Las Vegas is known for many things, typically its world-famous casinos and that legendary nightlife. There’s a reason they say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
For some people, those features of Las Vegas are exactly what they want. But not everyone loves to play the slot machines, try their luck at roulette, or sip those fancy cocktails. The good news is you don’t have to: There are countless things to do in Las Vegas, and only a small fraction involve drinking and gambling.
Here, learn about the best things to do when visiting Las Vegas because this Nevada town has a lot going on!
Best Times to Go to Las Vegas
The best times to visit Las Vegas can depend on your personal preferences. What do you want to do while you are there? Here are some things to keep in mind:
• Weather: Las Vegas can be very hot if you opt for summer travel. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during that time. So, if you prefer not to be covered in sweat, the best time to visit in terms of weather is usually in the fall (September to November) or spring (March to May), when temperatures are milder. However, if you are planning a visit that involves nothing but casino time, seeing shows, and hitting the pool, you can travel pretty much whenever.
• Events: Las Vegas hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, including the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in May, the World Series of Poker in the summer, and the National Finals Rodeo in December. If there is a particular event you want to attend, that could influence when you decide to go.
• Crowds: Las Vegas is a popular destination all year, but certain times of year tend to be busier than others. The winter holidays and New Year’s Eve are typically the busiest times, while weekdays in the summer can be quieter.
Generally, the best time to visit Las Vegas depends on what you want to do and see. If you want to avoid crowds and extreme heat, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. If you want to attend a specific event, plan your trip around that. Also, consider travel insurance to give yourself peace of mind in case you hit any obstacles before or during your trip.
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Bad Times to Go to Las Vegas
Again, the bad times to visit Las Vegas are subjective and depend on your preferences. For most people, though, here are times of the year that might be less enjoyable:
• Summer: As mentioned, temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. That could make it an uncomfortable time to visit for many.
• Major holidays: Las Vegas is a popular destination on many major holidays, including New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. During these times, hotels and attractions can be crowded, and prices might be higher than usual.
• Convention weekends: Las Vegas is a popular destination for business conferences and conventions, and hotel rates can be higher during these times. You might also find that the city is more crowded than usual.
As you can see, the worst times to visit Las Vegas also depend on your personal inclinations. If you want to avoid crowds and high prices, it’s best to avoid major holidays and conventions. If you can’t handle the heat, staying away during the summer is best.
Average Cost of a Las Vegas Vacation
The cost of a Las Vegas vacation can vary widely depending on factors such as the time of year, duration of your visit, accommodations, dining and entertainment options, and your budget for spending. It might help if you already have a travel fund, but it depends on how much you will spend. Here is a general breakdown of common expenses for a one-person and couple’s vacation:
• Accommodations: A mid-range hotel room can cost around $100-$200 per night; luxury hotels in Vegas will of course typically be more, but you may be able to use hacks that will lower that cost and help you save money on hotels.
• Flights: Round-trip flights generally cost around $200-$500, depending on the departure city and time of year.
• Transportation: Taxis, Ubers, and public transportation can add up to around $50-$100 or more. Of course, they might cost you more money depending on how often you use them.
• Food and drink: Meals can cost around $20-$50 per day, depending on where and what you eat, plus drinks and snacks can add another $20-$50 per day.
• Entertainment: Shows, attractions, and activities can range from free to several hundred dollars per person. Tickets to those high-profile residencies can get quite pricey.
Total: A one-person vacation to Las Vegas can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the above factors. Also consider things like traveling with pets, which will increase your costs as hotels typically add a charge and you might have additional transportation costs getting to pet-friendly parks.
• Hotels: A mid-range hotel room can cost around $100-$200 per night or more for a luxury hotel.
• Flights: Round-trip flights can cost around $400-$1,000, depending on the departure city and time of year. However, you can save money or get extra perks with an airline credit card or cash back rewards credit card.
• Transportation: Taxis, Ubers, and public transportation can add up to around $100-$200. Again, it depends in part on how much you use them.
• Food and drink: Meals can cost around $40-$100 per day for two people, depending on where and what you eat. Drinks and snacks might add another $40-$100 per day.
• Entertainment: Shows, attractions, and activities can range from free to several hundred dollars per person.
Total: A couple’s vacation to Las Vegas might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 or more, depending on the above factors. Naturally, how much you can afford will have an effect on your budget.
10 Fun Must-Dos in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the best places in the country for all kinds of entertainment. Whether young or old, you are never more than a few steps away from something interesting. This list of the best things to do in Vegas is culled from top-rated attractions on popular review sites, as well as insider intel from savvy travelers.
The good thing about taking a trip to Las Vegas is that the Strip is generally the focal point. So, if you stay near the Strip, you are sure to find many attractions that are accessible. Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, as traversing the Strip takes more steps than you might realize.
1. Visit the Las Vegas Strip
As the main attraction in Vegas, the Strip has numerous shops, restaurants, and shows. Of course, you can visit the casinos if you prefer, but even the Strip has plenty to do that doesn’t involve gambling. Admire the Bellagio’s fountains and the artwork inside the casino, or visit the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Visit the city’s museums, or enjoy some performances by the city’s various street performers. The Strip offers endless entertainment for all kinds of people. visitlasvegas.com/las-vegas-strip/
2. See a Live Show
Seeing a live show is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas. The city is home to many spectacular shows, including Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and magic shows. All the best shows are usually on the Strip, so catching a show is convenient, too.
