They call it “Vegas”, “Sin City”, and the “gambling mecca” of the not-so-wild West. Vegas is the epicenter for all things party-related, not to mention the ostentatious and unique. You’ll have an endless supply of top things to do in Las Vegas, no matter how long you’re staying. Vegas is also the closest international airport to nearby top attractions in nature, such as the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. Here are the best things to see and do while in Las Vegas, Nevada!
Pro Tip: Organizing your trip is easier when you have all your resources in one place. Bookmark this post in your browser along with our guide to Las Vegas for more planning resources, our top Vegas tours for a memorable trip, and how to spend three days in Las Vegas.
The 19 Best Things to Do In Las Vegas
Las Vegas is an ever-changing city. What’s hot one year might not be the next—except for the summer heat, which is always hot. Staying cool in an unbelievable pool is just one popular thing to do in Vegas, but you’ll want to explore all that Las Vegas has to offer both on and off the Strip.
Discover the top things to do in Las Vegas with this all-inclusive list that includes delicious food and experiences that will leave lasting memories and a yearning to come back to this vibrant city.
If you’re looking to have fun in Sin City, check out our cool Las Vegas tours. From adventure day trips to walking tours in historic Downtown and fun food tours on the Strip, there’s something for everyone!
Not ready to book a tour? Read more in our Las Vegas Guide.
19. Snap Selfies at Seven Magic Mountains
If Instagram or Snapchat photos are your jam, then take a drive outside Las Vegas to the Seven Magic Mountains desert art. Seven painted rocks, some of which tower 35 feet high, were carefully placed to offer a bright juxtaposition to the bland desert landscape.
You could go during the day, but be aware that there is no shade or facilities other than a parking lot. The best time to go is sunrise or sunset when it’s not too hot, and the sun is a perfect glow to accent the bright paint.
When artist Ugo Rondinone set these up, he intended them to stay for only a couple of years. However, they’re so popular that the exhibit has been given permission to remain open for the time being!
Pro Tip: Book a trip to see Seven Magic Mountains with a Hoover Dam tour to maximize your time exploring outside of Vegas.
18. Stay at a Hotel with a Volcano
The Mirage hotel boasts the only active volcano on the Strip—as if a volcano was an everyday event near a hotel. This unique attraction makes staying at the Mirage one of our top things to do in Las Vegas. Every night, the volcano lets out some serious “boom, boom, pow” with fire, smoke, and fireworks that are bigger than ever. Even if you stand across the street, you’ll feel the heat of the fire with every explosion.
The show is accompanied by a special soundtrack created by Mickey Hart from The Grateful Dead and Zakir Hussein. Unless there are high winds, the show starts on the hour from 8 to 11 pm every evening.
The volcano isn’t the only great thing about staying at the Mirage. Make sure to check out the secret dolphin habitat before relaxing at the pool. If total relaxation is your thing, be sure to book a massage or facial at the spa or opt for premier spa services like IV therapies, B12 shots, or skin rejuvenation treatments at the Kalologie Medspa.
Elle magazine rated it as one of the top ten spa destinations. If you want even more hotel choices, then check out our list of the best places to stay in Las Vegas.
17. Travel to Venice at the Grand Canal Shoppes
Did you know you can visit Venice in Vegas? Well, it’s a pretty fun replica. The Grand Canal Shoppes are what connect two powerhouse hotels: The Venetian and the Palazzo. And wandering this lovely area is such a great way to spend an afternoon.
You’ll find designer shops like Godiva, Bernini Beverly Hills, and Montblanc along each side of a real canal with Venetian-style gondolas for hire. (They are real gondoliers from Venice!) Remember to look up and see the ceiling that’s a perfect blue-and-white sky that is so perfectly lit that you’ll wonder if you’re actually outside!
When you’ve had your fill of shopping, choose to be entertained at the Spiegelworld Atomic Saloon Show or head over to TAO for more nightclub vibes. But if you need libations, head to the Royal Britannia, where they offer half-off all drinks all day long.
Address: 3377 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
16. Take Gambling Lessons from a Pro at the Plaza Hotel
Gambling might not be your thing, but maybe you just want to learn the secrets to increase your odds at some of the most popular casino games. Why not learn from a pro who can teach you the tricks and tips you need to stop losing money at the tables?
You get risk-free lessons at roulette, craps, and blackjack before trying on your own with your teacher at your side. It’s a fun way to get more from your Vegas trip and other trips to come!
