A lot of people have said to me they hate Vegas or they never want to go. “I don’t gamble, it’s overpriced,” yah de yada. The excuses are a plenty, all because Vegas is portrayed through the glitz, glamour and party atmosphere of the Strip. Those people are just focused on the negatives. There is so much more to Vegas than just a long stretch of road full of hotels, casinos and restaurants. Don’t let this aspect of the city keep you away, that would be a mistake.
Im certainly no gambler myself and I’ve been to Vegas on two occasions now and both times I have been blown away by the city. With the amazing mix of restaurants, diners, concerts, shows, events and so many friendly people. There is so much more to Las Vegas than just the Strip.
Give Vegas a chance. Below is just some of the things to do that proves there’s far more to Vegas than just buffets, drink and gambling.
- Take a Photo Standing Under the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign (Free) It’s about a twenty minute walk from Mandalay Bay or jump in an Uber/Lyft like me and then walk back. Tourists, stand in line a dozen people deep for the opportunity to have their souvenir photo taken underneath this 25 foot sign. I cheated and just stood slightly off to one side, I didn’t fancy waiting in that queue!
- Check out the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay 15 species of sharks, as well as a Komodo dragon. It’s the only predator based aquarium in North America. Tickets cost $20.
- Chill in the Minus5 Ice Lounge at Mandalay Place. Everything inside is made entirely from ice. The walls, the seats, the amazing sculptures and even the glasses that you drink from. $20 the the standard experience, $40 if you want to add a couple cocktail drinks.
- See the Bellagio Fountains (Free) The schedule is:
Monday – Friday 3 pm – 8 pm every 30 minutes
Saturday and holidays noon – 8 pm.
Sunday 3 pm – 8 pm.
Monday-Saturday 8 pm – midnight every 15 minutes.
Sunday 11 am – 3 pm every 15 minutes.
- Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Free) Im no gardener, but I have to say the intricate detail in this was beautiful and worth the time wandering around.
- Paris Eiffel Tower The views at the top are some of the best in vegas and it’s also a great place to watch the Bellagio fountains, especially at night. Price is $16 for daytime or $22 at night.
- See Cirque du Soleil Try to see the show you are interested in during the week. Tickets for popular shows are harder to come by on the weekends since they usually sell out quickly. It’s best to book online, prices start from around $59
- Volcano at The Mirage (Free) With two volcano systems, a lagoon and fire shooters that shoot flame on demand. The best view of the volcano show is right in front of the hotel, where you can feel the heat of the flames and hear the soundtrack.
- Gondola ride in the Venetian cost $19.95 (Gondola seats up to 4 adults).
- Meet the Stars At Madame Tussauds well life like iconic wax figures from the celebrity worlds of film, TV, music, sports and politics.
- Auto Collection If you like your cars then check out the collection at the Linq Hotel. Costs $7, but use this link on your phone to get buy one get one free admission.
- Stratosphere Tower With the amazing views from the observation deck and four adrenaline pumping thrill rides on the top. Check the weather conditions though, if it’s windy the rides are unlikely to be running. When your done with the rides the quickest way down is Sky Jump, a controlled free fall $119 per jump and you plummet 855 feet off the side of Stratosphere Tower to the ground below.
- Fremont Experience (Free) The place to go at night. Spanning five blocks packed with free live entertainment, the world’s largest video screen above the pedestrian mall with light & sound shows.
- Slotzilla Zip line There are two lines to choose from the Lower Zipline (I can only presume is meant for kids) only 68 feet in the air and only half the distance. The Upper zipline 108 feet up and sends you soaring in a Superman position across the entire length of the mall. Rides cost $20 for the Lower Zipline and $40 for Upper.
- The Golden Nugget (Free) The 61-pound Hand of Faith is the biggest golden nugget in existence and is on display in the lobby at Golden Nugget Las Vegas.
- $1,000,000 pyramid (Free) If you ever wonder what One Million dollars looks like? Head over to Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel to find out!
- Neon Museum an open air museum housing the retired neon signs of Las Vegas. The boneyard is only available to the public through an hour long guided tour. Tours are available seven days a week.
- Visit the Grand Canyon & Skywalk one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It’ll be an early start if you want to do this in one day, with a 5 hour drive there. I tell you though it’s with out doubt worth it and one of the best experiences of my life. Depending on if you drive yourself or do a tour prices vary hugely. Starting from $85, but if like me you want to do/see everything, then do the Ultimate Tour. Ride in a helicopter, a river boat, the Skywalk, get a Hualapai Indian Buffet lunch, walk around Eagle Point and sit right on the edge of the canyon looking in awe at the magnificent sight. To do the Ultimate tour though your looking at costs of $550+
- Visit Hoover Dam & Black Canyon There are guided tours of the dam, it has a museum that includes its history. I included the Black Canyon tour with it, so you get to go to the bottom of the dam and enjoy a boat ride underneath the colossal concrete wall. You can even drink the water straight out of the river here it’s so clean. You can jump in, but i tell you it’s bloody cold!
- Lake Mead for any kind of water based activity you can think of and a great way to enjoy some time on the water instead of having to fight for a spot by the hotel pool.
- Red Rock Canyon Spend a day hiking on a variety of trails and marvel at the views of nature that have not been touched.