Sometimes a jaunt to one of the planet’s most insomniac of cities goes by in a blur. With just 48 hours to explore, eat, play and soak up all the electric energy of Las Vegas’ infamous Strip and downtown, you have to make every moment count. No bite should be wasted, no thirst unquenched and no sight unseen. This itinerary will show you how to best sample it all.
After landing at McCarran International Airport, located just a few miles from Las Vegas Boulevard, check into Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino. This all-suite paradise is large enough to be a city in its own right — everything truly is under one roof. Lauded for having some of the largest accommodations in town, there’s no real reason to leave the building while in residence.
Conveniently connected to The Palazzo, Four-Star sister property The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino has a host of virtues of its own. The two form a dynamic epicenter of luxury dining, shopping, entertainment and imbibing. Recently opened The Dorsey (on The Venetian side of the property) is the quintessential cocktail experience from famed New York scenester David Rabin (Café Clover) and barman Sam Ross (Attaboy).
If it’s a Saturday from October to April, drop the bags and hit Lavo Party Brunch in The Palazzo for a taste of Vegas’ renowned dayclub scene. The popular breakfast/lunch hybrid delivers delicious foods that capture the best of both worlds like classic egg dishes such as omelettes and benedicts, as well as jumbo pancakes and lunch, meatballs, pastas and parmigianas.
But as soon as the lights go down, the frosé comes out and the DJ drops a beat. What happens next may involve dancing on the tables.
Work off the midday meal with a trip downtown to the Fremont East district. Soak in the beauty of what has become an open-air gallery thanks to the Life is Beautiful music and art festival (September 22 to 24). Scattered throughout more than 18 city blocks, you’ll find murals and installations from some of the world’s most renowned street artists who come every year as part of the festival to leave a mark on the visual landscape.
In addition to the creative arts, the district also has some fun with the culinary arts. For dinner, take yourself out of that Vegas state of mind for a moment and step into Park on Fremont, a chic, rustic saloon with a lush, blooming garden patio — an uncommon sight in the desert.
Whimsical art and Cinderella’s carriage aren’t the only things to be discovered in this surprising space, though; delicious bar bites (provolone-, bacon- and fried egg-topped garbage fries) juxtapose playful cocktails such as the Trophy Wife (rum, lemon, orange and pineapple) and the Unicorn (vodka, lemon, ginger beer and mint).
No visit to Las Vegas is complete without a little (or a lot of) downtime in the spa. The Palazzo’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub is a favorite of both beginners and experienced spa-goers.
Even if a treatment isn’t what you had in mind, the roster of experiences, activities, classes and workshops is so extensive that you’ll seriously ponder how soon you can get back to take a barre class or undergo an acupuncture session. The value of the services extends far beyond 80 minutes.
Once fully recharged, venture outside of town, seven miles from the Strip to be exact, to the magnificently stacked art installation from Ugo Rondinone called Seven Magic Mountains. Colorful stacked boulders punctuate the barren desertscape, beckoning drivers to stop and capture an Instagram moment.
On the way back to home base, stop by Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to pay a visit to the walk-up treat window at chef Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar. This is the only location of the confectionary counter to serve MilkQuakes — a blend of soft-serve and sweet bites — and boasts four flavors of the creamy frozen dessert, including her signature crack pie.
For dinner, the options are endless, but if you want a taste of that old-school vibe, book a table at Piero’s Italian Cuisine. Prominently featured in Casino, this is where the Vegas you’ve seen in the movies becomes a reality. It’s a who’s who of the local glitterati: casino heads and their ball-gown-clad wives, famous entertainers from days of yore and the people who have made the town what it is.