Las Vegas is one of the most exciting and entertaining cities in the world. With its spectacular hotels and casinos, incredible shows, thrilling attractions, and lively nightlife, it’s no wonder Las Vegas draws over 40 million visitors per year. Even if you’re not a big gambler, there are so many unique and memorable things to see and do in Las Vegas.
From the epic hotels and casinos along the legendary Las Vegas Strip to the fascinating museums and natural landscapes just outside the city, Las Vegas offers an amazing array of attractions for all interests and budgets. To help you make the most of your Vegas vacation, here are 10 of the best places to visit in Las Vegas and the surrounding area:
1. The Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is the vibrant, beating heart of the city. This 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South contains dozens of amazing hotels, casinos, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Iconic Vegas hotels like Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Venetian, and Wynn Las Vegas line the Strip and are attractions in their own right. The Strip is home to incredible entertainment from Cirque du Soleil shows to residencies by major pop stars. And of course, each hotel contains expansive casinos where visitors try their luck at slots, poker, blackjack, and more.
In addition to gambling and shows, visitors flock to the Strip for sights like the Bellagio Fountains, the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas, and the High Roller observation wheel at The LINQ. The Strip is also packed with shops, from high-end boutiques to souvenir stores. At night, the Strip comes alive with dazzling neon lights and eye-popping marquees. No visit to Vegas is complete without a stroll down this legendary boulevard.
2. Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas also offers classic Vegas experiences. The Fremont Street Experience is a 5-block pedestrian mall featuring an LED video canopy 90 feet overhead that runs amazing light and sound shows. With its concentration of old-school casinos and neon signs, Fremont Street transports visitors back to vintage Vegas. Attractions at Fremont Street include zip lines, lively bars and clubs, street performers, and inexpensive gambling options compared to the Strip.
Make sure to snap a photo in front of the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign near the north end of the Fremont Street Experience. Nightly light shows on the Viva Vision canopy are also a must-see. Whether you’re looking for old Vegas nostalgia or just a lively party atmosphere, Fremont Street delivers.
3. The Mob Museum
For an intriguing look at the history of organized crime in Las Vegas and beyond, visit The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. Through artifacts, interactive exhibits, and multimedia presentations, the museum provides a comprehensive view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas, government policies, and law enforcement over the decades. Visitors can tour the former federal courthouse where mobsters like Bugsy Siegel were tried in the 1940s and ’50s.
Exhibits showcase Mob history from the 1920s through the 1980s. You can see the actual barber chair where Albert Anastasia was murdered in 1957, as well as the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. If you want to understand the story behind Las Vegas’ rise to prominence, this is a must-see attraction.
4. High Roller Observation Wheel
The High Roller at The LINQ is currently the tallest observation wheel in the world at 550 feet tall. Each spherical cabin fits up to 40 people and takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution, offering stunning 360-degree views of Las Vegas and the Strip. The High Roller runs day and night, so you can soak in either panoramic daylight vistas or dazzling neon-lit views of the Vegas skyline. This is absolutely one of the best ways to get a bird’s-eye perspective of Las Vegas. Tickets are affordable and advanced booking is recommended.
5. The Neon Museum
Las Vegas is renowned for its iconic and extravagant neon signs. The Neon Museum is an outdoor exhibition space that showcases original neon signs from old Vegas hotels, casinos, and businesses. Located just north of downtown, the Neon Museum contains over 250 relic neon signs lit up at night. There are also renovated neon signs fully restored and mounted around the Main Gallery.
Some of the retired neon marquees and architectural pieces on display include old signs from the Stardust, Sahara, Golden Nugget, and El Cortez. Visitors can take guided tours during the day or at night to admire these retro neon designs and learn about the history of neon in Las Vegas. It’s a one-of-a-kind museum experience.
6. Red Rock Canyon
Just outside the city, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a stunning desert landscape surrounded by crimson-hued rock formations. The park contains hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous, which wind through canyons and past geological wonders like the massive Keystone Thrust. There are also great scenic drives through the park for taking in the dramatic vistas.
Additional activities at Red Rock Canyon include horseback riding, biking, rock climbing, and camping. The 13-mile scenic drive provides access to sites like Calico Basin and Calico Tanks. Red Rock Canyon showcases the natural diversity just beyond the Las Vegas streets, offering spectacular outdoor scenery.
7. Bellagio Fountains
The Fountains of Bellagio have become an iconic Las Vegas landmark. Located outside the Bellagio resort on the Strip, this remarkable water feature contains over 1,200 fountains spraying water synchronized perfectly to music and light. The fountains perform different dancing water shows throughout the day and evening with songs ranging from opera to pop hits.
Some of the most impressive fountain shows happen at night, when the lighted sprays of water deliver a mesmerizing spectacle. The surrounding LED screens and music piped in from speakers lining the lake add to the experience. The shows gather large crowds, so arrive early to get front-row views. Make sure to catch the signature final show of the night when the fountains reach maximum heights while shooting off fireballs.
8. Stratosphere Tower
The Stratosphere Tower soars 1,149 feet over the Las Vegas Strip, making it the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. Inside the tower, the high-speed elevators race up to an observation deck at 869 feet with incredible 360-degree views of Las Vegas. You can also take the elevator up 108 floors to the outdoor SkyPod platform at 1,149 feet for dizzying views overlooking the city. In addition to observation decks, the Stratosphere Tower contains a rotating restaurant, wedding chapel, and a thrill ride package with rides like SkyJump and Insanity jutting out from the 108th floor. This iconic Vegas tower delivers scenic vantage points alongside heart-pounding adventures.
9. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Las Vegas provides the unique experience of mingling with incredibly lifelike wax figures of celebrities and famous icons. Located adjacent to The Venetian on the Strip, this interactive museum contains over 100 waxwork figures spanning across various rooms and themed sets. You can pose for selfies with wax replicas of stars like Jennifer Lopez, Bradley Cooper, and Miley Cyrus as well as sports heroes, historical figures, and more.
Madame Tussauds also features interactive exhibits that let you get on stage with Justin Bieber, race against Usain Bolt, or join a presidential rally. A Marvel Super Heroes room contains your favorite Avengers characters ready for photo ops. With new figures frequently added, Madame Tussauds offers an entertaining and Instagram-worthy activity on the Strip.
10. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
No trip to Vegas is complete without stopping by the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Located on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of the Strip, this 25-foot-tall neon sign has graced millions of visitor photos since it was erected in 1959. The colorful vintage design features sparkling silver letters spelling “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” circled by flashing yellow lights and decorated with starbursts.
Standing in front of this landmark sign lets you capture one of the quintessential photo ops in Vegas. The sign was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 for its role in promoting Las Vegas tourism over decades. A visit to this retro neon piece of Vegas history during the day or at night is one of the best free things to do in the city.
Las Vegas offers endless possibilities for entertainment, gambling, dining, nightlife, and sightseeing. From world-famous hotels and casinos to unique museums and natural landscapes, there are so many incredible attractions to experience. The 10 spots on this list, including the iconic Strip and Fremont Street, Mob Museum, High Roller, neon museum, Red Rock Canyon, Bellagio Fountains, and more, provide a great introduction to some of the best places to visit for first-timers and repeat visitors alike.
Whether you want to gamble in an opulent casino, see an extravagant show, be awed by dancing fountains, learn about Vegas history, or take in panoramic views from towering observation decks, Las Vegas has it all. With so many options for fun and adventure, plus new attractions opening all the time, Las Vegas continues to be one of the most exhilarating travel destinations in the world.