- 15 Best Things To Do In Las Vegas Besides Gamble
- 1. GO HOTEL HOPPING
- 2. EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH VEGAS
- So where to eat in Las Vegas?
- The Best Buffets in Las Vegas:
- Michelin Star Restaurants
- Michelin Star Restaurants in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas locals restaurants' recommendations
- Cirque Du Soleil Shows in Las Vegas:
- 4. SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
- 5. NEON-LIGHTS MUSEUM
- 6. ENJOY THE BEST VIEW OF LAS VEGAS FROM THE HIGH ROLLER OBSERVATION WHEEL
- 7. VISIT THE CONTAINER PARK
- 8. CHECK OUT BODIES: THE EXHIBITION
- 9. VISIT THE MOB MUSEUM
- 10. SHOP TILL YOU DROP
- 11 GET YOUR SCREAM ON AT THE STRATOSPHERE
- 12. ZOOMLINE AT THE FREEMONT ST. EXPERIENCE
- 13. ENJOY A WALK AT THE LINQ PROMENADE
- 14. ESCAPE THE GLITZ OF THE STRIP AT ETHEL M CHOCOLATE FACTORY AND BOTANICAL CACTUS GARDEN
- 15. VISIT LAS VEGAS NEARBY ATTRACTIONS
- 25 Fun Things to do in Las Vegas (besides gambling)!
- 1. Check out the Mirage volcano show
- 2. Watch the spectacular Bellagio Fountain show
- 3. Shop ‘Til you Drop at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
- 4. Get an up close view of Sharks at the Golden Nugget
- 5. Take pics of The Strip at night
- Things to Do in Las Vegas Besides Gambling – A Complete Guide
- 1. Walk The Strip
- 2. See a Different Country Without Leaving the City
- 3. Buffets, Shopping, Shows & Clubs
- Buffets in Vegas
- Shopping in Vegas
- 1. A Helicopter Flight Over The Strip
- 2. Fremont East
- 3. Go For a Drive in a Lamborghini and a Ferrari
- 4. A Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise
- 5. Have a Drink With a Mermaid
- 6. Kobe Beef & Rare Lobster Tastings
- 7. Dig a Hole in Las Vegas
- 8. SlotZilla Zip Lines
- 8. Record-Breaking Roller Coasters
- 9. Take a Day Trip From Las Vegas
- Final Tips for What to Do in Vegas Besides Gambling
- Best Hotels in Las Vegas: My Hotel Top 5
- 1. New York New York
- 2. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
- 3. Paris Las Vegas
- 4. Bellagio Las Vegas
- 5. Wynn Las Vegas
- Things To Do In Las Vegas: Off The Strip Ideas (Updated 2020)
- 1.Visit the Grand Canyon
- 2. Hike Red Rock
- 3. Go to the Hoover Dam
- 4. Have Fun at Lake Mead
- 5. Hang Out in Boulder City
- 6. Visit the Mob Museum
- 7. Eat with the Locals
- 8. Head to Fremont Street
- 9. Go Golfing
- 10. Visit the Neon Museum
- 11. Get Artistic at First Friday
- 12. See a Show
15 Best Things To Do In Las Vegas Besides Gamble
Las Vegas is renown for its casinos and nightlife but what to do if you don’t gamble nor drink? Let me tell you, tons! Las Vegas is the mecca of entertainment, so rest assured there is something to do for everyone – not to mention, the nearby sightseeing. So I have collaborated with Expedia.com to bring you this guide to help you navigate Las Vegas sans casino. Without further ado, here are 15 things to do in las Vegas besides gamble.
1. GO HOTEL HOPPING
Let’s start with an obvious one: Hotel hopping of course! For first-timers, this is obligatory. Each hotel is a world of its own with a plethora of shops, restaurants, shows, and grandiose décor.
It won't take you all day but if you are short of time, make sure to at least check out the Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, and The Venetian.
After all, the third thing Las Vegas is known for is its hotels’ glitz!
See all Las Vegas hotels on Expedia.com
2. EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH VEGAS
If you are a foodie me, Vegas won’t disappoint. From Michelin star restaurants to local fares, there is a menu for every budget and cravings in the Sin City.
So where to eat in Las Vegas?
For those looking to experience the customary buffet dining in Las Vegas, the city offers a dizzying array of choices. Make sure to forgo the glamorous tight dress or pants and opt for some preggo clothing or sweatpants – No judgment.