Not ready to book a tour? Read more in our Las Vegas Guide.
15. Fill Up on an Outlaw Burger or Ribs at Rollin’ Smoke BBQ
Vegas does barbecue right! If that surprises you, then you need to try it for yourself. Head over to Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and try a few of their incredible meats to bring on your own meat sweats.
It’s a local hotspot, so don’t expect a swanky restaurant. Just sweet, sticky ribs, tender brisket, “dirty” rice, and mile-high burgers. What does that mean? Well, you better order the Outlaw Burger to find out just how high a pile of crispy onions can go.
Address: 3185 Highland Dr, Las Vegas
Want more Vegas? Try our top adventure activities, how to get to the Grand Canyon, plus awesome day trips to take (#10 is super unique)!
14. Dive into Vegas’s Legacy at the Neon Museum
Las Vegas is home to many unique museums you won’t find anywhere else. The Neon Museum is no exception. The Vegas landscape is always changing as old places make way for hot, new trends, but the Neon Museum has preserved every old, iconic neon sign that played a part in Vegas’s rich history.
You can visit this museum during the day, but it’s best at night when the neon lights make an impression. You can take a guided tour through the outdoor Boneyard and learn fascinating tidbits about each sign.
For a unique experience, book the Boneyard for a private photo-shoot to make those graduation or anniversary photos even more memorable. Or you can use the North Museum for private events and photoshoots as well. It houses even more signs that have been preserved since the 1930s. All in all, the Neon Museum is worth a stop.
Address: 770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas
13. Be Mesmerized by the Bellagio Fountains
When you’re ready to bring things down a notch after a busy day seeing the sights, then make time to watch the infamous fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel. These fountains are considered the most complex water feature that’s ever been conceived, and the effort paid off.
You’ll be wowed by the choreography, variety, and imagery of these fountains, which are perfectly timed to popular songs. The Bellagio fountains consistently make the list of the top things to do in Las Vegas.
The fountains are active throughout the day, so even if you see it right after lunch, it’s still worth watching later on since it’s not the same show every single time. Or you can try watching it from a different angle each time.
The fountains are extensive, so you could choose to sit perched on the balcony steps leading into the Bellagio or find a spot under a tree on the street. No matter where you sit, it’s a romantic, memorable moment to share with a loved one.
- Monday – Friday: every 30 minutes from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm; every 15 minutes from 8:00 pm-midnight
- Saturday – Sunday: every 30 minutes from noon – 8:00 pm; every 15 minutes from 8:00 pm-midnight
Address: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
12. Take Time to Visit the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the most majestic natural wonders on earth, and you can get there easily from Las Vegas, the closest major city. This expansive canyon could take days to explore on foot, but you can always see the best view from the South Rim with a one-day tour from Vegas.
You can get magnificent views of this colorful canyon that’s a mile deep in most places. The Colorado River runs through the bottom of the canyon, where you could also take a river rafting trip. Your comfort level determines your adventure.
If you catch the canyon around sunset, the muted desert colors can come alive with vibrant, fiery hues. And if you’re interested in spending more time in the canyon, book a ride on an old-time mule train at the South Rim and travel down the steep canyon switchbacks before stopping at the Phantom Ranch for dinner and an evening along the Colorado River.
Mule trains on the North Rim can be booked for an hour or a half-day adventure. When you plan your trip to Vegas, add some extra time to explore the Grand Canyon. It’s easily one of the top things to do in Las Vegas.
Read my article on visiting the Grand Canyon to get here easily, or book one with one of our professional and experienced tours!
Not ready to book a tour yet? Find out how to visit the Grand Canyon from Vegas.
11. Find a Lost Piece of the Titanic
Did you know that the Luxor is probably home to the best Titanic museum in the country? Yep! 25 million visitors have wandered these exhibits, learning about the lost souls on the Titanic and viewing pieces of this incredible treasure of our past. The museum is set up so you can walk the decks yourself and experience what life might have been like before that fateful accident.
With over 25,000 artefacts, this museum will captivate you, your friends, or even kids, which is why it’s easily a top thing to do in Vegas. You’ll see old tools, bells, whistles, clothing, tableware, utensils, pieces of the ship’s exterior and much more. It’s a moving experience that will leave lasting memories. Since it’s an incredibly popular attraction, be sure to make your reservation ahead of time.
