Aerial view of the las vegas strip

Things To Do In Las Vegas

Last year, 32 million visitors passed through Las Vegas. The city offers just about every entertainment option and every type of activity you can imagine to keep a steady stream of tourists leaving satisfied year after year.

Every day in Las Vegas you have access to a wide variety of music, cultural, educational, culinary, and recreational activities to choose from. Add the cities unique location near a number of natural wonders and this is one vacation destination where you’ll have too many things to do while you are in Las Vegas.

We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do on your next trip to Las Vegas. Many of the activities listed are free attractions that are family friendly, fun, things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble, and will leave a memorable impression on your visit to the city.

Vegas is great for just about any type of experience and this list will  help you find the right activity for you!

Walk the Fremont Street Experience

Still one of the best things to do in town, and free for that matter, is strolling the five-block section of Downtown Las Vegas known as the Fremont Street Experience

This pedestrian-friendly hub of events in the historic casino district offers a pulsating overhead canopy light and sound show,  live entertainment nightly, and SlotZilla zipline course. Old-school Vegas is also the best place to people watch in all of Sin City!

Fountains at the Bellagio

The Fountains of Bellagio Bellagio’s are probably the most popular free attraction on the entire Las Vegas Strip. 

More than a thousand geysers shoot towers of water from the resort’s eight-and-a-half acre lake and create a dancing aquatic ballad every 30 minutes from 3 pm to 8 pm Monday- Friday (and every 15 minutes from 8 pm till midnight) and every 30 minutes from noon till 8 pm (and every 15 minutes from 8 pm till midnight) on Saturday, Sunday & Holidays.

Visit the Mob Museum

One of the most unique museums in all of America chronicles organized crime.

The Mob Museum, located in Downtown Las Vegas, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the public understanding of organized crime’s history and its impact on American society.

The Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive exhibits. The museum also offers interactive experiences such as a crime lab, distillery tour and tasting, and a firearms training simulator. It is a great place to spend an afternoon with your family on your next visit to Las Vegas.

Visit The National Atomic Testing Museum

The wonderful The National Atomic Testing Museum tells the story of Las Vegas and the Nevada Test Site’s role in developing nuclear weapons.

It contains a number of permanent exhibits and houses cultural and educational programs to promote and support the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation.

It is an affiliate partner of the Smithsonian Institution and the depth of information and artifacts on display supporting its mission to preserve the history associated with the Nevada Test Site and the nation’s nuclear weapons program is fascinating.

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

This 14,000-square-foot botanical garden, accessible 24 hours a day inside the Bellagio, is one of the city’s great free attractions.

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens offers a themed horticultural exhibit that rotates with each season (along with a special display for Lunar New Year).  The exhibits, all using thousands upon thousands of flowers to sculpt landscapes, structures, and stories, are a must stop for any plant lover!

Take A Helicopter Tour Over The Las Vegas Strip

A Las Vegas Strip Helicopter Tour is a breathtaking way to experience the magnificence of Las Vegas.

These nighttime VIP helicopter tours fly over legendary landmarks that adorn the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas including the space beam of the Luxor pyramid, the New York-New York skyline, the fountains of Bellagio, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the clock tower in St. Mark's Square of the Venetian, the Stratosphere, and more.

You can combine this memorable trip with a Fly & Dine Luxury Night Out package where you can enjoy a four-course tasting menu in the fabulous Venetian Resort and then board a nighttime luxury helicopter flight.

Take A Drive To Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area,  Nevada's first National Conservation Area, is the premier Mojave Desert playground for Las Vegas.

The 198,000 acres area, just 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, is a colorful collection of towering walls, deep canyons, and sandstone hills.  Red Rock Canyon offers miles of hiking trails, world-class rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and many other outdoor recreation opportunities.

The main portion of Red Rock Canyon is accessed by a one-way, 13-mile scenic drive that connects visitors to more than 10 trailheads with more than 20 hiking trails that penetrate deep into protected canyon country.

Take a Trip To The Hoover Dam

Just outside Las Vegas sits one of the most famous sites in the entire United States; the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam offers visitors a wonderful day trip that is extraordinary for its equal parts natural beauty and history.

Built during the Great Depression (1931-1936),  Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark. At more than 700 feet high and 1,200 feet long, this engineering marvel is situated in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River. Hoover Dam Visitors Center is open to the public every day from 5 am to 9 pm. The drive from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam takes about 45 minutes and is approximately 30 miles.

Visit the Silverton Aquarium and Mermaid Show

Silverton Las Vegas Aquarium’s massive 117,000-gallon aquarium, home of thousands of tropical fish, is the best free aquarium in Las Vegas and one of the best free attractions overall in all of Las Vegas.

