Las Vegas is home to countless wonders and deciding what to see first is the best kind of challenge. While iconic destinations along Fremont Street and The Strip are always great to explore, the fun comes in discovering the unexpected. As the old saying goes, ‘Do as the locals do.’ But if you’re a first-time traveller to Las Vegas, it’s a lot easier said than done. Thankfully, with a little preparation (and our help) it's entirely possible to experience Las Vegas just like the locals.

See the Arts Performed

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts 

An Art Deco-themed destination that hosts everything from Broadway shows, ballet, opera, to small, intimate jazz ensembles, it is one of the best-kept secrets in Las Vegas. The acoustically superb Smith Center holds 2050 people, without a bad seat in the house. With an amazing program of renowned cultural performances, you’ll be wowed.

 

 Akhob art installation

Occupying a hidden space on the fourth floor of its store at Crystals, Louis Vuitton commissioned a permanent James Turrell installation titled “Akhob.” Meaning “pure water,” the piece consists of circular openings leading into two huge chambers filled with slowly changing, rotating light. Viewing of the installation is free and open to the public, but limited to four people at a time so reservations are required. 

 

Millennium Fandom Bar

Who would have thought there would be a place where everyone on the DC and Marvel comic-fan spectrum could gather in peace? Enter Millennium Fandom Bar. A retreat for every self-proclaimed geek's wildest fantasies, if you crave comic books, video games, cult films or television history, this is the place for you. The welcoming Millennium Fandom Bar is part modern clubhouse pop art gallery and amazing bar. Check it out.

 

Capture LOVE

Art lovers should head to The Venetian Las Vegas to check out the larger than life installation titled LOVE, by artist Laura Kimpton. Located in the hotel’s Waterfall Atrium, the piece is perfect for an ‘Instagram moment’. The LOVE sign is set amongst a beautiful floral display and it is a fabulous place to stop, snap and enjoy.

Off-Strip Dining

Raku

In Vegas, there isn’t any shortage of Izakaya style restaurants. If you want to experience unusual culinary skill, flavours and presentation then look no further. Raku is one of the places that locals love – and after tasting the food and experiencing their impeccable service, you’ll know why! Friendly to the wallet and the soul, it’s popularity may keep you waiting until a table opens up. But don’t you worry, Sweets Raku is just a few steps away to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail before dinner. Open late, you’ll likely find other big-name chefs enjoying the experience that is Raku.

 

Atomic Liquors

In 1952, Joe and Stella Sobchick opened the very first free-standing bar in Las Vegas – and now, nearly 70 years later, Atomic Liquors and its famous neon sign still lights up Fremont Street. A famous hangout for the Rat Pack and other stars back in the day, Atomic liquors hasn’t changed much and still offers a perfect mix of classic and newly minted cocktails, cold beer and a perfect Vegas throwback vibe.

Take a Rare Look

 

Bauman’s Rare Book Store

If you are a bibliophile this should be your Vegas Mecca. Located in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, extremely rare and historical publications, manuscripts and documents including originals signed by Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Herbert Hoover reside. This living museum will have you awestruck, even from behind the display cases. 

 

Explore the Outdoors

Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston is the highest mountain in Clark County, and you’ll find many local Las Vegans taking advantage of the skiing, snowboarding and other sports during the winter. In the summer, it’s a great place to escape the desert heat, while hiking, biking or horseback riding or simply enjoying a relaxing afternoon with a casual meal with good friends while enjoying the views.