Las Vegas is, in and of itself, fairly self-explanatory. The city’s highlights are, for the most part, located up and down the four famous miles of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Las Vegas Strip and in the nearby downtown area, where the famed Fremont Street Experience is located. It is easy to explore the city on your own, especially if you have a rental car or utilize public transportation. But if you’d like to learn more about the city or you’d like to take a single- or multi-day trip without having to worry about the details, you may want to consider signing up for a Las Vegas tour.
How to Choose a Tour
There are countless companies in Las Vegas that offer tour services. Some offer a wide range of activities lasting a couple hours to several days while others specialize in a specific kind of tour.
You have the option to book your tour directly through the operator conducting the tour, or you can book through a tour wholesaler. Booking directly allows you to ask specific questions about a specific tour; chances are the person you are speaking to is very familiar with the itinerary and can answer any detailed questions you might have. This also ensures that your money goes directly to the company offering the service. If you book with a tour wholesaler, you will have many more options from which to choose. Occasionally prices are cheaper through wholesalers as well because they are able to sell more tours in bulk and take small losses for more sales.
When deciding which tour in Las Vegas is right for you, you’ll need to consider a number of factors, including how much time you have available, how much you want to spend, how large of a tour group you are comfortable traveling with and what you want to do. From there, you’ll be able to narrow down the options of relevant tours. You can book tours online or over the phone before you get to Las Vegas if you’d like, but there are also many tour companies and wholesalers located up and down Las Vegas Boulevard so you can also make reservations when you arrive.
Once you book a Las Vegas tour, make sure you know exactly where and when it departs so you don’t miss it and aren’t charged a fee. Ask about what kind of clothing is appropriate for your tour. If you will taking a tour at night, you may need to bring a jacket or sweatshirt. People who will be on ATVs or doing other outdoor activities may want to wear clothing that can get dirty. You’ll also need to know if you can bring snacks or if water is provided. If not, make sure you pack water of your own, regardless of what type of tour you take or how long your tour is. Make sure you know what is included in your tour and if you’ll need to pay for incidentals, such as tickets, once you are on the tour. Finally, it is appropriate to tip your tour guide and driver, so be prepared to carry some cash with you.
Many people don’t realize how many tours in Las Vegas there are. After all, if you can walk up and down the Strip, why would you need pay someone to take you? The fact of the matter is that Las Vegas is packed with city history, and taking a tour of the city opens your eyes to a different way of looking at the Las Vegas you’ve come to know.
Walking tours in Las Vegas are not common, however, many different companies offer bus tours with hop-on, hop-off options. Open Top Sightseeing Tours offers a variety of options via a two-story open-top bus. Riding in one of these open-top buses, especially at night, provides riders the opportunity to snap pictures from an ideal vantage point without having to worry about the traffic around them. Downtown Las Vegas tours and haunted Vegas tours are also popular options.
Another popular way to explore the city is via a helicopter tour. The business for helicopter tours in Las Vegas is so fierce that it is surprisingly affordable to take a short but picturesque helicopter tour above the Las Vegas Strip. The view from above the city, especially at night, is wow-worthy and definitely worth checking out if your schedule allows.
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Sample Tour Options:
With countless national parks within just a few hours of Las Vegas and easy access to Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, Red Rock Canyon and the Hoover Dam, day trips from the city are exceedingly simple. Many people don’t realize that there is so much more beyond the city limits of Las Vegas, but driving a couple hundred miles to California, Utah or Arizona puts people right in the heart of Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave Desert, Zion and Bryce Canyons, and the famed Grand Canyon. Taking a trip to any of these sites takes the better part of a full day. If your tour is closer to the city, such as to Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Area 51 or Red Rock Canyon, expect to spend at least half the day on the tour, though some of these are also a full day.
When you choose a tour to one of these places, know ahead of time what to expect. Some tours offer more freedom for outdoor activities with time for hiking, white water rafting and photography. Others are more focused on hitting as many stops as possible with the small amount of time allotted. Some tours combine bus, helicopter and boat transportation options, while others stick to a single way to get around. Know and understand these options before you book.
In addition to outdoorsy tours, Los Angeles, California, is within a day’s drive, so if you’d like to trade one big city experience for another for a single day, consider booking a day trip to L.A.
If you are uncertain what your itinerary will be like when you’re in Las Vegas, consider booking a day trip once you arrive in the city. When you book with little advance notice on the spot, there is also a chance that you’ll snag a better deal as well.
Sample Tour Options:
Grand Canyon West Rim One-Day Tour
Zion and Bryce Day Trip
Universal Studios Tour from Las Vegas
Colorado River Voyage Tour
Hollywood Freedom Tour
Valley of Fire with Pink Jeep Tours
Lake Mead Cruise Tour
Red Rock Canyon with Pink Jeep Tours
Hoover Dam Tour with Colorado River Float Tour
Grand Canyon Airplane, Boat and Helicopter Combination Tour
If you fly into Las Vegas and find that you’ve got a few days to spare, or if you’d like to explore more of the area around Las Vegas than a day trip allows, consider taking a multi-day tour that leaves from Las Vegas. Tours like this can be a nice way to cover a lot of ground and see a lot of sights without having to worry about all of the details.
When you book a multi-day tour, make sure you understand what is paid for and what is not so that you are adequately prepared to cover incidental charges. This includes entry into sites, food and lodging considerations.
Many people find that on tours like these, they get to know the other people on the tour well over the course of several days. This type of travel allows people to make friends while seeing a part of the world they’ve never experienced before.
Sample Tour Options:
3-Day Bus Tour to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
7-Day Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Arches National Park, Coors Brewery Bus Tour from Las Vegas or Los Angeles
5-Day Grand Canyon West, Disneyland & Universal Studios Tour from Las Vegas
4-Day Canyons and Parks Tour