Last updated on February 15th, 2024 at 07:29 pm
Las Vegas is famous for its luxurious hotels, grand casinos, and extravagant nightclubs. But did you know that Las Vegas has so much more to offer than just gambling? Whether you’re visiting Sin City for the first time or coming back for another exciting adventure, there are plenty of unique things to do in Las Vegas.
Who Should Visit Las Vegas
We’ve been to Las Vegas numerous times over the years, and in fact, Julie was even stationed there for her first Air Force assignment. As the headline says, there’s so much more to do here than just gamble. That makes it the perfect destination for couples, families, and solo travelers. It’s well known for bachelorette trips, destination weddings (we did that!), and just about any type of celebration you can think of. In fact, it’s at the top of my list of the best 50th birthday trip ideas.
Walk Down the Vegas Strip
The first thing we do after arriving in Las Vegas is take a walk on the strip to see the sights. The Strip is diverse and colorful, filled with unique characters that will entertain you. Most of the casinos are themed and several even have shows.
One of our favorites is the Bellagio Fountain. Every thirty minutes the fountains dance to music with a dazzling array of colors. It’s the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset, dance along to the music, and take some stunning photos.
After you’ve enjoyed the fountains, go inside to the free Bellagio Conservatory, an indoor botanical display. The theme changes a few times throughout the year. On our last visit, it was a magical fairyland.
Explore the Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is a historic engineering marvel located only 30 minutes away from Las Vegas. It’s an ideal sightseeing destination for engineering and history enthusiasts alike. You can take guided tours of the dam and learn about its role in shaping the West.
Located on the border of Arizona and Nevada, you can stand in both states at once when you walk in front of the dam. One of the popular things to do at the Hoover Dam is to take a guided tour to see how the dam’s hydroelectric generators work and how the electricity is fed into the regional power grid. If you’re an outdoor lover, you’ll enjoy the Hoover Dam’s walking trail, which offers panoramic views of the dam, the Colorado River, and the surrounding mountains. You can also take a stroll along the pedestrian portion of the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which spans over the Colorado River and offers a stunning view of the Hoover Dam’s structure.
Ride a Roller Coaster over the New York Skyline
If you’re searching for an exhilarating experience to satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie, the Big Apple Roller Coaster is a must-try. You’ll feel as if you are rocketing through New York City as you ride through corkscrews, twists, and high-speed drops on this incredible coaster. Located outside the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas, the Big Apple Roller Coaster is one of the most exciting amusement park rides you’ll ever come across.
Inside the casino, visitors of all ages can play carnival games.
Visit the Shark Reef Aquarium
One of our grandson’s favorite stops in Las Vegas was the stunning aquarium located in the Mandalay Bay resort. It’s a great destination for families and animal lovers alike. The aquarium features over 2,000 animals, including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. A particular highlight for the little ones in the touch tank for the stingrays.
Watch a Show
No matter what your interests, there is a Vegas show for you. From comedy to musicals, there truly is something for everyone. A particular favorite of ours is Cirque du Soleil’s O at the Bellagio. There are actually several unique Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas to choose from, each performance is a spectacular production of stunts, acrobatics, and whimsical dance that leaves the spectators in awe.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Not many people think of hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities when visiting Las Vegas, but there are some beautiful areas all around the city. We’ve been bouldering and horseback riding in Red Rock Canyon, hiking at Valley of the Fire State Park, and boating on Lake Mead. If you’re there during the winter, there is also skiiing and snowboarding on Mount Charleston. If you visit Mount Charleston in the spring and summer, you can enjoy a scenic ride on the ski lift.
Where to Stay
With over 150,000 hotel rooms to choose from, there are certainly many options. When we stay in a hotel, we like to be on the Las Vegas Strip in the middle of the action. We prefer the suites at the Elara, a Hilton resort attached to the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. The suites are great because there are full kitchens and separate living rooms. They have a wonderful pool with two hot tubs. It is also attached to the Miracle Mile Shops so you have plenty of dining and show options right there as well.
When we take the RV, there are also numerous camping options around Las Vegas. From the campground at Circus Circus to lakefront dry camping at Lake Mead or the military campground on Nellis, it’s easy to find something that fits your preferences.
Las Vegas is a city of endless entertainment that goes beyond just gambling. From guided tours of the city’s historic wonders to breathtaking natural wonders, there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re visiting for family fun or a romantic getaway, Las Vegas will surely leave a lasting impression on you. So, join us on this journey, and let yourself get lost in the magic of Las Vegas.