Things to do in Las Vegas
As you might expect, there are plenty of things to do in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” Las Vegas plays hosts to a variety of activities both indoor and outdoor. So if you’re looking for what to do in Las Vegas and the rush that comes with putting down a big bet, or the thrill of off-roading in the Mojave, “Sin City” is the place for you!
Any trip to Las Vegas should start with a stay at one of the area’s amazing hotels. Whether you’re at the towering Stratosphere or pyramidal Luxor, you’ll experience world-class accommodations and service. Many of the major hotels include casinos right inside, but even those that don’t provide shuttle service to their casino affiliates, so you won’t have to waste much time getting to the blackjack table. If you prefer relaxation to gaming, then look for one of Vegas’ many hotels that offer dayspa treatments—your body will be better off for it!
What to do in Las Vegas
Alternatively, you can get out of the city and explore the Las Vegas that not everyone thinks about. Located in the Mojave Desert, the city’s outlying region is the perfect place to go on a Jeep, Hummer, or ATV ride, for example, in the Red Rock Canyon or the Valley of Fire. Or board a helicopter to go for a tour of nearby Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, or the Grand Canyon, which is only a few hours away.
As you can see, Las Vegas is more than just nightlife—it is life lived to the fullest! So break away from the routine and the responsibility, and come to Vegas for a few wild nights, a daytrip or two, and a much-needed break. Don’t worry about what to do in Las Vegas… there’s plenty!
What to do in Las Vegas #1
Grand Canyon – Visitors to Las Vegas will be glad to know that they’re well within driving or flying distance of the Grand Canyon. In about five hours, you can drive to the magnificent natural wonder of the world to behold its stunning brown-red spires, buttes, cliffs, and towering walls. Make the easy journey to the east for this 280-mile-long natural landmark, and you won’t be let down. Visiting the Grand Canyon tops our what to do in Las Vegas list.
Once you arrive, it’s easy to drive around the canyon rim to get more familiar with it and take photographs. For the more enterprising individual, there are numerous hikes that will bring you partway down or all the way down to the canyon floor; choosing one depends on your skill and conditioning levels, available daylight hours, and other considerations. The hikes can be done in self-guided fashion, but guided ones with van transportation to and from the canyon are also available.
But there are yet more ways to see the Grand Canyon. One easy way is to take a helicopter or plane excursion that’ll shuttle you from Las Vegas to northern Arizona and then back. These options will maximize your time, allow you to see large swaths of the canyon, and also take you over nearby attractions like Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. Moreover, some of the helicopter tours will take you down to the canyon floor where a boat will be waiting to show you a bit of the Colorado River.
What to do in Las Vegas #2
Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours – coming in at #2 on out what to do in Las Vegas list. Take a step back in time with a visit to the mine at Eldorado Canyon. The historic site is located in Nelson, one of the roughest and most lawless cities in the 19th century Wild West, and a popular destination in the early 1860’s due to the discovery of gold and silver.
ATV to Eldorado Canyon Tour
Escape the high production value of Las Vegas for the more natural side to the Southwest. This six-to-seven-hour ATV lunch tour will take you through the Mojave Desert for a stop at Eldorado Canyon’s Techatticup Gold Mine.
On your visit here, you’ll walk around the historic Techatticup Mining Camp, a ghost town in which several movies have been shot, including Breakdown and 3,000 Miles to Graceland. You’ll also head down into Savage Mine to see where prospectors used to look for gold and silver; and you’ll stroll through the Techatticup Millsite, where ore was processed in order to separate out the precious metals. Additionally, feel free to take a paddle in hand and canoe or kayak over the Blue Water Cove. The surface is calm and peaceful, and the shoreline is speckled with amazing animals like bighorn sheep and coyotes.
The tour that takes you above and into the mine lasts for one hour, and costs $12.50 per person for adults, or $7.50 for those 12 and under. Canoe and kayak rentals cost between $25 and $30 for the first day, and $15 to $20 on subsequent days.
What to do in Las Vegas #3
Las Vegas Helicopter Tours – There’s no shortage of helicopter tours in Las Vegas. Whether you’re looking to fly over the dazzling lights of the Strip, or the dazzling natural attractions outside the city, so long as there’s a will, there’s a way! Number three on our what to do in Las Vegas list.
