The 30 Best Things to Do in Las Vegas, From Gondola Rides to Epic Stage Shows (2024)

Vegas has come a long way from casinos. Most people now go to Vegas for celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, thrill rides, professional sports, and the great outdoors — and maybe a turn around the blackjack table.

To round up the best things to do in Las Vegas, we enlisted experts: the chef concierge for Wynn Las Vegas, Angelica Miozza; entertainer Colin Cahill, who plays Blue Jackson in Spiegelworld’s Atomic Saloon Show at the Venetian; and long-time resident and senior VP at Kirvin Doak Communications, Natalie Mounier.

From driving race cars to a visiting a tranquil aquarium, this is what they recommend.

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • Travel to Venice at the Venetian Resort with a gondola ride followed by gelato.
  • Take a tranquil walk among more than 2,000 sea creatures in an underwater glass tunnel at the Shark Reef Aquarium.
  • Pretend you're a Formula 1 driver at Exotics Racing, where you can get behind the wheel of a Ferrari or Lamborghini (or a go-cart for those who prefer slower speeds).
  • Be transported to outer space or a safari complete with elephants, lions, and giraffes at the Illuminarium Las Vegas.
  • Watch a show like Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère at the Treasure Island or Awakening at the Wynn, or head to Caesars Palace for concerts from Adele and Garth Brooks.

Ride a gondola and stroll through St. Mark’s Square.

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Three days is enough for Vegas but, if you only do one thing while you're there, visit the Venetian Resort and take a gondola ride. The cruise takes you through a replica of Venice, complete with the Rialto Bridge, a sparkling Grand Canal, and a serenade by your gondolier. Once off your boat, browse the upscale Grand Canal Shoppes, enjoy the street performers, or grab a gelato while you take in the atmosphere of "Italy."

Take a walk under the sea.

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One of the most fun things to do in Las Vegas for kids is visiting the Shark Reef Aquarium, where you can walk through an underwater glass tunnel as more than 2,000 sea creatures swim around you. The Mandalay Bay attraction includes gracefully floating jellyfish, friendly sea turtles, and sharks gliding through a shipwreck. For an additional fee, you can book an early-entry guided tour if you'd like to feed a stingray.

Drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or go-cart.

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At Exotics Racing, driving is extremely exciting, whether you choose a supercar, go-kart, or off-road experience. Steer an exotic car around a racetrack for the thrill of it, or have fun racing a go-kart on an outdoor track. You can even choose a specially built Baja race truck for the ultimate off-road experience.

Go to outer space or on safari at Illuminarium.

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At Illuminarium Las Vegas, 4K laser projection, 3D audio, and special effects create immersive experiences not to be missed. Travel to outer space via images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope or on safari in the African savanna, where incredible animals roam. Check the website for what experiences are available during your Las Vegas visit.

Go skydiving indoors.

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Travelers can experience skydiving without the airplane at the exhilarating Vegas Indoor Skydiving attraction. You can fly on your own (even kids can try it, so long as they're 40 pounds or more), or get a group of six to 10 friends or family members for a 20-minute party with private training and your own block of time in the wind tunnel.

Sway to the music at the Bellagio fountain show.

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This expansive Bellagio fountain show occurs multiple times a day, every day of the year; check the schedule to make sure you catch it. The romantic spectacle is free, and onlookers line the sidewalk, mesmerized by the beauty of the dancing fountains and the music that plays along with the show.

Observe the Las Vegas Strip from above.

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To enjoy panoramic views of the city, hop on High Roller, the largest observation wheel in North America. You’ll ride in one of 28 spacious air-conditioned cabins for 30 minutes, at one point reaching 550 feet above the Strip. Cabins hold up to 40 guests, so grab some friends (and a co*cktail or two) for the ride. Note that glass and coolers are not permitted.

Play around at Topgolf.

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Whether or not you're an avid golfer, this is a fun venue to spend a couple of hours or more. Topgolf Las Vegas offers climate-controlled hitting bays, plus music, HDTVs, and a pool (must be at least 21) with cabanas. This is a favorite spot for the Wynn’s Angelica Miozza, who comes to test her golf swing. There's also a sports bar, restaurant, and complimentary golf clubs.

Stroll through an indoor garden.

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Visitors are dazzled by the intricate designs, colors, and beauty of the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Each season, the 14,000-square-foot garden is transformed with floral displays, living plants, and water features. In addition to unique designs for each season, a special Lunar New Year garden is created each year.

Catch the light show on Fremont Street downtown.

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The largest video canopy in the world is suspended 90 feet above Fremont Street for this dazzling free light show with concert-quality sound. The daily show begins every hour on the hour, between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. While you’re in the downtown area, check out the SlotZilla zip line, which has an option to fly over the street like a superhero, landing at the historic Golden Gate Hotel and Casino.

Tee off at the only golf course on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Enjoy the gorgeous surroundings of the 18-hole championship course at the Wynn Golf Club. The lush landscape was designed by legendary architect Tom Fazio, who partnered with his son Logan to revisit and enhance his original work. Mature trees, lakes, and streams add both beauty and challenge to the course.

Take a Connoisseur Series class at Wynn Las Vegas.


“For those who love immersive experiences, I recommend attending one of Wynn’s master classes, which provide an intimate experience with the resort’s world-class chefs and industry experts,” Miozza told T+L. “Some of my favorites include learning how to bake baguettes alongside our master baker, filling dumplings with a master dim sum chef, and creating remarkable floral arrangements with the head of horticulture.”

Go hiking in Red Rock Canyon.

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A 13-mile scenic drive from the Strip leads to this park's sandstone hills and canyons, where visitors can explore the area's natural and cultural history. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers miles of hiking trails, and is a great place for rock climbing, mountain biking, picnicking, and horseback riding, all surrounded by gorgeous scenery.

Watch a professional sports game.

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Depending on the season, visitors can see 2023 WNBA champions the Las Vegas Aces, the Las Vegas Lights FC soccer team, Las Vegas Raiders football, or the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. “In recent years, Las Vegas has been building its credibility as a sports destination,” Miozza says.

Get a Las Vegas history lesson at the Mob Museum.

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The Mob Museum is located downtown in the city’s former federal courthouse. Its interactive exhibits highlight notorious gangsters like Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel and famous FBI agents, including J. Edgar Hoover and Eliot Ness. After your mob history lesson, visit the onsite Prohibition-era-styled speakeasy for a co*cktail.

Experience Vegas late into the night.

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They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but Vegas doesn't seem to, either. Nightclubs and co*cktail lounges abound, and there's always a themed party or DJ set to experience. The city has lots in store for LGBTQ+ travelers, too —Visit Las Vegassuggests year-round Pride events and RuPaul's Drag Race Live as some of the options.

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Score tickets to a live show.

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Comic Colin Cahill called his Atomic Saloon show “one of my all-time favorite sexy circus comedy cabarets.” There’s also Shin Lim: LIMITLESS at The Mirage, Cirque du Soleil's Mystère at Treasure Island and “O” at the Bellagio, and Awakening at the Wynn. Head to Caesars Palace to see world-class talent like Adele and the newest resident headliner, Garth Brooks. And if you've got kids in tow, they can see a show, too.

Show off your skills at the Pinball Hall of Fame.

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This museum houses the world’s largest pinball machine collection, with vintage machines from the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and beyond. The machines are all restored to like-new condition and are available for visitors to enjoy; at 25 or 50 cents a play, it's a really inexpensive way to have fun in Las Vegas.

Watch the free show at the Lake of Dreams.

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“Staged outdoors with open-air patios for viewing, the Wynn Lake of Dreams show is something guests or visitors to Las Vegas may not know about,” Miozza told T + L. “The complimentary multimedia experience blends colorful puppetry, an immersive soundtrack, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.” The show runs nightly every 30 minutes, starting at dusk.

