Last Vegas: Non-Gambling AttractionsLas Vegas is undoubtedly the gambling mecca of the USA and possibly the world. Its very existence is based on gambling. It’s why most people come to Vegas in the first place (okay, or sometimes to get married by an Elvis impersonator). But if you’re in Vegas and your partner or friends are happy to spend hours in a casino, but gambling isn’t really your thing, what do you do? Well, no need to worry, we’ve got you covered!
Vegas is brimming with so many other forms of entertainment that are just too numerous to list here, guaranteeing you’ll never be bored during your stay. Besides shopping and trying out numerous restaurants and eateries that cater to every taste and budget, there is so much more to see and do in and around Vegas. Here are some of the many things to do that will make your stay completely worthwhile.
1. Explore the delights of Fremont StreetBefore the Strip, Fremont Street in the heart of downtown Las Vegas was where all the main action was. Also known as ‘Glitter Gulch’, there’s still plenty happening in this buzzing pedestrian thoroughfare. Besides casinos and restaurants, the area features live entertainment, a light show, and you can take a zipline ride above the bustling street.
2. Get a birds-eye view of Vegas from the SkyPodAt 1,149 feet tall, the Stratosphere Observation Deck of the SkyPod is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US. You get 360 degree views of Las Vegas below and the surrounding desert stretching for miles. The eatery serves gourmet sandwiches and other delights, while a cocktail bar is there to quench your thirst, and yes, you can shop high above Sin City too! For the daring, you can take a SkyJump, a controlled descent that spirals down the tower, or get the adrenaline pumping on a sky-high thrill ride.
3. See the grandeur of the Grand CanyonIf you feel the need to escape the bustle and the bright city lights, why not take a day off to visit one of the seven wonders of the natural world? The Grand Canyon’s South Rim is a 5-hour coach trip away, while the West region is only a short 3-hour drive. Of course, you can get there much faster by taking a helicopter tour. It would seem a pity to be so close to such a spectacular place and not experience this magnificent sight.
4. Stroll back in time through the Neon BoneyardLooking like a props yard on a movie studio lot, the Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signage from old hotels and casinos in the days before the Strip. The museum is also open during the day, but to get a real feel for these fabulous vintage signs, take a tour at night when the signs are once again lit up in all their glory.
5. Watch the water ballet of the Bellagio fountainsThe Bellagio Hotel’s famous water, music and light show runs every half-hour during the day and every 15 minutes in the evening. And it’s free! It’s an experience not to be missed for every visitor to Vegas. Watching from the terraces of one of Bellagio’s restaurants provides the best views.
6. Take a trip to Red Rock CanyonLocated only 17 miles from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is the perfect half-day excursion. The striking rock formations with their bright red layers are truly Instagram-worthy. It’s worthwhile to take a guided SUV tour as the area is paleologically significant, with ancient rock carvings and other points of interest that can only be seen close up via an off-road vehicle. You may also spot some wildlife, such as wild burros and horned sheep, plus other desert dwellers.
7. Show up for showtimeThere’s literally something for everyone in the Vegas entertainment arena. Acrobats, magicians, comedians, showgirls, bands, singers, kids’ entertainment ... take your pick. There are so many shows in Las Vegas that you can't possibly take them all in, but there's not a doubt you will find more than one thing to take your fancy. Barry Manilow, Trevor Noah and Blood, Sweat & Tears are just a few headliners for 2021, for example.
8. Get the lowdown at the Mob Museum“All the dirt. In one place.” That’s how the Mob Museum’s webpage advertises itself. Located in downtown Las Vegas, the museum showcases the shady history of organized crime from both perspectives – that of the mobsters and of the law enforcement agencies who fought to shut them down. You can experience interactive exhibits, watch films, and browse through all the artefacts in this fascinating homage to crime and crime fighters.
9. Visit the Hoover DamThe Hoover Dam, one of the world’s most impressive engineering feats, is located just a short distance outside of Las Vegas. There are various tours on offer that collect you from your hotel, then onto a luxury bus and to your destination. Besides the impressive views of this magnificent structure, one tour takes you right into the deep workings of the dam. You can even combine your trip with a cruise on Lake Mead.
Also on offer is a short flip on a helicopter, where the aerial views allow you to admire the immensity of the dam, the snaking Colorado River far below and the picturesque Lake Mead.
10. Tour (and eat) Ethel M.’s ChocolatesAt Ethel M Chocolates, you can take a tour of the chocolate factory, taste and buy their delectable chocolates. But that’s not all. The property also includes a four-acre botanical cactus garden containing over 300 species of desert plants, and rates as one of the world's largest collections of cacti.
As you can see, Vegas is not just for gamblers – in fact, those glued to the tables and slot machines may be missing out on all Sin City has to offer!