You don’t have to be a high roller to visit Sin City. In fact, you can have a lot of fun in Las Vegas without spending too much money.
I’m sharing low-cost things to do and budget-friendly places to eat so that you can have extra money to splurge on bucket list adventures while you are in town.
1. Start your visit at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ Sign
No visit to Las Vegas is complete without a visit to the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign located amongst the palm trees at 5200 S Las Vegas Blvd.
This is actually one of Vegas’ major attractions, so there is a small parking lot available for visitors. If you are lucky, you might be greeted by an Elvis who is known to frequent the area when you arrive.
You might notice a line of people waiting to take a picture but if you move to the right side of the sign (off the turf) you can still get your picture without the wait or people in your shot.
2. Hike Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located less than 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas and I highly recommend planning a day trip to visit while you are in town.
You can visit the park for a $15 admission fee per car/truck.
The Calico Tanks trail takes about 2 hours and is considered moderate to strenuous.
It’s the perfect blend of gorgeous scenery mixed with some challenging parts on the trail that will make you feel like a champion after you figure out how to to get over them.
The trail isn’t always marked clearly so expect that you might blaze your own trail at a few points along the way on accident.
Don’t worry, you will figure it out eventually and get back on track pretty easily.
Once you get to the very top the views are totally worth every ounce of sweat.
This is a great place to see the skyline of Las Vegas off in the distance.
Make sure that you bring a backpack with water and sunscreen. You also want to wear shoes with good traction because the sandstone can get slick.
3. Enjoy a Meal at Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill
Sharky’s offers fresh and affordable menu items in a fast-casual environment.
Sharky’s has two locations in Las Vegas conveniently located not too far from the entrance and exit of Red Rock Canyon. You can fuel up before your hike or reward yourself after.
Even though the environment is fast casual, the food quality is anything but. The menu items are made fresh-to-order with as many organic, natural, and locally-sourced items as possible.
Make sure that you order the guacamole and try the sangria or craft beer along with your tacos or burrito.
With menu items averaging around $7, you can enjoy a great meal without breaking the bank.
4. Explore the Fremont Street Experience
There is a LOT to see and do on Fremont Street.
The people-watching alone is pretty fascinating and you will find live music throughout as you walk the street.
You can watch zipliners above you along with free entertainment, compliments of the Viva Vision light shows that happen hourly after 6pm.
Free Slot Machine Pulls in Las Vegas
5. Check out the Downtown Container Park
707 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV
The Downtown Container Park is made up of over 40 shipping containers.
A mix of stores, restaurants, bars, and entertainment, the Downtown Container Park is an interesting tourist attraction that has something for everyone.
Kids will enjoy being greeted by a 55-Foot Preying Mantis as they enter the open-air complex and have so much fun playing on the Tree House & Play Zone at the Container Park.
The Container Park also offers free movie nights and other events to the public.
Make sure that you go up a few floors to check out the shops and the great views.
6. View the Street Art Downtown
I LOVE street art and I try to find it whenever I visit a city.
After a visit to the Container Park, you can take a self-guided Downtown Art Mural Tour.
You will discover lots of different styles within a few block radius. Each corner is like discovering a new artistic treasure.
I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites so I’m sharing a lot of them so that you can see and appreciate the variety.
There is a high concentration of murals around 7th street and for a comprehensive guide to the street art click here.
7. Enjoy a Happy Hour Dinner at Esther’s Kitchen
1130 S Casino Center Blvd #110, Las Vegas, NV
Purchase an alcoholic beverage and get half-priced pasta when you dine in and sit at the bar from 5-7 pm at Esther’s Kitchen.
This is a great deal because the pasta is already reasonably priced and the pasta and bread are all made in-house.
Get the housemade sourdough bread with cultured butter and olive oil.
Trust me on this one!
The pizza made with a natural sourdough crust is also very good.
Basically carb up and know that you will end up walking it off in Vegas anyway. It’s totally worth it!
Esther’s Kitchen also sources its food as organically and locally as possible.
The staff at Esther’s will make you feel like family or an old friend that you have known for years.
The food will leave an impression that will last beyond your visit and trying to figure out how you can fit in another visit.
8. Watch a Free Show at the Silverton Casino Aquarium
Visit an 117,000-gallon aquarium for free at the Silverton Casino Hotel and be on the lookout for a mermaid swim or dive show.
At the aquarium you will also see sharks, stingrays and a variety of fish.
