Plan a Day Trip to Las Vegas

Whether you're stuck on a long layover or just want to take a day trip Las Vegas, you won't have to worry about missing out on what the city has to offer, even if you just have 24 hours to spend on your vacation.

While most people typically spend at least a weekend in Vegas, a short day trip can still be a rewarding experience full of great food, fantastic adventures, and even a signature "what happens in Vegas" story to take home to your friends and family. It just requires a little bit of planning to make sure you get to experience the best the city has to offer in the shortest amount of time possible.

For the purpose of this guide, we'll start off in the morning upon arrival at McCarran International Airport, where you can grab a taxi to the Mandalay Bay Hotel to start your adventure and test your stamina on a 24-hour tour of Las Vegas.

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The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay Hotel

Zeke Quezada

Founded by the famed restauranteur of Fleur de Lys, Hubert Keller, the Burger Bar at the Mandalay Bay Hotel is a great start to any trip to Las Vegas. You can fuel up on calories and grab a handcrafted microbrew on tap to start your day with plenty of energy and a slight buzz, all while enjoying one of the more lavish hotels in the city. With plenty of burgers to choose from—including beef, buffalo, turkey, vegetarian, and vegan options—at relatively inexpensive prices, you're sure to enjoy this start to your 24-hour marathon through Las Vegas.

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Aurora at Luxor Las Vegas

 Zeke Quezada

No trip to Vegas is truly complete without at least one stop in at a casino bar, and the Aurora at Luxor Las Vegas is one of the best places on the strip for a quick game or gamble and a drink. While there, you can check out the attractions at the Luxor Las Vegas or simply enjoy the scenery at Aurora in the casino. The Luxor has some very interesting architecture, but Aurora is designed around the Aurora Borealis and features lighting effects on the ceiling to mirror the Northern Lights.

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Dick's Last Resort at the Excalibur Hotel

 Public Domain

If you're getting hungry for lunch (or you've spent too much time at the Casino and need a quick dinner), Dick's Last Resort at the Excalibur Hotel offers a lively venue to enjoy some "deliciously messy cuisine." With menu items like the Low Country Boil, Ragin' Cajun Chicky Pasta, Shrimp-a-Palooza, and Bubba's Baby Back Ribs, you know you're in for a real southern treat when visiting Dick's. Just make sure to leave room for the Extreme Brownie Meltdown or Not-Yer-Mama's Cheesecake for dessert!

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The New York, New York Hotel

 Ron Reiring (CC BY-SA 2.0) / Flickr

If you're trying to experience two destinations at once on your 24-hour journey around Las Vegas, consider stopping by the New York, New York Hotel and Casino, which features replicas of many of NYC's most famous tourist attractions along the Las Vegas Strip. Formerly known as the Manhattan Express, the Big Apple Coaster is one of the only rides of its kind in the area.

Located in the Coney Island Emporium with fabulous views of the Strip, the Big Apple Coaster is a great way to see the city in a whole different way—upside down and at top speeds! When you're done, you can also grab a slice of pizza and a hot dog before heading into the Big Apple Arcade to play some classic games.

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The MGM Grand Hotel

 Tip Kilby / Pixabay

Before heading back to the airport via the Las Vegas Monorail, you can walk through the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and stop off at Centrifuge, a trendy circular bar serving up fruit-infused cocktails, where you can grab a drink before selecting one of the MGM's many restaurants for dinner. With everything from the moderately-priced Grand Buffet or Bonanno's New York Pizzeria to the high-end gourmet meals of Tom Colicchio's Crafsteak or ​Morimoto Las Vegas, there's something for every budget and taste at the MGM Grand Casino.

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