Top Rated Attractions In Las Vegas
Updated March 18, 2019
1. The Las Vegas Strip
The 2.5-mile-long central section of Las Vegas Boulevard, which runs through the city from northeast to southwest, known as the Strip, is lined with huge entertainment palaces, many built with a defining theme and home to performance venues, luxury hotel rooms, and fine dining. The Strip is particularly impressive at night, when the city is illuminated by an endless succession of glittering neon signs.
Most visitors enjoy walking along the Strip and taking in the sights. Generally speaking, the Las Vegas Strip runs from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to Treasure Island Hotel. To truly experience Las Vegas, stay on the Strip, preferably at one of the major resorts. For a look at some of the best accommodation options in a variety of price ranges, see our recommended hotels.
2. Fremont Street
In old downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is a pedestrian-only area with all kinds of unique sites. A five-block section of Fremont Street is covered over with a canopy of LED lights that illuminate the sky in a spectacle of different colors and designs as you walk below. Known as the Fremont Street Experience, each night a fantastic music and visual show takes place overhead. Street performers and special entertainment acts often perform outdoors in this area. Fremont Street is in downtown Las Vegas, a few kilometers from the Strip. It is best to take a taxi to reach this area. Or, if you want to truly experience Las Vegas at night, take the 3.5-hour Las Vegas Lights Night Tour, which includes the Fremont Street light show and highlights along the Strip.
3. Mirage Hotel’s Erupting Volcano and Secret Garden
The Mirage Hotel is easy to identify while walking along the Strip. In front of the resort is a volcano, which erupts at regular intervals. At night, the glowing red fire shooting out is one of the most unique sites visible from the sidewalk. Inside the Mirage is the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. You can see a wide variety of exotic animals, including white lions. The Dolphin Habitat contains a large number of trained dolphins in its 2.5-million-gallon pools.
4. Caesar’s Palace and The Colosseum
Perhaps one of the best known of all the Las Vegas hotel resorts, Caesar’s Palace continues to evolve. Currently Caesar’s Palace is a massive complex in the middle of the Strip, complete with every imaginable entertainment option. The hotel is closely associated with shows held in its huge concert venue known as “The Colosseum.” Top performers (which have included Celine Dion and Elton John) perform here for extended periods, and shows are often booked out well in advance. Visitors planning a trip and hoping to see a performance here will want to check out dates and ticket availability as early as possible.
5. Bellagio Fountains
Anyone who’s seen a movie set in Vegas will recognize the Bellagio’s massive fountains: Every 15 to 30 minutes, those walking past the Bellagio are treated to a complimentary light and water show with the fountain’s jets shooting water into the air during intricately choreographed “dances.”
6. Hoover Dam Tour
Spanning the Colorado River and the Black Canyon (which separates Nevada and Arizona) about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas sits the Hoover Dam. The immense concrete structure – which confines Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume – has helped provide power to Nevada, Arizona and California since 1935. These days, in addition to keeping the lights on, the Hoover Dam welcomes more than a million visitors each year as one of America’s most recognized landmarks.
7. High Roller Observation Wheel
For a unique, bird’s-eye view of the Strip, take a ride on the High Roller at The LINQ. Standing 550 feet tall and 520 feet in diameter, the observation wheel is the tallest in the world (beating out the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer). The massive Ferris wheel features 28 handcrafted pods made out of Italian glass that can hold up to 40 people each. A trip around the observation wheel takes about 30 minutes, and recent guests say it’s a great place for a photo op of the nearby casinos and attractions.
Adults can also opt for a ride within the Happy Half Hour pod that includes a complimentary open bar during your trip around the wheel. Recent visitors said the High Roller is also suitable for families with little ones, but concede that the Ferris wheel might be a bit boring when compared to the other amusement rides and roller coasters found on the Strip.
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8. Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas
Step out of the elevator and the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent collection of bright sky, desert landscapes and dancing fountains. That’s the different between the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and the Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas. Frankly, I like the show on display in Las Vegas. Time your visit just right and you’ll see the sunset, the fountains of Bellagio and the transformation of the desert landscape into a sea of lights in Las Vegas.
This center strip attraction is rivaled by the High Roller at the LINQ and the Stratosphere Tower for best view in Las Vegas but this spot has the best access for a birds eye view of the dancing fountains at Bellagio Las Vegas. That one detail makes it worth a nod over the other two. There is no time limit on your visit so you won’t have to hurry your shot like you might have to on the High Roller Observation Wheel and you will not have to trek all the way north on the strip to the Stratosphere Tower if you just want a selfie with Las Vegas in the background.
9. Gondola Ride at the Venetian
If you embrace the romanticism behind the singing gondoliers on the Gondolas at the Venetian in Las Vegas you will have a good time. If you focus on the sound and the person you are experiencing it with, you’ll take it in for what it is worth. You are not in Italy, you are in Las Vegas and that is what is part of the fun. You may be floating along a man-made Italian Village that doubles as a mall or outside under a bright blue southern Nevada sky but take in the moment and you may just forget that you have wanted to go and experience this in Italy.
The best time to ride the Gondolas is right around dusk if choose to go outside. The light is right for great photographs and if you set the shot up just right your Las Vegas gondola ride will appear to be a gondola ride in some foreign city and make your Christmas card shine.
The indoor Gondola ride feels like it last longer and the scenery is of cafes and shoppers along the Grand Canal Shoppes. Outdoors you float under a bridge and take a quick tour along the front of the resort.
10. Insanity / Stratosphere Hotel and Tower
You’ll have to get a tower ticket and a ride ticket to experience Insanity or you might be at Level 107 lounge enjoying a drink when you decide that you want to experience what hanging off of a tower feels like. Either way you’ll walk out to the waiting platform and enjoy views of the Las Vegas valley. From this side you can see Downtown Las Vegas so pick a time closer to sunset to get a great view while you wait.
You’ll be put into your seat and asked to remove all loose items so if you wear eyeglasses this might be an issue. You will not see a thing because your eyeballs will be put away. If you have some type of tethering strap that might work or you might want to go the contact lens route when you decide to do the thrill ride things in Las Vegas.