You’ve heard them all, Viva Las Vegas, what happens in Vegas, Sin City, and the list goes on. With them all comes a wide array of incredible things to do in Las Vegas for couples (singles and families too!) during a visit.
The world’s fascination with Las Vegas is stronger than ever and despite having been to Vegas many times in our lives, we’ve let a whopping 8 years go by since our last visit.
This time though would be different as we took on the challenge of finding the best things to do in Las Vegas for couples.
Much to our surprise, Las Vegas is full of a multitude of adventures that neither of us had experienced on our past visits. We sniffed out some of the best outdoor and adrenaline wonders on offer for your visit.
The Las Vegas Explorer Pass gives you an easy and affordable way to experience the best adventures in Las Vegas.
12 Best Things to do in Las Vegas for Couples
1. Go Hiking in Red Rock Canyon
Unbelievably, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is only a 16-mile drive from the Las Vegas Strip. I feel slightly ashamed that I’ve been to Vegas so many times and never made a visit.
Making up for a lost time, the first thing we did was wake up early and head out for some hiking. Entrance to the park costs $5.00 per person to walk in and start hiking.
Featuring 26 hiking trails, we were overwhelmed with choices but after talking with the park rangers decided to hike from the visitors center and down the Calico Trails I & II.
Let me just say this, the area is absolutely stunning and gives you classic American southwest views with dramatic mountains, red rock and contrasting desert landscapes along the way.
You could easily spend a full day on the trails in Red Rock Canyon. That said, we made the most of our 4 hours and saw some pretty amazing red rock along the way.
It is possible to visit Red Rock Canyon individually or on a guided tour. Information for independent visits can be found on the official park website.
There’s truly an endless amount of things to do in the Red Rock Canyon below are a few great tours we recommend for the adventurous traveler visiting Las Vegas.
If you are more interested in a guided tour there are several available for every hiking style. This Guided sightseeing tour of the Red Rock Canyon is great for those wanting to have transport from your Las Vegas hotel and this VIP Red Rock Canyon Sunset Tour is an exceptional choice for you photographers out there.
2. Scuba Dive with Sharks
I know what you’re thinking, Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert with no access to the ocean, how could you possibly go scuba diving with sharks there?
Never fear, inside Mandalay Bay is the stunning Shark Reef Aquarium, home to over 30 sharks.
We took the opportunity for David to do a one-tank dive in the 1.3 million gallon Shipwreck exhibit during our visit. Maxing out at 22 feet, he had the opportunity to get up close and personal with numerous species of sharks ranging from 2 to 10 feet.
The experience was fantastic, starting with a guided tour of the main exhibits in the aquarium before taking us behind the scenes.
We had the chance to observe the shark tank from above before getting briefed on the dive, educated about the sharks in the tank, getting geared up and jumping in for the dive.
We had the pleasure of having Jack Jewell, the General Curator of Shark Reef, guide the dive and his enthusiasm for the program was refreshing.
The dive includes the use of a diver intercom system meaning Jack was able to give a tutorial throughout the dive of the sharks in the tank. It was not only a great adventure but highly educational.
Bookings for the Shark Dive can be made on the Shark Reef Aquarium website. Dives cost $650 per diver or $1000 for 2 divers on the same dive.
Prices include all the gear you need, a video of your experience and admission for up to 6 accompanying guests to observe the diving form the shipwreck exhibit.
Book your visit to Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino today!
3. Zip Lining in Bootleg Canyon
Another short drive from the Las Vegas strip is the town of Boulder City. A place that was established as a temporary city during the construction of the Hoover Dam that held its own and remains today.
From here you have access to the stunning Bootleg Canyon, known for its fantastic mountain biking trails and zip line course.
The zipline course features some amazing views as you zip through the air onto various platforms.
We met at their office in the city where we were introduced to our guides, given a safety briefing and geared up before loading into a van and driving into the canyon.
Along the way, we heard stories of how Boulder City was established and how the canyon got its name.
With Las Vegas being such a long trip for the workers, they decided to start making their own moonshine in the canyon closer to town.
Several old stills remain today and we even saw a couple while hiking up to the first platform.
Unlike a lot of zip lines we’ve encountered in our travels, the course in Bootleg Canyon is made of only 4 lines, but this doesn’t mean it lacks in fun.
The lines are much longer than any other zip course we have experienced. This allowed us to actually enjoy the ride compared to the shorter lines we’ve done before.
You simply cannot beat the views, both in flight and while transitioning between lines, making it one of the best things to do in Las Vegas for couples.
With the notorious traffic flow of Las Vegas, you can plan for a solid half day but it is well worth the time. Ziplining in the Bootleg Canyon is operated by Flightlinez.
4. ATV in the Mojave Desert
One of the most interesting facts we learned on our trip is that the Mojave Desert is the 4th largest desert on earth. We also learned that this very desert is home to the Joshua Tree, which is found nowhere else.
Facts aside, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get up close and personal with the desert.
Access into the Mojave is very controlled and few operators have permits that allow visitors to enter by ATV and with good reason. Aside from one track, the area remains pristine.
Our journey started in Las Vegas with a ride past the Hoover Dam and over the Arizona state line arriving at the Last Stop.
This bus stop features a gas station, helipad, monster truck course, shooting range and base for ATV adventures into the Mojave.
Leaving from Last Stop, the ATV journey lasted around 3 hours as we followed the trail through the desert landscape, around rock formations and past long-retired gold mines until we reached the Colorado River.
It was the first time I’ve seen the mighty lifeblood of the south in person and it blew me away with its beauty.
At this point, we were given the chance to park the ATV and hike up to a lookout over the river. We stood in silence as the water moved before us and the wind kissed the tall grasses on the shore.
We were even treated to bright pink flowers on a freshly blooming cactus. It was a divine moment with nature.
ATV tours in the Mojave Desert from Las Vegas are operated by Bullets and Burgers.
We booked our tour through Sundance Helicopters as a package, meaning it was a full-day tour that included the ATV tour, lunch and then our helicopter flight with landing in the Grand Canyon.
5. Helicopter Flight into the Grand Canyon
When it comes to taking a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas your options are endless, however, your challenge comes in choosing the right tour.
It’s one thing to fly over the Grand Canyon and marvel at its splendor from above; it’s a whole other thing to land 3,000 feet down inside the canyon and get an overwhelming sense of how grand it really is.
Leaving from the helipad in Last Stop, Arizona we enjoyed a 20-minute flight over the Mojave Desert and the Colorado River before arriving at the entrance to the West side of the Grand Canyon.
Being able to see the contrast of the land where the desert ends and the canyon begins was impressive.
Once over the Grand Canyon, we flew along the path of the river before beginning our descent into the canyon.
Our tour afforded us 30 minutes on the ground, giving us a chance to hike around the area and capture some incredible views before enjoying a champagne toast.
Read about our awesome adventure from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon and the best Helicopter Tour Options.
We enjoyed the intimacy of the experience as we were with only 2 other people and the pilot.
During our time at the landing, no other helicopters landed. We literally had the Grand Canyon all to ourselves before enjoying a 30-minute flight back to the helipad.
The tour with landing is operated by Sundance Helicopters, a company that paved the way for Grand Canyon helicopter landings by forming productive relationships with the Hualapai people who own the lands within the canyon. They were the first company to ever receive permission to land with visitors.
Having flown on several helicopter tours around the world I can say without hesitation that the Grand Canyon tour with Sundance Helicopters is an incredible value.
The price is $370 per person and includes a total of 1 hour in the air, 30 minutes inside the canyon and champagne. We’ve paid much more for much less flight time and found this tour to be an incredible value. Book your Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour from Las Vegas today!
6. Aerobatic Flight with Sky Combat Ace
Two words for this, simply unreal. Its no wonder why taking an aerobatic flight with Sky Combat Ace is one of the Top 100 Travel Adventures in the world. We took to the skies in a pair of Extra300LC planes for one of the most thrilling adventures of our lives.
With expert pilots, we performed a series of maneuvers and stunts above the desert outside of Las Vegas.
We even had the opportunity to take control of the plane and perform maneuvers while our pilots talked us through the execution of the movement and waved their hands in the air behind us.
The planes are capable of +/- 10 G force, meaning you feel some serious weight during some of the maneuvers and it’s not uncommon for people to pass out in flight, of course, dependent on the package you select.
I’m happy to report that neither David nor I took a nap on our flight.
If you’ve ever been a fan of Top Gun or dreamed of flying high and fast then an aerobatic flight is an adrenaline dream.
The guys at Sky Combat Ace are expert pilots and a lot of fun to spend a half-day with. It’s hands down one of the coolest things we have ever done in our lives.
They offer a variety of packages giving you a chance to have the experience that is right for you. Are you a little hesitant? No worries, you can choose their introductory flight that will give you a small taste of what the planes can do without getting too crazy.
For those that want more, you have an option of packages that increase in increments with additional maneuvers and stunts, the ultimate being an opportunity to have a simulated fighter pilot experience with your travel companion in another plane.
More Things to Do in Las Vegas
7. Cliff Rappelling in the Valley of Fire – besides Red Rock Canyon, another natural area you shouldn’t pass up is the Valley of Fire. Located 49 miles away from the Las Vegas strip, this area is a fantastic place to enjoy hiking among classic rock formations in the desert. If you want a bit more adventure, consider a cliff rappelling tour. Book your cliff repelling adventure today!
8. Whitewater Rafting – the most famous way to experience the Colorado River is by raft and the options to do a day trip are plentiful from Las Vegas. No matter your skill level, the most accessible parts of the river from the city offer runs for all skill levels. Be careful though, you might get hooked. Book your Grand Canyon White Water Rafting Trip from Las Vegas today!
9. Horseback riding – one of the best ways to get a feel for a new place is from the back of a horse and you have options to explore outside of Las Vegas in any direction on horseback. Personally, I would recommend an early evening flight when the sun is well into setting and you have the chance to witness one of those fiery sunsets that the desert is famous for. Book your 2-Hour Horseback Riding through Red Rock Canyon today!
How to visit Las Vegas on a Budget – Tips to help you save money!
10. Zipline over Freemont Street – even if you head out to Bootleg Canyon during your trip, it is worth checking out the zip line operated by Slotzilla that operates a line over the famous Freemont Street. While it might not be out in nature, it’s a unique way to experience the lights and quirkiness of the area. Book your zipline adventure today!
11. Bungee Jump off the Stratosphere – not for the faint of heart but one of the more unique ways to see Las Vegas is from the top of the Stratosphere. Strap yourself in and jump off the edge for the ultimate in thrills. Book your SkyJump Las Vegas at Stratosphere Tower today!
12. Dune Buggy in the Mojave Desert – being in the middle of the desert means hopping into a dune buggy provides a great adventure. Crash through the sand and spin around while you follow the leader over endless sand dunes. Book your Mini Baja Buggy Half-Day Tour from Las Vegas today!
Las Vegas Planning Tips
Transportation in Las Vegas
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of visiting Las Vegas. With everything crammed into a small area, getting around can take a long time and be quite frustrating.
Hopping in a cab to go less than a mile can easily take you 30 minutes or more to reach your final destination.
I know this sounds crazy but if you remain in the city, walking is your mode of choice and turns out to be much faster on most occasions if you’re trying to explore the strip.
PRIVATE CAR SERVICE
This time around we set up a private car service with AWG Ambassador and it was phenomenal.
We never needed to worry about getting somewhere as our drivers kept in contact with us, informing us of traffic delays and scheduling in extra time if needed to ensure we always made it where we needed to go on time.
Having a private car also offered the flexibility of taking different routes and being able to see more of the city. We enjoyed conversation with our drivers and learned a lot about Las Vegas as they made recommendations.
Book your private transfer today!
It is possible to use both taxis and Uber/Lyft type services in Las Vegas. Conventional taxi service is metered and it is possible to hire a taxi by inquiring at the front desk of your hotel or calling the stand directly.
One thing we became aware of on our most recent trip is that hailing a taxi off the street is near impossible since strict laws have gone into effect forbidding taxi drivers from picking people from the curb on the strip.
I definitely love the freedom of having my own wheels and think that having a rental car in Las Vegas could be very useful if you’re going to be more adventurous and explore off the strip.
Rental car rates tend to be affordable but don’t make the mistake of renting a car and then being surprised by the high parking fees. Check with your hotel choice in advance about parking rates to avoid a costly oversight.
Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas
There is no shortage of places to stay in Las Vegas for any budget. We personally like to stay on the strip because that is where the action is and while we’ve stayed at several of the properties, our latest trip found us at The Mirage.
One thing I love about this hotel is the Polynesian feel with lush, green gardens in the lobby. It was so refreshing to enter The Mirage after being out on the strip.
We were on the 18th floor and totally lucked out with a room at the end of the hall. This meant we had windows on two sides of our room and some pretty spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip.
Read reviews and check prices with our Hotel Search Engine, that gives you the best hotel deals found on the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking and more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you.
Great Places to Eat & Drink in Las Vegas
- Sugar Factory – sweets are the name of the game at this place. Their signature drinks include huge 36-ounce alcohol-infused smoking candy goblets in a variety of flavors served over dry ice for the ultimate bubbling and steaming effect. That’s just to get started. They serve a variety of classic American diner food, most notable are their burgers and you simply cannot leave without trying one of their towering milkshakes. Check out the menu and be sure to make a reservation as it gets crazy busy every single night.
- Park on Fremont – the once run-down and avoided area at the beginning of Fremont street has seen a revival, including some fantastic dining options. We enjoyed the outside seating at Park on Fremont with a view of the famous rearing horse sign while we indulged in Bloody Mary’s, cool sandwich combinations and deep-fried Oreos.
- Commonwealth – taking on the feel of an old-style cabaret bar, the Commonwealth is the place to be when the sun goes down. We enjoyed the vintage furniture and mobster feel while sipping on strawberry muddled Little Hot Mess signature drink.
- Beer Park – all you need to do is go to Paris. Literally. Located right on the strip at the entrance to the Paris hotel is the fantastic Beer Park. Serving beer from all over the world and all the eats to go with it, we enjoyed reliving our travels in Germany with authentic Bavarian Hefeweisen paired with sauerkraut and brats.
Our Thoughts on Las Vegas
Considering we’ve been to Las Vegas many times before, both for work and play, it’s been many years since our last visit and I can say honestly that this recent visit completely changed our view of the city.
It was a rare time we came and enjoyed ourselves, instead of just visiting for work and going only to the places we knew.
The options for adventure are endless, with access to come of America’s greatest wonders. But that is not the only thing that has changed, Las Vegas has changed and for the better.
While I would still call it Sin City, Las Vegas has cleaned up its act and the whole place has a refreshing new feel to it.
While we never thought too much of it as a great vacation spot before, we have had our opinions changed and can say with honesty that we wouldn’t hesitate to return again and explore more.
This post was made possible in partnership with Visit Las Vegas. All opinions, recommendations and personal experiences are 100% mine, as always.
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