Silverton’s Aquarium and Mermaid Show offers interactive stingray feeding shows daily at 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm and the famous mermaid swims take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

To make things even cooler for the kids, Silverton offers a 90-minute Mermaid School on Saturdays and Sundays. During this course your child can get an up close look at the sea life within the massive aquarium by transforming into a famed Silverton mermaid and swimming with a mermaid tail. Classes are $175 per child. All equipment, including goggles, is provided. Participants need only bring a swimsuit and towel.

Visit Pawn Stars Location

The History Channel hit show Pawn Stars is a Las Vegas institution. Check out the store that made the show famous on your visit to Sin City.

The world famous pawn shop, the Gold & Sliver Pawn Shop, is a must-stop during your next trip to Las Vegas. Better, it is free to visit and park at the Pawn Shop. It is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, near downtown Las Vegas, at 713 Las Vegas Blvd. The shop is open every day from 10 am - 5:30 pm.

Visit the Chandelier Bar and Lounge at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino

In a city overflowing with bars, The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino hosts the most epic watering hole in town!

The three story Chandelier Bar and Lounge, equal parts playground, art exhibit, and bar  glistens with millions of crystals and creates a hub of high energy Vegas fun.  It’s a perfect spot for your high roller Vegas selfie as you sip on a signature drink in a classic casino lounge!

Tour the Neon Museum

Las Vegas vintage neon signs and other architecture is on display at this beautiful outdoor museum.

The Neon Museum Las Vegas offers a 45-minute guided tour of its main boneyard which showcases more than 250 Vegas signs spanning prior decades.  More than two dozen have been restored and re illuminated. The guided tour gives guests insights into the artistic technology behind neon sign design and how the signs chronicle the fascinating and unique history of Las Vegas – its people, properties, and communities – from the 1930s to the present day.

The Neon Night Flight Spectacular package lets you discover the neon lights of Las Vegas from above and below. It includes an evening  helicopter flight over the Las Vegas Strip followed by The Neon Museum experience.

Wildlife Talk at the Flamingo Las Vegas Wildlife Habitat

The Flamingo Las Vegas is more than just a retro cool hotel and casino in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. It also doubles as an exotic wildlife habit that offers a fun experience for the whole family.

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is four-acre gardens, streams, waterfalls, exotic birds, turtles, fish that is free to enter Monday through Sunday 7am until 8pm. Every day at 8:30am and 2:00pm the Flamingo Wildlife habitat offers “Keeper Talks” to learn more about the creatures. No reservation or ticket is required!

Visit Lake Las Vegas

East of Las Vegas, just 15 miles from the Vegas Strip, is an oasis in the desert;  Lake Las Vegas.

This resort complex/community contains waterfront restaurants, luxury hotels, golf courses, hiking trails, boat rentals, and much more. You can paddle board the calm lake in the morning and catch a live music performance at night. You can view a full list of Lake Las Vegas events to plan your trip to the area.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum

A visit to the Las Vegas Natural History is voted by Desert Companion magazine as the best place in this vibrant city to teach children history.

Whether you're into paleontology or archaeology, a dinosaur devotee, ancient Egypt enthusiast, marine biologist in training, or an animal aficionado, you're sure to learn something new on your visit to this Downtown Las Vegas museum exhibiting a varied collection of wildlife and prehistoric exhibits.

Kayak Black Canyon

Full-day and half-day tours are available via a number of local tour operators to experience a magical stretch of the Colorado River through Black Canyon; the narrow, rocky volcanic walled canyon that houses the Hoover Dam.

These flat water paddling trips take you past waterfalls, slot canyons, natural hot springs and give you an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife including bighorn sheep, coyotes, owls, bald eagles, hawks, and a wide variety of reptiles.

The trips take part on sections of the Black Canyon Water Trail, a 30 mile National Water Trail, the only such trail in the Southwest United States and the only to flow through a desert. You can Guided tours leave from the base of the Hoover Dam, from Willow Beach, Arizona, or near an old mining town in Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

This world-class attraction offers a glimpse into the origins of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Springs Preserve is situated on a 180-acre section of town that served as the original source of water for Native Americans living here thousands of years ago and the source for the early pioneers and railways that called the Vegas Valley home.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978, Las Vegas Springs Preserve features museums, galleries, outdoor events, world-class desert botanical gardens and a hiking trail system. The Preserve offers a full slate of events and activities and also houses the Nevada State Museum, which focuses on the  history and natural history of Nevada.

