Las Vegas, Sin City, the Devil’s Playground – whatever the name, it’s on everyone’s bucket list. Enjoying the thrills and debauchery that Vegas has to offer is a must. What’s not to love about neon lights, delightful chimes, and the chance of winning big? Sure, the house always wins, but it’s great entertainment for adults.
But is gambling all there is to do? Fortunately not! In fact, there is much more to this city in the Nevada desert than meets the eye. In fact, look underneath the flashy surface that Vegas shows the world and you’ll find an amazing place that doesn’t have to center on gambling. There is so much to discover in southern Nevada – from outdoor sightseeing, to museums, shopping, and more! Here are just a few of the many ways to enjoy Sin City, with the sin.
Just because you don’t want to gamble doesn’t mean you have to avoid the casinos. In Vegas, the hotels and casinos are works of art and opulence, all to draw in potential customers and gamblers. For example, the Bellagio has the Conservatory and the fountain spectacle outdoors. The Venetian, a Venice-themed hotel, offers gondola rides on the river running through the hotel. Some large casinos on the strip even have their own theme. See the splendors of Egypt at the Luxor, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, the world’s largest gold nugget at the Golden Nugget Casino, and ride an outdoor rollercoaster outside New York, New York Hotel and Casino. Some even have special museum quality exhibits like Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and BODIES: The Exhibition, both at Luxor. Step off the casino floor and you’ll find that most large casinos offer much to see and do.
Las Vegas isn’t only a city which attracts inspiring millionaires, it lures the rich and famous too. Millions of visitors opt for high-class entertainment in the evenings and Vegas has plenty to choose from. You can find everything from musicals, to concerts, Cirque du Soleil shows, comedy shows, magic shows and more here. Many world-famous entertainers like Lady Gaga and Celine Dion call Las Vegas their home, and some of the best shows in the world can be seen on the strip. If you’re traveling with children, you can even find family friendly shows to amuse the whole family.
One of the most unique museums in Las Vegas is rich in town history. Do you ever wonder where all those old giant lighted signs in Vegas go once they’re torn down or replaced? If so, then head to the Neon Museum. See the signs of vintage Las Vegas and hear the stories behind them. Click here to read an earlier post of mine about visiting the Neon Museum.
Another unique museum in Las Vegas is the Mob Museum. This non-profit, accredited museum features a true and detailed history of organized crime. The Mob Museum tells real stories, showcases interactive exhibits, and displays unique artifacts of organized crime. Find more information on the Mob Museum here.
Whether it’s a dip in your hotel pool, playing games at the arcade, or riding to the top of the Stratosphere, there’s plenty of family friendly fun around the casinos. In Vegas, you can find the Pinball Hall of Fame, stroll under the lights of the Fremont Street Experience, and ride the High Roller Observation Wheel at the Linq Hotel. Because Las Vegas has become such a popular vacation destination, the city has become more than the place to gamble. Find plenty of free fun at Hershey’s Chocolate World, the Mirage’s Volcano, M&M’s World, and the flamingos on display at the Flamingo Hotel’s wildlife habitat. And let’s not forget all of the fun shopping and fine dining that can be done here!
Leaving Vegas doesn’t seem like a good idea when you’ve paid to take in the sights. However, some of nature’s best is a stone’s throw from Vegas. The natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon is just over 4 hours away by car. There’s no shortage of tour operators in Las Vegas that offer helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon. Of course, one can also tour the infamous Skywalk in Grand Canyon West where you walk out onto a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge and look down 4,000 feet to the canyon floor. Other National Parks close to Las Vegas include Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Death Valley National Park. (Check out this Zion National Park guide here.)
If you’re looking for closer outdoor adventures, there’s always the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, and Lake Mead which can all be reached in under an hour drive. You can easily find outdoor fun like ziplining, rock climbing, hiking, and biking tours.
Even though Las Vegas was once the mecca for entertainment and gambling in the desert, it has now become a destination for outdoor people, high-end shoppers, fine food connoisseurs, musical and theater people, and those looking for an escape from the everyday. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do Vegas.
Just do it your own way!
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