Most people take taxis to get around in Las Vegas. Personally, I prefer to walk. One of my favorite things to do in Sin City is to head out of my hotel and walk the Las Vegas Strip. Here, based upon a mix of recent visits and dream activities, is my ideal itinerary for the perfect stroll in the city of fun and sun.
The best Strip walks start at the south end, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. I always have dreamed of diving into the insanity of Vegas by jumping into the resort’s Dive with Sharks Program. I’ve never gone diving with sharks before, but the experience sounds incredible. You need to be dive-certified in order to participate. So long as you meet that requirement, you can swim with (a guide and) more than 30 exotic sharks. The people at Mandalay Bay even will take video of your dive.
Next, hit the Luxor Hotel and Casino for lunch. The iconic pyramid-shaped resort is just north of Mandalay Bay and is home to my favorite Caesar-salad-and-margarita joint in all of Vegas: Tacos &Tequila. Yes, the place has tacos and other traditional Mexican-food faves. But the restaurant’s Caesar salad is worth the trip alone.
With the clock ticking, it’s time to keep hopping up the Strip. Ride The Roller Coaster at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, then cross Las Vegas Boulevard and head into the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino for some drinks at Michael Mina’s Pub 1842. (If you’re still hungry, indulge in the Peanut Butter Crunch Burger: peanut butter, jam, and potato chips on a fresh grilled hamburger patty.)
For some retail therapy, continue north and take a quick walk through The Shops at Crystals. This high-end shopping center doesn’t just house the finest brands in the world, but it also is home to Glacia, described to me once by a friend as, “the coolest thing in Vegas.” The sculpture sits in an indoor reflective pool near the northernmost corner of the mall, and at 6 a.m., giant ice columns emerge from holes in the center of the pool. Over the course of each day, these columns melt naturally. The columns melt in different ways every day, meaning the art is different all the time.
After marveling at frozen water, take in the water show out in front of Bellagio. The Fountains of Bellagio, in the property’s man-made lake, are set to music, and the skyward columns of water are flawless notes in a complex symphony of wonder. Each show offers something different; shows occur every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. (Check the website for schedules.)
Viewfinder Tip: When walking in Vegas, wear comfy shoes. You might want to look classy, but the Las Vegas Strip is longer than it looks and your feet need some love.
Next, head across the Strip to The LINQ and take a ride in The High Roller, currently the largest observation wheel in the world. As a passenger, you will ride the wheel inside a 40-person cabin that looks like a giant hamster ball. From the zenith of the wheel, 550 feet above the ground, you have a great perspective of Vegas. Bring your camera and savor the eye candy.
Later in the day, continue north. Snap a shot of the iconic volcano at the Mirage Resort & Casino, and check out the light show at the Lake of Dreams at Wynn Las Vegas. Witnessing this free show is like watching will-o’-the-wisps dance on the water. While there are plenty of decks from which to observe this spectacle, I recommend grabbing a drink and watching from any of the lakeside bars.
Finally, end your Las Vegas Strip walk at the Stratosphere Casino & Resort Hotel. Here, Tawny and I are itching to try out SkyJump Las Vegas, a controlled, bungee-style jump off the top of the 108-story tower. From everything we’ve heard about this thrill ride, it sounds like a blast. I can’t think of a better way to end the best walk in town.
What are your favorite things to see and do along the Las Vegas Strip?