Las Vegas is one of those places that everyone has to visit at some point. The neon lights, the exciting shows, the delicious food and the high-stakes gambling make for one special combination that you won’t find in any other city on Earth. Whether you’re interested in the bustling nightlife of the Vegas Strip or you’re using Nevada’s most famous city as a base for other attractions in the area — the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam are nearby — Las Vegas will treat wheelchair users well. Here are the best places in Sin City to eat, see and play!
This Ultimate Wheelchair Accessible Guide to Las Vegas aims to answer any questions you have about traveling to Sin City as a wheelchair user. It highlights several exciting points of interest and discusses accessibility features of some of the city’s major attractions. Then, it breaks down Vegas transportation and how it works in a wheelchair, and also provides some useful resources for anyone with accessibility requirements who is thinking about visiting.
THE STRIP | Las Vegas Boulevard South
This famous stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South is the place where the city comes to life. Lined with ritzy restaurants and luxurious casinos, this 4.2 mile strip of street is the number one destination in Vegas. While sidewalks can be a bit crowded, there are plenty of accessible transportation options to get around the Strip including bus and monorail (all detailed in Getting Around).
Stop in the picture perfect hotels and casinos, but don’t miss the High Roller. As the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, it’s a landmark that’s visible from nearly everywhere in the city. From atop the wheel, you can enjoy stunning views of the Strip, the cityscape and the entire Las Vegas Valley spread out beneath you. You can even board the High Roller in your wheelchair — in fact, they will stop the ride to allow you ample time to get in the car.
THE VEGAS EXPERIENCE | Freemont Street
Photos by HART (1-800-HART) and Allie_Caulfield CC BY
If there’s one place in Vegas that rivals the Strip for excitement, it’s downtown’s Fremont Street. Closed off to traffic and oftentimes spotted in movies, it’s a place where you can stride freely around from one fun attraction to the next. Here, you can go antique shopping, watch light shows, find great eats and even better people-watching — all on one street. There are shops, restaurants and experiences galore. Nothing is out of the question, as you’ll see if you happen to stumble upon the 14.5-foot-tall world’s largest functioning fire hydrant or the world’s largest pint glass.
BELLAGIO | 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41826" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The colorful Bellagio lobby. Photo by Bob Dass CC BY[/caption]
The Bellagio is fantastic for a number of reasons. Not only is it one of the best casinos in Sin City, but it also has a beautiful conservatory and botanical gardens. If you’d like to stay there, it features 85 accessible rooms, and two of them even have their own Hoyer lifts! If you’re just visiting for the day, you can rent wheelchairs and scooters at the front desk on a first-come, first-serve basis. Not only is it worth visiting for the slot machines, but each season, horticulturalists transform its 14,000 square foot garden area into a different awe-inspiring spectacle.[caption id="attachment_41870" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]An absolutely sumptuous Bellagio room. Photo taken from trivago. [/caption]
MANDALAY BAY | 3950 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41827" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Walk underwater without getting wet! Photo by Daniel Ramirez CC BY[/caption]
Mandalay Bay is another resort that’s worth visiting even if you’re not staying there. It’s hip and well-known among young people, but there’s more than that – the Shark Reef Aquarium is perhaps its crown jewel. With exhibits featuring over 2,000 animals, it’s the perfect place to see marine life of all kinds. It’s even better than a traditional aquarium, because you’ve got all the other amenities of a Vegas hotel to experience. There’s a touch pool and the entire aquarium has a very hands-on feel. You can tell that they’re really all about the sights, sounds, and sensory experiences. Mandalay’s specialties are tunnels, which make you feel like you’re diving in the deep ocean yourself. And the best part? The whole facility is fully ADA accessible, and tickets for adults are just $18.[related-article id="55130"]
trivago hotel tip:
Should you wish to stay at Mandalay Bay as part of your Vegas getaway, 28 accessible guest rooms, accessible bathrooms plus ramps and elevators throughout the resort will welcome you for your stay. The spectacular resort evokes all that glitzy and glam that is quintessentially Vegas. An accessible tram running every couple of minutes whisks you up and down the Strip, making it incredibly easy to get to all the sights.
