The most populated city in the otherwise rugged, quiet and peaceful state of Nevada, Las Vegas is generally considered the world’s most popular adult playground. The city is home to countless hotels, casinos, world-class restaurants, bars and nightclubs, offering tourists and revelers a virtually unlimited number of opportunities for unparalleled relaxation, excitement and entertainment.
Las Vegas is known throughout the world as a major resort city, known principally for the gambling, shopping, fine dining, and nightlife that make it such a great place to visit. The city is also the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Southern Nevada and the southwest as a whole.
The city sells itself as the unquestioned “Entertainment Capital of the World,” and is celebrated for its mega casino–hotels and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is the 29th-most populous city in the United States, with a population of nearly 605,000. According to researchers, the city’s metropolitan area has more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world, and is a global leader in the hospitality industry. Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
To illustrate the popularity of Las Vegas, below we have profiled five of the coolest things to do when visiting its bustling streets and neon lights, and provided a brief description of each activity and attraction.
If you happen to travel to the downtown, historic hub of Las Vegas (which every tourist should), you can feed your adventurous spirit by trying out one of the newest attractions to hit this splendid area of town: the amazing SlotZilla Zipline attraction.
The SlotZilla adventure is a hair-raising zip line thrill attraction located in the very heart of downtown Las Vegas—just one of the many fun things to do that comprise the splendid Fremont Street Experience. The SlotZilla zip lines allow visitors to view all the splendor of downtown Vegas like it’s never been seen before: high above the crowd.
SlotZilla is a twelve-story slot machine, the biggest of its kind in the world, and the zip line experience that departs from this attraction is regularly listed as one of the coolest things to do in Las Vegas. The zip line experience offers two different ways to fly: the lower SlotZilla “Zipline,” and the much higher SlotZilla “Zoomline,” with both rides reasonably priced at $25 and $45, respectively (riders can save $5 on each ride if they opt to “fly’ before 6:00 PM).
The lower SlotZilla Zipline begins 77 feet above the revamped Fremont Street, and lands gently between the famed Four Queens and Fremont casinos. During the flight, riders will get a bird’s eye view of the crowds below as they zip their way to the very center of the Fremont Experience.
The Zoomline, which is definitely not for the faint of heart, commences roughly 10 stories above the ground (114 feet), whisking riders a total of 1,750 feet over the entire Fremont Experience. Near the end of this ride, participants will land softy on a platform, situated adjacent to the city’s most historic and renowned casino, the grand Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.
In addition to the obvious height difference between the SlotZilla Zipline and Zoomline, the latter also provides additional excitement and white-knuckled thrills by sending flyers “superhero-style” (prone) down the line, affording them an unparalleled view of the entire downtown area.
With speeds that range from 30-40 miles an hour, the SlotZilla Zipline and Zoomline attractions are guaranteed to please anyone who dares takes the challenge, and its reasonable price makes it one of the true attraction values in the large city of Las Vegas.
The Bellagio Hotel and Casino is one of the most upscale and popular places to stay when visiting Las Vegas. And while the price can be quite expensive to stay in this hotel, the outdoor show involving the Bellagio Fountains is absolutely free of cost—and fabulous to behold.
While it’s true that Las Vegas offers many free shows for those walking its famous “strip,” nothing can quite compare to the spectacle that is the Bellagio Fountains. Every half-hour between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM—and every 15 minutes between 8:00 PM and Midnight—the 8.5 acre lake outside this famous Hotel/Casino explodes to the delight of onlookers. The show involves over 1,200 fountain spritzers shooting water up to 400 feet in the air. These propulsions of colorful water are far from random, as the entire show, with water both rocketing and seemingly dancing before the cheering crowd, is choreographed to popular tunes originally sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, as well as the “highlight” song, “One Singular Sensation,” from the Broadway show, “A Chorus Line.”
The Fountains of Bellagio are a true treat for the senses, featuring an interwoven spectacle of water, music, light and movement. This special combination is virtually guaranteed to mesmerize all who take in this fabulous show.
Best of all, each performance at the Bellagio Fountains is completely unique in both expression and interpretation. So what does this mean? It means that no matter how many times tourists stop to watch the Bellagio Fountain show during their stay they are certain to witness something brand new and utterly unique that will keep them coming back for more.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
The casinos of Las Vegas can often “swallow people up.” That’s why on one day of your upcoming Vegas adventure you should definitely ditch the bright lights and clang of the slot machines in favor of some natural sunlight and deep blue skies. The Las Vegas-based Hot Air Balloon Ride is the perfect way to spend a lazy day in the sun, while soaring effortlessly over some of the city’s greatest features and attractions.
Visitors who elect to participate in this fun and daring attraction will fly over the best Las Vegas has to offer in a colorful hot air balloon during this 3-plus hour tour. Spend 60 minutes soaring over the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon, the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding neighborhoods. Upon landing in a lush green expanse of grass, riders will enjoy an intimate picnic featuring champagne and light appetizers, all furnished by the host company.
Between the months of December and February, hot air balloon riders can get an extra special treat by choosing the “sunset departure” option. On this tour, participants will have the opportunity to witness the sun’s slow descent over the horizon and watch the magical neon lights of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip as they begin to illuminate the night sky.
All hot air balloon rides are conducted by a licensed and highly-trained balloon pilot. Transportation to and from the Hot Air Balloon launch site is available at most of the city’s major hotel/casinos, and rides can easily be booked through the concierge office of your particular hotel.
Deluxe Las Vegas Helicopter Night Flight (with VIP Transportation)
There is perhaps no better way to see the bright lights of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip than on this brief helicopter tour—a deluxe flight that includes a private view room, cocktails and comfortable seating. Guests will soar high above this renowned stretch of mega hotels and casinos on this exclusive sightseeing tour of Sin City’s downtown skyline and beyond, including the Bellagio, the Mirage, Caesar’s Palace, the downtown Fremont Street Experience and much more.
These deluxe helicopter flights cover roughly 20 miles, with a variety of departure times available throughout the evening, making it easy to fit this 15-minute ride into your busy touring schedule. As you admire the lights of the city below, you’ll be treated to expert narration from your pilot, explaining all the history and features of this marvelous stretch of the city.
VIP Pick up—and drop off—from your hotel is included in the price of your deluxe helicopter tour, as is one celebratory glass of sparkling wine at the time of take-off. You’ll board one of the company’s high-tech choppers from the Tour terminal, located on the North End of the strip on Cheyenne Avenue, and this is a tour you’ll remember long after your visit to Las Vegas has concluded.
Visit the Hoover Dam
Located an easy hour’s drive from the Las Vegas Strip, the Hoover Dam is one of the world’s modern marvels that can’t be missed. Your Hoover Dam excursion will include a guided tour of the dam, a trip to the museum that includes some pictures and writings detailing its history and the history of the region, and naturally, countless opportunities for photos as you walk across the common parts of the dam’s structure and wonder how this massive structure could have possibly been built.
Hoover Dam is one of the best representations of our country’s ability and perseverance amid adverse conditions. Built during the Great Depression; thousands of men and their families flocked to Black Canyon to tame the massive Colorado River. The entire project spanned only five years—five years to build a dam that continues to stand today as one of the world’s most emblematic structures. Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as “one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.”
The Bureau of Reclamation has led tours of the Hoover Dam and its adjacent power plant since 1937. Today, nearly a million visitors take this tour each year, and millions more regularly drive across it.
The dam is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. To get there, take US Highway 93 to Nevada State Route 172. The dam is on the Nevada-Arizona border. Hoover Dam is open for tours from 8AM to 5PM.