Las Vegas has earned a reputation for being one of the most fun and lively cities in the United States. Located in the Nevada desert, this city is known for its casinos, nightlife, and wedding chapels. When you visit this city, you will find an abundance of activities and attractions to keep you thoroughly entertained during your stay. While the city is noted for its thrilling attractions, the options also include relaxation and beautiful surroundings. There are so many things to see and do that you might have some trouble deciding what you should include on your vacation itinerary. Although which activities you choose is a matter of personal preference and not all activities will appeal to all people, the following are the 20 best things to do in Las Vegas for first-time visitors to help you make this decision.
20. Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens
Las Vegas is best-known for its indoor activities in the city. However, there are also places where you can enjoy some natural beauty without stepping outside the city to the surrounding desert. One of the best spots to visit for this is the Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens. The garden features thousands of plants, and the highlight of the exhibition is the Mojave Succulent and Cactus Collection. This is a lovely place to get away from the busy lifestyle associated with Las Vegas.
19. Mandalay Beach
The inland location of Las Vegas means that there are no natural beaches for relaxation and fun in the waves. The next best thing in this city is Mandalay Beach. This is a huge public pool that has a beach theme where people of all ages can relax on the loungers and splash in the large outdoor pool. This is a particularly great place to visit if you are staying in one of the many Las Vegas hotels that do not have an outdoor swimming pool. It is one of the best ways to make the most of the amazing climate in this city without traveling th=o the surrounding area.
18. The ‘O’ Theater at The Bellagio
There are many options when it comes to choosing evening entertainment during your stay, and one of the best places is the ‘O’ Theater at The Bellagio. It offers entertainment that is a little different from the other entertainment venues around Las Vegas. While other venues often focus on the music, at the O Theater at The Bellagio you will see a wide range of talent, similar to when you visit a circus. You can expect to see strongmen, acrobats, and even classic clown acts at this venue. You can also enjoy a relaxing drink from the bar while you are entertained by the spectacular performances.
17. Neon Museum
Las Vegas is famous for its neon lights, and The Strip is an impressive sight at night when these are lit up. When the neon signs are returned, they do not end up on the rubbish dump. Instead, they are acquired by the Neon Museum. This is an unusual museum that is all about the history of neon lights in Las Vegas. Choose your first sign as you walk around and take a photo to commemorate your trip to Sin City. This unusual museum is a reflection of the unique identity of Las Vegas.
16. The Stratosphere
One of the most iconic landmarks in Las Vegas is The Stratosphere. This impressive structure rises 829 feet above the ground, so it stands out in its surroundings. It is a Downtown Las Vegas Hotel, but also a tourist attraction. From the top of the structure, you can enjoy panoramic views across the city. For braver visitors, there is also the chance to try the Sky Jump. This is a controlled free fall from the top. If you are not brave enough to try this, there are other options for adrenaline junkies. There are also several thrilling rides for visitors to enjoy at this attraction.
15. The Mob Museum
While there are plenty of interesting museums to visit in Las Vegas, one of the most interesting is The Mob Museum. A visit to this museum is a chance to learn about the criminal underworld and law enforcement. The museum is set in a former courthouse, and it chronicles the activities of organized crime from around the world, not just in Las Vegas. One of the exhibits in the permanent exhibition is an electric chair. If you have an interest in crime history in the United States and around the world, then this is a fascinating museum to visit.
14. Walk the Strip
No trip to Las Vegas is complete without walking The Strip. This is the main street through Las Vegas where the majority of the big casinos are located. Even if you have no intention of visiting the casinos during your stay, you should still spend some time exploring The Strip. The facades of the casinos, hotels, and attractions are an impressive sight. This location is also where you will find many of the best restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Therefore, you will probably find yourself on The Strip when you are searching for somewhere to enjoy a good meal.
13. Top of the World Restaurant
Although there are some outstanding restaurants in Las Vegas, many of which are owned by world-famous celebrity chefs, one of the top places to eat is at the Top of the World Restaurant. This is not just because of the quality of the food served, but also because of the impressive city views that you can enjoy as you dine. The restaurant is located on the top floor of The Stratosphere Casino, and it is best enjoyed at night when the city is all lit up. It is possibly the highest place you will ever eat a meal.
