Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.
There are many more things to do in and around Las Vegas than gambling at a casino and attending an over-the-top show. Nearby marvels like the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon make excellent daytrips for visitors looking to escape their hotels for a spell. Within the city, the glittering Strip and the multitude of restaurants are enough to entice any traveler. Consulting expert input and traveler opinion, U.S. News identified the best guided tours to assist both first-time and frequent visitors to make the most of their Sin City getaway. Whether you opt to see the sights via bus, helicopter or customized SUV, you’re sure to experience the city in ways you haven’t before.
Big Bus Las Vegas – Night Tour
Admire the glittering lights of the Strip on this evening double-decker bus tour. Along the three-hour drive, you’ll pass well-known casinos like the MGM Grand and the Bellagio before hopping off to enjoy the free light shows on Fremont Street. Tour-takers effusively praise the guides for their informative and friendly commentary. Ticket prices start at $45 for adults and $36 for children 3 to 12. Passengers can board the buses at the LINQ Promenade starting at 7 p.m. each evening. Big Bus also operates daytime hop-on, hop-off tours on the Strip.
Cowboy Trail Rides – Sunset Trail Ride and Western BBQ
When you need a break from the neon lights of the Strip, don a cowboy hat and boots and saddle up for a sunset trail ride through Red Rock Canyon. On the approximately two-hour ride, you’ll follow a guide through the picturesque desert landscape, watching for wildlife like coyotes and wild burros along the way. After returning to the stables, you’ll enjoy a western barbecue under the stars and nosh on steak, baked beans, corn on the cob and more. Reviewers rave about the fantastic views, the gentle mules and horses, and the delicious dinner. Travelers also warn that it can get chilly on the ride, and advise wearing warm layers. Trail Rides are offered Tuesday through Sunday at 6 p.m. and cost about $190 per person. Round-trip shuttle transportation from select Vegas hotels is included in the overall cost. Cowboy Trail Rides also offers daytime excursions through the canyon.
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters – Grand Celebration Tour
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters’ Grand Celebration tour boasts aerial views of sought-after sights, including Guano Point, Eagle Point, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, as well as a half-hour stop at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with views of the Colorado River. The approximately 4 1/2-hour excursion includes a sparkling wine picnic. The pilots and staff often win praise for their friendliness and professionalism. Tickets, which do not include taxes, start at $429, though prices vary by day, and there are several daily departure options. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers additional helicopter tours of the canyon of varying lengths as well as tours that include access to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
Secret Food Tours: Las Vegas Strip
Secret Food Tours takes groups of up to eight participants to several celebrity-chef-associated restaurants and shops on the Strip to sample an array of culinary delights, including pizza, chocolates and shortbread. During the approximately 3 1/2-hour walking tour, highly praised guides provide information concerning the city’s food, culture and history. Travelers say the food on the tour is both plentiful and tasty, but warn that you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Tickets, which cost around $120 for adults, include all food tastings, as well as a glass of wine (for those 21 and older). An upgraded drinks package that includes three alcoholic beverages is available for an additional fee. Discounted tickets for teens and kids are also available. Tours run Friday through Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The company also operates walking tours through downtown Las Vegas.
GC Flight – Grand Canyon Helicopter Floor Landing Tour
During this approximately four-hour trip, tour-takers will experience the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Fortification Hill and the Colorado River en route to the canyon. Once at the Grand Canyon, the helicopter lands so that visitors can get out for a short exploration and enjoy a light snack (complete with sparkling wine). Participants call the trip an unforgettable activity and deem the pilots knowledgeable and friendly. Tickets, which do not include taxes, start at $408 per person and include round-trip shuttle service to most Las Vegas hotels. GC Flight offers 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. departures daily. Flights are limited to six passengers. GC Flight also offers tours via airplane and bus.
Take a trip through desert scenery on a scooter with Red Rock Scooter Tours.(Courtesy of Red Rock Scooter Tours)
Venture to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area via scooter on this four-hour tour. At stops along the 13-mile course, guides share information about the area’s history, geology and wildlife and include time to stop for photos. Tour-takers describe the experience as a fun outing with beautiful scenery and call it a must-do excursion. The outings include hotel pickup and drop-off. Tours are available daily at 9:30 and 10 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. (Note: Tour departure times vary by season.) Scooters can accommodate up to two people. Tickets cost approximately $125 for drivers and $100 for passengers. Drivers must be at least 21 and have a valid driver’s license; motorcycle endorsement is not necessary. Lessons on safely maneuvering the scooters, as well as helmets, are included in the tour cost. Private tours are also available.
Blazin’ Paddles – Half-Day Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon
According to reviewers, this half-day kayak tour is an excellent option if you want to add some time in nature to your Vegas getaway. During the three-hour excursion, you’ll paddle 4 miles of the Colorado River into Black Canyon. Along the way, you’ll spot wildlife like bighorn sheep and bald eagles as your expert guide shares information about the river’s history. You’ll also stop at the Emerald Cave to admire the brilliant green-hued water. Tickets start at about $100 per person (the company requires children be at least 8 years old to participate). If you’d like to take advantage of the company’s round-trip transportation from select Vegas hotels, expect to pay an additional $40 per person. Kayak trips are generally offered daily at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and noon with an additional departures Friday through Sunday. However, exact times may vary by month. Blazin’ Paddles also offers a twilight kayak trip through the Black Canyon, as well as full-day trips down the Colorado River.
