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Best Tours and Day Trips from Las Vegas

You will come to Las Vegas to have fun, but you will remember it for its decadent beauty. Discover it with a guided tour or excursion that shows you the wonders of the city.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

17 min read

Best Tours and Day Trips from Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sign Post | ©Sung Shin

Las Vegas is not only about casinos, neon lights, and big shows. Given its proximity to numerous natural monuments, many travelers make the most of their trip to Las Vegas to explore places like the Grand Canyon, the Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, or Red Rock Canyon, among many others. Here are the best options:

1. Nighttime walking tour of downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas lit up at night | ©Ameer Basheer
Las Vegas lit up at night | ©Ameer Basheer

You've probably seen the streets of Las Vegas in quite a few movies but I'm sure there are still many things you don't know about the largest city in the state of Nevada, such as its history and how it became the city of excess that it is today despite being in the middle of nowhere.

The dizzying growth of this city brought with it numerous anecdotes that you would have no way of knowing if it weren't for this 2-hour nighttime walking tour: hosted by a former history professor who knows all the secrets of Las Vegas.

Itinerary

  • Fremont Street, the old part of the city. Here, the first casinos and hotels started popping up in the '30s, when gambling and alcohol attracted many visitors and several gangsters invested money in Las Vegas to create hotels.
  • Old Time Casino at the El Cortez Hotel, a place that still preserves several original rooms and antique slot machines. With guide Richard Lloyd Evans, a former history professor, you can learn about the secrets of Sin City in this era and anecdotes about the gangsters.
  • Fremont East District, an area filled with charming local restaurants, cocktail lounges and plenty of entertainment that pays homage to Las Vegas history.
  • Downtown Container Park, an open-air market with art galleries and, occasionally, live entertainment. You will be welcomed by a massive, metallic praying mantis that expels fire from its antennae. Seeing it at night is even more amazing and looks spectacular in photographs.
  • Golden Nugget and Binion's Gambling Hall. The world's largest gold nugget is on display at Golden Nugget and at Binion's Gambling Hall you can have your picture taken with $1,000,000 in cash.
  • Fremont Street Experience: a pedestrian street with one of the most dazzling sound and light shows in Las Vegas. It was created to revive tourism in the old part of the city. Additionally, this place also has street artists and live performances so visiting it can be quite a fun experience.
  • Viva Vision, the world's largest video screen and its visual shows with music by Imagine Dragons, Steve Aoki, Linkin Park and The Killers, among others.

Why do I like this tour?

Behind all the glitz, gambling, and nightly shows, throughout the city you can find hidden corners that the average tourist would never see. Those places are exactly what you will discover in the tour led by Richard Lloyd Evans, a guide with a great sense of humor who makes the tour very enjoyable and knows every kind of story about Las Vegas, both the funny anecdotes and the more mysterious ones.

A highly recommended tour to know the origins of Las Vegas and its history. In addition, being a small group of maximum 8 people, the guide can answer everyone's questions and the experience is very personalized.

2. All-inclusive Las Vegas nightclub party route

Views from the Foundation Room located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel | ©Joseph Hunkins
Views from the Foundation Room located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel | ©Joseph Hunkins
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Since its origins, Las Vegas has been a paradise for nightlife lovers. In addition to fun shows and casinos, there are hundreds of pubs and bars to have a great time but the best way to party in Las Vegas is to take a night bus tour of the all-inclusive nightclubs.

Why? You'll avoid high access fees, the hassle of finding a taxi to get around with, you'll have VIP access to three of the city's most popular nightclubs and you'll enjoy top-notch drinks on the same party bus that will take you to the clubs. Sounds good, doesn't it?

In addition, this tour includes a mini-tour of the Las Vegas Strip and a stop at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign to get your picture taken by a professional photographer.

What to expect?

The Las Vegas nightclub party route starts at 9:00 PM at the House of Blues for check-in. This place offers 15% discount on food and you will receive a free drink if you stop for dinner. In case you are traveling with a large group of 15 people or more and want to make a dinner reservation, you will need to inform the tour operator in advance so that they can help you organize it.