Visit The Downtown Las Vegas Container Park

The Downtown Las Vegas Container Park is an open-air shopping center filled with the best small business offerings Las Vegas has to offer. A quirky collection of boutique retail shops, delicious local restaurants, a massive tree house playground, and live entertainment make this a great place to visit for the entire family.

The Container Park has a full slate of featured live entertainment events as well. It is located in the heart of DTLV, otherwise known as downtown Las Vegas, at 707 Fremont Street.

Aerial Sightseeing: Grand Canyon and Other National Parks

Las Vegas is the aerial tourism capital of America. The city sits close to some of the most awe inspiring natural wonders in the entire world. The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Antelope Canyon are all about an hour flight from Vegas aboard sightseeing aircraft and helicopters.

Aerial tour operators such as Papillon offer trips daily to the Grand Canyon and beyond.

Those trips include a 3,200-foot descent to the Grand Canyon floor when you fly from Las Vegas on the Grand Celebration With Las Vegas Strip Tour, an airplane tour from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon West Rim to see the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk, a combination sightseeing airplane/ customized Hummer tour to the South Rim with the Grand Canyon Hummer Tour package, and trips further afar to experience Southwest wonders.

Trips to the most famous slot canyon in America aboard the Antelope Canyon Expedition and to Utah’s most unique national park with the Bryce Canyon Tour offer some of the most breathtaking photography opportunities anywhere.

Ride The LINQ, World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

The world’s largest observation wheel, The LINQ, lets you soar 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

The 30 minute, slow paced spin lets you capture wonderful views of the city skyline and the entire Las Vegas Valley. You can buy tickets for one of the  28 spacious cabins on The LINQ here.

See the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Of all the photo opportunities in a city full of photo opportunities, nothing stands out more than the requisite ‘strike a pose’ in front of the  ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign.

Built in 1959 by Young Electric Company for just $4,000, this beautiful 25-foot-tall sign is installed in a wide pedestrian median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, near Mandalay Bay. Its famous stretched diamond shape contains seven white circles representing silver dollars;  a homage to Nevada’s nickname as the Silver State. A parking area is available when visiting.

Stroll the Linq LINQ Promenade

There are many places to shop till you drop in Las Vegas. But the open air district on the Las Vegas Strip between the Linq hotel and the Flamingo Hotel, Linq Promenade, takes top prize for the most entertaining shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in town.

Packed with more than 35 restaurants, hundreds of shops, bars, Fly LINQ Zipline and the High Roller, it’s a beautiful place to experience a number of sky-high attractions and experiences.

Take a World Tour, Vegas Style

Some of the most popular places in Las Vegas are themed hotels inspired by popular destinations from around the world.

Experience Paris right in the heart of the Strip. Venice and its Italian-inspired gardens, and St. Mark’s Square replicated completely with costumed characters and gelato stands. Enjoy the best of the Big Apple and New York City all here in the Nevada Desert.

STRAT Hotel Observation Deck

Voted “Best Place to View the City” year after year by Las Vegas Review-Journal readers, the STRAT Hotel Observation Deck, 1,149 feet tall, is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States.

This is the spot to head to if you are looking for a 360 degree view of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding valley. While atop one of the most exciting attractions in all of  Las Vegas, you can dine at the Top of the World restaurant which is located more than 800 feet above Las Vegas and revolves 360 degrees every 80 minutes.

Or, participate in the extreme insanity that the Stat thrill rides offer from this lofty perch if you are looking for an adrenaline rush. You can be catapulted more than 150 feet in the air at 45 mph on the Big Shot ride, spin at 3 Gs while dangling from the SkyPod on the Insanity ride, or ride the X-Scream roller coaster which dangles you above the city 866 feet high!

Best Day trips from Las Vegas
Best Day Trips From Las Vegas

 When it comes to bucket list items on your travel agenda, Grand Canyon National Park is probably near the top of the list. 

The 277-mile-long Colorado River cuts a majestic, geological marvel through ancient layers of the Colorado Plateau. Every year, millions of visitors travel to view the eighth wonder of the world.

With multiple vistas and tons of activities to experience at the Grand Canyon, we’ve assembled this guide for both first-time visitors and returning adventurers alike to help you travel most efficiently to America’s most majestic National Park.

An aerial photo of the Hoover Dam with the Colorado River behind it.
Hoover Dam Tour and Destination Guide

The Hoover Dam is one of the Southwest's most impressive feats of architecture - and it's just a short journey from Las Vegas. Explore the ways you can tour this historic construction, including helicopter tours and guided interior tours.