Address: 3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas
10. Walk the Arts District
After you’ve stuffed yourself with ice cream, stroll along the downtown Arts District, where you’ll find impressive murals on almost every street. The Arts District is also called “18b” in honor of the 18 blocks that the district encompasses. It’s located in the downtown area just north of the Strip.
Get lost wandering local shops and art galleries of all shapes and sizes. You can explore clay pots, photography, and original sketches, then stop in at a dive bar to cool off.
The Arts District started a fun tradition that the first Friday of every month holds an art festival for anyone to enjoy local art, food, and music. If you’re in town for First Friday Las Vegas, be sure to stop by and check out the local scene.
Address: Arts District, Las Vegas
Not ready to book a tour? Read more in our Las Vegas Guide.
9. Load Up a Breakfast Waffle at Lucy’s
Sin City is all about indulgence—visually and otherwise. Forget dieting or healthy sleep habits while you’re enjoying any of the best things to do in Las Vegas. Satisfy your cravings with a sweet treat from Lucy’s Waffles and Ice Cream. Pile your favorite ice cream on top of a fresh-made waffle, then top it with fresh berries, nuts, or candy. They’ve been voted the best ice cream in Vegas for a reason.
You can also try breakfast waffles loaded with maple and ice cream or bacon and cheese. And the kids will enjoy the cotton candy crusher milkshake that’s topped with two cotton candy swirls. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to take fun pictures eating delicious ice cream.
Address: 6070 S Rainbow Blvd #6, Las Vegas
8. Take a Drive to Death Valley
There’s no place on earth like Death Valley. It’s truly an experience in extremes. Death Valley’s highest recorded temperature was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, and the coldest was 15 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s considered the driest national park and has the lowest elevation point in the U.S. as well.
So why visit? Because it has tremendous sunsets, great hikes, and unique landscapes. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, which is why it’s on this list of top things to do in Las Vegas. The top places to check out are Zabriskie Point, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes (great at sunset as pictured above), Racetrack Playa (look at the mysterious moving rocks), and Artists Palette.
If you’re not sure you want to explore on your own, or you only have limited time, your best bet is to book a tour with a super-knowledgeable guide. They’ll safely take you from Las Vegas to the best viewpoints in just one day.
Address: Death Valley National Park
Not ready to book a tour yet? Discover the top outdoor activities in Vegas.
7. Race Exotic Cars on the Motor Speedway
Feel the need for speed? Vegas delivers. Book a unique experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Exotics Racing, where you can learn to race one of a number of luxury, exotic cars around a controlled racetrack. Exotics Racing boasts the largest fleet of supercars in the world, which sounds just right for Vegas.
For anyone itching to get behind the wheel, choose to drive a Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Audi R8, Corvette, Mustang, or many others. Otherwise, you can leave the driving to a professional and book a seat as a passenger in your favorite car, then sit back and hold on.
If you have kids with you, let them explore the go-kart track while you take on the adult-sized racetrack. Racing an exotic car is quite popular to do in Vegas, so book your reservation early.
Address: 7065 Speedway Blvd, Las Vegas
6. Sip Gin from a Mini Bathtub at a Hidden Speakeasy
Ok, so first of all, it’s not a real bathtub. It’s a cute, mini porcelain bathtub just big enough to hold the slow gin fizz that we highly recommend ordering when you come. The Underground Speakeasy is hidden in a not-so-hidden place: the Mob Museum.
While kids and adults are wandering through history upstairs, you can head down to the basement for a drink in an ultra-vintage speakeasy. There’s no better place to sip on a cocktail than in a place that feels just like the era it pays homage to. Need another drink rec? Try a Marlo or Old Fashioned in a vintage flask!
Address: 300 Stewart Ave, Las Vegas
Not ready to book a tour? Read more in our Las Vegas Guide.
5. Chill at the Top-Rated Pool in Las Vegas
This is not your average pool. No. This is Vegas, so this pool is spectacular and gigantic. Covering 11 acres, you could almost get lost exploring this pool at Mandalay Bay. It’s one of the only pools in Las Vegas with an actual sandy beach to lounge on, and it’s totally worth it.
And if that isn’t cool enough, then how does a lazy river sound? Or a 1.6-million-gallon wave pool where you can float on gentle tides? Otherwise, you could also lounge in the lagoon.
