Lights, glamour, and all that’s gold, or so they say. The Las Vegas area is home to some of the country’s most iconic attractions, but understanding what’s worthwhile and what can wait is challenging for many. The endless list of tourism options can overwhelm even the most organized person, so we compiled a small list of must-see and mostly free attractions below. For more details, check out Must-dos to get the ultimate Vegas experience in three days.
Seven Magic Mountains
About 25 minutes from the heart of the valley, you can travel south toward California and find the Seven Magic Mountains. This is an iconic pull-off site in Jean, Nevada, that features an amazingly bright, colorful rock installation. The rock towers, also known as cairns, are large boulder-like stacks, each painted in a bright color.
This location is free to visit and a great spot for a photo op. There is not much to do here other than stop and snap a photo, but you can consider venturing a little south to the outlet mall or heading back north toward the Strip.
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are popular tourist stops for Las Vegas visitors, and catching a tour bus is the best way to explore the area. It’s essential to understand what to do and not to do if it’s your first trip to the Hoover Dam, as the wind is strong and the sun is warm. The lake offers access to those seeking a beach day, and the Dam is an iconic attraction outside of Las Vegas that you must see.
Mount Charleston is an exquisite retreat that sends many tourists into culture shock. In the middle of this hot, dry desert is a tucked-away mountain that features its own climate. In the winter months, it’s full of chilly air and snow. In the summer months, you can expect a cool, spring-like breeze and lush greenery.
Mount Charleston features hiking and sledding, and most access points are free. This is a relatively residential area, so it’s essential to remain respectful of the land and passengers.
Valley of Fire
Head north about an hour from the valley and find yourself in the Valley of Fire. This state park features quintessential desert views, camping, hiking, and a bunch of desert-loving wildlife. Nevada residents and visitors enjoy the Valley of Fire for its magnificent sand dunes and remote location, giving the illusion of solidarity. There are more than 42,000 acres of exploration available, so if you’re particularly fond of the outdoors, this is the spot for you.
The desert is nothing short of adventure, thrill, and new experiences. Whether you enjoy fancy dinners or rugged hikes, the Las Vegas area has an attraction for everyone.