10 Must-See Places On and Near the Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas is one of the most visited cities in the United States, with more than 41 million visitors each year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Whether you are looking to take a road trip or hop on a plane for a long weekend, there are plenty of attractions to see both in and around Las Vegas.
1. High RollerAlthough the High Roller may look like a regular Ferris wheel, it’s actually the world’s biggest observation wheel, towering 550 feet above the Las Vegas Strip, according to Vegas.com. This focal point at The LINQ Hotel and Casino is the current Guinness World Record holder for the largest observation wheel (also called a Ferris wheel). Riding it offers an unparalleled view of the city and surrounding mountains.
2. Hoover DamStanding at 726 feet tall, the Hoover Dam is a one-of-a-kind attraction. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Hoover Dam is 45 feet across at the top and more than 660 feet thick at the bottom. Every day, up to 20,000 vehicles drive across the top of the dam between Nevada and Arizona. The Dam has been dubbed “The Greatest Dam in the World” with over one million visitors each year according to the National Park Service.
3. Big Shot at the Stratosphere TowerThe Big Shot is one of many thrill rides at the Stratosphere Tower. The ride shoots thrill seekers 160 feet in the air at 45 miles per hour, according to Vegas.com. If an extreme ride is not your thing, you can simply enjoy the view while others scream from any of the other gravity-defying rides inside the amusement park atop the hotel.
4. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation AreaIn the mood for scenery or hiking? Red Rock Canyon is a 195,819-acre area located in the Mojave Desert, about 25 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. Known for its geologic beauty, the canyon includes 13 miles of scenic driving, 26 hiking trails and many climbing, camping and biking options.
5. Gondola Ride at The VenetianYou don’t have to go to Venice to enjoy the Grand Canal. The Venetian recreates the “City of Canals” on the Las Vegas Strip and transports guests aboard a gondola. This attraction removes you from the business of the Las Vegas Strip, and puts you into on of the most romantic cites on the world, according to Vegas.com. The ride also features a singing gondolier.
6. Chapel of the FlowersOne of the first wedding chapels on the Strip, Chapel of the Flowers is a renowned destination for lightning-quick nuptials. It has received numerous awards, including being a member of The Knot’s “Hall of Fame.” Lovebirds worldwide get married at this full-service wedding venue and can tie the knot in any of its three chapels, outdoor gazebo or glass garden. Photo by Wordtoyermom via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
7. The Wildlife Habitat at The FlamingoThe Flamingo Hotel is home to The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, a free family (and nature) friendly attraction where a flock of Chilean flamingos walks among hotel guests, making it a prime place to take photos and videos. Image courtesy of Ismaail Senung/Shutterstock
8. The Volcano at The MirageThe Volcano is an iconic Vegas attraction that boasts a simulated volcanic eruption, providing a free audiovisual spectacle. Shows take place at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday according to the Mirage website. When the volcano isn’t erupting, the structure serves as a serene waterfall.
9. Fountains of BellagioThe Fountains of Bellagio is an eye-catching treat outside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. A show begins every half hour from 3-8 p.m., and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight, according to Vegas.com. The fountains span an 8.5-acre lake and feature more than 1,000 nozzles that gracefully shoot water up to 460 feet in the air, according to Vegas.com. During each free show, a variety of songs from artists like Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson match the fountain’s perfectly choreographed water movements.
10. Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas SignIf Las Vegas boasts anything that’s recognized worldwide, it might be the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign, according to the Las Vegas Entertainment Guide. This 25-foot marker located on the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South is a popular place for photo opportunities.
Originally published August 2014.