Places to Stay and Play Around Las Vegas

Fireworks at Downtown Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Expressway intersects with Las Vegas just a few blocks north of Fremont Street, providing millions of visitors easy access to the downtown core each year. Although Las Vegas is a major gambling destination and the city is famous for its live shows, guests may be surprised by its range of entertainment options.

Las Vegas casinos might make some people think of the city as an expensive adult tourist destination. Still, this vibrant city in the Mojave Desert has plenty to offer visitors of all ages. Visitors can use Las Vegas as a hub for trips to famous tourist destinations, such as the Grand Canyon or the Colorado River, or stay and play in downtown Vegas for their entire trip.

Where can you find affordable hotels in Vegas?

Choosing a hotel involves considering a lot of factors. Proximity to the sites you plan to frequent can save you money, even if your hotel room costs a bit more because you won’t have to spend as much on transportation costs. You’ll also spend more time enjoying activities and less time shuttling from location to location.

You may also have specific accommodation needs. Whether you’re looking for proximity to casinos, budget accommodations, child-friendly hotels, or pet-friendly accommodations, Las Vegas has something for everyone.

What are home hotels in Downtown Las Vegas?

Stay in the heart of Fremont Street when you book a room at the Fremont Hotel & Casino. Standard rooms have flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, in-room safes and refrigerators, and easy access to the casino and multiple restaurants. Snack on Dunkin’ Donuts, dine at Tony Roma’s or unwind at The Filament Bar without leaving the building.

Book your stay at the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and enjoy a destination that’s part of Las Vegas history. Guests can stay in standard rooms or spring for luxury or penthouse accommodations in Vegas’s first hotel. Its party pool boasts a giant LED screen and DJ booth, and the building’s home to two bars. Golden Gate also shares an outdoor pool with the D, and those that want to work out during their stay can take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center. 

In addition to sharing an outdoor pool with Golden Gate Hotel, guests and visitors can enjoy the D’s three restaurants. When you book a room at the D, you’ll enjoy access to a gift shop and a fitness center. Guests can also take advantage of their in-room safe to secure their winnings.

What are Las Vegas’s best budget hotels?

You don’t have to choose an obscure hotel far from the action to get an excellent price for your room. Cheap downtown Las Vegas hotels include:

What Las Vegas hotels are child friendly?

Most Vegas hotels have child-friendly amenities. Some popular child-friendly hotels include:

  • Circus Circus: Family-oriented amenities include carnival games and swimming at the resort’s kid-friendly pool.
  • The Excalibur Hotel: Indulge in themed dinners, take the kids to the arcade, and unwind by the pool. 
  • The Fremont Hotel & Casino: The Fremont makes cribs available to guests and has a pool the whole family can enjoy. It’s also within walking distance of many Fremont Street attractions.
  • The Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino: Children can enjoy the pool and dine at the restaurants. Staying at child-friendly venues on Fremont Street offers easy access to the Fremont Street Experience, and the Golden Nugget is close to the Discovery Children’s Museum.
  • The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino: This resort and casino is one of the kid-friendly hotels on the Strip. It boasts a water park that’s perfect for the whole family.
  • New York-New York Hotel & Casino: Ride a rollercoaster, enjoy arcade games, and visit Hershey’s Chocolate World during your stay.

What Las Vegas hotels are pet friendly?

Many Las Vegas hotels allow guests to bring up to two dogs for an extra fee. Some impose weight restrictions on the dogs. Pet-friendly hotels include:

  • Golden Nugget Las Vegas
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Artisan Hotel

What are the best transit options for getting around the Las Vegas Strip?

The famous Las Vegas Strip with the Bellagio Fountain. The Strip is home to the largest hotels and casinos in the world.

Visitors have several transit options to consider, including:

  • The Monorail: The Las Vegas Monorail has seven stations along the Las Vegas Strip. The Monorail follows a brisk schedule and operates from 7 a.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. every day except Mondays when it closes at midnight. Visitors can purchase tickets online and save money with multi-day unlimited-use passes.
  • Rideshares, Limos, and Taxis: Uber, Lyft, limos, and taxis are fantastic alternatives to car rentals. Schedule a ride when you need one and let someone familiar with local streets ferry you to your destination.
  • Bus: The city’s bus system has dozens of routes, including one along the Las Vegas Strip. Visitors can purchase tickets online, on buses, or at ticket vending machines. Like the Monorail, the city’s public transportation system offers discounts on multi-day passes.
  • Car Rentals: Parking can be a challenge if you aren’t staying on the Strip, but renting a car can be an affordable option if you’re traveling with your family or a group of people. A vehicle makes it easy to reach destinations outside the Las Vegas Strip and downtown core without transferring buses. You can also take advantage of car rental options to visit one of the national parks. 

