The secret to finding things to do and places to see in Las Vegas is fairly simple if you have a few days to do all the research involved. After all, Las Vegas is a mishmash of adult entertainment, fine-dining gems, gargantuan nightclubs, and iconic sights all poised to take up every minute of your vacation. Once you add in the factors such as traveling with children or honeymoon spots or girl's getaway, you realize there are not enough days in the week to satisfy all that you want to see.
There is an iconic sign on one end of the Las Vegas strip and a tower on the other end. Downtown still boasts a light show each night and every last spot in between holds treasures of fun for the visitor. How much motivation do you need to finally decide to put together the trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas?
Take a look at these spots on and off the Las Vegas strip and then start packing your bags.
Enjoy the View at the Cosmopolitan Hotel
If you want the ultimate view coupled with a very Vegas experience, you’ll get it in a room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.
Tip: This great view comes at the expense of a great sunset so stay up until the sun comes up and see what sunrise looks like from this vantage point. The sky dazzles above Las Vegas in the morning.
Take a Dip in the Swimming Pool
Yes, you will need to visit a swimming pool in Las Vegas and if you get into town during peak season you will be in for a long-lasting party under the bright Las Vegas sun. You'll dance, you'll mingle, and you'll work on your tan. No need to work on your diving technique because you won't have time for that.
Be a Kid at the Tree House at Container Park
If there is a giant tree house in Las Vegas, you better believe you need to not only see it but climb it as well. If you have kids there is no reason why you have not already promised them an excursion to Las Vegas for this very reason. Imagine a tube slide that seems to fall out of the sky and a vantage point up high that allows you to catch a glimpse of downtown Las Vegas. Downtown Container Park is not a typical Vegas attraction, and that is the reason why you should visit it.
While you are in the area, walk into Evel Pie for a slice of pizza and experience a great dive bar atmosphere. Eat at the bar, enjoy a beer, and check out the Evel Knievel memorabilia throughout the restaurant.
Tip: If you have children, they will love the tree house and the interactive stations in the play area. Adults love the ability to go down the huge slide. The trick when you are both an adventurous adult and you have kids is to grab a snack at Pinches Tacos and a cocktail at Oak & Ivy while the kids play. You might need a little liquid courage to get to the very top of the slide. There are plenty of spots around the tree house to sit and watch the action.
Bust a Move at Hakkasan Nightclub
Does a crowded nightclub make you happy? If so, Hakkasan Nightclub is exactly what you need with its multiple levels and extensive options for nightlife. This place, found at the MGM Grand Hotel, is massive with different levels of dancing, lounging, and mingling. You dictate your experience.
Nearby, Whiskey Down is a good spot for a drink before dinner, and you have to take a look at Morimoto for your splurge night out in Las Vegas.
Tip: Instead of heading into the main room, step into the Ling Ling Lounge and you'll be treated to a place to sit and experience a more subdued experience. It's still a nightclub vibe but it is far more intimate.
Catch a Show at Cirque Du Soleil
It is impossible to mention Las Vegas entertainment without consistently talking about Cirque du Soleil. Once you see your first show you will feel compelled to see all of the Cirque du Soleil Shows in Las Vegas.
Take in the View From the High Roller at LINQ
If you go to Las Vegas during a busy time, you will notice that a lot of people seem to be boarding your capsule into the sky. Don’t worry, this is not like that rickety Ferris wheel from the annual carnival back home. This is an engineering marvel, and it will deliver some spectacular views of Las Vegas. If you have an issue with heights, get yourself a cocktail before you board just to keep you happy for the 30-minute excursion.
The High Roller is part of the LINQ Entertainment district and you can be sure that there is plenty for you to do here. They have yoga on the High Roller and that means you can do breathing exercises while hovering 550 feet over the Las Vegas strip.
Tip: The High Roller offers special rates during off-peak hours, and it also has group rates.
Visit Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
They dance on the tables right beside you and almost on top of you at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. and it is a lot of fun even if you are trying to enjoy your dinner. It is so much fun that you might not want to leave after you finish your meal. Don’t worry, there is plenty for you to do so stick around a little longer. Once you are done check out the Vesper Bar downstairs or head into Marquee Nightclub.
