Las Vegas is the epitome of everything luxurious and bling!
With a resident population of about 2.1 million, Las Vegas hosts an average of more than 350,000 tourists daily – not a surprising fact, considering that this Sin City has something to offer for everyone. Las Vegas, or only Vegas, is a major resort city that is known for its gambling, dining, nightlife, and shopping.
Las Vegas is famous for The Strip which is dotted with casinos, luxury resorts, and hotels. It’s also known for its nightlife, theme parks, and live entertainment like the Cirque Du Soleil. With more attractions than you can count, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations on every bucket list.
Last year, my partner and I drove to Las Vegas from California and were able to spend a few days in this city that calls itself ‘The Entertainment Capital of the World’. I’m going to try my best to give you a list of things Vegas is famous for, especially including my favorite, not-to-miss bits!
1. The Strip
Would Vegas be Vegas without The Strip? I highly doubt it!
The Las Vegas Strip is a 4.2 mile or 6.8 km long stretch of land that is packed with hotels, resorts and casinos. It is a scenic route at night, and many tour operators offer helicopter rides at dusk or after. Vegas is also called the Neon Capital of the World, and much of this name has to do with the bright signs and digital displays advertising everything under the sun.
The Strip is home to major luxury hotel properties like the Bellagio, The Venetian Las Vegas and the Palazzo. Within most hotels are famous casinos, dining spots and shopping centers. But more on that later!
The Strip is also where you will see the architecture that Las Vegas is famous for. Paris is where you’ll see the replica of the Eiffel Tower, Excalibur for Medieval European castles, New York New York for a little taste of the Big Apple, The Venetian for Venice… The list goes on and on and needs to be experienced to be believed.
2. The Casinos of Las Vegas
I know a lot of people must be shaking their heads at the inevitability of this inclusion. But what is Vegas without its casinos!
On a rough estimate, there are more than 130 casinos in Las Vegas, the most famous ones being on The Strip. However, the largest one at the Golden Nugget is on Fremont Street, a street in downtown Vegas and possibly the second most famous street after The Strip.
Try your luck at the 51 casinos on The Strip, including the most famous one at the Bellagio. Sip a few drinks on the house, roll back your sleeves and get ready to test your luck, because if you travel to Vegas and don’t gamble a little, have you even visited Vegas?
3. The Buffets of Las Vegas
The buffets of Vegas are famous for their exhaustive range of food and drinks. If getting yourself in a food coma sounds like your thing, Vegas is going to make you very, very happy! Here are my top three.
Bacchanal Buffet, Caesar’s Palace:
USA Today ranks this buffet as the best in the world, and I can see why. The Bacchanal Buffet has one of the most extensive line-ups of food I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something because I am a professional chef and I travel for food!
Seafood, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, you name it, they have it. They also do multiple dishes cooked to order, so don’t for a second mistake this to be a run of the mill thing. Wear comfy shoes, because darling, you’re going to take multiple walks to try everything on offer!
The Buffet at Wynn
A massive array of choices makes me happy, and the Wynn Buffet satisfied all of my cravings and more! They have about 120 options premade and an average of 15 live stations.
Ranging from fried chicken to tacos, steak and seafood, this place has it all. My partner had to wheel me out after we had finished eating there. It’s a good thing I had worn drawstring pants that day! Hey, no judging me!
The Buffet at the Bellagio
Understated opulence, thy name is Bellagio! The Buffet at the Bellagio is very fitting with the rest of the hotel. The Bellagio is known for its creative display of luxury, and the food at their buffet is no different.
Of course, the caviar and bottomless champagne help propel this place to your list of favourites too. But really, come here on an empty stomach and don’t miss the venison and the crab legs.
4. Shopping in Las Vegas
What’s a holiday without some well-deserved shopping? Las Vegas is famous for its shopping and outlet malls. Some of the best and most famous malls to shop at are the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets and the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas. You will find most American and international brands here.
If you’re looking for one place to solve all your needs, try the iconic Saks OFF 5th, a place that offers up to 70% discounts off.
Just don’t be me and go to these places on Black Friday if you hate crowds!
Vegas is also famous for many upscale brands and the shopping centers inside the Venetian (the Grand Canal Shoppes) and the Bellagio shops are home to many luxurious and famous designer brands.
5. The Famous Fremont Street
As I mentioned earlier, this is probably the second most famous stretch in Vegas. Very touristy and always crowded, Freemont Street is home to casinos, drinking places, entertainment venues and souvenir shops.
While on Fremont Street, don’t miss the famous SlotZilla Zipline. Choose from flying seated across two blocks or flying superhero style across five blocks. Also, pause to take in the Viva Vision light shows. These run every hour and last about 5-6 minutes. These light shows are free and a not to miss attraction!