The Best Buffets in Las Vegas:
·Wicked Spoon buffet at The Cosmopolitan
·Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace
·Bellagio Buffet at Bellagio
·Studio B Buffet at The M Resort
Michelin Star Restaurants
If you are in Vegas to splurge or to indulge in a culinary experience, Michelin star restaurant is a must.
One of my favorite chefs, world-renowned, Joël Robuchon happen to have two restaurants in the city– L'Atelier Robuchon and Joël Robuchon with one and three Michelin stars respectively – at the MGM Hotel.
Also, renowned French chef, Guy Savoy serves classic dishes at the Restaurant Guy Savoy located in the Caesars Palace.
Michelin Star Restaurants in Las Vegas
- Joël Robuchon, MGM Grand ***
- Picasso, Bellagio **
- Restaurant Guy Savoy, Caesars Palace **
- L'Atelier Robuchon, MGM Grand *
- Nobu, Caesars Palace *
- Aureole, Mandalay Bay *
- Twist, Mandarin Oriental *
- Alize, Palms *
- Mesa Grill, Caesars Palace *
- Wing Lei, Wynn *
- Le Cirque, Bellagio *
Las Vegas locals restaurants' recommendations
The best way to find out where the locals’ wine and dine is to ask the locals. I surveyed several Las Vegans – yes, that’s how you call the residents- for the best restaurants in town, and these were the most popular recommendations:
- Shang Artisan Noodle
- Fukumimi Ramen
- Lotus of Siam
- Viva Las Arepas
- Flock & Fowl
- 7th & Carson
- Other Mama
- Carson Kitchen
- Standard & Pour
One of my favorite things to do in Las Vegas is to watch a Cirque Du Soleil show – a visually stunning acrobatic spectacle that feeds your inner child. Although you can find Cirque Du Soleil all around the world, none are as magical as the one in Las Vegas. My favorite thus far is KA and O – If you are only watching one show, make it count and watch either of them.
Cirque Du Soleil Shows in Las Vegas:
- The Beatles LOVE
- Michael Jackson ONE
4. SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
With countless restaurants in Las Vegas, rest assured there’s an equally impressive amount of shops where one can satisfy even the most ostentatious sweet craving. If you have some major sweet tooth, Las Vegas is there for you.
Where to find the best sweets in Las Vegas:
- Recess Italian Ice
- Black Tap
- Bouchon Bakery
- Paris Baguette
5. NEON-LIGHTS MUSEUM
Can’t get enough of the neon lights from the strip? Enters the Neon Museum of Las Vegas. Partake in an hour-long guided tour – the only way to access the museum – and enjoy a walk to the past through Las Vegas signs of yesterday.
Best time to visit the Neon Museum?
Visit at the golden hour where there’s still sunlight for you to enjoy the signs that don’t light up but dark enough for the ones that are up and running to pop!
Make sure to book your tour in advance and to read the “Before you visit” section for their guidelines.
6. ENJOY THE BEST VIEW OF LAS VEGAS FROM THE HIGH ROLLER OBSERVATION WHEEL
At more than 550 feet tall, the High Roller in Las Vegas is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Hop on it for a breath-taking view of the strip and the surrounding desert. I highly recommend taking the ride at sunset for a stunning view.
7. VISIT THE CONTAINER PARK
Escape Las Vegas glitz and glamour and head down to the Container Park. As the name suggests, the park is built with shipping containers creating a little utopia off the strip. Visit at night for some light entertainment, food, and maybe a little shopping too. Bonus: There’s a giant fire-breathing preying mantis! The park is family friendly and popular among locals.
8. CHECK OUT BODIES: THE EXHIBITION
Curious about how our body works? Check out the Bodies exhibition. If you haven’t heard about this exhibition before, you’ve been living under a rock, but I forgive you. The Bodies exhibition is famous for displaying –tastefully– real dissected human bodies. Fascinating right?
9. VISIT THE MOB MUSEUM
It’s no secret that mobsters founded Las Vegas; today, The Mob museums shed lights on the gangster era and the work of the I agents to counter it. At the museum, you will learn more about infamous mobster such as Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, and John Gotti; as well as the dedicated I agents that worked to defeat organized crimes across the country.
Tip: If you are planning to visit the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum, you can get a combo ticket.
10. SHOP TILL YOU DROP
With a dizzying amount of boutiques in Las Vegas, you could technically “Shop till you drop” –but for your safety, I suggest not. Shopping in Las Vegas is another obvious thing to do if you are looking for High Fashion labels.
But for those who are not, Las Vegas also offers specialty stores, independent boutiques, and cute little shops the one where I almost mistook soap for a cupcake! I was surprised to find so many charming boutiques on the strip as well as off the Strip.
11 GET YOUR SCREAM ON AT THE STRATOSPHERE
Adrenaline junkie? Head to the Stratosphere and get shot over the edge and dangle at an eye-watering 866 feet above ground, or be prepared to be shot 160 feet in the air as you overlook the strip. Nevertheless, if you dare, you will be rewarded with an unbelievable view of the city.
Rides at the Stratosphere:
- Big Shot
- X Scream
12. ZOOMLINE AT THE FREEMONT ST. EXPERIENCE
Want some adventure but not quite ready for the rides at the Stratosphere? Enters SlotZilla at the Freemont Street. Ride “superhero style” all the way down the Freemont street experience for an eagle-eye view of the promenade.
13. ENJOY A WALK AT THE LINQ PROMENADE
Nested between The LINQ and Flamingo hotel, the promenade offers over 40 shops and restaurants – not to mention, the gorgeous view of the High Roller in the background – so you can rest assured, there is something for everybody.
If you are planning to use UBER in Las Vegas, there are designated areas for pick-ups and drop-offs so find the nearest pick-up location (hotel signs or on the UBER app) before you get an UBER.
14. ESCAPE THE GLITZ OF THE STRIP AT ETHEL M CHOCOLATE FACTORY AND BOTANICAL CACTUS GARDEN
Who knew chocolate and cacti could mix so well? – Ethel M Chocolates' breathtaking Botanical Cactus Garden offers its visitors Chocolate tasting classes as well self-guided tours. Afterward, you can head to the breathtaking – and largest of its kind in Nevada – Botanical Cactus Garden for a relaxing afternoon away from the strip.
15. VISIT LAS VEGAS NEARBY ATTRACTIONS
Some of the best things to do in Las Vegas are ironically outside of Vegas! Book a tour or rent a car and explore the nearby attractions. If you have a few extra days, you can even add the Grand Canyon to your itinerary.
The Hoover Dam is definitely a must if you are in Las Vegas. You can rent a car and make it a mini road-trip, or you can book a tour that can take you there hassle free.
Red Rock Canyon
Located on the west side of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is only 20 minutes away. The Park offers a scenic drive to its visitors, and it’s the perfect place for a quick city-escape. You can spend the entire day at the park or just an afternoon; either way, you will feel recharged.
Valley of Fire
If you love nature and hiking, this will be a real treat – especially if you are a photographer. The fiery colors of the boulders and swaying road make it a dream to explore and photograph. At just an hour away, the Valley of Fire is a must when you visit Las Vegas. You can could drive there or book a tour.
The Grand Canyon's south rim, although in Arizona, it's only a four-hour drive. Many visitors add it to their itinerary when visiting the city.
Others make Las Vegas their starting point of their South West road-trip which sometimes include nearby parks Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, The Valley of Fire, Lake Powell, and Bryce Canyon National Park.
If you don’t want to worry about renting cars or planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, you can book a tour too.
As you can see, there are tons of activities for you to do in Las Vegas besides gamble or drink. Have you been to the Sin City? What would you add to the list?
For more places to explore outside Las Vegas, check out my South West road-trip adventure here.
25 Fun Things to do in Las Vegas (besides gambling)!
Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, is most well known for its’ abundance of world class casinos. However, these casinos, and Vegas in general, offer much more than gaming opportunities. In fact, you can easily spend an entire Vegas vacation enjoying various shows, attractions, and sightseeing without putting a dime into the slots.
There is much fun to be had anytime of the day, any time of the year you visit. The great thing about Vegas is that it’s a 24/7 destination with fun attractions for everyone. On your next Vegas trip, be sure to keep in mind a few of my tips for some budget-friendly non-gaming fun! Enjoy the list and be sure to add some of your own ideas for gaming free fun in Vegas!
1. Check out the Mirage volcano show
One of the best shows on The Strip is the explosive volcano show at The Mirage, erupting at 8&9pm every night (additional 10pm times on Friday & Saturdays).
