A four-day weekend: Vegas, Zion, and Bryce!

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This is the first of a three-part post. Click ahead for the next two posts for photos and more from our days in Zion and Bryce Canyon

I'm so excited to say that my 2016 is off to an amazing start, and may potentially challenge 2014 as the best year this decade! I sometimes joke and say that I peaked early in life --considering that 2014 was the year I did Bike & Build, went to Patagonia on my first solo trip, and launched this website to pursue my passion of arts/crafts, writing, and travel -- but sometimes I actually worry that it's true! So, I am stoked to feel on top of the world and brimming with opportunities again.

In addition to camping a lot more (which I'll write about soon--I've been 3x just this year!), I'm also planning lots of small 4-day trips to national parks, and kicked off the year with a trip to Las Vegas, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon! 

Our four-day weekend looked like:

  • 2 days in Las Vegas
  • 1 day in Zion National Park (2 hr 45 min from Vegas)
  • 1 day in Bryce Canyon National Park (1 hr 45 min from Zion or 4.5 hrs from Vegas)

I don't plan on sharing any other pictures of Vegas than these two here, but I figured I'd share an overview of our weekend, in case anyone needed tips on planning a weekend. I had a lot of help from my brother, but not everyone has a sibling who considers Vegas their second home! 

Our two days in Vegas:

Day 1: Arrival

  • 8:00 PM Flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas
  • 11:00 PM Go to a club

Day 2: Recovery & exploration

  • 11:00 AM Wake up, get food, recover
  • 2:00 PM Walk around the Strip
  • 7:00 PM Dinner
  • 9:00 PM Cirque du Soleil show (Zarkana - it was amazing!)
  • 11:30 PM Go to a club

Tips for first-time Vegas go-ers

  • Hotel recommendations: We stayed in the LINQ and it was awesome. It was super fairly priced (about $210 per night including fees/taxes) for a room for four, the rooms were clean and fairly new, its location was convenient to clubs and things on the Strip, and the LINQ Promenade next door has many stores, restaurants, and bars to entertain yourself. Thanks to my brother for the recommendation!
  • Club recommendations: We only went to XS and Hakkasan and preferred XS, which had a nicer venue (outdoor space too). My friends summed it up well: Hakkasan was more like a "frat party" and XS felt a bit classier (and thus, more enjoyable for us less intense partiers :D)
  • Guest lists for clubs: Ladies, it's a cheap/almost free activity! Say YES to the promoters on the street offering you free entrance,  guest list, and drink specials to clubs - they are not sketchy and will make going out a lot easier! 
  • Cirque du Soleil & other shows: Buy tickets from Tix 4 Less (there are several locations along the strip) and go in the morning to get good seat selection. The shows are great and are a great opportunity, since you won't find these shows in most other cities.
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It was my first time in Las Vegas, and, as a natural homebody who grew out of her party days early for a millennial, I was dreading it quite a bit. But, to my surprise, I had a BLAST and would definitely go back. It's like Disneyland for adults, and if you're only there a short amount of time, it can be a perfect way to indulge a side of yourself that you might have forgotten about! 36-48 hours is the perfect amount of time and it made me very ready for our following two days in nature to detox and relax after an energetic weekend. Check out my posts on Zion and Bryce Canyon to see some pictures and quick details on our short stay!