Fremont Street is a great place to wander around but if you want to get your senses tingling, go to the Golden Nugget and take their water slide through their shark tank. Of course, you’re not actually swimming through shark-infested waters, but instead, you’re on a clear slide about 30 feet long. This is a paid activity; rates depend on the day of the week.
6. The Fountains of Bellagio
I remember watching a video of the Game of Thrones tribute by the Bellagio Fountains and vowing to myself that I would see these fountains in person, someday. While I didn’t get to see their GOT version, I did manage to see the fountains, and I can personally vouch for their awesomeness (if that’s even a word!).
Vegas is well known for these fountains. The Bellagio Fountains run daily from 3 pm to midnight on weekdays and slightly longer hours on the weekends. They are free to watch and are absolute spectacles that will wow adults and kids alike.
Their themes vary according to what’s popular at the moment, but you can be assured that you’re in for a very stunning display!
7. The Old Las Vegas Sign & Some Gram-Worthy spots
Vegas is famous for its many spots to take great pictures. Whether you’re doing it for the gram or not, head to the following spots for some fantastic photo opportunities.
The Old Las Vegas Sign
Located in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, this place is iconic! Be warned though, this sign isn’t a shaded spot, and so the light will always be super bright. Come early and expect crowds, everyone wants their picture taken here. And if you miss out on this one, you can always cheat like I did and get your picture under a similar sign at the LinQ Promenade.
The Neon Museum
This place is located on 770 N Las Vegas Boulevard and is an outdoor museum with all the old neon signs used in Las Vegas. If you are interested in learning the history of this museum and the signs, guided tours are on offer. Otherwise, a general admission ticket is just as good if you’re only after some photos.
A Little White Wedding Chapel
Want to get married without leaving the comfort of your car? You heard me right. This little chapel has a big Elvis sign in front of it that makes it very popular on Instagram. Celebrities like Britney Spears, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have been married here!
Don’t forget to take a picture with a showgirl in Vegas. They are super nice and friendly and will happily oblige your requests to click a picture! Be generous and tip them if you can!
8. Las Vegas’ Stunning Architecture
Everyone knows about the faux Eiffel Tower, but what about the interiors of the Paris hotel? French and European eateries line the beautiful cobblestoned walkway inside. You might find yourself waiting in line for crepes at La Creperie or at the famous Le Village Buffet, but I can assure you that the experience and food are worth the wait!
The Venetian Canals are of course another remarkable space in Vegas and the indoor/outdoor gondola rides are a famous tourist attraction. The ride takes you down the Grand Canal, passing under bridges and balconies. This is a super romantic activity, especially if you’re traveling with your other half.
9. Vegas’ Nightlife
Las Vegas is famous for its many live shows, concerts and entertainment.
Famous singers and bands such as Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Aerosmith are well known for their Vegas residencies. There is always a music concert or live show on in Vegas. Take your pick among venues at major hotels and resorts like the Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace.
One of the most famous in Vegas is any show put on by Cirque Du Soleil. Their shows are a masterful blend of dance, acrobatics and lyrical theatre that will leave you spellbound!
If you’re after something a little more adult-oriented or if you’re out to celebrate a bachelorette, head to the Hard Rock Hotel and watch Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live. This show is undoubtedly one of the reasons Las Vegas is called Sin City!
And if you want to party the night away, there’s no place like Vegas. Choose from the dozens of fancy nightclubs around the city, such as Jewel at Aria Resort & Casino, Hakkasan at the MGM Grand and Omnia at Caesar’s Palace.
10. Vegas’ Theme Parks
While the effort to rebrand Vegas as a family destination was by and large, a disaster, Vegas still has some theme parks and adventure rides that will get your heart racing.
Prime among these venues is the Stratosphere Tower. This 900-foot-high tower is home to the SkyJump where, as the name suggests, you jump off the tower. If that isn’t enough to have your heart in your mouth, try the Big Shot freefall ride or the spinning Insanity ride.
Another popular destination is the High Roller in Las Vegas, which is currently the world’s largest Ferris Wheel. Each observation pod like cabin can also be upgraded to include a bar. Sunset views from the cabins are gorgeous and surely there aren’t going to be any complaints when there’s alcohol involved.
Another must-do is the Big Apple Coaster at the New York New York hotel. It runs daily from 1 pm to 9 pm and features a 180-degree “heartline” twist, dive and drop.
If you’re in the mood to cool off, head to Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas, a huge outdoor water park. With heaps of rides and slides, this will keep kids and their parents happy!
One destination that will keep the kids happy, is the AdventureDome inside the Circus Circus Hotel. The 25 rides on offer are a mix of daredevil rides and kiddie rides, so take your pick!
A holiday in Las Vegas is truly a once in a lifetime experience! Plan your holiday carefully because there are loads of things that this sprawling city is famous for!