Where can I shop around Las Vegas?

Fremont Street offers fantastic shopping in the heart of downtown. Some popular shopping destinations on Fremont Street include:

  • 11th Street Records: Music enthusiasts can check out 11th Street Records, which, despite its name, is located on Fremont Street. You might get lucky and hear a band’s live performance when they’re using 11th Street’s on-site recording studio. 
  • Container Park: The Downtown Container Park has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a tattoo, shopping for clothes, or need to pick up some souvenirs, Downtown Container Park has you covered. You’ll find everything from boutiques to candy stores to art studios and nail salons. 
  • Fergusons Downtown: This former hotel takes up an entire block and is home to a wide assortment of shops. Shop for tees, crystals, jewelry, or furniture, or sign up for wellness classes at Fergusons Downtown’s featured venues. 
  • The Writer’s Block: The Writer’s Block may not be directly on Fremont Street, but it only takes a few minutes to walk to this popular bookstore and gift shop. Visitors can interact with guest authors and drop in for scheduled kids’ events. 

Are there other popular shopping venues in Las Vegas?

There’s no shortage of great shopping options in Las Vegas. Shopping venues of note throughout the city and in Clark County include:

  • Fashion Show Las Vegas: Home to over 200 shops, Fashion Show Las Vegas is a major shopping destination on the Las Vegas Strip.
  • The Forum Shops: Located at Caesar’s Palace on the Strip, the Forum Shops is home to over 150 stores. 
  • Grand Canal Shoppes: The Grand Canal Shoppes are a feature destination at The Venetian Resort. If you’re visiting the Las Vegas Strip, head to the Grand Canal Shoppes to stroll along the cobblestone streets or ride in a gondola.  
  • Las Vegas North Premium Outlets: This outlet mall is perfect for anyone looking for name-brand items at discount prices. Enjoy discounts on Dolce & Gabbana, American Eagle, GAP, Armani, Levi’s, and more.
  • Miracle Mile Shops: With 200 stores, you can shop ’til you drop at the Miracle Mile Shops. Miracle Mile is another premiere shopping destination located on the Las Vegas Strip.

Why are there so many malls attached to Las Vegas casinos? 

There are a couple of reasons many Vegas casinos have adjoining shopping malls. One benefit has to do with the climate. With daytime high temperatures of 100°F or more from early June through to the end of August, guests favor climate-controlled environments, which indoor malls provide.

Connecting malls to casinos is a great way for casinos to cash in on their patrons’ winnings. Las Vegas retail outlets attract millions of visitors each year. With billions in non-gaming revenue up for grabs, casinos are eager to cash in. 

What are the most popular Las Vegas attractions?

If you’re wondering what to do in Las Vegas that doesn’t involve gambling, you might be surprised to discover a seemingly endless list of attractions for visitors to enjoy. 

What kinds of shows and sights can you see in Vegas?

Anyone who loves animals may want to watch a show featuring former rescue animals. Popovich Comedy Pet Theater stars clown Gregory Popovich, but it’s no surprise that the animals steal the show.

Las Vegas is home to multiple museums. The Mob Museum is an interactive museum with a crime lab, a firearm training simulator, and a distillery tour. It also hosts events throughout the year, including free music nights and a New Year’s Eve party. Other Vegas museums include:

  • Atomic Museum
  • Erotic Heritage Museum
  • Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
  • The Natural History Museum
  • Pinball Hall of Fame
  • Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum

Vegas magicians include David Copperfield, Shin Lim, and Matt Franco, and taking in a magic show is the perfect entertainment option when you’re visiting Las Vegas. Those who prefer something with acrobatics can head to one of Cirque du Soleil’s performances. Residencies change yearly, so it’s a good idea to check the latest shows. Some mainstays worth checking out include:

