Perhaps no other city in the world deserves the moniker “Sin City” more than Las Vegas. This city has been illustrated in countless works of art as the place where dreams are made, lives are ruined, and the stakes are always high and rolling. This is best exemplified by The Strip – a long road in the Las Vegas valley where you can find the best and largest casinos, as well as hotels, malls, and entertainment complexes. It is safe to say that the city has had a life and beauty of its own, always calling and attracting visitors from far and wide.
In terms of accommodations, you can always enjoy the flashy colorful hotels that come with the resorts and casinos. If you prefer a little peace and quiet during your off- party hours, check any of the available Airbnb in Las Vegas. Lastly, for those who are simply looking for a fun weekend minus the financial risks and burdens, or for those looking to set aside a larger slice for betting and shopping, check out these budget-friendly spots in Las Vegas you can enjoy for absolutely free.
1. View the Hoover Dam from Above
The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, or formally known as the Mike O’ Callaghan- Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, is named after Mike O’Callaghan, a former Nevada governor, and Pat Tillman an American football player who left a promising career to serve in the US Army. It was initially intended to divert the excessive traffic over the portion of the U. S. Route 93 passing over the Hoover Dam. Now, aside from its great job decongesting the earlier highway, it has also become one of the tourist attractions in the area just a little outside of Las Vegas City. Actually, you can park your car on one end of the bridge and walk its length for entirely free. Provided that you have no fear of heights, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the sprawling concrete structure and the gorge before it. Also, signs and placards share tidbits of information along the bridge as you walk through it. It is currently the highest concrete arch bridge in the world.
Also, after a short stroll along the bypass bridge, take a short break at the nearby Hemenway Park. It is a small park on the road to Boulder City, with tennis and basketball courts, a playground, as well as picnic shelter for the family. You can sightsee the panoramic views of nearby Lake Mead or you can watch Big Horn Sheep graze around the park.
2. Watch flowers and waters dance at the Bellagio
Along the length of The Strip is the hidden ecological gem that is The Bellagio, specifically the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. More than another fancy garden inside a resort or an entertainment complex, the staff of the Bellagio gardens include experienced and talented horticulturists who frequently maintain and redesign the sky-lit expanse depending on the seasons and holidays – from giant Christmas trees and poinsettias, mistletoes, and even Japanese sakura trees. Take for example their recent spring displays, aside from the Japanese sakura or cherry blossoms welcoming visitors in their full bloom, the staff at the Conservatory has also included a scale replica of the famous Osaka Castle standing at 32 feet tall. This three-month display approximately required 65,000 flowers to recreate the feeling of Spring in Japan.
A few minutes from the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is another of the now world-renowned attractions – the Fountains of Bellagio. It is a breathtakingly huge water dancing display against a backdrop of lights and sounds. It is easily visible from the front of the Bellagio Hotel and from a couple more spots around The Strip. Performances are played every 30 minutes during the afternoons and between 15- minute intervals from 8:00 PM up until midnight.
3. You and Your Friends and the Chocolate Factory
Plan this one ahead and get there early. Even on average days, more than 2, 500 visitors tour and indulge in this real-life chocolate factory. Ethel M Chocolates Factory in Henderson Is both a manufacturing facility and a sales outlet for premium chocolates under the Ethel M and Ethel’s brand, under Mars, Inc. group of companies.
Free self- guided tours are available and you can partly watch these tasty treats get manufactured since a part of the factory is always open to the public. Afterward, you can get free samples or your own hand-dipped ice cream cone. While the tour around the factory is free, it is admittedly difficult to pass through the in-site shop and not stop for a purchase. For more enthusiastic chocolate connoisseurs, the chocolate tasting starts at 15 USD for adults and 6 USD for kids. Located not far from the chocolate factory is Sun City Anthem, a retirement community for those ages 55 and up in Henderson.
Another feature in this Chocolate plant is the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Gardens, which boasts as massive three-acre land dotted with more than 300 species of plants, mostly cacti. Tours in what is recognized as the largest cactus garden in the United States Southwest are also free.
4. Try the one of a kind Fremont Street Experience
As a mall in downtown, the Fremont Street Experience definitely lives up to the quintessential Las Vegas with its bright lights and generally large, and people- filled, walkways. Occupying almost five blocks of Fremont Street filled with entertainers, buskers, street performers, and impersonators, it feels like an oversized stepped- up carnival. The artists you pass through the FSE perform on the streets for free, aside from the tips you would generally toss their way. Aside from the street performers honing their craft, you can also go casino hopping in between small casinos and larger parts of famous casino chains.
While the Fremont Street Experience is all bright and lovely, still its most famous attraction is the Viva Vision – an animated LED screen covering the central barrel vault canopy at 90ft above the ground in the middle of the arch, and about 1,500 feet long. It displays the mall’s light and sound shows and also displays a fireworks show during the New Year’s Celebration. Another treat to enjoy in the FSE is the SlotZilla Zip Line. Dash through either of the twin lines – the Zoomline hovering 114 feet above and the Zipline a little lower at 77 feet above ground. While Zipline takes you zipping halfway through the entire Fremont Street Experience, the Zoomline on the other hand travel the entire length of it all.