Friday, October 10, 2014

Tips and tricks I learned from our trip to Vegas: Attractions

Tips and tricks I learned from our trip to Vegas: Attractions
(Third post in a series on things learned from our recent trip to Vegas.)

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I went on a week-long "bucket list" trip out to Vegas, where we stopped also at the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Red Rock, besides going all over the strip. We met up with friends who live in Vegas and shared a room/spent the majority of the trip with a friend who is currently living in Arizona- who also wanted to check out Vegas. After the trip, I vowed to write some posts to help out anyone who might decide a trip out to sin city.

Since most of our trip was pre-planned by myself, I made sure to try and plan our stops around the locations we were going to. For example, if we were going to the northern part of Vegas, we would see all those parts of the strip had to offer, etc.
Note: Scroll to the bottom of the post for the tips on seeing attractions in Vegas.

Here is the Attractions (that are not food) that we checked out on our trip- 
Breakdown of some Vegas attractions we went to (by location):

Places in Vegas not on the strip:
·         Freemont Street (Free to walk around- many other things here).

·         Penn & Teller show at Rio (Prices vary). Rio got rid of the free Masquerade show, though. Boo.

Central Vegas (around our hotel):
·         Flamingo wildlife habitat at the Flamingo (Free).

·         Eiffel tower outside Paris (Free to view from exterior- there is a charge to go in the tower).

·         “The Fall of Atlantis Show” at Caesar’s Palace (Free, every hour from 10am-11pm).

·         Fountain show outside the Bellagio (Free, every ½ hour from 3-8pm and every 15 minutes on weekends from 8pm-midnight).

·         High Roller ride off the Linq ($24.95 for day ride, $34.95 for night view, there is also variations that have bars in the cabin).

·         Floral display at Bellagio Conservatory (free, 24 hrs). They were in the middle of setting up the Fall display when we got there, so it was all blocked off- boo!
·         Beautiful glass ceiling at Bellagio (Free to view).

·         Wall/door art all along the Linq (Free).

·         Poloroid Museum along the Linq (free).

Northern Vegas:
·         Lake of Dreams at the Wynn (Free, every half hour between 7pm-12:30am) and free floral display.

·         Boats outside Treasure Island. They got rid of the Sirens of Treasure Island show! Boo. (Free to view from exterior).

·         Gondola Ride at the Venetian ($18 a person for 10 minute ride, between 10am-11pm M-Th, Sun and 10am-midnight Fridays and Saturdays).

·         Madame Tusseau’s Wax Museum at the Venetian ($20 a ticket, but many online offers for $5 off. Open 10am-6pm).

·         Mirage Volcano (Free, erupts every hour).

Southern Vegas:
·         Luxor Pyramid and Sphyx (Free to view from exterior).

·         Criss Angel Show at Luxor (prices vary).

·         NY/NY statue of Liberty (Free to view from exterior).

·         Excalibur’s castle (Free to view from exterior).

·         MGM lion statue (Free to view from exterior). I completely forgot to snap a photo of this. lol
·         The famous Vegas Sign (south of Mandalay Bay) Free- parking right next to it too.

·         Minus 5 bar (technically an attraction, but also a bar). Costs vary depending on package you get.

·         Liberachi’s car at the Cosmopolitan (Free to view).

Outside of Vegas (by car):
·         Hoover Dam

·         Grand Canyon

·         Lake Mead

·         Red Rock Canyon

·         Pahrump Valley Winery

Tips on Vegas Attractions:

 Pre-plan where you want to stop. We planned what “free attractions” we wanted to catch around the shows we saw. This saved us time and broke up the trip easily.

Pre-order tickets to the things you really want to see. We pre-ordered the tickets to the 2 shows we wanted to see. This saved us time, and again, allowed us to plan our path along the strip around those shows’ locations. If you want to take the chance, you can try to pick up tickets at any of the last minute ticket booths around the strip- sometimes you can get great deals, but I’d only chance that if you’re a gambling person. Lol. Don’t wait too close to before your trip to purchase tickets either (even online). I really wanted to go see the Neon Boneyard Museum, but sadly because I waited till it was closer to our trip, I never got tickets in the time slots I wanted. Poo! So pre-plan as much as you can!

Make sure to do your research (and make sure it is current). I originally planned to check out all these awesome free attractions- only to realize a good portion of them were either removed, no longer available, or off-season. Doh! When you do research on the attractions you want to catch- make sure the info is up to date. I had made a lot of our walking attractions around a few “free attractions in Vegas” lists- that happen to be a little old- only to find out half the stuff wasn’t there! (for example, the Sirens show at Treasure Island and the Masquarade free show both no longer exist) Learn from me- always check that it is there still, before you go out of your way to stop by the casino that had that attraction.

Think outside of the box. One of my favorite parts of our trip was our day trip out to Pahrump Valley Winery (See my previous post on food). I found the winery by looking up things to do outside of  Vegas, and was curious if any wineries existed out there (since going on a Wine tour was on my bucket list too). Yes, seeing shows in Vegas and going to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon were amazing, but the little attractions we hit up were just as cool. Try searching for things that are not the normal “tourist traps” and you’d be surprised just how much fun you’ll have on your trip.

Remember picture-worthy spots. Take lots of pictures, so you don’t feel obligated to buy the ones at certain attractions. We had sooo much fun at the Wax Museum (and I even hauled my good camera along with me when there) and took a boat-load of pictures. This made it a no-brainer when it came to the time to pass by the “paid photographers” pictures. I had so many pictures I took myself- I didn’t need theirs. I had the same thought when it came to the gondola ride in the Venetian- but sadly we planned wrong and sat on the very wrong side to take pictures with my good camera. Everytime I wanted to get a video or picture of the gondola boatsman, I had to turn around in my seat (he was behind us) and was so terrified I was going to fall out. We did get a few selfies with him, but it just wasn’t the beautiful pictures I wanted from that bucket list item. We broke down and bought the pro-shots from that attraction (partially because I really enjoyed the frame you got if got their “buy all 3 pics and get this cool picture frame” deal. Be forwarned though, there are some places that don’t allow cameras, so if you want their pictures, you have to pay for them (such as the Minus 5 Ice bar). When you’re pre-planning your trip, make sure to note what photos you 100% want and make sure you even can take pictures there.

If you aren’t big on tours, don’t waste your money. We were not really keen on spending the boat-load of money to go on scripted tours of places. We saved so much by just wandering around the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock- and could spend as long as we wanted for it. Now if you do not having access to a car, it might be hard to avoid going on a tour while still visiting those places, but if you have access to transportation- take advantage of the freedom of self-guided tours.  Luckily though, the Pahrump Valley Winery had free tours- so that was a bonus. Only pay for tours if you specifically want to know what they have to say about it or want access to certain locations not available to the general public, otherwise, tour places on your own.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my tips and tricks learned from our recent trip to Vegas.

Check out my previous posts on Vegas Hotels and walking around the strip and Vegas Food.
Have a great day!


  1. There are SO MANY things to do in Vegas. I kind of wish we had taken more advantage of the things around us, but I enjoyed the time we spent there. Next time we'll probably do more.

    1. totally! I was so glad to see what we did and got to get the advice of some locals too.


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