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Thursday, October 29, 2015

10 free attractions in las vegas

we had such a great time when we were in las vegas.  while we were there, we did pay for several attractions like the high roller observation wheel, the eiffel tower experience, and the cirque du soleil beatles love show.  however, we also visited a ton of free attractions too.

you don't have to lose money gambling, pay for shows, or dine at expensive restaurants to enjoy vegas.  there are plenty of free things to do if you know where to look.  if you are visiting vegas on a budget, here are 10 free attractions that you won't want to miss . . .

1. the welcome to fabulous las vegas sign
location: in the median of the highway at 5200 las vegas boulevard south
hours: daily 24 hours a day

the 25-foot tall iconic welcome sign is a famous landmark, and if you are in las vegas you absolutely must get your picture taken under the sign.  you can get to the sign by walking or driving.  however, it is a very long walk from the mandalay bay hotel.  you can drive or take a taxi and park in the little parking lot that was created for the sign in the median.  taxis are expensive and if you don't have a car, then the best way to get there is via public bus.  the deuce bus system runs up and down the strip and the express bus will drop you off right at the sign.  the buses stop in front of almost all of the hotels and an unlimited 24-hour bus pass is only $8 per person.

you will have to wait in line for your turn to take a picture under the sign, but the line moves very quickly.  on most days there is a guy there who will take your picture with your camera if you wish.  we handed him our camera and he took about a dozen photos of us, even telling us how to pose and where to stand.  he does it for free, so we tipped him $2 for his service.  when you're done, the bus will pick you up on the other side of the highway.  (buses usually stop every 15 minutes or so.)

2. the bellagio fountains
location: 3600 las vegas boulevard south
hours: every 30 minutes monday - friday 3pm to 8pm
every 30 minutes saturday - sunday noon to 8pm
every 15 minutes daily from 8pm to midnight

the choreographed water feature set to lights and music at the bellagio is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.  the fountains are comprised of 1,200 nozzles with 4,500 lights that sit in an 8-acre man-made lake.  the fountains are visible from numerous points on the strip, although the best viewing location would be right in the center of the sidewalk in front of the fountains.  there are numerous songs used (here is the schedule) and all of the shows are different.  (above is a little video that ryan took on his phone while we were watching one of the fountain shows.)

3. the bellagio conservatory and botanical gardens
location: 3600 las vegas boulevard south
hours: daily 24 hours a day

in addition to their spectacular fountains, the bellagio hotel also features a conservatory and botanical gardens which are free of charge to the public.  the display changes with the seasons.  there are 140 expert horticulturists who work on the gardens to keep them in tip top shape, and the attention to detail is unbelievable.  since it was set up for the autumn display while we were there, we saw a pumpkin made entirely of fresh roses.  crazy!

4. the world's largest chocolate fountain
location: 3600 las vegas boulevard south
hours: daily 24 hours a day

after admiring the conservatory and botanical gardens in the bellagio, be sure to stop at jean philippe chocolates just a few steps away to take a look at the world's largest chocolate fountain which goes from floor to ceiling.  three different types of chocolate cascade down.

5. caesars palace fall of atlantis fountain show and aquarium
location: 3570 las vegas boulevard south
hours: hourly monday - thursday 11am to 11pm and friday - sunday 11am to midnight

the free fountain show is located right in front of the cheesecake factory restaurant in the forum shops at caesars palace.  special effects and animatronic figures recount the myth of atlantis.  it is built into a 50,000 gallon aquarium that is the home to 300 saltwater fish and sting rays.

6. flamingo and wildlife habitat
location: 3555 las vegas boulevard south
hours: daily 8am to dusk

the serene paradise stocked with exotic birds, fish, and turtles is nestled in the 15-acre grounds of the flamingo hotel.  flamingo island is home to a flock of chilean flamingos.  there are also two live feedings that you can watch each day.

7. the mirage volcano
location: 3400 las vegas boulevard south
hours: sunday - thursday 8pm & 9pm
friday - saturday 8pm, 9pm, & 10pm

nightly the waterfall display outside of the mirage hotel erupts into a volcano with an explosion of fireballs to a heavy metal soundtrack.

8. the lake of dreams show
location: 3131 las vegas boulevard south
hours: nightly every 30 minutes from dusk to 12:30am

with a 40-foot waterfall, the lake of dreams show tucked in the middle of the wynn hotel is a sight to behold.  it's a spectacle of music and imagery created by over 4,000 lights.  while you are there, be sure to check out the parasol up display, as well as the carousel and hot-air balloon made entirely of flowers.

9. singing gondoliers at the venetian
location: 3355 las vegas boulevard south
hours: indoor sunday - thursday 10am to 11pm and friday - saturday 10am to midnight
outdoor daily 11am to 10pm

although you have to pay to take a ride on the gondolas in the venetian hotel, it is completely free to stand around the canals and listen to the gondoliers singing in italian.  when they sing inside the acoustics are incredible.

10. the fremont street experience and the world's largest golden nugget 
location: 129 east fremont street
hours: daily every hour from dusk to midnight (and 24 hours for the hand of faith)

just a few miles from the strip, the fremont street experience provides a lit canopy of 12.5 million lights which illuminates the street below with nightly shows.  while you are at fremont street, be sure to stop into the lobby of the golden nugget hotel to see the world's largest golden nugget.  called "the hand of faith," it is a whopping 61 pounds and was found in 1980 in australia.  (above is a little video that we shot while we were watching one of the shows.)

love, laurie


Mom H. said...

Again your photos are beautiful!!! It's hard to believe that you can get into all of those sights for free!

ma pa camlet said...

Wow! I want a taste of the chocolate fountain. I like the added touch of the videos because it makes me feel that I am really there. Pictures are awesome.