When I was asked to join a friend in Vegas, I couldn’t help but daydream about the incredible outdoor adventures I could have. As much as I’d like to think of myself as a party animal, my typical trip plans do not revolve around the standard Vegas scene. I have to acknowledge that my guide is written for other travelers and non-gamblers like me who may not have thought of Vegas as their top destination. Initially, the idea of visiting Sin City seemed intriguing, but I wondered about things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble.
However, allow me to explain why you should certainly go for it. Las Vegas is a city unlike any other, and I feel that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The excitement, lights, and sheer extravagance of the city will leave a lasting impression on you. Whatever your background or travel preferences, Vegas has an uncanny way of surprising you and providing experiences you never imagined possible.
Aside from the exquisite lodgings that cater to every taste and budget, Vegas is a gastronomic and entertainment enthusiast’s paradise. Exceptional dining experiences at celebrity chef restaurants, fascinating live entertainment, and dancing the night away at world-class nightclubs are all available. The city genuinely never sleeps, allowing you to dine, play, and have fun all day and night.
So, even if you’re not a typical Vegas visitor, I advise you to take the plunge and discover this one-of-a-kind place. It’s an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life, and you might just discover a whole new side of Vegas that captures your heart and leaves you wanting more.
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Adult Disney World – A Magical Experience
As you set foot on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, get ready to be whisked away to a grown-up version of Disney World. The moment you lay eyes on the intricate facades that line the boulevard, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a magical realm. Each casino and resort presents a stunning visual feast, transporting you to far-off lands and fairytale settings.
In no other place can you witness such an enchanting mix of architectural wonders in such close proximity. Picture this: gazing in awe at a fiery volcano erupting at The Mirage, then turning around to find yourself standing beneath the majestic Arc de Triomphe at Paris, and just a few steps away, you’re face-to-face with a magnificent colosseum at Caesars Palace. It’s like a dream brought to life, and you’ll be in awe of the extraordinary craftsmanship.
But that’s not all; prepare to be amazed as you encounter showgirls donning their dazzling costumes, ready to pose for a photo with you. It’s a quintessential Vegas experience that you just have to see to believe. From the glitz and glamour to the dazzling lights and fascinating characters, the Strip offers an electrifying atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Now, I must tell you that exploring the splendors of the Strip can be an experience in and of itself. On my first night, I took a walk from the Venetian to Caesars Palace, then to Bellagio, and back. It was a memorable journey, but let me tell you, comfy shoes are a must! I was surprised to learn that I had walked almost 20,000 steps that night, but it was well worth it.
Prepare to be astonished by the adult Disney World that greets you on the Las Vegas Strip, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Vegas enthusiast. From the astonishing facades to the showgirls and captivating sights, the experience is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Embrace the magic, and let Vegas work its spell on you!
Embrace Nature Day Trips
If the Grand Canyon seems like a bit of a stretch, don’t worry; there are still plenty of fantastic outdoor options in the area. One such gem is the Valley of Fire State Park, where ancient history and stunning rock formations await.
Valley of Fire State Park – Petroglyphs and Rock Shapes
To reach this mesmerizing park, I recommend heading down the Nevada Scenic Byway, which promises breathtaking views along the way. The best mode of transportation is by car, whether it’s a rental or your own, as it allows you the flexibility to explore the park at your own pace. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour, which will offer valuable insights and ensure you make the most of your visit.
- Best mode of transportation: car (rental or your own) or guided tour for a seamless experience.
- Avoid using ride-sharing services to prevent potential stranded situations.
- Look for special events like the Star Party with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society (LVAS) for a celestial viewing experience.
- Don’t miss the guided sunset hike, offering breathtaking vistas as the sun paints the sandstone cliffs with vibrant colors.
- Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle ($15 for non-Nevada license plates).
- Best kept secret – Pastel (Pink) Canyon Trail – unmarked, small trail displaying pink pastel sandstone walls.
- Closest spots from Vegas – Beehive Rock and Fire Cave/Windstone Arch.
- Best time: early morning or late afternoon, winter or spring (Summer midday can be excruciatingly hot).
Red Rock Canyon – Scenic Drive and Hiking Trails
- Just a short drive from Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers beautiful red rock formations and stunning vistas.
- Take the 13-mile one-way scenic drive through the canyon to admire the natural beauty.
