I love Vegas so much! This city really is one of my favorite places to visit despite all of the touristy cheesiness. Most people come here to gamble, but I’ve only lost $12 in all of my Las Vegas trips! So what do I do if I’m not gambling? Well, I eat. A lot. But besides that, here’s a list of my favorite ten things to do in Vegas that DON’T involve gambling.
Seriously… go walk around. If you go in each casino and stroll through the shops along the way, it can take you two full days to walk the entire Las Vegas Strip. I love seeing each casino’s unique decor (especially at Christmas time!). Every casino offers a few “must-sees” so by the time you make it around to all of them you’ve definitely met your step goal for the day! Plus, you’ll be building your arm muscles when you’re carrying all those shopping bags!
Type A Tidbits:
Comfortable shoes matter. You’ll be thanking me by mid afternoon.
Each casino has a unique fragrance that they pipe in. Some do this to counteract the cigarette smoke and alcohol smell, but it’s actually a pretty intricate marketing plan. If you like the way the casino smells, you’ll stay longer and spend more. There’s a company in Vegas devoted to creating the distinct scents each hotel uses. We had a lot of fun noticing the different smells as we walked from one casino into another. It’s a detail that most people don’t know about, but I think it’s so fun!
If you’re brave (I’m not), then you will love the Stratosphere. It’s the tallest building on the Las Vegas Strip so the views are incredible! We ate at Top of the World, the revolving restaurant at the very top. The food was great, but the revolving… not so much. I think it makes one revolution an hour so it does move slowly, but I got carsick! I could see the seams in the window panes moving slowly by us so it really threw me off. The restaurant is pricey so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to seeing the best views in the city, head one more floor up to the viewing area. From that level you can go outside on the observation deck for optimal photos or you can choose to stay safely indoors behind floor to ceiling glass windows. Want to take it a step further? They have a giant mechanical arm that DANGLES YOU OFF THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING. Sky Jump is a free fall from the top of the Stratosphere to the bottom, and Big Shot is a ride at the very tippity top of the building. No thanks. It was kind of eerie to be having dinner and watch someone fall right past your window!
Type A Tidbits:
Tickets must be purchased to ride the elevator all the way to the top, but if you’re having dinner at Top of the World, then your elevator ride is free.
Definitely make reservations for dinner. The OpenTable app is the best way to make restaurant reservations in Vegas.
We’ve all seen pictures of this famous Vegas fountain, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. I could watch the fountain show at Bellagio for hours! The fountains are choreographed to music that can be heard if you’re standing nearby. Is it sad I almost cried when Celine Dion’s song came on… I love her! Watching the fountains at night is my favorite, but during the day is special too. The Bellagio has several restaurants surrounding the fountain. One of my favorite places to view the show is actually across the street at Mon Ami Gabi. It’s a French restaurant located right underneath the Eiffel Tower. Ask to be seated outside, and you’ll have a fantastic view! You won’t be able to hear the music from there, but I promise Mon Ami Gabi’s creme brûlée makes up for that. Check the Bellagio’s website for exact information, but generally there’s a show every 30 minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at night.
I always tell people that Fremont Street is the older, trashier version of the Strip. Sorry if your cousin works there or it’s your favorite place, but it’s not really my thing. BUT having said that, I do think everyone needs to visit it at least once. The street performers are wilder, the live music is louder, and the people watching is greater. If you do go, make sure you stay long enough for the Fremont Street Experience. No, that’s not the name of a cocktail. It’s the gigantic LED light show shown on a video screen the length of the entire block. The show runs every hour, and it’s best to see it at night. Be ready for anything on Fremont Street though!
Type A Tidbit:
If you’re a thrill seeker, try out the zip line above the street!
Get a Cupcake out of the ATM
Avoid the lines and get a cupcake at all hours of the day! Oh, and it gets better… it’s a Sprinkles cupcake! If you’ve never had one, then this is the perfect excuse. Try the red velvet!
Coca Cola World
Get out of the hot Vegas sun and step into the cool air conditioning of Coca Cola World. Thirsty? You’re in the right place. Try the Coca Cola flight from around the world! It’s fun, and sometimes yucky, to taste samples from different countries. Matt and I split one flight, and there was plenty to share between the two of us. Make sure to read the description of each one before you drink it!
Type A Tidbit:
The Coca Cola polar bear will take his picture with you for free! You can use your own phone or camera, but the catch is that you have to let them take one with their camera also. You then have the option to buy their professional photo.
I had been to the Madam Tussauds wax museum before, but never to the one in Vegas. We had a great time getting our picture taken with “celebrities.” I wouldn’t call Madam Tussauds a “must-do” experience, but if you find yourself with a free afternoon, then it would be a good option.
Pink Jeep Tours
This was one of our favorite things we did in Vegas! You wouldn’t know it, but Vegas is located near several National Parks. We figured it was more trouble than it was worth to rent a car for a day just to get lost on our way to one of the National Parks. That’s why Pink Jeep Tours is so great! We chose to take a Pink Jeep Tour to Red Rock Canyon, and it was gorgeous! Our tour guide was so friendly and was full of good information about Red Rock Canyon and Vegas itself. The tour bus will pick up and drop off at most hotels on the Strip, making this an ideal day trip out of the city. They offer various tours (including Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon) and have different lengths to choose from. Bottled water is also provided. Next time we return to Vegas, we’ll definitely be booking another trip with them!
I don’t consider myself a risk taker or adrenaline junkie so when I heard about indoor skydiving I thought MAYBE I could handle it. When we arrived at Vegas Indoor Skydiving, we changed into flight suits that made us look like giant flying squirrels! Their purpose is to catch the wind generated from the huge turbine below. I was worried about jumping out over the turbine, but it wasn’t an issue at all. I never got butterflies in my stomach, but at the same time I got to experience the feeling of weightlessly flying through the air… even though I was just three feet off the ground. Our instructor was great! He helped get us into position and then instructed us on how to do flips and spins. Overall, this was fun, but given the cost and the short amount of time we spent “flying,” I’m not sure we would do it again.
Type A Tidbit:
There’s a weight limit… you might want to go do this towards the beginning of your vacation instead of towards the end!
Most of the hotels on the Strip have fantastic pools! My favorite place to stay is Caesars Palace, and their pools are by far the most extravagant. We planned one whole day in Vegas around being lazy by the pool. There are multiple pools, and they all have their different rules about noise and “nakedness level.” One of the pools has a swim up bar with video poker! Get there early for a good spot! Otherwise, there are cabanas and lounge beds that can be reserved ahead of time.
I’ve been to Las Vegas on several different occasions, and there are still so many things I haven’t been able to do! If we go again soon, I’ll update with more fun options.
Did I miss your favorite one? Tell me about it in the comments!