Stratosphere Tower | 2000 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41829" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Photo by O Palsson CC BY[/caption]
Located at the Stratosphere Hotel on the Strip, this tower’s Observation Deck — in reality, both indoor and outdoor observation decks — offers what are incomparably considered the best panoramic views of the city. The Stratosphere Tower is also the tallest freestanding observation tower in the whole country!
While you’re up there, grab a drink at AirBar, the highest bar in Las Vegas, and eat at some of the tower’s restaurants. Despite the height, don’t worry about accessibility – the Stratosphere Observation Deck is splendidly accessible!
NEON MUSEUM & BONEYARD | 770 Las Vegas Blvd North[caption id="attachment_41833" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]The retirement home of the Las Vegas lights. Photo by soccergirl296 CCBY[/caption]
You might not believe it as you’re strolling down the Strip, but some of the best neon in Las Vegas is no longer on the streets. The Boneyard, where old and classic neon signs have gone to die, is the best part and you can only see it via a guided tour (you can buy a ticket for a specific tour time). Daytime tours are $18 and nighttime tours are $25. Be sure to arrange transportation in advance so that you can be on time, because if you’re more than 20 minutes late, you might lose your ticket’s spot. It’s worthwhile though, because your knowledgeable guide will share stories about the birth and growth of Las Vegas and some of its most famous attractions. The museum is ADA accessible, and the Boneyard portion has a fine gravel surface, which although it is not ideal, should not pose a problem for those using manual or electric wheelchairs. There’s also parking on the premises, which is very handy.
MADAME TUSSAUDS | 3377 S. Las Vegas Blvd[caption id="attachment_41834" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Elton John immortalized in wax. Photo by InSapphoWeTrust CC BY[/caption]
Located at the Venetian on the Strip, Madame Tussauds is Vegas’ version of the world’s most famous chain of wax museums. However, it holds a distinction as the first wax museum in the United States. It’s a bit challenging to get there in a wheelchair, but it’s worthwhile to see those eerie wax replicas of famous people. There are steps to the main entrance of the museum, so to get in you’ll have to locate the Sephora store on the backside of the building on Las Vegas Boulevard. There, there will be an elevator for you to take. You can get off at Floor 2 to buy tickets if you haven’t already bought them online, then continue on to Floor 3 to see the actual museum.
NEVADA STATE MUSEUM | 309 S. Valley View Blvd.[caption id="attachment_41872" align="aligncenter" width="649"]The State museum shows a different side to Sin City. Photo taken from the State Museum’s Facebook page. [/caption]
Many people flock to Vegas simply because it’s Vegas, and they don’t get a chance to know the awesome state that surrounds Sin City. Open Thursday to Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Nevada State Museum will allow you to do just that. You’ll get a peek beyond the bright lights to see another side of the city and the state, learning about Nevada’s interesting history. Encompassing both natural and cultural history, the museum has permanent and changing exhibits. The permanent exhibit goes millions of years back and presents Nevada’s history until present day in an exciting tale that chronicles the rise of Hoover Dam and Las Vegas itself. The facility is now considered wheelchair accessible.
THE MOB MUSEUM | 300 Stewart Ave[caption id="attachment_41835" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Walk through the life of a Las Vegas gangster. Photo by kennejima CC BY[/caption]
This has got to be one of the most unique museums you’ll ever see! Get the real, unfiltered history of the mob and how law enforcement caught and observed some of history’s biggest crime bosses at the Mob Museum. It’s an incredibly interactive museum with some truly fascinating artifacts on display. One downside is that there are steps to get into the museum. There’s a hydraulic lift to get wheelchairs inside, or you can use the back entrance where there’s a ramp. Once you’re inside, however, the museum is accessible with elevators and wheelchair-friendly restrooms. On a final note, it’s worth noting that you can get combination tickets to the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum.
HEART ATTACK GRILL | 450 Fremont St.[caption id="attachment_41837" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A once in a lifetime experience. Photo by Graeme Maclean CC BY[/caption]
If you’re looking for a low-fat salad, go somewhere else. The Heart Attack Grill is a once in a lifetime experience, and it’s some of the unhealthiest cuisine you’ll ever eat — but it’s unbelievably delicious. In fact, they actually have wheelchairs available in the restaurant for non-wheelchair users who stuff themselves so much that they literally feel as though they can’t move a muscle! Whatever your feelings on this, it does mean that the establishment is completely accessible, so that’s surely a plus.
