The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (2024)

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See the Sphere, cheer on the Knights, and discover a world of diverse cuisine with the ultimate Sin City bucket list.


Rob Kachelriess

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (1)

All Time Greats is the ultimate city bucket list. Whether you're a local or a visitor, consider this the essential guide to getting the most out of Las Vegas. Looking for events happening this weekend? Check out our Las Vegas weekend guide.

Las Vegas is so much more than gambling these days. Winter’s cool temperatures provide a great opportunity to check out everything Sin City has to offer, from the hiking trails and foliage of the great outdoors to farms in unexpected corners of town and hot new attractions that are changing the landscape. So, we've compiled a list of all-time great activities to cross off your Las Vegas bucket list, with special consideration for seasonal preferences. Just make sure to fuel up for all-time great fun with all-time great restaurants and some of the best bars in town. A few are hidden (and at least one is really hidden), while others stake their reputations on great tequila or local beer. Long story short—there's way too much happening in Las Vegas to narrow it down, so consider this list a starting point for experiencing the diversity and ingenuity that make this community great.

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (3)

Best Winter Things to Do in Vegas

Check out new casinos and resorts

Multiple locations
It's always a big deal when a big casino resort opens in Las Vegas—and we had two show up within weeks of each other at the tail end of 2023. Durango, now the most identifiable landmark in the Southwest Valley, made a grand impression when it officially welcomed guests on December 5 with 200 rooms, an 83,000-square-foot casino, and outdoor tree-lined patios. Fill up on food at new restaurants like Summer House and Nicco's Prime Cuts & Fresh Fish or head to Eat Your Heart Out, which joins a growing list of food halls throughout Las Vegas. The long-delayed Fontainebleau finally opened on the Strip on December 13. The 67-story skyscraper has more than 3,600 rooms (including ultra-premium Fleur de Lis suites), a 150,000-square-foot casino floor, and an ambitious culinary program that includes two steakhouses (Don's Prime and Papi Steak), six Asian concepts (including Ito for 12-seat Japanese omakase tastings), and late night gem Azul with a menu soaked with tequila and mezcal.

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (4)

The Absolute Best Spots to Eat and Drink

North Las Vegas
There's a reason Broadacres Marketplace draws long lines by the front gate every weekend. The 22-acre park is an outdoor market, street fair, and carnival in one, featuring some of the most authentic Mexican food in Las Vegas. Sip away on a Michelada or Tejuino (masa, lime, ice, and sherbert in an intriguingly addictive drink) while ordering food from various food stands and food courts. Carnitas El Cuñado slow-cooks pork all morning to serve incredible carnitas with the meat, stomach, and skin all available. Mr. Papas fries potatoes in various forms while Machetes serves quesadillas straight off a large flat-top grill. Coco Loco has stands throughout the park, serving fruit platters, scratch-made horchata, and aguas frescas with no sugar added.


The Las Vegas version of Chinatown is a beautifully congested collection of Asian dining, whether it's dim sum or dumplings by restaurants like ShangHai Taste, China Mama, and Hong Kong Garden, the robata-grilled meats of Aburiya Raku, Thai and wine at Lamaii, or incredible Japanese omakase menus at Kabuto, Yui Edomae, and Kame. But the diversity of flavors covers all corners of the globe, so try the modern French of Partage, Spanish tapas of EDO, street tacos of Mas Por Favor, progressive Neapolitan pizza at 00 Pie & Pub, and the eclectic wood-fired combinations at Sparrow + Wolf. Chinatown has something for everyone—except easy parking—and the food is prepared by some of the best chefs in the city.

Classic Steakhouses

Multiple locations
Las Vegas has lots of great steakhouses, with Bazaar Meat, Jean Georges, Stripsteak, Scotch 80 Prime, Carverstreak, and Barry's Downtown Prime among the more contemporary favorites. Yet sometimes, it's more fun (and more "Vegas") to dine at a steakhouse with history and old-school charm. Golden Steer has been around 65 years and is only growing in stature with an expansion to a next-door space at the end of 2023. Book a seat at Frank Sinatra's favorite booth and order a feast of wet-aged steaks and stiff co*cktails. The Steak House at Circus Circus is like an old hunting lodge with a dry-aging room and open-flame mesquite grill in the center of the dining room. The restaurant just introduced a new hanging Tomahawk with torched butter running down the cut and dripping into a side of potatoes for extra flavor. Beyond the Strip, there's Hugo's Cellar (where every lady receives a rose, making it one of the most romantic spots in town) and Bob Taylor's Ranch House, once a private home in the 1950s that threw wild parties in the Northwest Valley during a time when there was just desert and little else around it.

Downtown Arts District

A small pocket of Downtown known for second-hand shops and art galleries is now one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods for dining and drinks in Las Vegas—without a major corporate chain in sight. James Trees' Esther's Kitchen helped raise the profile of the Downtown Arts District with seasonally driven, farm-fresh Italian and is getting ready to expand to a larger space next door on February 29. You'll also want to try the steaks at Main St. Provisions, barbecue at SoulBelly, sushi at Yu-or-Mi, pizza at Good Pie, pastries and bread at 1228 Main, wine at Garagiste and co*cktails at Velveteen Rabbit. There's even Bjork, a caviar bar for sit-down tastings. The Arts District overlaps with Brewery Row, with local beer makers and taprooms on almost every corner.

The High Roller observation wheel is one of the best ways to soak in the scenery of Las Vegas, with large standing-room cabins that reach 550 feet in the air while taking a good 30 to 40 minutes for a full rotation. Don't spend all that time without a drink in your hand. Guests are welcome to book a private bartender and open bar in advance with special Happy Half Hour tickets, which begin at $60.

Multiple locations
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours knows how to do culinary crawls the right way. The company teams up with top restaurants to offer the dishes and drinks you really want to try—all at one price without a wait for tables. Guided tours include the Venetian/Wynn (Afternoon Culinary Adventures), Aria/Park MGM (Savors of the Strip), Downtown (Fremont East or the Arts District), and an indulgent Ultimate Steakhouse Tour at properties on the Strip. Along the way, you'll see a few sights and receive some info and fun facts about each destination. You can even include a helicopter tour to cap off a meal. The company also operates Finger Licking Foodie Tours with more casual, self-guided excursions at Tivoli Village, Green Valley Ranch, Chinatown, and other locations. Keep your eyes peeled for sporadic, special-event tours that focus on one style of food, such as barbecue restaurants or pizza joints.

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (5)

The Best Outdoorsy Things to Do in Vegas

The Fremont Street Experience remains an always fun and sometimes weird Downtown tourist destination, combining bright neon lights and iconic imagery (like the Vegas Vic smoking cowboy marquee) with popular attractions like the Slotzilla zipline and overhead high-def Viva Vision video canopy. At some point, grab a beer at Hennessey's Tavern, play the only Sigma Derby horse racing game at The D casino, and sit down for dinner at Vic & Anthony's. Step inside Circa, the largest resort in Downtown Vegas (if you're 21 or older—no kids allowed), and check out the world's largest sportsbook, Barry's Downtown Prime steakhouse, or The Legacy Club, a rooftop lounge with views of both the Strip and Downtown. Drink your way down Fremont Street (and check out live music on multiple stages) with the Royal Crawl, an app that guides participants to six different bars at three different casinos with beer, wine, or a co*cktail included at each stop.

The Bellagio fountains are one of the most iconic sights in Las Vegas. More than a thousand nozzles shoot water up to 460 feet in the air in a fascinating display of light and sound. Shows occur every half hour (or every 15 minutes at night). Walk over to the resort lobby and check out another free attraction, the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, with a installations for each season and Lunar New Year.

Mt. Charleston
Last year was rough for Mt. Charleston, with rain from Hurricane Hilary causing extensive damage throughout Clark County's tallest peak. Fortunately, Lee Canyon Road is back open, and the Lee Canyon Ski & Snowboard Resort opened on schedule for the winter season. New this year: a Ponderosa quad chairlift on the mountain's southeast side with easier access to three intermediate runs, expanded parking and a conveyor lift for the Rabbit Peak bunny hill, and the Power Pass, which also offers access to Utah's Brian Head and the Arizona Snowbowl, two ski resorts within driving distance from Las Vegas.

