Las Vegas: 14 Best Things To Do That Aren't Casinos | Travel Guide
As some of you may know, I spent the month of May in 2018 travelling around the USA. The first week-ish of this trip was spent with TrekAmerica, working my way up the west coast from LA to san Francisco (read all about it here) and although most of the itinerary for that week was completely perfect for me, it did also include a couple of days in Las Vegas. At the time, me and a lot of the people on the tour had said that Vegas was the place that we were least excited about, as it just didn't seem like it was our kind of thing.
Let me tell you straight away: Vegas is so much more than just casinos and I absolutely loved it.
It's the most surprising place I've ever visited. I arrived with the complete intention of hating it, but quickly discovered that there's so much to do, so much to see, and the city is just one giant (as in everything is giant sized, literally) once-in-a-lifetime experience. To show you how varied and exciting a trip to Las Vegas can be, here are my 14 top things to do in the city that don't involve casinos in the slightest.
Pose In Front Of The Vegas Sign
Free. Okay so this one is no secret but it's a right of passage when visiting Vegas, and the perfect photo to remember your trip by. Extra points if you manage to get the sign to look straight in the background.
Zip Line At The Fremont Street Experience
From $29. Fremont is the old strip area of Vegas and a great place to start off your trip. Here you can gamble, watch street performers, or get your shopping fix, however the most exciting thing to do there is definitely the SlotZilla zip line. Soar above the busy streets and see the whole area from the best seats in the house, or you could even try it lay down on your front, super man style! Find out more via the website here.
Feel Tiny At The Neon Museum
From $20. This neon sign boneyard is such a unique experience but make sure you pre-book your visit (I learnt that one the hard way). Here you can wander through hundreds of old Vegas signs from throughout the years. Whether you want to take a guided tour to help you understand the history, or take a self guided walk throughout the collection to get those coveted Instagram photos, you can find out more about the museum via their website here.
Reach New Heights At The Strat
From $25. The Strat is one of the most famous hotels in the area but offers so much more than just a place to stay. Head up to the SkyPod for the best view of the city (especially during sunset) and a selection of shops and restaurants, or if you're looking for a little extra adventure, you could add on one if their thrill packages. On top of the huge Strat tower there's not one but THREE theme park rides you can go on including a rollercoaster that dangles you off the edge of the SkyPod (just the thought of that makes me want to vom lol). You can also leap off the top of the tower from their their 829 feet up 'Sky Jump'. Do you have the guts? Find out more via their website here.
Get Married At (Or Just Visit) A Vegas Chapel
Visits are free, wedding packages vary (usually from $199). Is it really a trip to Vegas without a cheesy wedding chapel? Whether you just want to visit and get some photos or actually tie the knot, you have to make sure you see one during your visit. There are hundreds to choose from within the city, but some of the most famous are the Graceland Wedding Chapel where the Jon Bon Jovi got married, or Little Church Of The West that has seen a crazy amount of celebrities through its doors over the years including Angelina Jolie and Cindy Crawford. We personally visited A Little White Wedding Chapel and can definitely recommend there too.
Watch The Bellagio Fountain Show
Free. The infamous Bellagio fountains dance around in a display of lights and music every half an hour between 3-8pm during the week, and from noon at the weekend, as well as every 15 mins between 8pm and midnight, so you have no excuse not to go and see it! The show is a must-see, the crowds aren't as big as you'd expect and the show puts you in the prime spot to then go on and explore the strip afterwards.
Back To Nature In Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
$15 entry per vehicle. This breath-taking landscape is part of Nevada's Mojave Desert and features incredible sights such as seasonal waterfalls and bright red sand stone peaks. The entrance is just a 20 minute drive from central Vegas and there are plenty of companies that provide guided tours of the area if you aren't driving during your trip (browse a few of them here).
A Chilled Day In The Art District
Free. Filled with art galleries, vintage shopping opportunities and old warehouses converted into performance stages, this area of Vegas exudes a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere that provides a perfect contrast to the rest of the city. Escape here for an afternoon and make sure you check out Art Square for live performances and boho cocktail bars.
See A Show
From around $40. There are so many incredible shows available to watch in Vegas that you simply cannot see anywhere else. Why not be amazed at Cirque De Soleil or one of the many magic shows? You could get a little steamy watching a strip act, or experience one of the various singers that play residencies here (previous acts include Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Drake, Calvin Harris, Cher, Elton John and Britney Spears). No matter what you fancy, there will definitely be something on for you.
Dinner At The Top Of The Eiffel Tower
Main meals from $32. Okay so this will definitely set you back a pretty penny, but what an experience. Dine on their impressive menu with a view of the whole city and the Bellagio fountain show.
Seven Magic Mountains
Free. You may not recognise the name but if you're an avid Instagram user, you'll recognise the photos. This art instillation is made up of 35ft tall, multicoloured boulder stacks surrounded by nothing but desert and is completely free to visit and get some photos with. The instillation is located around a 25 minute drive from central Vegas and you can read more about it here.
Marvel At The Hoover Dam
Free. A great feat of engineering and a spectacle to see, even if just for the surrounding views. Located just outside Boulder City, crossing the Nevada and Arizona state lines, getting to the Dam will take you around 40 minutes from central Vegas and parking is around $10.
Visit The Crazy Hotels
Free. Even if you can't afford to stay in them, visiting some of the most famous hotels in Vegas is a must. Hangover fans will head straight over to Caesar's Palace, or you can get a taste of Italy over at the Venetian. The pool at the Golden Nugget contains a shark tank with a water slide through the middle, and The Mirage has a mini zoo and dolphin sanctuary. And that's just to name a few!
Madame Tussauds Las Vegas
From $34.99. The first (and apparently the best) Madame Tussauds in the USA, the museum is located inside the Venetian resort. Here they have all of your favourite celebrities in wax form, as well the famous venetian gondola ride and sets from the Hangover film franchise. Find out more or book your tickets via their website here.
Okay so now that you know a little more, do you think you'd be more likely to visit Sin City? I genuinely do also recommend a little gambling while being serenaded by a terrible Elvis impersonator, just to get the full Vegas experience!
Are there any places you've visited that have completely surprised you like this, whether it be good or bad? I'd love to know!
See you in the next one, meg x