Las Vegas Area Travel Guide: What To Do in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Attractions and Activities
by Joseph A. Sprince - Photography by Gerald B. Allen
What To Do in Las Vegas features activities and attractions in the city of Las Vegas. Includes unusual and quirky attractions, links for online maps of the Las Vegas Strip and the Downtown Las Vegas areas, and details about public transportation.
What To Do in Las Vegas - Activities and Attractions
Las Vegas Hotels & Resorts
Almost all of the major hotels have various attractions and exhibits as well as stage shows. Some of the more notable non-gaming activities and attractions: (Listed in order going south along South Las Vegas Blvd)
- Fremont Street Experience. Location: South Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont Street. A four block section of downtown Las Vegas has been converted to a pedestrian mall, covered by an audio-visual canopy consisting of 12 million lights. Free musical video shows take place approximately hourly during the evening. Also, free live entertainment.
See the website for schedules. Many of the old-time flashy neon signs have been restored in the downtown area, adding to the entertainment. (If you are staying on the Strip, take public transportation, as the traffic is very slow and downtown parking is limited.)
- The Mob Museum (The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement). Location: 300 Stewart Ave (Steward Ave and 3rd St, downtown Las Vegas). Phone: 702-229-2734. The publicly funded museum opened in a former federal courthouse. Completed in 1933 and listed on the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places, it houses the very courtroom where one of 14 national Kefauver hearings was held in the 1950's to expose and control organized crime in America. Its exhibits include the brick wall shot up during the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago and the barber chair that Albert Anastasia was murdered in.
- Stratosphere Tower. Location: 2000 South Las Vegas Blvd. The 1,149 foot tower, part of the Stratosphere Hotel complex, offers panoramic views of Las Vegas from observation decks at the top. Also, a number of exotic thrill rides which use the outside of the tower.
- Circus Circus Hotel - Adventuredome. Location: 2880 South Las Vegas Blvd. An extravagant five acre indoor theme park at Circus Circus Hotel. Features a rollercoaster, white-water raft ride, IMAX theater, and more.
- Treasure Island Attractions. Location: 3300 South Las Vegas Blvd. Features Sirens of TI, a live pirate sea battle on the Strip and Mystère, a Cirque du Soleil production.
- The Venetian Attractions. Location: 3355/3377 South Las Vegas Blvd. Features Gondola Rides (indoors through the Grand Canal Shoppes and also outdoors); Madame Tussauds where visitors can take pictures, mingle, and even touch the incredibly lifelike wax figures; and Streetmosphere where street perfomers can be found entertaining guests along the walkways at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
- Mirage Attractions. Location: 3400 South Las Vegas Blvd. Features a fabulous 20,000-gallon aquarium, an indoor rain forest, an erupting 54 foot volcano, and Siegfeld and Roy's Secret Garden which houses a dolphin habitat and some of their most exotic animals.
- Caesar's Palace Attractions. Location: 3570 South Las Vegas Blvd. Witness the rise and fall of the Lost City of Atlantis in a 50,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. Located inside the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace.
- Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Location: 3600 South Las Vegas Blvd. Offers some of the best fine art from around the world through rotating exhibits.
- Paris Las Vegas - Eiffel Tower Experience. Location: 3645 South Las Vegas Blvd. Don’t miss the view from the single most romantic spot in all of Vegas – 460 feet above the heart of the Strip atop the Eiffel Tower Ride.
- New York-New York Attractions. Location: 3790 South Las Vegas Blvd. Visit replicas of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, or the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhattan Express Roller Coaster will lift you up 203 feet, drop you down 144 feet and leave you coasting at 67 mph. This Las Vegas ride experience simulates a jet fighter's barrel roll while taking you on the famous "heartline" twist.
- Tropicana - Mob Attraction Las Vegas. Location: 3801 South Las Vegas Blvd. The Museum at the Mob Attraction Las Vegas at the Tropicana Hotel featuring the infamous but colorful organized crime figures who once controlled much of Las Vegas. [Editor Note: Mob Experience closing down much of the ‘experience’ to make upgrades]
- Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. Location: 3950 South Las Vegas Blvd. Fantastic aquarium complex with the focus on sharks and other sea predators.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign. The sign is located in the median strip at 5100 South Las Vegas Boulevard, north of the historic stone pillars of the old McCarran Airport on the east side, and across from the Bali Hai Golf Club. There is a 12-car parking lot south of the sign which can also accomodate two buses or limos. To access the parking lot, drive south on Las Vegas Boulevard heading away from the Mandalay Bay Resort.
Other Attractions and Shows
- Atomic Testing Museum. Location: 755 East Flamingo Rd., between Paradise Road and Swenson Street. Features permanent and changing exhibits related to the Nevada Atomic Test Site which was active from 1951-1992.
- The U.S. Department of Energy conducts a free monthly
Guided Tour of the Nevada Atomic Test Site. The day-long, 250-mile tour departs from and returns to the museum. Space is very limited for this popular and unusual tour, and reservations must be made many months in advance. An advance security check is performed on each visitor.
- Cirque du Soleil. The spectacular and world-famous show generally has different ongoing versions playing at a number of local hotels. See the website for the current schedule.
- The Neon Museum Las Vegas. This quirky "museum" offers tours of its Neon Boneyard, a fenced-in area downtown (at the corner of E. McWilliams Ave and N. Encanto Drive) containing hundreds of neon signs that once lighted up casinos, hotels, motels, and businesses along The Strip. Call (702) 387-NEON or go to their website to arrange for a tour. Make your reservation as far in advance as possible as tours often sell out. They do not accept same day appointments or walk-ins. If pressed for time, take in the
Fremont Street Galley, a self-guided walking tour of about ten fully restored neon signs starting at the Neonopolis, near the Fremont Street Experience and Las Vegas Blvd.
- Pinball Hall of Fame. Location: 1610 East Tropicana. World's largest collection of pinball machines. A dedicated 10,000 square foot museum of fully restored and playable pinball machines from the 1950s up to the 1990s. See website for a list of games available to play.
- Las Vegas Monorail. The monorail services the Strip area from MGM Grand Hotel to the Convention Center to Sahara Ave. It is an excellent method of getting around and avoiding the slow traffic.
- RTC Transit. Convenient bus service from McCarran International Airport to the Strip and Downtown areas. For a detailed stop listing for the Strip & Downtown Express and the Deuce on the Strip buses along Las Vegas Blvd. and Downtown Las Vegas,
view a printable brochure: "Getting Around Las Vegas" (a PDF file).
Las Vegas Strip Maps and Downtown Area Maps
Other Links for City of Las Vegas:
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