If you are someone who believes in living life to the fullest, the one experience that you must have is a trip to Las Vegas. Gambling capital of the USA, Sin City, all these monikers don’t do justice because Vegas is much more than all that. Gambling, entertainment, shotgun weddings, thrills, spills – you name it and Vegas has it, and more.
With so much to choose from you may be wondering how you will pack all of it into the few days that you plan to be there. Here is a list of the top things that you must do when you are in Vegas. The list may just surprise you, because by the time you are at the end of it one thing you will know for sure – there is a whole lot of other things to do besides gamble at Vegas.
Watch the Fountains Dance
One of the most iconic spectacles that is an essential part of the Vegas landscape is the set of dancing fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. There are 1214 of them in all across a lake that is 8.5 acres and in front of the resort. The fountains spew jets of water 460 feet into the air every 15 minutes, from evening to midnight. And it does so to the tune of 30 different songs, from bands like the Rat Pack right down to Celine Dion.
The Bellagio Fountains are so integral to Vegas that they have been captured and immortalized on film, in the Hollywood blockbuster Ocean’s Eleven.
Leap off the Stratosphere
A leap of faith is a great thing, but if you want a healthy dose of adrenaline you would rather leap off the Stratosphere. At 829 feet this is the tallest building in Vegas and home to the Sky Jump, a controlled free fall that will see you plunging down from that massive height – drifting may be a better word – towards ground zero, literally. And if you don’t fancy a leap off the edge, there are other things to keep you screaming and swaying, including rides like Insanity: The Ride, Big Shot, and X-Scream.
Get Soaked in the Fremont Street Experience
You haven’t experienced Vegas in its entirety if you haven’t been part of the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street is downtown Vegas and home to the most sought after block party this side of the world. There is just too much to see, hear, experience and soak in, which is why it is called the ‘experience’ and has 19 million-plus visitors every year.
The first thing that gets your attention here is the giant projection screen, the 1500-feet long Viva Vision canopy. Armed with over 12 million LED modules and a 550,000 watt sound system, the light and special effects show on it every hour is something that you cannot afford to miss.
There are other acts as well, including 3 concert stages where artists perform. There are contortionists, artists, jugglers, and more, all making this a party you will never forget. There is food and drink of course, loads of it, at the bars, lounges, coffee shops and restaurants here.
Swim with the Sharks at the Mandalay Bay
This one will be right up your alley if you are a SCUBA-certified diver and love the feel of danger around you. Head to the mega-sized Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay. This is a 1,300,000-galon tank that is home to more than 2,000 animals, including 100+ sharks from 15 different species. The marine population here includes, apart from the sharks, sting rays, reptiles, different exotic fish, and more.
No fear, are these sharks tame? Don’t kid yourself.
The standout feature here is the Shark Tunnel. You get a chance to get in, actually get in, and swim with the sharks there.
Get Up Close with the Mob at the Mob Museum
Every one of us has heard, read about or watched films on the Mob in the USA at some point in our lives. Now get a chance to view exhibits and artifacts from the time of the mobsters in the country at the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, popularly referred to as The Mob Museum. The museum is located within a neoclassical building from the 1930s that was earlier home of the US Post Office and Courthouse.
You get to view and learn about the Mob and its activities when you are here, through a series of video clips and also interactive showcases. You get to see all kinds of exhibits when you visit the Museum, from an antique electric chair to a piece of the wall straight from the Valentine’s Day Massacre. This museum is not just about how powerful the Mob was back then; it is also equally about the way law enforcement was able to bring it to its knees.
And now it also comes equipped with a fully hands-on crime lab. You can also get a firearm training experience when you register with the casino.
Take a Trip to Hoover Dam
Physically, one of the most imposing structures in all of Vegas is the Hoover Dam, and with good reason – this structure stands tall in the path of the mighty Colorado River. The façade can be seen from far away – a 726-feet high curved structure in cement is hard to miss. It took 5 years to build and 21,000 men to do it, and the effort is there for everyone to see.
You can walk on the bridge atop the dam, take a guided tour or even get a look-in from a boat on Lake Mead below.
Other Interesting Things to Do in Las Vegas
Of course, there is a whole lot more to do, starting with a selfie at the Welcome to Fabulous Vegas sign that greets you as you enter Vegas. Soak in the atmosphere of the Disco era at Peppermill’s Fireside Lounge and then treat yourself to some of the most outstanding steaks around at what are considered the best steakhouses in the city. For those who love neon signage there is a special attraction in the form of the Neon Museum, which now comes complete with a virtual reality section.
Other attractions here include gondola rides at The Venetian, and other equally prominent hotels and casinos themed on other landmarks from around the world – the Paris Las Vegas with the Eiffel Tower on it, the erupting volcano outside the Bellagio and at least the Statue of Liberty just outside the New York-New York and many more.
And finally, when you are in Vegas you must gamble. After all, the highest paying slots are scattered along the strip. So head to any of the few high-profile casinos for a shot at some big wins in a fun, raucous and happy environment that is completely secure. These include big wigs like Caesar’s Palace, one of the oldest land-based casinos. Check out the action at the Bellagio while you are there, and then head across to view the largest gold nugget at the Golden Nugget casino.