Las Vegas is far from just a gambler’s mecca, and it doesn’t begin and end on the Strip. So why not take your Vegas winnings and splurge on some of the incredible experiences the city has to offer? The best part? There’s no luck involved. The following are our favourite Las Vegas experiences so a little something different in Sin City.
Grand Celebration Helicopter Tour to Grand Canyon Skywalk
This daylong excursion with Papillon starts with complimentary transport from your hotel to the airport. You then go “flightseeing” over the breathtaking Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, and – our favourite part – take an exhilarating stroll on the Grand Canyon Skywalk – the famous glass observation bridge at Eagle Point where you’ll be able to walk 70 feet beyond the canyon’s rim, 4,000 feet above the ground. Papillon Airways, +1 702 736 7243, www.papillon.com.
Gondola Dinner Cruise
For us, a private gondola ride with our own gondolier is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, or commemorate a wonderful trip with the whole family. Whether we’re in the mood for a picnic, a three-course gourmet dinner, or just dessert and champagne to enjoy on our cruise across the waters of Lake Las Vegas, Gondola Adventures is a fun, relaxing way to see the city. Lake Las Vegas, departing from Casino Montelago, Strada Di Villaggio, Henderson, NV, 89011, +1 949 646 2067, www.gondola.com.
Dolphin Trainer for a Day
Donning a wetsuit and diving in for a full day interacting with the clever critters at The Mirage’s Dolphin Habitat is our idea of fun. You can play with the dolphins, care for them, and help to train them. No two trips to the Dolphin Habitat are the same but you come away with special souvenirs of the day, including photos and a certificate, and you enjoy breakfast and a three-course lunch. Participants must be aged 13 or older and comfortable in the water. This is a popular choice, so we recommend making reservations well in advance. The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109, +1 702 792 7889, www.miragehabitat.com.
Bootleg Canyon Flightlines
Imagine what it might be like to fly down from a mountain and you’ll have an idea what an amazing experience the Bootleg Canyon Flightlines offers. You sit in a paragliding harness and fly down a zip line anchored to the top of picturesque Red Mountain, just east of Las Vegas. You’re so high up, you see the entire Las Vegas Valley, Lake Mead and the Eldorado Valley. The eco-tourism guides that come along to point out highlights always show us something great. With the combination of adrenaline and breathtaking views, it’s the ride of a lifetime. 1512 Industrial Road, Boulder City, NV 89005, +1 702 293 6885, www.bcflightlines.com.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
We admit it: we’ve got a need for speed. This experience lets you see what it’s like to be a racing car driver for a day on the track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You spend four hours behind the wheel, receiving one-on-one instruction over the radio from your very own crew chief and achieving breakneck speeds in a NASCAR racing car. For those of us who don’t fancy getting behind the wheel, there are ride-along options, so you can ride shotgun while someone else does all the work for you! 7000 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV 89115, +1 702 643 4343, www.drivepetty.com.
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning