When most people think of Las Vegas they think of drinking and gambling at the casinos. Confession: I REALLY enjoy going to casinos, but I’m not a big gambler. Is it weird to love going to Las Vegas when you don’t love gambling? Maybe, but I’m going to tell you about 6 AWESOME things to do in Vegas BESIDES gamble.
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What's happening in Las Vegas, Nevada?
(1) Visit Vegas Hotels
Most hotels in Vegas have plenty of things to do besides gamble. Aside from slot machines, many of them have fun things like pools, little shopping malls, restaurants, spas, and shows inside the hotels. It is FREE, and completely normal, to simply walk in and out of hotels on the Vegas strip just to see the décor. Maybe it’s weird but this was one of my favorite things to do.
TIP: Before you decide where you want to stay, you should read about the Top 5 Things you Need to Know when Finding a Hotel.
There are more than 30 popular hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Some popular hotels include: The Luxor (Ancient Egypt theme), Flamingo (Art Deco, Miami theme), Tropicana (tropical theme), Planet Hollywood (Hollywood theme), Circus Circus (Circus theme), The Mirage (Polynesia theme), Excalibur (Medieval Europe theme), Treasure Island (Pirates, Caribbean theme), Caesars Palace (Roman Empire theme), Golden Nugget (gold theme), New York, New York (New York theme), Paris (Paris theme), The Venetian (Venice theme), Palazzo (Italian theme), Park MGM (nature theme) and Resorts World (Chinese theme).
When I was in Vegas I stayed at the Bellagio. This was my first time there so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Of course, I have seen some things in the movies but this was my first visit to Vegas so it was a lot to take in. TripAdvisor ranks the Bellagio Hotel #5 out of #18 hotels in Las Vegas.
It is an Italian themed luxury hotel, which is known for its outdoor water fountain show. The massive fountains in the front of the hotel have water set to music and lights.
The Bellagio fountain show ranges from every half hour to every 15 minutes. It just depends on the day and time. If you plan to visit the fountain, and I HIGHLY suggest that you do, check online to see the schedule. These fountains are one of the most famous icons in Vegas. TripAdvisor ranks the Bellagio Fountains #1 out of #517 things to do in Las Vegas.
Before or after you see the Bellagio fountains show, go inside the hotel to see the conservatory and botanical gardens. There are 14,000 square feet of trees, flowers, and plants for your viewing pleasure. The horticulture staff, consisting of 120 people, maintain massive seasonal displays, unlike anything you have seen before. You don’t have to know anything about plants to find this display incredibly impressive!
Visiting the hotels is one of the best free things you can do in Vegas. It is so much fun to see all the different themes. It is also the best way to figure out where you want to stay when you go back on your next trip because there’s nothing like seeing the space in person.
The Venetian Hotel is an Italian themed hotel with incredible art and architecture. It’s not exactly like our trip to Rome, but it’s the next best option. TripAdvisor ranks the Venetian Hotel #9 out of #15 resorts in Las Vegas.
The next time I’m in Vegas I would definitely stay at this hotel. They have really gone to great lengths to create the atmosphere of being in Venice. For a fee, they have gondola rides inside or outside the hotel. Maybe it’s because I’m Italian, or because I love Italy, but this hotel was my favorite from what I saw in Vegas.
While you are in the Venetian hotel you can get a combo ticket to do both the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and gondola ride combo. We did the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on our trip to Nashville, Tennessee and it was so much fun. It’s a good indoor activity to do when it’s really hot outside.
Exploring Vegas hotels is a really great way to get a taste of what it’s like to travel outside of the United States. Although there’s nothing like seeing the Eiffel Tower in person, in Vegas you get to see some major tourist attractions, but on a smaller scale. It’s still a good time!
(2) See Architecture
Aside from all of the amazing architecture on the Vegas Strip, there is plenty of architecture to see nearby. While driving one day, I happened to see a building nearby and I immediately recognized it as a Frank Gehry building.
Frank Gehry is an exceptionally well known architect and his style is VERY unique so when you see a Gehry building, you know it! I Googled the building and made plans to go see it in person. The building is called the Keep Memory Alive Event Center.
The Keep Memory Alive Event Center
The building can be rented for weddings, corporate events, and social celebrations. This one of a kind space can hold 450 seated guests or 700 standing guests. The building is truly amazing to see, but perhaps the most incredible part is that all of the proceeds obtained from utilizing this space go for research and treatment at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
It would be impossible for me to adequately describe how unique this building is. It has a 75 foot ceiling with 199 windows. No two windows are the same size and shape. With concert hall acoustics and an LED light package, the experience at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center is sure to be one you will never forget. Frank Gehry didn’t just design the building, he also designed the furniture and the grass garden reception area so his unique design style is seen throughout the entire space.
