You would be forgiven if the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the name Las Vegas is bright neon lights and the clatter of coins.
While Las Vegas is well-known for its abundance of casinos and wedding chapels along the world-famous strip, there are a plethora of other things to see and do in the city and the surrounding areas. Keep reading to get some advice and inspiration on how to make your first trip an unforgettable one.
Chill out at the Minus 5°Ice Experience
Las Vegas is situated near the Mojave Desert and the city gets extremely hot during the summer months, so a trip to the Minus 5° Ice Experience can be a refreshing break from the heat.
More than 80 tonnes of ice are used to create a winter wonderland in Las Vegas. Everything inside, including the walls, chandeliers, seats and even the glasses to enjoy your drinks from, is all made of ice.
Don’t worry about feeling chilly, because you will be kitted out with some warming layers such as a faux fur coat or a Parka. Once you are suitably dressed, you can explore the variety of rooms and marvel at the interactive ice architecture. Marc, director of operations at the Minus 5° Ice Experience, told us: “The tables, booths, bars and benches are all made of ice. Where else can you go from 105° to -5° in the middle of the Mojave?”
We also asked Marc why he believes Las Vegas is an incredible place to visit: “There are more entertainment and resort options than anywhere else in the world, and the weather is great.”
Visit the canyons of Las Vegas
Marvel at the mining history of the Eldorado Canyon
Located 45 minutes south of the Las Vegas strip is the Eldorado Canyon which is home to the Techatticup Mine; the oldest, and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. The area is full of old shacks and vehicles which are reminders of the mining heyday.
During her first trip to Las Vegas, Louise from Formidable Joy visited Eldorado Canyon to learn more about the area’s rich history: “You will find a huge junkyard of quirky, classic memorabilia and the gold mine. It was a really unique side to Vegas and something different.”
Louise went on to explain why people should consider putting Las Vegas on their travel bucket list: “There’s so much to see and do, no matter what you’re into. I have no interest in betting at all, but I still found myself fascinated with exploring the casinos, or just sightseeing in general. You will be spoilt for choice, and you won’t get bored.”
Admire the views of the Red Rock Canyon
Nothing beats heading for the great outdoors, so pack your camera and marvel at the magnificent and rugged landscape of the Red Rock Canyon during a guided tour. The landscape of the Red Rock Canyon tour is dominated by the impressive Wilson Cliffs. With gorgeous red, pink and orange hues, the colourful rock formations are not a sight to be missed.
Brianna from Wonderful World of Bree hails from Las Vegas and told us why people should visit: “My number one thing to do in Las Vegas is to visit Red Rock Canyon. It is located off the strip and has so many scenic photo opportunities, as well as hiking routes.”
“Life here is never dull, there’s such a great community and atmosphere everywhere around the city”, Brianna told us. She then explained: “Las Vegas has so much to offer. It is not just casinos or the strip. Everywhere you go, there are amazing restaurants, especially downtown. There’s something unique to do from visiting rescue Lamas at Bird Sanctuary in the northwest to swimming with dolphins on the strip. Whether you love nature, entertainment, or food, Vegas has everything.”
Sarah from Life in Full Flavour also suggests visiting the canyons on the outskirts of the strip: “The strip is one of those must see places but the surrounding area of Las Vegas is totally stunning. Take an afternoon or a day away from the strip and visit the Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, or the Hoover Dam which is amazing to see.”
Sarah also told us why she believes Las Vegas is unlike anywhere else in the world: “The hotels are absolute spectacles, the strip is chaotic but amazing to see, and there is something for everyone. It's not just about partying, if you're not into that, you can have a lot of fun on fairground rides, shopping, hitting the pool or spa, or watching the hotel attractions. Where else would you find a volcano, a dancing fountain, and the Eiffel Tower all within walking distance?”
Jordan from Daily Cup of JoJo said “bring water and wear sneakers” if you decide to embark on a canyon adventure. She explained: “My number one top thing to do in Las Vegas would have to be the Las Vegas Overlook hike up at Red Rock Canyon. It's a 4.5-mile trail but you can overlook the entire city once you're at the top.”
Indulge in some delicious food
It can become all too easy to eat on the go while on holiday, especially if you have a lengthy itinerary planned. However, it is important to sit down and tuck into a plate of food to keep your energy levels up.
Charlotte from Memoirs and Musings enjoyed some delectable dishes at Rachel’s Kitchen in downtown Vegas. Breakfast is served all day and a popular item on the menu is “The Favorite” which consists of three eggs scrambled with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms, potatoes, fruit and toast. As well as breakfasts, the eatery also offers wraps, sandwiches, burgers, pasta and freshly squeezed juices.
“My old favourite place Du-Parrs closed down, but Rachel’s Kitchen ranks highly for breakfasts. In true American style, the portion sizes were huge, I would definitely recommend sharing a dish with friends because you can try a little of everything as well as saving some money”, said Charlotte.
According to Charlotte, Las Vegas has everything you could possibly want for an unforgettable holiday: “It is the entertainment capital of the world for a reason. If you want to sit by the pool and relax you can, or if you want to go out for drinks, you can. Not only are the hotels cheap, but you’re guaranteed sunshine.”
Wander around old Las Vegas
Old Las Vegas, otherwise known as Downtown Las Vegas, is a part of the city you must explore, says Victoria from Lylia Rose: “I had no idea it even existed until we randomly stumbled upon it when driving around one evening. It’s away from the main strip as we know it today, but it’s where the first casinos were in the early 1900s. The light show above Fremont Street is a must see. The whole street has a canopy style video screen above it with an incredible light show in the evenings. Next time I go I will definitely do the superhero style zip line which runs down the entire street directly underneath the light show.”
Downtown Las Vegas is located a few miles north of the Las Vegas Strip and is the original site of the city which was founded in 1905. Take your camera and capture images of Vegas Vic, the 40ft neon cowboy sign at The Pioneer Club.
A visit to Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum is also a must! The 1930s mansion is full of creepy corridors which leads to rooms packed with paranormal curiosities. Zak is a paranormal investigator and television presenter; his website says that he developed a profound interest in the paranormal when he was ten-years-old “scouring garage sales with his mom in search of odd and spooky collectables”.
Experiencing the spine-chilling vibe of the spirit world at his haunted museum is a must for anyone wanting something out of the ordinary.
Take to the skies for a helicopter ride
Taking to the skies to get a bird’s eye view of the city is a great way to truly appreciate everything it has to offer. Enjoying a helicopter tour of the Las Vegas Strip is an amazing way to take in all of the world famous hotels, iconic locations and dazzling lights.
Once airborne you will be able to see legendary landmarks like the Bellagio fountains and the clock tower in St Marks Square of the Venetian. Your helicopter ride concludes with a visit to downtown’s Glitter Gulch, which is where Las Vegas began.
Jordan also told us that “since hospitality is a strength of Las Vegas, you will always walk away feeling like a VIP”. So no matter which Las Vegas day trips you choose, or which restaurant you relax and unwind in, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time.
Ready to start planning your Vegas holiday? Click here, to view our full range of Las Vegas attraction tickets.
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Image Credit: Minus 5° Ice Experience