My Action-Packed 3-Day Weekend Trip In Las Vegas, Nevada!

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This past week Sam and I traded -30℃ weather for a fun-filled weekend in Las Vegas! With Canadian winter still brewing, the desert seemed like the perfect escape, so we hopped on an Air Canada flight and 4.5 hours later we were sporting jeans and light sweaters – practically summer!

We only had 3 days in town, but I don’t think we’ve ever packed so much into such a short amount of time. While my weekends at home consist of sipping hot tea and watching travel documentaries in my pyjamas, Vegas had me out of bed early for outdoors adventure and then kept me out late with its swanky bars and nighttime entertainment.

Here’s a look at what went down over our weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada:

My Action-Packed 3-Day Weekend Trip In Las Vegas, Nevada! Las Vegas at night

Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil

For our first night in Las Vegas we decided to catch a show. This was a task in itself because there are so many musicians, magicians, and performers passing through town that it becomes really hard to choose! It was a toss up between LOVE The Beatles, Michael Jackson’s ONE, and the Blue Man Group (which I had already seen years ago, but absolutely loved!) In the end we went with good ol’ MJ.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of the show, but the Cirque du Soleil did a wonderful job of pulling together a mixture of Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. My favourite part of the night was a throwback to MJ’s childhood rendition of I’ll be there, where he belted out the lyrics with that soulful voice that would one day make him the King of Pop.

Driving Exotic Cars at World Class Driving

Driving luxury cars in Vegas with World Class Driving

I’m still shaking my head in disbelief at this, but you guys, I drove luxury cars! I never thought I’d get to set foot in a car that’s worth almost half a million dollars, let alone drive one! But that’s where World Class Driving comes in; they can make all your car dreams come true.

After showing them my driver’s license (and signing my life away!) I was handed the keys to a Porsche 911 Carrera, and then a Lamborghini, and then a Ferrari. We took these babies all the way out to Lake Mead and then put them to test. I’ll be posting the video on YouTube soon, but it’s basically me grinning the whole way.

Red Rock Canyon with Pink Jeep Tours

The Red Calico Hills at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Hiking through Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend. I had been to Vegas before, but I had no idea that you could find yourself surrounded by this much natural beauty just a short 20 minute drive outside of the city.

I joined the Pink Jeep Tour for an afternoon tour of Red Rock Canyon, and our guide Bob (who had grown up camping here!) did a wonderful job of showing us around. He knew the place like the back of his hand and spent the whole ride sharing anecdotes and telling us a bit about the history of this place.

Our first stop was Calico Ridge, and then we continued on to the Sandstone Quarry Trails and Spring Mountain Range. It was a nice mix of driving through the park and doing some light hiking.

If you have the time to explore this area on foot, you need to come back on your own, leave the car behind, and head out for the day. The park is stunning and there are so many trails to enjoy!

STRIPSTEAK at Mandalay Bay

Dinner at Stripsteak in Mandalay Bay

Most days I eat like a vegetarian, but I was a total carnivore in Vegas. If there’s one thing there’s no shortage of in this city it’s steakhouses so I knew I had to eat at one!

Sam and I were having a hard time deciding on one steakhouse, but then my friend Marie-Eve told me that STRIPSTEAK at Mandalay Bay had complimentary french fries cooked in duck fat. Duck fat! It just so happened that someone else that morning had been trying to sell me on french fries cooked in duck fat, so it was settled. Off we went to STRIPSTEAK.

We showed up without a reservation and were fortunate enough to get a table; that’s the beauty of travelling in Vegas during the low season. I started out with a Cucumber Martini, and ended up ordering their Trio of Beets salad (not my favourite), an 18oz giant bone in rib eye steak (delicious!), and a side of potato gratin (double yum). I ordered my steak medium-rare and it was cooked to perfection – no need for salt, sauces, or any extras. The meat was the star of the meal. (Steaks here don’t come cheap with the prices starting out at $42 for the flat iron and $59 for the filet mignon, but portions are large and the sides are big enough to share.)

Marie-Eve, Sam and I were stuffed by the end of the first course, but we still said yes when the dessert menu came around. It was an apple crumble for me, and let’s just say by the end of it all I was ready to be rolled home in a barrel.

The Chandelier at the Cosmopolitan

Post Modern Jukebox at The Chandelier, The Cosmopolitan Hotel

The Chandelier has to be one of the coolest bars in Vegas! When you walk into this bar, you are literally setting foot inside a chandelier. I entered through the top level where instead of walls I was surrounded by curtains of beaded glass. There was a round bar in the centre of it all, and then a spiral staircase which I followed down to the middle level. People were lounging around on royal purple sofas with drinks in hand, while a trumpet and a clarinet squealed over cheers. As I peered over the glass staircase down to the ground level I noticed a girl in full flapper costume dancing, kicking, and singing her heart out. Had I somehow transported back to the 1920s? I followed the spiral staircase down yet another level where a huge crowd had gathered at the Post-Modern Jukebox. The place had a speakeasy feel, and even those in attendance were dressed  in outfits reminiscent from the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

When I first walked into the bar I thought it sounded like a mix of jazz and swing, but then I realized I recognized the lyrics. They were performing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Baby”, Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”, and Tove Lo’s “Habits”, but all with a slower tempo and a retro feel. It was amazing! I’m not one to seek out bars or nightlife when I travel, but this place was seriously mind blowing. After listening to a few more songs, we found a place to sit (inside the chandelier!) and ordered some drinks.

Helicopter Tour over the Grand Canyon

Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time in Nevada

A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters

The Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon

Oh. my. gosh. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!

