Nevada is best known for being the address of the world-famous Las Vegas. But the destination, located in the western US, keeps a series of beautiful landscapes, among lakes, mountains, and rocky deserts. With an atmosphere of the Old West and cowboys, Nevada served as a film set for films with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
Nevada’s biggest source of income is tourism. Las Vegas casinos attract tourists from all over the world. Another significant economic activity in the state is mining. Nevada is a major producer of silver, gold, oil, and sand.
Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Nevada
1. Hoover Dam
The depression-era engineering marvel of Hoover Dam offers tours and scenic views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead. The Hoover Dam’s construction started in 1931 and ended in 1936. It is located in the city of Boulder City, right at the border between the states of Nevada and Arizona. The reservoir is on Lake Mead created from the waters of the Colorado River.
You can drive and stop at various points to view the dam from different angles. You can take pictures of the dam, Lake Mead, and the famous Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It is also possible to take guided tours on the Hoover Dam: the Powerplant Tour and the Dam Tour.
2. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Less than 18 miles from Las Vegas, there is the first conservation area in Nevada, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area featuring many rock formations and photogenic landscapes. The area is used by hikers, rock climbers, and people with a passion for the outdoors.
You can hire a tour or enter with your own car in the park. And, from there, the possibilities for walks are endless. You can either walk the road and stop to take photos where you are most interested or take a specific trail. You can also simply drive around the scenic loop snapping pictures if you are short in time.
3. The Mob Museum
Featuring interactive exhibits, The Mob Museum tells stories of Mob’s rise and law enforcement’s response to gangsters in the US. Opened in 2012, the museum is located in an old American courthouse building and, curiously, some mobsters named in the museum were tried right there.
The museum is divided into several rooms where you will find names such as Al Capone, Benjamin Siegel, Frank Rosenthal, and Tony Spilotro. There are also many original pieces from the dangerous gangsters combined with photos and videos. Nowadays, this is more than a museum since it has its own speakeasy bar with a brewery in the basement.
4. Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip is the city’s main avenue and was created to be its main tourist spot. At first, it is even difficult to be able to stick to all the details with such a large amount of information. The funny thing about the Strip is getting to know the various characters hanging around there, including Elvis.
Take the opportunity to walk around the hotel areas, take photos, be enchanted by the landscaping and designer stores. When hunger strikes, choose a good place for your meal, and by the time you realize it, the day will be gone. But do not worry, because the night is young and this is where you will find the famous Las Vegas Sign. The sign is almost a mandatory stop for tourists who like a good photo as tradition dictates.
5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Covering 1.5 million acres, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a park with a visitor center, water activities, picnic areas, and trails. Lake Mead is actually, the largest water reservoir in the US, and a delightful escape from the heat of Las Vegas. Conveniently located just an hour southwest of Vegas on US-93, this place is very easy to get to.
The visitor center’s wall facing Lake Mead is made of glass, so you can see the lake from the visitor center. The park is huge with endless exploration to do while observing the amazing ancient rock art and cool rock formations. Also, you can admire the desert flora and fauna. And there are petroglyphs easily seen a short walk away from the Grapevine Canyon parking area.
6. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
Located at the Venetian Resort, Madame Tussauds is part of a museum chain for life-size wax replicas of famous Americans and historic icons. Fans of Wax museums on duty will enjoy the visit at Madame Tussauds in Vegas, which like other units around the world has a very perfect selection of celebrity wax figures. There, you will meet Marvel superheroes and personalities including Celine Dion, Elvis, and the Blue Man Group.
And as we are talking about Vegas, there is also an exclusive bar at Madame Tussauds and the entrance is included in your museum ticket.
7. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
With beautiful scenery in all directions, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park tells the great story of the pioneer spirit in this region. The park features hiking trails, picnic tables, creeks, wildlife, and mountains. The great highlight is visiting the charcoal ovens. Yes, you can go inside them and read all the informational signs spread along the park.
The eerie shape and locale of these kilns add to the history and mystique of generations passed on. The facts are staggering, and the history is rich and well documented. The surrounding area itself is very scenic with a number of different hikes of varying lengths as well as horse and ATV trails.
8. Bellagio Hotel & Casino
Bellagio Hotel & Casino is one of the most famous and traditional hotels in Vegas, and a must on any visitor’s list. In addition to an imposing building, the Bellagio has two of the best attractions and Las Vegas. The show of dancing fountains and the conservatory with a unique decoration made entirely with flowers. Also, the Bellagio has an art gallery featuring works by artists from all over the world, including some of Monet’s artwork.
The highlights in Bellagio include photographing the ceiling of the Lobby with Chihuly glass flowers, falling in love with the winter gardens, and watching the O’ Cirque du S’oleil Show.
