Looking for exciting things to do in Las Vegas today?!
Good thing I’m a local with tons to share.
Everyone wants to come to Vegas to be entertained. Duh!
But the cost of top floor villas, limousine services, and 5-star dinners is outrageous, and for the vast majority of visitors, utterly out of the question.
But to me, that isn’t a true Vegas vacation.
Throwing money at fake charm is hardly a memorable vacation, and I’m sure that’s not what inspired you to visit in the first place. But rather, it’s the thought of spontaneous adventure that really attracts you to Vegas.
Little did you know, those adventures are happening all around the city.
So here are 5 ways to have a true Vegas Vacation you so long for!
Tip #1: Go to the clubs on a weekday (aka industry night)
What us locals like to call “industry night”. You have lower cover charges, a better chance at getting a table, and still amazing DJ’s.
Trying to see Kaskade at XS on a Friday or Saturday night is going to cost you nearly $100 before drinks and you will be packed like sardines.
No one will have a good time
If it’s a weekend, try getting off the strip to nearby lounges. Lounges in Vegas are the equivalent to clubs anywhere else, so you will be plenty satisfied.
If you’re coming during the summer pool season, consider going to a lesser known pool.
Wet Republic and Encore Beach Club, are the biggest and everyone wants to go there.
While those are fun, I’ve had equal amounts of fun at the following pools:
A fun pool in the heart of Las Vegas BLVD. at Linq Casino and Hotel. Listen to top hits while playing one of many games including pool beer pong.
Located at the far south side of Las Vegas Blvd. is the M Resort. If you’re looking for a smaller crowd or a local experience then Daydream is a perfect choice. Plus, the property is gorgeous!
A common misconception is that Sapphire pool is an outside strip club, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Though attached to a strip club, Sapphire is a regular day club serving up refreshing drinks, pool volleyball, and great music. Plus, the crowd is always fun.
Tip #2: Get off the strip
Just like any touristy part of a city, the Strip is an overpriced tourist trap!
Sure it has its pockets of hidden gems, but for the most part, there are plenty of happening at the spots below.
Downtown is separated into three areas: Fremont Street, East Fremont District, and the Arts District.
Fremont Street Experience is the canopy that runs from Plaza Hotel to Neonopolis.
Here you will find free concerts, video shows on the giant canopy screen, casinos, and ziplining on Slotzilla.
The East Fremont District has massively grown in popularity in recent years; now exploding with street art, trendy cafes, small businesses and more!
It’s also home to Zappos and the annual Life is Beautiful Music & Arts Festival.
Need help getting around?
Jump on the driverless public bus, shifting passengers across the downtown area from Container Park to Golden Nugget.
A few blocks away is the Arts District. Home to a graffiti park, street art, theaters, vintage shops galore, one-of-a-kind bars and restaurants.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Stop by the Haunted Museum also located in the Art District neighborhood.
One thing to note is the downtown area is constantly expanding and renovating.
Just about every month something new and exciting is opening up. It’s impossible to get bored.
For places to stay, check out my top 3 favorite hotels in downtown Las Vegas:
Spend the day hiking in Red Rock or Valley of Fire
Red Rock is a 13-mile scenic drive filled with 26 hiking and trail options from beginner to advance.
Cost is $15 per vehicle.
Valley of Fire is another similar setting offering a 16-mile scenic drive including the popular Elephant Rock.
Take a day trip to the real outskirts of Boulder City
Have you ever seen the movie La La Land? Mia (Emma Stone) is from Boulder City.
Though small, it’s not without its charm.
Pay a visit local jewelry shops and the world famous Coffee Cup, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Tip #3 Get Lost in One of Many Shopping Malls
Crystals at Aria
Crystals is an architectural beauty. Even if Chanel and Cartier are out of your price range, there are plenty of free marvels inside from ice sculptures, neon light installations, and Akhob.
More on Akhob momentarily.
For you bargain hunters no trip to Vegas is complete without stopping at the Premium Outlets. You will find tons of designer brands for less.
Fashion Show Mall
Located on the Strip across from the Wynn, this three-story mall has any kind of store you can imagine, including restaurants and free fashion shows every hour.
It’s my mall of choice. Be prepared to spend an afternoon here if you want to see it all.
For more information such as stores click here.
Shop my favorites!
Tip #4: See the Lesser Known Free Things
By now everyone knows that Bellagio Foundations and 7 Magic Mountains are free. So what else is left to see in Las Vegas that is free?
Akhob inside Louis Vitton
A secret art exhibit inside the Louis Vuitton store at Crystals.
