9 exciting new things in Las Vegas that will make you want to book a trip right now

Mar 25, 2022

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Las Vegas has long been the place to go for an over-the-top vacation, but in recent years, there’s a noticeably new vibe emerging. Gone are the days of megaresorts competing with one another to offer the most incredible buffet or wildest pool party.

Instead, a more surprising transformation is occurring, one filled with an increasingly diverse selection of activities and experiences to enjoy. So much has changed since the pandemic began that if you haven’t visited in the past couple of years, you may find yourself doing a double take.

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While the city is still a mecca for having a good time (often well into the late evening and early morning hours), you no longer have to walk through a cigarette smoke-filled casino to find excitement. Here are nine new experiences you won’t want to miss the next time you visit Vegas.

Head to Area15 for an experience unlike any other

Area15 in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of Area15/Facebook)

Located just behind the Strip near Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, Area15 is hard to describe. The entertainment complex bills itself as “a district of immersive experiences,” which is just as vague as it is true. You can throw axes, race a friend on the dueling zip lines and hunt for secret portals in a quirky supermarket-themed space, among other activities.

If you still find yourself questioning if this venue is worth checking out, peruse the unconventional food and beverage options available on site. You’ll find everything from a Todd English-helmed food hall with a moody vibe to a cocktail bar with a colorful LED maple tree that stands 25 feet tall. Should you crave an adrenaline rush with your drink, partake in the Liftoff experience, which will have you sipping cocktails while suspended 130 feet above the ground.

Related: Vegas is back, baby: From shows to slots, what it’s like to visit Las Vegas right now

Bet on sports while perfecting your tan at Stadium Swim

The first adults-only hotel to open in Vegas, Circa Resort & Casino‘s existence itself is noteworthy. But there’s more to this property than its exclusion of younger guests.

High above Fremont Street on the property’s rooftop, you’ll discover the most interesting spot to bet on sports in Vegas: Stadium Swim. This massive multilevel pool complex boasts a 40-foot-tall high-definition TV that shows multiple games and betting lines for virtually anything you can think of. Whether you want to gamble from a sprawling pool or private cabana, you can soak up some sunshine and enjoy bottle service without missing a minute of your game of choice.

Venture 66 floors up to Alle Lounge for a drink with a view

Just being a sky-high venue isn’t enough to be special in Vegas. While the revolving Top of the World restaurant at The Strat Hotel, Casino & SkyPod has towered 1,000 feet above the Strip for decades, there’s a new spot in town worth a peek.

Enjoy a glass of Champagne or a 2-ounce pour of Louis XIII (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it) at Alle Lounge on 66. Occupying the 66th floor of the Conrad Las Vegas, one of several properties within Resorts World, this spot is the place to imbibe while taking in all of the lights of the city. Whatever drink you choose to sip, make sure you pair it with the yuzu cheesecake. You can thank me later.

Check out the surprisingly cool food court at Resorts World

Famous Foods Street Eats. (Photo by Edward Pizzarello for The Points Guy)

Resorts World absolutely crushed it when it comes to dining and drinking establishments, so much so that its food court is worth a mention, too. Situated on the main level of the complex, Famous Foods Street Eats is far from your typical food court. Technology and incredible food combine to make it the undisputed champion of Vegas quick-service food venues.

No matter where you are in the space, you’ll find touchscreens loaded with menus from the food court’s nearly 20 eateries, so you can order a mash-up of bites from multiple spots, ranging from sushi to a whole suckling pig. After paying for the entire order, you’ll receive a text message each time one of your items is ready to pick up. Talk about convenient.

Did we mention there’s a secret speak-easy, too? Find Fuhu Cha Chaan Teng (a sit-down, tea-focused restaurant in the food court) and politely ask the staff about the speak-easy to be ushered to a bookshelf disguising a door that leads to the Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den. Inside, you’ll find a cool setting befitting the tasty concoctions being served.

Related: Yes, Las Vegas can be done on a tight budget — here’s how

Cheer on the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena

One of the newest teams in the NHL also happens to be the first one to call Las Vegas home. Regular fixtures at T-Mobile Arena, which is right on the Strip behind Park MGM Las Vegas and New York-New York Hotel & Casino, the Vegas Golden Knights are exciting to watch on the ice. But the arena itself is worth exploring, too.

