Here are my top things to do in Las Vegas, otherwise known as Sin City.
1. See the main strip
Bright lights, elaborate hotels, expensive cars. It’s all there on show along the famous Vegas strip.
I think the Vegas strip is one of those things that you either love or hate. However, even if you’re not enamoured of it all, the sheer flamboyance of the hotels and the amount of money being thrown around is still quite impressive. Well worthy of a wander up and down the strip. Around sunset or just after is a nice time of day – cooler and you’ll be able to see the lights coming on.
2. Visit Fremont St
Located in downtown Las Vegas, Fremont St has a very different vibe to Vegas’ main strip. It’s not as glitzy or glamorous but in my opinion has a slight bit more culture to explore. Although it still has nightclubs and casinos, Fremont St is a worthy alternative to the bright lights of the strip.
The epicentre of Fremont St is a large covered walkway with ziplines, live entertainment and much more. It’s known as the Fremont St Experience and can be found between Casino Center Blvd and Main St.
For a unique dining experience – including getting spanked for not finishing your meal(!) – check out Heart Attack Grill at 450 Fremont St. True to their name, they only serve unhealthy food, so don’t even bother asking for a salad!
3. Watch the Bellagio water show
World renowned, the water fountains outside the Bellagio Hotel put on an impressive water and sound show multiple times a day. The fountains are choreographed to flow, twist and spurt in time with the music, creating a visual and audible masterpiece.
Each water show is the length of a song and is choreographed different to the last; no matter if you’ve seen the fountains before, each show will be unique. What’s more, the shows are free to watch – just arrive at little early to grab a good viewing spot and then relax and enjoy!
The water shows happen at least every 30 mins from 3pm-midnight, 7 days a week. In the late evenings they run even more frequently – usually every 15 mins. For the full, up-to-date, official schedule, visit the Bellagio website: bellagio.mgmresorts.com.
4. Dabble in gambling (responsibly)
Gambler or not, the lavish casinos are something you simply have to experience when in Vegas. You can quite easily just go in, buy a drink, observe others and never have to gamble a penny.
If you do choose to gamble though, please do it responsibly. Personally, I put in US$10, gambled a little bit, came out on top and decided to stop. I wasn’t in it for the money, I was in it for the experience.
Worth noting: the casinos generally give out free drinks to people gambling at card tables. This helps to keep people playing; eventually they get drunk, start making rash decisions and potentially lose money – this is how the casinos make their money. I witnessed this first hand with a guy I met at the hostel I was staying at. So, there is a reason behind the phrase, ‘Please gamble responsibly’.
5. Side trip to the Grand Canyon
You can’t come to Vegas and not visit the Grand Canyon! Hundreds of different options are available – from sports car day trips, to huge tour buses and even private helicopter flights. However, the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone thinking of visiting is this:
“Stay overnight. Visit on multiple days and see it from different perspectives – go to the south rim, the north rim, take a guided walk down into the canyon. Stay overnight and do it justice.”
On the way to the Grand Canyon, most tours from Vegas stop off at the famous Route 66. If you decide to hire your own car, consider stopping in at a village called Seligman to see it for yourself.