13 April 2013

L is for LAS VEGAS: 34 things to do when you're not gambling

So you bet all your chips at the poker table, and then, surprise surprise, you're shit out of luck.

What now?  Do you go back to your room and sulk?  Sure, maybe you can't stand the chance of entering another casino with fear of losing ALL your money.   It is obviously the bulk of the casino's goal- to get you into the casino, for you to spend all your moolah, so naturally, that's where all of the advertising budget goes to.

Because of that, it's hard to think of Vegas as anything different.

BUT, thankfully, as much to everyone's surprise, Vegas is not all casinos and gambling.  Don't get caught up in all the hype and spend the majority of your time in Vegas at the tables, go out and explore.  With so much to see, it would be a shame to spend it all indoors becoming best friends with the dealer and bartenders.

So get off the strip, (or maybe stay on), and say goodbye to the casino

Want some thrilling experiences?

1) Go indoor sky diving with winds up to 120 mph

or if you're really up for it, check out

2) Vegas extreme skydiving from 15,000 feet

3) Drive an exotic car.  Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or McLaren anyone?

Lamborghini Aventador at Exotics Racing<br />Photo by Laurent Vu

4) If you want to see all the glitz and glam from above, consider a helicopter ride above the strip, complete with a champagne toast

5) Check out the rides at the Stratosphere and Circus Circus

6) Drive bulldozers and excavators in the only heavy equipment playground in America.

Or just looking to have some [cheesy] fun?

7) Jump your highest ever at the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

8) Check out the New Secret Formula Exhibit at The World of Coca-Cola

9) Play at the Pinball Hall of Fame on some super rare machines

10) Explore old town and the Fremont Street Experience

Tired of the glitz and glam? Take a day trip.

11) The obvious Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon National Park

12) Put on your hiking boots at Mary Jane Falls

13) Spend a day on the mountain in Lee Canyon

14) Test your swing at the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Course

15) Be sure to check out Nevada's oldest and largest state park, The Valley of Fire

16) Explore the beauty of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Hungry?  Look for some fine cuisine

17) Have dinner at Top of the World, with 360degree views of the strip (plus, it spins!)

18) Have a delicious brunch or attend a baking class (!!!) at Bouchon Bakery

19) Get some seafood at Michael Mina in the Bellagio

20) Have a truly unique dining experience at Todd's Unique Dining

21) Have some crab at Joes Stone Crab in Caesars

Feast your eyes on some first-class entertainment

22) Entertain yourself at a Cirque du Soleil show; consider The Beatles LOVE, , and Zarkana

23) See Blue Man Group, my absolute favorite show in Vegas

Lost ALL your money?  Consider these [almost] FREE experiences

24) Check out the numerous glorious hotels.  With the Bellagio, all-new Atria, and the Wynn, you could spend an entire day hopping from hotel to hotel. FREE

25) Go window shopping at the Forum Shops at Caesars.  Be sure to leave your wallet at home/in your hotel room. FREE

26) Enjoy dollar margaritas from Casino Royale $1 or 2, depending on how many you want

27) Take your mojito onto the streets.  Where else can you do that? FREE, besides the cost of a mojito (about $7)

28) Fountains of Bellagio FREE

29) Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat $19.95, or $16.95 if you're staying at the Mirage

30) Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay $18

31) Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio FREE

32) get some yummy chocolates at M&M's World cost of M&M's

33) play around at Neon Museum $18 (includes a tour)

34) Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo FREE

Did I miss anything?  
What do you like to do in Vegas?

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  1. Vegas is about a 5 hour drive from Phoenix. I am not a gambler, but I have found a lot to do there when I go with friends. Visiting from A-Z

    1. That's awesome, wish I lived a little closer. I agree- Vegas is a lot of fun whether you gamble or not!

  2. Visiting from A-Z
    Wow, your blog is impressive. I really should have travelled more before I had kids. Right now it seems impossible to go away for the weekend much less to an exotic locale!!

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! Kids don't mean the end of travel for you! There are tons of blogs about traveling with kids! Check them out! Don't give up on your dreams! If you plan it right, you'll all have a great time!

  3. Awesome list of activities! Las Vegas isn't one of my favorite cities, but obviously I haven't been touring it properly! Love the gardens and the indoor trampoline park. And the daytrips are more my speed. I mentioned Passion and a Passport on my blog today as one of my week's favorites. Thanks for the suggestions!

    1. Thanks so much for mentioning me! And I agree- I don't LOVE all the normal Vegas attractions, but knowing there is so much more to do in the area makes it all the better! :)

  4. I live in the UK and have been to Vegas twice, stayed at The Flamingo Hotel which I reconised in your photo's .This was an excellent post as it brought back fond and happy memories. Thank you.

    1. Glad it brought back happy times! :) I especially loved the Flamingo- the grounds are just gorgeous!

  5. This post was so informative, as I've never been to Vegas and really want to go, but I'm worried that I won't be the greatest at gambling. This gives me lots of alternative (and perhaps better) ideas of things to do!

    1. glad you liked it! It was fun to compile all 34 things! And I agree- I'm not the greatest gambler, so I like to have tons of other fun activities on the radar!

  6. Often wonder if I would like to go to Vegas. This certainly gives me more to consider! Stopping by from a-z

    1. I'm sure you can find at least one or two things on the list that intrigue you! ;)

  7. Fun read! Was in Las Vegas last weekend - Neon Museum was awesome but you have some neat things I don't know about - another reason for a return trip! I'd add Death Valley National Park - about a 90-minute drive from Vegas.

    1. how appropriate! Thanks for the add-on! I always find there is too much to do in Vegas for one trip!

  8. 34 things! Overload!

    But yes, opportunities to have a good time in Vegas are endless.

    1. And these 34 are just the tip of the iceberg!

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. What a great list of alternative sights! I'd love to try indoor skydiving!

  11. This is a great site. I have been to Las Vegas a few times and I always enjoyed it. There are so many things to do other then gambling. Las Vegas Golf is probably my favorite activity to do in Vegas. For all those golf lovers, I highly recommend playing a few courses in Vegas.

  12. I'm going to Vegas this summer. Look forward to checking out some of these sights especially the indoor skydiving. I'm not much of a gambler. Thanks!

  13. One of the things I enjoy doing that is very close to Las Vegas is skiing or snowboarding at Mt. Charleston. You can ski during the day and party on the strip that night. Its a blast.

  14. I went to Vegas for 7 days and had a good time with limiting my loses to $150.00 per day in the casino , then I'd go out on the town , rented a car and went all over were ever suited me.

    My main reason for the visit was to gamble and not site see as I've been all over the world and not a whole lot impresses me anymore.

    Now a days of course gambling is legal pretty well every were so there is no real need to visit Vegas again but I did have a good time when I was there.

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  16. Hi! I live in Macau and love your post! Such a nice treat to see my city as featured destinations. It sounds to amaze that I can take the experience of such a wonderful place of Vegas within a free of charge. I would definitely recommend your suggestions for my next trip.

  17. That's the great thing about Vegas, there's always something to do. And so many of the casinos have freebies and coupons that you can do a lot on very little money.

  18. Excellent post. Thinking of going to Vegas myself and it's some food for thought re things to do!


  19. I'm going for the first time today and leaving for the airport in 30 minutes. Thanks for your post! I will make sure to do a few of these things and not get sucked into the casinos the whole time=). Staying at the Flamingo, so the wildlife habitat goes without saying=)

  20. Great tips, I have only been to Las Vegas one time and just for about an hour (flight was delayed so I took a tour down the strip and back). I had no idea that there were so many things to do in and around the city if you are not gambling.

    Thanks for sharing.


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