Las Vegas is a city like no other. The cosmopolitan city is like a big playground offering a lot of things to see and do, particularly on the Strip where you’ll find endless restaurants, shops, casinos and adventures on every corner. Make the most of your vacation by exploring the must-see attractions in Las Vegas.
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat has a special place in Las Vegas history. Nestled inside The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip, the sanctuary has attracted millions of visitors in its 27-year history. Founded by the famous magician duo Siegfried and Roy, the habitat is home to dolphins, white tigers, panthers and lions, and for an additional cost, guests can paint, swim or practice yoga with the animals.
Of all the productions on the Las Vegas Strip, Mystère stands out as a classic. One of six resident Cirque du Soleil shows, it has made its home at the Treasure Island Hotel since 1993, and it is still going strong after almost 24 years. The production is brimming with high-energy performances, including a revamped teeterboard act and the timeless hand-to-hand duo that has been part of the show since its debut. Resident clown Brian Le Petit starts the night off with his mischievous antics before the show narrator, Moha-Samedi, leads the audience on a dreamlike journey that celebrates the beauty, sadness and mystery of life.
Fremont Street is the second-most-popular street in Las Vegas, behind the Las Vegas Strip. Home to some of the older hotels and casinos in Sin City, Fremont Street is also famous for the giant canopy that stretches approximately 1,500 feet (450 meters) over the boulevard. A cast of street performers, vendors, artists and musicians line the sidewalks of Fremont Street every night, adding an eccentricity to the city you won’t find on the Strip.
The Stratosphere is the pinnacle of the Las Vegas skyline. Built between 1992 and 1995, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest building in Sin City and the tallest freestanding tower in the United States. Developed by the same engineering firm that designed the Singapore Flyer, the tower is home to four thrill rides that draw adventure seekers of all types. Guests can skydive from the top of the tower with Sky Jump Las Vegas or dangle over the edge of the 1,149-foot (350-meter) tower on Insanity.
The High Roller has become one of the most recognizable figures in the Las Vegas skyline since opening in March 2016. Engineered by the same company that constructed the Singapore Flyer, the observation wheel reaches a height of 550 feet (168 meters) giving visitors an unencumbered, bird’s-eye view of the city. Visitors looking to make the most of their experience can do more than just ride the Ferris wheel; for additional costs, the High Roller offers yoga classes, private parties and weddings.
You can’t come to Las Vegas and not visit the Strip. The approximately 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard is one of the most famous streets in the world and is home to the bulk of the hotels and resorts in the Las Vegas Valley. The ever-buzzing boulevard attracts millions of visitors each year, making it an ideal place to do exciting things in Vegas on your own, with kids, with your partner or what have you. The famous boulevard received its name from former Los Angeles vice cop and hotel owner Guy McAfee; he christened the section of Las Vegas Boulevard after the Sunset Strip in his hometown.
The Pinball Hall of Fame is just one of the many offbeat museums visitors will find in Las Vegas. Located just minutes away from the Strip, the museum pays tribute to the classic arcade game and houses over 100 pinball machines from the 1940s up to 2009. Stop by the museum for a fun night. Entrance to the museum is free.
While the Strip made Las Vegas famous, Hoover Dam made the city sustainable. Constructed during the Great Depression, the engineering wonder provided desperately needed work to thousands of workers. Visitors can tour both the dam and the power plant through different tours that are available at different prices. The visually striking dam is also extremely functional, providing power to Nevada, Arizona and California through its arched structure.
The “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign is easily one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas. Located at the south end of the Strip next to Mandalay Bay and the Little Church of the West, the famous sign has graced Las Vegas Boulevard since 1959. Designed by late local artist Betty Willis, the sign is a must-see and one of the best places in Las Vegas to take a selfie.
Lee Canyon is one of the more picturesque places to visit in Mount Charleston. An hour outside of Las Vegas, the ski resort offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking in the summer. Due to its scenic appearance, the area is also popular among couples for weddings in the spring and summer months.
Located inside the Mandalay Bay next to the convention center, the Shark Reef aquarium is home to turtles, piranhas, eels, stingrays and 15 species of sharks. The aquarium is a great option if you’re looking for things to do in Las Vegas with kids and is busiest during the summer months. For an additional fee, guests at the Mandalay Bay can get an intimate look at the aquarium through its program Dive With Sharks.
Organized crime and Las Vegas have a long and complicated history, and the Mob Museum in downtown Vegas tells the story of organized crime’s influence not only in Sin City but throughout the United States. Visitors can use an actual Tommy gun in a simulation display, or listen to actual wiretaps. The centerpiece of the museum is the bloodstained wall left behind from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
While The Mob Museum tells the story of Las Vegas and its relationship with organized crime, The Neon Museum tells the city’s story through neon. Next door to Cashman Field off the Interstate-15 highway, the collection of hotel and business signs shows the evolution of Las Vegas from its early days as a stopping point on the way to California to its status as a top tourist destination. While tours occur daily, they are limited and sell out quickly.
Like many things in Las Vegas, the Bellagio Conservatory draws a crowd. Located across from the hotel front desk, the conservatory changes throughout the year thanks to the over 100 gardeners who design and care for the facility. Just like the fountains in front of the property and the glass flowers in the lobby, the conservatory and garden make the Bellagio a worthwhile stop on any traveler’s to-do list.
VooDoo Zipline at the Rio Hotel is an adrenaline junkie’s dream. Open 23 hours a day, seven days a week, VooDoo Zipline offers a unique view of the Las Vegas Strip through a thrill ride that goes 33 miles per hour (53 kilometers per hour). The ride takes off at the VooDoo Lounge and allows visitors to ride alone or with a friend without a reservation.
Chocolate lovers and the young at heart will love M&M World, next door to the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Passers-by are drawn in by the chocolate aroma and the bright colors in the window display. Inside, visitors can get lost on four floors of souvenirs, movie posters and candy displays. Guests can also personalize their own M&Ms, which makes for a great treat to take home.
The Gold Strike Hot Springs is one of the better-kept secrets about Las Vegas. A 40-minute drive outside the city, the springs offer a unique and transformative experience for those who can rough the approximately four-mile (6.5-kilometer) hike, which takes about three hours and isn’t suitable for young children or animals.
Dig This Las Vegas gives the phrase “adult’s playground” a new meaning. This expansive dirt lot allows teenagers and adults to operate heavy-duty construction equipment in a safe and controlled environment. Guests can work the equipment alone or in groups, and experiences range from stacking tires to digging holes or even destroying a vehicle.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has spacious rooms with an artsy vibe | Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas / Hotels.com
Every pool on the Strip hosts spectacular pool parties, but the pool at The Cosmopolitan is really something special. Throughout the year, the pool stays open not only for hotel guests but for special events and seasonal activities you can’t find anywhere else. During the summer, the pool hosts its “Dive-In Movies” series, featuring a variety of current and classic films. The hotel extends the festivities by offering a winter wonderland during winter complete with an ice rink, s’mores and Christmas lights.
Thrill seekers and horror-film fans will love The Basement, which began in Los Angeles and is part of the growing trend of escape-room attractions in the United States. Guests have 45 minutes to navigate a room of their choice – the study or the basement – to escape from Edward Tandy, the serial killer with a taste for human flesh. Single tickets are available, but the experience is far more enjoyable in a group.