Tip: Find the small bar behind a wall. There is a name for it but just go left at the entrance and you'll find a cozy place to have a drink with plenty of unique entertainment. This is a good option when you don't plan on having dinner there.
Visit Fremont East
This is not the downtown of shrimp cocktails and $2.99 buffets. Fremont East is about cool bars, good food, and public spaces that feel more like your neighborhood hot spots and less like a Vegas destination. Don’t worry though: the action is very much what you need from a foray into Vegas nightlife. It’s just a bit more refined in the way that good conversation is more than talking.
Tip: When visiting Las Vegas, consider staying at downtown hotels. The D Las Vegas, Golden Gate Hotel, and Downtown Grand Hotel all have very low room rates and their updated rooms are just as nice as anything you'll find on the strip.
Sit in the Lobby at Delano Las Vegas
It is no surprise that you just feel better at the Delano Las Vegas. The lobby has the look of an art gallery, and the deep leather couches waiting for you to take a load off are so inviting you might elect to sit there all afternoon. The real treasure is Franklin Lounge, which is adjacent to the lobby. This bar does the little things right, and when you peruse its wine list or order a cocktail, you’ll quickly realize that somebody really cares about the way you have a drink. This is not a hotel lobby bar, this is a destination location. As in "must do" in Las Vegas.
Tip: Walk over to Franklin Lounge, which is the cool bar just off the lobby, and check out its wine list. Its wines by the glass are better than anyone else on the Las Vegas strip.
Spend Time at the Wynn Las Vegas Lake of Dreams
If you're at the Wynn Las Vegas, you feel a sense of elegance that is missing from most high-end Las Vegas hotels. Spend some time on the patio overlooking the Lake of Dreams and you'll realize it is because there is a sense of casual comfort that comes with an overall feeling laid-back elegance. If you visit after dark you just may see the show.
Tip: If you decide to have dinner at SW Steakhouse or Lakeside, arrive an hour early and have your pre-dinner drink at Parasol Down. You'll need to get there before the sun goes down because people will park themselves for far too long. But once you sit down, you'll realize you don't want to leave either.
Have a Scorpion by a Fire at the Peppermill Fireside Lounge
It doesn't matter what the temperature is outside because the fire is always on inside the Peppermill Fireside Lounge. Your drink of choice is a scorpion, and this last of the independent bars right smack dab in the middle of the Las Vegas strip is very much old school. Do the late-night thing here and you might just begin a tradition for every trip.
Tip: Don't forget to people watch as this is a great location for sitting and watching. Sitting right by the fire is fun the first time you go in, but after that try to get a booth by the wall in order to get a decent view of all the visitors.
Grab a Cocktail at the Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas
There is a vibe of cool without being pretentious at Sayers Club. Yet this spot is a step above the ordinary nightlife scene. Live music and soft leather couches add to this atmosphere. Great cocktails just enhance the experience. The outdoor patio is great for mingling and the bar area is good for finding someone to mingle with. This is not a nightclub; it’s just a club. It harkens back to the type that you might have frequented back home, where the house band is more than capable, and where the room lends itself to long conversations and dangerous encounters that might be more lust than love. The Sayers Club at the SLS Las Vegas is what it feels like when you have graduated past the nightclub scene in Las Vegas.
Tip: The best seat in the house is actually outside. The outdoor patio has a different feel and allows for a bit more mingling when it gets crowded inside. If there is a performer inside, you'll still be able to hear the music. You just won't have to look over people to see the show.
Relax in a Good Bathtub
The bathtub is a perfect spot for having a conversation with somebody in bed or for catching the highlights while having a long soak. Bathtubs are extra special in Las Vegas, and some have great views such as the tub in an Aria Corner Suite. Some are spacious such as the tub in a penthouse at Hotel 32, while others just allow you some open space such as the tub at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Tip: Order room service, put on some music, lock the door, and just soak. Big tubs with great views are impossible to recreate at home, so don't forget to take advantage of it.
Eat Lunch at Tableau
The room at Tableau at is wide open and spacious. You can't help but smile when you have breakfast or lunch at this place at Wynn Las Vegas. It is classy, comfortable, and casually elegant.
