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7 things to do in Las Vegas

[ 0 ] November 28, 2012 |

Las Vegas is world famous for it’s casinos but what else does this unusual city in America have to offer visitors? The answer is plenty. There are great museums, shopping, thrill rides, zip-lining, gondola rides, swimming, shows and performances. Nearby some of America’s most iconic landscapes are within easy reach. Here’s a round-up of some of the best attractions.

Bellagio Fountains

You can’t visit Las Vegas without seeing the fantastic Bellagio fountains. The incredibly huge fountains feature a timed light show where the fountain dances in time to music. The music and the lights change approximately every half hour. It really is a wonderful sight, and it’s free!

Bellagio Fountains

Enjoy a drink at the many fantastical hotels and casinos

At night, who can resist walking along the neon-lit, swanky-hotel clad main strip of Las Vegas. It’s a great way to take in the over-the-top extravagance of Vegas.

When you get thirsty from all that walking, most of casinos employ the philosophy that by offering inexpensive drinks, food and shows their clients will stay longer and drink more, leading to more gambling. Provided you avoid the gambling, you can dine in style in glamorous bars or fun casinos for a fraction of the price that you’d pay anywhere else in the world. Personally if I was in Vegas I’d save my gambling money for when I was stuck in a boring airport and make the most of partycasino.com, and instead spend my time in Las Vegas enjoying the inexpensive buffet restaurants, free shows and cheap cocktails!

Dramatic Cocktails

National Atomic Testing Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum documents the history of the atomic bomb and the testing that was conducted in the desert very near to Las Vegas in the 1950s. With hands on displays of radioactive materials (protective gear provided), pop-culture, artifacts, photographs, movies and simulations of fall-out scenarios, it’s well worth the visit, although you may want to consider skipping the cheesy Area 51 display.

See a show

From Beatles cover bands to magic shows to Phantom of the Opera,  no matter your personal taste Las Vegas has a show for everyone.

Even if you’ve seen Cirque du Soleil before, do yourself a favour and catch a performance while you are in town. Everything is bigger and better in Las Vegas, even Cirque du Soleil.

Visit Hoover Dam

The iconic Hoover Dam is located just 40 minutes from Las Vegas, although that’s with ideal traffic conditions. You can pay for a tour or just visit the dam yourself. It’s well worth paying to visit the education center to learn more about the construction and history of the dam.

The new Hoover Damn Bypass Bridge sits 90 stories above the Colorado river and offers amazing views of the river and Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam

Explore the Mojave Desert

The perfect antithesis to the craziness of Las Vegas is the serene solitude of the nearby Mojave Desert. Be sure to go early in the morning to avoid the worst of the heat.

Twenty minutes drive away is Red Rock Canyon. The park is a popular hiking and rock climbing destination, although you can also chose to go horse riding or quad biking. Entry costs $7 per car and there is an excellent visitors center.

Close up of the Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon, near Las Vegas

Slightly further afield, the Valley of Fire National Park is a photographers dream. Many of the rock formations here have featured in Hollywood films and it’s a stunning place to hike. Entrance to the park costs $10 per car. Maps and information is available from the rangers office. Bring a tent and camp for a few days – you won’t believe just an hour away are the shining lights of Vegas.

Views from the White Domes trail, Valley of Fire State Park (IMG_9619a)

Retreat to the mountains

Just outside Las Vegas are the Spring Mountains. The highest peak, Mt Charleston is just 30 minutes away. In summer it’s a great place to escape the desert heat and explore the amazing biodiversity of the mountains. You can hike, camp, ride horse or quad bikes, go four wheel driving and rock climbing. In winter the mountain gets an average of 610cm of snow, so it offers great skiing and snowboarding.

View at Mount Charleston

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About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include http://ourtravellifestyle.com, http://vagabondfamily.org, http://nunomad.com and now http://on-our-way-travel.com. View author profile.

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