.  (I must have learned this name from my Dad.)

After I hit the age of 22, Las Vegas became a place I visited 14 times in a period of 5 years.

I was there for various conferences and events.

For me, the glitz and glamour are still amazing, but overwhelming and exhausting as well.

Las Vegas feels a bit more like a place you go to have the money sucked from your wallet and bank account as you sit dumbfounded by… well… the glitz and glamour.

Regardless, even though I’ve been to the magical oasis in the desert so many times, I’ve never written about it for our site, which is strange.

I guess it’s because when it comes to Vegas,  you can fool yourself.

The odds could be in my favor (today, tonight, this month)!

This is a fool’s errand placed upon those who focus on the possibility for reward.

Perhaps it’s just that I know the odds are stacked in favor of the house, every time.

So I’m not really a fan of gambling, whether that be in person, online, or even on a site like

I always prefer to play when the odds are in my favor (which is NEVER, if you’re referring to Las Vegas).

Basic facts:

  • The odds in Las Vegas are always in favor of the house
  • Las Vegas is a great place to spend money and enjoy some really unique activities
  • Vegas has fantastic food and entertainment

I’ve come to realize that knowing you’re going for a weekend where you will be spending a lot of money to have a unique experience (and accepting this in advance of it happening). can help you to enjoy it more.

Just be aware that you’re going to Las Vegas purely for entertainment.

If you happen to win something, that’s icing on the cake.

If I were going to Las Vegas and had never been there before, here would be one option for an ideal weekend there, given a fair amount of funds allocated for a fancy weekend.

(Caveat: I would likely never spend $5,000 for a weekend in Las Vegas, but if that was in my frame of reference for something I would do, here is how I would spend the weekend.)

Take Friday off of work

Fly to Las Vegas, arriving around 12 PM or earlier.

Take a limo service from Las Vegas airport and drive to Hoover Dam. (Yes, my tour of the city of glitz and glamour would start by touring the reason Las Vegas even exists… a city built for the men who gave their lives building the electricity system that powers the city, and the establishments and women who offered them a way to turn over their hard-earned wages).

Take the limo from the Hoover Dam tour directly to the Bellagio, where I would stay in a room overlooking the Bellagio fountains.

Go for drinks in one of the fancy restaurants overlooking the fountains, and maybe play a little at the craps tables.

As stated, I’m not really much of a gambler, but it can be a lot of fun to play a little craps or a little poker for a little while.

Tip: Make friends with Casino employees

If you can make friends with one of the pit bosses at one of the tables, you are likely in for getting comped in really great ways.

I’ve gotten comped for hundreds of dollars worth of food at one of the big Vegas hotels, nearly every time I’ve been there, because of the $60 total I once spent at a craps table.

Head over to the Paris hotel and have dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

After dinner, catch a late-night showing of the Cirque Du Soleil show O, and perhaps even a later showing of Zumanity or one of the other many shows available in Vegas.

Saturday in Las Vegas

Wake up late and watch the Bellagio fountains from the balcony of the hotel while having room service deliver a nice breakfast.

Go for a walk on the strip (I like walking, even in this weekend where funds are easily available), and walk to the Venetian.

Ride a private gondola with Carrie, whom I neglected to kiss the only time we’ve ever been on a gondola together.

Carrie And Jonathan on the Gondola at the Venetian in 2003.

Carrie And Jonathan on the Gondola at the Venetian in 2003.

I would correct that missed kiss opportunity.

From there, I’d catch another Cirque du Soleil show – perhaps Ka, at the MGM Grand.


Then I would have dinner at Joël Robuchon restaurant.

It would be expensive… and worth it I think.

I’d then take the limo to the airport for a night time helicopter tour of the city, and end the evening with romantic champagne looking out at the last showing of the Bellagio fountains, or perhaps head down to old Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience.

Sunday in Las Vegas

Room service and nice breakfast with the fountains again (love those fountains at the Bellagio), and then lunch in the Bellagio at Picasso restaurant.

This would be followed by La Reve at the Wynn Hotel and, finally, if I could see one more show, I would see Mystere at Treasure Island.

Sunday before heading out of town, I might find a chapel and get married – just to say I’d gotten officially married to the love of my life in Las Vegas… (even though we’re already married and it would be symbolic).

Carrie and Jonathan at the MGM Wedding Chapel in 2003

Carrie and Jonathan at the MGM Wedding Chapel in 2003

And that would be an absolutely fantastic weekend in Las Vegas.

Alternatively, I would do this whole weekend while staying at Mandalay Bay, which I think is one of the nicest Las Vegas hotels, though a bit away from the main action of everything.

Of course, this is just one possibility for all of the amazing weekends that could be had in Las Vegas – at a variety of price points, but this would be a fantastic weekend for sure.

Have you been to Las Vegas as a tourist?

What have I missed?

What would you include in your perfect Las Vegas weekend?

4 thoughts on “A Perfect Weekend In Las Vegas

  1. Jim Jones

    You didn’t mention a singel bar or club. Or strip club. Or brothel. You missed Vegas entirely man.

    1. strive4impact Post author

      Hey Jim,

      Sorry to hear that Vegas is all strip clubs and brothels to you. But to each his/her own. We have been in some pretty nice bars in Vegas though.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Adam

    Too much Cirque Du Soleil for one weekend (we love Cirque Du Soleil, but I think this would be overdoing it and it would lose its special appeal). Mix it up and go to Blue Man Group…which was fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *