Las Vegas is a wonderland of iconic sights, underrated experiences and dynamic hotel options for luxury-seeking travelers. Here are 10 don’t-miss attractions that make a visit to this desert paradise memorable.
Explore the Boneyard
Neon is in the city’s DNA, and there is no better place to discover the bright lights and big signs of bygone eras than at downtown’s The Neon Museum, affectionately known as “The Boneyard.” While guide-only tours are available both during the day and after sundown, we recommend exploring this distinct, large-scale typography by night for a fascinating peek into the past. After dark, the seven restored signs come alive, alongside those that have yet to be revived but are dramatically lit.
Walk through history
Also downtown, The Mob Museum takes history buffs on a spree they won’t soon forget —through the annals of organized crime throughout the country, but especially in Las Vegas. Coming in 2018, the museum will expand with six new exhibits and a working distillery where moonshine will be made and most likely sampled.
Cruise beyond the casinos
Downtown’s Fremont East corridor has undergone a transformation over the last five years. Trendy bars and restaurants now line the street that starts on the lip of the Fremont Street Experience and extends to Maryland Parkway. This is also the area that hosts the yearly Life is Beautiful music festival.
Make it a crawl and try a few spots, such as the whimsical garden-themed Park on Fremont or The Laundry Room, a speakeasy inside corner bar Commonwealth; shop and dine at the Downtown Container Park complex; and meander through the open-air art gallery that lines the streets courtesy of the festival’s muralist program.
Dine at a Spanish steakhouse
At SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, chef José Andrés indulges those who are passionate for protein with his restaurant Bazaar Meat. This dining establishment is all about firepower, so it’s easy to get enthralled by the massive, open cooking stations where hearty cuts are prepared in innovative ways. Those who have been to the Spanish chef’s other restaurants will not be disappointed, as every Andrés experience is unique.
Take in a stellar show
Located inside Four-Star Wynn Las Vegas, the Encore Theater is the hottest stage in town for iconic performers. Names such as Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., the Moody Blues and John Fogerty were recently added to the star-studded roster at the intimate, 1,500-seat venue.
Indulge in a stylish stay
Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in 2010 with lots of fanfare and a super-cool vibe that has not diminished with time. In fact, the resort recently introduced new super suites that rank as some of the most luxe in town — and that’s in addition to a full property-wide room remodel. The hotel doesn’t skimp on opulence, either; there’s nowhere else on the Strip where you can drink sexy cocktails inside a three-story chandelier.
Unwind in style
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Four-Stars The Venetian and The Palazzo is not just a break from the Vegas overindulgence, it is a destination to be appreciated in its own right. Whether enjoying a treatment or just taking advantage of the amenities and wellness programs (the hydrothermal facilities alone are worth a visit), the call of the Strip will seem distant after a few hours of pure relaxation.
Enjoy dinner and a show
Chef Akira Back’s Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge at Four-Star Bellagio is one of Las Vegas’ most romantic restaurants thanks to its million-dollar view of the resort’s iconic fountains. Dine on the patio for a sensory experience that is unparalleled. From the sights and sounds to the inventive tastes and smells, the tasting menu is the way to go to immerse yourself in Back’s well-layered flavors.
Sips over the Strip
Inside Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas’ sky lobby sits Mandarin Bar, an address offering a fetching view of the Strip that twinkles after dark. The cocktails here are as superb as a night’s sleep in one of the thoroughly modern guest rooms that showcase the brand’s signature Asian-influenced aesthetic.
Experience low-key dining delights
Las Vegas’ local food scene is exploding thanks to a few enterprising chefs who have left the glitz of the Strip behind and headed to places such as Chinatown to strike culinary gold. Sparrow + Wolf from Comme Ca alum Brian Howard is one such destination. Every meal at this new American cookery is simply superb.