Jam-packed full of exciting adventures and opportunities, there’s a reason Las Vegas receives over 42 million visitors each year. Although the city is known as the United States’ ultimate playground for nightlife, entertainment, casino gaming, and high-end dining-resort accommodation, there are also a variety of attractions and historical landmarks in and around Vegas which both educate and delight. Here we explore several of those famous sights that all who pass through Sin City must-see.
The Stratosphere Tower
The first stop on the list is the Stratosphere Tower, also known simply as ‘The Strat’. A legendary Vegas landmark that was constructed in the early 90s, the tower offers an exceptional 360-degree view of the shimmering city below in the observation section, as well as live entertainment and a mall that enables visitors to shop ‘till they drop. Additionally, thrilling roller coaster rides are available for those seeking a more adrenaline-filled experience 1,149 feet up in the air.
After you’ve taken in the picturesque scenery, head on over to one of the Strat’s supreme dining locations. Visitors can choose between three noteworthy restaurants, including McCall’s Heartland Grill, Roxy’s Diner, and the aptly named locale, Top of the World. Regardless of where you decide to dine, the Strat is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
Anyone who knows anything about Vegas is aware that the city has no shortage of glamorous casino destinations. In fact, the Entertainment Capital of the World boasts dozens of different gaming establishments, lining the Strip, in the downtown area, and even outside in the suburbs.
There’s one special casino that stands out from all the rest, a significant historical landmark that many visitors may not even know about. First opened as a casino all the way back in 1931, the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino is the oldest in the entire U.S. It was originally named ‘Sal Sagev’ Casino, ‘Las Vegas’ spelled backwards. The most wonderful thing about it: the Golden Gate still operates today, so visitors can not only have a look at its celebrated exterior but can also stay and game inside its historic doors. Don’t skip out on this unique chance to experience an old-school Vegas casino resort in the modern-day.
The Bellagio Fountains
Speaking of famous Las Vegas-based casino resorts, you have probably heard all about the Bellagio- one of Sin City’s most popular and luxurious accommodation and gaming options. Many blockbuster films have been shot here, with a host of different celebrities frequenting its sparkling lobby year-round.
Visitors will feel like they are stepping into a quaint European village when they set foot on the area surrounding the establishment, as its design was inspired by Italy’s Lake Como town of the same name. As such, right in front of its doors, the resort features a stunning 8-acre lake where the Bellagio Fountains can be found. Each day, these fountains put on an awe-striking show that sees their water spurt more than 1,000 feet in the air, not to mention that the dancing fountain spectacle is synchronized to beautiful melodies that enhance the visual experience. Even if you are not staying at the resort, all are welcome to watch on from the sidewalk and capture photos to remember the moment.
The Hoover Dam
Although this site is not technically located within downtown Las Vegas and will require a bit of a drive to reach, it is undoubtedly worth the short excursion. The Hoover Dam is a landmark of great historical significance to Vegas and the entire state of Nevada, as it was what made the city sustainable back in the times of the Great Depression.
At the time of the initial construction project, it was the largest of its kind to ever be built. Today, the Hoover Dam receives approximately 7 million tourists annually, also making it the most visited dam in the world. People flock from all over to marvel at the impressive sight that spans the Arizona-Nevada border, taking in its unique arched structure. There are also a variety of things to do once near the dam area, such as visiting Boulder City, kayaking, and taking a self-guided walking tour.
Seven Magic Mountains
Situated 10 miles south of Las Vegas in the middle of the Ivanpah Valley, visitors will find one of Vegas’ most peculiar tourist attractions – an art installation entitled the ‘Seven Magic Mountains’ As their name suggests, the site consists of seven different towers of stacked boulders that extend more than 30 feet in the air. Created by Swiss-born contemporary artist Ugo Rondinone, these vibrant and colorful rocks require no reservation to visit and are open to the public. At night, the seven mountains stand tall and light up the desert sky with their fluorescent pigment. For those looking to visit an out-of-the-box Vegas attraction, Rondinone’s symbolic boulder totems are a must-see.
The Neon Museum
Housing some of Vegas’ famous hotel and casino signs from over the years, the Neon Museum is a unique trip back in time.
No trip to a big city is complete without visiting a museum, so last but not least we have one of Vegas’ best – the famous Neon Museum. Here visitors will take a trip back in time to Old Vegas, admiring the huge collection of vintage neon signs that once lit up casino and resort fronts.
Founded back in 1996, the ‘Boneyard’ that houses these pieces spans an outdoor area of 2.62 acres. Visitors are free to walk through this land and admire all the signs, even perhaps recognizing a few. With a total of 800 signs from approximately 200 Vegas-based properties, tourists will want to reserve a good spot in their itinerary to take it all in.
So, there you have it! A comprehensive list of the best sites and historic things to see in and near Sin City. For a hearty meal before heading out to see any of these landmarks, check out this list of fantastic Las Vegas brunch spots and you are sure to be full and ready to take on the day ahead.