What to do during the day

The pace of the city is a little slower during the day. Vegas is always a busy place, but it's the nighttime hours when things are most frenetic. This means the day is a good time to take things a little easy, relaxing and getting ready for the long night to come. Here are some of the best ways to spend a Las Vegas day:

Detox and disinfect at the pool

Sweating out the remnants of last night's imbibing -- and letting sunlight do its best to burn away the smell of cigarette smoke that by now has made its way deep into your pores -- is the most popular daytime option for many Vegas-goers. Some of the upscale Strip resorts and Off-Strip party-central hotels have made their pool THE place to while away the daylight hours. Caesar's Palace, Mandalay Bay, the Wynn, the Hard Rock and the Palms have pool areas that are amazing. And amazing pickup spots, if you're hot and/or wealthy.

Don't be surprised to find that the top-of-the-line hotel pools aren't free. You may have to fork over some cash to hang out at these spots, even more if you want entrance to one of the topless pool areas.

Topless, you say? Oh yes. At these places the ladies are welcome to bare their boobs to the breeze. (Guys, not surprisingly men are charged higher admission to the "European bathing" areas.)

Pools with topless areas
  • Caesars Palace
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Mirage
  • Rio
  • Stratosphere
  • Venetian
  • Wynn/Encore

See our "Pools" section for more information.

One word: Sharks

If you've ever found yourself transfixed by "Shark Week" television, the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay is pretty close to mandatory. The giant aquarium costs only $16, an incredible bargain considering how fascinating it is.

Seriously, this is one of the coolest things in Las Vegas. I can't recommend it highly enough. Friggin' sharks. None with lasers, though.

Golf on immaculate courses

Some world-class links have been carved out of the desert and golfers just love lugging their clubs out here to enjoy their favorite sport (a flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight once told me more clubs were packed on Vegas flights than any other routes she worked). Playing 18 holes won't be cheap -- figure $100 and upwards for the nice courses, topping the $200-mark pretty easily -- and it will require some planning ahead of time. Unless you're a major high-roller it's not likely you can call down to the front desk to book a tee time.

Some of the best courses
  • Badlands
  • Desert Pines
  • Painted Desert
  • Reflection Bay
  • Rio Secco
  • Siena

Note to golfers: Tee times often are filled long in advance. We'd advise making reservations as far in advance as possible.

Indulge in some culture

For art lovers there are museums and exhibits, some are even free. The Bellagio has a world-renowned collection of fine arts, highlighted for most of 2009 by an exhibition of works from Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others for only about $15. The Las Vegas Art Museum fell victim to hard economic times recently and closed (board members say they hope to re-open when the things improve) but the Neon Museum -- which is a collection of classic signs scattered around Fremont Street -- is worth seeing. For those really into Vegas' bight-lights history, contact the museum organizers for a tour of the Neon Boneyard.

Experience Vegas' shady past

At the Tropicana, the Las Vegas Mob Experience immerses visitors in the world of organized crime that was instrumental in the city's rise from a watering stop in the desert to a glittery super destination.

Gamble cheaply

Days are ideal for low-budget gamblers, as most casinos lower their table minimums during these off-peak hours. This means that blackjack table you couldn't bring yourself to sit down at last night because $25 seemed so expensive now requires only 10 bucks per hand. Maybe even just $5. And if you're downtown you may even get lucky and find a seat at one of the increasingly hard-to-find $3 tables.

58 responses to “What to do during the day”

  1. Nitai Kshatriya said:

    I’m so pleased to understand this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random false information that is at the other weblogs. Appreciate your discussing this biggest doc.


  2. b2b marketplace said:

    Let s face it, we start to forget some things  especially the little details as we get older. A journal can be a powerful way to recall the events that happened in your life that made you who you are. Getting in the habit of writing down the events of your day each night is a great way to remember the specifics. Entries on what you re thinking about now can be the basis of powerful memories and reflections in the future. Plus, it can offer a release from the tensions of the day.

  3. Toni said:

    Going to vegas in september with my hubby to be and my son wheres the best place to eat after we get married

  4. Steve the Texan said:

    The Queen Victoria Pub inside the Riviera (north end of the Strip) is probably the handiest option, but serious (and very lively) fans gather at the Crown & Anchor Pub, which is about a $15 cab ride away. The Crown & Anchor will almost certainly be packed, so I wouldn't advise waiting until the last minute to arrive.