It’s a free and totally secret James Turrell art installation sure to take out of this world!
Unfortunately, they have a strict no pictures policy so I’ll try my best to describe my experience.
The tour begins with a guide around the Louis Vitton store ending on the secret 3rd story where you will enter into a pink, egg-shaped dome.
As you walk in, notice the colors start to change eventually blending in the walls leaving you to feel as though you’re floating through space with no sense of direction.
Call (702) 262-6189 for a reservation at least one month in advance.
Fremont street experience concerts
Sure everyone knows of the show that happens on the canopy monitors, but what many tourists fail to plan for are the many free concerts happening down there from Papa Roach to Lady Antebellum and more.
Click here for upcoming shows.
Ethel M’s Cactus Garden
Nestled in the heart of Henderson is the most delicious chocolate factory in town.
What you may not know is they also have the largest botanical cactus garden in the southwest.
Best part, it’s totally free!
Do you have a Bank of America debit card?
I have my sister to thank for introducing me to this awesome perk!
Just present your debit card to the ticket counter and enjoy your free admission.
Tip #5: Turn Your Attention Away from Gambling
Don’t get me wrong. Throwing a few bucks at a table game is a right of passage when you’re in Vegas, but this city has tons more for you to spend your hard earned money on.
Hangout and people watch
The Parc by MGM Resorts has recently been renovated to mimic the streets of New York City where you can shop, eat, and relax outside under misters.
Of all the outdoor areas to hang out during the hot summer months, the Parc is top choice.
The T-mobile Arena is also right here if you want to catch a concert or Vegas Golden Knights hockey game.
The Linq Promenade is my favorite area on the Strip.
A pedestrian area with more shops, dining, and the High Roller Ferris-wheel. It’s a great things to do for groups and couples. Private cabin options are available.
There is always something going on in the Linq Promenade from concerts at the Brooklyn Bowl to holiday parades.
Container Park is an urban hangout spot for dining, drinks, and live music, all made out of shipping containers. How cool is that?
A must visit when you’re downtown.
Coffee Shops & Cafes
If you’re looking for amazing coffee shops where the decor is just as fabulous as the menu, click the link below to read more.
Art & Music
Life is Beautiful is an annual art and music festival features top artists of today like The Weeknd and Imagine Dragons.
Aside from music, the second biggest part of the festival is art.
Every year new murals are painted throughout the downtown area making their debut at Life is Beautiful.
You can also take advantage of the many food options served here by local restaurants.
Electric Daisy Carnival is a massive EDM festival taking over the Las Vegas Speedway every summer.
Even if electronic music is not your favorite, there is so much more to appreciate such as light installations, huge firework shows, free carnival rides galore, and unique outfits!
Smiths Center is a gorgeous theater that hosts popular Broadway shows like Book of Mormon, Wicked and more!
Outside is the beautiful Symphony park not to be missed if you love colorful things!
Check out the upcoming shows here.
Bonus Tip #6: Pick the Right Hotel
Las Vegas is a commuter city; therefore a rental car is a must. If you don’t intend on renting one, then consider staying at my top recommended hotels for relaxing, entertainment, and location.
The Venetian (the strip)
I love the Venetian. It’s so beautiful inside and out, with tons of food options, amazing pools, and shows, plus parking is still free should you wish you rent a car. For the full hotel review, read this.
The Cosmopolitan (central strip)
By now everyone knows about the modern vibes and sex appeal of the Cosmopolitan. They are a melting pot of East and West coast brands from Beauty & Essex to Egg Slut and the now Block 16. That’s just the pools. They are the only hotel on the Strip with porches and rooftop pools overlooking the Strip. No place in town has what Cosmopolitan has and for that, it’s worth spending the money to live the life of luxury here.
The Downtown Grand (central downtown)
Located between Fremont Street and East Fremont District, the Grand is my favorite spot downtown. They are near pedestrian-friendly streets, amazing brunch at Pizza Rock, across the street from the Mob Museum. Oh yeah, and the hotels are so modern and nice. Oh but that’s not all. They have an adorable rooftop pool with refreshing drinks and DJ’s always spinning. This is the place to stay if you plan on attending Life is Beautiful festival.
The M Resort (North Las Vegas Blvd)
If you really don’t want to be in the center of the madness but still want amazing views of the city and luxury for half the price, then consider staying at the M Resort. They have a state of the art spa, infinity pool, day club, and vino bar playing live music daily. I’ve spent countless occasions here including my graduation night and many Saturdays at the spa.
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What are your favorite things about Las Vegas? Share in the comments below!