- Hiking enthusiasts will love the array of over two dozen trails waiting to be explored.
- Capture picture-perfect moments as the sun casts a golden glow over the red sandstone cliffs during sunset.
- Timed Reservations are required for vehicle entry to the Scenic Loop between 8am-5pm from October 1 through May 31. You can make your reservation online.
- Admission is $20 per vehicle.
Springs Preserve – Exploring Vegas History and Gardens
- Escape the hustle and bustle of the Strip and immerse yourself in Springs Preserve’s serene surroundings.
- Discover botanical gardens, colorful exhibits, and informative displays that highlight Las Vegas’s unique history.
- Ideal for families, the preserve also offers a splash pad for kids to cool off and have some fun.
- The Divine Cafe serves up delightful treats, making it a perfect spot to relax and indulge in delicious food.
- Nevada residents enjoy discounted admission at $9.95 for adults and $4.95 for children (ages 3-17). For visitors and non-residents, the admission rates are higher, priced at $18.95 for adults and $10.95 for children (ages 3-17).
Things to do in Las Vegas Besides Gamble – Explore the Las Vegas Hotels
The Venetian – Gondola Ride:
Even if you are not interested in taking a gondola ride, merely watching the gondoliers glide by while singing is a pleasant experience. Get caught up in the captivating atmosphere and romantic aura of Venice right on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Bellagio – Fountains:
Witness the fascinating synchronized lighting of the famed Bellagio Fountains, where water moves to the rhythm of music. It’s an incredible spectacle that will leave you speechless. Consider making it a special occasion, and book early for best viewing.
Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Las Vegas Strip and explore its many wonders. From themed hotels to vibrant street performances, there’s an abundance of sights and sounds to indulge in.
Spas & Quiet Time:
Treat yourself to a moment of pampering and relaxation at one of the lavish spas in Las Vegas. The Canyon Ranch Spa offers an exquisite experience, and when you go for a manicure or pedicure, you gain access to the exclusive Aquavana® experiential rooms. Keep an eye out for spa offers that may include food and beverage credits or discounted packages.
The Spa at Encore, The Spa at the Linq, Waldorf Astoria Spa:
These prestigious spas provide a serene retreat amidst the vibrant energy of the Strip. Indulge in soothing treatments and rejuvenating therapies that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Waldorf Astoria – Tea Time:
With the lovely Tea Time at The Waldorf Astoria, you can escape the rush and excitement of the Strip and enter a zen-filled paradise. It’s the ideal time to take a break from all the action and find some peace. Make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure your quiet tea experience.
Whether it’s an enchanting gondola ride, a water show at the Bellagio Fountains, or a peaceful spa retreat, Las Vegas hotels provide a multitude of one-of-a-kind experiences. Accept the grandeur and immerse yourself in the lavish things that this city has to offer.
Immerse Yourself in Las Vegas Entertainment
Las Vegas is a mecca for entertainment, with a staggering choice of events and attractions to suit every taste and fancy. Don’t pass up the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s thriving entertainment scene. Make it a point to see at least one show, and remember to get your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Comedy Shows: For a dose of laughter and amusement, check out the top-rated “V – The Ultimate Variety Show” at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. It’s an incredible showcase of comedic talents and captivating performances that will leave you in stitches.
Family-friendly Shows: If you’re traveling with family, “Hitzville the Show” at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino is a fantastic option. This family-friendly spectacle pays homage to Motown’s greatest hits, and it’s a heartwarming experience suitable for all ages.
Cirque du Soleil: The renowned Cirque du Soleil has a strong presence in Vegas with three captivating shows. “Mystère” at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino will transport you to a world of wonder and imagination, while “O™” at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino delivers a water-themed extravaganza that will leave you awe-struck. For an electrifying tribute to Michael Jackson’s legacy, “Michael Jackson ONE” at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is a must-see.
Specialty Museums: Delve into the intriguing world of Las Vegas’s specialty museums, each offering a unique glimpse into captivating topics. From exploring the underworld of the Mob to immersing yourself in the history of Shelby cars, the Pinball Hall of Fame, and vintage Las Vegas signs, these museums promise an enriching and fascinating experience. For history enthusiasts, learning about the atomic testing history and stepping into Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah will be captivating journeys through time.
