Tips on What To Do in Las Vegas
There's no question as to why Las Vegas was given the nickname, "America's Playground." From casinos to wildlife reserves, dance clubs to dance performances, entertainment is not lacking here. There are plenty of ways to spend your days (and nights), some of which won't cost you a thing.
- The Corner of Flamingo Road and the Strip. Casino-hopping is the best all-around way to explore this colorful, fanciful city, and the junction of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard puts you right in the center of the action." -- Fodor's
Frommer's says, "You aren't going to lack for things to do in Las Vegas." Few people leave Las Vegas without having gambled (and, for most, lost) some of their money. Many of the city's best casinos can be found right along the Strip, including the Bellagio, the MGM Grand and Paris, Las Vegas. Other smaller casinos can be found off the strip, but don't expect them to be nearly as well-equipped (or as flashy) as the titans along Las Vegas Boulevard.
Even if you aren't planning on trying your hand on Lady Luck, travel experts say that these casinos are well worth seeing. Many of them house attractions other than casinos, such as museums, shopping malls and even zoos, like the MGM Grand's Lion Habitat.
- Oh, the gambling? Yep, there's plenty of that. Let's not kid ourselves: Gambling is the main attraction of Vegas. The rest -- the celebrity-chef restaurants, the shows, the cartoonish buildings -- is so much window dressing to lure you and your money to the city." -- Frommer's
- Avoid the bar – most casinos serve complimentary alcoholic beverages to guests while they’re on the floor." -- Sherman's Travel
- Even if you don't play, just watching the action and checking out the Runyonesque characters who come and go is entertainment enough." -- New York Times
If you're coming to Vegas, chances are you'll want to hit up the scores of clubs along the strip, especially on the south side. Travelers say that the Mix Lounge at Mandalay Bay offers an excellent view of the surrounding city, while PURE at Caesar's Palace is a must for any night owl. Another Las Vegas favorite is the VooDoo Lounge atop the Rio Casino, just off the strip. Here you'll find affordable open bar specials, a great dance floor and more great views of the strip. If you want to party during the day, try the poolside scene at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
- Skyhigh bars. Burlesque. Wild dance clubs. Sophisticated lounges. Strip clubs. Beefy man shows. You can't go to Vegas and not at least check out the spectacle. So pick your scene, grab a martini, and join the 24-hour party." -- Fodor's
Vegas is also an incredible city for musical and arts performances. One of the most popular Las Vegas arts attractions is Cirque de Soleil, a theater company that presents a mix of circus performance and street entertainment. Cirque de Soleil offers seven different shows in Las Vegas, the most talked about being "O" -- a show that takes place in water -- at the Bellagio. Other shows focus on everything from human sensuality to Beatles Music.
Another popular act is the Blue Man Group. Starring at the Venetian Casino, these painted performers will do just about anything to get a laugh out of their audience. Championship boxing is also a prime Las Vegas attraction, and the city's hotels can fill to capacity when the fight is big enough. Fights are usually held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The city's venues are among the most lavish in the world. Be sure to book tickets well in advance before traveling.
- If you want to see the most popular shows, it's a good idea to call ahead and order tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment." -- Frommer's
- Lost all your cash at the blackjack table but still itching to see a show? Head to the lounge -- most casinos host on-going musical acts there free of charge." -- Sherman's Travel
When it comes to getting a feel for the city, travel writers say that there's no better way to do it than from above. Attractions like the Stratosphere and Paris, Las Vegas' Eiffel Tower Experience are a good way to get a birds-eye view of America's playground.
Many casinos offer their own attractions -- such as art museums and shopping centers -- but there are a few that you shouldn't miss. For example, the Bellagio Fountains are a definite must-see, as is the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes and the MGM Grand's Lion Habitat. However, there are also plenty of notable attractions away from the immediate vicinity of the slot machines.
If you enjoy the Vegas lights, head to Fremont Street. As an attempt to bring the Strip atmosphere to the Downtown Area, developers installed the Fremont Street Experience, an overhead light and laser show that dazzles those walking underneath. You can catch the show every evening after dark.
If you don't mind a bit of a drive, recent visitors recommend escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. If you enjoy nature, spend an afternoon hiking in Red Rock Canyon. The Grand Canyon is also nearby, although you should plan on setting aside at least a day to account for getting there and back. But perhaps the most popular attraction outside Las Vegas is the Hoover Dam. Just a short drive from central Vegas, the Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel.
- Don't forget to check out the free hotel attractions, such as Bellagio's water-fountain ballet, The Mirage's volcano, the MGM lions, and the Show in the Sky at the Rio." -- Frommer's
- The 1400ft (427m) canopy over downtown's Fremont St, between Main St and Las Vegas Blvd, is steroid-enhanced by 550,000 watts of concert-hall sound and a super-big Viva Vision screen. When the 12.5 million synchronized LEDs come on, cheesy sound-and-light shows are awesome enough to hypnotize every spectator (especially if you're drunk)." -- Lonely Planet
- If you have time for just one trip outside of town, make it to this spectacular structure created during the 1930s -- it's considered one of the seven wonders of the industrial world. Rising 726 feet above the Colorado River, the [Hoover] dam affords tremendous views, and tours into its interior are available." -- Fodor's