Las Vegas Strip Walking Tour:
Location: The Las Vegas Boulevard Strip
Cost: Free (optional costs below)
Style: Self-Guided Walking Tour
Start: Stratosphere Casino (North of The Strip)
End: Welcome to Las Vegas Sign (South of The Strip)
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: One full day for walking tour and sight, One week to see all major shows.
Fun Scale: 10 out of 10
While every casino in Las Vegas is very unique, you really need to prioritize whether sightseeing, gambling, or going out on the town. Here is a breakdown of the best sights running from the start and working North toward Downtown.
The Deuce Bus:
Running the entire length of the Strip, make sure to utilize the very cheap and easy to use Deuce Bus. This bus runs 24/7 every 15 minutes and stops at almost every casino on its way to Downtown. You’ll do enough walking inside the casinos that there is no reason to add extra miles outside in the Vegas heat. Depending on where you are going the SDX Bus (9am-Midnight) follows almost the same route but makes half the amount of stops and visits both outlet malls. Both bus are covered by the same pass. Cost: 2 hours $6; 24 Hours $8; 3 Days $20.
Las Vegas Strip Walking Tour Sights:
1. The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign (South End of Strip): Created by Betty Willis in 1959, this iconic photo op is a must for any Las Vegas visitor. You can find the sign a block south of Mandalay Bay on the Vegas Strip. Getting Here: You best bet is to take the Deuce Bus Line to the very last stop for the Four Seasons by Madalay Bay. From here it is only a 1 block walk to the sign.
2. Mandalay Bay: Mandalay Bay is one of the few true resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Walking through the casino leads you past numerous waterfalls and a jungle-like atmosphere. Rock & Roll Gospel Brunch at the House of the Blues on Sunday mornings. The MIX Lounge has no cover from 5-10pm and lets you go up the the roof and see the strip. Cool aquarium sea turtles and rare golden crocodiles, plus a nice shark reef.
3. Luxor: Very iconic pyramid of the strip. It has many Egyptian monuments and statue replicas including a giant Sphinx. On the inside, the casino is a very large and extremely dim lit space. Because of the Luxor’s unique shape, the elevator has to move sideways inside to accommodate the angels. While there is not a ton to do at the Luxor, it is home to performances bycomedian of the year Carrot Top.
The show Fantasy (website) has been one of Las Vegas’ leading topless acts since opening in 2001.
Once a kingdom of ancient Egyptian kitsch, complete with a museum-quality replica of King Tut’s tomb and the Great Temple of Ramses II, today the signature black pyramid has been re-imagined as a chic nightlife destination. After dark, look for an enormous white beacon of light shooting straight up out of the pyramid into space, where it’s said to be visible by astronauts.
4. Excalibur: The Excalibur’s castle exterior with tons of towers and a huge drawbridge dominates the block. For an entertaining, family-friendly place to eat while you’re her try Dick’s Last Resort. At Dick’s they combine finger-licking food, wacky staff, and live music for a great overall experience.
Make sure to stop by the Court Jester’s Stage in Excalibur’s Medieval Village and see one of their free shows. If you are out with the girls and looking for some heat from Australia why not stop in for a show at the top rated male stripper performance Thunder From Down Under.
5. New York New York: Very cool inside and out. The outside of the casino mirrors that of the NYC skyline complete replicas of the Stature of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. If you like thrill rides don’t miss The Roller Coaster at NYNY which zips amongst the skyscrapers at up to 67mph, with150 ft drops and negative G’s. Coaster is open 1030am-midnight and coast $14 for one ride or $25 for an all day pass. Inside the casino the NYC theme continues with unbelievable Central Park decor. The center of the park is highlighted by The Bar at Times Square which has the most entertaining dueling piano show in the country. Anyone interested in seeing the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil should check out the hit show Zumanity. Great place to place sports bets. If you go inside make sure to swing by Houdini’s Magic Shop as they give free magic trick demonstrations.
6. MGM Grand: Giant 5,700 room hotel is the largest hotel in the United States and takes over 9,000 employees to run. Very out dated but it has a lot of very cool music and professional fighting events. During the day, 11am-10pm, the MGM has an awesome free lions exhibit right in the middle of the casino called Lion Habitat. Not only do you get to see the loins through the glass, but is actually has a glass tunnel going through the exhibit where the loins lay right above you in plain sight. Another free activity is the CBS Television City Research Center near the attached shopping area where you can give Viacom your input on TV and Movie screenings they let you watch from 10am to 8:30pm.
MGM also happens to be the home of the hit Cirque du Soleil production KÀ. There is good food to be had here as well with the Rain Forest Cafe and Harley Davidson Cafe next door- which has the best BBQ on the strip.
7. Diablo’s Cantina: Sitting in front of the Monte Carlo Casino is one of the hottest bars in Vegas, Diablo’s Cantina. Behind its devilish exterior, Diablo’s is a very energetic and hip bar to catch a bite in the afternoon through evening or to have a few drinks at night. It is largely open air and has a ton of live music.
8. Aria & City Center: Sittin
9. Paris: Tons of great Paris inspired photo ops outside; casino is very dull inside. The outside of the hotel is complete with a 1/2 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, which allows visitors to travel 460 ft up to the top in a glass elevator for $10 (930am-730pm) or $12 (730pm-1230am). The view from the top of the tower was recently voted the “Best View of the City” by the Las Vegas Review. If you are looking for a great place to eat during your travels up or down the tower stop into the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on the 11th floor. For a breath-taking 360° panoramic view taken at night in front of Paris click here.
Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Paris Opera House, and Hotel de Ville
10. Bellagio: Truly massive hotel which has been featured in many film including Ocean’s 11 & 12. From the moment you hit the lobby and see the ceiling of over 2,000 hand-blown, colorful glass flowers, you know this place is special. The famous Bellagio Fountain Show takes place on the mini-Lake Como in front of the hotel and features tons of fountain spouts choreographed to music. The Fountain Shows happen every 30 minutes starting at 8pm and speeds up to every 15 minutes from dark till midnight.
One of the more surprising places on the strip is the very lively Conservatory and Botanical Gardens inside the Bellagio. The Garden is a great place to take pictures 24 hours a day as 140 specials have this place looking like a dreamland. From the pedestrian balcony facing the strip there are great photo ops of Paris and the Strip. If you are looking for a show, the Bellagio has one of the best with Cirque du Soleil’s “O”. This show combines a breath taking venue, high flying drivers, the pureness of water, the excitement of fire, and the top notch production of Cirque du Soleil to give you one of the best shows on earth. For a breath-taking 360° panoramic view taken at night in front of the Bellagio click here.
stop by the Chocolate Fountain
to view the 27-foot-tall (8-meter) cascade of liquid chocolate located in the Jean-Philippe Patisserie inside the Bellagio. Open Sunday-Thursday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 7 a.m.-midnight.
11. Bally’s: A very long neon hoop tunnel leads up to the Casino, which can be cool to check out at night. If you are looking for adult entertainment, Jubilee is The Strip’s most critically acclaimed topless show. Jubilee is classic Las Vegas with over 30 years of spectacular performances, featuring topless showgirls, covered in rhinestones, feathers and shimmering costumes. Outside of the Jubilee Show there is no reason to go inside as the rest of Bally’s is pretty lame.
12. Flamingo: The Flamingo was built way back in 1946 by the mobster Bugsy Siegel who was a primary force driving the development of Las Vegas. It’s said that Bugsy named the Flamingo after his girlfriend Virginia Hill who had red hair and very long legs. Not much to see here except for the neon on the outside, but the Garden Bar is a good afternoon bar with great views of the Flamingo Lagoon and waterfall. If you do go inside you have to check out the Wildlife Habitat to see flamingos which is fitting while at the Flamingo. If you are a fan of the Osmound’s, Donny and Marie Osmound perform here Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm.
13. Caesar’s Palace: Caesar’s Palace is not only an over the top homage to the Roman Empire but also offers some of the best nightlife in Las Vegas and everything starts with the clubs. Cleopatra’s Barge is a luxurious bar built as a floating replica of the sturdy but graceful boat that transported the royalty of Egypt on the Nile River in the time of Julius Caesar. The Shadow Bar is a really cool club with sensual, silhouetted shadow dancers go-going behind neon back lit walls. There are also a number of lounges and bars right in the middle of the Casino which open right up to the gaming floor like the beautiful Seahorse Lounge. The Lounge was inspired by the underwater world of mermaids, seahorses, and is highlighted by a towering cylinder 1,700-gallon aquarium.
The crown jewel of the clubs is Pure where you can literally party with celebrities! This stunning nightclub has four different rooms including a terrace boasting panoramic Las Vegas Strip views and hip house music. In addition to great clubs, Caesar’s also has an awesome collection of headlining shows including Shania Twain, Rod Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Elton John, Jeff Dunham, and Celine Dion. For a list of current shows click here. Caesar’s is also where many of the high rollers stay as not only is it really classy, but has some of the best collection of suites on The Strip. Most of the Hotel packages give patrons complementary access to Caesar’s award winning collect of Pools. If you aren’t staying at the Hotel you can still get your pool on for $20-30 which is well worth the amazing experience.
14. Forum Shops: Feel a taste of Rome by walking through the Forum Shops with its high end shops and over the top architecture. Just like the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, the Forum Shops has its own vast labyrinth of streetmosphere connecting the mall to the nearby Caesar’s Palace. The dim lighting and faux sky on the ceiling, mixed with amazing Roman details make the mall an unbeatable place to get lost in fantasy. As you past by numerous statues and fountains, the center of the Forum Shops has a huge 50,000 gallon cylinder-shaped saltwater Aquarium with every time of fish you can think of. Near the aquarium the Fall of Atlantis Fountain Show is another great free activity where animatronic figures go through the story of the island of Atlantis. This shows runs every hour Sunday-Thursday from 10am-11pm and until Midnight on the Weekends.
360 Degree Photo: Really cool photo of the fountain inside the mall click here. Hours: 10am-Midnight.
15. The Linq & High Roller: 550 foot tall High Roller will be the World’s biggest ferris wheel when it opens on Audri Street behind the Flamingo. connected to the strip by The Linq and new shopping/bar area. Tons of bars and shops plus Sprinkles cupcakes. Yard House has American food and one of the largest selections of draft beers in the World Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, located at the Flamingo is at the entrance to the Linq
16. Harrah’s: Maybe the best value on the strip in a couple of ways. The hotel itself has great remodeled rooms at the center of the strip for as low as $60 a night and the bar on the main level has $1 domestic bottles of beer as well as $1 margaritas that you can take to go. The Carnaval Court Bar, open til 2am weekdays/3am on weekends, is the most fun fully outdoor bar in Vegas by far. Not only does Carnaval Court have three-foot tall drinks, great DJs & live music, they also have a great happy hour from noon-4pm with $3 Jägermeister shots and $5 well drinks. Country lovers will really like Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar” which is the only true country bar on the strip and has great live music nightly from 9pm-2am.
17. Mirage: As you approach the exterior of the Mirage’s 54 foot tall Polynesian-style volcano erupting nightly every hour 8pm-Midnight, Entering the Hotel make sure to admire the long 20,000 galls saltwater Aquarium that runs the length of the lobby. The Aquarium leads the way to the 100 foot tall domed Atrium with a rainforest habitat complete with towering palms, lagoons and waterfalls. Sticking with the wildlife theme, one thing that many visitors miss is the Sieffried & Roy’s Secret Garden. Here you will see white tigers, white lions, panthers, and an excellent dolphin exhibit which has behind the scene tours and chances to become a Dolphin Trainer for a Day.