Nye County
The place formerly known as the Nevada Test Site isn't your ordinary tourist spot. It's a fully operational military base north of Las Vegas that unleashed nearly a thousand atomic bomb tests in the desert between 1951 and 1992 and still conducts plenty of secretive stuff with the latest drones and weapons. Tours are only available once a month (and get snatched up quickly) but are a fascinating look at Nevada's role in Cold War history. The all-day bus tour includes stops at abandoned equipment; houses, bridges, and bunkers built to see how they'd hold up to a nuclear blast; and a surprising number of craters from underground tests, including the largest manufactured crater in the United States. If you have trouble booking online, become a member of the Atomic Museum and get a shot at signing up for a less competitive VIP tour.

There are lots of weird museums in Las Vegas, but the Neon Museum is the only one that's almost entirely outdoors. Roam the grounds of the Neon Boneyard and North Gallery for a look into Vegas history with preserved and restored signs and marquees from Vegas casinos, resorts, and other businesses. Come at night for Brilliant!, a sound and projection mapping show that appears to bring featured items in the collection back to life.

Moapa Valley
When it comes to hiking and rock climbing in Las Vegas, there's usually one problem: It's too damn hot. So take advantage of the mild winter temperatures to thoroughly explore Valley of Fire, a state park famous for its dramatic red, white, and pink sandstone rock formations. You'll see the Mars-like terrain of Rainbow Vista, ancient petroglyphs at Mouse's Tank, and a leftover Western movie set near White Domes.

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (6)

Shows, Sports and More Can't-Miss Entertainment in Vegas

Off the Strip
What a long, strange trip it's been. AREA15 debuted in 2020 as a beautifully bizarre warehouse of art installations and attractions, anchored by Meow Wolf's Omega Mart, best described as a grocery store on acid with a company tour of the fictional corporation behind it. Over three years, AREA15 has grown beyond its initial space to include Illuminarium (where outer space and African safaris come to life with video-projection walls and 4D effects), the Lost Spirits Distillery and its bucket-list dinner experience, and the Liftoff co*cktail lounge, which elevates guests 130 feet in the air for 365-degree Vegas views. AREA15 is only getting bigger with a 20-acre expansion in the works that will include a year-round horror-themed attraction by Universal Studios.

The Beverly Theater is a mixed-use space for independent film, music, and other art-focused events. The main attraction is a high-tech 146-seat theater that's fully sound-insulated and adaptable for multiple purposes with retractable seats and a 360-square-foot screen that can adjust for fun stuff like specialty aspect ratios. Movies are usually just $10, ranging from the latest independent films to cult-classic favorites. Picks are often seasonal. (October, for example, saw classic horror films all month long leading up to Halloween.) Hang out in the courtyard or enjoy live open-air jazz on the upstairs terrace. The Beverly Theater operates as a nonprofit under the Rogers Foundation and is a companion piece to the neighboring Writer's Block bookstore.

The Strip
FlyOver Las Vegas takes customers on simulated hang-glide rides over the Wild West, Iceland, and the Canadian Rockies. High-def images come to life on towering big screens, capitalizing on motion, sound, wind, and scent for an indulgent multi-sensory experience. The attraction was created by the same engineering team behind Soarin' at Walt Disney parks and is a dramatic improvement on the concept with enhanced effects and a smoother, expanded axis of mobility in the seats. Fans attending Vegas Golden Knights home games at T-Mobile Arena can park for free at FlyOver with a purchase of at least one flight ride.

The Strip
Yes, the Sphere. Of course, the Sphere. It's always great when new attractions over-promise and then over-deliver in Las Vegas. The Sphere completely changed the game for entertainment in Las Vegas after making its debut last year, whether viewing Darren Aronofsky's Postcard from Earth (with discounts for late-night screenings) or rocking out to U2, which added dates to extend its residency to the beginning of March. The Irish rock band is still in top form, basing much of the setlist around its 1991 album Achtung Baby with a rousing greatest-hits encore and series of immersive 16K worlds on a massive wraparound backdrop. Even if you can't afford to go inside, the venue's 580,000-square-foot digital exosphere is a show all by itself.