9. Fremont Street Experience
Also known as Old Vegas, Fremont Street is the oldest part of the city and a 24-hour mall concentrating on the classic casinos. One of its main attractions is that the street is covered by a huge and luminous Led ceiling presenting several shows and cool ads.
The street is full of bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops more affordable because it is further away from the main avenue. Lots of live music, street performers and a lighting show are waiting for you. As a bonus, Fremont Street also features a zip line that crosses its entire corridor.
10. Valley of Fire State Park
Featuring petrified wood and red sandstones, Valley of Fire State Park has many more natural features, hiking, and camping. With a diversity of surreal landscapes and perfect trails, Valley of Fire is one of those places that deserves to be part of your itinerary. The park covers an area of 40,000 acres with petroglyphs from over 2,000 years ago.
There are some easy quick trails and lookouts. Or, you can choose to just drive through if you prefer. You can hike up to see the Elephant Rock, the mouse tank Rainbow Vista, or go on one of the White Dome Trails. The colors and rock formations are absolutely incredible. And the visitor center tells the history of the park and its surrounding area.
11. National Atomic Testing Museum
The Smithsonian affiliate National Atomic Testing Museum offers exhibits and artifacts exploring the history and impact of nuclear weapons. During your visit, you will learn about how American history was shaped by the atomic bomb and the subsequential changes to testing that occurred afterward.
The museum has a “blast door” theater area with a pretty interesting “4D” video. The exhibit offers insightful history into other aspects affected by nuclear testing. For example, the same drills used to build underground nuclear test sites were used to free Chilean miners from a landslide. There is also a gift shop that has some fun Area 51 themed items, and you can even buy a piece of rare, authentic Trinitite!
12. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is one of the best attractions on the Las Vegas Strip and features vibrant, seasonal scenes composed of plants, flowers, and trees. They decorate the atrium according to what season it is. And go over the top creating life-size figures and a garden out of flowers and foliage.
You will take a trip around a garden filled with unique designs of flowers, live art, and handcrafted displayed through a magical world of designs. They always have little plaques telling you what the plants and flowers are and what they represent in the exhibition. And after you take in the Conservatory, stroll outside, and enjoy the famous Bellagio Fountains.
13. Caesars Palace
Caesars Palace is the signature hotel of the Caesars chain and a hotel that is very worth visiting. The casino resort is inspired by Rome and has a very nice statues garden and a Trevi Fountain imitation. It also features a show house called Colisseu, a Peter Lik Photo Gallery, and one of the coolest malls in the city: The Forum Shops.
Some of the activities at Caesars include strolling through the statue gardens, visiting the small Buddhist temple, and throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain. And of course, make sure to visit The Forum Shops and watch the show “The Fall of Atlantis”. Overall, the casino resort features many stores and the perfect stopping point for those who enjoy the Cheesecake Factory’s pies.
14. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest in the US. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the lake sits on the border between California and Nevada and is mostly known for its beaches and ski resorts.
The water is crystal-clear with snow-capped peaks in the background offering some of the best scenic views in the area. The lake itself is huge, so you might have to choose between North and South Tahoe, which is where the famous Emerald Bay with its Fannette Island and Vikingsholm can be found.
15. Fountains of Bellagio
The soaring, iconic Fountains of Bellagio feature dramatic aquatic shows choreographed with music and lights. The fountains dance to music and play a song every 15 minutes and each show lasts from 5 to 10 minutes. It is pretty fun to walk by, stand and watch. You could probably watch it for over an hour and not get bored.
The fountain is especially awesome to see at night. The best angle to see it from is definitely in front of the street view. And for a more intimate view, it is worth standing on Bellagio property. Also, it is even greater to watch if you have a fountain view hotel room.
16. National Automobile Museum
Established in 1989, the National Automobile Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Reno and it is among the best motorsport museums in the world. The museum has an immense collection of more than 220 vehicles, from “The Thomas Flyer” to the “Batmobile”. This museum is also known as The Harrah Collection in honor of a casino mogul, who was the largest contributor of cars to the museum.
Some cars belonged to celebrities, like Elvis Presley. In the museum, there are also sceneries with replicas of streets from the 20th century.
17. The Linq Promenade
Funky and fun, The Linq is one of the newest hotels in Las Vegas, and a great choice for those who enjoy stylish accommodation with a good cost-benefit ratio. Also, it is a fun entertainment center with delicious restaurants and bars. However, the highlights are the Giant High Roller and the Fly LINQ zip line.
