Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Nevada
The Hoover Dam (originally known as Boulder Dam) is an inspiring symbol of American engineering, built during America’s Great Depression as the then-largest dam construction project in the world. Travelers have flocked here for decades to see picturesque views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River, and today, the dam receives more than 1 million annual visitors
Lined with Sin City’s top hotels and largest casinos, the glittering 4.2-mile (6.8-kilometer) Las Vegas Strip is the United States’ biggest adult playground. Look out for over-the-top architecture, revel in trendy nightclubs, take in dazzling shows and avant-garde performances, and sink forks into five-star dinners. Hotel highlights include iconic complexes such as Treasure Island, the Venetian, MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace.
The Grand Canyon’s West Rim, located just outside Grand Canyon National Park, is home to the vast Hualapai Indian Reservation and includes 108 miles (173 kilometers) of picturesque canyon views. The closest section of the canyon to Las Vegas, the West Rim is famous for the lofty Grand Canyon Skywalk, Guano Point, and Eagle Point.
Spanning four city blocks, the Fremont Street Experience is a massive outdoor mall and the site of Las Vegas’ very first freestanding casino building. Today, it hosts 10 different casinos with games and tables, plenty of restaurants, and free concerts and other live entertainment, with multiple performances staged each day. It’s also notable for its famous Viva Vision canopy, which projects thousands of different color combinations and images overhead.
Constructed in 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is an icon from the era of classic Vegas. Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, the neon landmark welcomes visitors driving into the city from the south on Las Vegas Boulevard, aka the Strip.
The Fountains of Bellagio in front of the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip are like many Sin City attractions: an over-the-top spectacle, but in a good way. The waterworks are synchronized with a changing playlist and light show, so visitors will never see the same show twice.
The South Rim is the most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park, boasting easy access to the canyon, the bulk of available amenities and services, and the panoramic vistas for which the natural wonder is famous. One of the most famous attractions in the American Southwest, the area offers breathtaking views over the Colorado River and the chance to immerse yourself in Native American culture.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk—a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed bridge that juts out 70 feet (20 meters) above one of America’s most scenic sites—is not for the faint-hearted. Situated 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) above the Grand Canyon, the panoramic West Rim and Colorado River views are undeniably fantastic though.
Standing 1,149 feet (350 meters) above the Las Vegas Strip, Stratosphere Tower is the tallest observation tower in the United States. From the top, visitors enjoy 360-degree views of Las Vegas from an observation deck, aboard thrill rides, or over a drink or meal at one of several bars and restaurants.
Carved over time by the Virgin River, Zion National Park is a remarkable 148,000-acre (59,893-hectare) stretch of white, pink, and red rock formations in southern Utah's canyon country. The state's first national park draws hikers, birders, and nature lovers with its cliffs and mesas, waterfalls and wildflowers, and varied wildlife from jackrabbits to condors.
More Things to Do in Nevada
The 550-foot rotating observation tower at the heart of LINQ in Las Vegas is far from your normal carnival Ferris wheel. Climb aboard the glass-enclosed pods—home to music and video displays, as well as thousands of LED lights—and admire the view from one of the world’s largest observation wheels as it completes a full 30-minute rotation.
It’s hard to believe that Sin City is only a few hours away from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, with dramatic and often surreal scenery of sharp craggy mountains, deep canyons, and desert basins. Coboldmprising the areas around Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, this recreation area attracts water sports enthusiasts, boaters, and nonboaters alike.
Downtown Las Vegas thrived as the city’s gambling district until the 1980s when new resorts and casinos pulled the crowds away from the area toward the Strip, the city’s main thoroughfare today. After a period of neglect, Downtown has seen revitalization over the past few years, transforming it into a Las Vegas cultural and entertainment hub in its own right.
The Grand Canyon is a humbling testament to nature’s power. Carved by the mighty Colorado River, this northwestern Arizona wonder is 277 miles (444 kilometers) long and more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. It’s no wonder Grand Canyon National Park is one of America’s most popular attractions, with over 6 million annual visitors.
The 195,819-acre (79,245-hectare) Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada comprises a network of narrow canyons, seasonal waterfalls, rock art sites, and surreal rock formations with ample opportunity for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and desert wildlife watching, all a short drive from Las Vegas.
The Colorado River is a spectacular sight to see, meandering for 1,447 miles (2,330 kilometers) with red rocks and canyons framing it on both sides, leading up to the Hoover Dam. The Colorado River is one of the major water sources for California and Nevada, and, not surprisingly, it's a major recreational destination—activities on the river include hiking, biking, rafting, and boating.
Bryce Canyon National Park showcases the red rock canyons and rugged horizon-stretching vistas that make Utah famous. With a variety of otherworldly geological formations, Bryce Canyon is an active traveler's playground, crammed full of pinnacles, steeples, spires, and hoodoos, which are thin eroded rock formations that reveal sedimentary layers of red, orange, and white.
The grand dame of the Strip, the Bellagio still seems new compared to the vintage hotels of downtown Las Vegas. The hotel and casino has been one of the city's top resorts since 1998, when it was the most expensive hotel ever built. Named after the Italian town on Lake Como, Bellagio is known for luxury in a city where over-the-top is the norm.
The driest desert in North America, the Mojave is home to Death Valley National Park, which is best known for its Badwater Basin, the lowest point on the continent at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level. The Mojave’s 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers) also encompass Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Mojave National Preserve, and more.
Located at the Circus Circus Resort, Adventuredome is one of the largest indoor theme parks in the country. Spanning 5 acres (2 hectares, it offers more than 25 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, thrill rides, children’s rides, midway games, an arcade, rock climbing, laser challenge, clown shows, and more.
Centrally located on the Las Vegas Strip, the LINQ Hotel and Casino provides all the requisite offerings—shows, bars, restaurants, shops, and even a comedy club—but what sets it apart are the Fly LINQ zipline and the High Roller, a 550 foot (168 meter) observation wheel opened as the world’s tallest in 2014 which offers on-board happy hour, yoga, and more.
When it opened in 1989, the Mirage Hotel and Casino ushered in a new era in Las Vegas marked by sprawling resorts with decadent themes—in this case, a Polynesian paradise. Home to the Siegfried & Roy show until it closed in 2003, the Mirage is still popular today for its animal attractions and erupting volcano.
The Venetian Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip recreates the romantic experience of a gondola ride down the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy. Travelers can glide down the replica canals under graceful bridges, passing striking architectural structures as well as the hotel's Grand Canal Shoppes in the duplicated Venetian streetscape.
A collection of boutique shops and eateries created from shipping containers, Downtown Container Park has become a favorite Las Vegas attraction since it opened in 2013. The open-air shopping center surrounds a courtyard with a play zone for kids and a stage that hosts live music and events.