16 Essential Las Vegas Bucket List Ideas

Updated

Las Vegas has earned a reputation as one of the United States’ most exciting cities, and for a good reason. Because the casino business provided the foundation for Vegas’ early growth, for decades, it has been an entertainment hub that attracts countless visitors every year.

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Are you planning a visit to Las Vegas? Or, are you a Vegas resident who feels they aren’t doing enough to enjoy everything your city has to offer thoroughly?

This guide will help either way. By making a Las Vegas bucket list, in which you list all the Vegas experiences, activities, and attractions you want to check out while you have the chance, you’ll increase your odds of feeling thoroughly satisfied with the time you’ve spent in this iconic city. This guide will help you develop ideas for items you might want to include on your own Las Vegas bucket list, regardless of whether you’re a local or a visitor.

Unique Las Vegas Bucket List Ideas for Locals

When you live in a city, it becomes easy to overlook all there is to do right around you. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a tourist to make the most of Las Vegas. Las Vegas bucket list items for locals may include:

1. Explore the Mob Museum

It’s easy to understand why The Mob Museum doesn’t always immediately stick out to locals. On paper, a museum about the mafia and organized crime sounds like a gimmick designed specifically to reel in tourists.

Don’t dismiss the Mob Museum that quickly. Many who visit report that the museum genuinely provides an exciting and informative look into the history of organized crime and its influence on Las Vegas’ development. The museum is an attraction that can help a Las Vegas resident learn more about how their city quickly became one of the world’s entertainment capitals.

2. Ride the High Roller

The High Roller at the LINQ Hotel + Experience is a relatively new Ferris Wheel that takes guests 550 feet above the Las Vegas strip. This ride is the type of attraction that usually appeals to tourists. However, if you are a Las Vegas resident, it could also offer you a new perspective on your city.

Must-Do Las Vegas Bucket List Ideas for Visitors

Many consider Las Vegas to be a city-sized tourist attraction. Anyone making a travel bucket list that includes Las Vegas attractions will find no shortage of items to include. These are just a few examples:

3. Visit a casino

It’s worth addressing the obvious example first. If you’re a tourist visiting Las Vegas, there’s a good chance that visiting a casino is one of your reasons for heading to this city.

There’s no single casino in Vegas that outshines all the others. You need to research your options and consider your own personal taste when deciding which to visit.

For example, if you want to revel in luxury, consider checking out the Bellagio. If you’d prefer visiting a themed resort (or if you’re a big fan of 2009’s The Hangover), you may find Caesars Palace more appealing.

4. Bring the kids to a unique aquarium

Many assume that Las Vegas is strictly an adult-centric city with little to offer to families visiting with children. That’s not the case.

Are you bringing the kids with you on a trip to Vegas? Stop by Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay if so. This public aquarium offers unique glimpses of over 2,000 animals (including, as the name implies, certain species of sharks), ensuring your children won’t spend the entire trip feeling bored.

5. See another side of Vegas at Area 15

Gambling is not the only activity you can participate in during a trip to Las Vegas. Area 15 is a popular attraction among those who occasionally want to get away from the casinos.

Precisely describing what Area 15 is can be difficult. This entertainment complex offers everything from art shows to flight simulators. While some of the experiences it provides may be slightly too extreme for little kids, teens and their parents can find plenty of unique immersive attractions to enjoy here.

Las Vegas Strip Bucket List Ideas

No trip to Las Vegas is complete without visiting the Las Vegas Strip. While you’re in the area, cross these items off your Las Vegas bucket list:

6. See the iconic Bellagio water fountains

The water fountains at the Bellagio are among the Las Vegas Strip’s most iconic attractions. If you’re traveling with enough people, you could even recreate the end of Ocean’s 11 while stopping by. The picture will definitely make for a worthy Instagram post.

7. Enjoy the spectacle of the Mirage’s volcano

No one ever accused Las Vegas Strip resorts of being subtle. Consider the example of the volcano that marks the entrance area to the Mirage resort.

