Las Vegas Fun Things to Do
Las Vegas has so many fun things to do. Its nickname should be Fun City rather than Sin City. It is so easy to spend a week in Las Vegas and not do all the fun things there are to do. On top of that, many of the fun things to do in Vegas are free which is great for the budget traveler.
This page is long and has a number of sections. You can use the Table of Contents at the top of the page to go directly to the section you want. The page starts with the ultimate top 6 fun things to do in Las Vegas. The next section is the top 10 fun things to do that are free, followed by the section of 8 Las Vegas pay fun things to do. All in all, that is 24 top fun things to do in Las Vegas. I am sure that you can find another dozen fun things to do in Las Vegas on your own. The last section lets you in on the insider tricks that allow us to spend 2 weeks in Las Vegas for $80 and we answer the top 4 questions that people ask after the #1 question, ‘What fun things are there to do in Las Vegas’. Finally we have gathered all our curated booking sites so you can book your whole trip right from this page. Viva Las Vegas!
The Ultimate Top 6 Things to Do in Las Vegas
1. Explore the Casino Resorts
The Casino Resorts in Las Vegas are attractions onto themselves. It will take you days, even weeks to see and appreciate them all. They all have something to see and they each have an attraction. Whether you are exploring CityCenter on the Strip or Binions downtown, there is something worthwhile to see. The casino floors are huge and the sights are located off these floors. Many of them, like the Venetian, have secret nooks where a modern Phantom of the Opera could take up residence.
To make the most of your casino visit have a plan. Do a little research. Just in the core of the Strip exploring the CityCenter, the Bellagio, Caesars, the Mirage, the Venetian and the Wynn/Encore will take you three or four days to explore on their own. Check out the attractions and events being held at each. Spend a couple of hours or more in each. Walk a bit, sit a bit and admire the extravaganza of each. Don’t overdo it. Be a slow traveller and only do one or two casinos a day; this way you will appreciate what each casino has to offer.
Las Vegas is not just the Strip and Fremont. There are Casino Hotels like Sam’s Town out on Boulder Highway with their own attractions. South of the Strip is South Hotel and Casino and the M Resort and Spa; North is the Alliante Casino Hotel; West is the Red Rock Casino Resort; and the list goes on. You will have to take a lot of trips to Las Vegas in order to see all the different Casino Hotels so plan your exploration carefully.
2. Pools and Spas
Las Vegas has fabulous outdoor pools open from March to October. Some like the MGM, the Cosmopolitan and the Venetian are open year round. One of my favourite pools is at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. It is a large pool with a large apron that is generally quiet compared to the party pools. Many of the casino pools like the Flamingo and The Cromwell, have afternoon and evening beach parties.
Pools have become a big draw for Las Vegas. In the past few years a number of private party pools have opened. A number of hotel/casinos like the Mirage, the Wynn and the Cosmopolitan have European styled adult pools . Women are generally free and men pay an admission fee. These pools rent cabanas that come with bottle service with a charge of $350 to $575 a bottle. Click here for a list of some of the best pools in Vegas.
Each Casino Resort has a work-out facility and spa. Some are only functional but others like the MGM Grand are a wonderful oasis from the constant noise of the casinos and roads. The work-out facility in the MGM is awesome with all the cardio and strength machines you could want. The cardio machines overlook the pool area behind floor to ceiling tinted windows. They are a great way to spin or run for your time and people watch. Staff bring you chilled beverages and towels.
The change area has a steam room and a cold dunk pool. There is a relaxation area that is warm and comfy where you can lounge and watch silent TV, read magazines or have a nap. The shower area has complete toiletries for shaving and grooming. After showering and drying off, staff come and towel your feet then rub them with talcum powder. Massages and facials are available. It is a calm and relaxing way to spend two or three hours.
Many of the casinos allow non-guest to use their pools. Some are free and some charge an admission fee. Click here for an extensive list of pools and fees. We generally stay at one on the Caesars properties – Rio, Paris, Bally’s, Linq, Harrah’s – and they allow you to use the other property’s pools.
3. Food and Restaurants
More than 40 celebrity chefs from all over the world have signature restaurants in Las Vegas. There are currently 10 Michelin-star restaurants, along with casino buffets, chain restaurants, and small family restaurants of all sorts including diners and ethnic restaurants. There is something for every budget.
Many of the smaller casinos like Silver Sevens and Ellis Island have daily food specials where you can get a rack of ribs for $17 or a great 10 oz. steak and 20 oz. beer for $15. Or, you can experience the Tasting Menu at Joël Robuchon for $425. Dinner for two with wine and tip is going to cost you $1200. You can also get great room service in Vegas. We had one of the best dinners ever from room service at the Vdara. The dinner included a white tablecloth and flowers.