You can feel the heat of the fireballs shooting the volcano, in tune with a great soundtrack from The Grateful Dead’s drummer Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain.
The show, all others, is popular so get there early (especially during the summer season!).
2. Watch the spectacular Bellagio Fountain show
Every half hour from 3-8pm and every 15 minutes from 8pm-Midnight, the fountains in front of the beautiful Bellagio hotel come alive for a dazzling musical show.
The amazing choreographed show is a real treat to see (day or night), just get there early enough to get a front row view! The fountains are quite a sight as they dance along in harmony to all different types of music, including popular Broadway and Classical tunes.
3. Shop ‘Til you Drop at The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
Caesars Forum Shops is a collection of luxury designer shops located right on-site at the hotel. It’s the most upscale and beautiful shopping area in Vegas.
Whether you are looking to indulge in an all day designer shopping excursion or just looking to window shop, you will enjoy the stunning roman themed design and beautiful faux starry sky.
Here you will find most of the high end retailers Armani, Gucci, Valentino, Mark Jacobs, and more (over 150 shops!). Enjoy your feasting your eyes on the seemingly never ending collection of uber expensive shops.
4. Get an up close view of Sharks at the Golden Nugget
The unique 200,000 gallon shark pool inside Fremont Street’s Golden Nugget is considered one of the most unique sights in Vegas. Here you can slide down a waterslide right in the middle of a Shark tank! Swimming and jut lounging around the pool area will also give you a great view. Don’t worry if you are not a hotel guest as pool viewing is open from 8am-midnight to anyone.
5. Take pics of The Strip at night
Sometimes the simplest activities end up being the most worthwhile. Simply walking around The Strip at night, taking in the drastically different than daytime views of all the resorts, is an incredible, memorable experience.
Everything looks so much more alive and spectacular with the millions of lights. Some of the best views and photos can be experienced at the escalator near the Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood (the cover photo was taken here).
Built as a convenient way for tourists to exit North on The Strip, it is more well known as a scenic view and photography hotspot.
Things to Do in Las Vegas Besides Gambling – A Complete Guide
Are there interesting things to do in Vegas besides gambling?
Las Vegas attracted more than 42 million visitors in 2018 and many sources list it as the third or fourth most popular tourist attraction in the world…
Sin City, as Las Vegas is often nicknamed, is of course known for its large number of casinos offering world-class gambling. But, as I discovered on my recent visit to this incredible city, Las Vegas also has a lot to offer tourists me who are not really interested in spending hours and hours in dark, overly air-conditioned casinos.
From world-class dining to a helicopter ride or driving in a Lamborghini. It’s all possible in Las Vegas!
They say it about New York but Las Vegas definitely is a city that never sleeps. Not only will you find people gambling any time of day, or night, but you can also always find something else to keep you entertained in Las Vegas…
1. Walk The Strip
Paris Las Vegas as seen from the Bellagio – Things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling
If you only have a vague picture in your head of Las Vegas, I’m sure it’s an image of ‘The Strip’: a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South that holds most of Las Vegas’s famous hotels with unique creations such as its own version of both the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.
The Strip is the one part of Las Vegas you can’t miss on a first visit here.
If you don’t walking or if it’s just too hot (you are in the desert after all!) ask your hotel for available shuttles or take a tram or the monorail to get from one hotel to the next.
For more information about public transport in Las Vegas: www.vegas.com/transportation
But otherwise, I’d recommend walking from hotel to hotel since they are all right next to each other and most of them are quite a sight from the outside as well!
2. See a Different Country Without Leaving the City
Gondolas at The Venetian looking out onto The Strip
Well, not really of course but their attempts to recreate Venice in Hotel Venetian, Paris in Paris Las Vegas and New York in New York New York are all worth a visit!
As you stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard you will find all of these hotels and many more.
Stop outside the Bellagio to watch their impressive fountain show. Every half-hour between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and every 15 minutes from then until midnight, an 8.5-acre lake in the middle of the desert explodes with 1,214 spritzers shooting water up to 460 feet in the air — the water rockets and dances, perfectly choreographed to different songs.
3. Buffets, Shopping, Shows & Clubs
Besides gambling what Las Vegas is world-famous for are its endless buffets, its good shopping, its impressive shows and of course its nightlife.
Buffets in Vegas
Every hotel seems to offer a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s hard to find out which one is the best but many votes seem to go to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace.
