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Las Vegas Trip Itineraries

Best Vegas Budget Attractions

Destination(s): Las Vegas

Las Vegas has plenty of low-cost things to see and do, which means visitors can still see an interesting selection of museums, exhibits, and shows for little or no money. For nature lovers, the Mojave Desert (try Lake Mead or Red Rock) provides beauty for next to nothing. Learn about Las Vegas history for only $1.00 at the Clark County Heritage Museum. The tour at Ethel M's will satisfy your sweet tooth, and the IP's car collection displays one-of-a-kind vehicles. Visit Downtown for low-limits table and machines, and while you're there, enjoy the Fremont Street Experience and Neon Museum. read more about Best Vegas Budget Attractions

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

  • State Route 159 from Charleston Boulevard
  • (17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip)
  • tel:+1 702 363 1921 (Information)
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89124

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area's towering cliffs look similar to the colorful rock formations in Nevada's Valley of Fire or Utah's Zion National Park, but while it's reminiscent of other areas, Red Rock stands by itself, a lone island of mountains and springs in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

West of Las Vegas, Red Rock sits off State Route 159 (follow Charleston Boulevard west and it will turn into SR159). Admission to Red Rock is $7 per vehicle, and includes admission to the new visitor's center, a map/newsletter.

The visitor's center integrates information, art, and the environment of Red Rock itself. Most of the displays are outside, which is fine for the vast majority of the year in Southern Nevada. Mojave Max, the center's desert tortoise mascot, lives here, along with a few of his friends. The hands-on displays explain the forces that created Red Rock: fire, wind, water, and earth. Keep your eyes open for the colorful birds flying in and out of the inside of the exhibit--the center of the displays is planted with native vegetation.

A one-way scenic drive takes visitors into Red Rock, and it has several places to stop for a hike or to take in a scenic vista; one area, adjacent to the Children's Discovery Trail, has a picnic area next to some springs. Water is plentiful here, so look for wildlife early in the morning and late in the day. You'll see lots of birds, but also look for burros and big horn sheep. Consult the map/newsletter to find a trail that fits your fitness and schedule. Short hikes, like the Children's Discovery Trail, can be completed in under an hour, while a trip to the top of Turtlehead Peak will take you half a day or more.

Winter is a great time to explore Red Rock. Temperatures are generally mild, but the mountains are covered in snow during the coldest months (dressing in layers is highly recommended). Spring and fall are short, but beautiful, with plenty of water from the snowmelt in the streams. Summer is usually far too hot for exploring Red Rock, although short hikes in the very early mornings are often doable. Remember to always bring plenty of water with you, no matter what the time of year, and sunscreen and lip balm are advisable. 

Hikers, bikers, and rock climbers flock to Red Rock. As you drive along the loop, look for the climbers dangling off the rocks of the Calico Hills, and always be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians on the roadways.

This area was settled in the late 1800s, and you can find remnants of its prior history. At Sandstone Quarry, you can see where the blocks of sandstone were carved, and at Pine Creek, a short hike will take you to the foundation of an old homestead. Agave roasting pits and petroglyphs are evidence of far earlier inhabitation.
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Fountains at Bellagio

Fountains at Bellagio

  • 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Bellagio Hotel Casino
  • tel:+1 702 693 7111
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109

The Bellagio's Fountains sound like a simple concept: shooting jets of water timed to music. But what sounds simple is actually a complex choreography of technology, sound, and water. Designed by WET Design, an international company that specializes in elaborate water displays, the Bellagio's Fountains are spread over the nine-acre lake in front of the Bellagio. Over 1,200 nozzles and 4,500 lights work together to shoot water 400+ feet in the air—but that's not all the fountains do. They sway, they dance, and they wow the crowds that gather to watch them.

Shows start in the afternoon, but the best time to see the fountains is at night. The combination of music and the illuminated dancing water is enchanting. Many people have already seen the fountains on television shows or in movies (most famously, the George Clooney remake of "Ocean's 11"). Romantic, spectacular, and iconic, the Bellagio's Fountains are a free Las Vegas attraction that's appropriate for anyone of any age.

An underground well supplies most of the water for the fountains. Prior to the Bellagio, the Dunes and its golf course were located here—thus, the well, which watered the golf course. The Dunes was imploded to make way for the Bellagio.
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Imperial Palace Auto Collection

Imperial Palace Auto Collection

  • 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • tel:+1 702 794 3174
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109
Neon Museum & Boneyard

Neon Museum & Boneyard

  • 821 Las Vegas Boulevard
  • tel:+1 702 387 6366
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89101

What happens to the signs when old casinos are torn down to make room for new resorts? They go to the Neon Museum! In The Neon Museum's Bone Yard you'll see Binion's Horseshoe, the famous Silver Slipper, signs from the Golden Nugget and the Sahara. These works of art are both classic pieces of Las Vegas history and visual reminders of times past. Eventually, the Neon Museum will open a permanent exhibit on the Las Vegas Strip in the rescued and historic La Concha Motel lobby, designed by internationally famous architect Paul Revere Williams.

Tours at the Boneyard are by advance appointment only; admission is $15.00 per person. Photography at the Boneyard is restricted to photos for personal use only. Several neon signs are on display at the Fremont Street Experience, and there is no charge to see those signs and no restrictions on photography.
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Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

  • Fremont Street
  • Fremont St. (between Main St. and Las Vegas Blvd.), Downtown
  • tel:+1 702 229 6551
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89101
Ethel M Chocolates

Ethel M Chocolates

  • 2 Cactus Garden Dr
  • just off Mountain Vista and Sunset Way in the Green Valley Business Park
  • tel:888/627-0990
  • Visit website
  • Henderson, 89120
MGM Grand Lion Habitat

MGM Grand Lion Habitat

  • 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S
  • In MGM Grand
  • tel:702/891-7777
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89119
Clark County Museum

Clark County Museum

  • 1830 S. Boulder Hwy
  • Henderson
  • tel:702/455-7955
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89015
Flamingo Hilton Wildlife Habitat

Flamingo Hilton Wildlife Habitat

  • 3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South
  • Flamingo Las Vegas
  • tel:+1 702 733 3111
  • Visit website
  • Las Vegas, 89109