Around 10:00 PM, the tour host will take the group to Foundation Room, the first nightclub of the evening. With your Party Tours wristband, Foundation Room offers $5 Ketel One vodka drink specials.

You will continue the night in the party bus stocked with top shelf liquor as you go from club to club and the host takes pictures of the party for you to download later.

What you need to know

  • In Las Vegas you must be 21 years old to drink or enter nightclubs so to participate in this party tour you must carry your passport or a valid government-issued photo ID showing that you are old enough.
  • To access the clubs, there are usually some restrictions on clothing so it is important to respect the dress code of the nightclub. To avoid any problems, it is advisable to choose an elegant outfit.
  • All locations are subject to changes.
  • The tour includes drinks at the meeting point and complimentary drinks on the party bus, but not drinks in the clubs.

3. Grand Canyon bus tour

Grand Canyon | ©Alan Carrillo
Grand Canyon | ©Alan Carrillo
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For many travelers, the South Rim is the most beautiful part of the Grand Canyon. It is located in the heart of the National Park and the views from any of its viewpoints are fascinating as you can contemplate both its grandeur and height in all its splendor.

The best way to get to the South Rim from Las Vegas is by road. With this one-day bus tour to Grand Canyon National Park you will have the opportunity to enjoy this natural wonder, accompanied by a professional guide who will tell you about its history and give you an overview of its fauna and flora.

What will you see?

The tour begins with a hotel pick-up in Las Vegas for a 6:00 AM departure to this rugged gorge carved by the Colorado River over thousands of years. Along the way, you will listen to the guide's commentary on the history of this natural monument to get you into the thick of things. You will stop for lunch and visit the Grand Canyon Caverns, which are located along Route 66 just outside of Peach Springs.

These are the largest dry caves in the United States, which are located at 60.96 meters deep. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to access the caves to explore them in an optional 45-minute tour where you can take awesome pictures for your socials.

You will then return to the Grand Canyon National Park to enjoy the spectacular scenery of this beautiful landscape of reddish rock formations. This tour allows you to become familiar with the South Rim, the most visited part of the Grand Canyon as it is considered to be the most beautiful of the three areas of the park and is open all year round.

It also includes visits to two iconic sites such as Mather Point, the most popular viewpoint on the South Rim, and the Bright Angel Lodge, where you can marvel at the sunset in the breathtaking setting of the Grand Canyon. On the way back, you can relax in the comfortable seats of the luxury bus while watching the lights of Las Vegas in the distance, the city that never sleeps.

Why do I like this tour?

The best way to get to the South Rim from Las Vegas is by road. The trip is long but it is very well organized. To make it a bit more pleasant, the bus that will take you on this tour has amenities such as a bathroom inside the vehicle, padded seats and panoramic windows to enjoy the scenery during the trip, which is especially appreciated on the return trip to rest after a long day visiting the Grand Canyon.

Isabel's Traveler Tip

The best tourist attractions in the Grand Canyon are outdoors, so to protect yourself from the sun I advise you to bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.

4. Airplane tour of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon

View of Hoover Dam from light aircraft | ©Ryan Thorpe
View of Hoover Dam from light aircraft | ©Ryan Thorpe

If you would like to fulfill your dream of seeing the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas but want to avoid the long road trip to get there, the best thing to do is to take a tour of the West Rim by plane of about 70 minutes of duration. In this marvelous experience, you will explore the area of the Grand Canyon that is closest to the city.

This 4-hour tour will give you a bird's eye view of the highlights of the West Rim route: Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Thanks to the large windows of the aircraft you will be able to enjoy amazing panoramic views and take stunning pictures as a souvenir of your visit to the Grand Canyon.

What to expect?

This exciting adventure through the skies of Nevada begins with all passengers being picked up at their hotels and taken to Boulder City Airport. Here you will check-in for your flight and after buckling up, you will take off for Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, and Hoover Dam, a 20th-century engineering masterpiece that sits on the course of the Colorado River and gave rise to the famous reservoir.

You will then fly over the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon passing over some of the attractions of the West Rim such as Eagle Point, Guano Point, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass-floored observation deck on a 1,300-meter deep cliff. This air tour ends upon return to the airport and hotel in Las Vegas.

Why should I give information about my weight?

You get asked this so that the flight operator can calculate how to best distribute weight in the aircraft, and balance the flight.

Do I need to show any documentation?

Yes, to participate in the activity you must bring a photo ID, ID card or passport.

5. Extended helicopter ride over the west side of the Grand Canyon

Lake Mead | ©Wasif Malik
Lake Mead | ©Wasif Malik

If during your trip to Las Vegas your schedule is a little tight but you don't want to miss the opportunity to see the unique natural monument in the world that is the Grand Canyon, this 4-hour tour of the West Rim is what you are looking for.

Unlike other Grand Canyon tours, on this one, you will be able to see from the sky this grandiose gorge carved into the rock by the Colorado River almost one mile deep, in a flight of about 70 minutes of duration.

What are you going to see?

Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon West including the Colorado River.

What to expect?

While other Grand Canyon helicopter tours only spend a few minutes flying over the Grand Canyon, this is an extended tour with more flight time over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and the west side of the Grand Canyon. No more and no less than approximately 70 minutes.

After selecting your departure time at the time of booking, the Grand Canyon helicopter tour begins when you are picked up at your Las Vegas hotel and taken to the heliport where you will board the aircraft to fly over the West Rim.

This area of the Grand Canyon is the most visited by tourists traveling to Las Vegas, as it is the closest place to the city. It is very popular for its deep and narrow cliffs, as well as for the horseshoe-shaped viewpoint known as Skywalk that has a glass floor on a cliff thousands of feet deep. The sensation of being suspended in the air is very exciting and will give you another perspective of the Grand Canyon different from the one seen from the sky.

During the flight, you will listen to the pilot explain the origin of the Grand Canyon while appreciating the amazing views of the tour. At the end of the helicopter tour, you will return to the heliport and then to the hotel. Refreshments are included to keep your energy level high during the activity.

Check availability

This Grand Canyon tour can accommodate a maximum of 30 people, so it is advisable to contact the tour operator in order to check availability on the chosen date, as there may be previous reservations.

Why should I give details about my weight?

To calculate the distribution of the passengers in the helicopter, and balance the flight.

Do I have to carry any kind of documentation?

Yes, travelers must bring a photo ID, ID card or passport to participate in the activity.

6. 3-day tour to Las Vegas National Parks: Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park | ©Thomas Shahan
Zion National Park | ©Thomas Shahan

Las Vegas is not only entertainment, casinos and neon lights. It is also the starting point for many excursions to the desert and several national parks. If during your stay in the city you want to catch a bit of fresh air and get to know the unique nature of states like Arizona and Utah, this excursion of 3 days to Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks: accompanied by a professional guide can be perfect for you.

Ground transportation, two nights lodging with breakfast and entrance fees to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Zion Park are included in the price of this experience.

What to expect?

The adventure begins at 7:00 AM when you board the bus or minivan on Las Vegas Boulevard that will take you and the group to explore the desert landscapes of the western part of the country.

  • The first stop of the tour will be the Grand Canyon, where you will visit the area known as the South Rim, which is considered the most beautiful of the three areas into which the national park is divided.
  • Afterwards, you will head to Lake Powell for a cruise on one of the most beautiful lakes in America. Visiting it feels like finding an oasis of crystalline waters amid an arid area.
  • At the end of the cruise it is time to head west to Bryce Canyon, home to the most amazing natural rock and sand sculptures on the planet. A landscape that might as well look like Mars, and was formed by the erosion of rain, wind, and sun over thousands of years.
  • Finally, you will visit Zion National Park, the oldest of the five national parks in Utah. The Mormon community that settled in the area in the 19th century gave it this name, which comes from an ancient Hebrew word meaning "sanctuary". And, truth be told, when you set foot in this place you understand why: impressive cliffs and mountains, viewpoints with spectacular views, and natural pools of emerald color. A mystical landscape that is the dream of any photographer or traveler.
  • You will have the opportunity to hike along the Virgin River and feel the calm atmosphere of Zion National Park, so different from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. In the evening you will return to this city to end the excursion.

Duration

The duration of the tour to Las Vegas National Parks: Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon is 3 days. It is available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and German.

Day 1: Las Vegas - Grand Canyon - Lake Powell

Accommodation: Clarion Inn Page
Meals: Not included

Day 2: Lake Powell - Bryce Canyon

Accommodations: La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Kanab or on certain departures overnight at the Comfort Inn, Cedar City.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Zion National Park - Las Vegas
Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Breakfast

More information

  • This tour admits a maximum of three people per room. If you are traveling with a group of 4 or more people or wish to have separate rooms, we recommend that you make separate reservations.
  • Children under 2 years old are free of charge. At the time of booking, please let the operator know if an infant is traveling with you. Child seats are available.
  • Baggage is limited to one suitcase and one small carry-on bag per person.
  • Participants in the activity must be at least in an average physical condition.

7. 3-Day Tour: Sedona, Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas

Horseshoe Bend | ©Andy Morffew
Horseshoe Bend | ©Andy Morffew

If you are passionate about photography and want to know the natural wonders of western United States, in this excursion of 3 days to Sedona, Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon accompanied by a professional guide you can discover some of the most photogenic landscapes of the Arizona desert. I'll tell you a little about the itinerary:

Day 1 Vegas - Sedona

Visiting Arizona by car, you will travel through the Mojave Desert, whose unique appearance has attracted travelers and artists from all over the world in search of a different experience as they pass through the west coast of the United States. The first stop on the tour will be Oak Creek Canyon, a beautiful narrow canyon surrounded by lush pine forests and reddish rocky mountains somewhat reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.

On this visit, you will also see Slide Rock State Park located in Oak Creek Canyon 7 km north of Sedona.

Then, you will stop for lunch in Sedona, a city of natural beauty where thick vegetation is mixed with rocky mountains of reddish tones, in a landscape reminiscent of Far West movies. Perhaps this is because it was actually the film location of many western movies. In Sedona, you can visit galleries, stores, and browse Native American crafts.

From Sedona, the group will take an eastward route called the Red Rock Scenic Byway to see Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, the two most renowned rocky mountains in the region. Also, you will visit the Courthouse Butte hill and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a catholic temple dating from 1956 that is truly beautiful at sunset.

Accommodation: Country Inn & Suites Flagstaff
Meals: Not included

Day 2 Sedona - Monument Valley - Horseshoe Bend

The next stop on this excursion is Monument Valley, a valley located within the Navajo Indian Reservation. Due to its impressive beauty, it is one of the most photographed places in America. Accompanied by Native American guides, the group will take a Jeep tour through the valley to enjoy the amazing views.

During the visit, you will take a break to enjoy an outdoor barbecue and then resume the tour to go to the Colorado River and visit the famous Horseshoe Bend in the afternoon, the horseshoe-shaped meander that you have probably seen in countless postcards.

Accommodation: Clarion Inn Page
Meals: Breakfast Lunch

Day 3 Antelope Canyon - Valley of Fire - Las Vegas

To put an end to this exciting trip, the group will head to Antelope Canyon, a sacred site for the Navajo tribe, to admire the dunes and the canyon eroded away by water. Finally, on the way back to Las Vegas, you will stop for lunch and a visit to the Valley of Fire, Nevada's oldest state park whose rock formations date back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Accommodation: Not included
Meals: Breakfast

More information

  • This tour allows three people per room maximum. If you are traveling with a group of 4 or more people or wish to have separate rooms, we recommend that you make separate reservations.
  • Children under 2 years old are free of charge. At the time of booking, please let the operator know if an infant is traveling with you. Child seats are available.
  • Baggage is limited to one suitcase and one small carry-on bag per person.
  • Participants in the activity must be at least in average physical condition.

8. Small group tour of the south rim of the Grand Canyon

South Rim of the Grand Canyon | ©Nicolas Vollmer
South Rim of the Grand Canyon | ©Nicolas Vollmer

Of the three areas into which the Grand Canyon is divided, South Rim is considered to be the most beautiful. The views from any of its viewpoints are captivating, as you can admire the magnitude of the place in all its splendor. However, anything I could tell you about its charms could not even compare to the feeling of admiring with your own eyes this marvel declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The best way to get to the South Rim from Las Vegas is by road, as you can travel along historic Route 66 crossing the desert of reddish rock formations that look like they are from another planet. In addition, with this excursion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon you will be able to visit it in a private trip only with your own group accompanied by a guide. You will live a totally personalized experience.

What to expect?

The tour begins at 6:00 AM to depart for the Grand Canyon Caves via the famous Route 66, the first highway connecting the east and west coast of the United States. Much of the visits that these caves receive are probably due to the fact that they are located along this highway.

These are the largest dry caves in the United States, which are located 200 feet deep. On this tour, there is a stop to explore the interior in an optional 45-minute visit to complete the trip to the Grand Canyon.

Your group will then arrive at the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, where, accompanied by a guide, you will walk between Mather's Point and Bright Angel Lodge to enjoy the breathtaking views, and take awe-inspiring pictures. On the return trip, through the van windows, you will be able to take in the night views of the Las Vegas skyline with its twinkling lights before returning to the hotel.

More information

This Grand Canyon South Rim small group tour lasts 15 hours (approx.) and is available in English and Spanish.

9. Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas with skip-the-line entry to the Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk | ©Richard Martin
Grand Canyon Skywalk | ©Richard Martin

Although it is the South Rim that is considered the most beautiful part of the Grand Canyon, the West Rim also has much to offer. Combine that with a tour by helicopter and VIP access to the Skywalk:, a glass-floored observation deck over a deep cliff, and the experience here is totally breathtaking.

What to expect?

The tour begins with a limousine pick-up at the hotel and a transfer to the heliport, where you will board the helicopter to fly over the Grand Wash Cliffs desert, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam while admiring the scenery from the wrap-around windows of the aircraft.

The next attraction on the tour is Grand Canyon West. Upon landing you will be privileged with queue-free access to the Skywalk Observation Deck, one of the West Rim's most popular attractions. The sensation of walking on this glass-floored structure perched on the edge of a cliff is absolutely breathtaking.

Why should I specify my weight?

Most tour operators ask for your weight to calculate the weight distribution in the helicopter and balance the flight.

Do I have to carry any kind of documentation?

Yes, all passengers over 18 years of age must bring a photo ID or passport to participate in the activity.

Children must be seated on an adult's lap. Only applicable if they are under two years of age, in which case proof of age such as a passport or a copy of their birth certificate must be provided.

More information

  • Backpacks, bags, and cameras are not allowed on the Skywalk. Complimentary lockers are available to store personal belongings.
  • For reasons of comfort and balance of the helicopter, passengers weighing 300 pounds or more must purchase an additional seat. This is paid directly to the tour operator on the day of the tour.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the best way to get around Las Vegas?

    The most efficient way to travel through the strip is to ride the Monorail, running from 7:00 to 2:00 during the week and from 7:00 to 3:00 on the weekends. Alternatively, you can catch the Deuce, a double-decker bus that will let you sightsee and get around at the same time. Also, Uber and Lyft work in Vegas and are a popular choice among travellers and locals.

  • What can I do off The Strip?

    Other than the many day trips to Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Death Valley and Hoover Dam, you can go for a walk down Fremont Street, visit the Mob Museum for a flashback of Las Vegas, see the Neon Boneyard or check out First Friday for an artsy experience.

  • How long does a city tour in Las Vegas last?

    Although it depends on the experience you choose, most of the city tours last between 2 and 3 hours.