Known for fun and excitement, this city in the desert serves up all kinds of possibilities for travelers. The Strip, Las Vegas’ famous resort-lined street, sparkles with lights and recreated glamorous sites from cities around the world. Many of the hotels are attractions in and of themselves and feature free streetside shows, from dancing fountains to erupting volcanoes. You’ll also find unique museums, an always impressive list of shows, and countless other things to do. The Grand Canyon is just a short helicopter ride away, and the surrounding hills and mountains are home to all kinds of recreational opportunities.
Las Vegas is a great place to visit year-round. The cooler winter temperatures are pleasant for sightseeing, and in summer, when the temperature can rise above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the hotel pools become an important part of the daytime activities.
1 The Strip
The 2.5-mile-long central section of Las Vegas Boulevard, which runs through the city from northeast to southwest, known as the Strip, is lined with huge entertainment palaces, many built with a defining theme and home to performance venues, luxury hotel rooms, and fine dining. The Strip is particularly impressive at night, when the city is illuminated by an endless succession of glittering neon signs.
Most visitors enjoy walking along the Strip and taking in the sights. Generally speaking, the Las Vegas Strip runs from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to Treasure Island Hotel. To truly experience Las Vegas, stay on the Strip, preferably at one of the major resorts. For a look at some of the best accommodation options in a variety of price ranges, see our recommended hotels.
2 Fremont Street Experience
In old downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is a pedestrian-only area with all kinds of unique sites. A five-block section of Fremont Street is covered over with a canopy of LED lights that illuminate the sky in a spectacle of different colors and designs as you walk below. Known as the Fremont Street Experience, each night a fantastic music and visual show takes place overhead. Street performers and special entertainment acts often perform outdoors in this area. Fremont Street is in downtown Las Vegas, a few kilometers from the Strip. It is best to take a taxi to reach this area. Or, if you want to truly experience Las Vegas at night, take the 3.5-hour Las Vegas Lights Night Tour, which includes the Fremont Street light show and highlights along the Strip.
3 Helicopter Rides over Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
For a great aerial view over Las Vegas, or even the Grand Canyon, visitors may want to take a helicopter ride. Las Vegas has a number of companies providing helicopter tours that take visitors over Las Vegas and the Strip, or as far away as the Grand Canyon. This is a great opportunity for anyone with limited time to see not only Vegas, but the surrounding landscape and one of America’s most impressive and famous natural attractions. If you have a full day for exploring, try a 6.5-hour Grand Canyon 4-in-1 Helicopter Tour.
4 Venetian Hotel and Gondola Rides
The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas is located on the Strip, across from Treasure Island. It is one of the city’s finest resorts and has many interesting tourist attractions. Inside is a themed shopping arcade built to resemble the city of Venice, complete with blue skies, canals, and gondoliers. The hotel also features recreations of the main attractions found in Venice, such as the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, along with many others.
The Venetian Gondola Rides are a fun way to see the complex. Situated out in front of the Venetian Hotel, near the sidewalk, boats await passengers who are then taken on a ride by their personable gondolier through the shopping arcade inside the hotel.
Address: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
5 Paris Hotel and the Eiffel Tower
Located on the Strip, Paris Las Vegas is one of the most easily recognized resorts in the city. Out front is a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, and down the way is a recreation of the Paris Opera House. Forty-six stories above the city streets, the Eiffel Tower Experience is an observation deck with incredible 360-degree views. One story below this is posh and romantic Eiffel Tower Restaurant, with fine views out over the Strip and across to the dancing fountains of Bellagio. Also on the property is a mock hot air balloon festooned with neon and flashing lights.
Address: 3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
6 Bellagio Resort and Fountain Show
The Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas is a massive, high-end hotel complex, with a wide variety of attractions, including the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a spa and salon, and some of the finest restaurants in Las Vegas. Beyond the lobby is a showroom area with changing themes that range from spring botanical displays to fascinating shows of art. The most impressive and famous feature is the fountain show. In front of the Bellagio, along the Strip, the dancing fountains perform a beautiful display of water set to music. From the sidewalk, visitors have a ringside view. This is often described as the best free attraction in Las Vegas.
Address: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
7 Mirage Hotel: Erupting Volcano and Secret Garden
The Mirage Hotel is easy to identify while walking along the Strip. In front of the resort is a volcano, which erupts at regular intervals. At night, the glowing red fire shooting out is one of the most unique sites visible from the sidewalk. Inside the Mirage is the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. You can see a wide variety of exotic animals, including white lions. The Dolphin Habitat contains a large number of trained dolphins in its 2.5-million-gallon pools.
Address: 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
8 High Roller Ferris Wheel on the Linq
The High Roller Ferris wheel is at the far end of the Linq Promenade, just off the Strip. This huge Ferris wheel stands 550 feet high and takes thirty minutes for one full rotation, providing outstanding views over the strip and surrounding area from the capsules. Each cabin, as they are called, can hold up to 40 people. Views are particularly outstanding at night with the city lights in full glow.
9 New York-New York Hotel
The New York-New York Hotel in Las Vegas is across the street from both the MGM Grand Hotel and the Excalibur Resort Hotel. Visually stunning, the hotel is designed to appear like New York’s skyline, complete with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. A huge roller coaster circles in and around the hotel.
Address: 3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
10 Caesar’s Palace and The Colosseum
Perhaps one of the best known of all the Las Vegas hotel resorts, Caesar’s Palace continues to evolve. Currently Caesar’s Palace is a massive complex in the middle of the Strip, complete with every imaginable entertainment option. The hotel is closely associated with shows held in its huge concert venue known as “The Colosseum.” Top performers (which have included Celine Dion and Elton John) perform here for extended periods, and shows are often booked out well in advance. Visitors planning a trip and hoping to see a performance here will want to check out dates and ticket availability as early as possible.
Address: 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas