Las Vegas Strip Walking Tour:
Location: The Las Vegas Boulevard Strip
Cost: Free (optional costs below)
Style: Self-Guided Walking Tour
Start: Welcome To Las Vegas Sign (Southend of The Strip)
End: Fashion Show Mall (Northend of The Strip)
Walking Distance: 3.4 miles (plus many more roaming the casino floors)
Time Required: 1 hour & 20 minutes for the direct walk between stops 1-20 (requires 1-3 full days to really tour all the casino interiors)
Fun Scale: 10 out of 10
While the main drag of early-day Las Vegas was in Downtown sprouting out from the train station along Fremont Street, The Strip has since grown with colossal-sized entertainment palaces. Although it technically is outside the Las Vegas city limits, The Strip is what we think of when we dream of Sin City. On this free Las Vegas Strip walking tour, you will see the can’t miss themed resorts, find a lot of hidden attractions, and learn a lot of interesting casino history.
Las Vegas Strip Historical Overview:
Las Vegas was founded in 1905 with most of the early development flowing from the train station Downtown along Fremont Street. By the 1930s member of organized crime started to look for properties outside of the city limits where there was fewer taxes, less regulations, and more room to do business regardless of their reputation. Las Vegas Boulevard (formerly Arrowhead Highway & HWY 91) quickly attracted some of the biggest names from mob syndicates around the country looking get in on Vegas’ entertainment business including Guy McAfee and mobster Bugsy Siegel.
Guy McAfee had been the head of the LADP’s vice squad but also ran numerous saloons, nightclubs, and brothels which earned him the nickname the Capone of LA. When gambling and prostitution became illegal in LA in 1938, McAfee moved to Las Vegas and took over numerous establishments. Casinos he managed included the Pioneer Club and Golden Nugget in Downtown and others along Las Vegas Boulevard. In an effort to make it feel more glamorous, McAfee called The Strip after the Sunset Strip in his hometown of Los Angles where he formerly ran the underground Clover Club.
New York mobster Bugsy Siegel also found his way to The Strip by 1945 where he helped establish Flamingo Casino. Siegel was murdered two years later, but the then 105-room Flamingo had already raised the bar as the first luxury hotel on the Strip. With newly opened gambling in Atlantic City stealing customers from the Las Vegas Strip, Rosenthal was sent in to run four casinos (3 on The Strip) for the mob from Chicago. Rosenthal’s notorious career (1968-1982) in Vegas inspired Martin Scorsese famous 1995 movie Casino starring Robert De Niro.
After Steve Wynn opened the Polynesian-themed Mirage as the then World’s biggest hotel in 1989 it led to a building boom on the Las Vegas Strip. This was also a switch from mob money to Wall Street and corporate money being invested in Las Vegas. Since then, a majority of the mega-sized casino resort started popping up, each with its own unique theme. From its starts as a dry desert patch outside the Las Vegas city limits to today being one of the world’s capitals of entertainment, The Strip never ceases to amaze us.
The Strip Walking Tour:
1. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign:
About The Sign: The iconic Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign was designed by Betty Willis in 1959 and marks the official southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The 25-foot-tall neon-lit sign is one of the best photo opportunities on our Las Vegas Strip walking tour and is a must for any visitor. The image of the timeless sign has been adopted as an unofficial logo for Las Vegas and can be found on everything from t-shirts and magnets to postcards. It is interesting to note that the location is technically 4 miles South of the city limits Las Vegas as the sign and most of The Strip are actually in the village of Paradise.
Looking at double-sided the Welcome To Las Vegas sign, you can see the lights circling the white diamond background which represents the town’s early nickname as the Silver City. The circles surrounding the letters in ‘Welcome’ are meant to resemble silver dollars also paying homage to the mining roots of the state of Nevada which boomed in the early 1900s. In much the same fashion as the Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign, many of the resorts that sprung up in the 1950s were also Western themed.
Chapel Address: 5200 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Getting Here: While a taxi ride is fine, your best bet is to take either the SDX or Deuce Bus Line just past Mandalay Bay within a 1 block walk to the sign.
2. Little Church of the West:
About The Little Church of the West: Not far from the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign is the historic Little Church of the West, the oldest chapel standing in Las Vegas going back to 1942. It was originally built as part of the western village in the Last Frontier Resort (now the Fashion Show Mall) then was moved to the Hacienda (now Mandalay Bay) in 1979 before finding its current location in 1996.
