In Las Vegas, gambling isn’t the only way to hit the jackpot. Nowadays the city promises an array of alternative entertainment, from world-class concerts and blockbuster shows, to adrenaline-pumping roller coasters and Michelin-starred cuisine.
For a sure-bet on a good time, we’ve gathered Sin City’s top attractions beyond the blackjack tables and slot machines.
Explore the Strip & Fremont Street
One of the world’s most recognizable streets
Las Vegas Boulevard—more commonly known as the Strip—is one of the world’s most recognizable streets. Walking down this 4-mile stretch, you’ll pass the city’s best shopping and most famous sights, from the neon Welcome to Las Vegas sign to the Bellagio’s fountain show. Then there’s Fremont Street, which is sort of like the Strip’s quirky older brother. It was the first paved road in downtown Las Vegas, and to this day promises neon signs flashing above and musicians performing on the sidewalks below. Want to stay close to (but out of earshot from) the action? Check out the Desert Rose Resort, whose spacious condo suites come with fully equipped kitchens, all without the commotion of a connected casino.
Vintage lights & Vegas history
The Neon Museum is a technicolor graveyard
If Fremont Street doesn’t satisfy your classic-Vegas itch, head to the Neon Museum. Its collection is as immense as it is impressive, with two outdoor “boneyards” and a visitor’s center housed in the former La Concha Motel lobby. The artifacts are like a walk through history, tracking the trends of design and technology from the 1930s to present-day Las Vegas. For a glimpse into the city’s grimmer past, The Mob Museum is only five minutes away. After a day of history, settle back into modern-day luxury at the Marriott’s Grand Chateau, one of the highest-rated hotels in Vegas.
A taste of Europe in the desert
Float down Venetian canals in the middle of the desert
You don’t need to take a transatlantic flight to experience Europe. The Paris Hotel not only offers fine French cuisine in an authentic brasserie ambiance, but even has a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, which stands forty-six stories tall and offers incredible views down the Strip. Or you could take a step back in time to Ancient Rome at Casesar’s Palace, where the Colosseum hosts in the world’s most exciting performers – though no gladiators. For a modern-day Italian experience, you can go on a gondola ride down the canals that run along restaurant terraces and shopping arcades modeled after Venice. The Palazzo at The Venetian® has a 9.1 rating, promising both comfort and fun.
An amusement park not for the faint of heart
The Stratosphere Tower is a key fixture in the Vegas skyline and claims to be the country’s “tallest freestanding observation tower” at a staggering 1,150 feet. The top level doesn’t just offer incredible city views, but is also home to the highest thrill rides in the country. Even the boldest daredevils break a sweat free-falling at 40 mph doing a Sky Jump or getting spun at 3 Gs over the edge of the 900-foot-high balcony. Once everyone’s pulse has settled, the M Resort Spa & Casino is the perfect place to unwind for the night.
Catch a world-class performance
Every Cirque du Soleil show promises jaw-dropping acts
Every evening hosts incredible shows that give Broadway a run for its money, making Las Vegas one of the world’s entertainment capitals. On top of visiting acts from international stars, there are dozens of shows that run 365 days a year, from various Cirque du Soleil performances to the Blue Man Group and Jabbawockeez dance crew. Situated halfway between the Strip and McCarran International Airport, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Las Vegas City Center also offers a free shuttle service for travelers arriving by plane.
What’s better than a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is too close—not to mention breathtaking—to pass up. There’s no better way to fully appreciate this natural wonder than by helicopter. Numerous companies offer packages that will take you from Vegas to Boulder City, before hopping a chopper and soaring over and through the Grand Canyon. If time is tight for a day trip, you can still get airborne at Vegas Indoor Skydiving, where vertical wind tunnels let visitors experience the phenomena of flight. Treat yourself to a stay at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, one of the city’s most highly rated hotels.