  5. Jo said:

    Hi I am coming to Vegas for the first time at the beginning of May for my 40th and as a massive Man City fan would like to watch the FA Cup Final on Saturday 11th May, can you recommend somewhere?

  6. Steve the Texan said:

    It's easy enough to book a Grand Canyon trip after arriving in Las Vegas -- booking booths and kiosks are easy to find; ask hotel staff if needed -- but there are certain upsides to booking in advance. Notably, the assurance of taking the trip when you want and being able to schedule the rest of the stay around the outing. Here are a couple of links that may be helpful:

    * Visiting the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam
    * Show tickets: Buy in advance or wait

  7. Mark said:

    Hi We are visiting Vegas for 5 days... is it simple to book a grand canyon trip from Vegas or quicker and easier to book straight from the uk. Thanks Mark.

  8. Michael said:

    Great site! Going to LV in November a good idea? What to wear? Any special shows coming up - and yes we'll buy our tickets in advance!



  9. cootdog123 said:

    My father, brother and I are going to Vegas on September 04,05,06,07 and returning on the 08th. We have a good idea on what we want to do like gamble at night and sight see in the daytime. This is my first time going as is my brothers first time going. But, this will be my fathers 3rd time going and he said he does not care what we do or what we see. I have been doing a lot of research on the net and have found a boat load of things to see and do but any input from yall will be greatly appreciated. And I almost forgot, we will be ok on money so with keeping that in mind. Thanks Scott.

  10. Steve the Texan said:

    Las Vegas really isn't geared toward young tourists, but your son would probably enjoy the attractions atop the Stratosphere.

  11. Stacy said:

    Going on a Vegas family vacation with my son (17) and parents (65 & 66). We have a Hoover Dam tour and Chris Angel show booked. We will be therefrom the 2nd through the 8th. Any "kid-friendly" suggestions or anything he can do on his own?

  12. Steve the Texan said:

    Liz, the Grand Canyon is absolutely worth a visit. It's an impressive site.

  13. Liz said:

    Las Vegas first timers, 3 ladies on the town for 6 days, what are some other destinations not too far from Vegas that we could take a one day short road trip for?

  14. Steve the Texan said:

    It's getting more and more difficult to find free stuff in Vegas, Desiree. At least free stuff worth getting excited about. You'll probably be given a coupon book when checking in to your hotel, and that will have several small free or discount offers, but don't expect large comps to be coming your way. Sweet talk bartenders and make sure to mention it's your 21st, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if you get a least a few rounds on the house.

  15. Desiree said:

    Hello, I am going to Vegas the 1st of June for my 21st birthday and would like to know what you recommend? We are staying at the treasure island hotel. Places to eat, things to see or do, free stuff etc.. Thank you!

  16. Steve the Texan said:

    An anniversary outing for a couple looking for some playtime seems like the perfect situation for a sexy show. Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" is about the steamiest right now, and I think that would be an excellent idea. Information and more recommendations can be found on the Shows page. Also keep an eye on the Current Bargains page, as special deals for "Zumanity" and other shows come available fairly regularly. (Or sign up to be notified via e-mail when it happens.)

  17. Ashley From Oregon said:

    My husband and I are going to be in Vegas July 8 through the 14th, for our 5th wedding anniversary. Any awesome shows or concerts going on during that time frame? We are up for some serious play time!

  18. Patty said:

    Going to Vegas on July with my 18 year old son. What places do you recommend to visit.

  19. Steve the Texan said:

    A few ideas off the top of my head:
    1. Make definite plans to splurge one night at a top-notch steakhouse.
    2. Visit the casino sports book and let him place a few bets on his favorite baseball or football teams to win championship in the coming season. Those are fun to follow along with as the season goes on.
    3. See one of the sexier shows at night ("Zumanity" is maybe the steamiest right now), then head back to your hotel for some "alone time."

  20. Kerry said:

    Hi All, am coming to Vegas end of March for my husbands 40th. Never been before, any ideas what I can do for him on his 40th?

  21. kathi said:

    Some must do and see in Vegas. The statosphere..amazing and doesn't cost that much. About $20. Will get ya to the top. Freemont street experience. And there is a zipline on Freemont for $20. Great fun. The sharks at mandalay bay. Again about $20. The fountains at the belagio...free. lions at the mgm..free. just about every hotel has something cool..free or very reasonable. A must is to experience the hash house a go go food is amazing and one order will feed two - three people ..try the chicken and waffles.. also try serendipitys ice hot chocolate..my god its heaven.

  22. Ronnie said:

    Coming to Vegas In March W/ 6 friends (3 Birthdays) Monday-Thursday.. WE LIKE TO PARTY.. So where are the Must go to Clubs :)

  23. Steve the Texan said:

    Jackie, here's a link to a mother-daughter article that may be helpful:

    * Activities for 3 generations of women

  24. Jackie said:

    Going to Vegas for my daughter 21st any fun suggestions or must do's first time for both so so excited

  25. Steve the Texan said:

    The rides atop the Stratosphere are a decent bargain (with one exception, explained below). The best deal is usually to buy a ticket at the Strat that includes a visit to the observation deck and a certain number of rides. These typically run in the neighborhood of $40 or less.

    The one expensive ride is the freefall attraction. Sort of like a vertical zipline, or bungee jumping minus the bungee. This terrifying experience can run about $100.

  26. gaz said:

    hey me and my girlfriend are going to vegas for 2 weeks in october for the first time, been watching videos on youtube and seen the rides on top of the stratosphere which look crazy, is it expensive to go on these rides? great site btw!

  27. Lynda said:

    Are there any sights other than the usual on the strip? I know of the Hoover Dam

  28. ALBERT said:

    I will be travelling to Las Vegas with my wife staying at a Hotel in Las Vegas Blvd between the 10th to 12th January.
    What are the major activities [ night and day ] within that date and the Street. and how far is from the Downtown.

  29. Steve the Texan said:

    Here's a link that may be helpful for questions about Christmas and New Year's:

    * Holidays in Las Vegas

  30. sarahb said:

    Hi me and my partner are going to vegas for christmas this year, is everything going to be open and can we just walk into restaurants and get something to eat? does anything special happen on the 25?

  31. Steve the Texan said:

    Devin, here are a couple of links that may be helpful:
    * Las Vegas weather / What to pack
    * Questions about dress

    With the exception of pool parties, daytime activities change very little during the fall. Those listed on this page are good starting points.

  32. Devin said:

    Going to Vegas in November with my man and two other friends... How will the weather be, and how should we dress? What would be day time activities for the fall season?

  33. Steve the Texan said:

    John, I can honestly say I've never been asked about kilts before. If you choose to go with the Scotsman look you'll certainly stand out from the crowd, but I don't think it's likely that you'd run into any trouble with any of the various venues. As for what to do, there are plenty of ideas throughout the site, but in general: gamble, drink, laugh with your friends, eat fine meals, pay no attention to clocks, relax.

  34. John Cunningham said:

    Coming to Vegas with party of 6 - Guys of mature age - celebrating my 60th. Thinking of wearing kilts - any probs with entry into venues. Also suggestions for what to do apart from the gambling. Arriving 23rd Oct 2011

  35. jersey girl said:

    goin to vegas with a group of 3..friends 25th birthday what is their to do with out breaking the bank but still have lots of fun?

  36. Steve the Texan said:

    Sarah, the top hotels put out a fantastic buffet spread for Christmas. You'll enjoy it. It's unlikely you'll have any problems being seated, but it wouldn't hurt to contact your hotel a month or so before your visit to find out if reservations are recommended.

  37. Sarah said:

    My husband & I are coming to Vegas for Christmas. We've been before but never at this time of the year. I can't find any Christmas Day menu's or deals at restaurants...am I looking too early? Is it too risky leaving it till we get there (21st Dec)?

  38. Steve the Texan said:

    Here's a page that should be of help, Tiffany:
    * Las Vegas weather / What to pack

  39. Steve the Texan said:

    The Gun Store, Pete. I believe that's what you're looking for. Information is found on this page:
    * Unusual even by Vegas standards

  40. Pete said:

    Im best man for a wedding in vegas late oct. Looking for things to do the day before the wedding for a group of approx 10 lads ages 30-65 any ideas?

