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Las Vegas: 20 Must-Do Things If We Only Have 24 Hours (Or Less)

Viva Las Vegas! Almost 43 million people make their way to the southernmost tip of Nevada to visit the shining city. The lights, shows, buffets, casinos, and endless entertainment go on for 24 hours straight, so anyone visiting has a great time no matter what time of day (or night) they hit the Strip.

Vegas has a lot of perks, including entertainment you can't see anywhere else, all-you-can-buffets at a small asking price, affordable luxury hotels, and your chance to make it rich at the slots. But if you only have two days to spend there, you might be wondering how much you can get out of the destination.

Quick trips are never as good as extended vacations, but in a place like Vegas, 24 hours is plenty of time to see and experience a lot of what the city has to offer. You'll barely crack the surface of what's available, but your days will be jam-packed with fun.

When visiting Las Vegas, don't forget that there's more to do than visit the Strip. When you're feeling overwhelmed by the lights and entertainment, see what else the city has to offer. You might spend the first day and a half wandering around the Strip and the rest of the time checking out downtown Las Vegas.

Ultimately, your Vegas trip will be a blast as long as you have a few experiences on your list!

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20 Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour - The Best Way to See the City

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The Strip in Vegas is about 4.2 miles long, a little longer than you probably want to handle on foot. For that reason, a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour offered there is probably the best method of seeing the city.

These tours will take you from one end of the Strip to the other with small detours down notable side streets. You'll see Caesar's Palace, the Stratosphere, the Vegas Eiffel Tower, The Mirage, and so much more.

You pay for the day, so get off at any destination when you want to explore. Then, hop on and enjoy the rest of your bus tour.

19 Get Your Picture in Front of the "Welcome to Las Vegas Sign"

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This experience is totally free and a classic, especially if you've never been to Vegas. This retro sign reading "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" is so iconic to the city of Las Vegas that it's actually registered on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The sign is located near the historic stone pillars at the McCarran Airport. It's across from the Bali Hai Golf Club and is considered by many to be the southernmost end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Ironically, the sign is not located inside Las Vegas city limits. Instead, it's located in a suburb of Las Vegas called Paradise. Most people ignore this fact, however, and can't resist getting their photo taken!

18 Visit the Mob Museum - See 100 Years of Made Men

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If crime dramas are your favorite television shows, you'll love this detailed museum! The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas is the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement. They have four floors with interactive exhibits, including artifacts and videos. You can go on a historic journey to learn all about organized crime and its law enforcement combatants in the past, present, and future.

Featured exhibits include 100 Years of Made Men, Crime Lab Experience, The Speakeasy, Open City, Web of Deceit, Birth of the Mob, and Prohibition.

It's not just crime memorabilia, though.  You can get your mugshot taken or even get married there!

17 Fremont Street - A Free Experience Downtown

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In the heart of this city is Fremont Street, a place where those on a budget love to go for free entertainment. They have free concerts on the street every night, from local legends to nationwide names like Billy Ray Cyrus.

There's also a free light show called Viva Vision that lights up the skies most nights, a fear attraction, a 12-story slot machine that's been converted into a zip line, and other dazzling experiences along this Vegas street.

Many of the attractions are free here, but you often need tickets to reserve your spot.

16 Stratosphere - Heart-Pounding Views and Chilling Rides

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One of the most iconic buildings in the Las Vegas skyline, a.k.a. the Strip, is the Stratosphere. It looks like the Space Needle in Seattle, but it involves a lot more than the stunning structure.

It's predominantly a hotel and casino, but they offer rides to the top for sightseers. You can look out over all of Las Vegas, as long as you're not afraid of heights.

And, if you're a thrill seeker, you have to check out the four amusement park rides located on the top of the tower. That's right. They're on the top of the 1,149-foot tower.

The rides include a sky jump, a rocking coaster dangling you above the crowds, a roller coaster that circles the stratosphere, and a spinning vortex ride. You can watch or take part in the world's highest amusement park rides.