Check out their schedule so that you can time your visit with a stingray feeding, dive show or mermaid swim.
If you want a meal that doubles as an experience make sure that you make a reservation for Meals with a Mermaid.
9. Sample Coca-Cola From Around the World
It might be a small world but when it comes to taste, Coca-Cola varies quite a bit depending on the country.
For around $10 you can get a Coke Sampling tray with 16 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world.
The Coca-Cola beverage bar is on the second floor at the Coca-Cola Store on the Las Vegas Strip.
My husband and I decided to share a sample tray which worked out perfectly.
Realistically you are not going to drink all of them because some of them are not really that enjoyable.
Regardless, it’s still fun to try all of them and learn about popular flavors in other countries.
10. Watch the Fountains at the Bellagio Day and Night
This free attraction is a MUST when you visit Las Vegas because the Bellagio fountains are truly a modern marvel.
Each show is different in song selection and choreography so you will want to see it more than once and at least one time during the day and at night.
There are more than a thousand fountains that dance enhanced by music and light soaring as high as 460 feet in the air and 1,000 feet in width.
Make sure that you allow enough time to find a good viewing spot because the fountains of Bellagio are a popular attraction.
The good news is the fountain show runs frequently throughout the week; it takes place every half hour from 3pm to 8pm Monday through Friday and every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight.
On Sundays, the show starts at 11am every half hour until 7pm when the show goes on every 15 minutes until midnight.
On Saturdays and Holidays, the shows start at noon every half hour, and then changes to every 15 minutes from 8pm to midnight.
11. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at the Pinball Hall of Fame
One of the best things about the Pinball Hall of Fame is that games range from $.25 to $1 so the whole family can have a great time without breaking the bank.
You can also feel good about your gameplay because all proceeds from the Pinball Hall of Fame go to charity.
Occupying over 10,000 square feet, the Pinball Hall of Fame doesn’t pay to advertise and offers one of the best ways for pinball lovers to enjoy a variety of games.
You will get to play on the world’s largest pinball collection open to the public with games ranging from the 1950s up to the 1990s.
12. Fill Up With Breakfast at Omelet House
The Omelet House is a bit of a time capsule and one of the best places on earth to get an omelet.
It’s been around since the late 1970s and its a good deal because you can literally feed two people for the price of one as each omelet is made with 6 eggs!
Fun fact: There are 38 types of omelets! But don’t worry, you can still find other breakfast and lunch menu items to choose from if you don’t go with their namesake.
I would also suggest trying the homemade bread with your omelet, like banana or pumpkin, instead of the toast when given the option because they are really delicious.
13. Take a Tour of the KA Theatre at MGM Grand
Whether it’s your first time to a Cirque du Soleil show or you just enjoy behind-the-scenes access, the KA Theatre tour is a great way to learn more about the production and theatre where one of Cirque’s best shows, KA, takes place.
Guests can learn more about the 360-degree theatre experience with a free tour every Tuesday and Saturday at 12pm and 12:30 pm at the MGM Grand.
14. Explore the Las Vegas Strip via Monorail
When you visit Las Vegas you are going to do A LOT of walking so plan accordingly. This is not the time to test out a new pair of shoes. You need comfort first, stylish second.
My husband and I walked between 17,000- 20,000 steps daily during our visit. If you want to save on some steps to see the sights I suggest purchasing a Monorail pass.
The train arrives every 4-8 minutes at seven stations located throughout the strip.
Station stops include: MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah’s/The LINQ, Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate Las Vegas and the SLS Las Vegas Station.
Check out a few points of interest along the way on the Las Vegas Strip
- The Volcano at The Mirage
- Caesars Palace
- Forum Shops and Fall of Atlantis show at Caesars Palace
- The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Hotel Las Vegas
- Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino’s Wildlife Habitat
- Waterfall Atrium at The Palazzo Las Vegas
- Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio Hotel and CasinoWalk to Caesars Palace to The LINQ Promenade
- Iconic, themed hotels, including New York-New York Hotel Vegas and Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (where you can see the Eiffel Tower!)
- You can also walk to Fashion Show, a shopping mall on Las Vegas Boulevard
15. End Your Visit With the Las Vegas Sign
Visiting the neon lights of the Las Vegas sign before you depart is a little bittersweet but you will be taking back lots of great memories in between your first pic of the sign and your last.
Thanks again to Visit Las Vegas for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.
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