ORIGINAL LINDO MICHOACAN | 2655 E Desert Inn Rd[caption id="attachment_41838" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Delicious Mexi eats at Lindo Michoacán. Photo taken from their Facebook page.[/caption]
Mexican cuisine enthusiasts must make a stop at this local fixture and Zagat-rated establishment. The Original Lindo Michoacan offers a gourmet twist on classic south-of-the-border recipes. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible and features fantastic views, but if you’d rather stay in at your hotel, the whole menu is available for take-out. It’s great for kids, adults, and even large groups if you’re traveling with one!
DOG HAUS | 4480 Paradise Rd[caption id="attachment_41847" align="aligncenter" width="866"]A foray into finding the ultimate hot dog. Photo taken from the Dog Haus Facebook page. [/caption]
This restaurant embodies what has become a new trend in Las Vegas — gourmet hot dogs and hamburgers. Kids and adults alike enjoy these fun, delectable spins on classic fast food cuisine at Dog Haus. There’s parking in a garage, and you can be seated inside or out. Dog Haus is wheelchair-friendly, but you’ll have to hope that a low-level table is available, because some of the tables in the restaurant are elevated with stool seating.
HERRINGBONE | 3730 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41848" align="aligncenter" width="1203"]A meal to remember at Herringbone. Photo taken from their Facebook page.[/caption]
If you’re looking for something truly high-class and gourmet, Herringbone is a wonderful option. Founded by top chef Brian Malarkey, this restaurant offers California-inspired coastal cuisine, delicious seafood and pioneering “ocean-to-table” philosophy, responsibly sourced meat and local produce. A fabulous option for fine dining at the Aria for the conscious eater, that also caters to the wheelchair user. The restaurant is fully wheelchair accessible with valet parking or parking in a garage or private lot, though as a sophisticated establishment it’s not a great place to bring kids.
The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian | 3377 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41849" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Shop the canals of the Venetian in style. Photo by Tanya Hart CC BY[/caption]
Widely considered as the best shopping experience in Las Vegas, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian will give you a luxurious shopping experience that rivals one you could find in fashionable Italy itself. Aside from stores, the excellent environment features nightlife and fine dining options to enjoy. Check out the store directory here to see if they have your dream shops, and know that the Shoppes are pleasantly accessible and offer complimentary wheelchairs. Free parking is available in the garages at the Venetian or the Palazzo, and the Shoppes are also accessible by taxi or buses. If you drive, they also offer valet parking.
The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace | 3500 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41850" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Old world meets shopping bags. Photo by Daniel Ramirez CC BY[/caption]
Enter the Forum Shops and leave feeling like royalty! Check out the classy and fashion-forward options in the store directory, or just explore once you arrive. (Hint: you might stumble upon the 50,000 gallon Atlantis Aquarium tank!) The shops offer valet parking and accessible parking as well. If you drive yourself, you can park for free in an adjacent garage, or the Deuce bus will get you here as well. Inside, you can take advantage of complimentary wheelchairs in front of the Fountain of the Gods – yes, really.
Via Bellagio Promenade | 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South[caption id="attachment_41873" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Shop till you drop. Photo by Keith CCBY[/caption]
For some of the finest retail therapy in Las Vegas, it’s worth stopping at the Bellagio even if it’s just for the Promenade. The shops are mostly accessible, and it’s easy to get to the Bellagio using any form of public transportation. There are even accessible trams that go back and forth between some of the hotels on the strip, and you can use these as well!
Parks and the Outdoors
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area | 1000 Scenic Loop Drive[caption id="attachment_41851" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]A dramatic landscape straight out of outer space. Photo by the Bureau of Land Management CC BY[/caption]
Ask anyone who lives in Las Vegas where their favorite place to escape from the city is, and almost all of them will tell you it’s here: Red Rock Canyon is a colorful, wild, and purely stunning place to go that’s surprisingly close to Vegas itself. The best part is that to enjoy this inspiring beauty, you don’t even need to leave your car! That’s right, just hire a taxi or take a rental van and drive the park’s 13-mile scenic loop, which depending on the season is open from 6:00 a.m. to either 5 or 8:00 p.m. every single day.