The Little Church of the West was famously featured in the 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas starring Elvis Presley. Some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities have been married within this picturesque wooden chapel, including Billy Bob Thornton to Angelina Jolie, Richard Gere to Cindy Crawford, and the weddings of both Judy Garland and Kelsey Grammer. You can get some very unique photos at the church and there will be almost tourist here which is a cool contrast compared to the rest of the busy Las Vegas Strip walking tour.
Chapel Address: 4617 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Chapel Hours: Daily 8am-11pm (be respectful if a wedding is going on). Chapel Website: Here.
3. Mandalay Bay Resort:
About Mandalay Bay: The 43-story-tall Mandalay Bay opened in 1999 and is one of the few true resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The grounds were formerly home to the historic Hacienda Hotel (1956-1996) who’s famous neon horse sign still can be seen on display in Downton Las Vegas. The Hacienda was one of four casinos run by Frank Rosenthal for the mob in Chicago and the movie Casino was modeled after Rosenthal’s career (1968-1982) in Vegas.
Walking through Mandalay Bay leads you past numerous waterfalls and a jungle-like atmosphere. The theme isn’t as strong as other casinos we will see on this Las Vegas Strip walking tour, but it is a great property. The quality of the hospitality at Mandalay Bay is very very which can be expected as one of the towers at the hotel is run by the Four Seasons.
Known for having one of the best pool parties on the Las Vegas Strip, Mandalay Bay has an 11-acre outdoor area with 2,700 tons of white sand and a 1.6 million gallon wave pool. The Mandalay Bay is also home to the amazing Shark Reef Aquarium which has over 2,000 animals including sawfish, giant rays, endangered green sea turtles, piranha, jellyfish, and the rare golden crocodile. A glass tunnel into the aquarium lets you feel like you are underwater and they also have special programs including feeding 300-pound sea turtles or diving with sharks.
Our favorite attraction at Mandalay Bay is the incredible Minus 5 Ice Bar, named after its temperature of -5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit). After putting on your parka jacket you are escorted into a wonderful space made up of 90 tons of ice that will make you feel like you are in the movie Frozen. Except for the floor and ceiling, pretty much everything from the bar, tables, walls, glass, and detailed sculptures are all made completely of ice. The atmosphere is unreal and you’ll love their signature drinks, both of which get you over the sticker shock of the $22 basic entrance fee. While some selfie-seekers don’t like the no phones or camera policy, we love it as it helps you to be present in the moment and enjoy your limited time without 20 people Instagramming in your face. The ice bar does have a professional photographer available to help you capture them your experience and which you can then buy as you exit.
There is a second ice bar inside Mandalay Bay’s Russian-themed Red Square Restaurant and even another Minus 5 Ice Bar in the Venetian Casino we will see later on this Las Vegas Strip walking tour. If you are looking for something more hip the Libertine Social has divine food and the on-site House of the Blues venue has a Rock & Roll Gospel Brunch on Sunday mornings.
While it is a very safe property, tragically a 2017 concert at the Mandalay Bay became the deadliest lone gunman mass shooting in US history when 58 were killed and another 546 were wounded.
Chapel Address: 3950 S Las Vegas Boulevard. Ice Bar Cost: Basic entry with jacket and gloves is $22; with two drinks included it $42; VIP with faux fur coat upgrade, drinks, a hat to take home, plus framed photo $75. You can always buy additional drinks or photos regardless of the plan you select. Ice Bar Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-1am; Friday-Saturday 11am-2am; book head in for the evenings or weekends to avoid a wait. Ice Bar Website: Here. House Of The Blues Website: Here. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
4. Las Vegas Stadium:
About Las Vegas Stadium: Set to open for the 2020 NFL season, the new Las Vegas stadium will be the new home of the Raiders as they make their move from Oakland, California. The presence of an NFL team in a city known for heavy drinking and sports betting is predicted to help pack the stadium with football fans from all over the world. One of the biggest advantages of visiting the glass-domed stadium will be its location directly behind the Mandalay Bay Resort.