The Mirage is the place to go to get your fix of high end Comedy Shows. Headliners include Daniel Tosh, Ray Romano, Ron White, Jay Leno, Lewis Black, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Kathy Griffin, and Aziz Ansari. For a list of current shows click here. By far the highligh of all the shows is the Beatles inspired Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE. LOVE is a high-flying, psychedelic celebration of the Beatles’ music, love, and joy. LOVE is also the most popular Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. Even if you can’t make the show the lobby of the theater has a really rainbow colored lit floor. We recommend checking out the new Beatles inspired bar created by Cirque du Soleil, called REVOLUTION, it has an LSD theme and is very hip. The main wall of the club hides a long bar with a series of huge open block letters spelling out Revolution which also leads you into the hidden club in the back. Is bars are you vice, you need to make sure to check out King Ink before leaving the Mirage. The bar represents an opulent castle, with a baroque fusion of the tattoo lifestyle and an ultra lounge.
LOVE Cost & Showtimes: Tickets range from $79-180 depending on seating but often have promotional deals online. Shows are typically every week Thursday-Monday and are off Tuesday & Wednesday, but there are further blackout dates. Secret Garden Cost: Monday-Friday 11am-6:30pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-6:30pm. Dolphin Trainer program averages $500.
18. Venetian: Coolest casino on the strip inside and out. Phantom of the Opera, Madame Tussuad’s Wax Museum, the Palazzo, the Grand Canal Shoppes, and the canal itself where you can take gondola ride with serenading gondoliers.
Madame Tussauds Las VegasCarnevale di Venezia: at St. Mark’s Square at Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm; Barney’s New York at 12:30pm, 1pm, 4:15pm, 5pm, 5:15pm, and 6:30pm. That’s Amore!
Living Statues: Ann Taylor Noon-8pm; St. Mark’s Square 10am-6pm.
The Venetian Trio: An Evening of Musical Elegance St. Mark’s Square 6:30pm-10pm; Ann Taylor 6-6:15pm.
19. Treasure Island: Very unique, the pirate ships led to great photo ops. There are free outside Siren shows facing the strip on the pirate ships daily at 7pm, 830pm, and 10pm, (there is also a 530pm show in winter and 1130 show in summer). For a truly amazing show experience, try Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère which is featured here (details below in show section).
20. The Wynn & Encore: Expensive and plain but extremely elegant twin tower hotel. We’ve stayed here in a basic room before and even it had a flat screen in the bathroom. The Wynn is widely known for having the best golfing in Vegas right out its back door of the Hotel and is right by the Convention Center.
*From Circus Circus it is 3/4 to the core of the Strip, but if you go right there you’d miss out on…
21. Indoor Sky Diving: Ever wanted to skydive but are afraid of dying? If so, the safety of indoor sky diving is for you.as there is no airplane, no parachute, no falling, and no dying. The simulated skydive experience similar to the real thing as you set into a large tunnel and huge fans blow up hard enough to let you glide weightlessly around the room. It is a ton of fun and the instructors not only make you feel at easy but make the experience even more enjoyable by getting you out of your comfort zone. They teach you how to move you limbs to change your direction and height just like real skydiving. The free fall experience is made even safer with the addition of a mesh trampoline floor and foam padded walls. This is actually America’s first indoor skydiving facility and has been running since 1982.
Cost: $85 first ride; $50 for extras; DVD video of up to 4 people $25; Experience takes about an hour.
22. Circus Circus: Great place it stop during the day if you have kids as they have America’s largest indoor theme park, called Adventure Dome, and the World’s largest permanent circus. The Circus Acts are awesome not just because they are free and run all day but also because the talent is quite high. The shows take place right in the middle of the Casino and include contortionists, flying trapezes, and clowns. Performers come from all over the World and some have even been featured on the hit show America’s Got Talent.
A hidden gem at the Casino is the 10,000 square foot Chuck Jones Experience is right by the front entrance. It offers a great look with videos, 3D adventures and stretches into the world of the creators of famed cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Pepe le Pew and dozens more. Questionable neighborhood to walk in this neighborhood at night.