The Linq Promenade is one of those delicious places to enjoy day and night. During the day, the vibe is a mix of people walking, groups of friends having brunch, and the most lively starting the day’s beer around. At night, the vibe is more of a party-style with many fun options to enjoy.
18. The Venetian Las Vegas
Part of a complex that includes The Palazzo and Sands Expo Convention Center, The Venetian is a lavish Italian-themed casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The Venetian is famous for having the best rooms in Las Vegas, which is an excellent choice for families. The hotel has an impeccable leisure complex with delicious pools and a gym that even has a climbing wall.
The casino resort has a nice selection of restaurants, a themed shopping mall with excellent stores, and a square with free shows. But one of the public’s favorite is the Venetian channel with gondolas where you can ride with special gondoliers.
19. High Roller
Located at The Linq, High Roller is a 550-foot-tall Ferris wheel with observation cabins that offer city views and holds up to 40 people. The rides last about 25 minutes and the cabins are all made of glass with colored lighting. And while inside the pod, there is an informational video playing, telling you about the history of Las Vegas. Overall, it is a smooth ride with plenty of room and you can hardly tell you are moving.
The best time to go on the High Roller is at dusk so that you will have the opportunity to see Las Vegas at night. The Ferris wheel has proportions so astronomical that it is possible to book a private cabin for parties. On New Year’s, the place becomes another option to celebrate the night.
20. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Featuring 7 chairlifts and 3 snowboard parks, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe covers 1,300 acres of groomed ski runs for all levels. This is one of the best resorts in Tahoe. The mountain is just the right size, with just the right number of trails for beginners and expert riders.
The classes are especially fun for the kids. They even give you a report card at the end with a list of skills learned/mastered and give the kids hot Cocoa when they return their ski equipment. But be aware that ski goggles are required, and they do not rent them. They do, however, have a store on-site where you can buy them from.
21. Great Basin National Park
The 77,000-acre Great Basin National Park is known for its ancient bristlecone pines and Lehman Caves, offering a range of trails. The park features arid plains, streams, lakes, caves, mountains, and even glaciers. Many pines present there are 3,000 years old and are among the oldest living organisms in the world. The park pleases outdoor enthusiasts of all levels and interests. There are facilities, hiking trails, campsites, picnic areas, visitor centers, gift shops, and a small deli.
The rangers highly recommend taking the Bristlecone Pine and Glacier Trail and the Lakes Loop counterclockwise. You can also choose to go hiking in the beautiful mountains during sunrise to see the stunning Johnson and Baker Lake.
22. The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum offers guided tours of a collection of Vegas signage, some from famous landmarks, from the 1930s to today. It is almost impossible to think about Vegas and not remember the giant, colorful signs. At the Neon Museum, you will find some of these pieces that were on the facade of hotels and casinos.
It is worth going in the late afternoon to have two different perspectives and to see the neon lights being connected. The tour is not long, and you will learn many Vegas trivia and fun facts. The layout is grouped together in an esthetically pleasing, and historically significant manner.
23. MGM Grand
MGM Grand is the largest hotel in Las Vegas offering dozens of entertainment possibilities, shows, clubs, and restaurants. The MGM Grand has a giant spectacle arena and hosts boxing and UFC fights. The hotel is also a great choice as one of the best clubs in Las Vegas is inside.
During the day, there is little to see at the hotel, yet it is worth exploring it. Start with the facade that features a 45-foot bronze lion sculpture. Then go to the lobby with a beautiful statue of a golden lion and end the tour on the Chinese dragon that is at the entrance to Kà of Cirque de S’oleil Theatre.
24. The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod
The Stratosphere Hotel has a breathtaking view, after all, it is the tallest building in Las Vegas, at 1,150 ft, and is where the adrenaline lives. At the top of the tower, some surreal toys will spark your adrenaline.
The tower itself has been voted as the best place to see Las Vegas from above. There, you can admire Vegas through the windows and the outdoor observation deck. You can also dine at the Top of the World restaurant, which is located at the top of the tower. And for the more adventurous, you can do the Sky Jump. With a bungee jump-style, this is the largest controlled free fall in the world.
25. New York-New York Hotel & Casino
Featuring a Ferris-wheel and a replica of the Statue of Liberty, New York-New York is one of the youngest and funniest hotels in Las Vegas and a sure-fire choice for anyone looking for something economical, but super cool. The decor of the hotel has a Manhattan-style with the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square.
The hotel is connected to the newest urban park in Las Vegas, The Park, which makes the exterior of the hotel hyper pleasant for strolling both day and night. New York-New York also offers evening programs featuring an animated Irish Bar, one of the best piano duels in Las Vegas, and the Cirque D’Soleil Zumanity show.