Order food and drinks from the Beach Bar & Grill when you get hungry. Additionally, if you’ve rented a cabana or bungalow, you can have your food brought right to you so you can keep relaxing all day. It’s Vegas luxury at its finest.
Address: 3950 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas
Planning your Vegas trip? Use our recommendations for the best nightclubs and lounges, how to get to the Hoover Dam, plus the best shows to see in Vegas!
4. Be Thrilled by a One-Of-A-Kind Show in Vegas
Since Vegas is the entertainment mecca of the West, they guarantee some of the best shows you’ll find anywhere. These aren’t your typical Broadway plays or America’s Got Talent acts. These are world-class shows with stories, action, drama, acrobatics, and incredible precision. Best of all, you won’t have to pay $500 to see one of the best shows in Las Vegas! You can get tickets to any Cirque du Soleil show for less than $80!
The Cirque du Soleil shows have long reined as the top shows in Las Vegas with lineups like “O,” KÀ, Mystère, The Beatles LOVE, and Michael Jackson ONE. But there are plenty of other entertainment options to consider too. Blue Man Group is a wildly popular show for families and music enthusiasts.
There are always magicians and illusionists who have also taken up residency in Vegas. See Matt Franco, David Copperfield, or even Piff the Magic Dragon. Yep, he’s got his own show here! Whatever you choose, you’ll love experiencing one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.
Address: Cirque du Soleil Shows
Not ready to buy tickets yet? Check our Guide to The Best Shows in Vegas 2023
3. Hover over the Hoover Dam
It’s safe to bet that the Hoover Dam is considered one of the top man-made wonders of the U.S., and it sits just outside of Boulder City, Nevada. The view from the top of the dam down towards the spillway is breathtaking, and it will leave an impression that photos can’t do justice.
Nevertheless, it’s a top thing to do in Las Vegas due to how incredibly unique and spectacular it is, not to mention that it’s still one of the tallest dams in the world. The Hoover Dam sits between Lake Mead and the massive Colorado River, which feeds many of the southwestern U.S. rivers and lakes.
You can get to the dam by driving your car or booking a half-day tour. However, if you want real adventure, we recommend booking a helicopter tour that takes you over the dam and Lake Mead or even travels further down the Colorado River for truly amazing vistas.
After you get to the Hoover Dam, you can choose from several more tour options to explore the area: the visitors center, power plant tour, and dam tour. The dam tour includes all three sites, so it’s a great value.
Not ready to book a tour yet? Find out if a Hoover Dam tour is worth it.
2. Sip Cocktails Inside a Chandelier
Ready for yet another gaudy display of Vegas hotel decadence? Then make sure to stop by the Chandelier lounge at the Cosmopolitan hotel. There are three reasons why this should be on your list of top things to do in Las Vegas. First, it’s a living art exhibit that tinkles and shimmers all night. Second, you can sit at one of three levels in this lounge. Third, your Instagram photos will make your friends jealous.
The handcrafted cocktails suit the opulence you expect from a chandelier-themed lounge, so be sure to try the We’re All Mad Here or Finishing School drinks. The Cosmo also has a yummy food menu; however, many people choose to spend their after-dinner hours here. It’s full of trendy vibes that you won’t want to miss.
1. Take in the Wonder of Fremont Street
Let’s be honest: the Strip is a cool place to visit all on its own, but Fremont Street is a whole other ballgame. It’s a living entity of lights, videos, performers, smells, foods, drinks, and all the fun you can handle. You can literally have it all here. Try the Slotzilla zipline that swooshes you above the heads of pedestrians below.
Enjoy nightly live music every evening starting at 6 pm. Then stop to watch the brilliant light show that happens every night on the hour, from 6 pm to 2 am. It happens on the largest video screen in the world (Vegas always goes big!), which is 1,375 feet long.
Fremont Street is also where you’ll find the original downtown Las Vegas hotel: Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, plus other awesome hotels like Circa (143-foot swimming pool sports screen) and Downtown Grand.
And food? Oh, the food. Fremont Street offers easy eats and fine dining to please anyone’s palette. Try Evel Pie, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Whiskey Licker Up, or Le Thai for more exotic flavors. It’s hard to put into words how fun, vibrant, and thrilling your first trip to Fremont Street will be, but we promise you’ll never forget it.
Address: Fremont Street Experience
Not ready to book a tour yet? Read more in our Vegas Guide.