My personal favorite was the Le Village Buffet at hotel Paris, not only because as a European I was desperately craving quality European food after several months in the US but also because of its nice ambiance, trying to make you feel as if you are having dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) in an ancient Parisian neighborhood.
Shopping in Vegas
Most hotels on The Strip offer a selection of shops that can keep you entertained for quite a while.
But, some of the best shopping on The Strip is allegedly found at The Forum Shops, part of the Ceasars Palace hotel, the Via Bellagio Promenade inside the Bellagio hotel, the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Palazzo inside the Venetian hotel and, if you really have money to spend, check out the designer stores and the Wynn Las Vegas.
Shows & Nightlife in Vegas
Shows are also offered by most casinos, with Cirque du Soleil, offered in several hotels, being one of the most famous options.
Use Google if you want to find deals on show tickets or otherwise just ask your hotel to see what they offer.
Since Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps you really don’t have to worry about having to go to sleep before the sun comes up. From exclusive private clubs to trendy bars and happening nightclubs, you can find them all in Las Vegas.
Check out this article for a top 10 of Las Vegas clubs.
Tip: if you are planning several things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling, check out the explorer pass. From discounts on shows to tours and museum entrances, the pass has a very wide range of activities to choose from and will save you quite a bit of money!
1. A Helicopter Flight Over The Strip
a helicopter flight – unique things to do in Vegas besides gambling
For the best view of The Strip, you have to fly over it!
This helicopter flight at night over Las Vegas is an absolutely unique experience. If I had to pick just one thing to do in Vegas other than gambling it would probably be this!
2. Fremont East
If you’ve had enough of The Strip for the day, go to Downtown Las Vegas and its Fremont East District. Each summer, Fremont East hosts a series of free concerts.
Downtown’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene make Fremont East a great way to spend an evening on the town in Las Vegas.
Some best bets for restaurants are La Comida and Le Thai, and as far as bars go no visit to Fremont East would be complete without a stop at Commonwealth or the Downtown Cocktail Room.
3. Go For a Drive in a Lamborghini and a Ferrari
Fast, shiny cars are a huge attraction in Las Vegas. So what better place than Vegas to drive an expensive supercar!
At the Formula One inspired racetrack you can take the wheel of both a Ferrari 488GTB and a Lamborghini Huracán Performante.
You can read more about it and book this experience here.
4. A Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise
If you can manage to get up early enough this is a great way to see a different side of Las Vegas!
Watch the sun rise over the city and its desert surroundings and celebrate with a champagne toast.
You can find more information and book this tour here.
5. Have a Drink With a Mermaid
In Las Vegas you will definitely find some of the strangest things you have ever seen and that includes a mermaid bar… Located at the Silverton Casino.
This bar with a 117000-gallon aquarium has been named the best free attraction in Las Vegas.
Sip on a cocktail in the company of silver-finned fish-women, before moving on to other oddities in the city of lights.
6. Kobe Beef & Rare Lobster Tastings
Wynn hotel Las Vegas is one of the rare locations in the USA where you can get certified authentic Kobe beef. And besides Kobe they serve other premium real Japanese wagyu along with the finest quality U.S. and Australian beef.
Best of all, they offer tasting plates to compare. If you love food and unique dining experiences, this is definitely recommended.
At its Lakeside restaurant, Wynn takes the same tact with rare breed lobsters, offering a range that includes not only the common Maine variety but also the Scottish (or Brittany) Blue, Moroccan Pink, South Australian spiny lobsters, California Rock lobsters, and even the very rare Juan Fernandez lobster, found in only one spot in Chile.
7. Dig a Hole in Las Vegas
Kids play in sandboxes but only in Las Vegas can big kids try a grown-up version of the experience, where visitors can drive full-sized bulldozers and excavators.
Dig This, the “Heavy Equipment Playground,” lets you choose to take the controls of either a Caterpillar D5G Track-Type Bulldozer, or a Caterpillar 3I5CL Hydraulic Excavator, and move dirt, making gigantic earthen piles or digging deep trenches.
There are also skill “games” such as stacking or pushing one ton monster truck tires. Being Vegas, this “adventure” begins with a breathalyzer test.
8. SlotZilla Zip Lines
Slotzilla zipline – fun things to do in Vegas other than gambling
This $11 million attraction fits the “it could only happen in Vegas” theme perfectly.