Any time that I am able to see a building from a designer I learned about in college, I am in awe. This was probably my favorite of the 6 awesome things to do in Vegas besides gamble. I was able to walk in and look around during the day, but it would have been incredible to see it functioning during an actual event!
(3) Exotic Car Rental
I first discovered the Exotic Driving Experience on Groupon. It is an amazing place in Vegas that allows you to take a driving tour, test drive, or rent exotic cars. At the time I went, the driving tour consisted of a guided tour where you drive one of the exotic cars and there are two other cars, with drivers, that go on the tour.
You can stop along the tour and change what car you would like to drive. The tour picks you up from your hotel and drops you off if you are taking the ElDorado Canyon or Red Rock Park tour. Those guided tours were approximately 3 hours long.
When I was there it worked out that I was able to rent and drive two different cars for the afternoon. It was awesome that I could go and see whatever I wanted. 🎟 Click here to purchase tickets for an exotic car rental.
(4) See Parks and Landmarks
With the Exotic Driving Experience rental, I took a road trip to see one of North America’s famous landmarks, the Hoover Dam. In case you’re not familiar with this National Historic Landmark, it’s considered one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. It’s located on the Nevada-Arizona border.
If you’re like me, you are wondering why the Hoover Dam is important. “The main reason for building Hoover Dam was to supply the electrical power necessary to transport 4.4 million acre-feet—over a quarter of the Colorado River’s average annual flow—to California. Soon, the dam also would supply water to Las Vegas, whose revenue would be used to finance more water projects.”
Red Rock Canyon has a 13-mile scenic drive, hiking, trails, flowers, wildlife, and camping. I’d HIGHLY recommend visiting this park. There is plenty to see here. The terrain and views are very different from one end of the park to the other. If it is very hot, which is not unusual in Vegas, then you can simply do the driving tour.
If it is not insanely hot, you can walk around to explore the park. Either way, it’s definitely a great day trip. TripAdvisor ranks Red Rock Canyon #2 out of #517 things to do in Las Vegas.
(5) See the Vegas City Views
One of the fun parts of Vegas is seeing all the views and the lights at night. Don’t miss out on riding the High Roller Observation Wheel. This ride is really cool because it is similar to a Ferris wheel. However, you are in a climate controlled pod with a group of people instead of being in a small seat. The pods are very roomy!
I’m not the only one who thinks this is a great place to see the sites. TripAdvisor ranks the High Roller Observation Wheel #5 out of #517 things to do in Las Vegas.
I’d especially recommend doing the observation wheel at night so you can see the best views of the city all lit up. I HIGHLY suggest that you put this on your list of awesome things to do in Vegas besides gamble.
If the High Roller Observation Wheel sounds amazing, then consider a helicopter ride over Las Vegas! It is a perfect way to see the bright lights of sin city. You will get a bird’s eye view of all the famous landmarks with this unique experience! Get your Guide has a number of different helicopter ride packages like this combination ticket for the famous Buddy V’s restaurant and a night flight over Vegas.
(6) See a Vegas Show
There are so many different shows to see in Vegas. There is no reason why you can’t find something that would interest you. While I was there I saw the Blue Man Group and the Criss Angel magic show. I thought the Criss Angel show was pretty intense. The Blue Man Group was not exactly what I had anticipated. Various entertainment is located inside different hotels so plan to have a look around before or after your show.
Vegas has some of the best shows with options like: concerts, a variety of Cirque Du Soleil shows, impersonators, numerous magic shows, musicals, light shows, and comedy shows.
The entertainment in Vegas is really spectacular so I’d encourage you to find at least one show to see. Regardless of which one you select, you will have a great time! Click here for tickets to see one of the most popular shows, David Copperfield at the MGM Grand.
Don’t let the stereotype of Vegas hinder you from booking a trip. There are so many options for things to see and do besides drinking and gambling. I saw plenty of people who had children with them on their trip.
No matter what you decide to see and do in Las Vegas, you are sure to have an amazing experience. I hope you felt like my suggestions for 6 awesome things to do in Vegas besides gamble were winners!
🎟 I like to book activities through Get Your Guide. They have a lot of detailed information and I like having all of my tickets located in one app. Here are some links to things I mentioned in this post, but please check out Get Your Guide to see the 207 activities they have for Las Vegas. They have WAY more than 6 AWESOME things to do in Vegas besides gamble.
Bellagio Art Gallery Tickets – 🎟 CLICK HERE
Exotic Car Driving Experience Tickets – 🎟 CLICK HERE
Hoover Dam Day Trip Tickets – 🎟 CLICK HERE
Red Rock Canyon Trip Tickets – 🎟 CLICK HERE
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum with Gondola Ride- 🎟 CLICK HERE
Skip the Line High Roller Observation Wheel Tickets – 🎟 CLICK HERE
If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas you should read How to Pack a Suitcase that Saves You Money first!
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Which of the 6 AWESOME things to do in Vegas besides gamble do you think you will do? Comment about it below.