Snap a few photos for the 'gram.

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About 20 miles south of the Strip is Seven Magic Mountains, a group of neon-colored totems created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, and a very popular site with shutterbugs. Next, head downtown for a self-guided mural tour, or visit the Museum of Selfies at the LINQ Promenade. And, of course, there’s the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign — a must for every visitor.

Dance to live music.

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Cahill says, “If you’re looking to scoot your boots, my favorite bands to dance to are The Bronx Wanderers and The Spazmatics, both at South Point, and Original Chaos, who you can catch at venues all over town." For more live music venue options, Visit Las Vegas has you covered.

Lose yourself in an immersive experience at The Sphere.

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“Vegas is all about revamping the old and building the new,” Cahill says, specifically pointing to the Sphere, a 17,500-seat structure for concerts and sporting events. With a wraparound LED display and spatial audio system, the venue provides an immersive experience that utilizes visual effects, movement sensations, intense lighting, and even scent and wind simulations.

Visit the Las Vegas Arts District.

When Cahill isn’t playing Blue Jackson in the Atomic Saloon, he enjoys spending time in the Las Vegas Arts District. Located about a mile from downtown and the Fremont Street Experience, this area features shops, restaurants, bars, coffee houses, galleries, theater, live performances, and First Friday events.

Get a bird's-eye view on a FlyOver ride.

“My family and I love FlyOver,” Natalie Mounier says. “It makes you feel like you’re flying over the most iconic places in the U.S., Canada, and Iceland; you’re sitting inside a spherical screen, surrounded by the most amazing views. As the film dips and turns throughout the locales, the seat moves with you, like you’re flying via helicopter. There are special effects, too — when you fly through a cloud, you feel a light mist on your face.”

Go on another adrenaline-pumping thrill ride.

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Head to the Stratosphere for the Big Shot ride and the X-Scream rollercoaster, which dangles you above the Las Vegas Strip. Or, ride the Big Apple Coaster at New York New York — it speeds up to 67 miles per hour.

Shop 'til you drop in a classic Vegas shopping center.

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Instead of losing money in the casino, why not exchange money for goods? Great places to do the latter include the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace, the Cosmopolitan Shops, designer shops at the Encore, MGM Grand, and more. At the Downtown Container Park, you can shop, snack, and catch a free concert in one spot.

Take a wellness break.

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A spa visit makes for a relaxing and refreshing escape from the hustle of Vegas, and we recommend Caesar’s Palace Qua Baths & Spa. This venue offers three Roman baths, an Arctic Ice Room, and a range of massage and skin care services. Or head to Wynn Las Vegas, where Wynn Living Well offers massages, vitamin IV drip therapies, and other innovative treatments.

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Ride the Las Vegas Monorail.

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The Strip often surprises first-time Las Vegas visitors — it's not as easy to walk from one end to the other as you'd think. So, if you're trying to get from point A to point B here, hop on the Las Vegas Monorail. Trains run every four to eight minutes and serve seven stations like Harra's and Caesar's Palace, making it the most convenient mode of transportation on the Strip.

Try your luck in a Vegas casino.

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There are more than 100 casinos in Las Vegas, so no trip here would be complete without wandering through one of these dens of smoke, drinks, and slot machines. Belly up to a blackjack, poker, or craps table and try your luck, or stand back and observe someone else playing — somehow, even just watching casino action is a thrill in Las Vegas.

Plan a trip around Formula 1.

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With no fewer than 16 different ticket types, ranging from general admission ($150) through a variety of grandstands, clubs, private suites, and luxury hospitality ($1,500 to $3,750), the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix (set for the weekend before Thanksgiving) aims to attract a varied crowd. All the events, from the trio of practice sessions through qualifying and the race itself, happen after the sun goes down and the neon turns on. Skip the turns and head straight for the Strip, where you'll find top speeds of 217 miles per hour — and all the action.

The 30 Best Things to Do in Las Vegas, From Gondola Rides to Epic Stage Shows (2024)
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