Activities & Sports
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers swimming, boating and a few more nautical activities. Hiking opportunities abound in the Spring Mountains. There are five peaks standing over 3,300m. Of course there are plenty of easier trails to be found. But always make sure to carry plenty of water for hikes and be ready for sudden changes in weather.
Golfers can choose from about 60 golf courses in the area. There are even two along the Strip: the Bali Hai Golf Club and the Callaway Golf Center. Just off the Strip is the amazing The Wynn Golf Course which is reserved for hotel guests only. Closed since 2017, it should reopen in 2019.
Rock Climbing is a popular sport in Las Vegas. The Red Rock Canyon is located on the western edge of the Las Vegas city limits where visitors can go climbing year-round along its many routes.
Yes! You can go skiing in Las Vegas. There is a Ski and Snowboard Resort in the Spring Mountains, about 45 minutes from Las Vegas.
If you are a tennis fan then you will love the excellent hotel courts or one of many public courts as well.
Only in Vegas may you find a new meaning to the word archaeology. Indeed, you can visit the neon cemetery, the Neon Boneyard. The Young Electric Sign Company's (YESCO) maintains a storage yard of retired signs in Las Vegas in a fenced lot behind its offices.
The company is supplying the Neon Museum, which is slowly restoring the signs and placing them around the Fremont Street Experience.
Attractions & Sights
How to sum up Las Vegas in three words? Gambling, gambling and gambling. You can gamble almost everywhere, even at McCarran airport and small supermarkets. But this privilege is given only to those 21 years of age and up: always bring to the casino a valid ID as proof of your age.
Pros suggest playing games likecraps and blackjack who pay 3 to 2. More fun but with less chances to win are slot machines, roulette. To facilitate gambling in machine-based games, you can use a pre-paid card to make wagers and collect winnings. With poker making a comeback, poker tables are making there way back into the main casino floors with Texas Hold'em, 7-card stud, Omaha and other games.
Most major casinos are found on the Las Vegas Strip. Fremont Street is the second most famous street in Las Vegas. Located in the heart of the downtown, it's where you'll find for many famous casinos such as Binion's Horseshoe, Eldorado Club, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget, The Mint, and the Pioneer Club.
Not into gambling? Do not worry there are a million other things to see and do while in Vegas:
- The Fountains of the Bellagio perform a magnificent display set to music every 15 minutes in the evenings and also every hour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Inside there is a huge flower garden as well as a fine-art gallery
- The Flamingo Garden offers a great garden with flamingos and other exotic birds, as well as koi and turtles
- The Mob Museum is not only a museum dedicated to the mafia and organized crime in the US but also the history of modern Las Vegas.
- At the Mirage Volcano in front of the casino erupts in a terrific light show almost every hour in the evening. Also at the Mirage, is a free white tiger enclosure, an impressive aquarium, and a dolphin habitat
- The Shark Reef in the Mandalay Bay hotel is best know for walking through a transparent tunnel with sharks, sea turtle, fish on all sides
- The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall where most of the downtown casinos are located. Multimedia shows are displayed on a giant canopy over the street nightly. The Golden Nugget Casino displays aptly the world's largest gold nugget
- The Liberace Museum houses many of Liberace's stage costumes, cars, jewelry and lavishly-decorated pianos
- Several hotels have rides and amusement parks, such as Circus Circus, The Roller Coaster at New York New York, the Stratosphere which offers an incredible view of the city, or enjoy a gondola ride at The Venetian
Nearby, Laughlin is the third most visited casino destination in the state. Laughlin is advertised as a more family-friendly venue with outdoor and family activities.
Hoover Dam straddles the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Its enormous dam was completed in 1935. The visitor center and offers guided tours and access to the elevator to the viewing platform above the dam.
Reno has plenty to see and do so renting a car is a good idea when visiting Reno. Attractions include the Nevada Museum of Art, Wingfield Park, Downtown Reno Library, California and South Wells Avenues, Rancho San Rafael Park, Victorian Square, and Idlewild Park. Of course Reno has its fair share of casinos: Silver Legacy, Eldorado, Reno Nugget, Harrah’s Reno, Atlantis, Peppermill, Grand Sierra Resort, and John Ascuaga’s Nugget.
Carson City is home to the Nevada State Museum, with exhibits everything from prehistoric native life to the Old West mining boom to the current day.
In Las Vegas, free drinks are often offered to all players in casinos but tipping the cocktail waitress at least $1 per drink is expected. Fun bars and pubs outside of major hotels include the Double Down Saloon and The Bunkhouse.
You’ll find a club or discotheque in nearly every hotel and casino and they usually remain open until 4am. The top clubs will charge a cover and expect to wait in a line depending on the night. Often tables in clubs here come with a bottle purchase so you may be asked to vacate the table if you are not buying bottles.
Cirque du Soleil shows are always a hot ticket and an amazing experience to live. Here are the ones running for now: KÀ, R.U.N, Mystère, ONE, Love, O, and Zumanity.
Las Vegas is known for its big production shows, so make sure to reserve your tickets well in advance. Some shows include: Blue Man Group, Le Rêve, Matsuri, Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding, Tournament of Kings, and V-The Ultimate Variety Show.
There is always a big artist in town performing. Check out local listings to see what is available. A few headliners have long engagement shows such as Lady Gaga ou Shania Twain. Tribute shows are also popular with: Tribute to Elvis Presley and The Rat Pack is Back.
Magic shows are always a hit here in Vegas with huge productions like: Penn and Teller, Mac King Comedy Magic Show and Xtreme Magic Starring Dirk Arthur.
Vegas would not be complete of course without a selection of adult shows, either for a female audience or Vegas’ famous show girls. Check out: Chippendales, Crazy Girl, Fantasy, Thunder from Down Under, X Burlesque, and Zumanity.
There are tones of attractions within a day’s reach of Las Vegas. The biggest difficulty is picking which one to do. Here is a sampling of the top day trips:
- Death Valley National Park is two hours by car. The park is not only the largest park in the continental USA but one of the most striking as well. Death Valley National Park is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and one of the hottest places in the world. It is also a vast geological museum in itself. There are many individual sites to see within the park
- Grand Canyon National Park, 4 hours by car, is one of the great tourist attractions in the US. The canyon never fails to invoke the sense of awe and wonder. Arrive here from the South Rim or the more remote North Rim. Visit the Grand Canyon Village, two native Reservation and enjoy the desert view. While here visitors can go hiking, walking on trails, camp, and go white water rafting
- The Great Basin National Park has the state’s only glacier and a cave tour with stalagtites
Sedona, Arizona, is home to a bustling downtown and vibrant arts community, but the real attraction is the surreal, red rock landscape. Unique canyons, creeks, mountains, forests, spiritual vortexes, hikes and mountain biking trails surround the area.
Zion National Park is about two hours of Las Vegas and offers an incredible maze of narrow, deep, sandstone canyons and striking rock towers. It’s a favorite spot for hiking, backpacking and climbing.