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Las Vegas Attractions

What attractions are worth the time (and money) in Vegas?

From Brad W
Posted January 3, 2011 at 1:53 PM
I am planning a trip to Las Vegas sometime this summer. What attractions are worth a visit?

The one I know about are: New York coaster, Speed, Desperado, stratosphere stuff.

Are there any other amusements rides, or should any of the ones above be skipped?

Any other Vegas tips would be great too!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Joe Brown
Posted January 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM
Check out the zip lines on Fremont Street.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM
The New York Coaster is only so so. A bit pricey!

While it has been awhile since I have been there, the Luxor and Caesar's Palace has some nice things to see!

Also, the Gondala ride at the Venetian is alot of fun and a suprisingly unique experience.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted January 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM
The New York, New York Hotel roller coaster is mediocre. The first two drops are good, but the remainder of the ride provides no worthwhile views of Vegas. Skip it.

On the Stratosphere, the Big Shot is pretty sweet, if only for the quick view of the city and desert. You should only do it if you have time to kill, though.

Also skip-worthy is the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. It's not any better than a standard theme park aquarium, and it costs an arm and a leg to see.

As for must-sees, Red Rock Canyon has some absolutely beautiful hiking. It's a great place to unwind after the sensation overloads in the city. Penn & Teller's show is excellent, as was the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystère. All of these come highly recommended from me.

Our favourite meal of the trip was at Bouchon, located in The Venetian. The food was superb, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere, unlike most Vegas restaurants, was tranquil. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

You can read about my trip here:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

From Rob P
Posted January 4, 2011 at 2:15 AM
If you can raise the money then the glass bottomed helicopter ride down into the Grand Canyon before weaving between the hotels on the Strip on the return trip is a must.

From AJ Hummel
Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:16 PM
From your list:

New York New York Roller Coaster-This was $14 per ride when I went a couple years ago, and is my least favorite roller coaster in Nevada. If you will be staying nearby, you can buy a day pass for $25 if you think you might want to ride it twice in one day. If you have never been on it, it is worth riding once just for the experience, but otherwise it isn't worth the price. Also, go during the day if you can. During the day you won't see a line longer than a half-hour, even on a weekend, while at night the line is often an hour or more.

Desperado-This is $8. If you are willing to drive out to Buffalo Bill's, which is a little under 45 minutes away, it is definitely worth riding. Buffalo Bill's also has a log flume and a drop tower, but both of these are a little overpriced in my opinion.

Speed-This is the best coaster in Nevada. Even though it is $10 it is definitely worth riding. There is almost never a line. I'd recommend buying the $20 day pass if you want to ride more than once as it also gives you access to the racing simulators.

Stratosphere Tower-I've never done the rides up here, but I'm guessing if you're going up the tower anyway you might as well give them a shot. They are expensive, however.

Stuff I've done that you didn't mention:

Adventuredome-This is the only actual amusement park in Nevada. It is inside a climate controlled dome and has two roller coasters (a looping coaster and a kiddie coaster), a splash boat ride, and around ten flat rides/spinners. Depending on crowd levels, everything in the park can be done in 2-4 hours, so if you have a half-day it might be worth checking out.

Hoover Dam-If you are willing to drive out here, you should tour it, especially if you haven't toured a dam before. There are two different tours, a shorter one and a longer one. The shorter one only goes to the powerplant, while the longer one goes into the dam itself.

Showcase Mall-This is a good way to kill time if you have some. It contains GameWorks (giant arcade), the M&M store, and the World of Coke store. The arcade has some unique games, but you can end up spending a lot of money here really quickly. The M&M store is four stories tall and features nearly everything M&M related that currently exists. The best part is a section where you can create your own mix of M&Ms from all the different colors and types they have. The World of Coke store is a two level store with all kinds of Coca-Cola products and a tasting station. If you go, I highly recommend doing the Tastes of the World. For approximately $9 you get sixteen glasses of soda, each one a different regional specialty. This can easily be shared by up to six people.

Before you go, I'd recommend looking at lasvegas.com. It lists all the attractions in and around Vegas, and gives descriptions and prices for each one. This is what I used to plan my trip.

From Tom Rigg
Posted January 4, 2011 at 6:32 PM
The X Scream ride on top of Stratosphere is by far the scariest thing I have ever done. I'm not a faint hearted person, but the experience of riding a small car over the edge of the tower and just hanging there left me white knuckled. I have only been to Vegas once and it was 4 years ago. To this day that is still the first thing I describe about that trip. It is not to be missed.

Also, Madame Tussuad's in the Venetian is pretty awesome as well. aside from the NYC museum I think its the biggest Tussaud's in the US.

From Meow Mix
Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Don't underestimate the distances between attractions in Las Vegas. You might want to plan for the Sahara and Circus Circus on one day, with NYNY on another day, for example.

Just because you have a resort in sight, doesn't mean you can arrive there within the hour. Las Vegas exists in a time warp of huge distances covered by SLOW walkers.

From Anne Duncan
Posted January 5, 2011 at 8:10 AM
Great comment from Meow Mix about not underestimating the distance between attractions. Everything Vegas is HUGE and that includes the street blocks. Take advantage of the monorail. It runs between MGM Grand and Sahara. A single ride is $5 and a day pass is $12.

The only "ride" I've been on in Vegas in the NY Coaster and I did it twice. I enjoyed it more at night than day because you see the strip all lit up. Of course it’s overpriced, but how often to you get to go on a thrill ride in Las Vegas?

Pick one show you really want to see and buy tickets ahead of time. It might not be the best deal, but it will guarantee you get to see what you want, and get decent seats.

See a Cirque show, any Cirque show! My personal favorite is KA. The theater and stage are magnificent—something you will not find with any of the traveling Cirque shows. Look at trailers on Cirque’s site and YouTube to figure out what interests you most. KA is so exciting, weird, and one of the best shows I have ever seen.

Blue Man Group is also good, but I find the traveling shows to be just as good as the stationary ones.

The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage are nice too. If you are an animal lover and need a break from the other sites, this is a good one.

Have fun!

From Scott Krienbring
Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Don't miss the free fountain show in front of Bellagio. Nighttime is the best! Try to stand right in the middle area. Also see the volcano and fountains in front of the Mirage. There is a free pirate show in front of Treasure Island. The late night one is topless so don't bring the kids. I agree that the roller coaster at Sahara is amazing.

From Sylvain Comeau
Posted January 6, 2011 at 1:09 AM
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum is well worth it, because you can linger all you want, and take lots of pics with the wax figures.

The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay is a good value, too, because you can stay for an hour or more, and feel immersed in underwater environments, with lots of exotic sea creatures.

By the way, there are a few places on the strip that sell half price tickets to most of the shows. We got some real good prices for Steve Wyrick, an excellent magic show. Just google "half price tickets in Vegas" and you'll get their web sites.

Also, you can get a load of great coupons by subscribing to the Las Vegas Advisor.

From Ray Schroeder
Posted January 6, 2011 at 10:03 AM
If you have a car, check out the cactus garden at Ethel M's chocolate factory. You can tour the factory, go during the week when they are actually working, and get a free sample of candy. Good stuff. And it's all free.
On the way back you can check out the casinos on Boulder Hwy. It's where the locals go. Better odds.
Check out Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. Nice casino and a huge shopping plaza.
Red Rock Casino is also a great find.
Take a drive to Mount Charleston. It's 20-30 degrees cooler up on the mountain.

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