We have favourite restaurants that we eat at on the strip. One of them is Maggione’s in the Fashion Center Mall. We generally reserve a table at the window that looks down the strip with all the lights of the casinos. The prices are very reasonable for an upscale restaurant with pasta dishes under $20. The portions are so large that you can share entrees or you can take a box of leftovers home. We love their $3-$6 Happy Hour on Mondays to Fridays from 3-6 pm.
One of our favourite Happy Hour places is P.F.Chang in Planet Hollywood next to Paris on the Strip. I usually stop in there around 4 pm after spending the afternoon at the Paris pool. Happy Hour is from 3-6 pm and features drinks for $4 and appetizers for $5. A very reasonable casual restaurant is Ocean One in Planet Hollywood. Most items are $4.99 with three alcoholic drinks for $10. There is an overwhelming number of Happy Hour specials all over Las Vegas. Click here for a list of some of them.
4. Las Vegas Shows
At any time there are over 100 shows going on in Las Vegas. From acrobats to puppets, top name concerts from Cher, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Elton John and various pop and rap stars, live theatre, comics, and show girl acts. There are so many shows that in over 40 visits to Las Vegas I have not seen them all and we usually go to at least two shows each visit. There is something for every budget; from free to over $200 a ticket. Check here for venues.
The best place to get half price tickets for many of the shows on the day of the performance is at Tix4Tonight. They have 9 locations on the strip where you can buy discount tickets with up to 50% off for shows and food. You can now also book by phone.
While the day of casino lounges with top name acts like Frank Sinatra is a thing of the past there are a number of casinos that have free entertainment like Big Elvis and country bands at Toby Keith’s in Harrah’s or POP 40 at Cleopatra’s Barge in Caesars. The list of acts in Vegas is always changing. Here is an updated list of free acts.
5. Las Vegas Nightclubs
The Las Vegas showroom have given away to spectacular world class night clubs that attract a young crowd. Vegas has become the place to go for bachelorette and bachelor parties, girls and guys weekend away, weddings, birthday and family reunions. Young people want to go out and party and there is no shortage of places to party in Las Vegas.
Most of the major casino/hotels have multimillion dollar nightclubs. Some of the better nightclubs are at the Wynn, Venetian, Cosmopolitan, and the MGM Grand. Acts from DJs like The Chainsmokers get the party going. Things change rapidly and routinely in Las Vegas. Check out this nightclub guide for the latest information.
Entrance fees vary from venue to venue, from night to night and from hour to hour. Make sure you get your tickets in advance because you will probably pay more at the door. Generally women pay $10 to $30 and men pay $30 to $60. Drinks run between $15 to $30 depending on the nightclub. Bottle service runs about $400 per group of four. Service is generally top notch.
You could also try to get on a free guest list to the club. This can be done through a promoter that works for the club or you could use an on-line site like Free Vegas Club Passes. There is no charge for the service. It will get you in for free or a reduced price and it will allow you to bypass the general admission line. Free and no admission line. That is the budget slow travel way.
Regardless of which club you go to and how much you pay, make sure that you check out current reviews on the club. A hot club today can be rejected tomorrow.
6. Las Vegas Shopping
Top 4 Shopping Malls in Las Vegas
You can shop until you drop in Las Vegas. It would take weeks to go to all the stores in the various areas of Las Vegas. These four top malls are our favourites. Click on the blue headings for their websites.
With over 2 million square feet and 250 stores the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip across from the Wynn attracts over 13 million shoppers a year. There are weekly runway Fashion Shows with all the latest fashions, live music and dancing. When you get hungry there are over 30 restaurants to choose from; two of our favourites are Maggione’s and RA Sushi Bar that both have great Happy Hour specials. Anchoring the mall are eight major department stores. It opens at 10 am.
This is by far the better of the two outlet malls. The North and South malls are not the same no matter what you read. The North Outlet Mall has over 180 brand stores with savings of 25-90% off. It is located just off the Downtown area of Las Vegas. It is our favourite place to shop. I make a bee line to the Izod store that has deep discounts. The latest shirts and pants go for as low as $10 and then they give you discounts on your sales receipt for your next visit. It is an outdoor mall with a good layout. There is onsite parking but it can get crowded. Make sure you go in the morning before the heat and the steady stream of shuttle buses from the casino hotels begin arriving. It opens at 10 am.