Nearly every night throughout the week, this volcano sculpture tosses large plumes of fire into the air. A lively soundtrack adds to the effect perfectly.

8. Shop

Shopping might be an uninspired bucket list item when visiting most cities. Las Vegas is a little different.

Shopping opportunities on the Las Vegas Strip are so abundant you won’t know where to start. For example, if you want to bring home souvenirs or gifts for friends and family, you can head to Bonanza Gift Shop, which claims to be the largest gift shop in the world. Or, you can stop by the Shoppes at the Palazzo, where you’ll find plenty of luxury brands.

9. See the city from the Eiffel Tower

Las Vegas's colorful lights and flashy displays make the city an impressive nighttime sight from the ground level. When you're 46 stories above the city, the view is even more spectacular.

That's the type of view you can get by visiting the Eiffel Tower observation deck at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. It may not be the same as visiting the actual Eiffel Tower, but that doesn't mean it's not a remarkable experience.

Las Vegas Bucket List Ideas for Spring or Summer

Spring and summer tend to be the seasons during which Las Vegas attracts the most tourists. If you’re in the city around this time of year, escape from the crowded casinos for a day or two with activities such as these:

10. Hike Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just outside of downtown Las Vegas. It's home to a hiking trail that offers gorgeous views of the area.

Just be sure you're up to the experience if you're not a seasoned hiker. While the trail isn't particularly long for those with some hiking experience, it could prove challenging to some in the summer heat. It's also essential to always bring a companion with you, even if you are confident in your hiking abilities.

11. Tour the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is not technically part of Las Vegas. It’s not even in the same state.

Regardless, it earns a spot on this list because it is pretty close to the city. Thus, many companies throughout Las Vegas offer tour packages that allow guests to visit the Grand Canyon in various ways. Options include bus tours, hiking tours, and even helicopter tours.

Las Vegas Bucket List Ideas for Fall or Winter

Las Vegas is by no means just a spring and summer town. Ideas for your Las Vegas bucket list if you’re in the city during the colder months of the year include:

12. See a popular show

You can attempt to see Cirque du Soleil performances and a wide range of other popular shows in Las Vegas at any time of year. However, travel experts recommend seeing them during fall and winter if you’re in the area.

This is because tickets for these shows can be expensive and hard to come by during spring and summer. In fall and winter, they don’t attract as many guests, making getting a ticket (often at a relatively affordable price) much more manageable than during the heavy tourist season.

13. Root for the Golden Knights

Are you a hockey fan? Strongly consider planning your trip to Las Vegas during the winter if so. That’s when the Las Vegas Golden Knights play at T-Mobile Arena. 

Bucket List Foods and Restaurants in Las Vegas

A food bucket list and a travel bucket list often make for perfect companions. While you’re in Las Vegas, these ideas can add some culinary enjoyment to the experience:

14. Try Tacos el Gordo

It's technically easy to find taco restaurants throughout the US. However, many of them fail to match a genuine and authentic taco spot's quality.

Tacos el Gordo is an exception in Las Vegas. The moment you head inside, expect to find yourself waiting in a relatively long line. There's a reason why the place is crowded, though: many agree the team here serves up the best tacos in the entire city.

15. Indulge in Emeril Lagasse’s Banana Cream Pie

The main courses at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian Resort are certainly appealing to any foodie with an appetite. Still, many agree that the main reason to visit this spot is to savor Emeril Lagasse’s banana cream pie.

In other words, don’t fill up too much on dinner. Lagasse’s is a restaurant where you must leave room for dessert.

16. Eat a gigantic meatball

Indulging yourself is practically the point of visiting Las Vegas. One way to do so is to head to Lavo at the Palazzo and eat a meatball weighing in at one pound. You can even add a fresh ricotta topping for extra flavor.

Las Vegas Bucket List Essentials to Keep in Mind

There’s a reason why so many flock to Las Vegas for entertainment and a little adventure. These ideas for your Las Vegas bucket list represent a mere sampling of all this city has to offer. For more general information about living it up when visiting a new destination, check out our guide on how to make a travel bucket list.

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