Tip: Have an early lunch and make sure to order a cocktail. Starting the day at Tableau is about as Vegas as you can get. Now, if it is a very nice day, consider grabbing a snack to enjoy by the pool. This is also a good location for impressing the in-laws or a laid-back business lunch.
Examine Public Art at Aria
The public art found at Aria Las Vegas and CityCenter is impressive and is free to view. Take a long stroll around the property, and check out some very impressive pieces created by significant artists.
Tip: Go to the concierge at Aria and ask for a walking tour brochure or download the Aria Art Collection app. The app gives you information on artists, pictures, and fun facts. If you need more art from this spot, walk next door to Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts or Garage Art at the Cosmopolitan.
Serenade Your Sweetheart at the Venetian Las Vegas
The gondola makes its way around the Grand Canal Shoppes as the sound of the gondolier's voice enchants you on your journey. It can be romantic or it can just be a fun boat ride. You decide on your gondola ride at Venetian Las Vegas.
Tip: This attraction is a little corny because who really wants a ride on a gondola through a fancy mall? Oh, wait, this is fun and believe it or not, when the gondolier starts singing, it feels a little romantic. Makes this a different type of date night with some bubbles at Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge and then dinner at Delmonico Steakhouse after the ride.
Take a Thrill Ride at Stratosphere Tower
If you need a good idea of what La Vegas looks, like just head to the top of the Stratosphere Tower and look around. All of Las Vegas spreads out below you and while you are there go ahead and hang off the edge on X-Scream.
Tip: Buy the all day pass as it is a much better deal if you plan on going on the thrill rides. If you think you just want to enjoy the view, let the attendant know that you are going to either the Top of the World Restaurant or 107 SkyLounge for their great happy hour and you'll save the money on tower admission.
Gaze at the Artwork in the Venetian Hotel Lobby
This is what Las Vegas really looks like. Walk along the corridor at the Venetian Las Vegas, and catch all the attention to detail. Maybe you don't have to go to Venice after all.
Tip: If this art is something you enjoy, walk out the front entrance and admire the square out front and then look for the entrance to the Grand Canal Shoppes where even more of these paintings adorn the ceilings. If you really like these reproductions, walk into Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and you'll see wax copies of real people.
Have a Drink at the Cromwell Hotel
Las Vegas has accepted the role of the boutique hotel, and you see it in the transformation of the Cromwell Hotel and the Delano Las Vegas. Find a spot at the bar and examine how this once shoddy property now looks and feels like an entirely new character in the Las Vegas storyline.
Tip: Since you are already on the property, go to the second floor and visit Giada. You don't have to eat there but have a drink and enjoy the views for a fraction of the cost if you were having an entire meal.
Learn the History in Lights at the Neon Museum
Take a walking tour through a little bit of Las Vegas history at the Neon Museum.
Tip: Make a reservation before you stop in as it can get busy, which would cause you to have to wait for a tour. Since you are already headed toward downtown Las Vegas, check out the Mob Museum for a little more Las Vegas history.
Peruse Bauman Rare Books at Palazzo Las Vegas
Just so that you do not get the impression that Las Vegas is this shallow place where all that happens is hedonistic and lecherous, you should visit Bauman Rare Books at Palazzo Las Vegas. If you get excited at the thought of holding a first edition "Catcher in the Rye" or you enjoy the scent of fine literature as it ages like a fine Bordeaux, you should spend an afternoon with your nose in some of these books. You might not be able to afford them, but you be able to appreciate them.
Tip: Don't worry about acting like you are really not going to buy a book. The staff here enjoy literature as much as you do, so just gawk at the first editions and spend some time in the store like you would any other bookstore.
Stop at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
The icon on the Las Vegas strip is Caesars Palace. It is possible to check into this resort and never leave the property. That would be a shame because Las Vegas has so much to offer but you would never be at a loss for things to do.
Tip: Some of the best people watching and a relatively affordable meal are at Spago in the Forum Shops and Serendipity 3 begs you to visit with its frozen hot chocolate. However, the best thing to do is to walk outside near the Absinthe tent and look for the people handing out discount coupon tickets to the show.