Las Vegas is an exciting and diverse city. Although the gentle chimes of casino machines are the most commonly thought of, there are several ways to see this historic city. For me, the perfect trip lies in getting out of the casino and diving into a mix of the urban and the natural. So I have compiled my favorite list of the best Vegas sites to see. The best way to do this? A Grayline bus tour! A few must-sees in the city are:
The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
The famous sign is on on the outskirts of the city was erected in 1959 and was ahead of its time in its use of Googie architecture (Googie makes me think of future space-age mixed with 50's simplicity).
Get Hitched at a Drive-Thru Wedding
You can tie the knot or renew your vows (don't worry, you can just tour it, too) at A Little White Wedding Chapel. It boasts a long list of celebrity weddings including Michael Jordan, Mary Tyler Moore, and Bruce Willis / Demi Moore. True to Vegas glitz, it offers the ability to get married in a taxi-cab, as it has a drive-thru option.
The Fountains of Bellagio
The Bellagio Fountains are amazing due to their choreography, size, and price (FREE!). Times vary, but approximately every half hour (in the late afternoon and evening) a show kicks off offering you a chance to sit back and rest your feet as you watch the romantic display.
The Stratosphere is a modern marvel as it boasts the tallest observation tower in the United States with an amazing 360-degree view of the city. Activities are vast as it is a casino, hotel, and revolving restaurant as well. The Stratosphere is unique in that it offers several thrill rides at its top (I recommend purchasing advance tickets during peak season), each guaranteed to challenge even the most adventurous spirit.
Downtown Fremont Street
And no trip is complete without a visit to "old school" Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience. A five block, 1500-foot screen canopies this section of "the strip." It offers 12.5 million LED lights and a state-of-the-art sound system. Free nightly shows are sure to capture your attention and offer something to marvel at! Which is why it made our list of the best things to do in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Strip Tours
Las Vegas Strip tours are wonderful. Sit back, while a Grayline bus driver worries about traffic, and marvel at the beautiful lights as you sip champagne. The best part? This very tour stops at several of these features (Vegas sign, Bellagio Fountain, Fremont Street Experience) Once you have gotten your "fix" of the glitz and glamour Las Vegas has to offer, it might be time to get into nature. I recommend the following sites (each offered by Grayline bus tours):
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
Take a Hoover Dam tour. The advantages to taking a tour bus (or limo) is parking fees are included. Please make sure to walk across the bridge; it truly is an engineering wonder.
Take a Daytrip to Death Valley
A day-long Death Valley Tour offers a breath-taking tour of the best of desert scenery. It includes stops at such wildly named places as Dante's View, Bad Water Salt Flats, and Artist's Pallet.
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon nurtures the hiker in all of us. It offers gorgeous desert views and vegetation as well as ancient geological features (fossilized sand dunes, anyone?). You can stick to a tour, your car, or several hiking trails are available for the adventurous spirits. No matter what mood inspires you, Vegas offers something for the adventurer in all of us. And with a city so alive, no two visits are the same. So spin the wheel and see what type of tour you take, in Vegas, next.