However, there are also accessible areas in the park if you’d like to get outside in the fresh air. There are accessible trails located at the Visitor Center, the Willow Springs Picnic Area (a place you’ll want to stop on the scenic drive, since it features neat rock art), Red Rock Overlook along State Route 159, and Red Spring. It’s important to note that some of the restrooms along the 13-mile scenic drive have vault toilets without accessible bars, so it’s a good idea to use the bathroom at the Visitor Center.
Clark County Wetlands Park | 7050 Wetlands Park Lane[caption id="attachment_41852" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Photo by Aryeh Alex CC BY[/caption]
The Clark County Wetlands Park is a small, quiet gem just east of the city, this is another excellent escape in Las Vegas. If you need a break from the casino life, check out the Nature Center and Exhibit Hall at this quaint wetland area. It’s free to get in and well worth the trip to the outskirts of the city. There are miles of trails, and a fair amount are ADA accessible. Plan your wetland trail adventure by trivago magazineg out all the accessible trails on this map before you go!
Las Vegas Springs Preserve | 333 South Valley View Blvd[caption id="attachment_41853" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Quiet pathways at the Springs Preserve. Photo by Ken Lund CC BY[/caption]
Just three miles west of downtown, the Springs Preserve offers accessible nature in more ways than one. It is 180 acres of green bliss and features structures like a botanical garden and butterfly habitat. Learn about the desert from the Preserve’s various exhibits and embark on the 2.21 mile Exploration Loop, a paved, wheelchair accessible trail which will take you to the furthest reaches of the park. At the preserve, you can use complimentary wheelchairs or rent electric convenience vehicles for $25.
There are a number of popular day trip destinations from Las Vegas. Sometimes, you need a day off from all the glitz and the glamour to reconnect with the great outdoors. Here are some popular day trip destinations and wheelchair accessible ways to visit them!
HOOVER DAM | Hoover Dam Access Road, Boulder City[caption id="attachment_41854" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]An engineering marvel. Photo by Arvin Asadi CC BY[/caption]
Just outside the city, Hoover Dam is a short 34 miles away from Las Vegas, making it a very easy day trip destination. If you decide to go yourself, note that the Powerplant Tour at the dam itself is accessible, and it’s the only wheelchair-friendly tour. The Visitor Center is completely accessible, and there’s special allotted parking for wheelchair users in the parking garage, if you take your own car. It’s important to arrive between the hours of 9:20 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to catch a half-hour Powerplant Tour.
Gray Line offers accessible bus tours from Las Vegas – one to just Hoover Dam, and another to Hoover Dam and Lake Meade. It’s best to call the company before you book a tour to confirm that the bus will have a lift for your wheelchair if you need one, since some wheelchair users who have gone on this tour have said they’ve needed to climb the stairs to get on the bus, but that there was no problem storing their wheelchair for the ride.
GRAND CANYON[caption id="attachment_41856" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Prepare to be awed by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Photo by faungg’s photos CC BY[/caption]
Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in one fell swoop would make for a truly epic vacation. Only 123 miles from downtown Vegas, the Grand Canyon is definitely feasible to do in a day.
Sweetours offers accessible tours with lifts to board the buses. Take a tour to either the south or west rim of the Grand Canyon, and perhaps make a stop at Hoover Dam on the way! When you get to the Grand Canyon, of course everything won’t be accessible, but the south rim has an excellent wheelchair pathway and the west rim has a wheelchair accessible Skywalk – a completely clear glass bridge that extends 70 feet past the rim, so that you feel as though you’re standing on air above the abyss! If you have at least four people in your party, the company can also do customized private tours, which is pretty cool.[related-article id="21846"]
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION[caption id="attachment_41857" align="aligncenter" width="800"]The monorail system in Vegas can get you anywhere! Photo by Michael Dorausch CCBY[/caption]
The Regional Transport Commission (RTC) public Las Vegas buses are all completely accessible for wheelchair users. They kneel, feature lifts and low floors, and have spaces available to secure two wheelchairs. Plan your trip using the aforementioned link, or check out maps and schedules here. Las Vegas is like any big city, which means it’s best to plan out any travel on public transport ahead of time so you don’t get lost.