Chuck Jones Cost: $20 for Adults, $15 for Kids. Chuck Jones Hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-6pm; Friday-Sunday 10am-10pm. Adventure Dome Ride Cost: All Day Pass is $28 for Adults, $17 for Kids. Circus Shows: Free; Runs from 1am-Midnight.
23. Stratosphere: Standing ar 1,149 feet above Las Vegas Blvd, the Stratosphere is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. With such height the Tower’s observation deck has some sweet views but it’s the worlds highest thrill rides. Insanity is a fast roller coaster sitting 900 feet above the ground, jutting 64 feet over the side of the Tower, and even reaches forces of 3G’s. X-Scream is a crazy man’s teeter-tooter as at 866 feet off the ground it shoots you face first 27 feet over the edge then dramatically tips giving you a falling feeling. The Big Shot gives you maximum height starting 920 feet but then shoots you 160 feet straight up the mast of the Tower to a scary 1080 feet. The last thrill is the World’s highest bungee jump called the SkyJump where you jump from the 108th Floor!
This hotel is a great place to catch the connecting city bus if going to the northern outlet mall. It is extremely questionable neighborhood to walk at night, you will see a few crackheads. Thrill Ride Cost: Observation Tower $18; Rides $15 each; Bungee Jump $109; The best value is to buy an unlimited all day pass for all four rides which includes admission to the top of the tower for $34 or $44 if you want an express front of the line pass.
25. Hard Rock & Hofbrauhaus: Located just east of the strip, this Is a very fun place to party. On your way there make sure to get a taste of Germany across the street from the Hard Rock in the famous Bavarian beer hall Hofbräuhaus.
At Hofbräuhaus you will experience live German music, great food, and huge glasses of imported Bavarian beer. Looking for a high-octane party experience instead? Then check out Carey Hart rocking bar Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock. They have the feel of a rock concert’s backstage party and has live music that will blow your socks off. If you’d rather go high class clubbing, go to the posh Body English; open Weds & Fri-Sun 10pm-4am. This club is probably the fanciest club in Vegas complete with dark hard woods, plush couches, beautiful lingerie clad waitresses, and a $250,000 chandelier hanging over a huge dance floor. The Vegas after-parties always spill over to the Hard Rock’s Center Bar which stays hopping 24 hours a day. If you’re looking for something to remember your trip forever check out the world famous Hart & Huntington tattoo parlor and get some ink done.
26. Palms: Best place off the strip as it has four of the tops places to check out at night in Vegas: Ghostbar with a great terrace overlooking the strip, Rain, and the open topped Club Moon on the roof. To get on the guest list to any of these clubs click here. This Palms also has a series of over-the-top fantasy suites that will blow you away
27. National Atomic Testing Museum: At the National Atomic Testing Museum you’ll not only learn about the development of nuclear weapons, but will also dive deep into the culture it shaped. The Museum has an under ground testing bunker, a B53 nuclear bomb, nuclear testing tower, and chucks of coal looking material from an explosion in Russia. The coal like material is a mystery that has led to a lot of alien theories as the material is nuclear and made up of manufactured materials we don’t have on Earth. Many believe this explosion has what was left from a spacecraft crash. Other alien exhibits cover Area 51 and the famous sighting on Coney Island.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday Noon-5pm. Cost: Museum is $14 for Adults; $20 with Area 51 Exhibit; Discounts for Kids, Seniors, and Military. Location: 755 E Flamingo Road. Museum Website: (HERE).
28. A Little White Chapel: famous chapel where Britney Spears got married complete with a drive through wedding window.
29. Reality TV Show Locations: From Pawn Stars to Counts Kustoms and Rick’s Restorations the History Channel has had a ton of famous shows based on local businesses. Don’t expect to actually run into the stars themselves, but a stop is well worth it for any hard core fan.
30. Downtown Vegas Walking Tour: Lame