Seven Magic Mountains in the desert of Las Vegas, USA

Things to do in  Las Vegas

Play your cards right

Glittering, flashy Las Vegas is larger than life, a good-timing mirage from the Las Vegas Strip to the Fountains of Bellagio. Visitors seeking a wild night will find parties to remember—but there are endless things to do in Las Vegas without stepping inside a casino or club. Top chefs, family-friendly performances, and art abound, including in a newly revitalized Downtown Las Vegas. Desert landscapes begin where the neon glow fades, and many visitors make Las Vegas their base camp for exploring the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, and Mojave Desert.

Top 15 attractions in Las Vegas

Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam (originally known as Boulder Dam) is an inspiring symbol of American engineering, built during America’s Great Depression as the then-largest dam construction project in the world. Travelers have flocked here for decades to see picturesque views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River, and today, the dam receives more than 1 million annual visitors.More

Grand Canyon West Rim

The Grand Canyon’s West Rim, located just outside Grand Canyon National Park, is home to the vast Hualapai Indian Reservation and includes 108 miles (173 kilometers) of picturesque canyon views. The closest section of the canyon to Las Vegas, the West Rim is famous for the lofty Grand Canyon Skywalk, Guano Point, and Eagle Point.More

Fremont Street Experience

Spanning four city blocks, the Fremont Street Experience is a massive outdoor mall and the site of Las Vegas’ very first freestanding casino building. Today, it hosts 10 different casinos with games and tables, plenty of restaurants, and free concerts and other live entertainment, with multiple performances staged each day. It’s also notable for its famous Viva Vision canopy, which projects thousands of different color combinations and images overhead.More

Las Vegas Strip

Lined with Sin City’s top hotels and largest casinos, the glittering 4.2-mile (6.8-kilometer) Las Vegas Strip is the United States’ biggest adult playground. Look out for over-the-top architecture, revel in trendy nightclubs, take in dazzling shows and avant-garde performances, and sink forks into five-star dinners. Hotel highlights include iconic complexes such as Treasure Island, the Venetian, MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace.More

Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk—a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed bridge that juts out 70 feet (20 meters) above one of America’s most scenic sites—is not for the faint-hearted. Situated 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) above the Grand Canyon, the panoramic West Rim and Colorado River views are undeniably fantastic though.More

Colorado River

The Colorado River is a spectacular sight to see, meandering for 1,447 miles (2,330 kilometers) with red rocks and canyons framing it on both sides, leading up to the Hoover Dam. The Colorado River is one of the major water sources for California and Nevada, and, not surprisingly, it's a major recreational destination—activities on the river include hiking, biking, rafting, and boating.More

Zion National Park

Carved over time by the Virgin River, Zion National Park is a remarkable 148,000-acre (59,900-hectare) stretch of white, pink, and red rock formations in southern Utah's canyon country. The state's first national park draws hikers, birders, and nature lovers with its cliffs and mesas, waterfalls and wildflowers, and varied wildlife from jackrabbits to condors.More

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Constructed in 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is an icon from the era of classic Vegas. Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the neon landmark welcomes visitors driving into the city from the south on Las Vegas Boulevard, aka the Strip.More

Fountains of Bellagio

The Fountains of Bellagio in front of the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip are like many Sin City attractions: an over-the-top spectacle, but in a good way. The waterworks are synchronized with a changing playlist and light show, so visitors will never see the same show twice.More

Grand Canyon South Rim

The South Rim is the most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park, boasting easy access to the canyon, the bulk of available amenities and services, and the panoramic vistas for which the natural wonder is famous. One of the most famous attractions in the American Southwest, the area offers breathtaking views over the Colorado River and the chance to immerse yourself in Native American culture.More


Standing 1,149 feet (350 meters) above the Las Vegas Strip, STRAT Tower is the tallest observation tower in the United States. From the top, visitors enjoy 360-degree views of Las Vegas from an observation deck, aboard thrill rides, or over a drink or meal at one of several bars and restaurants.More

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

It’s hard to believe that Sin City is only a few hours away from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, with dramatic and often surreal scenery of sharp craggy mountains, deep canyons, and desert basins. Coboldmprising the areas around Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, this recreation area attracts water sports enthusiasts, boaters, and nonboaters alike.More

Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas thrived as the city’s gambling district until the 1980s when new resorts and casinos pulled the crowds away from the area toward the Strip, the city’s main thoroughfare today. After a period of neglect, Downtown has seen revitalization over the past few years, transforming it into a Las Vegas cultural and entertainment hub in its own right.More

Hidden Valley Nevada

There’s more to do in Las Vegas than hit the slots. Active travelers can take a short trip to Jean, Nevada, for outdoor adventure in an area known as Hidden Valley. Ride through the desert on an ATV and the trails of Jean Dry Lake’s surrealist landscape of sand dunes, rugged desert, and mountain terrain.More

Red Rock Canyon

The 195,819-acre (79,245-hectare) Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada comprises a network of narrow canyons, seasonal waterfalls, rock art sites, and surreal rock formations with ample opportunity for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and desert wildlife watching, all a short drive from Las Vegas.More

Trip ideas

Choosing the Right Las Vegas Show For You

Choosing the Right Las Vegas Show For You

Top activities in Las Vegas

Grand Canyon West Rim Luxury Helicopter Tour
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Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park Day Tour with Lunch from Las Vegas
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Half-Day Emerald Cove Kayak Tour
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Grand Canyon Deluxe Helicopter Tour from Las Vegas
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Grand Canyon West with Lunch, Hoover Dam Stop & Optional Skywalk
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Grand Canyon West with Lunch, Hoover Dam Stop & Optional Skywalk