The zipline launches from an 11-story, 120-foot high takeoff platform designed as a giant slot machine with two different launch levels.
That’s just the beginning: SlotZilla is set at one end of the pedestrianized Fremont Street Experience and riders on the higher level – the “Zoomline” – are shot SlotZilla at 35MPH using a first-of-its-kind propulsion launch system that lets them soar the entire length of the Fremont Street Experience, over a quarter of a mile.
Riders fly relatively close to the ground, just above strolling tourists and between iconic casinos. In true Vegas fashion, the giant slot machine’s handle periodically pulls down, the digital reels “spin,” and a beacon on top lights up.
SlotZilla is adorned with two Vegas “showgirls” standing 37-feet tall and a 20-foot wide “Welcome to Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas” sign.
8. Record-Breaking Roller Coasters
The main destination for thrill-ride junkies is The Adventuredome at Circus Circus, which features the world’s only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew roller coaster, The 55MPH Canyon Blaster.
At the other end of The Strip, The Roller Coaster at New York-New York drops from 203-feet at a speed of 67MPH, and this indoor/outdoor 3½-minute adrenaline rush takes riders through a novel 180-degree twist and dive maneuver.
Lastly, the sky-high Stratosphere offers four high-altitude outdoor thrill rides of its own, including the newest, SkyJump, a controlled free fall – from 108-floors up! The rooftop Insanity puts riders through 3-Gs of terror, the X-Scream is a teeter-totter suspended 866-feet above the sidewalk, and Big Shot is a 4-G vertical catapult that takes riders to 1,081-feet above the Strip.
9. Take a Day Trip From Las Vegas
You can book fun day trips from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, to Hoover Dam, or to Antelope Canyon.
Or check out this tour to Zion and Bryce Canyons, this ATV tour in Eldorado canyon or what about a kayak tour?
These day trips are a great change from Las Vegas and an easy way to see a bit more of the area.
And this is only a selection of the crazy things to do in Vegas other than gambling!
Final Tips for What to Do in Vegas Besides Gambling
If you ever do make it to this insane, artificial but highly entertaining city, check out Time Out Las Vegas to see what’s happening while you are there.
For good deals on tours and attractions in and around Las Vegas I recommend checking out LasVegas.com or check out the tours and activities in Las Vegas offered by Get Your Guide:
Best Hotels in Las Vegas: My Hotel Top 5
Because I feel you really should stay on The Strip if you are a first time Las Vegas visitor, I have only included hotels there to create my top 5:
1. New York New York
This hotel is my favorite because of the atmosphere.
Inside the hotel, they have tried to recreate New York streets with cozy bars and trendy restaurants.
They also offer several bars / restaurants with outdoor seating which I appreciated because daylight is hard to find inside most hotels on The Strip!
Click here for more information & prices
2. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
A trendy, comfortable, modern hotel with a nice atmosphere.
If all the artificiality of replica Eiffel Towers and Venetian Gondolas is too much for you then I highly recommend The Cosmopolitan.
With its contemporary design, several swimming pools with their own vibes, nice restaurants and overall quality it’s just a very comfortable luxury hotel right in the middle of The Strip.
3. Paris Las Vegas
For similar reasons to why I would recommend New York New York I would also recommend Paris: the atmosphere.
Of course, it’s not quite the real Paris and every real Parisien would probably either laugh at this attempt to recreate their city or even be offended to think anyone would try, but just check out all the detail that went into designing this hotel!
Not only did they recreate the Eiffel Tower, they created entire French streets inside the hotel with cute French cafés and restaurants.
Even the way they have painted the ceiling to resemble the Parisian sky on a semi-sunny afternoon is impressive!
Click here for more information & prices
4. Bellagio Las Vegas
Comfort and class, that is what the Bellagio is to me.
If you want to stay on The Strip in style, a classic style that is, then go for the Bellagio. Plus you get to see their impressive fountain show every time you leave the hotel!
Located right in the middle of The Strip this hotel also has the perfect location for exploring the rest of The Strip.
Click here for more information & prices
5. Wynn Las Vegas
One of the newer hotels and seen by many as one of the top hotels but I have to say it only barely made my top 5.
Yes, it’s a luxury hotel and if you are looking for a comfortable stay the Wynn can offer that.