The Raiders’ new stadium is also leading to an expansion of the Las Vegas Monorail line currently running from the MGM Grand two blocks away up to the Stratosphere (between the Las Vegas Strip and Old Downtown). While we hope the monorail eventually extends from the stadium to all the way Downtown, there are also talks in the works to add an underground subway line from the Las Vegas Aiport, long the casinos on the strip, and to Downtown which would be amazing. We can easily see the presence of the Raiders bringing in further development and new casinos along the Southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.
Stadium Address: 5480 Polaris Avenue. Stadium Website: Here.
5. Luxor Casino:
About The Luxor: The Egyptian-themed Luxor Casino with its iconic black pyramid is one of the highlights of any Las Vegas Strip walking tour. The resort opened in 1993 and is named after the city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) which was the capital of ancient Eygpt from 2055-1279BC. The resort has many Egyptian monument and statue replicas including a giant Sphinx at the entrance. 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. Known as the Luxor Sky Beam, the beacon uses 39 lamps and curved mirrors to create the strongest beam of light in the world rated at 42.3 billion candelas.
On the inside, the casino is a very large and extremely dim lit space which make you feel like you’ve stepped in ancient Egpyt. Because of the Luxor’s unique pyramid shape, the elevator has to move sideways inside to accommodate the angels. Which the vast open space it’s easy to see how the Luxor is the 6th largest hotel in Vegas and the 9th largest in the world. If you book ahead, you can get rooms here for as little as $39 a night.
Keeping up with the Luxor’s theme, we love the museum-quality replicas of King Tut’s tomb and Great Temple of Ramses II inside the casino. Since being remodeled in 2007, the Luxor has become known as a chic nightlife destination. Entertainment-wise the resort is home to shows by the Blue Man Group (website), magician Chris Angel (website), the comedian Carrot Top (website), and the striptease show Fantasy (website) which has been one of Las Vegas’ leading topless acts since opening in 2001.
Casino Address: 3900 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
6. Excalibur Casino:
About Excalibur: The Excalibur’s castle exterior with tons of towers and a huge drawbridge dominates the block. Whether you visiting during the day or while it is beautifully lit up at night, the exterior will make you feel like you are visiting the fabled castle of Camelot. While it is now just outside the top 10, when the Excalibur opened in 1990 it was the largest hotel in the worlds with 4,000 rooms.
One of the biggest draws to Excalibur is the timeless Tournament of Kings (website) jousting show. In the 900-seat theater, you eat Medieval-style with your hands as valiant knights ride mighty steeds and prove their chivalry amongst special effects and pyrotechnics. For some free shows, make sure to stop by the Court Jester’s Stage in Excalibur’s Medieval Village for some comedy.
While the Bee Gees Tribute Band (website) on Saturday nights is a huge hit, many people visit the Luxor for the not-so-family-friendly fun entertainment. This ranges from being insulted during dinner at Dick’s Last Resort (website) or some heat from Australia with Thunder From Down Under (website), the top-rated male stripper performance in Las Vegas.
Casino Address: 3800 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
7. New York New York Casino:
About New York New York: No casino facade on this Las Vegas Strip walking tour is as cool as the elaborate faux skyline of the New York New York Casino. Complete with skyscrapers plus replicas of the both the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge the property’s exterior will make you feel like you’ve arrived in the Big Apple. Opened in 1997, they spared no expense in creating the immersive New York theme both inside and out of the casino.
If you like thrill rides don’t miss The Big Apple Roller Coaster (website) at NYNY which zips amongst the skyscrapers at up to 67mph, with150 ft drops and negative G’s. The coaster is open 1030am-midnight and costs $14 for one ride or $25 for an all-day pass.
Inside the casino, the New York City theme continues with unbelievable Central Park decor. The center of the park is highlighted by The Bar at Times Square (website) which has the most entertaining dueling piano show in the country. Nea the piano bar, the Nine Fine Irish Men Pub (website) is one of our favorite places to hang out on the Las Vegas Strip. The bar has live Irish music, authentic food, the finest stouts, ales, lagers, and the entire pub was actually built in Dublin and shipped piece by piece to the casino. The Coyote Ugly Saloon (website) is like a live version of the popular movie with cowgirl bartenders revealing skin and dancing on the bar while showcasing their artistic pouring techniques. To us, the Coyote Ugly is a little cheesy and too packed with middle-aged dudes and we prefer to drink at the pubs on the main level of NYNY.
