Las Vegas is one of the most thrilling destinations in the United States — but also one of the most overwhelming. Between the clubs, the casinos, the celebrity-owned restaurants, countless rides and attractions, and whatever shows are passing through at any given time, there’s almost too much to do. This isn’t a problem, but it does mean you’ll have to prioritize your activity if and when you make the trip.
With that in mind, here are some of our picks for fun and worthwhile things to do in Vegas.
1. Stay in a New Resort
A lot of the most famous resorts in Vegas — the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, etc. — have been around quite a while. They still have a lot to offer in general, but if you want to experience modern Vegas, and enjoy the memorable accommodations the city has long been known for, you may want to book a stay in one of the newer resorts. These properties, like the Waldorf Astoria, Park MGM, and Sahara, provide an updated sense of comfort and luxury, with the same access to the city’s endless range of entertainment. And if you wind up planning a trip a couple years from now, you might even be able to stay in a resort built to resemble the moon!
2. Play in a Classic Poker Room
A lot of the gaming venues Las Vegas is so famous for are more or less interchangeable. That is to say, most resorts with their own casinos offer pretty similar slot machine, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette experiences. When it comes to poker in Vegas though, you may want to be a little more discerning. Most if not all casino resorts have poker, but the classic poker rooms around town offer special atmospheres and prestigious vibes. Playing the game at the Bellagio, Red Rock Resort, the Golden Nugget, or a few other resorts is simply a different experience. You’ll find top-notch dealers, excellent facilities, and experienced players, and it will all feel a little more special than just taking a seat at a row of slot machines or blackjack tables.
3. Have a Pool Day
From the Wynn’s Encore Beach Club, to the Pool Marquee at The Cosmopolitan, to Mandalay Bay’s Daylight Beach and more, Vegas is home to some incredible hotel pools. These pools are not just big and beautiful. They’re meticulously designed, surrounded by cozy chairs and cabanas, and often stocked with all sorts of services and comforts. A lot of people visiting Vegas make a point of seeing the pools, and they are fit for sightseeing. But it’s ultimately worth your time to pick a favorite and arrange a full pool day. You’re just about guaranteed to have a blast.
4. Find an Amazing View
It’s not hard to find a great view in Vegas. The city itself is a sight to see from virtually any angle, particularly at night. What we’re really talking about here though is the idea of getting up high and seeing the city from above. You can manage this at any of a number of great rooftop bars and restaurants, viewing decks, and even some rides. Or, if you really want to go for it, you can also book a helicopter tour. There are actually a lot of them, and a lot of tourists prioritize the experience.
5. Go for a Hike
Finally, if you want to turn your Vegas trip into an active getaway, you’d do well to take advantage of some of the gorgeous parks and conservation areas in the surrounding area. From Vally Of Fire State Park, to Red Rock Canyon, to Lake Mead, there are actually a lot of tremendous day hikes you can get to from Vegas in half an hour or less. If you want to be a little more ambitious about it meanwhile, you can also take a short trip from the city to Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, or Zion National Park — all among the best outdoor excursion spots in the United States!
Vegas is a complex destination to navigate, but we hope these priorities will help you to set up a wonderful vacation.