Over 150 upscale shops in the Grand Canal are located within the Venetian Hotel and Casino. The Grand Canal is a miniature replica of Grand Canal in Venice. You can even take a gondola ride although it is no way like a gondola ride in Venice. There are over 15 sit-down restaurants to choose from overlooking the Grand Canal. Most have great Happy Hour specials like a free drink with the purchase of an appetizer. Throughout the Grand Canal there are “Streetmosphere” singers, actors and performers providing entertainment as you stroll and shop. The mall shops open at 11 am but the Grand Canal opens at 7 am so you can quietly stroll and appreciate the quarter-mile architectural wonder.
Attached to Caesar’s Palace the Forum Shops opened in 1991. With 150 mid and luxury stores, restaurants and entertainment, it is the highest grossing mall per square footage in the US. It brings in more cash than Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The mall is built in a Roman style. I love the ambiance created by the painted sky ceiling changing from daylight to night every hour.
There is an animatronic show called ‘The Fall of Atlantis’ where statues come to life every hour on the hour beginning at 11 am. Close by is the 50,000 gallon aquarium. The entrance from the Strip with the curved escalator is spectacular and not to be missed. If you only go to one mall on your trip to Las Vegas, make sure you go to this mall in the centre of the Strip.
What Else Is There To Do In Las Vegas?
Top 10 Free Activities For You To Do in Las Vegas
The first three free activities are at the Bellagio. To do all three and spend the time to appreciate them I would give myself at least two or three hours. If you are going to do all three at the same time you might want to have a drink and a bite to eat along the way. There are a number of restaurants that have great views of the fountains. These include these expensive eight restaurants at the Bellagio or you can go across the street to Mon Ami Gabie at Paris.
1. Bellagio Fountains | 11am-12am
The Fountains of Bellagio is a remarkable symphony of water, lights and music on the 8.5 acre lake in front of the Bellagio. The fountains have been awing viewers since 1993.
The show plays on the hour from 3 pm to 7 pm during the week and begins at 11 am on the weekends and holidays. From 7 pm to midnight the show runs every 15 minutes. Shows may be cancelled due to weather.
A specialized team of 30 people ensure that the 1200 fountains shoot 17,000 gallons of water 460 feet into the air over 30 times a day. There are also 4500 lights to maintain.
Check out this Bellagio web page for the current schedule and songs being used. There are links to make dining and room reservations for views of the fountains.
2. Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden | 24 hrs
3. Bellagio Glass Art Ceiling | 24 hrs
Fiori di Como is a beautiful floral glass art that hangs from the ceiling in the reception area of Bellagio. It is made up of 2,000 hand blown flower blossoms that weigh 40,000 pounds and covers 2,000 square feet of ceiling.
Dale Chihuly was commissioned by Steve Wynn in 1998 to make the art piece for $10 million. Since then it has been seen by 15,000 people a day. People sit and look up at the art piece by the hour.
I have sat and looked up at the Fiori de Como for a long period of time during a slow time when there were not many people in the reception area. The area can get very busy and loud; not the atmosphere you want to appreciate art. Go later in the evening or early morning if you want to sit and appreciate the art.
4. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat | 8am-8pm
The habitat is 15 lush acres on the Flamingo property. It contains Chilean flamingos, swans, ducks, turtles, pelicans and koi fish.
The habitat is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm. It is a beautiful space surrounded by waterfalls, streams and ponds that removes you from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. You can just sit and enjoy the scenery.
There are lots of photo opportunities as you stroll through the grounds.
5. Gambling Lessons | 10am-7pm
Many casinos offer free gambling lessons. The instructors keep things light and are very good at teaching newbies. You can even take lessons if you are seasoned gambler and want to learn a new game.
There is a lot to learn about gambling and the lessons are fun. This is a good way to learn how to play the game, the jargon of the game, and the ins and outs of the game.
The lessons are popular so make sure you get there early. Here is a list of casinos that offer lessons along with the times and games they teach.
6. Caesar's The Fall of Atlantis | 11am-11pm
The Fall of Atlantis is an animatronic pyrotechnic spectacle in the Caesar’s Forum Shops. It must appeal to the kid in me because many adults think it is cheesy.
The first time I saw the original Atlantis statues (this is the new version) I was taken back when Zeus came to life and began speaking in a big booming voice and the other marble looking statues came to life. I thought it was amazing.
Shows begin at 11 am and are every hour on the hour until 11 pm; midnight on Saturday.
While you are are at that end of the Forum, spend some time at the 50,000 gallon salt water aquarium. It is full of various fish including puffer fish, flounders and sharks. Feeding time is at 3:15 pm and 7:15 pm.
7. Mirage Volcano | 8pm-11pm
The volcano has been erupting at the Mirage since 1989. Every night it erupts on the hour from 8 pm to 11 pm The show lasts for about 5 minutes.
You can feel the heat and the ground rumble as the 54 foot volcano erupts with 150 flames shooting 12 feet into the air. The eruptions are choreographed with a driving percussion based sound track and sound effects.