Like other parts of the city, Vegas added its own special brand of magic to the venue. In addition to housing dozens of eateries and bars, the arena features an 18,000-square-foot lounge with plush seating areas, skyline views and, you guessed it, DJs and bottle service. With such an elevated spot to play, it’s no wonder the Golden Knights found their way to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season.

Spend some time at Allegiant Stadium

Nicknamed the “Death Star” for its futuristic design, Allegiant Stadium welcomes tens of thousands of Las Vegas Raiders fans and concertgoers annually. Featuring 75,000 square feet of video boards and large folding doors leading to an outdoor area with jaw-dropping views of the Strip, the impressive venue is the spot to go for an NFL game or a live performance.

Whether you’re visiting to watch the Raiders play on the natural grass football field (which weighs close to 20 million pounds) or to catch music icons like BTS or the Red Hot Chili Peppers singing from a temporary stage, you’re bound to have a good time. Remember to arrive early so you have time to truly appreciate all the gorgeous space has to offer.

Become a pinball wizard at the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum

The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of the Pinball Hall of Fame Las Vegas/Facebook)

The Pinball Hall of Fame Museum may not be new, but its move to a massive 25,000-square-foot location on the Strip makes it worth checking out, even if you’ve previously visited. You can have loads of cheap fun playing the older machines charging 25 cents or newer ones that cost a whopping 50 cents.

If you like variety, you won’t be disappointed: There are literally hundreds of pinball machines to choose from, a labor of love run by a group of pinball fans. It’s a great spot to relive your childhood while beating the Vegas heat indoors. Just be sure to bring plenty of quarters — you won’t find pay phones with forgotten coins available nearby.

Related: A classic getaway: Revisiting the Las Vegas of my childhood to love it even more

See and be seen while dining at Delilah

To see where celebrities dine in Vegas, head to this old-fashioned supper club at Wynn Las Vegas. While the new restaurant is typically booked up months in advance, if you’re lucky enough to score a table, chances are you’ll catch a glimpse of some famous Hollywood A-listers (think: Justin Bieber, Kourtney Kardashian, Megan Fox and Kit Harington, among others) as you dine.

The food and setting are just as memorable as the clientele. In addition to featuring private dining rooms with secret entrances and decor and live acts that transport patrons to the Jazz Age, Delilah serves mouthwatering (albeit pricey) plates of imaginative yet timeless creations, such as wagyu beef Wellington and fettuccine Alfredo with fresh black truffles. Don’t expect to snap a picture of your neighbor or the food, though, as there’s a strict no-picture policy here.

Learn from experts during a Master Class at Wynn

Dining at Wynn’s trendy supper club isn’t the only memorable way to pass the time at the property. In early 2022, the five-star resort launched a series of Master Classes led by experts in a variety of interesting topics.

You can learn how to make the perfect margarita with a mixologist, get insights about the men’s college basketball tournament from a veteran sports journalist and enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek at the resort’s “Lake of Dreams” show with its production manager, among other class options. Despite the high price tags attached to these experiences (classes generally cost more than $100 per person), the valuable knowledge you’ll get from them can be more than worth the splurge.

Related: 12 things to do in Las Vegas when you don’t want to gamble

Bottom line

It may sound overly corny to say that Las Vegas is constantly reinventing itself, but it’s true. From its new food and drink outlets to its impressive entertainment venues, the latest edition of Vegas is far from the kitschy spot of yesteryear.

While you can still play the slots and table games, the city now offers an expanded selection of sights and activities to appeal to non-casino types — and there’s no sign of this trend changing anytime soon. The MSG Sphere, a newly imagined event space with an eye-catching spherical design, is set to debut in 2023. Even though we don’t know who the venue’s headliner will be, it’s Vegas, so odds are it will be someone stellar.

Although Vegas’ megaresorts began moving away from gambling as their main source of revenue years ago, the pandemic accelerated the effort. Now that a post-pandemic return to normal is slowly approaching, it’s time to return to see its glorious transformation. We bet you’ll be amazed by just how much the city has changed since the last time you visited.

Featured photo by LPETTET/Getty Images.

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