It’s an impressive looking building but I feel they got a bit confused when decorating it. From traditional red carpets to modern, metallic-looking giant tulips and a carousel adorned with colorful flowers…
To me it feels a clash of styles but maybe flamboyant is the right word and if that is your style then the Wynn will definitely offer a luxury 5-star experience.
Click here for more information & prices
Also Read: Affordable Hotels in the USA – Extended Stay America
There are so many crazy, zany and fantastically decadent hotels in Las Vegas it was difficult to keep it to a mere fop five. Wherever you decide to stay, I hope I helped give you an idea of things to do in Vegas besides gambling. And I’m sure you’ll have a great time in this unique city!
Further Reading: If you are traveling in the USA, check out this verview of all my articles about the USA
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Things To Do In Las Vegas: Off The Strip Ideas (Updated 2020)
Updated: 12/27/19 | December 27th, 2019
A lot of people tell me how they never want to set food in Las Vegas. It is their idea of travel hell.
“I don’t really gamble.”
“I don’t want to just drink all day.”
“It’s just drunken tourists.”
Las Vegas is always portrayed through the glitz and glamour of the Strip. And if your only image of the city is that then I understand why you would never want to go. The Vegas Strip is overpriced, full of drinkers, expensive meals and hotel rooms, and flashy lights. It’s a scene.
But there’s so much more to Las Vegas than just casinos, partying, and overpriced hotels.
Admittedly, most of the time I go to Vegas, I get sucked into life on the Strip. I hardly ever leave, spending my days at the pool and my nights at the poker table. Before I know it, it’s time to go home and all I’ve seen is the Strip.
Anyone who has been to Vegas knows it’s easy to lose track of time here (which is exactly what the casinos want!). To be honest, I often don’t mind. I enjoy the restaurants, shows, bars, and people-watching you can do on the Strip.
However, over the years, I’ve been able to break away from the Strip here and there to explore the rest of the city and the amazing sights that can be found in it. When you leave the Strip – and your image of Vegas behind, you see a place that has a lot to offer for those who aren’t interested in partying or late nights at the casino.
Here’s a list of things to do that proves there’s far more to it than just buffets, free drinks, and blackjack:
1.Visit the Grand Canyon
Located just under 5 hours from the city by car, a visit to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a must. While there are buses you can take to get there (which cost around $75 USD), the best way to access the canyon is by car. Rentals will cost half the price of a bus and will be much more comfortable too. You’ll have the flexibility to stop along the way as well.
Consider sharing the ride with other travelers from your hostel or from an app Couchsurfing (that’s what my Community Manager did). That will help you save money and split the driving. If you really want to splash out, take a helicopter tour. These usually cost between $300-400 USD and include a brief stop on the canyon floor.
2. Hike Red Rock
Red Rock Canyon offers plenty of hiking and biking trails for anyone looking to get the city and into nature. It’s just 30 minutes west of the city, making it an easy escape for a quick hike or a full day of adventure. The canyon is ringed by a road and each trailhead has a parking lot where you can leave your car to go hike before driving to the next trailhead.
There are both easy and challenging trails to choose from, making this a great way to work off all of those buffets. Just make sure to arrive early in the morning before it gets too hot. Bring sunscreen and a lot of water too. Admission is $15 USD per car or $5 USD per cyclist/pedestrian.
3. Go to the Hoover Dam
The world-famous Hoover Dam is an hour from Las Vegas. Standing 726 feet high and stretching 1,244 feet wide, this is one of the most impressive feats of human engineering. It took 5 years to complete and over 100 people died during its construction.
You can take a guided tour of the dam, visit the museum, and walk across the dam to take in the incredible view. As a history buff, I loved the tour and learning about the mechanics behind constructing the dam. And as someone scared of heights, I enjoyed the scenery far back from the overlook’s edge!
4. Have Fun at Lake Mead
This man-made lake is a byproduct of the Hoover Dam and makes for a fun getaway to cool off and swim, kayak, fish, and even scuba dive! The lake spans over 1.
5 million acres and was the country’s first national recreational area. You can reach the lake in just 30 minutes from the city and either book your activities in advance (your hotel can help with that) or book on arrival.
Admission is $25 USD per vehicle or $15 per pedestrian/cyclist.