The best place to see the eruption is either from the Strip or from the Mirage Valet area. There are generally less people there than on the Strip.
8. Fremont Street Experience | best at dark
Glitter Gulch is the nickname for Fremont Street located in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas. The street has a lot of milestones including being the first street paved in 1925 and the first gambling license in 1931.
Here you will find the original casinos of Las Vegas like the Golden Nugget and the Binion. Gaming, food and beverages are cheaper here than on the Strip.
The Fremont Street Experience opened in 1995. It is a barrel canopy that is 90 feet high and 4 blocks long. The canopy is a digital screen that displays a variety of shows to music through 220 speakers with 550,000 watts of amplification.
The street is pedestrian only and has ongoing performers with three performing stages. It can get a little crazy at times, especially Saturday night.
9. Wynn Lake of Dreams | night
The Wynn’s signature water attraction. The spectacular water and multimedia experience takes place on the 3-acre lake using a 90 foot waterfall, 1500 Pine trees, 5,500 LED lights and a driving music score that becomes the backdrop to sensational visuals.
Shows are every half hour beginning at dusk. The best place to view the show is at the lounge Parasol Down. You take the spiral escalator down from the main floor through a forest of colourful parasols down to the lake level. You can also watch it from Parasol Up on the main floor.
10. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign | 24 hours
One of the most photographed icons in Las Vegas. Located at the South entry to Las Vegas the sign was designed by Betty Willis, an employee of Western Neon, in 1959. She passed on May 5, 2015 at age 91. That day was officially proclaimed “Betty Willis Day” by Clark County commissioners.
The sign is 25 feet high. It is an elongated diamond shape with rounded corners on the side. The circles at the top represent silver dollars and Nevada’s nickname, “The Silver State”. The sign is owned by Yesco who leases it to Clark County.
On the back side of the sign are the words, “Drive Safely. Come Back Soon.”
There is now a pull in parking lot where you can get out and get your picture taken in front of the sign.
8 Top Pay Activities in Las Vegas
1. Drive the Strip at Night | $20+ | 7pm-4am
Las Vegas Boulevard is known as the Strip and is listed in the United States Scenic Byways.
There are many ways to drive the Strip whether on a bus, taxi, Uber, Jeep, or limo. While you are at driving and looking at all the bright lights, you might as well drive Glitter Gulch downtown and catch their heritage signs all lite up.
If you have a group of 4-6, take the Las Vegas Strip Limo Tour that is 3.5 hours. It stops at the Las Vegas Sign, Bellagio Fountains, Mirage Volcano, Fremont Experience while you sip on provided champagne. Price is about $320. If there is 6 of you the price is just over $50 per person.
Otherwise if there is just one or two you can rent a limo for $69 per hour plus tax and tip. An hour should be enough time. You can drive up the Strip to Fremont and back down the other side of the Strip to the Mandalay Bay where you can grab a drink and snack on the 64rd floor open Skyfall Lounge looking down the Strip.
2. High Roller Observation Wheel | $25+ | 4pm-1am
Located behind the Linq Hotel and Casino is the 550 foot High Roller that has 28 – 40 passenger cabins. It takes 30 minutes to make a full revolution. At night the High Roller changes to multiple colours with the 2,000 LED light system.
Day tickets are about $25 and night tickets are about $37, although I don’t think anyone pays that as there a lot of discounts and different packages and even free tickets from the casino.
I like the Happy Half Hour package that limits the number of people in the pod to 25 and includes an open bar. The cost is an additional $10 during the day and $15 at night.
If you are lucky and you time it right, you can see the Bellagio Fountains show as you go around. Regardless, it is an awesome view, especially at night.
3. Paris Eiffel Tower | $10+ | 4pm-Midnight
The Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower platform is a half scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The platform is located 46 stories up and you have a 360 degree view of Las Vegas.
I have been up in the day and in the night. I prefer the night and so do others so the price goes up after 6 pm. The best place to get a ticket is at Tix4Tonight where you get 47% off the regular price of $16 daytime or $22 night time
The Eiffel Tower now has a free light show like the real Eiffel Tower in Paris. The synchronized and choreographed light show is every half hour on the hour from sunset to midnight.
4. The Big Apple Coaster | $20+ | 1-9pm
If you like roller coasters you will love the Big Apple located at the NY NY Hotel and Casino. I have gone on it twice with my daughter who loves roller coasters. I don’t, but that’s what dads do.
It is quite a rush as you loop upside down. The ride is part outside and part inside. You get quite a view if you keep your eyes open although I noticed many had their eyes closed and there is lots of screaming.
Cost is $20 and up; there are different prices depending on the day and the time. They call it dynamic pricing.