15 Madame Tussauds Las Vegas - Lifelike Wax Figures Worth Seeing

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Want photos with your favorite celebs? Madame Tussauds is the place to be!

Although this particular attraction is on the pricey side, it's one you won't want to miss. The wax figures are extremely lifelike, making it feel like you're really standing next to idols like Cher, Kim Kardashian, Johnny Depp, Captain America, and many more. Your friends will have a hard time telling that the difference in the pictures between the real people and the wax figures!

Along with the wax attractions, there are also interactive screenings and a bar for your refreshment. Madame Tussauds is located in the Venetian hotel and casino.

14 High Roller Observation Wheel - The Largest Ferris Wheel You'll Ever See

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Want a bird's eye view of the city? The High Roller Observation Wheel is the perfect place to see it all. It's a 550-foot tall Ferris wheel on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

According to the website for the attraction, it's the world's tallest observation wheel, even taller than the London Eye, which is just 443 feet tall.

The entire ride takes 30 minutes to complete, and you'll get to enjoy your view from spacious cabins. There's also an open bar so you can enjoy a beverage while floating above the city.

13 Caesars Palace - A Realm of Entertainment

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There's a lot to do at Caesars Palace, even if you aren't a guest in the hotel. You can swim or sunbathe in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, pamper yourself at the spa, shop brands you love, golf, visit a nightclub, relax at a bar, or see a show.

Caesars Entertainment is one of the biggest names in Vegas, and they're likely to be in charge of a number of shows and attractions across the Strip. You'll see the name pop up a lot, so it's well worth it to visit one of the largest luxury resorts in Las Vegas.

12 See a Cirque du Soleil Show

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Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company with dozens of theatrical productions in Vegas. Most of their shows involve circus-like acrobatics with performers completing daring feats and stunning audiences.

These shows are performed all over Las Vegas, each with a different theme and under different direction. Some of the most famous shows include Mystère at Treasure Island, O at Bellagio, Love at Mirage, Michael Jackson One at Mandalay Bay, and Zumanity at New York-New York.

Research the headlines for these shows and choose one that interests you.

11 Bellagio Fountains and Casino - A Strip Staple

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No trip to the Strip is complete without a visit to the Bellagio Fountains and Casino. The Bellagio is known for its high stakes tables. They always host the World Poker Tour and other tournaments.

The Bellagio is also known for its upscale atmosphere. You'll probably recognize the massive fountain display that goes off every 15 minutes or so. At night, there's a lighted water show you can watch for free.

Another popular free attraction is the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. They have a seasonal display of breathtaking greenery, perfect for pictures.

The Bellagio is one of Las Vegas's premiere luxury hotels with restaurants, spas, and nightlife worth checking out!

10 The Venetian Casino - Check Out the Grand Canal

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If riding on a gondola through the Venice Canals in Italy is on your bucket list, you can get one step closer by visiting the Grand Canal at The Venetian Casino. The Venetian has put great effort into replicating all the best parts of Venice, and their canal ride is a crowd pleaser.

You can take a gondola ride in the daytime or after dark into the romantic atmosphere of the sparkling blue water. See sites that remind you of Italy along the way.

The Venetian is also known for its shows, restaurants, bars, and first-class accommodation.

9 Mandalay Bay - An Undersea Adventure Awaits

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As the name suggests, Mandalay Bay features a number of aquatic attractions for your enjoyment. This is a great place to visit, especially if you have kids.

Mandalay Bay is home to a huge aquarium featuring more than 2,000 undersea animals like sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and even crocodiles.

If you'd prefer to get wet on your visit to Mandalay Bay, check out the beach areas. If you're not a guest of the hotel, you'll have to rent a cabana to reserve your spot, but it's a nice place to take a dip during the scorching Vegas summers.

8 New York-New York - A Tiny Taste of Manhattan

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There's a hotel and casino attraction in Las Vegas that strikingly resembles the Manhattan, New York skyline, complete with the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Statue of Liberty. The impressive display takes up almost a full block of the Strip's prime real estate.