The RTC operates the Deuce Bus, a fun, double-decker bus which hits a lot of the major attractions in town. Like RTC’s other buses, it’s completely accessible, and the list of stops can be found here.
The Monorail is an excellent way to get around town, especially if you’d like an easy and convenient way to travel the Strip. It’s fully ADA compliant, which means that wheelchairs and scooters are permitted on the Monorail. All Monorail stations have elevators which lead to a level boarding platform. You’re required to lock your wheelchair for the ride, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
If you need assistance at any of the stations, just ask the helpful security officers, who can help you with logistics and getting around if you have limited mobility. You can view the Monorail route here. It’s not complicated, and it’s incredibly efficient – trains arrive every 4 to 9 minutes! When you go to ride, you can buy single-ride tickets or unlimited passes for a variety of time periods.
If you have a documentation that permits you to use paratransit services where you reside, just bring it along with you when you visit Las Vegas, and their services will be complementary. If you have questions about your eligibility to use these services while visiting Las Vegas, you can just contact the Regional Transport Commission.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TAXIS[caption id="attachment_41858" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Sin City from above. Photo by Peter CC BY[/caption]
All Las Vegas cab companies are legally required to have wheelchair-accessible vans in their fleets. It will be no problem to get one from the airport, and your concierge at the hotel will also be able to help you secure accessible taxis. You may want to have some numbers on hand so that you can plan the rest of your travels accordingly, or just catch an accessible cab from the airport and get the driver’s card so that he or she can help you for the rest of your time in the city.
Another thing to note is that the vans do vary – some are full-sized vans with motorized lifts, so you may want one of these if you have a lot of luggage or a large wheelchair. The other vans are minivans with ramps and lowered floors, so you’ll need to specify which kind you’d prefer.
ACCESSIBLE VAN RENTAL COMPANIES[caption id="attachment_41859" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Dare you brave the Las Vegas roads? Photo by Andrew CC BY[/caption]
Should you want to brave the Las Vegas traffic (just kidding, it’s not too bad!), there are a number of good van rental companies in the area.
Wheelchair Getaways of Nevada rents vans at a great price that can fit up to 2 wheelchairs. You can go up to 100 miles free each day, but you have to pay $0.35 per mile for anything greater than that. There are also pick-up and drop-off fees, but the fact that you don’t have to deliver it yourself is quite convenient. Call them at 602-494-8257 with questions or to reserve a van for your Vegas trip!
The Better Life Mobility Center of Las Vegas also has vans available for rent or purchase. They’re open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on the weekends only by appointment, so be sure to arrange your rental in advance by calling 702-876-9606.
WHEELCHAIR REPAIR SHOPS
There are a number of wheelchair repair shops in Las Vegas, and it’s good to have their contact information in case something happens to your wheelchair while you’re on vacation.
AAA Mobile Repair can fix your scooter or wheelchair and rent you another one if you need it. They come to you, so there’s no need to worry about finding their office, and they offer convenient 24/7 emergency service. Call 702-751-4438 for service or with questions.
MedMo is another great service company based in Las Vegas that can repair your chair if something goes wrong, and rent you another one. They’re open 7 days a week and can be reached at 702-233-3770.
Tips & Tricks[caption id="attachment_41860" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Photo by John Fowler CC BY[/caption]
- If you plan to rent an accessible van or drive your own car around the city, bring your accessible dashboard parking permit from home, since Las Vegas does recognize out-of-state permits.
- Alternatively, if you’re taking an accessible taxi, be sure to call them enough in advance so that you won’t be running late to your destination.
- If you’re taking public transportation, like buses or monorails, leave early enough if you’re headed to a time-sensitive tour or show, because traffic on the Vegas Strip can make the timetables of these modes of transportation quite variable.
- Vegas is one of the most exciting places in the United States to visit, and there’s nowhere else like it on Earth. Make the most of this neon paradise by planning accessible attractions to visit in advance, and it doesn’t hurt to buy tickets for shows or tours ahead of time, either.
Regardless of what you choose to do or where you choose to stay, there’s no doubt that you’ll have a magical time in this truly unique destination.
*Cover image by mini malist