3. Explore Fremont Street
This is the old downtown area of Las Vegas, with vintage casinos, bars, and the famous light show on the overhead canopy. While the Strip is generally the main attraction in Last Vegas these days, many people insist Fremont Street is the “real” Vegas experience. Today, Fremont Street is home to unbeatable experiences like the Viva Vision Light Show, an indoor zip line, and the vintage Golden Nugget casino. vegasexperience.com/
4. Ride the High Roller
Even if you aren’t a high roller in the casinos, you can feel like one in the High Roller observation wheel. This 550-foot-tall Ferris wheel is the world’s tallest observation wheel, offering a stunning view of the Las Vegas skyline. Because the High Roller is so tall, the seats are completely enclosed in glass to keep passengers safe. The High Roller is located in the heart of the Strip, on the property of the LINQ Hotel and Casino. Daytime tickets for a 30-minute ride are typically $8.50 for youth; $23.50 for adults; nighttime is $17.50 for youth, $34.75 for adults. caesars.com/linq/things-to-do/attractions/high-roller
5. Visit the Hoover Dam
Las Vegas has endless things to do, but sometimes, you just need an escape. Located just outside Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a great place for a day trip. You can reach the Hoover Dam in about one hour by car from the Strip, so getting there isn’t too time-consuming. It was built between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. It serves several purposes, including controlling flooding of the Colorado River, irrigating over 1,500,000 acres of land, and providing water to 16,000,000 people. Tickets are $10 for a self-guided tour; $30 for a guided tour. usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/service/
6. Go Shopping
If you’re a shopping fiend, few places are better than Las Vegas. The city is home to many high-end shopping destinations, including the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and the Fashion Show Mall. There are also indie shops, other malls on the Strip, and outlets. That includes Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, where you’ll find deals on designer brands like Versace, Paige, and Michael Kors. This could also be a great opportunity to earn credit card rewards.
7. Visit the Neon Museum
Be sure to check out The Neon Museum Las Vegas to see a visual representation of Vegas’s history. This outdoor museum is located just north of the Strip and showcases vintage neon signs from Las Vegas’s past. The museum provides guided tours of signs from Vegas, some of which are from famous landmarks from the 1930s to today. General admission is $10 for children, $20 for adults, and tours are available. neonmuseum.org/
8. Play Miniature Golf
Adults and children of all ages can enjoy some amazing mini-golf courses in Las Vegas. The city has several miniature golf courses, including the Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf and KISS World featuring KISS Mini Golf. Both courses feature mesmerizing glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of the coolest places to play mini-golf, so be sure to check these out.
9. Go on a Helicopter Tour
Experience the stunning views of Las Vegas and its surrounding areas from above with a thrilling helicopter tour. Several helicopter tour options are available in Las Vegas, ranging from short sightseeing flights to longer tours that take you to nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. Some helicopter tours are as brief as 10 minutes, while some can last several hours. Keep in mind that helicopter tours in Las Vegas can be expensive, ranging from around $100 to several hundred dollars per person. The cost depends on the length of the tour and the attractions included. Book now, pay later travel can help, though these services can have caveats, including incurring high-interest debt.
10. Visit the SkyPod
Visiting the Skypod at the Strat Hotel and Casino is a must-do activity when you’re in Las Vegas. This iconic tower offers stunning views of Las Vegas and an array of thrilling rides, including the SkyJump and Insanity. You can also see the surrounding mountains and desert from the observation deck. The tower stands 1,149 feet tall, making it the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. There are several dining options, including the award-winning Top of the World restaurant, which is located on the 106th floor of the tower and offers 360-degree views of the city while you dine. thestrat.com/attractions
Getting Around Town
Las Vegas doesn’t have a wide array of public transit options, but it does have the Las Vegas Monorail that runs along the strip. Unfortunately, the Monorail isn’t exactly cheap, but a 7-day pass might save a bit if you use it multiple times daily. There is also the Las Vegas Loop to transport you between convention halls. Tickets are a reasonable $4.50 per day. Renting a car is always an option as well.
Las Vegas is a great food city. The hotels are packed with amazing options from household-name chefs. You can also stray from the Strip and find local favorites offering affordable tacos, BBQ, and more. Research your favorite kinds of foods, and then let your tastebuds guide you.
Las Vegas is known for its casinos, but there is much more to Vegas than just gambling. With world-class live performances, incredible dining, fantastic museums, and mesmerizing mini-golf, there is something for everyone in Las Vegas.
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How do I get the most out of my Vegas vacation?
You can do many things to get the most out of your Vegas vacation. For example, you can stay on the Strip or at least nearby so you are centrally located and can easily move between destinations. You should also wear comfortable shoes and enjoy free things to do in Las Vegas, like the fountain shows at the Bellagio.
What is Las Vegas best for?
There are many things Las Vegas is great for, including the Strip, Fremont Street, live performances, and museums. Obviously, there are great shows, gambling, and all kinds of delicious dining options, too.
How much money should you take to Vegas?
How much money you should take to Vegas depends in large part on what you plan to do. An individual on a tight budget might be able to skate by on as little as $500 for a week-long stay. But a couple planning a luxury vacation might need as much as $4,000 or perhaps more.
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