The casino is also one of the best spots behind the MGM Grand to do sports betting. A hidden gem inside the New York New York Casino is the Houdini’s Magic Shop where they give free magic trick demonstrations. Anyone interested in seeing the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil should check out the hit cabaret inspired show Zumanity (website).
Casino Address: 3790 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
8. MGM Grand Casino:
About The MGM Grand: The shiny green MGM Grand is truly a massive building with 6,852 hotel rooms which takes over 9,000 employees to run. When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the biggest hotel complex in the world (until 2006, still #4) and remains the largest single hotel building in the United States. While the size of the MGM Grand dominates your first impression, the property is best known for its entertainment, concerts, sports betting, and professional boxing matches.
The location was once the Golf Club Motel then the Marina Casino (1975-1990) before making way for today’s MGM Grand complex. As seen from the green exterior, the casino was originally themed after the Emerald City in MGM’s hit 1939 movie The Wizard of OZ. While the emerald facade remains, the MGM Grand has evolved to a theme more based around early-day Hollywood than any specific film. We love taking photos of the gigantic 45-foot-tall statue of MGM’s mascot Leo the Lion in front of the casino, which is the largest bronze in the United States. From 1999-2012 there was even a glass-walled live lion exhibit right in the middle of the casino.
Highlighting the entertainment line up at the MGM is the lavish Cirque du Soleil production KÀ (website). Other performances include the mesmerizing show by the Jabbawockeez (website) as well as the property’s nightclub club scene. The MGM also helped to re-define the Summer scene in Las Vegas with their award-winning pool parties at Wet Republic (website). The pool is amazing and has world-famous DJs, but we have found the huge crowds, long entrance waits, never-ending maze of lines, and countless checkpoint can make a visit to the Wet Republic super annoying unless you pay for VIP access.
One of the best free things to do on this Las Vegas Strip walking tour, especially with kids, is to visit the Television City (website) inside the MGM Grand. Run by CBS, it is an interactive research center where you get to practice being in front of the camera as well as watching free TV and Movie screenings from 10am to 8:30pm.
Casino Address: 3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Address: 3800 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
9. Aria Casino & City Center:
About Aria: What an amazingly classy property, fitting for a true city center! The elegant Aria Casino brings a dash of sophistication to the Las Vegas Strip with its sleek design and contemporary atmosphere. The resort is so clean and architectural modern that it almost feels futuristic compared to the rest of the hotels on our free Las Vegas Strip walking tour.
Opened in 2009, you won’t find many attractions at Aria as they more specialize in high-end accommodations. It feels like almost every room at the resort has a great view thanks to both the location in the center of the Strip and the exceptional design of Aria’s 61-story tall curvilinear glass hotel towers. The elegant towers create a cool mini-skyline of a very futuristic city.
Casino Address: 3730 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
10. The Cosmopolitan Hotel:
About The Cosmo: As you leave Aria, The Chandelier Lounge (website) inside the Cosmopolitan is multi-story visual wonder housing three unique bar experiences. Shimmering curtains of over 2 million beaded lights almost form a giant nest that is part architectural, part glamorous, and part work of art. The Cosmopolitan, opened in 2010, is also home to the very popular Marquee Nightclub (website) which runs one of Las Vegas’ best pool parties.
Like Aria, the Cosmopolitan also has a very elegant vibe in its hotel but it is a bit more affordable to stay here than the neighboring City Center. You’ll love how many of the rooms feature their own private terrace. One advantage of staying at the Cosmo is you can use and collect Marriot Points. It is a rare treat to benefit from any national rewards programs on the Strip as most properties are owned by either Casers or MGM.
Casino Address: 3708 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Marriot.
11. Paris Casino:
About The Paris Casino: We love this part of our free Las Vegas Strip walking tour as the next few properties give you a taste for Europe. You will bounce between resorts that will make you feel like you are on a grand tour of France, Itay’s lake district, ancient Rome, and even Venice. This mini-tour of Europe starts with the French-themed Paris Casino which has the most iconic exterior of any of the properties on the Las Vegas Strip thanks to their wonderful attention to detail.
