When you're not winning in the casino, lounging by the pool or savoring delicious cuisine, you'll find that Las Vegas has a variety of must-see attractions and entertainment options to keep you and the whole family occupied. From thrilling roller coasters to virtual-reality simulator rides and erupting volcanoes to wax museums, Las Vegas' attractions appeal to people of all ages, interests and budgets.
Discover the wild side of Las Vegas (as if you haven't already) at a variety of attractions for animal lovers. Visit the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat at The Flamingo Hotel and see Chilean flamingos, swans, ducks, Koi, goldfish and turtles. Venture over to The Mirage for Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The Secret Garden is home to royal white tigers, white lions, black panthers, a snow leopard and golden tigers. The Dolphin Habitat, adjacent to the Secret Garden, houses an extended family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Get up close and personal with endangered and unusual aquatic animals at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef. Visitors journey through a replica of an ancient temple ruin and a sunken galleon ship surrounded by several varieties of sharks.
If you're looking for thrills of a different nature, Las Vegas offers all of the excitement you're looking for. Visitors to Fremont Street Experience will be able to ride "Slotzilla," the world's first power-launched zip line, beginning in December 2013.
Stratosphere has four of the world's highest rides located 100 stories above the ground: Skyjump, the newest thrill ride, is a "controlled freefall" in which the rider plummets 855 feet at a speed of up to 40 miles per hour, XScream (which teeters riders over the edge of the tower 900 feet above the ground), the Big Shot - a thrill ride that shoots fun-lovers 50 meters into the air at a force of 4G's before letting them free-fall back to the launching pad - and Insanity, an appropriately named, dizzying spinning ride that dangles passengers over the edge of the tower before whirling them around at speeds approaching 40 miles per hour. The Roller Coaster at New York-New York Hotel & Casino is an exciting roller coaster with twists, loops and dives around the resort. It features the first-ever heart line roll, which provides a sensation similar to that felt by a pilot during a barrel roll in an airplane. The Desperado, one of the world's tallest and fastest roller coasters, is located near the California/Nevada border just 30 minutes from Las Vegas at Buffalo Bill's in Primm, Nevada. The ride begins with an initial lift height of 209 feet and a breathtaking 225-foot drop. America's largest indoor theme park, the Adventuredome at Circus Circus, offers 21 rides and attractions.
Currently under construction at the center of the Las Vegas Strip is the High-Roller, a 550-foot tall observation wheel. The world's tallest observation wheel is part of Linq, a $550 million outdoor dining, entertainment and retail district by Caesars Entertainment. Linq is expected to open in late 2013 and the High-Roller will follow in 2014.
For the romantic in you, slow things down a bit with a Gondola Ride at The Venetian.
Accompanied by singing gondoliers, this leisurely tour takes you along the quarter-mile replica of the Grand Canal in Venice. Just down the street, you'll discover another romantic Italian attraction at Bellagio. The world-famous Fountains of Bellagio will speak to your heart as opera, classical and whimsical musical selections are carefully choreographed with the movements of 1,000 water-emitting devices. Next stop: Paris. Take an elevator ride to the observation deck atop the 50-story replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas for a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Valley.
If you simply want to be entertained, you've come to the right place. Las Vegas offers a variety of themed mini-productions, which occur regularly throughout the day. Travel back in time and into the fascinating world of Roman mythology with two shows, Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain Shows, which feature Roman statues that come to life, inside the Forum Shops at Caesars. The Mirage has created an all-new audio/visual spectacle for its famous volcano attraction. WET forges a primal volcanic environment of sound, light, music and heat with choreographed FireShooters, which send massive fireballs more than 12 feet into the air. Downtown's famous, casino-lined Fremont Street has been converted into a 175,700-square-foot pedestrian area covered by a continuous canopy studded with more than 14 million lights. Called the Fremont Street Experience, this canopy showcases spectacular light-and-sound shows every hour on the hour during the evenings. The popular CSI: The Experience at MGM Grand gives guests the opportunity to play the role of a crime scene investigator, learning scientific principles and real investigative techniques as they try to solve one of three crime scene mysteries. Two state-of-the-art crime labs help guests piece together the evidence to crack the case.
If your Las Vegas dream vacation involves fast cars and celebrity sightings, you'll have plenty to brag about to your friends back home. Check out the multi-million-dollar Auto Collections at The Quad, one of the world's largest selections of antique, classic, muscle and special-interest automobiles available for sale. The 250 automobiles span a century and range in price from $20,000 to $3 million. Then, check out Penske-Wynn Ferrari/Maserati showroom at Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada's first and only factory-authorized Ferrari and Maserati dealership, offering the finest in new and pre-owned cars. After you've chosen your dream car, you'll be ready to meet and greet some of the most famous celebrities in the world at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Located at The Venetian, the museum showcases more than 100 wax figures of some of the world's most popular film, television, music and sports celebrities. Visitors can even interact with several of its "celebrity" experiences for a truly memorable photo opportunity. To really impress your friends, don't forget to bring home some gold. Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino has the first GOLD to go ATM in Las Vegas. The GOLD to go ATM vending machine dispenses 24-karat gold bars of various weights ranging between one to 250 grams. The vending machine also sells traditional gold coins and signature gold bars featuring the Golden Nugget logo.