Landing in Las Vegas

First Timers Weekend In Las Vegas

(Last Updated On: December 21, 2019)

Weekend In Las Vegas

Las Vegas was never on my bucket list.

Sure, it seems like an interesting place. Casinos, extravagant hotels, first class dining and arguably one of the best nightlife cities in the world.  Even with all of that being said, Las Vegas had never been on my radar.  Paris, oui, oui! Hawaii…on the bucket list for sure! But Las Vegas? No, it just didn’t pull at my heart strings the same way.

But last April, 2017 that’s just where I found myself on a 3 day weekend.

Yep, me in sin city with my husband!  So, here’s what happened. My husband and I had already requested off vacation time months prior, but we couldn’t decide where to go.

We live in Portland, Oregon and we were desperate to get out of the rain. But, we also didn’t want to spend too much money.  The more we looked online, the more clear it was that Las Vegas was really affordable.

It checked all the right boxes. Sunshine, warm weather, good food, cheap hotels and flights.

We thought to ourselves, “Everyone has to go to Las Vegas at least once in their lives, right?” As if to convince each other that this was the perfect vacation for us.

If you have never been to Las Vegas before I really do think it is fun to see at least once in your lifetime. Below is my 3 day itinerary of our vacation in Las Vegas as first timers!

Day 1

We flew on Spirit airlines non-stop from Portland, OR.

The picture below is of my feet standing on the Portland, OR airport carpet. While this may seem weird to some of you, this is actually a pretty normal thing to capture a feet selfie at the PDX airport. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the Wikipedia page here.  

PDX Airport Carpet
My feet on PDX carpet at the Portland, OR airport.

Flying on Spirit did not provide us with any perks, but with the flight only being a few hours it did not matter to us that we didn’t have TV, Wi-Fi or the most comfortable seating.

Arriving at McCarran airport in Las Vegas you will be greeted with the sight of slot machines throughout the airport terminal.

It’s odd to see at first, but then you quickly realize that well, it’s Vegas!

Landing in Las Vegas
View from the plane landing in Las Vegas.

Getting a taxi or uber is a piece of cake from the airport!  As soon as you leave the main exit there is a long line to hop in to grab taxi’s and it moves really quickly. They have this down packed!  The ride from the airport was only 15 minutes and cost $15.

Mirage Hotel Las Vegas
Mirage Hotel Las Vegas

We checked in at The Mirage hotel.  I loved the Mirage. It’s a Polynesian themed hotel. So the décor is tropical island themed throughout. The best parts are the huge pool with waterfalls and the manmade volcano in the front of the building.

The volcano erupts multiple times each night providing a free show to people walking by on the strip.

After we dropped off our bags we decided to head out on the strip in search for some dinner.  The mirage is situated in the middle of the strip, which makes it easy to get around to other popular points of interests.

The strip is just over 4 miles long.

Because the buildings are so large it may seem that points of interests are closer than they really are. So make sure to wear some comfortable shoes!

We walked about 7 minutes south on the strip from The Mirage to the Linq Hotel’s promenade where the Yard House restaurant is located.

The Yard House was such a happy surprise.

The location couldn’t have been any better. It was at the end of the pedestrian only walkway which was lined with a ton of fantastic restaurants and shops.

Dinner at the Yard House Las Vegas
Dinner at the Yard House Las Vegas

We were able to sit in the open air patio which had an awesome view of the High Roller ferris wheel. The Yard House also has an amazing beer list (by the way)!  We listened to a street performer playing guitar as we ate our burgers and fries. It was a fun experience!

High Roller Ferris Wheel Las Vegas
High Roller Ferris Wheel Las Vegas

We ended the night by trying some gambling for the first time! I had beginners luck and wound up $320 ahead by the end of the night! We tried quarter, dollar and five dollar slot machines. The casino in the Mirage offers free beverages while you gamble, and I heard that is the case for most of the casinos.

Day 2

We ate breakfast at Denny’s which was conveniently across the street from the Mirage hotel.  We decided to eat at Denny’s because it was affordable. However, everything in Las Vegas is expensive. While the hotels are affordable, dinning and activities in Las Vegas can add up fast.  Had we eaten in the beautiful French restaurant in the Mirage for breakfast we would have spent double.

Breakfast at Denny's
Enjoying my morning coffee at Denny’s Las Vegas

After breakfast we decided to hit up the pool. Saturday was our only full day in Las Vegas so we wanted to spend it leisurely.  We spent half the day at the pool.

Wait staff will come around and ask you if you want food or drink. How convenient is that? You don’t even need to lift a finger! So relaxing.  I got a virgin pina colada and then Nathan and I shared steak tacos as a pre-lunch!

Mirage hotel pool las vegas
Enjoying my pina colada poolside at the Mirage hotel Las Vegas

As a free afternoon activity we decided to walk the strip and check out other hotel lobbies on the strip. It’s almost as if you are visiting other countries! Plus, you get some air conditioning relief from the heat outside!

We checked out Caesar’s Palace (Rome), The Venetian (Italy) and the Paris hotel.

Lobby of Caesars Palace
Me In the lobby of Caesars Palace
Exterior of the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas
Exterior of the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas
Interior of the Venetian Hotel
Interior of the Venetian Hotel
Venetian Hotel Las Vegas
Me, at the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas

For lunch we went back to the Yard House!  It was just so good the first time, and affordable that we felt we couldn’t go wrong.

For dinner we bought a groupon deal for a buffet at the Paris hotel. The groupon included a free alcoholic drink which was a nice perk.

The buffets in Las Vegas are extravagant!

The food at the Paris hotel was absolutely amazing. The set up is themed on different French foods from the various regions in France. We at pasta, beef bourguignon, bread, salad, and macaroons!

Paris Hotel Las Vegas
Paris Hotel Las Vegas

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We ended the night by doing a little more gambling in the Mirage casino before calling it a night.

Day 3

We ate breakfast again at Denny’s. I know…we are such repeaters!

After breakfast we took another last dip in the pool before packing up and heading to the airport!

I would most certainly return to Las Vegas. It was better than I had imagined.