5. The Las Vegas Speedway | $10+ | 9am-3pm
Located North of Las Vegas the Speedway is a half hour from the Strip. It is the home to annual Nascar and Drag races. In addition to being a spectator there are a number of driving experiences that put you in the seat of an exotic car like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG GT, Audi R8, or Corvette Z06.
You can also drive a Nascar race car or an Indy car. The driving experiences all come with instruction by qualified instructors. If you do not want to drive you can also do a drive along for $100 and really feel the power and speed of these cars. Rates vary according to the time spent in the car on the track and start at $200.
For the budget minded you can take a tour for $10 that includes racing around the track at 70 mph in a shuttle bus to feel what a 20 degree incline feels as you bank the turns.
6. The Mob Museum | $20+ | 9am-9pm
Located in the 1933 Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse the museum opened in 2012. It is run by a nonprofit organization and features the artifacts, stories and history of organized crime in the US along with the initiatives of law enforcement agencies to prevent those criminal activities.
I found the museum very interesting with great displays; especially the immersive reality experience in the court room. When I was there a Mob style wedding was taking place on the stairs. The admission is $30 but if you go after 5 pm it is $20. There are discounts for teachers and law enforcement personnel. Plan on spending 2-3 hours.
In the basement is a Speak-Easy bar complete with a secret password that must be spoken through the hole in the door. A nice way to end the visit.
7. Red Rock Canyon | $15+ | 6am-8pm
Located a half hour drive from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon has a 13 mile scenic drive that costs $15 per car. It is very scenic with the natural rock formation. There are numerous pull overs with panoramic views and photo ops.
It is a popular place for hiking, rock climbing and biking. There are over 26 trails across the 195,819 acres.
8. Hoover Dam - Bypass Bridge | $10+ | 9-5 pm
The Hoover Dam has been called a wonder of the world. It was the world’s largest dam when it was built in 1935. It supplies the electricity for all those lights in Las Vegas.
It took over 21,000 workers and 6 million tons of cement to build the 765 foot dam named after President Herbert Hoover.
The newly constructed Bypass Bridge is an engineering feat that is a must see when visiting the Hoover Dam.
The dam is located a 45-minute drive East of Vegas. You have to buy tickets on-site on a first-come service. Open for one hour tours from 9 am until doors close at 3:45 pm with last tour at 4 pm.
Other Great Spots Close to Las Vegas
A number of times we have stayed in Las Vegas from Sunday to Thursday for the free rooms then when the price went up for the weekend we would take a bit of a road trip. There are lots of places to explore within a few hours from Las Vegas.
Two hours South is Laughlin, small gambling city, then another half hour will take you to by Havasu City for a fun time. A 4 hour drive Southeast will take you to the Grand Canyon and beautiful Sedona. Los Angeles is 4 hours west.
An hour North of Las Vegas is the gambling town of Mesquite with cheap rooms. Just North of there is St. George that has wonderful hiking trails. Another 2 hours North will take you the incredibly scenic Zion Park and Bryce Canyon National Parks. From here you can access the Scenic Byway 12 that is rated as one of the most beautiful drives in the world.
If you fly into Las Vegas the car rentals facility is just a short shuttle from the main terminal. They have their own building where all the major brands have desks. I belong to every the rental loyalty programs. They are free to join. If you are a member you do not have to stand in line. You generally go to an express line or your contract is located on the rental board. You just pick up your contract and keys and go to your rental. They make it a very easy experience.
Be careful of the smaller car rental companies as they are off the Airport grounds. I booked one because the rental price was way lower than the brand name rental companies. After getting to the Car Rental Centre, we had to get on another shuttle bus and drive way south of the Airport – it took us 30 minutes. The rental operation was understaffed and I waited in line for 45 minutes to process the paper work then another 30 minutes to get a car as they were backed up in cleaning and bringing cars out front. It took over 2 hours to get our car and the car was older and soiled. A case of, “you get what you pay for”.
Las Vegas usually has good prices on car rentals. I have rented a car for as low as $8 a day, but now I usually end up paying $25-30 a day all in. Cheaper if we rent it by the week. When we rent a car on the weekend to go exploring around the area it easy to get to the Car Rental Centre at the airport and then easy to get out of the airport. Book your car rental here for the best overall price.
Top 4 Questions People Ask About Las Vegas
Is Las Vegas worth visiting?
How can you have a cheap vacation in Las Vegas?
When is the best time to go to Las Vegas?
Is Las Vegas safe?
Is Vegas Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! We love Las Vegas. Over the past 30 years we have visited there over 40 times. We have so many wonderful memories of our many visits. In our minds, Las Vegas is truly Fabulous!
Las Vegas is an adult playground unlike any other place on the planet. It really should be on every travellers place to go to at some time. There are so many reasons to go. In addition to gambling and top name entertainment there are world class restaurants, beautiful accommodations, and no end of fun things to do. There are so many, you can not do them all. Sometimes it is hard to choose from all the activities offered.
In the past 30 years Las Vegas has completely changed. The population has soared tenfold from 260,000 in 1990 to 2,600,000 in 2020. Corporations now own all the casinos. Billions of dollars have been invested. Building has been non-stop. The hotel/casino complexes are their own cities.
We love Las Vegas because it is a cheap place for a vacation full of excitement with great pools, restaurants, shows, and activities. It is a city that doesn’t sleep and it goes 24/7, 365 days year. It is the perfect city to practice budget slow travel. Plan on spending at least a week. We have been there many times for a week or two. It is important to go at a slow pace and savour each moment while you are in Las Vegas. There is so much to see that it can be overwhelming. Do not try to do everything. Take time to relax and be in the moment.
Slow travel is all about slowing down the pace to get a more meaningful experience. Savour the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. Find one of those many Instagram places to sit and admire the view. For most visitors, Las Vegas is 3 or 4 days of frenzied activity. It is an easy slip stream to fall into that is expensive and taxing. It will take several days after your visit to recuperate. Most people I know say to me, “I don’t know how you can go to Vegas for two weeks. I can only handle 3 days then I am done and want to go home.”
Insider tip: It is important to have a daily plan. Try not to do too much in a day and burn yourself out. Make sure that you have comfortable footwear because you will be doing a lot of walking. Casinos seem close together but it is a long way from one entrance to another entrance. The casinos are huge inside and there is a lot of walking within the casino. It is easy to walk 30,000 steps or more every day. We have seen many exhausted and crabby people with sore feet that are not having fun because they misjudged how far it was from one place to another. Insider tip: When you get tired of walking it is very easy to get an Uber ride anywhere in Vegas.
In addition to the casinos, entertainment and restaurants there are shopping malls like the North Premium Outlet Mall and museums like the Mob Museum. For sports fanatics, there are three professional sports team, Nascar races twice a year in March and September, and the National Final Rodeo held in early December. Las Vegas is a large city so there are a lot of local events going on all the time. We have been to a couple of cultural festivals and even drove through the Christmas Light Show at the Speedway. There are many natural recreational sites close by like Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire for hiking and biking or Lake Mead for fishing and boating.
The secret to enjoying Las Vegas for a week or two is try to keep a similar routine as at home. Unpack your bags. Get 8 hours of sleep a night. That usually means sleeping in because you are usually up later than at home. It is harder to adjust for those people that wake up at the same time regardless of when they go to bed. It is important for them to have some down time during the day. If you are shorting yourself on sleep at night, nap during the day. I find the pool a great place to relax for an hour or two in the afternoon before the evening plans. Do not drink too much and stay hydrated.
I hope that you can use the information on our Las Vegas Destination page to help you to plan your slow budget travel vacation in Las Vegas.
How to Have a Cheap Vacation in Las Vegas
Our Budget for 14 Days
Cheap and Free Condos
Las Vegas is one of the cheapest places we have visited in the world. Rooms are almost free, food can be very inexpensive and most activities are free or cheap. Our last trip we stayed for 14 days at the Holiday Inn Club Vacation Resort for only $133 – less than $10 a night. The property had a beautiful pool and waterfall with a large deck with table, chairs and umbrellas. The resort had a casual restaurant that had Happy Hour prices on appetizers to go. We would buy some and take our drinks to the pool for happy hour. The property was quiet and well maintained. There was a nice entrance out front to wait for Uber, and we had free parking.
We got the condo through my cousin. She had two weeks with the Holiday Inn Vacation Club that she could not use and offered them to me. She did not want anything for the two weeks but I paid her yearly maintenance fee of $200. Check around with your friends as many people do not use their TimeShare and will be happy to let you use their time, especially if you pay their annual fee.
This was our second time staying in a condo in Las Vegas. The first time was at the Blue Green Resort. They gave us a free room for 3 nights to take their sales tour at their brand new beautiful property. Our condo was luxurious with rich woods, granite, quality furnishings and high end kitchens. While we enjoyed the condos, staying in one of the casinos is more to our liking.
We prefer staying in the casinos because Loie feels comfortable being on the gaming floor at anytime of the day or night. There is lots of security and of course the ‘Eye in the Sky’ watches your every move. Most nights I go up to our room around midnight and she might play the slots for another hour or two. We can not do that if we are staying in a condo. Walking home or even taking a taxi home at 2 a.m. by herself is not an option. It is also nice to go up to the room during the day or evening to rest, shower and change or just to enjoy the hotel amenities like the pool and restaurants.
Free Rooms in Las Vegas
Loie is the gambler in the family. The reward points that she gets while gambling gives us free rooms for our many trips to Las Vegas. This past trip, she won $1500 on a slot machine as we were waiting to enter the show, Raiding the Rock Vault . At the end of our trip she was still $800 ahead and that paid for our two weeks. Viva Las Vegas!
To get free rooms at the hotel/casinos you must join their Players’ Club. Caesar’s Entertainment and the MGM groups have their own Players’ Club cards as does the Wynn and Terribles. We pick the group of hotel/casinos where we like to stay at and then do all our gambling at those casinos. Points are gained on your loyalty cards by gambling at the tables or slot machines. It does not take many points to start to get email offers from the casino to come and play with them. They will offer you free meals, free rooms and even free chartered flights so you will continue to gamble with them. We can spend two weeks in Vegas staying for 3 or 4 days back-to-back at different properties, all for free.
When playing the slots, you put your card in the machine at any of their properties and you get points for playing. When playing the tables give your card and your money to the dealer who will give your card to the floor manager who will rate your play. The point tally goes up by how much you play. The longer you play, the more points you get and the more perks they give you. If you lose a lot of money you will be elevated to the Platinum level which gives you suites, dinners, shows, private cars and planes.
We are happy to lose a little bit of money each day just for the pure entertainment value and for the almost free rooms. Our style of play is to play until the bank roll for the day is gone. On some days that takes hours and hours of playing. And some days, you actually finish the day at 3am with your original bank roll and a whole bunch more. In true Vegas style, the next day you add that extra money to your new daily bankroll and you can play for that many more hours.
Transportation in Las Vegas can be very cheap. If you drive you will of course have a vehicle. Make sure when you are looking for a place to stay that it has free parking with in and out privileges. Parking and valet parking is in a complicated flux right now. All parking used to be free but some hotels are now charging. Valet parking was free and most people tipped $2. We would drive from casino to casino and valet park. But, now some of the casinos charge up to $35 for valet parking so now we just take Uber for a few dollars and get dropped off at the door.
Car rentals are generally cheap. I have rented as low as $8 a day a few years ago when we were in Las Vegas for 2 weeks. I remember wondering how they could possible make money if I could rent a $24,000 car for $240 a month. It was cheaper to rent then to lease a car. Generally you can get a week car rental for what it will cost you for two round trip shuttle fares. Once in a while I treat myself and rent a Corvette or other exotic car for a day drive.
I like to have a car for a couple reasons. You need a car for exploring if you are staying for one or two weeks. It such a nicer experience than taking the hotel shuttle. Standing in a long line to get on a shuttle in amongst all the pandemonium, smelling the diesel fumes, then being crammed into a over full shuttle and finally being the last hotel on the drop-off schedule an hour later. It is so much nicer to hop on one of the uncrowded car rental shuttles, walk into the car rental facility, pick up your contract and keys from the board or priority line, and drive in a beautiful shiny new car, driving down Las Vegas Blvd that is on the US Scenic Byways list, and pulling up to your hotel with the valet and bell hops taking charge of your car and bags. That is the way to start your time in Las Vegas
Uber and Lyft
We started using ride share for all our rides on our last trip to Las Vegas. Prior to that, when we used ride share, there was some hostility towards ride shares. Pick up and drop off areas were put in very inconvenient places. Go down here, up these stairs, across the parking lot, down these stairs and 15 minutes later you are at the pickup spot. Now, there are good drop off and pick up areas and it is inexpensive to get around the Strip.
For budget slow travellers many of the hotels offer food discounts with their packages. Sometimes they provide you with a booklet with coupons that you can use in their restaurants. There is a Vegas Dining Card valid for 7 days from Tix4Tonight for $13. You save up to 50% on your total bill in many restaurants and buffets but make sure that you look at the current restaurants on the list to see if you would eat at any of them during your visit. A number of buffets, like the Carnival at the Rio, include unlimited beer or wine.
The Mirage buffet used to have, with a discount card from Tix4Tonight, unlimited King Crab legs and the best Prime Rib in Vegas, along with unlimited beer and wine. Where else would you get a pound or more of King Crab, as much Prime Rib as you wanted and unlimited glasses of wine for under $20. Unfortunately that deal no longer exists.
The best buffet in Las Vegas is the Caesars Bacchanal Buffet. It is expensive at $50 for lunch or $80 for dinner but my son and wife said it was the best food they have ever had. The food at lunch is the same as dinner so you can save $30 if you go before 5pm. If you look around there are always new deals popping up. You need to do a little research before you go to get the best deals at that moment.