Grand Canyon Helicopter With Landing
This helicopter tour offers you the best of both worlds. Not only will you glide over amazing locations like the Hoover Dam and adjacent Black Canyon, you’ll also land in the Grand Canyon for an amazing look up at its imposing walls!
There are many flights that leave Las Vegas en route to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and other flyover locations. Once you’re at the mile-deep canyon, you’ll either circle it to get a better grasp of its magnitude, or land a few thousand feet below for close-ups of the Colorado River and the canyon walls. If you want a longer look at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, of course, you can select a tour specifically geared toward providing that sought-after aerial view.
For a more urban perspective, take a flight around Las Vegas for the chance to appreciate the bright lights, palatial hotels, and busy streets from the air. Or, if you’re interested in learning to fly a chopper, there are tour companies that will allow you to get behind the controls for close to an hour as you hover in the sky!
What to do in Las Vegas #4
Hoover Dam Sightseeing Tour– Take the short jaunt out to the Hoover Dam, and see the massive functional monument that was built during the Great Depression era. It’s an easy trip at just 30 miles southeast of Vegas, and it’s worthwhile, too, as evidenced by the million annual visitors the dam hosts. The dam wasn’t built just for good looks, though; it’s responsible for impounding Lake Mead, the largest freshwater reservoir in the United States, and generating hydroelectric power.
There are a variety of guided tours you can select upon your arrival. Tours of the power plant commence with an elevator ride that covers over 500 ft. and lasts over a minute! You’ll get to see the penstocks, which can move up to 90,000 gallons of water per second from the lake to the generators, as well as the 17 generators themselves. You’ll also get to walk around the visitor center, which provides not only great views from the observation deck, but an amazing gallery full of audio and visual exhibits, including models of the facility.
And, of course, you’ll want to walk along the sidewalks that sit atop the dam. From there, you’ll be able to see the sheer dam face, the Colorado River on one side, and Lake Mead on the other. Make sure you bring a camera—although, in truth, there’s no real way to capture the magnitude of the sights you’ll see.
What to do in Las Vegas #5
Jeep and Hummer Tours – You think the Las Vegas Strip is wild? You ain’t seen nothing yet! Head into the Mojave Desert on an off-road Jeep or Hummer tour, and you’ll see Las Vegas’ wild side. When thinking about what to do in Las Vegas, why not get out in the desert?
A trip out to Red Rock Canyon will get your blood pumping. You’ll hear the dirt and gravel crunch below you as you pass by the red and white Sandstone Bluffs, and sweep through parts of the Joshua Tree Forest. You’ll also love exploring the Valley of Fire, popular among mystics for its latent spiritual energy, and full of rugged terrain and sand dunes that are the result of millions of years of geological activity. Finally, a ride out to the Eldorado Gold Mine offers a unique blend of seated exhilaration and active exploration, as you’ll get out of your vehicle in order to descend into the mine, 500 ft. below!
Local Jeep and Hummer tours generally last three-to-five-hours. Those that take you out to the Grand Canyon, however, run in excess of nine hours. Due to the length of these tours, providers frequently include snacks and water at a minimum, and even lunch for the lengthier trips.
What to do in Las Vegas #6
Visit Zion National Park – Cross the state line into Utah for a glimpse at scenic Zion National Park. There, you’ll behold 229 square miles of undisturbed natural beauty, which includes canyons, cliffs, buttes, mesas, and arches, as well as an unbelievable assortment of birds, bats, reptiles, and more. If you have a free day or two and are wondering what to do in Las Vegas, a trip to Zion is an excellent choice.
There are several specific sites you’ll want to see on a trip to Zion. First is the summit of Horse Ranch Mountain; at nearly 9,000 ft., it is the park’s highest point, towering over Camp Creek and Taylor Creek, respectively, to the north and south. Also memorable is Zion Canyon, a 15-mile-long Navajo Sandstone gorge; you’ll love the reds and tans that comprise the steep canyon walls.
Zion National Park is an especially great place for a hike. There are several trails that are particularly popular, including The Narrows, a strenuous, 16-mile, one-way journey that begins at Chamberlain’s Ranch. Rock climbing is also popular due to the presence of Prodigal Son, Touchstone, and other short walls. And if you don’t have enough time to do everything you’d like to, then bringing a sleeping bag and a tent. Lodging and campgrounds are both available.