5. Hang Out in Boulder City
Located on the way to the Hoover Dam, this small town offers a taste of life in Nevada without the gambling — it’s one of only two cities in the state that prohibits it! The town is home to just 15,000 people making it a quiet escape from the bustling lights and noise of the Strip. The town was originally built to house the Hoover Dam workers, eventually outlasting the project and expanding itself into a proper town. Despite the lack of “things to do,” strolling around this quiet little community is a nice contrast to the crowds of Las Vegas.
6. Visit the Mob Museum
The Mob Museum, officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is (quite fittingly) located in downtown Vegas. It showcases both sides of the notorious battle between organized crime and law enforcement.
Opened in 2012, it has four floors of interactive and insightful exhibits that shed light on America’s seedy past. You can learn about the famous gangsters, how crime labs work, and even test your skills in a firearm training simulator. The museum does a great job at illuminating the Las Vegas so immortalized in movies Casino. Admission is $26.95.
7. Eat with the Locals
The Strip has some of the best food in the world, and with the amount of money flowing through that street, it’s easy to see why. I’ve had some world-class meals here, but if you want to get a taste of local Vegas food, be sure to wander off the beaten path and try some of these places:
- Lotus of Siam
- Sushi Mon
8. Head to Fremont Street
The glitz, the lights, and the high prices of the Strip are all a far-off land compared to downtown Las Vegas. Here you’ll find sketchy bars, sad casinos, cheap drinks, and more of a New Orleans Bourbon Street vibe. This is the heart of old Vegas and makes for an interesting contrast compared to the sleek and polished Strip.
It’s a great area for tacky entertainment (there are lots of cover bands, buskers, and celeb look-as pandering for paid photos), people-watching, cheap slots, cheaper drinks, and a more laid-back atmosphere. There is even a massive zip line you can ride above the entire street.
9. Go Golfing
There are dozens of golf courses in and around Vegas so make sure you spend some time on the links if you’re a golfer. If you can, try to get in a round at the sought-after Shadow Creek, one of the best courses in the world.
Other noteworthy courses are Cascata, Wynn Las Vegas, and Coyote Springs (designed by Jack Nicklaus). Most of the casinos can help you arrange a day pass. Expect to pay anywhere from $100-500 for 18 holes. Just book an early tee tie to avoid the worst of the heat.
10. Visit the Neon Museum
This outdoor lot is essentially a graveyard for the huge lights and signs that once beckoned tourists into casinos the Silver Slipper, Stardust, and El Cortez. Spanning almost 3 acres, this eclectic casino graveyard lets you explore the city’s shining and sinful past.
In addition to the neon signs, the museum also hosts temporary exhibits (it recently had one by Tim Burton). It’s pretty cool wandering through these old signs, learning the history of the city as you go, and getting a different perspective on Las Vegas. Admission is $30 USD.
11. Get Artistic at First Friday
On the first Friday of every month, the downtown area fills up with exhibits and displays from local artists during First Friday.
It’s essentially a free monthly festival and a great way to get a sense of the local art scene. It’s a huge event with art, music, food, and other items for sale.
Be sure to also spend some time checking out Arts District 18b, the arts center of Las Vegas, which is home to cool bars, shops, and galleries.
12. See a Show
While the shows in Vegas used to be more of an afterthought, today they are one of the city’s biggest draws. Music, magic, dancing — you can find some of the world’s best performers here putting on incredible, world-class shows (and usually for an affordable price too). Some of the best shows to check out during your visit are:
There are always new shows arriving, as well as lots of touring bands visiting as well. Ask your hotel for a list of what’s playing during your visit.
It’s easy to focus on Las Vegas as the bright and glitzy casinos and resorts that line and surround the main boulevard. After all, that’s what most people see in the ads; everything else is simply an afterthought.
But I always find that there’s far more to Vegas than the casinos of the Strip — there’s food, great entertainment, and plenty of outdoor activities. It’s not all shots machines and slot machines. If you let that image stop you, you’ll miss out on a dynamic and ever-changing city surrounded by a beautiful desert landscape.
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines, because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewher eother than a hotel, use Booking.com, as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time. My favorite places to stay in the city are:
- Hostel Cat – This is a fun and social hostel that is great for ayone looking to party away their visit.
- Las Vegas Hostel – This is a lively party hostel with a pool, hot tub, and BBQ. They have free breakfast too!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel — and I think they will help you too!
Looking for more information on visiting the USA?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to the USA with more tips on what to see and do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!
Photo credits: 5 – Jeremy Thompson, 6, 7 – dconvertini, 9 – Tom Hilton