The Strip
Yeah, Wayne Newton has a special place in our hearts, but the Golden Knights are the most endearing hometown "residency" for locals in Las Vegas. Unlike the Raiders, the A's knocking on our door, or even the Aces, the Knights were born and bred here, giving the community a special sense of pride that couldn't come at a better time. There's nothing like the atmosphere of a home game at the T-Mobile Arena, with the new season already off to a great start for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

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Rob Kachelriess is a full-time freelance writer who covers travel, dining, entertainment, and other fun stuff for Thrillist. He's based in Las Vegas but enjoys exploring destinations throughout the world, especially in the Southwest United States. Otherwise, he's happy to hang out at home with his wife Mary and their family of doggies. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.

The 18 All-Time Greatest Things to Do in Las Vegas (2024)


Is Las Vegas fun for 18 year olds? ›

The Fremont Street Experience is like one big block party that never ends, and it's one of the best things to do in Vegas for those under 21 and over 18. Because you can't put an age limit on a sidewalk, those over 18 can experience all of the antics Downtown Vegas has to offer until morning.

What is the Golden Age of Vegas? ›

However, the 'Golden Age of Las Vegas' is regarded as the years between 1930 and 1960 when the city truly began to gain attention. This is when Las Vegas started to truly build its image and reputation into the well-known city it is today.

How to have the best Las Vegas experience? ›

The New Las Vegas Experience
  1. Go With a Boutique Hotel. The major hotels that line the Strip are among the most iconic in the world. ...
  2. If You're Gonna Gamble, Do It With a Crowd. ...
  3. Eat Well — The Right Way. ...
  4. Skip the Club and Pool, Catch a Show.
Nov 14, 2023

What is Vegas most famous street? ›

Known officially as Las Vegas Boulevard, the Las Vegas Strip is the most recognizable street in Las Vegas.

Can 18 year olds drink with parents in Vegas? ›

The legal drinking age in Nevada is 21. This means that minors under the age of 21 are not allowed to consume alcohol, or even to possess alcohol unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Unlike other states, Nevada does not prohibit public intoxication or purchasing alcohol on Sundays.

Can an 18 year old go to Vegas casino? ›

Reminder: Per Nevada law, you must be 21 years or older to gamble.

How much money do you need for Vegas for 3 days? ›

Planning Your Las Vegas Trip Cost: How Much for 2 Nights & 3 Days
Food & Drink3 days of meals and drinks for two adults$500
EntertainmentShow tickets and attractions for two adults$400
SouvenirsShopping and gifts$100
3 more rows
Apr 25, 2024

What is the most popular strip in Las Vegas? ›

Las Vegas Boulevard, the street the Strip lies along, is sprawling in itself, stretching nearly 3 miles from end to end, with the Stratosphere Tower on one end and the MGM Grand on the other. It's the home of the famed "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.

Why is Fremont Street so popular? ›

Fremont Street was a busy travel route, with Las Vegas' first train station just a few steps away, so it catered to travelers looking for a place to relax and unwind. As the city grew, so did Fremont Street. The iconic street was home to the first casino and the first telephone line in the city.

Can 18 year olds go to clubs in Vegas? ›

While other cities in the U.S. may have nightclubs that allow people under the age of 21 to enter, Las Vegas is not one of those locations. All of the nightclubs in Las Vegas are 21 and up. If you are under 21 and are thinking of using a fake ID to get in, please don't.

Is 18 considered an adult in Las Vegas? ›

In Nevada, as in all states, you are considered to be an adult at age 18. This is also known as the age of majority.

Are there any clubs in Vegas that are 18+? ›

18 year olds may have to show identification for certain 18+ festivals and shows. There aren't any 18 and older nightclubs in Las Vegas, so if you want to get into a nightclub you will need to be 21 years old with a valid ID.

What can you do at 18 in Nevada? ›

What is The Age of Majority in Nevada?
  • right to serve on a criminal or civil jury.
  • right to vote.
  • right to get married (learn more about marriage age requirements in Nevada)
  • right to enter into a contract that cannot be voided because of the person's age.
Jan 14, 2019


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