Along with a well-stocked casino, delicious buffet, and breathtaking entertainment options, one of New York-New York's most popular attractions is the Big Apple Rollercoaster. It speeds you around the Manhattan skyline and offers beautiful views of the Strip.

7 Paris, Las Vegas - A Timeless Rendition of the City of Lights

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You'll check off quite a few bucket-list destinations during your 24-hour trip to Las Vegas. Paris is one of them.

If you've been to Paris, you know that the shrimpy Eiffel Tower replica and Parisian scenery reminiscent of the Louvre and Paris Opera don't do the city justice. However, it's a lot of fun if you've never been and want just a little taste.

You can go to the top of the Eiffel Tower to observe 360-degree views of the Strip. There are also casinos, live music, shows, shops, nightclubs, and other attractions to make you turn your head.

6 Watch the Mirage Volcano Erupt - Perfect for Families

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The resort at The Mirage will probably remind you of the Polynesian islands, complete with palm trees, coconuts, and even an active volcano.

Okay, in reality, the volcano is man-made and doesn't have lava, but their rendition is massive, and it erupts every night. You'll feel the ground rumbling near the mirage and suddenly, this mand-made volcano will shoot fire into the air as rock music plays in the background.

This isn't the only family-friendly attraction in the resort, however. There's also a saltwater aquarium and mini zoo, including dolphins and big cats.

5 See a Show at the V Theater

via:Las Vegas Review-Journal

As the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas has hundreds of shows for all ages and maturity levels. If the shows mentioned previously don't pique your fancy, check out what's playing at the V Theater.

Some of the theater's most popular performances include Zombie Burlesque, Vegas! The Show, The Mentalist, and V - The Ultimate Variety Show. They also have a few pet-based shows and family-friendly comedy.

The V Theater is known for highlighting the best aspects of Vegas culture. It's worth checking the schedule while planning your trip!

4 Catch Your Favorite Performer

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Many world-class musicians and performers play in Vegas while on tour. If your travel dates aren't set in stone, plan a visit around your favorite star's tour stop to Las Vegas.

You can also check a list of performers who are there year-round, like Celine Dione, Donny Osmond, The Blue Man Group, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Reba McEntire, and Olivia Newton-John. Tickets are usually priced well at these shows, and it's well worth your time on this short trip!

3 See the Sights from Above on a Helicopter Tour

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You've probably seen the entirety of the Strip from a distance while driving down I-15 in Nevada. It's a pretty spectacular sight in the desert.

However, you haven't truly seen Las Vegas unless you take a helicopter tour over the city. It's a pricey trip, but you'll see the stunning beauties of the Strip in a brand new light. You'll also see the whole of Las Vegas, the surrounding areas, the mountain backdrop, and other desert formations common in this area.

A helicopter tour makes the Las Vegas experience a 3D ride.

2 Get Your Photo Taken at Graceland Wedding Chapel

via:SUITCASE Magazine

There's a great photo opportunity waiting for you at the Graceland Wedding Chapel - unless you're there to see someone get married, of course. Then, there's a wedding!

This chapel is the original Las Vegas Elvis wedding chapel on the Strip. It's surprisingly small compared to the glamour of the other buildings you'll visit in the city. It's been there for more than 30 years and has married celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Ray Cyrus.

You can get your picture taken outside the small chapel for a great keepsake. Elvis-lovers, in particular, should take this shot.

1 Feast on Some of the Finest Buffets You've Ever Seen - At Great Prices!

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While Las Vegas is known for its entertainment and casinos, it's also a notable place to get a great meal. There are hundreds of luxury buffets all over the city, but you won't have to pay through your nose to get in. The prices are reasonable, and the food is scrumptious.

A few notable places to eat include The Buffet at Win, Garden Court Buffet, Feast Buffet, Bellagio Buffet, Le Village Buffet, Carnival World Buffet, and Monte Carlo Resort and Casino Buffet. Bon Appetit!

References: smartdestinations, lasvegaslogue, usnewstravel, tripadvisor

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