These are the bucket list worthy experiences in Las Vegas.
We hopped into the Pink Cadillac with Elvis at the wheel and rolled into the covered driveway. After coming to a stop, we sat up on the seats and listened as he serenaded us. Moments later, we both repeated ‘I do’ to celebrate our renewal!
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First Published: January 15, 2020
15 Unique Bucket List Experiences in Las Vegas
People come to Las Vegas for the casinos, buffets, and parties, which we can admit is all part of the experience. But sometimes they miss out on the amazing things the city has to offer off strip. We’ve put together a list of the most unique experiences in Las Vegas.
Get Married in a Vegas Chapel
Rock Climb at Red Rock
Learn to Fly a Plane
Light a Lantern at RiSE Festival
Take a Photo with the Las Vegas Sign
Drive an Exotic Car
Go to a Vegas Buffet
Ride a Gondola at the Venetian
Watch the Fountain Show at Bellagio
See a Cirque Show
Gamble at Iconic Casinos
Tour the Hoover Dam
555 South 3rd Street Las Vegas, NV 89101, map
We’ve always talked about getting hitched at one of those small Vegas chapels just for fun. It’s such an iconic part of the city, and there are many small chapels where you can either get married or even renew your vows.
Last fall, we renewed our vows at Vegas Weddings with a pink Cadillac and Elvis at the wheel. He drove us in, serenaded us, and then married us. If you’re going for more of a traditional vibe, though, they also had a beautiful chapel inside and an outside area.
Local Tip: Since there’s so many options, stop by and the amazing staff can walk you through all the different spaces and types of weddings.
2. Rock Climb at Red Rock
1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, map
We love living in Las Vegas because it has such easy access to rock climbing. Red Rock Canyon is only 30-40 minutes from anywhere in the city, and people travel from all over the world to climb here.
Local Tip: If you don’t climb, there’s still a scenic drive and plenty of hiking!
1410 Jet Stream Dr #150, Henderson, NV 89052, map
We’ve done plane rides before, but this time Jacob got a chance to fly a jet himself with All in Aviation. You can take a beginners course and it even counts as hours towards your pilot’s license.
Local Tip: Depending on the plane you fly, you can bring 2-4 other friends who get to enjoy the ride and views from above.
Sloan, NV 89054, map
Every fall, thousands of lanterns are released in the Mojave Desert (don’t worry, they clean them up after). It’s a magical sight, and we highly recommend it.
Local Tip: Get tickets early since they typically sell out. Also, be patient with your lanterns. If it’s windy, they’re much harder to release.
5. Take a Photo with the Las Vegas Sign
5200 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119, map
The Las Vegas Sign is probably one of the most recognized landmarks in town. Be prepared to wait in line.
Pro Tip: If you want the sign to be lit, get there later in the evening when it’s starting to get dark.
7065 Speedway Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115, map
Head over to Exotics Racing to get behind a supercar of your choice. We chose a Ferrari F430 and took pictures in a bunch of others. An instructor takes you through a course and tells you how to get some serious speed, but you can take it at your own pace. I’m pretty sure I drove like a grandma.
Local Tip: If you’re intimidated to drive on your own, you can ride with a professional stunt car driver. The ride is so much fun.
Nevada 89005, map
Drive bulldozers and excavators with the guidance of instructors. They show you how to handle the machinery and perform multiple tasks. Plus, if you come in the heat of summer, the machines are air-conditioned.
Local Tip: Bring sunglasses on bright days!
1644 Boulder City Pkwy, Boulder City, NV 89005, map
There might be one too many options when it comes to ziplining in Vegas. There are three near the strip (Linq, Rio, Downtown Las Vegas) where you get to ride over people walking below you. We’ve always preferred the ones out in nature. Flightlinez has a zipline course through Bootleg Canyon in Boulder. It’s a much longer experience than the ones in the city.
Local Tip: If you’re visiting in the summer, go early morning or late evenings since you’ll be spending quite a bit of time outside.
9. Go to a Vegas Buffet
The extravagant buffets in Vegas are definitely worth checking out at least once since they are a big part of the Las Vegas Strip experience. The best two buffets are Bacchanal at Caesars and Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan, but be ready to spend some cash.
Local Tip: Lines get really long for buffets, and the only way to avoid them is to eat at off hours. Also keep in mind that buffets tend to offer different items for lunch and dinner – premium items are usually only during dinner, which makes them priced higher.
3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map
The Venetian is one of our favorite casinos to walk around, and it’s always fun to see the gondolas and gondoliers sing as they float by.
Local Tip: There is an indoor ride and outdoor ride so be sure to select the one that you want. I’ve done the gondola experience three times, and I highly recommend the outdoor one if you had to choose one. The photos come out much nicer, and there are less people staring at you.
200 Convention Center Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map
Las Vegas is home to the first wind tunnel in the US for indoor skydiving. If you’ve never tried skydiving, this will give you a taste of what it feels like to free fall through the air without having to jump out of a plane. It could be a good intro.
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, map
The Fountains of Bellagio have made many appearances in movies and pop culture. With shows every 15-30 minutes (depending on the time of day), it’s easy to catch one while you’re here. Plus, it’s totally free.
Local Tip: Get there early or it can get crowded.
Las Vegas has so many shows, but the Cirque du Soleil shows are amongst the best of them. Sure you can see a traveling show, but the ones in Vegas are better because the stages are built specifically for each one.
Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.
14. Gamble at Iconic Casinos
Whether you want to try table games like blackjack or roulette, or give it a go at slots, people usually try their hand at gambling at least once when in Vegas. We’re not big gamblers, but when our friends come in town, we usually end up playing.
Local Tip: If you don’t know what you’re doing, dealers at the table games can help you learn the rules and how to play. Just don’t forget to always tip them! We learned that it’s good gambling etiquette.
Nevada 89005, map
The Hoover Dam is only 45 minutes away from Las Vegas and easily the most famous dam in the US. You can walk along the dam or go on a tour to see more behind the scenes.
Local Tip: Tours can fill up on weekends and holidays so grab tickets early.
29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040, map
The Valley of Fire is an hour away from Las Vegas and has amazing formations to explore. Our favorite is the Fire Wave!
Local Tip: You can easily spend all day exploring the Valley of Fire so give yourself plenty of time.
Map of Bucket List Experiences in Las Vegas
More Experiences in Las Vegas
Best Places to Stay
Any other bucket list worthy experiences in Las Vegas that we missed? How many have you done?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.
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