Flying over the Grand Canyon is one of the coolest things I have ever done. As you may know, I’m a bit of a nervous flyer, so a helicopter tour is not something I had ever really thought about, but the Grand Canyon was calling. My options: take a full day trip aboard a tour bus and come back knackered, or hop aboard a helicopter, land in the canyon, drink some champagne, and come back all in one morning. Considering we only had 3 days in Vegas and we were kind of pressed for time, the helicopter tour seemed like the best option.

We took the Wind Dancer Helicopter Tour with Maverick Helicopters and it was unbelievable! I’m giving you a little photo preview here, but there will be another post coming out soon!

Social House Sushi

Social House Sushi at The Crystals

This restaurant was one of the best finds of the trip. Social House Sushi is located inside The Crystals, which is right next to the Aria, and their lunch time menu was a bargain. For $20 you could get a 3 course meal. I got their miso soup, the salmon and avocado roll, and the teriyaki salmon donburi. Everything was delicious and I left feeling beyond satisfied.

Shake Shack Burgers

Shake Shack in Vegas, Nevas

Now I know Shake Shack isn’t native to Vegas, and I know they have hundreds of locations scattered around the United States, but this was my first time experiencing the magic that is Shake Shack. Boy have I been missing out! I ended up here on my first day in Vegas, and I have to admit that I came back two more times over the course of the weekend. What can I say, their Smoke Shack Burger is amazing!

Staying at the Tropicana

Staying at the Tropicana, Las Vegas
While in Las Vegas I stayed at the Tropicana, which was completely renovated just a few years ago. This property is actually one of only four remaining hotels dating from the Strip’s early resort era (Tropicana first opened its doors in 1957), but tacky and dingy is one thing this hotel is not! The rooms were spacious, bright, and comfortable. Also, they welcome each of their guests with warm chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn’t love that?

And that’s a little glimpse at what I got up to this weekend. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

If you’ve enjoyed this post be sure to check out the following articles: Valley Of Fire State Park and Nevada Road Trip

Have you ever spent a weekend in Las Vegas?
What did you get up to?

The shops at Crystals all lit up at night, Vegas

 Many thanks to Expedia Canada, Air Canada and Tropicana for making this weekend in Las Vegas possible.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Miquel

    I love seeing Vegas through someone else’s eyes. After living there for years it’s easy to take for granted everything the city has to offer. Glad you guys had a nice, action-packed trip. Missing home now!

  2. Even though Las Vegas isn’t a place that I’d visit, I love the roundup of your trip! Sounds like a lot of fun. I particularly like the sound of The Chandelier – anything retro is my cup of tea!

  3. says: Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog

    Wow – this sounds like such a great action-packed weekend. I’d never heard of Red Rock Canyon. Will be sure to check it out next time I’m in that neck of the woods. And the Chandelier Bar sounds incredible. Great tips – thanks!

  4. says: Emily

    I really want to see the Beatles Love Show. When I was in Vegas (years ago) I saw Cirque’s La Reve, Blue Man Group and a super cheesy magic show. There’s so much to do in LV!

  5. says: Katie

    How amazing is seeing the Grand Canyon by helicopter! We stayed in Grand Canyon Village and did it from there and it was a definite highlight of a 6 week trip down the West Coast and through Arizona. We also did a helicopter trip over an active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii – also incredible. It is pretty special to see incredible places from above πŸ™‚

  6. says: Neysha

    I can’t wait to go to Vegas! I love that you guys did all the Vegas-y things that no one ever really talks about, like head outside of the city. Great pictures!

  7. says: Samantha

    Ah we just missed each other at Vegas! We left the day you guys came. Surprisingly Vegas was soo much fun, way more than I expected. I’m jealous you guys did the helicopter tour, that looks amazing! You guys sure did have an action packed weekend πŸ™‚

  8. says: Katie

    You fit in a lot in just 3 days!! I’m planning on heading to Vegas this year, mostly for the surrounding stuff this time. The helicopter ride sounds awesome!!

  9. says: Rana Singh

    Been to Vegas two years ago had lots of memories to remember, what a time it was. But not gonna tell anyone coz as we all know “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”

  10. says: Angelina

    This is an awesome post. When I got my passport in my hand for the first time, I started to plan trips. Vegas is a place which always has been attracted tourist from different corner of the world. Your trip looks super interesting with some finger licking dishes at the end of the day.

  11. says: Marie @ a Montrealer Abroad

    And I confirm, those fried were worth the detour! STRIPSTEAK was such an amazing dinner. I’m not sure I’ve felt hungry since though.

  12. says: Vid

    Well fist of all – loving the ‘tache on Same πŸ˜‰

    Flying over Grand Canyon is high up on our list too. You should share some more pictures from that helicopter ride πŸ™‚


  13. Oh yeah! Vegas baby! Wonderful pictures. Brings back a lot of memories as I just loooooved Vegas! We went to America for the first time in 2011 and spent a month travelling through California, Nevada, Arizona & Utah. We just had to go to Vegas.
    We had son in tow so we booked a non-smoking, non-gambling apartment hotel just off the strip and it was huge. A jacuzzi in the bathroom, 2 flatscreens, huge kitchen, an American-sized fridge, free cocktails, & nibbles, a really fancy bar, & all for about $100 a night!
    We went to a few family shows, we saw all the sights, we had already spent a few days at the National Park of the Grand Canyon (that was marvellous), we had lunch at Bellagio’s & husband & went to Ceasar’s Palace and gambled away on Roulette. I even won some money but I was glad to play it all back again for the entertainment factor. Lots of fun!

  14. That helicopter ride looks amazing, we are hoping to do a good old American road trip this summer when we are home, and Vegas on the route! We have been to Vegas 4 times and never made it to the Grand Canyon…blaming it on hangovers!

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