12. Take a Helicopter Tour
There is a stark contrast between the urbanized part of Las Vegas and its natural desert surroundings. The best way to see this contrast is by taking a helicopter tour, of which there are many available. Choose one that takes you above the city to see the impressive Las Vegas landmarks and then heads out to the desert and over the magnificent Grand Canyon. The scale of the canyon is something that you can only truly appreciate from a bird’s eye perspective.
11. Red Rock Canyon
The desert surrounding Las Vegas features many impressive natural landmarks, and one that you should try to see is Red Rock Canyon. If you are a hiking enthusiast, then this is one of the best places to visit in the Las Vegas area. However, it also makes a great road trip if you are on a driving vacation. This is a peaceful place to spend your time and the views are spectacular.
10. Bellagio Fountain Show
The Bellagio hotel is one of the top hotels in Las Vegas. In addition to being known for its luxury accommodation, this hotel is also famous for its spectacular water fountain show. You do not need to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy this spectacle. The fountain show is an impressive display of water, light, color, and sound, and you will not see anything like it anywhere else in the world.
9. Death Valley National Park
During your visit to Las Vegas, you should take some time out from your urban adventure to explore nearby Death Valley National Park. Many people consider a trip to Death Valley the highlight of their stay in Las Vegas. The desert vistas in this state park are almost otherworldly as they are unlike any other sight you will see anywhere else in the world. It is a great place to go hiking, but it is best to go with a guide if you are not familiar with the area.
8. Valley of Fire State l Park
If you want to get out of the city for the day, then a road trip through the Valley of Fire State Park is an excellent choice. It is the oldest state park in Nevada, and you will see the magnificent red rock formations for which the Nevada Desert is famous. It is so-called because the rocks look like they are on fire in the bright sunshine. This park is famous for its ancient petroglyphs that are carved into the stone dating back more than 2,000 years. The park also has a visitor center that exhibits items of geological, ecological, and prehistorical interest. It is a popular spot for hikers and there are also campsites at this location if you want to spend a night away from the city.
7. Hoover Dam
Not About the Miles recommends a trip to Hoover Dam as one of the best things to do in Las Vegas away from the strip. This is a landmark created in the Great depression-era to dam the COlordao River, thus creating Lake Mead. It is an impressive man-made structure that sits among the beauty of the natural surroundings, and it is a great photo opportunity. You can take a guided tour or have a walk around the dam on your own.
6. The Rio Wine Cellar
Wine lovers should definitely take a trip to The Rio Wine Cellar. Due to its setting below a Brazilian-themed casino, many people miss this interesting attraction. It is home to more than $3 million worth of wines. Including 1,800 bottles of Madeira that are part of Thomas Jefferson’s personal stash. It is an interesting place to walk around, and you can visit their tasting room to sample some of the wines stored there before deciding which to buy.
5. Downtown Las Vegas Murals
Those who are interested in modern art should head to downtown Las Vegas to see the impressive murals. Downtown Las Vegas Murals is an outdoor art gallery featuring stunning murals by artists from across the globe. Most of these are graffiti-style pieces of art, and this outdoor gallery extends year-on-year.
4. Sahra Spa and Hammam
Many of the things to do in Las Vegas are lively, colorful, and loud. However, there are also some things that you can do if you want to add an element of relaxation to your time away. The best place for relaxation is the Sahra Spa & Hammam. This is located in The Cosmopolitan, and it offers a range of relaxing therapies and treatments that promote wellbeing.
3. The Venetian
The Venetian is actually a themed hotel, but many aspects of it are open to the public. As the hotel’s name suggests, the theme of this restaurant is Venice. One of the best things that visitors can do is take a ride on one of the gondolas down the man-made interior canal that passes under bridges, just like in the real Venice. If you are looking for something romantic to do during your trip to this city, then this is a good option.
2. Park Theater
Las Vegas is famous for its nighttime entertainment, and some of the most talented people in the world perform at the venues in this city. One of the newest offerings is Park Theater, and this has already become home to some of the hottest resident performers in Sin City. The performances are constantly changing, and include everything from musical performances to acrobatic acts.
1. Caesar’s Palace
If you only visit one casino during your stay in Las Vegas, then you should make it Caesar’s Palace. Time Out says that this is one of the most iconic landmarks of Las Vegas and one of the biggest tourist attractions. You can play the slot machines, gamble your chips on the casino floor at the poker table, enjoy an evening of entertainment, and even dine at this world-famous casino.
Written by Liz Flynn
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