Las Vegas can be overwhelming for new and returning visitors alike. If you arrive at night by car or plane, its shiny lights resemble a mirage in the middle of a breathtaking dark desert. You might wonder if its founders knew what the city would become, back in 1905, when it was only a water stop for travelers going from Los Angeles to Albuquerque.
If you’re not into gambling, you might wonder what this city has to offer. Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a list of a few unique things to do in Las Vegas. (And remember, not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay there!)
ARIA Fine Art Collection
Going to a casino for art? You bet. The ARIA casino has a pretty extensive collection and features a multitude of styles and media. Moreover, ARIA made sure to include a good amount of local artists in the collection, amongst the more prominent ones such as husband and wife duo Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Not convinced yet? They even have an installation by James Turrell, a known collaborator of Kanye West, specializing in light and space. This chill, artsy experience is the perfect way to start your trip on a more relaxed note before crazy ensues.
Open 7 days a week. Free.
The Volcano Show at the Mirage
Yes, another casino, but wait; this one features a volcano erupting before your eyes. Is it water? Is it lava? Who’s to say! You won’t be troubling yourself with details once you catch a glimpse of this awesome nighttime spectacle.
This unique take on the classic Sin City fountain show is something you’ll be raving about for days. The volcano show takes place outside the main entrance of the Mirage Hotel on the Las Vegas Boulevard. Shows run every evening at 8, 9 and 10 pm. Missed the last show, but still want to see some pretty lights tonight? No problem. Make your way to Fremont Street. The Viva Vision Light Show is an intense 6-minute experience and lasts until 1 am. It’s also free.
The Hangover Bar Experience at Madame Tussauds
We wouldn’t believe you if you said you didn’t enjoy the Hangover movie. It’s corny, it’s wacky, and it’s exactly the kind of trip you were hoping to have in Las Vegas. However, for legal reasons, we can’t recommend you actually attempt to do anything featured in the film during your stay. Instead, we can suggest a safer alternative, the Hangover Bar Experience at Madame Tussauds. This immersive experience will put you right into the film and provide copious selfie opportunities with a number of sets and props. The bar itself is also well-stocked and offers fun cocktails like “What Happened Last Night” or “Tiger’s Blood – all inspired by the movie.
Nighttime helicopter flight over the Vegas Strip
Let’s face it, going to Vegas is not exactly budget traveling. What if we told you, you can feel like a VIP and live your best life without breaking the bank? Flying over the city in a helicopter may not sound like the cheapest way to make your mood soar, but you might be surprised! You can ride in a limousine, sip a glass of champagne, and drink in the glittering lights of the strip against the backdrop of the dark desert sky, from a state-of-the-art chopper, all for less than $100. That’s a pretty safe bet compared to riding your luck on the slots.
Zipline over the Mojave Desert
Tired of partying at this point? You must be exhausted. Perhaps an adrenaline-fueled experience in Nevada’s famous desert is exactly what you need to jump-start your engine. Strap yourself into a harness, fly over the Mojave, and scream at the top of your lungs, because this is something you’ll never forget. Before you make your first plunge through rugged desert canyons, the zipline experience involves a short hike up Red Mountain, where you’ll enjoy spectacular views from 3,800 feet (1.2 km) above sea level. Only a 30-minute ride from the Strip, this excursion into the wild is the perfect way to end your Las Vegas trip.