10 Things to Do in Las Vegas in a Day

What is Las Vegas Most Famous For?

Las Vegas is variously known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, Sin City and America’s Playground. To a greater or lesser extent, it probably deserves all of those titles. The Nevadan city is famous for its casinos and its exotic nightlife. Virtually everything it does, it does it well and in supreme abundance, particularly if it’s leisure-related. The choice of things to see and do is verging on overwhelming, but we’ve picked out some of the absolute musts.


Start your day in The Arts District

Get a taste of local culture

Las Vegas is mostly about tourism, so it can be quite a challenge to find some local flavor. The Arts District, is a very good place to start. Centered around East Charleston Boulevard, near the Las Vegas Freeway, it’s a hub of local theatre and arts, some of which spill out of the indie galleries and onto the street. It’s one of the most color areas of the city, with murals on many walls. Head to The Arts Factory for a selection of unique shops and restaurants.

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photo by Paul K (CC BY 2.0) cropped, calibrated, blurred


Learn about the city’s history

From dinosaurs to organized crime

To say that Las Vegas has had a colorful past would be putting it very mildly. You can learn a lot about that past from a series of museums just a few blocks apart, slightly north of Downtown. Start at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum for a look at the prehistoric animals which once roamed the area. Then head south along N Las Vegas Boulevard to the Neon Museum. Here, you can see the vintage Vegas signs which once illuminated The Strip from the 1930s to the recent past. Finally, explore the darker side of Sin City at The Mob Museum and learn about the history of organized crime across America.

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photo by Wtstoffs (CC BY-SA 3.0) cropped, calibrated, blurred


Play a round of golf

Visit a land of enchantment near The Strip

Being an upmarket leisure destination, Las Vegas naturally has no shortage of golf courses. In fact, there are about 70 of them, with desert, mountain, parkland and links courses to choose from. Among the best is the Bali Hai Golf Club, which is right next to the ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign on S Las Vegas Boulevard. Designed to fit its namesake Indonesian land of enchantment, the par-71 course has some unique features, like an island green on the 16th hole.

Location: 5160 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

Phone: +1 888 427 6678

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Hit a Vegas buffet

High-quality delicacies in abundance

The dining scene in Las Vegas has to be seen (and tasted) to be believed. It’s probably the buffets which really stand out for the staggering variety of outstanding dishes on offer. Among the best options are The Wicked Spoon buffet at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, with noteworthy offerings in its Italian and Asian cuisine sections. The Bacchanal Buffet in Caesars Palace offers probably the best variety, with over 500 daily dishes, including vegan and gluten-free options. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, hit The Buffet at Wynn and check out the huge chocolate fountain.

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Ride the High Roller

One of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world

At a whopping 550 ft tall, the High Roller certainly offers some impressive views of The Strip and across a lot of Las Vegas. It takes about 30 minutes for each of the 28 pods to do a full revolution. Each pod can carry up to 40 people and, for an extra fee on top of the usual ticket price, you can get a personal bartender to join your journey. If you do, be sure to go to the restroom before you do because there isn’t one in the pod.

Location: 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2am

Phone: +1 702-322-0593

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Jump off the Stratosphere

Or just enjoy the view from the revolving restaurant

At 1,149ft tall, the Stratosphere Tower is among the tallest freestanding observation towers in the western hemisphere. Enjoying the view from the top with a nice meal at the revolving restaurant is certainly pleasant, but the unique attraction is the SkyJump. Possibly the scariest of the 4 thrill rides available, it allows you to basically jump off the tower and hurtle towards the ground in a controlled descent similar to a bungee jump, reaching speeds of up to 40 mph straight down.

Location: 2000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104, USA

Open: Sunday – Thursday from 10am to 1am, Friday – Saturday from 10am to 2am

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photo by Sahmeditor (CC BY-SA 3.0) cropped, calibrated, blurred


Watch the Fountains of Bellagio

An iconic free show on The Strip

The balletic display of the Fountains of Bellagio is as iconic as the sign welcoming you to Las Vegas. Over 1,200 nozzles in the 8-acre manmade freshwater lake spray jets up to 460 ft into the air in time to a selection of soundtracks ranging from Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” to "My Heart Will Go On" by Céline Dion. Barring any unusual weather conditions, there are shows every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes after dark.

Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

Open: Monday to Friday from 3pm to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, Sundays from 11am to midnight

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Must-See: Cirque du Soleil

Especially “O” at the Bellagio

There are actually several shows by the famous acrobatic troupe around Las Vegas, but O is perhaps the most remarkable. The special stage in the Bellagio transforms into a 1.5-million-gallon swimming pool in an instant, changing the performance from one of breathtaking acrobatics to a display of synchronizing swimming. Featuring 85 extremely talented performers, some of whom are former Olympic athletes, it’s a very memorable show.

Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

Phone: +1 888-488-7111

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photo by Michael Gray (CC BY-SA 2.0) cropped, calibrated, blurred


Experience Fremont Street

Zoom over the crowds on a zipline

Fremont Street was basically The Strip before there was a Strip. Part of it was known as Glitter Gulch because of the huge number of neon signs for casinos. The Fremont Street Experience is a covered pedestrian mall which spans the westernmost 5 blocks, including the Gulch. The impressive illuminated roof covers casinos, restaurants, bars and a lively atmosphere. Uniquely, you can soar over the street like a superhero on the SlotZilla Zipper Line.

Location: Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA

Open: 24 hours

Phone: +1 702-678-5600

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End your day on The Strip

America’s Party Central

You can’t really say that you’ve visited Las Vegas without visiting The Strip. Lined with exotic hotels and casinos, each containing outstanding theatres, bars, clubs, restaurants and more, this iconic stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard is one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the world. There’s even a bus service, which runs from Mandalay Bay up to the Fremont Street Experience, with stops at every casino along the way. However you want to enjoy yourself, whether it’s hitting the slot machines or the dance floor, you’ll find plenty of choice on The Strip.

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Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveler

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