Does the nickname “Sin City” sound familiar to you? The early days of Block 16 in Las Vegas saw a lot of gambling, prostitution, organized crime, as well as easy marriage and divorce. The prevalence of these issues is basically why the place was given such a nickname. Today, Las Vegas is pretty tame compared to its much wilder past (hopefully). It is now a must-visit if you’re out looking to have a great time and enjoy gaming, drinking, and maybe a side of adult entertainment. What are the best things to do in Las Vegas? Our tip if you’re planning to visit this place: you better pray you get on Lady Luck’s good side so you don’t break your bank account.
Here are the best things to do in Las Vegas:
1. Get a taste of Italy without visiting Italy!
One of the best things to do in Las Vegas is definitely checking out the Venetian Casino and Grand Canal. You know what they say. Why do you have to cross the Atlantic when you can see the beauty of Venice right in Las Vegas? It is complete with romantic gondola rides along the Grand Canal, and even has the Streetmosphere program with singers, stilt walkers, including living statues. This is the typical scene in the real Venice, so you won’t miss out on much.
Some visitors also say that you can play all day at The Venetian’s casino, which is arguably one of “the best” on the Strip thanks to its decor and glamour, size, and variety of games. You can also spend the day relaxing at the Canyon Ranch Spa, partying at TAO nightclub, laughing to your heart’s content at some comedy shows, or touring the Madame Tussauds wax museum. If you get hungry, you can just walk over to the nearby shops that boast gourmet Italian eats, or serve everything from burgers to noodles. Isn’t it great?
2. Try the delicious hand-crafted candies and chocolate.
It may not seem like it, but Las Vegas is actually home to some of the best chocolate makers in the country. For instance, you can visit Ethel M Chocolates, Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolatier, Godiva Chocolatier, and more.
Say yes to award-winning chocolates and confections! Not only do the sweets look gorgeous, but they are also insanely delectable, too. Don’t miss any of these shops when you are visiting Las Vegas.
3. Watch a Cirque du Soleil show.
Well, if you are coming to Las Vegas, this activity is “kinda required.” Lucky for you, there is a show to fit your every mood. There are 6 amazing options, and we know you won’t regret coming to one. You can just watch the Michael Jackson ONE show if you want to dance and groove. You can also be transported to a psychedelic world with The Beatles LOVE show. If you love silliness, insane acrobatics and gut-busting gags, the imaginative Mystere show will delight you. On the other hand, Zumanity will encourage you to let loose with its seductive and naughty fun; while the “O” show will give you a dose of artistry and surrealism. Lastly, the KA show will redefine what it means to “fight” with a performance that turns the regular normal combat into an acrobatic rush.
Regular tickets go on sale starting at $99. If you wish to secure “budget” tickets, you should avail of the future performances. You can just check their website for updates and notifications. There is also the online portal, CirqueConnect, that provides behind-the-scenes featurettes, 60-minute specials, videos, and other interesting content showcasing the company’s best performers.
4. Explore everything bright and flashy at the Neon Museum.
The fact is, you’ll see hundreds (or thousands) of colorful bulbs flashing for your attention the moment you step foot in Las Vegas. It’s nothing new in America’s Sin City. In fact, it is probably the city’s most iconic art form. The Neon Museum is famous for paying tribute to the Las Vegas light show. It also offers guided tours of what’s known as the “Boneyard.”
You will see a big outdoor exhibit home to more than 200 pieces of old Vegas signages. The signages are all laid out for admiration on the desert floor. You will be joined by local historians during the walk-through and they will provide details and stories on the most interesting signs. This includes the signs of famous landmarks such as Caesars Palace, the Golden Nugget and Stardust.
The Neon Museum is a cool place to check out if you love pretty lights and Las Vegas history. Some of the oldest signs displayed here are from the 1930s. An evening tour is also recommended so you can fully appreciate the beautiful signs.
5. See the Fountains of Bellagio up close!
There’s nothing like witnessing the iconic fountains and the dramatic aquatic shows choreographed with music and lights. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Las Vegas, and we’re pretty sure you’ll see this mentioned in other lists too.
When you’re already playing table games and slot machines at the Bellagio Casino, make sure you allot some time to see the mesmerizing fountains. After all, there’s more to the Bellagio than its gaming floor. The fountains are said to be the “most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived.” The great thing about it is that it is absolutely free for any visitor! Each performance is also unique so you will still want to come back no matter how many times you have seen the Fountains.
The light and water show is every 30 minutes from 3 pm to 8 pm on Mondays to Fridays and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight. It starts earlier during weekends and holidays at noon every 30 minutes and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight.
Before a show starts, you better step back and find a comfortable perch to sit on.
6. Get a bird’s-eye view of the Strip at the High Roller Observation Wheel.
Isn’t the world’s tallest observation wheel worth visiting? This one is just in Las Vegas, and it has already bested the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. You will be amazed just by looking at this giant Ferris wheel, which stands 550 feet tall and 520 feet in diameter. It has 28 handcrafted pods made out of Italian glass, and these pods can carry up to 40 people each.
The wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution, so you have plenty of time to take in the stunning views, snap photos, or just relax.
They also have a Happy Half Hour called the “Open Bar in the Sky” where you can enjoy one 30 minute rotation, as well as an in-cabin open bar and bartender to serve up the fun!
7. Visit the Hoover Dam.
You’ve probably already heard about the Hoover Dam. It is a major tourist spot and one of America’s most famous landmarks. This dam confines Lake Mead, which is the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. The dam has helped provide power to Nevada, Arizona, and California since 1935. It has over a million visitors each year.
Standing at 700-hundred-foot-tall, this concrete arch-gravity dam is truly a modern marvel of the world. In fact, it is practically begging to be explored by any person visiting Las Vegas.
8. Treat yourself to a delightful dinner at The Peppermill.
Let’s say this place is the casino of Las Vegas in the restaurant world. The Peppermill is a classic diner and lounge where guests can enjoy delicious plates of eggs and hash browns, as well as piled-high (no kidding) fruit plates!
You will totally fall in love with the whole ambiance of the place with its neon-lit lounge with romantic booths, and a flaming reflection pool. The elegant servers will be the ones to serve you your fruity cocktails. If you come here, make sure to stay cozy around the fire pit and try a plate of nachos or the 64 oz Scorpion Bowl.
9. Take a look at the criminal underworld at the Mob Museum.
Visiting the Mob Museum is not just one of the best things to do in Las Vegas. It also makes for an informative trip. This place is where you see the stories of the criminal underworld and how law enforcement has fought its sway. The museum is set in a former courthouse that hosted part of the Kefauver Hearings. You can find many permanent exhibitions such as a piece of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre wall, a vintage electric chair, and more. You can also try special and premium experiences at the Crime Lab, or partake in a Firearm Training Simulator for an extra fee.
Before you leave, drop by the distillery and speakeasy in the basement to relax. You might want to order some of their housemade moonshine or whiskey.
10. Visit The Strip.
Where is The Strip exactly? All we know is that once you pass the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, then you are already near the Sin City’s epicenter. It is where you can find the most iconic Las Vegas landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, The Venetian’s Grand Canal, and more.
The Strip runs from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere casino on the north end. You can find the tallest free-standing observation tower in the country on the north end. It is actually the backdrop for the best Vegas photo.
You are free to explore The Strip on foot, but we highly encourage you to wear comfortable shoes or join the Deuce bus. The bus offers rides from the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Vegas and all the way to the southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard. Some travelers who have already been here say that you should come at night to see all the casinos and other attractions light up the town.
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