When most people think about Las Vegas, they imagine gambling, bright lights, extravagance, and money. The city has a reputation for being a grown-up playground where you can win big or lose it all.
However, Vegas has a lot more to offer. If you've been there, you know it's almost impossible to see everything in one trip. There's truly something for everyone - even the kiddos.
That's what makes Las Vegas one of the top tourist destinations in America. In fact, in 2017 alone, over 39 million people visited Sin City.
Are you itching to experience Vegas, but can't afford to go all out? Or, are you not a fan of gambling? Not to worry.
We're going over five unforgettable things to do when visiting Vegas on a budget.
1. Check out the Fountains of Bellagio
Simply stepping onto the Las Vegas Strip and taking a stroll is an adventure in itself. But unless you make your way to the fountains outside the Bellagio, you haven't totally experienced the strip.
We know what you're thinking. "What's so great about fountains?"
Well, they aren't the ordinary fountains you'd find at a water park. They're a show.
Now an iconic Las Vegas landmark, the Fountains of Bellagio is a manmade lake spanning over eight acres outside the hotel. It includes over 1,200 fountain jets which shoot water nearly 250 feet high, all programmed and choreographed to music and lights.
The free show happens several times an hour, all day, every day. You can easily work the fountains into your schedule. Take in the fountains after dark to get the full effect of the lights dancing off the lake.
After you're done watching the show, check out the hotel's botanical gardens, a perfect stop when visiting Las Vegas on a budget.
2. Take in the City from the Stratosphere Tower
A bird's eye view is the best way to experience the lights of Las Vegas. Hands down, the Stratosphere Tower is the best place to take it all in.
The observation deck at the top of the 869-foot structure is the tallest in the country, and second in the Western Hemisphere, surpassed only by the CN Tower in Ontario.
Once you're at the top, you have a 360-degree view of the sprawling city and surrounding mountains. Head over to the Stratosphere just before sunset and get a breathtaking view of the horizon just as the city lights up.
If you or your family like a bit of adrenaline, the four rides at the top will get your heart racing. The Insanity, Big Shot, and X-Scream along with the controlled free fall of the SkyJump are great options for the serious thrill-seeker.
Admission to the tower is $20 for adults and $10 for children, a small price to pay for something so unforgettable.
3. Downtown Container Park
If you're visiting Las Vegas on a budget and want a unique and diverse activity during the day, the Downtown Container Park is perfect.
Downtown Container Park is a collection of shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries, all made up of actual shipping containers--30 to be exact--and modular cubes. Architecturally, it's interesting, to say the least.
The sign at the entrance is an enormous shipping container that acts as a bridge and walkway. From it, you can view all the activity happening on Fremont Street.
Just outside the entrance is a huge steel sculpture of a praying mantis resting on top of a dump truck to greet visitors. The Catalyst Dome nearby is an igloo-like structure that lights up in the evening. Downtown Container Park is the epitome of arts and entertainment.
It's the perfect place for a stimulating stroll around old Las Vegas or a place to window shop and grab a bite to eat.
4. Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Botanical Garden
The Las Vegas Strip is amazing, but at some point, you may want a break. Head over to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and take a tour to see how they make this famous candy.
The factory and botanical garden is 15 minutes from the action of the strip and provides a glimpse into the history of this famous product. If you have a sweet tooth, this day trip is for you.
The operation was opened in 1981 by Forrest Mars Sr. and the chocolate-making process follows the tradition created by his mother Ethel. The recipes and techniques have remained the same.
Watch employees at work and browse the shop for your favorite flavors. The operation includes an intricate series of conveyor belts and pipes along with 20,000-gallon drums of chocolate.
After you've sampled the product, head over the Botanical Cactus Garden next door. Check out over 300 styles of cactus, many of which you've probably never seen before.
5. Neon Museum and Boneyard
When traveling to Vegas on a budget, don't forget to experience the history of this unique city. The Neon Museum and Boneyard offer a glimpse into old Las Vegas through iconic signage.
Neon signs became prominent in Vegas in the 1930s. These old signs faded into the past as LED screens started taking over. Established in 1996, the museum helps preserve the memory of the neon signs that played a huge part in the identity of Las Vegas.
The Boneyard contains around 120 old signs. You can take part in a guided tour to learn the story behind them. Many of these signs were salvaged and refurbished and now light up just as they did back in the day.
Like many things in Vegas, the Neon Museum and Boneyard is more electric at night.
Enjoy Las Vegas on a Budget
Vegas offers much more than just poker and cocktails. You don't have to break the bank to have the time of your life.
Instead, enjoy the visual wonders of the city; do a little light shopping; visit historic attractions that helped make Las Vegas what it is today.