Las Vegas, also called “Sin City,” is known as a gambling mecca. But what if you don’t gamble? If you find yourself “stuck” in Las Vegas (perhaps attending a conference or workshop) here are eight categories of things to see and do in the Las Vegas area that have nothing to do with gambling.
Even if you’re on Las Vegas’ famous “Strip” (Las Vegas Blvd. ), you can see some spectacular views without having to gamble.
Despite the fact that most hotel resorts have “deemed” their premises, there are still some truly fascinating design and architectural components. Within a few blocks, you can “travel” from Egypt (Luxor) to New York City (NYNY), Paris (Paris, LV), and Venice (Venetian).
Do you want to learn more about “actual” geography and environments? The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located on the city’s northwest outskirts, is less than 20 miles from the Strip.
There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails, a 13-mile scenic drive, horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, and picnic places, as well as horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, and picnic spaces. A visitor center with display rooms and a bookstore are also available.
The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, often known as Mount Charleston, is about 35 miles west of the city.
With cool mountain breezes and more temperate temperatures, it’s a particularly popular getaway during the hot summer months.
The Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour’s drive northeast of town. It was established in 1935 and is Nevada’s oldest (and largest) state park. There are opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and camping.
While daily high temperatures in the summer can be harsh (100+ degree F days are typical, and touching 120 degrees F is not unheard of), and daily temperatures in the winter can range from 75 degrees F to freezing, the fall and spring months are generally temperate and pleasant.
Finally, don’t miss a visit to the Hoover Dam, located just southeast of Las Vegas.
2. Pampering Yourself
As you’d expect from a huge resort, there’s a vast range of spa-like services to choose from. Facials, manicures, and pedicures are available to women. Massages, haircuts, and styling services are available to both men and women.
You are not confined to going to the spa at the hotel where you are staying because all spas are open to the general public.
Consider getting a straight-razor shave and a haircut from a barber. This is a particular interest of mine, and it is something that has revolutionized my grooming life to the point where I consider myself a “guru” in the field.
To get the greatest results, make sure to request the most experienced shaver on staff.
Some specific barbers to consider include those at Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Place, Mirage, Riviera, and Venetian (all on The Strip), and the El Cortez near downtown.
Despite the fact that the costs for goods and services on the Las Vegas Strip can constitute “sticker shock,” there are a variety of free activities to enjoy. The fountains in front of the Bellagio resort are maybe the most famous.
“Dancing fountains” coordinated with music shoot water to heights of up to 24 stories every 15-30 minutes between 3:00 p.m. and midnight (depending on time, day, and weather conditions).
Similarly, the volcano in front of the Mirage hotel erupts every hour on the hour, weather permitting, from sunset to midnight.
The Fall of Atlantis is reenacted by 9-foot-tall animatronic figures (and a 20-foot dragon) at the Forum store every hour on the hour starting at 11 a.m.
Lots of other “freebies” come and go in Las Vegas, so be sure to check THIS listing.
4. Non-Gambling Games
In Las Vegas, gambling isn’t the only game you can play; you may also play other games, generally with a “twist!” At Circus Circus, the “Adventuredome” features family-friendly attractions (roller coaster and motion-control), miniature golf, arcade games, and midway games.
A KISS-themed mini-golf course, a Pinball Hall of Fame with over 150 classic pinball machines, all playable and affordable ($0.25 to $0.50), and a handful of adult-oriented thrill rides atop the Stratosphere Tower are among the games that are a touch out of the usual.
5. Fulfilling A Fantasy
In Las Vegas, you might just be able to fulfill a long-held fantasy. Because of the large quantity and variety of visitors to the area, it is feasible to support certain unique enterprises that cater to a niche market!
Have you ever wanted to drive a colossal sports car? There are a number of businesses in Las Vegas that can help you realize your dream. You may also “improve” your experience by driving a stock car modeled after NASCAR.
How about getting some hands-on experience with big construction equipment? Spend an afternoon excavating trenches with a bulldozer or excavator, stacking one-ton tires, or playing “bucket basketball.”
If that’s not enough excitement for you, Las Vegas has a number of gun ranges where you can rent and fire vintage and automatic guns (under supervision).
Prostitution is one desire you won’t be able to fulfill (legally) in Las Vegas. Prostitution is prohibited in the Las Vegas area, despite what the media and street corner barkers may lead you to believe.
In Nevada, there are legal brothels, although the nearest ones to Las Vegas are in Pahrump, nearly an hour west.
6. Museums And Exhibits
Museums, botanical gardens, and zoological exhibitions abound in Las Vegas. The Neon Museum and the Mob Museum are two that stick out among the multitude. Both glorify Las Vegas, but from very different perspectives.
Much of the signage from earlier days and older technology is on display at the Neon Museum. Artifacts from the days when organized crime ruled the city are on display at the Mob Museum.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the National Atomic Testing Museum, and the Auto Collection in the Quad hotel are all worth visiting. Other collections and exhibits come and go, so keep an eye on what’s on display right now.
Cheap buffet cuisine used to be Las Vegas’ claim to culinary glory. That is no longer the case. In the city, some of the world’s best chefs own restaurants, and dining experiences may be really unforgettable.
Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to stuff you might not otherwise be able to enjoy, such as the finest aged steaks, the freshest seafood, and the most decadent desserts.
If you do a simple online search for any dish you’re interested in, you’ll undoubtedly find multiple possibilities.
But don’t worry buffet fans: Las Vegas still has plenty of them, but the good ones come at a price to match their variety and excellence.
Almost every large hotel, resort, and casino in Las Vegas have some type of show or musical entertainment. At practically any given time, you may find anything from international headliners to magic acts and tribute” bands.
Check out any of the Las Vegas tourism websites (like THIS one) to see what’s on during a specific time period.
One of the Cirque du Soleil productions currently on stage in the city is a safe pick for a “house produced show.”
Mystere is frequently recommended as a starting point for this genre of program. Bally’s Jubilee!, which is adult-oriented (and some could consider risqué), is a more “Vegas” sort of product presentation.
A Bonus Tip – The Las Vegas Experience
Do you avoid gambling because you don’t know what you’re doing? Many Las Vegas casinos provide “lessons” on popular table games such as Blackjack and Craps.
Attending these seminars may provide you with the confidence you need to try your hand at a game of chance. Just remember that you should never risk more money than you can afford to lose and that the odds are always in favor of the casino.