    Any good shooting ranges?

  41. Tiffany said:

    Any one know what the weather is usually like in October-November??

  42. Steve the Texan said:

    Jules, the Aria belongs in the "Luxury" category, not "Tight budgets." The categorization has been fixed and it now is listed correctly on the page of recommended hotels.

  43. Jules said:

    We are going to the Aria on 14th sept-you list it on your website as 'tight budget' choice.We have previously stayed at the Venetian and the Wynn and thought The Aria was also under Luxury hotels and paying similar price.Why do you consider Aria as tight budget?

  44. Steve the Texan said:

    Shelby, for all its reputation and a party town, Vegas is also a truly great place for some relaxing downtime. Bring a good book or two with you and enjoy some time at the pool and -- one of my favorite things -- in the hotel spa. Getting a couple of days rest before the rest of your party arrives will put you in great shape.

  45. Shelby said:

    I'm going to Vegas alone, by myself, will be there about 2 days before anyone else arrives......any suggestions?????? on what to do?

  46. Steve the Texan said:

    Jessica, you might want to pay a visit to New York New York on your visit. There is a permanent Sept. 11 memorial at the hotel's Statue of Liberty replica.

  47. Jessica said:

    I will be in Vegas for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Being an Irish american I like to remember the victims who lost their lives every year. I am wondering will there be any memorials to honour the tenth anniversary in Vegas?

  48. Steve the Texan said:

    Absolutely, Grace. There won't be pool parties and and such in November, other than that there's not much difference in what time of year you visit. Here is a link to an article that may be helpful:

    * Do they ever close things?

  49. grace said:

    my partner and I are going to Vegas in November, are there still things to do at that time of year?

  50. Steve the Texan said:

    There really is no one single list of "musts," Emmalinn. It all depends upon what type of trip you want to have. A person who loves good food would want to make a point of visiting a few top restuarants, for example, while a visitor who wants to include daytrips might want to take a day to visit the Grand Canyon. Serious shoppers would place a priority on hitting up the outlet malls and hoity-toity stores, but a party crowd might want to do nothing but hang out poolside during the day and dance all night. Serious gamblers might not be interested in any of those items, but just want to find the list of best casinos for them.

    My own very broad list that would cover most visitors would be something like this:

    • Gamble
    • Visit the Stratosphere at night
    • Enjoy at least one meal at a top restaurant
    • Enjoy at least one meal in an old-school steakhouse
    • Catch at least one top-level show
    • Leave at least one day most unscheduled and stroll the Strip
    • Gamble more

  51. emmalinn said:

    a group of 3 of us are travelling from the UK on 15 nov and are wanting to experience everything, what are the top 5 things that are a must?

  52. Mj said:

    Going to Vegas at the end of July with my cousin for my job convention which takes place on a Thursday.. what's there to do when the night falls other than gambling??

  53. Steve the Texan said:

    Here's a link that may be helpful, Brian:

    * Gay Vegas

  54. brian said:

    Going to Vegas, 29th June.... 2 gay guys, what is there to see and do, and what do you reccomend

  55. Steve the Texan said:

    The Las Vegas Mob Experience is interesting, especially for those who are fascinated by Vegas' shady past. I'm a history buff, so that sort of thing always appeals to me. But it does cover a lot of ground many visitors already know about through movies like "Casino" and the like.

    The exhibit is definitely worth visiting, but I don't know that I would put it on my "Must Do" list.

    The Tropicana does have a couple of room specials going on right now, including one that takes of of Mob Experience tickets. They can be found on our Bargains page.

  56. Chris in Texas said:

    I'm visiting Las Vegas later in the year and have heard a lot about the "Las Vegas Mob Experience" on websites and listening to some of the Las Vegas radio stations over the internet. It sounds interesting but I defer to you: what is your honest opinion of it.

  57. Steve the Texan said:

    Lorri, I think you're probably better off taking one of the many shuttles than run to the outlet shopping areas from the Strip. Here are a couple of links that may be helpful:

    * Shoppers' Shuttle
    * Shopping on the cheap

  58. Lorri said:

    Going to Vegas in July want to visit preimer outlets there are three of us would we be cheaper in a cab or getting bus ,if it's the bus where do we catch it

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