06 Apr Top 10 Things to do in Las Vegas
Visiting Las Vegas, Nevada is on everyone’s bucket list. With almost 43 million visitors in 2016, this internationally renowned city is bursting with attractions for tourists. From racing luxury sports cars to stepping off of the world’s tallest jump, Vegas is one of the hottest places to visit (and not just because it’s located in the Mojave Desert).
- Try Your Luck
Since its legalization in Sin City almost 85 years ago, gambling has flourished. For a first time visitor, choosing the right place to play can be daunting with 40 casinos on the Strip alone. Below are some of the best options available for some of the most popular games:
If you are looking to play high-stakes poker, visit Bellagio’s ‘Bobby’s Room’. This renowned spot offers no-limit games as well as limits starting at just $4. Touting 7,000 square feet with over 40 tables, this spot has something to offer for everyone. If you’re a beginner looking for atmosphere, Caesars’ Palace has a large poker room, and a Sports Book down the hall. For history, head to Binions to witness the birthplace of the World Series of Poker. For cheaper buy-ins, try The Orleans hotel where tables are filled with locals and the atmosphere is grittier than some of the larger casinos on the Strip.
This high-energy dice game requires little experience, and offers players a good thrill of entertainment. For the locally-acclaimed best craps game in Vegas, you will want to visit the Cromwell Hotel & Casino where it is said to have the best odds on the Strip. The casino offers minimums starting at just $5, as well as all-night $1 beers and a rowdy atmosphere. Other low limit craps games can be found downtown at El Cortez and Main Street Station.
Black Jack (21)
This popular table game is a good option for those who know how to count their cards, and keep track of their odds. Along the strip, Ballys and Mirage both offer fancier tables with higher stakes, and are popular spots for those staying along the Strip.
For those who prefer chance, slot machines are available at every casino. Bellagio alone features over 2,3000 slots, including reel, video, and video poker games. The Aria is another great option, letting you bet as little as a penny! No matter where you go, it is a good idea to play the slots closer to the entrance; These are where the most popular games are situated, since hotels want there to be excitement in the areas with highest traffic.
Surf & Turf
Head downtown to sink your teeth into a juicy steak and fresh seafood at Andiron Steak & Sea. Even vegetarians can enjoy a the restaurant’s roasted cauliflower steak, arguably the best vegan dish in the city.
For the Carnivores
World-renowned chef José Andrés opened Bazaar Meat, a steakhouse boasting an impressive array of meats from around the world. Dishes include suckling pig, bison, and wild boar, and the layout of the bar is adorned in true, spectacular Vegas fashion.
Previously just an area for locals, downtown Fremont Street has become extremely popular, as hip new restaurants began popping up all over the East district.
Gorgeous rolls of sushi and sashimi are served at this picture-worthy establishment. Sake pairing menus come with sushi options, and and the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere make it an easy night out with friends.
- Dance the Night Away
Vegas is known for its wild, all-night parties, and the scene is dominated by nightclubs. Depending on what genre of music you are looking for, you can pick from a myriad of places to spend your night.
Omnia and XS are great locations for electronic music-lovers, where you will hear big names like Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. 1 Oak is where to go for celebrity sightings thanks to its well-known LA partner. For R&B, head to Drai’s where The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar have both performed. For throwbacks, visit LAX where you will boogie to ‘80s and ‘90s hits, with some modern pop mixed in for good measure. Wherever you go, expect to pay high prices for drinks.
- Visit the Great Outdoors
Although many expect the city only has casinos to offer, Las Vegas has many outdoor activities accessible just outside the city. A day’s drive off the Strip, you can access some of America’s most beautiful national parks. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are just two or three hours outside of the city, and if you go a bit further you can revel in the natural beauty of either Arches or Yosemite National Parks. You can also go out on day trips to Red Rock Canyon the Colorado River.
Aside from excursions into the great outdoors, you can also take a trip to Las Vegas’s many shooting ranges to try your hand at target practice. Many locations offer group packages, and safety and guidance training for novices.
- Fly High
Vegas has countless helicopter rides to offer views of the city, as well as tours of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. Packages usually include meals and options to destinations of your choice. Helicopter rides are a great option to see a lot in a short amount of time, and offers those with accessibility issues the chance to view much of the city and surrounding countryside.
- Go for a Swim
A popular attraction for this desert city, swimming pools abound in the sometimes 100+ degree heat. You can even visit man-made sandy beaches, like those at the popular Hard Rock Hotel. At the Golden Nugget, you can swim next to a 200,000 gallon shark tank, and even take a trip through it on a world-class waterslide. If you’re looking for a night dip, head to Encore for a pool club that offers a wet n’ wild experience.
- Go to the Theater
Known for flashy, extravagant performances, Vegas is the city for entertainment. Popular shows that have thrived in this town include acrobatic stunts like Cirque du Soleil, and underwater routines like La Reve – The Dream. There are also a plethora of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, and other famous cover-bands, as well as traveling Broadway shows.
Vegas also offers twists on traditional shows, such as Mac King’s popular Comedy Magic show, and hundreds of other burlesque, music, and dance options.
- Jump (Stratosphere jump)
Only in Vegas can you leap from the world’s tallest open-air jump in the world. Stratosphere Tower sits 1,150 feet above the Strip, and is open until the wee hours of the morning. With a 360-degree view of the skyline and an option to record a video, this controlled-descent is an option for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. Check out the age, height, and weight limitations before heading to the dive, and be sure to call ahead to reserve your spot.
- Go to Bed
Just like all other parts of Vegas, this city’s hotels are extravagant and awe-inspiring. Many, including the Mandarin Oriental and Aria, have casinos, luxury pools, and five-star restaurants on site. The Bellagio, featured in Hollywood’s Ocean’s Eleven, is modeled after an italian poolside garden, and The Luxor after an Egyptian palace. But only the Ravella Resort has a 320-acre manmade lake, surrounded by shops and cobblestone streets mimicking those of a small European town. Whatever your taste, you’ll find a place to get some shut-eye in Vegas.
- Take Your Picture
The picturesque “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign has been the centerpiece of every tourist’s photo album. Take your turn snapping a photo next to this iconic welcome sign before heading home to round out your album. Best of all, this 25-foot attraction is entirely free!
Next time you’re heading to Vegas, check out some or all of these attractions to make your trip memorable!
John Homan is a Las Vegas local that has been a freelance writer and blogger for the last few years. He enjoys hunting, hiking, and the great outdoors, and spends much of his time outside. In his free time, he visits his local shooting range, Machine Guns Vegas.