We love the facade which feels like it was designed as a mashup of the Louvre Museum, Hotel de Ville, and Paris Opera House. It is impossible to miss the massive blue Montgolfier balloon with a Paris marquee rotating above the entrance to the casino. Make sure not to miss the 100-foot-tall two-thirds size Arc de Triomphe on the side of the Paris Casino near the balloon. The entire facade is majestically lit at night making it a must-see, especially from across the road when you can see it all at once.
The focal point of the Paris vibe is the 500-foot-tall half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, complete with an observation deck. To get to the observation deck you ascend 460 feet up a glass elevator for what has been considered the best view of the city. Housed within the exposed lattice of steel beams is the Chateau Bar which is one of the coolest clubs on the Las Vegas Strip.
The inside of the casino is a little dull although they have tried to make it feel like you are walking in an old French village of thatch-roofed houses. 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.
Casino Address: 3655 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Ceasars.
12. Bellagio Casino:
About The Bellagio: The world-famous Bellagio is a truly massive hotel which has been featured in many hit films including Ocean’s 11 & 12. Out of all the amazing aspects of this casino, the Bellagio Fountain Show (website) is the most spectacular. Taking place in the huge 8.5 acre mini-Lake Como facing The Las Vegas Strip, the shows feature hundreds of fountain spouts shooting water up into a dance choreographed to music. The free Bellagio Fountain Shows happen every 30 minutes starting at 8pm and speed up to every 15 minutes from dark till midnight.
Make sure to visit the inside of the Bellagio Casino also starting with the stunning lobby whose ceiling is literally a work of art. Covering a 30-by-70-foot section of the ceiling of the lobby are over 2,000 handblown Murano glass flowers make up a magical work of art called the Fiori di Como. The colorful installation was added by art Dale Chihuly in 1998 and is valued at over one million dollars. Near the lobby is another artistic treat inside the Bellagio called the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (website). The vast 14,000-square-foot floral garden it redesigned multiple times a year like an ever-changing dreamland.
Don’t miss the 27-foot-tall (8-meter) Chocolate Fountain at the Bellagio Patisserie (website) cascading an endless amount of liquid chocolate. If you are looking for a show, the Bellagio has one of the best with Cirque du Soleil’s “O” (website). This show combines a breathtaking 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. Before leaving the casino make sure to visit the pedestrian balcony facing the artificial lake as there are great photo opportunities of Paris and The Strip.
Casino Address: 3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
13. Caesar’s Palace Casino:
About 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.
Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Ceasars.
14. Cromwell Hotel & Drai’s Beachclub:
About The Cromwell: Very posh rooms that are quite affordable if you book ahead. Is also home to the rooftop Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub which is famous for its pool parties. Lot was home to a few motels from 1958 before becoming Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon (1979-2013, also called Barbary Coast) then reopened as the posh Cromwell Hotel.
15. The Flamingo Casino:
About The 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 Osmond’s, Donny and Marie Osmond perform here Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm.
Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Ceasars.
16. The Linq & High Roller:
About The Linq: Opened in 2012, The Linq is a large promenade and outdoor quad with great bars, shops, and restaurants. Prior to the construction of The Linq this area was home to a large motel (1959-78) then the oriental-themed Imperial Palace (1979-2012). We love that the new construction kept O’Sheas Irish Pub (website) alive which has been on this block since 1989 and is one of our favorite bars on this Las Vegas Strip walking tour.
The main attraction to The Linq is the High Roller (website) which at 550 feet tall is the World’s biggest Ferris wheel. That astonishing height is more than 100 feet taller than The Eye in London, England. There are 28 cars capable of holding 40 people a piece on the High Roller Ferris Wheel and a full circle takes 30 minutes. While cars are typically shared with other passengers you can pay to have a private cabin either for the romantic feel or to have a happy-half-hour with your friends including a fully stocked bar. Because the High Roller runs parallel to the Las Vegas Strip your cabin will double as moving observation deck with excellent views of the casinos, which is especially pretty at night. The Linq also has a 1,080-foot-long and 122-foot-tall zip line able to fly 10 people at once down the length of the promenade. This exciting attraction was made by the same company operating the Slotzilla zip line over Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.
Linq Website: Here. Property Company: Ceasars. High Roller Hours: Daily 11:30am-2am. High Roller Cost: Daytime $25 (kids 4-12 $10, 3 and under free); After 7pm $37 (kids 4-12 $20, 3 and under free); Open Bar add $15 (must be 21+ to ride in bar cabin). High Roller Tickets: There is no wait if you book a time slot in advance and you save $3 by booking ahead online anyway. They also have an anytime ticket where you pay a couple more bucks when booking online but only have to select the day then can show up anytime you want to skip the line for your ride. Can book here.
17. Harrah’s Casino:
About 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.
Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Ceasars.
18. The Forum Shops Mall:
About The 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 street-mosphere 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.
19. The Mirage Casino:
About The 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 highlight 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. If bars are your 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.
Casino Website: Here. Property Company: MGM.
20. The Venetian & Grand Canal Shoppes:
About The 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.
Casino Website: Here. Property Company: Vegas Sands.
21. Treasure Island Casino:
About Treasure Island: The massive pirate ship in front of the Treasure Island Casino is a great place to take photos. Until 2013 they had a live pirate show on the ship multiple times a day which was a huge hit, but unfortunately, they canceled it. The area is now used as a Señor Frogs Bar and Restaurant (Website). For a truly amazing show experience, try Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère (Website) show which happens in the theater here. The casino also has a Marvel Avengers Experience (Website) which is perfect for Iron Man fans. The exhibit is interactive, has a ton of movie props, full-sized Iron Man suits from the films, and has been called the Ultimate Super Hero Experience.
Casino Website: Here.
22. The Wynn Resort & Golf Course:
About The Wynn: 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.
Wynn Website: Here. Property Company: Wynn.
23. Fashion Show Mall:
About The Wynn: Started as the Pair-O-Dice Club in 1931 which was the 2nd outside the city limits along Las Vegas Boulevard after the Red Rooster (where the Mirage is now) which opened the year before. The Pair-O-Dice casino was one of a couple bought by Former LAPD Vice Squad leader Guy McAfee in 1938. McAfee had been the head of the LADP’s vice squad but also ran numerous saloons, nightclubs, and brothels which earned him the nickname the Capone of LA.
When gambling and prostitution became illegal in LA in 1938, McAfee moved to Las Vegas and took over numerous establishments. These casinos included the Pioneer Club and Golden Nugget in Downtown and others along Las Vegas Boulevard which McAfee called The Strip after the Sunset Strip in his hometown of Los Angles where he formerly ran the Clover Club.
The property was rebuilt as the New Frontier (1942-2007) Western-themed amusement village paying homage to the Silver City’s mining. One of the main attractions was the Silver Slipper Saloon strip show whose famous Slipper Marquee has been preserved in Downtown Las Vegas, The New Frontier hosted Elvis Presley’s first Vegas appearance in 1956, and the final performance of Diana Ross and The Supremes in 1970.
While Fashion Show has pretty much your run of the mill mall stores, the exterior is very modern and classy. The outside has a huge video wavy video screen that wraps around the exterior they have dubbed The Cloud. In the evening they sometimes show movies on the screen, but is many abstract high fashion clips.
Mall Website: Here.
Other Sights Near The Strip:
*From Circus Circus it is 3/4 to the core of the Strip, but if you go right there you’d miss out on…
24. Indoor Sky Diving: Ever wanted to skydive but are afraid of dying? If so, the safety of indoor skydiving 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 ease but make the experience even more enjoyable by getting you out of your comfort zone. They teach you how to move your 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.
25. Circus Circus: Great place to 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.
26. Stratosphere: Standing at 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 include admission to the top of the tower for $34 or $44 if you want an express front of the line pass.
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 underground testing bunker, a B53 nuclear bomb, nuclear testing tower, and chunks 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. 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 in the famous Bavarian beer hall Hofbräuhaus. At Hofbräuhaus you will experience live German music, great food, and huge glasses of imported Bavarian beer.
29. Palms: The palms used to be cool when it was first built and had a built a revival in the later years of Hugh Hefner, but is pretty lame today. To its credit, The Palms has a series of over-the-top fantasy suites that will blow you away, but you’ll have to leave the strip and be bored.
30. Downtown Vegas Walking Tour: The area around Fremont Street in Las Vegas is the real Downtown and heart of Las Vegas. This area was where the town originally got its next to the local train station in 1906 and continues to be an area you need to dedicate 1-2 full days to while visiting Las Vegas.
Read More: Downtown Las Vegas Walking Tour.