$109.00  $5.45 savings
Las Vegas Dunes Tour by ATV

Las Vegas Dunes Tour by ATV

Grand Canyon Helicopter and Eagle Point Rim Landing Tour
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Extended Grand Canyon West Rim Air-Only Helicopter Tour
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Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour with Champagne Toast
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All about Las Vegas

When to visit

Mild weather and desert wildflowers from March through May mean spring is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking—and for all-night dancing at May’s renowned Electric Daisy Carnival. After a few months of sweltering summer weather, crowds and moderate temperatures return in September, fueling the outdoor pool parties that rage all day long. Budget-savvy travelers can save by checking dates of major conventions, which drive up hotel prices, and avoiding them.

Getting around

Most visitors arrive at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport, located 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from Las Vegas Boulevard. If you’re staying within the city limits, it’s easy to get around without a car: The Las Vegas Monorail links destinations along the Strip, and the free Downtown Loop shuttle bus circles between downtown, the Arts District, and the Fremont Street Experience. Taxis and rideshares are plentiful.

Traveler tips

If you’re coming to Vegas as a novice gambler—or you want to brush up your game—you can get help from the pros. Some gambling tours of the city feature lessons in games like poker and blackjack, which mean personalized attention and tips. Some casinos, including Mandalay Bay, Circus Circus, and MGM Grand, also offer gambling classes, pairing groups of newbies with experienced players. They’re popular, so plan to arrive early if you want to participate.

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A local’s pocket guide to Las Vegas

Jenny Crossling

Viator's resident Vegas expert, Jenny feels incredibly fortunate to live in what she believes to be one of the most vibrant, exciting, and colorful cities in the world.

The first thing you should do in Las Vegas is...

a hop-on hop-off tour to get your bearings along the Strip and in the Fremont Street area. Get to know the crossroads, too, as that’s how locals give directions.

A perfect Saturday in Las Vegas...

involves visiting the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, and the Fremont East district, where there are plenty of cool restaurants and bars. Finishing your evening with a cocktail at Circa.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Vegas’ entertainment scene. From stars like Celine Dion and Britney to over-the-top shows and world-class sports teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the Raiders, Vegas has it all.

To discover the "real" Las Vegas...

head to the desert. Red Rock Canyon has great year-round outdoor activities; the Valley of Fire has incredibly stunning scenery; and Lake Mead is a boaters paradise.

For the best view of the city...

go to the Skyfall Lounge or the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay for a view of the Strip. Or, visit the Apex Rooftop Bar for panoramic views over the entire valley.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking we all live on the Strip (not the suburbs) and that Las Vegas has no culture, when there’s actually a thriving arts district and Performing Arts Center. Oh, and we don’t all work in casinos.


People Also Ask

Why is Vegas called Sin City?

Before the Strip became the center of Las Vegas, in the early 1900s, Fremont Street was where it was at—gambling, prostitution, and liquor sales were easily accessible within a 2-block area. It’s here where the city gained its famous nickname: Sin City. After World War II, mob bosses came to town to form casino empires, further cementing the moniker.

What is the best month to go to Vegas?

March through May and October to November are the best months to go to Las Vegas. This is when travelers will encounter the best weather for walking the Strip and participating in outdoor activities like hikes. During the summer, daytime temps regularly climb into the triple digits, with August being the hottest month. Also, keep in mind that some resort swimming pools are closed from October through February.

What kind of activities do they have in Las Vegas?

Of course, most Vegas visitors will want to try their luck at the city’s countless casinos packed with table games and slot machines. Beyond that, Las Vegas and the surrounding area offer a unique mix of nightlife and entertainment including top-name acts and natural attractions like the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.

What should I do on my first trip to Vegas?

Since the city’s architecture can trick the eye like a desert mirage, get your bearings along the Strip and in the Fremont Street area by exploring the resorts on your own or via a hop-on hop-off bus tour. And be sure to attend a show—whether you’re into acrobatics, show tunes, or adult-only revues, there’s something for everyone.

What is there to do in Las Vegas Nevada besides gamble?

If gambling’s not your thing, there are still plenty of activities outside the casinos including spas, shopping, dining, and even rides such as the High Roller Observation Wheel. Also, the nearby Grand Canyon is a popular day trip option for those visiting Vegas, and the neighboring Hoover Dam is also a must-see.

What can you not miss on the Las Vegas Strip?

The Fountains of Bellagio, located in front of the Bellagio Hotel on the Strip, are like many Vegas sights: over-the-top but in a good way. Among all the glitz and glam, the elegant waterworks attract visitors and locals alike who marvel at the synchronized show that’s choreographed to music. The show changes every 15 minutes.

What is the best thing to do in Vegas for couples?

Besides getting married in one of Las Vegas’ 50-odd wedding chapels, couples can take a romantic ride in an authentic gondola at the Venetian hotel. A gondolier steers the boat along an indoor/outdoor waterway as they serenade you in Italian. Or dine atop the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and Casino.

What do locals do in Vegas?

Unless they work at one of the casinos, hotels, or resorts, locals aren't likely to hang out on the Strip. You might find them at Fremont Street, though, where there are dozens of watering holes. Other fave local neighborhoods include the Arts District and Chinatown. And outside Vegas, the Red Rock Canyon is where outdoorsy locals go.

Frequently Asked Questions
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