14 Top Things to Do in Las Vegas During a Layover

Las Vegas Airport

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Depending on your routing and which airline you're using to fly across the United States, you may end up with a longer-than-usual layover in Las Vegas. Luckily, there is plenty to keep you busy, especially if you've got four or more hours to kill and have time to hit the famous and fabulous Las Vegas Strip, a 4.2-mile section of Las Vegas Boulevard stretching from Sahara Avenue and Russel Road.

The airport is just a 10-minute drive from this exciting part of the city, so it's easy to get out there and experience a tiny slice of why so many people love to visit Las Vegas. Spend some time gambling at the slots right in the airport, or if you're looking to pass few hours outside it, grab a cab and check out some of our favorite things to do both on and off the Strip.

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Get a Day Pass to a Swanky Vegas Hotel Pool

The Apollo Pool at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Caesars Entertainment

3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-731-7280

While access to hotel pools in Las Vegas is typically included in the price of your stay, some of them do offer day passes or cover charges, granting non-guest entry to some of the coolest pools in town. Spend the day poolside at the Liquid Day Club at Aria, The Garden of the Gods complex at Caesars Palace, or the pools at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, The LINQ Hotel + Experience, New York–New York Hotel & Casino, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Tropicana Las Vegas, or The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Skypod (formerly the Stratosphere Las Vegas).

Note that some pools—most notably, those of Excalibur Hotel & Casino, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Delano at Mandalay Bay, the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas (formerly the Mandarin Oriental), Park MGM Las Vegas, Vdara Hotel & Spa, and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas—require non-guests to rent out a pool chair, cabana, or daybed, which can be pricey.

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See a Show, On or Off the Strip

Elvis tribute artist performing in Las Vegas

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

If you've got an overnight layover or several hours to kill at night, do yourself a favor and go see a show. You'll find everything from magic shows starring Penn & Teller to bachelorette party staples like Chippendales and Australia's Thunder From Down Under, as well as acts by musicians like Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Donny & Marie Osmond, Barry Manilow, Wayne Newton, and Boys II Men, depending on when you're here—check the Visit Las Vegas website to see who will be performing when you're in town. If all else fails, you really can't go wrong with an Elvis tribute show like All Shook Up, where you can hear your favorite tunes performed by someone who loves The King as much as you do.

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Visit the Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

The Neon Museum

770 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-387-6366

Don't feel like you only have to stay on The Strip during your Las Vegas layover. There's still plenty to see and do in older neighborhoods like Downtown Las Vegas, home to one of the city's most popular attractions, The Neon Museum. Stop by the visitor's center inside the historic La Concha Motel lobby, then take a guided tour through the Neon Boneyard, North Gallery, and other special exhibits showcasing more than 200 illuminated signs dating back to the 1930s through today.

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Day Trip to Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park

Sumiko Scott / Getty Images

29450 ቫሊ ኦፍ ፋየር ሃይዌይ, Overton, NV 89040, USA
Phone +1 702-397-2088

Just a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park impresses guests with 40,000 acres of petrified trees and bright red sandstone set among tan and gray limestone. A popular place for picnics, day trips, hiking, and camping, the park is also where you can spot 2,000-year-old petroglyphs left behind by some of the area's ancient residents.

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Ride the High Roller Ferris Wheel at The LINQ

High Roller Vegas

High Roller Vegas

3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-322-0593

Race from the airport to The LINQ and your layover will include incredible views of Las Vegas, courtesy of the High Roller, the tallest Ferris wheel in the U.S. and one of the highest in the world. Afraid of heights? Concentrated on the views as you look outward, not down, and rest easy knowing the cars take a relaxing 30 minutes to complete the full circuit, so you'll be going nice and slow.

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Grab a Great Slice of Pizza

Moneyline Pizza & Bar in Las Vegas

TripSavvy / Zeke Quezada

ARIA Resort & Casino, 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158, USA
Phone +1 877-230-2742

The pizza at Moneyline Pizza & Bar (formerly Five50 Pizza) is good enough to warrant a trip to Las Vegas on its own. Head to the Aria Las Vegas and order a few of the small plates—try the pork belly crostini, meatballs, and jalapeño corn arancini—and grab a slice to take back to the airport. Make sure to come hungry for James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain’s idea of pizza as he combines a few different styles to create one of the best pies in Las Vegas.

