Neon signs, galleries, and hikes: Explore things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling
Whether you want to play blackjack till 3 am at a flashy casino, dance all day at a thumping pool party, or ride the Strip in a pink limo with a yard of margarita, nearly anything goes in Las Vegas. Splash out on dinner at a world-class restaurant, sip mezcal and barrel-aged bourbon in a speakeasy bar, and then dance into the wee hours at a glitzy nightclub with VIP bottle service.
When you need a break from all the action, there are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling and late-night partying. Shopping is a serious business here, with luxury brands filling malls like The Shops at Crystals, where you can splurge on swanky watches or designer shoes. For one-of-a-kind finds, browse the Downtown Container Park, an open-air hub of cool indie boutiques and eateries in stacked shipping containers.
If you’re looking for adrenaline rushes that don’t involve betting, the SlotZilla Zip Line whisks you above the flashing lights of Fremont Street’s old-school casinos, or you can jump from a plane on a tandem skydive for spectacular views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River.
More fun things to do in Vegas:
- Sparkling shows: From multi-year residencies by big-name pop and rock artists to elaborate magic displays and lavish Cirque du Soleil productions, Vegas is home to an astonishing lineup of nightly performances. If you’re flexible about what you want to see, head to a Tix4Tonight booth to snag last-minute discount tickets.
- Arts District: Also known as 18b, this vibrant neighborhood of contemporary galleries, antiques shops, and hip cafes is one of the city’s hidden gems. Rummage for vintage Vegas memorabilia like roulette wheels and casino chips, or find deals and special events at the monthly First Friday block party.
- Quirky museums: Want to experience life aboard the Titanic, play retro pinball machines, or explore a haunted mansion? Vegas has it all. You can learn the history of organized crime at the Mob Museum, and the Neon Museum preserves eye-catching old Vegas signs in an outdoor “boneyard.” Stop by after dark to see the signs illuminated.
- Desert hikes: Dramatic rust-colored rock formations and towering sandstone cliffs draw hikers to Red Rock Canyon, a short drive from the city. Popular trails include the Moenkopi Loop, an easy walk taking in fossils and spiky cacti, and Turtle Peak, a challenging hike with sweeping views across the canyon.
- Hoover Dam: Straddling the Nevada-Arizona border, this colossal concrete structure is an impressive feat of 1930s engineering. Look for elegant art deco design touches as you stroll across the dam, and peer over the edge to see Lake Mead on one side and the Colorado River far below on the other.
When to go
Temperatures are warm and pleasant from March to May and from September to November. Though summer highs often top 100 degrees, it’s easy to cool off in air-conditioned spaces and pools. After dark, desert nights bring falling temps just as the Vegas Strip heats up.
Visit during the winter to see gigantic illuminated Christmas trees and catch special concerts by the Las Vegas Philharmonic. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the Holiday Express at Springs Preserve, a mini train ride to Santa’s village in a nature reserve.
Save money with the Go Las Vegas pass. You can buy an all-inclusive pass covering more than 50 top attractions, or you can opt for the explorer ticket, which gives you access to between three and seven sights.
All set to book your trip to Las Vegas? Browse the area’s Radisson hotels and find the perfect spot for your vacation.
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