14 Things to Do in Las Vegas When on a Layover

Back at Las Vegas Airport

Daniel Ramirez/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 

As you are flying across the United States you may have a layover in Las Vegas and there is plenty to do with about 4 plus hours both in the airport and on the Las Vegas strip. The airport is 10 minutes from the Strip so you have plenty of time to get out and experience a tiny slice of why so many people visit Las Vegas.

You can spend your time gambling at the slots right in the airport, grab a cab or rideshare and check out the Bellagio gardens, or enjoy a cocktail at a place like Planet Hollywood's Cabo Wabo.

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Grab a Great Slice of Pizza

Five50 Pizza Bar Las Vegas
Zeke Quezada

The pizza at Five50 Pizza is good enough to warrant a trip on its own. Head to Aria Las Vegas and order a few of the small plates along with a slice of pizza pie to take back to the airport. Try the pork belly crostini, the meatballs, and the jalapeno corn arancini. Come to think of it you might need some salume and a salad. Make sure to come hungry for James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain’s idea of pizza as he combines a few different styles to create one of the best pies in Las Vegas.

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Squeeze in a Dinner at Lago at Bellagio

The View from Lago at Bellagio Las Vegas
Zeke Quezada

If you happen to have a layover around dinner time you can get a quick meal at LAGO at Bellagio Las Vegas. Now, you will be eating in a lounge or the bar as you most likely will not have a reservation, but you should still have plenty of fun with Italian small plates and pasta and a pretty decent view. If you time it right you may catch a glimpse of the famous Bellagio fountains as they dance in the evening light.

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Go Southern with Chicken and Waffles

Yardbird Southern Table

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

You can always enjoy some fried chicken and waffles from Yardbird Southern Table when racing around town on a layover in Las Vegas. And you know you’ll want to add in a Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade to make the next leg of your travels much easier to handle. If you don’t want a big meal go with the crunchy Yardbird sandwich and keep in mind that chicken sandwich is always better with a little bacon and hot sauce.

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Do Lunch at Spago

Spago Las Vegas
Zeke Quezada

Find a spot in the cafe at Spago Las Vegas and order something small and pair it with a glass of wine. Meatloaf is popular if you want something a bit heartier. You will need the wine to help you ease off the stress that comes from making a layover during a flight. From this spot at Spago Las Vegas, you can see the tourists come walking by and you can ponder what would have been if you had decided on Las Vegas as your final destination.

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Go Up in the High Roller at The LINQ

The LINQ Las Vegas and the HIGH Roller
Luke Quezada

Race from the airport to The LINQ and your layover will include a view of Las Vegas and possibly a quick meal. While you are there taking in the sights of Las Vegas drop into the Polaroid Fotobar and print a few of your pictures. Once you get on the High Roller, the world's tallest Ferris Wheel, you'll start taking many more pictures.

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Visit Bellagio's Seasonal Gardens

Bellagio Gardens and Conservatory
Zeke Quezada

If you are a big fan of plants and flowers and beautiful arrangements and decor, you have to see the Bellagio Gardens and Conservatory. The gardens change seasonally and Christmastime is always a treat. Also, from this spot, you can see the fountains of Bellagio, the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts. Walk outside and see the Eiffel Tower before you catch your ride back to the airport.

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See the New Las Vegas

Downtown Container Park
Zeke Quezada

Head to the Downtown Container Park and see what re-purposing in Vegas looks like. The transformation of old Las Vegas is impressive. This area on East Fremont Street is one of a growing trend, re-purposing actual shipping containers as structures, in this case, three levels of compact storefronts and eateries surrounding terraces, a fantastic tree-house play gym for kids, and a stage and grassy knoll for performances.

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See a Las Vegas Icon

Caesar's Palace Las Vegas

Rob Osborne/ Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

Caesars Palace is an iconic resort and casino that must be visited simply because it is the foundation for themed resorts as well as the one example of the neverending change in Las Vegas. As the strip continues to evolve so does Caesars Palace. Walk through the Forum Shops or walk outside from this center strip property and get a quick look at all the glitz of Las Vegas.

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Watch a Volcano Erupt

Mirage Volcano

David Stanley/ Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

You have seen the erupting volcano at the Mirage Las Vegas in pictures and if your Las Vegas layover is in the evening you might be able to see it live. It is free but it only happens after dark and at the top of the hour. If you have time you can visit Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.

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Sip on a Margarita at Cabo Wabo

Cabo Wabo Cantina

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas is the spot with the outdoor patio, Tequila, chips and salsa and plenty of reasons to miss your flight. The fun factor goes up if you like loud music and margaritas. The view of the strip is just right for a diversion while on your way to another destination. Don’t have more than 2 Waboritas or you just might end up in Las Vegas for an extended period of time.

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Head to Off the Strip

Off The Strip at LINQ Las Vegas

Zeke Quezada 

At Off The Strip, a 24-hour modern chophouse at the LINQ, you can have a quick meal, a few cocktails, and you might be able to mingle with a few new friends before you race back out of town. From this spot, you can check out Brooklyn Bowl, The High Roller, and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

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Satisfy Your Cravings at Vice Versa

Vice Versa at Vdara Las Vegas
Zeke Quezada

If you just need a drink and you really don’t want to sit at the airport Vice Versa at Vdara is the spot for you. The bar opens up to the CityCenter complex and has a menu that will satisfy your cravings and craft cocktails that will make you hope that your connecting flight gets canceled.

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Down a Drink at Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas

Cocktails at Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas
Zeke Quezada

There's no place better for a drink in Las Vegas than Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas which features the right combination of comfort and class. Start at Parasol Up and ride the spiraling escalator to Parasol Down through suspended multicolored parasols, and you’ll see the 40-foot waterfall. In good weather, enjoy cocktails and a menu of savory bites and sweets on the patio. Sit long enough and you’ll forget that you are in Las Vegas and you will decide that another flight on another day is a much better proposition.

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Gamble at McCarran

Airport slot machine

Iyhon Chiu/ Flickr/ CC

The only two American airports that feature slot machines are McCarran International in Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. As long as you’re 21 or older, feel free to try your luck during your layover even though the gambling pros usually steer clear of airport slots. The machines are available 24 hours a day.

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