  • Blue Man Group: The Blue Man Group uses music, art, and comedy to create a memorable show. 
  • America’s Got Talent: America’s Got Talent films episodes in Vegas, and with some planning, you can snag tickets to see an episode filmed live. 
  • Viva Vision: Viva Vision is the largest LED canopy screen in the world, and recently got a $32 million upgrade! The renovated screen boasts 16.4 million brilliant pixels.
  • Circa’s Stadium Swim:  Open 365 days a year, the aptly-named Stadium Swim is an arena-sized oasis in the Las Vegas desert. If you’re looking to take a dip — or lounge poolside while watching a game on Stadium Swim’s giant screen then this is the place for you.
  • Slotzilla: If you’re looking for a family-friendly Vegas experience you can only do in Sin City, SlotZilla is your answer. SlotZilla is an 11-story slot machine-inspired zipline attraction and is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas.

What is there to do in Las Vegas with family?

Take in one of Viva Vision’s light shows with the whole family. Nightly shows include The Killers, Imagine Dragons, MIXology, Steve Aoki, and Shakira. 

Discovery Children’s Museum is a fantastic family option because it welcomes hands-on interaction. The museum has many exhibits, including its discovery lab, water world, and tower. It’s located near Fremont Street, making it a convenient destination for anyone staying downtown. 

The Neon Museum allows you to spend time outside and see old neon signs from casinos and other establishments. The Neon Museum offers discount rates for seniors, veterans, and children. You can take advantage of guided tours in English or Spanish, and the museum also hosts special events, such as low-cost, hands-on activities for the whole family during STEAM Saturdays.

Marvel Avenger STATION is a must-see for Marvel fans of all ages. It’s an interactive attraction displaying costumes and props from the movies.

Families can enjoy an afternoon go-karting, take in The Hunger Games exhibit, or try to break out of an escape room. The Excalibur hosts a 4-D experience the whole family can enjoy, or you can head to The Shops at Crystals for a Barbie exhibition. 

Anyone with a sweet tooth may want to add M&M’s World or Ethel M Chocolate Factory to their itinerary. M&M World shows a short film in their theater and allows you to see M&M’s sponsored race car and Nascar-themed products. Visiting Ethel M Chocolate Factory allows visitors to see how they make delicious treats. Guests can also visit the adjoining Botanical Cactus Garden. 

GameWorks features a bowling alley and arcade games. In addition, its eSports Arena allows gamers to experience eSports league play. 

What is there to do in Las Vegas for thrill-seekers?

Get tickets for the Fremont Street Zipline and see downtown Las Vegas as you’ve never seen it before. Take a seated flight on a zipline seven stories high, or do the Super-Hero Zoom from a height of 11 stories. Depending on which zipline you choose, you’ll travel 850’ or 1,700’ down Fremont Street. You can opt to wear a GoPro helmet and purchase the video at the end of your ride.

Zipline rides aren’t the only way to see Las Vegas from the sky. Schedule a helicopter tour for an aerial tour of Vegas with a view of the mountains outside the city.

Head to the Stratosphere Tower for some thrill rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot shoots riders 160’ up until they’re 1,081’ off the ground. Other thrill rides at the Stratosphere Tower include Insanity, a spinning ride located 900’ above the ground, and X-Scream, a rollercoaster with a starting height of 866’

What are some cheap things to do in Vegas?

Visit Prizm Outlets and tour the 126 street-art murals in the Mural Oasis. Although you don’t have to spend money to see the murals, you might be tempted to visit the Outlets’ shops and restaurants during your trip. 

Enjoy free concerts courtesy of the Fremont Street Experience at our live music venues. Our 2022 free concerts featured performers such as Rick Springfield, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Stone Temple Pilots, Men at Work, and many more. We usually host one or more free concerts per month.

What are some popular events to enjoy in Vegas?

Enjoy special events throughout the entire year. The Fremont Street Experience includes a New Year’s Eve party, Christmas tree, Grand Menorah lighting ceremonies, and more. Check out this online events calendar, which makes learning about events when planning your trip easy. 

Visit in late October to enjoy the Halloween parties in Vegas. Festivities include free entertainment, costume contests, and light shows. 

