5 Alternate Things You’ve Got To Do In Vegas!

After my trip to Vegas a few months ago I realised that actually there is so much more to do in Vegas than just the gambling and the big parties (not that there is nothing wrong with doing these of course!)

In this post I am going to go into 5 activities that we as a group of 5 lads did when we visited in Vegas that you might not necessarily have thought to do and my honest option whether you should do them or not!

#1 – Do a loop on the High Roller!

Although very difficult to miss as it is that big, the High Roller is a huge 520 foot dia. ferris wheel that is located behind The Linq and Flamingo hotels, it is also right next to the Harrahs and Linq monorail station!

Its open from 11:30am to 2am every day and takes around around 30 mins to do a full spin on it! For an adult it costs $25 just to ride it, however if you get there before 1am you can pay a bit more and get onboard a pod with an unlimited bar! Unlucky for us the night that we visited we got there a bit too late and couldn’t get a bar pod.

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Taken at the highest point of the wheel where you can get a great view of the strip, especially at night – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

Regardless of whether we had a drink or not, it was absolutely still worth going on, a night you get some incredible views of the strip all light up. If you time it right you can also see the Bellagio fountains shoot up!

To book tickets in advance, click here

#2 – Take a kayaking tour on Lake Mead!

Something that not many people would consider doing whilst in Vegas is go kayaking! In a land locked state that is in a desert you wouldn’t think there would be much opportunity to do so.

However in neighbouring state Arizona there are a fair few national parks that you can enjoy water sports on! Vegas actually gets most of its water from Lake Mead which was where we went kayaking!

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I took this shot at our rest stop along the river between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, the water was so still the entire time we were on it! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

Getting picked up from the hotel at around 09:30am we drove about an hour across into Arizona (and over the Hoover Dam!), once at the launch site we met our kayaking instructors that got us set up with our equipment and then got on our way as a group! In total we were away from the launch site for about 2 hours, making 2 stops along the section of river that we were on. Once back at the launch site a return transport took the group back to their hotels along the way we came in the morning, getting back to the hotel about 5 hours after we were picked up.

We booked our kayaking experience with a company called Evolution Experience and they were absolutely fantastic. The tour cost which was called ‘Kayak Emerald Cave Tour’ just under $120 per person and this included; transfers, great experienced guides, use of the kit and some water and snacks that were given out at a rest stop!

 

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After a bit of a practice of balancing with both hands on my phone in its waterproof pouch, I was able to get a couple of action shots onboard the kayak! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

If you have a free day I would recommend given this a go, just prepare to be out in hot weather for a good period of time as it can get really hot out there!

To book this tour or see what other options are available click here

#3 – Take a lift to the top of the Stratosphere, then jump off!

I have to admit, I didn’t take part in this one, but 2 lad’s in the group took the opportunity to jump off the Stratosphere!

SkyJump that is based inside of the Strat hotel give you the opportunity (for $130) to jump off the 261m tall (or 108 floors) jumping platform that is located at the top of the Stratosphere tower.

The whole experience is over in a matter of seconds, however from what the 2 lads had to say when there were at the bottom, they would definitely do it again! You can see some footage below of the jump from the GoPro that my mate Lewis had mounted on his arm.

GOPRO FOOTAGE  (cheers Lew for letting me include it!)

To book the jump in advance, click here, its worth noting that it is not a huge wait to book on arrival.

#4 – Do ‘The Freemont Experience’

Although its not a ticketed event, the Freemont Street experience is something definitely worth trying at least one evening in your Vegas trip. The Freemont Street area, which is in the older part of the Las Vegas strip and located in the north of the city (about 8 miles north of the airport and the MGM grand) and very easy to get to through one of the public busses you see going up and down, or even easier to get to in an Uber.

Freemont Map
From the map above you can kind of get an idea for where the main action is.. the covered part of the street starts at the corner where Heart Attack Grill is and ends where the Freemont Street main stage is – © Apple Maps 2019

The Freemont Street experience is located along a part of Freemont Street thats covered by a huge tunnel thats about half a km long.

Everything that is located around the area is open 24/7, however during the day there is generally less people around and not really that much to see, its quite good if you want to go somewhere for a drink as can get served quickly in the bars. However of a night this completely changes and the whole street comes to life!

The first thing that you see if the huge under canopy light show that is the full length of the street (however one section was actually get repaired when we visited!) There are 3 outdoor stages located down the street, which are all rigged up to the overhead speakers hanging from the canopy and have live bands and DJ’s playing through most of the night!

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At night the giant roof that covers the street lights up and along with the huge speakers that hang down from it, is something really incredible to see – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

I absolutely recommend getting down to Freemont Street at least one evening during your stay in Vegas!

#5 – Take a helicopter tour to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon!

I’ve saved the best till last! The Grand Canyon national park which is located in the state of Arizona is actually less than 200 miles away from Vegas and can be reached by car in a matter of hours, however in a helicopter it can be reached a lot quicker than that!

As a way to finish off our amazing trip to Vegas, we booked a helicopter excursion to the Grand Canyon and a fly over of the Vegas Strip with a company called Maverick Helicopters. Maverick are based to the west of Mccarran International Airport, not far away from the infamous Welcome to Las Vegas sign.

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Stunning views of the canyon taken whilst onboard the helicopter, this was taken as we were on our way to the landing site! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

The tour that we booked was called the ‘Wind Dancer’, it was a 4 hour ‘hotel to hotel’ excursion. The excursion cost $469 each (or just short of $2500 for the 5 of us)

You are picked up from your hotel and driven to the Maverick terminal building, after a registration and having signed a couple of things you meet you pilot and are taken out to the helicopter that you will be travelling in.

After an hour flying time to the Canyon the helicopter sets down in the canyon valley for around 30 mins, where an included picnic and some fizz is served. After the half hour every boards the helicopter and you make your way back towards Vegas! We had to set down half way back in order to take on some more fuel but this only takes about 10 mins to do!

On your approach back to Mccarren airport, you take the long way around and do a fly down the Las Vegas strip, starting around Freemont Street and turning in around Luxor. Once you are set down and have said thanks to your pilot you are taken back to your hotel by the companies transfer service.

 

 

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This was our ride for the day, a $2.8mil Airbus EC 130. Although it was a tight squeeze, the pilot, all 5 of us and another passenger were able to fit on board! My recommendation if you are quite tall is to try and ride shotgun! –  © Lewis Pickthall 2019

Everyone in the group thoroughly enjoyed the tour and for all our first experience of being in a helicopter couldn’t have been any better! Our pilot Matt was great from start to finish and did a great job of not just being a pilot but also a tour guide as well along the route!

If you are considering doing a helicopter tour in Vegas I couldn’t recommend Maverick enough, for more information click here

In conclusion…

I hope you have found these suggestions helpful if you are thinking about booking a trip to Vegas or have booked it and are stuck on what to do whilst you are there! If you have been before what kind of things did you get up to whilst you were there? Let me know in the comments!

 

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