When is the Best Time to Go to Las Vegas?
The best time to go to Las Vegas is from April to June and from September to November. The temperatures are the best during these months. The summer can be overwhelming hot and the winter is cool and can be cold.
Las Vegas is a convention city with many conventions being held year round. The biggest conventions take place in January and February and are generally run back-to-back. More people mean higher room rates, longer line-ups at restaurants, crowded gaming floors, and a shortage of seats to shows.
Las Vegas room rates are dynamic. One day your room may cost $49 and the next day it could be $349 depending what is going on in Las Vegas that night. Large conventions drive up the price, so do big concerts and sporting events. Room rates always go up on Friday and Saturday night then go down for Sunday to Thursday. For budget travel it is really important to be knowledgeable and flexible.
Is Las Vegas Safe?
Las Vegas is as safe as any major US city. You will see police presence on the Strip and Downtown on Fremont Street. There are security guards visible at all the casino hotels along with bouncers at nightclubs. There are monitored security cameras throughout the casinos.
We have never felt unsafe in Las Vegas even though Vegas has had its share of violent acts over the years. Much of the crime are aggravated assaults. Most of those incidents are gang members visiting from California. Most assaults happen on the weekend and late at night once they have had too much to drink.
Normal precautions of travelling must be followed. Don’t walk down lonely streets at night. Stay out of seedy areas. Be aware of what is going on around you. Shy away from large crowds.
How to Get to Las Vegas
You can drive or you can fly. We drove on our last two visits to Las Vegas. It is an easy drive from Fernie, British Columbia. We go straight south on Hwy 93 to the I-15 interstate highway at Butte, Montana. The drive is 1875 km or 1165 miles. I know some people who drive the entire way at one sitting. It takes about 18 hours.
Of course, with our budget slow travel mode, we took our time and drove down in three days. It is a comfortable 6-hour drive on the freeway each day. We overnight for free in Butte, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah using our Marriot Loyalty Points. Our early afternoon arrival gives us the afternoon to explore those cities. The third day we pull into Las Vegas in time for early check-in.
The majority of the time we fly; generally out of Kalispell, Montana on Allegiant Airlines. It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. It takes us two hours to drive to the airport so we are about 6 hours door to door. That is pretty close. So close that I know people from our area that have a second home in Las Vegas. Not for gambling but for year round recreation like golfing or fishing on Lake Mead. We have flown down to Las Vegas for as cheap as $25 each way.
We began going to Las Vegas for the 3-night junket about 20 years ago because it was literally cheaper for us to go to Las Vegas for the weekend than going to Calgary, Alberta, just 200 miles away. The hotels in Calgary had doubled in price due to the strong oil and gas industry. Parking was an additional $18 a day and the meal prices reflected the hotel prices. Three nights in Calgary was a minimum of $1000. We could fly to Las Vegas and spend 3 nights for less money and have way more fun.
Travel Gear You Might Need For Your Trip
I always forget something when I travel. It may be as simple as toothpaste or it might be a charger or cable that is critical! And then there is always the new things you need to buy to go away. Luggage, hats, sunscreen, clothes to name a few things. Click on one of the links that will take you to Amazon and you can order right from this page.
Do not forget a coffee pot. Las Vegas hotel rooms do not have coffee makers. They expect you to buy their coffee. It is expensive and inconvenient to go down to the casino floor and find some coffee in the morning. Take this small personal coffee maker to save money and time. There is nothing nicer than lounging in the morning with a nice cup of coffee after a late night out on the town. You can also have Amazon deliver it to your hotel the day before or the day you arrive.
Thank you for your support. We get a small commission and you get a great price. Click here and you can browse Amazon to get the items you need for your awesome trip to LAS VEGAS!
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Cheap Flights to Las Vegas
Accommodations in Las Vegas
The important thing to know about Las Vegas accommodation is that it is dynamic. As the demand for rooms go up, so do the prices. Check out prices on different dates. You will see a big difference depending on the month and days. Weekends are always more money than the weekdays.
We like to stay on the Strip as that is where the action is. You can find cheaper places off the Strip but they are a long walk to the Strip so you end up paying for Uber rides all the time. Make sure you calculate that into your budget and don’t forget the annoyance cost. That is a tangible factor when I am booking anything. It may look cheaper but when the annoyance factor is high it is better to pay the higher sticker price.
The cheapest stay are loyalty rooms but that is only going to work for the casino/hotel on your second visit once you rack up some points in the casino. If you have a brand hotel loyalty card like Marriott you can book rooms at one of their properties but they do not have casinos.
Use these hotel booking sites to find the cheapest deal available. You can also contact the casino hotels directly but sign up online with their loyalty program before as it may save you some money.
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