Neon Museum – Night Tour
The Neon Museum – a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and displaying famous Las Vegas signs – offers nightly tours that showcase its main collection. The guided evening walks offer an up-close look at the hundreds of signs in the collection. There are both unrestored signs, which are illuminated with external lights, and self-illuminating restored signs. Visitors frequently find the histories of these electric relics fascinating and thoroughly enjoy the tour. Tickets for the 45-minute tours cost about $30 per adult and $25 per youth ages 7 to 17. Tours are typically available from sunset to 10 p.m. Due to rusty metal and broken glass, the museum recommends its evening tours for patrons 12 and older. The museum hosts guided tours during the day as well.
Grand Canyon Destinations – Grand Canyon South Rim Bus Tour
If you want to enjoy a daytrip to the Grand Canyon, but don’t want to drive yourself, consider this daylong, 15-hour bus tour operated by Grand Canyon Destinations. Your day starts at 6 a.m., where you’ll be picked up from the Strip. From there, you’ll stop at the Grand Canyon Caverns before arriving at the national park. You’ll spend about three hours exploring the South Rim before hopping back on the bus to travel back to the Strip. Reviewers compliment the guides for their vast knowledge of the Grand Canyon and appreciate that each bus includes a driver and a guide. Tickets start at $84 per person. Tours are available daily. The company also offers daytrips to the Hoover Dam, in addition to Grand Canyon tours.
Taste Buzz Food Tours – Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour
Visitors rave about this tour because of the ample, varied and unexpected food that’s featured. The Downtown Food Tour focuses on Fremont Street, the surrounding area of Old Vegas and the fare preferred by local residents. Even so, reviewers who are Las Vegas locals say they learned something new on this tour. The approximately three-hour walking tour stops at five family-owned businesses for up to three tastings at each stop. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes as the tour covers about 2 miles. Tickets cost around $100 per person. Tours are typically offered Wednesday and Friday through Monday at noon, with additional 5 p.m. tours Friday and Saturday. Group sizes typically range from two to 12 people. Taste Buzz also conducts foodie tours of the Strip and the Arts District.
Let Pink Jeep Tours take you to the Hoover Dam in style in one of its pink SUVs.(Courtesy of Pink Jeep Tours)
Pink Adventure Tours – Hoover Dam Tour
Pink Adventure Tours takes passengers in its custom-built Tour Trekker SUV to see the Hoover Dam. During the three-hour tours, up to 10 tourgoers will see sights like Lake Mead and the Colorado River en route to the Hoover Dam. After reaching this architectural marvel, travelers will have the chance to walk over the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and view the dam from the Arizona side. Guides provide narration, and patrons regularly describe them as knowledgeable and entertaining. Tours depart daily at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets cost around $115 for adults and $105 for children 3 to 12; the company says the tour is not suitable for children younger than 3. Pink Adventure Tours also operates outings in Las Vegas using its customized open-air Jeeps.
Maverick Helicopters – Wind Dancer Air and Landing Tour
The Wind Dancer Air and Landing Tour conducted by Maverick Helicopters takes patrons from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Along the flight, passengers will see views of Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill. Then, the pilot will land the helicopter in the Grand Canyon so visitors can enjoy sparkling wine, snacks and other beverages while surrounded by the towering rocks. Travelers call the excursion a bucket list trip and appreciate the smooth flight and insightful pilots. Flights depart several times daily. Tickets start at $469 per person, but will vary depending on the trip’s departure time. The ticket also includes round-trip transportation from hotels within 5 miles of the Strip to the airport. Maverick Helicopter flies other tours above Las Vegas and the surrounding area as well.
Las Vegas ATV Tours – Nellis Dunes Tour
The Nellis Dunes National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, which sits approximately 15 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip, consists of more than 10,000 acres of desert terrain. The truly adventurous can traverse the area atop all-terrain vehicles on tours conducted by Las Vegas ATV Tours. During the four-hour outings (including shuttle service to and from local hotels), riders may see fighter planes from the nearby Nellis Air Force Base in addition to the desert scenery. Travelers appreciate the helpful and professional guides, and say they felt safe during the entire experience. The excursion costs around $215 per person, which includes instruction on how to ride the ATVs, use of safety gear, bottled water and lunch. Tours are available multiple times a day. The company also offers tours using UTVs, or small off-road vehicles that can accommodate two to four people.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours – Afternoon Culinary Adventures
Foodies visiting Las Vegas might want some guidance given that there is a dizzying array of dining options. That’s where the Afternoon Culinary Adventures offered by Lip Smacking Foodie Tours comes in. The 2 1/2-hour walk takes patrons to four notable restaurants to sample a variety of food. Along the way, guides offer insights about the city’s culinary scene and suggest additional bars and restaurants worth trying. Tour-takers enjoy their helpful guides and find the quantity of food impressive (you’ll sample three to four dishes at each stop). Even tourgoers familiar with the city say they discovered something new on the outing. Tours run Wednesday and Friday through Sunday at 1 p.m.. Tickets start at $125 per person. An optional specialty cocktail package is available for an additional charge. The company offers a variety of other food-centric tours, including one combined with an evening helicopter ride and another focused exclusively on brunch.
Grand Canyon Helicopters – King of Canyons Sunset
Grand Canyon Helicopters times this tour so that passengers can enjoy the sunset as they return to Las Vegas following their journey to the Grand Canyon. Highlights of the roughly four-hour outing (which includes about 90 minutes of flight time) include a landing on the canyon floor for a sparkling wine picnic, as well as opportunities to see various desert sights, such as Grand Wash Cliffs and Grapevine Mesa, from the sky. The helicopter ride culminates with a flyover of the Strip. Patrons routinely praise the pilots’ professionalism and knowledge. Tickets, which start at $519 per person, include transportation between local hotels and McCarran-Atlantic terminal. Flights depart daily, though exact times may vary by season. Grand Canyon Helicopters also offers a daytime version of the tour as well as shorter flights that soar above the Strip.
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