Fashion Show Las Vegas has all the seasonal events you can expect at a mall. You can get photos or schedule a pet visit with Santa. Enjoy a holiday film at the mall’s Pancakes & Pajamas Holiday Movies events. 

What are the best places for tourists to eat and drink in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas restaurants and cafes range in price, cuisine, and atmosphere. There’s genuinely somewhere for everyone to eat and drink in Vegas.

The best restaurants in downtown Las Vegas include:

  • 8 East
  • Andiamo Italian Steakhouse
  • Barry’s Downtown Prime
  • Benny’s Smokin’ BBQ & Brews
  • Cadillac Mexican Grill
  • Hugo’s Cellar
  • Project BBQ LV
  • Redwood Steakhouse
  • Saltgrass Steakhouse
  • Tony Roma’s
  • Top of Binion’s Steakhouse
  • Triple 7 Restaurant & Microbrewery
  • Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse

The best budget-friendly restaurants in Vegas include:

  • BabyStacks
  • Ellis Island’s Village Pub & Cafe
  • Hash House A Go Go
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Nacho Daddy
  • Noodle Asia
  • Pizza Rock
  • The Peppermill Restaurant & Lounge
  • Sirrico’s Pizza
  • Tacos El Gordo

Kid-friendly restaurants in Vegas include:

  • American Coney Island
  • Black Bear Diner
  • Buddy V’s Ristorante
  • Hello Kitty Cafe
  • Honey Salt
  • Kona Grill
  • Rainforest Cafe
  • Shake Shack

Great dog-friendly cafes and restaurants in Vegas include:

  • Big Dog’s Brewing Company
  • Coffee Pub
  • Grape Street Cafe
  • Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
  • Leona Cafe
  • Le Pup Cafe
  • Sambalatte Torrefazione
  • Triple George Grill

What are some popular sights to see near Las Vegas?

People walking down downtown las vegas - ferris wheel in the background

Las Vegas is close to many world-renowned sights, which is why there are plenty of day trip options. Popular destinations in the area include:

  • Area 51 Tour: Spend a full day out of the city exploring areas known for UFO sightings. You’ll even see the fence and guards surrounding the military facility. 
  • ATV Tours: Head outdoors to ride an ATV in the Mojave Desert.
  • Bryce Canyon: This national park in Utah is just a few hours from Las Vegas by car, and you can spend the day exploring the canyon’s famous hoodoos and natural formations.  
  • Death Valley: This national park in California is a land of extremes. Even Las Vegas has a higher annual rainfall than Death Valley, and the lowest point in North America is located in Death Valley. 
  • Grand Canyon Tours: Book a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Let your bus driver handle the roads and enjoy several hours exploring the world’s largest canyon.
  • Hoover Dam Tours: You can be at the Hoover Dam in less than an hour, making this a great day trip destination. These tours include a chance to see the generator room and learn about the Dam’s construction and history.

What are some relatively unknown facts about Las Vegas? 

Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination welcoming over 42 million tourists annually from 2015 through 2019. Most people know Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination with a reputation for gambling, marriage venues, and live performances from famous musicians, magicians, and entertainment groups, such as Cirque du Soleil. Still, there are many intriguing facts about Las Vegas that many visitors don’t know, some of which are facts about popular destinations. 

  • Las Vegas Strip: You might think you’re heading to Las Vegas to visit the famous Las Vegas Strip, but the Las Vegas Strip is actually in Clark County and outside Las Vegas city limits. 
  • The Stratosphere: The Stratosphere may not be as tall as planned, but no free-standing observation tower in the United States is taller than this 1,149’ structure.  
  • The Weather: There’s a good chance you won’t need an umbrella during your trip to Las Vegas. The average annual rainfall is just over 4”, with over half of that amount falling in February. 
  • Harry Reid International Airport: Harry Reid International may not be as well known as O’Hare or LAX, but it’s one of the busiest and largest airports in the U.S., handling traffic between Las Vegas and 133 destinations worldwide.


LaRock, Hana. (2018). Facts About the Stratosphere Tower. 

Number of visitors to Las Vegas in the United States from 2000 to 2021. (2022).

Parmley, S. (2017). Las Vegas casinos bet on shopping malls to capture tourist dollars

The Largest Airports in the U.S.A. (2022). 

Thrill Rides. (2022).

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