Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Even though the city is associated with the gambling industry, there is much more to do in Las Vegas than gamble. There are incredible and elaborate shows, both free and expensive, and there are the actual casinos themselves which are some of the most interesting and magnificent buildings in the world. In addition, there are several attractions just outside the city for those who want a break from the glitz.
1. Stroll the Strip, stopping at the various casinos – Walking or monorailing the Strip is a great daytime or nighttime activity in Las Vegas. Some of the casinos are so spectacular inside that they simply must be seen. A few of my favorites are the Venetian, the Bellagio, the Paris, and the Luxor.
2. Get tickets to see a show – Entertainment is the business of Las Vegas and there is no better place to see quality entertainers every night of the week. Cirque de Soleil and Blue Man Group are famous around the world. Headliners such as Bette Midler, Elton John and Cher are contracted to perform at Caesar’s Palace. In addition, there are other types of entertainment, costing money, which are available. They include the thrill rides (Big Shot, Insanity the Ride, and Xscream) at the Stratosphere, Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and the Rollercoaster at New York, New York.
3. Ride to the top of the Stratosphere – The Stratosphere Tower rises 1150 feet above The Strip and provides spectacular views during the day or night of the glitz and glamour of the city. Even if you are not interested in the thrill rides available here, the view is worth the trip up.
4. Be Mesmerized by the Freemont Street Experience – Downtown Las Vegas doesn’t have the appeal anymore, even though this is where Las Vegas started and this is where your gambling dollar can be stretched. It has been eclipsed by The Strip with its Mega-hotels and incredible entertainment. However, the downtown is still notable for the unique Freemont Street Experience, a fantastia of color, sound and spectacle traveling along the canopy above you.
5. Visit the Hoover Dam – Thirty miles southeast of the city is the major excursion for visitors to Las Vegas. The Hoover Dam was built in 1935 and was one of the most significant engineering achievements of the Twentieth Century. Lake Mead was created by its construction. When you visit, be sure to spend the extra money for the Hard Hat Tour.
6. Try Your Luck at a Casino – There are hundreds to choose from, all over the city
7. Check out the free shows at the Casinos – There are many spectacular and free shows at the major casinos that are must-sees especially if you have children. Some of the best are the Dancing Fountains at the Bellagio, and the Sirens of TI Show at Treasure Island. Indoor freebies include the Fall of Atlantis at Caesar’s Palace and Masquerade Show in the Sky at the Rio (just off the Strip).
8. Pig out at a Las Vegas Buffet – Food is fairly inexpensive in Las Vegas for those who are willing to brave the lines at the various buffets offered at the casinos.
9. Take a Scenic Drive through Valley of Fire State Park – About 50 miles from the city, along Lake Mead Recreation Area is an interesting red sandstone landscape which is a treasure to explore. American Indian petroglyphs and unusual formations abound.
10. Hike or Rock-climb at Red Rock Canyon – This scenic area is only 15 miles from Las Vegas and offers numerous outdoor activities. Especially popular are rock-climbing (some of the canyon walls rise 3000 feet) and hiking on the many trails. The 13-mile park road is scenic to drive.
Other sights considered: