The Sin City Bucket List: 40 Things You Have to Do in Vegas Before You Die

Published On 06/29/2015 Published On 06/29/2015
Las Vegas News Bureau

Life is short. You’re going to kick the bucket sooner or later. So hurry up and book a flight to Vegas. From topless pools to nightclubs and everything in between, there are a zillion things (or... err, about 40) you totally have to do while you’ve still got the chance. And no, getting your photo taken by that sign isn’t one of them.


1. Book a skybox at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club

It ain’t cheap, but nothing about being at a strip club is. So go big before you go home. The skyboxes will give you plenty of privacy along with a second-floor view of all the talent performing on the main stage below.

Anthony Mair

2. Try the chocolate tasting menu at HEXX

HEXX is the only place in Vegas, and one of the few in country, to make its own ultra-premium chocolate from scratch, with beans sourced from places like Tanzania and Madagascar. Enjoy it like wine, by letting each piece sit in your mouth before swallowing.

3. Celebrate the legacy of Elvis Presley

The Westgate is your one-stop shop for all things Elvis. The hotel was once known as the International (and later the Hilton), where the King set a record for sold-out performances in the ‘70s. It now has ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience -- the only display of Graceland artifacts outside of Memphis.


4. Stomp on the glass floor at Ghostbar

The Ghostbar lounge is one of the best places to soak in the view of the Las Vegas Strip. Part of the fun is jumping on the see-through section of the patio floor, without the fear of falling 55 floors to the street below. Stomp on it. It won’t break. Promise.

Richard Petty Driving Experience

5. Drive around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Richard Petty Driving Experience gives you the chance to hop behind the wheel of an IndyCar, American muscle car, or some other crazy ride and put the foot fully to the floor without worrying about getting pulled over by a friendly member of Metro Police.

Christos Patronas

6. Finish off the Double Trouble! burger

The PBR Rock Bar & Grill has a challenge for you:gGet the entire Double Trouble! burger in your stomach. It’s 2lbs of beef, cheddar cheese, and bacon, topped with a fried egg and hollandaise sauce. Wash it down with a beer but wait a little while before taking a ride on the mechanical bull.

Al Powers

7. Dance under the moving chandelier at OMNIA

There’s lots of cool stuff at OMNIA but everyone always talks about the mammoth chandelier above the dance floor. It transforms into different shapes, moves to the music, and threatens to land right on top of you like a UFO.

Bryan Heiner

8. Trade in some junk at the world’s most famous pawn shop

The History Channel is more about reality shows than actual history these days, so you’re probably familiar with Pawn Stars and the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. With more than 3,500 people stopping by every day, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in Vegas and there are usually long lines out the door. But at least you can say you visited the place that made Chumlee the most unlikely celebrity in the world.

9. Jump off the top of the Stratosphere

Attach yourself to a bungee cord and drop from the 108th floor from the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States. If you are slightly less daring, just hop on one of the thrill rides that dangle off the side instead.

Mob Museum

10. Get hitched

Vegas is known for its quickie weddings. So why not get married on the fly at Denny’s... or by Elvis… or inside the Mob Museum?

11. Eat by the window at Giada

Las Vegas has the first and only restaurant from celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. Try to avoid the busy hours and get a table by one of the open windows overlooking the busy intersection of Las Vegas Blvd & Flamingo.

Golden Nugget

12. Swim with sharks

The pool at the Golden Nugget comes with a three-story-tall water slide that passes through a shark-infested aquarium. You can also take a behind-the-scenes tour to see how it all works, and what these creatures actually eat.

Doug Van Sant

13. Dance ‘til dawn at the Electric Daisy Carnival

The biggest electronic dance music festival in North America draws about 135,000 people each night for a three-day weekend each summer at the Speedway. Pump your fist to a non-stop lineup of famous DJs while checking out the food, carnival rides, and an overload of neon colors.


14. Ride the world’s tallest observation wheel

The High Roller is 550ft tall and gives you one of the best views of Vegas. It’s even more fun with a personal bartender in your cabin.

SLS Las Vegas

15. Get bottle service at LiFE

Head to the SLS Las Vegas, where booze comes with a regal twist at this nightclub: a parade of cocktail waitresses will come straight to your table on the shoulders of a few able assistants who are dressed up as an almost-too-lifelike white horse for an indulgent bottle presentation.

Adventure Combat Ops

16. Battle zombies with Adventure Combat Ops

Prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse with special ops training from professionals with Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, Green Beret, and Delta Force backgrounds. It’s like a game of Call of Duty in real life, with plenty of guns, firepower, and explosions. The two-hour experience at Adventure Combat Ops will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Chris Wessling

17. Try the bacon jam at Carson Kitchen

Experience the moment when most people realized that Fremont East could also be a spot with amazing restaurants, as well as fun bars.

18. Listen to “Lick It Up” while playing miniature golf

KISS Monster Mini Golf gives you a chance to putt around inside the middle of a shrine dedicated to the world’s most financially successful '70s schlock band. There’s also a wedding chapel where you can get hitched while in full Gene Simmons makeup.

Bacchanal Buffet

19. Do a Vegas buffet... but do it right

The best buffets in Las Vegas put a lot into making tons of food every single day. So avoid the old-school cheap buffets and instead, go for the ones that are worth every bite. The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace and Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan specialize in small servings with the same quality you’d find at top restaurants on the Strip. Don’t worry. You can still eat as much as you want.  

20. Slurp down the ramen at Monta  

It’s not San Francisco, or even LA, but Vegas may have one of the most underrated Chinatowns in the country. If you can’t get a table at the in-demand Roku, just head next door to Monta for what is truly the best ramen in Sin City, with pork simmered for 12 hours.

The Palms

21. Play H-O-R-S-E inside a crazy hotel suite

You may have to sacrifice your kid’s college fund, but it’s worth it to book a hotel room like the Hardwood Suite at the Palms. It comes with its own basketball court. The resort also has the Kingpin Suite with a bowling alley, if that’s a little more your speed.

Vegas Indoor Skydiving

22. Go skydiving... indoors

Put on a jump suit and float in the air while heavy wind pushes up from underneath the floor. It’s the closest you’ll ever come to flying without wings (or a cool James Bond jet pack).

23. Downtown pub crawl

Begin at the west end of Fremont St and grab a beer at the Main Street Station Brewery. Head east while stopping at places like Hogs & Heifers, The Griffin, Insert Coin(s), and Commonwealth before wrapping things up with an F-Bomb cocktail at Atomic Liquors.


24. Enjoy a naughty show

Las Vegas probably gives you more ways to see nipples than any city in America. So make sure you catch a few topless shows, including the newly opened SEXXY at the Westgate.

25. Sink your teeth into a riserva steak

Carnevino is known for aging steaks weeks beyond industry standards, but the very best-of-the-best cuts are saved for the riserva program. They’re aged at a special off-site facility for up to 11 months, and served for roughly $100 per one-inch bite.

Neon Museum

26. Check out the old-school Vegas neon

Las Vegas likes to tear down, disregard, and blow up its history. But you can now find the classic marquees from hotels, businesses, and casinos that are long gone at the Neon Museum.

Joel Rubuchon

27. Eat at one of Joël Robuchon’s restaurants

French Chef Joël Robuchon has only two restaurants in the Western Hemisphere, and they’re both next to each other at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The namesake Joël Robuchon feels like you made a wrong turn into the private dining room of somebody’s swanky mansion, while L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon offers interactive counter seating that’s actually better than sitting at a table.

Ethan Miller

28. Steal a kiss next to the Bellagio fountains

It’s one of the most romantic things you can do in Vegas. And it won’t cost you a dime.

29. Bet big

Whether it’s the latest Mayweather fight, the Super Bowl, or the Kentucky Derby, there’s nothing better than putting a big chunk of money on one sporting event and seeing how it plays out while chugging down beers at a sports bar. Otherwise, just load your money into a slot machine and take your chances.

Serendipity 3

30. Eat the ultimate sundae

The Treasure Chest dessert at Serendipity 3 is a giant chocolate treasure chest stuffed with scoops of ice cream in different flavors, cookies, and cakes, all for $99. It’s perfect for the person who can’t decide on what to order, or who has a lot of hungry friends.

Life Is Beautiful

31. Spend three days at the Life Is Beautiful Festival

The Life is Beautiful Festival is going into its third year, and has already proven to be the only big music, culture, and food event where Lionel Richie can steal the show from the Foo Fighters and Outkast. The diverse lineup this year includes Imagine Dragons, Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Duran Duran, and Weezer.

Maverick Helicopters

32. Fly in a helicopter over the Strip

The trip is usually only about 15 minutes, but it’s more than worth it to check out the top of the Stratosphere... from the outside... along with a view of Las Vegas that makes the Strip look like a miniature neon toy set.

33. See a Cirque du Soleil show

Zumanity comes with nudity, while LOVE comes with a pumping Beatles soundtrack. There really is something for every taste.

Golden Gate

34. Stay at a vintage Vegas hotel

The Golden Gate has been around for more than a hundred years, is one of the oldest hotels in Vegas, and is still open for business. It even had the very first telephone in Nevada... where you could dial it by using the number “1.” Don’t worry. The rooms have been renovated and are actually pretty nice.

35. Order the Drunken Noodle Prawns at Lotus of Siam

This off-strip Thai spot probably has the best reputation of any restaurant not in a major hotel or casino. Consider the fact that it’s virtually next door to the sinful social club known as Green Door to be a bonus.

Golden Nugget

36. Hunt for gold

The biggest hunk of gold ever found with a metal detector can be found in the lobby of the Golden Nugget. It’s 61lbs, or the size of an average 8-year-old kid.

David Becker

37. Order a cupcake from an ATM

Why wait in line at Sprinkles at The LINQ and deal with an actual person behind the counter when you can order a cupcake outside the front door from the ATM?

38. Get out of the city

Las Vegas may feel like it’s in the middle of desert, but there’s plenty to do outside the glow of the neon lights. Check out the Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire State Park, or the Eldorado Canyon Gold Mine for starters.

Paris Las Vegas

39. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower

It’s only half the size of the real thing in France, but the recreation of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris resort still offers one of the best views of the Strip, an awesome restaurant and is a great place to make out.

40. Go zip-lining through Fremont St

It may be Downtown’s biggest eyesore, but it’s still pretty fun. Take a zip line ride from a two-story-tall replica of a slot machine. A second level allows you to fly horizontally like Superman.

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