Summer is one of the best times of the year to visit Las Vegas. Despite the desert heat, the Strip comes alive with activity. With vaccinations taking hold, Las Vegas is expected to be busier than ever as we emerge from the pandemic. Just remember — having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are a few inexpensive attractions that will help boost any Sin City vacation.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a free attraction in the Bellagio lobby that changes with the season at least five times a year. The spring and summer exhibits are some of the most colorful of the year, featuring butterflies, water features and other forms of engaging scenery. If you only pick one spot to snap a selfie this summer, make it this place. Admission has been staggered during the pandemic to limit crowds, so you may have a brief wait in line before entering.
Van Gogh: The Immsersive Experience
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience brings the iconic works of Vincent Van Gogh to life within The Portal, a rectangular mixed-use space inside AREA15. An surrounding, interactive world is created with 3D projection mapping, lights, classical music and sound effects. The paintings are often enhanced with subtle touches of animation. Upgrade to a virtual reality experience for a 10-minute walk through a French village that reveals the inspiration for Van Gogh’s most famous pieces.
Fly LINQ Zipline
Take flight in Las Vegas with the only zipline on the Strip. Fly LINQ allows guests to soar above The LINQ Promenade (a long outdoor shopping, retail and dining plaza between The LINQ Hotel and Flamingo). Sit vertical or lie horizontal (like a superhero) and enjoy the rush of traveling up to 35 miles per hour more than 1,100 feet in the air. The trip begins at a 12-story tower near Las Vegas Boulevard and ends near the base of the High Roller observation wheel.
AREA15 is one of the most compelling new destinations in Las Vegas. Located just west of the Strip near Chinatown, the mixed-use entertainment space won’t break the bank. Tickets for Birdly — a flight simulator that sends users soaring over cityscapes — begin at $10.25 for kids and $13.50 for adults. Haley’s Comet is a hang-gliding-style motorized zipline ride that begins at $12 for kids and $18 for adults. Anyone 21 and over can also order a cocktail at Oddwood, a bar with a 24-foot LED tree at the center. Specialty cocktails are $12.
Museum of Dream Space
Ready to snap the perfect selfie? The Museum of Dream Space is a series of colorful rooms, each designed to make your Instagram feed come alive. Pose in front of a projection of the moon or in between floating orbs on a string that frequently change color. Regular tickets are officially $48, but there’s usually a 2-for-1 deal listed on the website.
Touring Las Vegas doesn’t have to result in sore feet. Visit the Strip, Fremont Street, the “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and the city’s very best museums back to back. With the hop on/hop off format of the Big Bus Tours, you’ll customize your own adventure and spend as much time as you like at each stop without missing a beat. Choose between a daytime or nighttime tour.
Shark Reef Aquarium
Imagine being under the sea, without any scuba gear to worry about. That’s almost what it’s like to walk through an enchanting tunnel-like hallway at the Shark Reef Aquarium. You’ll enjoy an up-close look at all sorts of sea life in hundred of forms. There’s a collection of exotic sharks, colorful fish, turtles, sting rays and even a Komodo dragon. Upgrade to the Undersea Explorer virtual reality experience, and the price is still well below $41.
Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck Experience
For a high-rise escape from the hustle and bustle of the Strip, take a trip to the top of Paris Las Vegas’ Eiffel Tower for an unforgettable romantic getaway. A half-scale replica of the real thing, the Vegas version of the Eiffel Tower has an observation deck with stunning 360-degree views. You won’t want to miss the Bellagio Fountains from this angle! To add to the magic, book a dinner reservation at the elegant Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
Eager to take your Vegas vacation to new heights? Board the High Roller and enjoy an incredible 360-degree view of the Las Vegas Valley. Located at the east end of the The LINQ Promenade, the world’s tallest observation wheel even provides an in-cabin open bar (with personal bartender) for an extra fee. The entire ride usually takes about 30 minutes and peaks at around 550 feet in the air.
If you’re looking for a slice of Italy during your time on the Strip, there’s nothing quite as relaxing and engaging as a gondola ride. For just under $30, you can move along The Venetian’s water canals, which travel indoors throughout the Grand Canal Shoppes and outdoors near Las Vegas Boulevard. For an extra special couple’s retreat, book a private gondola for you and your beloved for $116. Don’t forget to kiss beneath the bridge for good luck!
The Big Apple Coaster
Thrill-seekers, rejoice! For just $15, you can hop aboard The Big Apple Coaster, zip your way past hotel skyscrapers and take in unmatched views of the Strip. With speeds up to 67 miles per hour, this “taxi” twists and dips for an exhilarating adventure. Upgrade to virtual reality googles, which add a touch of computer-generated animation to the ride. Looking for even more fun? Head back inside the property and spend some time at the Big Apple Arcade.
Skypod Viewing Deck
Standing at 1,149 feet, The Strat is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the United States. Ride the elevator to the Skypod observation deck on the 108th floor, where you can walk around the perimeter for full views of the surrounding area (and grab a cocktail at 108 Drinks). An outdoor viewing area is on the 109th floor, where you can enjoy the rush of thrill rides that dangle over the edge.
For an intriguing, educational experience, visit Bodies…The Exhibition. The attraction features real, dissected human bodies, allowing you to see organs, bone, muscles and other parts usually hidden beneath the skin. Compare damaged tissue to undamaged tissue and gain a better understanding of the human body’s different systems. In a topical twist, a new exhibit is dedicated to the science and health effects of the coronavirus.
Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage is home to not only dolphins, but a few big cats, offering a unique, intimate look at some of the most beautiful creatures in the world. You can even paint or perform yoga alongside the dolphins. Those who want to splurge should consider the “Trainer for a Day” package. The unforgettable five-hour experience allows you to swim, play and train with the dolphins.