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Have Dinner at Lago in Bellagio Hotel & Casino

The View from Lago at Bellagio Las Vegas

TripSavvy / Zeke Quezada

Bellagio Hotel & Casino, 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 866-259-7111

If you happen to have a layover around dinner time, try and have a quick meal at Lago at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Now, you will likely be eating in the lounge or the bar if you don't have a reservation, but you should still have plenty of fun with Italian small plates, plenty of pasta, and a pretty decent view. Plus, if you time it right, you may even catch a glimpse of the famous Bellagio fountains as they dance in the evening light.

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Taste Southern Favorites at Yardbird Table & Bar

Yardbird Las Vegas

Yardbird Las Vegas

3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-297-6541

Make time to enjoy Southern favorites like fried chicken and waffles from Yardbird Table & Bar at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas while you're racing around town—you might also want to add in a Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade to make the next leg of your travels easier to handle. If you're not in the mood for a big meal, stick with the crunchy Yardbird sandwich, which is always better with a little bacon and hot sauce.

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Do Lunch at Spago

Spago Las Vegas

TripSavvy / Zeke Quezada

3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-693-8181

Find a spot in the cafe at Spago Las Vegas, then order something small and pair it with a glass of wine. Meatloaf is a popular choice if you're looking for something a bit heartier, while the wine will certainly help ease any stress you may be feeling about traveling with a layover.

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Visit Bellagio's Seasonal Gardens

Bellagio Conservatory

TripSavvy / Elliot Jonch Garcia

3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 888-987-6667

If you're a big fan of plants, flowers, and beautiful arrangements, you won't want to miss Bellagio Hotel & Casino's Gardens and Conservatory. The gardens and their decorations are changed seasonally and the decor around Christmastime is always a treat to see in person. From this spot, you'll also be able to see the famous Bellagio fountains, the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts. Go outside and catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower replica at the nearby Paris Las Vegas hotel before catching a ride back to the airport.

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See the New Las Vegas

Downtown Container Park

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

707 E Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
Phone +1 702-359-9982

Head to Downtown Container Park to see what re-purposing in Las Vegas looks like. The recent transformation of old Las Vegas is quite impressive and this particular part of East Fremont Street demonstrates a growing trend: re-purposing actual shipping containers as structures, in this case, to house three levels of compact storefronts and eateries surrounding terraces, a fantastic tree house playground for kids, and a stage and grassy knoll for live performances.

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Watch a Volcano Erupt at The Mirage Las Vegas

The volcano at the Mirage, Las Vegas

TripSavvy / Elliot Jonch Garcia

3400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-791-7111

You have likely seen the erupting volcano at the Mirage Las Vegas in pictures and if your Las Vegas layover is in the evening you might be able to experience it live—it's free but only happens after dark and at the top of the hour. If time allows or you're only hanging around Las Vegas during the day, stop by Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat to view the magicians' treasured tigers, dolphins, and other animals that call Las Vegas Home. Keep an eye out for Mr. Siegfried, who sometimes pays them a visit and chats with guests who recognize him.

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Sip Fancy Cocktails at the Overlook Lounge

Cocktails at Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas

TripSavvy / Zeke Quezada

3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Phone +1 702-770-3392

There's no place better for a drink in Las Vegas than the Overlook Lounge at Wynn Las Vegas, which features the right combination of comfort and class. Ride the spiraling escalator through suspended multicolored parasols, and you’ll see the 40-foot waterfall. In good weather, you can enjoy cocktails and a menu of savory bites and sweets on the patio. Sit long enough and you’ll forget that you are in Las Vegas—be careful, you might decide that another flight on another day is a much better proposition than heading back to the airport.

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Try Your Luck at the Airport's Machines

Airport slot machine

Iyhon Chiu / Flickr / CC

5757 Wayne Newton Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Phone +1 702-261-5211

The only two American airports that feature slot machines are Harry Reid International Airport (formerly McCarran International Airport) in Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. As long as you’re 21 or older, feel free to try your luck during your layover, even though gambling pros typically will steer clear of airport slots. The machines are available 24 hours a day but you'll need to track down a uniformed attendant and cash out before you board the plane in order to secure your winnings.

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14 Top Things to Do in Las Vegas During a Layover