Las Vegas is a treasure trove of entertainment and culture, with a broad choice of performances and attractions to suit all tastes. Whether you want to laugh, acrobat, or have a family-friendly experience, Vegas has everything. Experience the enchantment of this entertainment hub and make memories that will last long after your trip is over.
Indulge in Celebrity Chef Experiences
No gastronomic vacation in Las Vegas is complete without sampling a wonderful meal at one of the city’s famed Celebrity Chef eateries. It may be difficult to limit down your options with so many to choose from. As a fellow foodie, I couldn’t resist the allure of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, and my culinary bucket list still includes Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck.
With over 40 Celebrity Chef events available, choosing just one can be difficult. Check any dress codes before embarking on this tasty excursion to ensure you’re appropriately attired for your epicurean adventure.
Here are a few of the best-rated options, each offering unique menu highlights that promise to tantalize your taste buds:
Indulge in the Super Giant Pork Skin Chicharron and the innovative Reuben Airbread, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.
Beauty & Essex:
Delight in the Grilled Cheese Dumplings and savor the zesty Thai Style Deep-Fried Shrimp, a true culinary delight.
Buddy V’s Ristorante:
Satisfy your Italian cravings with a family-style to-go menu and enjoy daily happy hour with $5 Prosecco & $6 Eggplant Parm (4:30PM – 6PM).
Treat yourself to the exquisite 100% JAPANESE WAGYU*, elevating your steak experience to new heights.
Lakeside – Wynn Las Vegas:
Sample the Hawaiian Mahi Mahi and indulge in the Grilled Seafood Gazpacho for a refreshing and sumptuous dining experience.
MICHAEL MINA at Bellagio:
Relish in the Seasons of Mina Tasting Menu featuring delectable dishes like Amuse Bouche, Burrata Caviar, Potato Gnocchi & Maine Lobster, and more.
Nobu at Caesar’s Palace:
Savor the delightful Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, skillfully crafted by the renowned Nobu.
Restaurant Guy Savoy:
Embark on a culinary journey with the 10 Years of Forbes 5 Star Celebration Menu, a lavish experience that includes premium wine pairing.
Rivea at Delano Las Vegas:
Experience the rich flavors of Beef Carpaccio and savor the delightful Cookpot of Farmer’s Vegetables.
Wazuzu at Wynn Las Vegas:
For vegan enthusiasts, indulge in the Vegan Rainbow Roll, Vegan Drunken Noodles, and Imperial Wagyu Fried Rice, a delightful explosion of plant-based flavors.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill:
Delight in the Vegan Burger, Half Jidori Chicken, and BBQ Smoked Ribs, showcasing Wolfgang Puck’s mastery in creating exquisite vegan dishes.
A gourmet adventure at any of these Celebrity Chef restaurants is a true sensory experience. So put on your chef’s hat, embrace the tastes, and let your taste buds to embark on an incredible culinary voyage in the realm of fine dining.
Discover Unique Las Vegas Experiences
Step into the realm of Area 15, where a world of diverse experiences awaits you. Whether you seek thrills, artistic wonders, or unique adventures, this vibrant space has something to captivate every soul.
Hang-Gliding Experience & Flight Simulator:
Get your adrenaline pumping with a hang-gliding experience and dive into the skies like a bird. Or take the controls in a flight simulator and soar through virtual skies, fulfilling your aviation dreams.
Immersive Sound Experience & Craft Cocktails at Oddwood Bar:
Immerse yourself in a symphony of sounds that envelop your senses, creating an otherworldly experience. Afterward, unwind at Oddwood Bar, where you can sip craft cocktails under a mesmerizing digital maple tree. Don’t miss trying the Dragon Margarita, a tantalizing concoction of tequila, ginger, agave, honey, lime juice, and a hibiscus salt rim.
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Step into a supermarket unlike any other, and embark on an art-filled journey through surreal worlds with secret portals. Adventure awaits around every corner, and you can choose to follow the quest or simply wander, getting lost in the enchanting ambiance. Allocate at least 90 minutes to truly immerse yourself in this surreal wonderland—a perfect experience for all ages.
Discover the unexpected thrill of axe-throwing at Dueling Axes. It might seem unconventional, but you’ll be surprised how much fun it can be. Master the art of throwing axes with guidance from your friendly waiter/coach. The experience is so addictive that we ended up buying a second hour! Enjoy light drinks like hard seltzers or beer, and you can even bring your own beverages.
The Van Gogh Experience:
For art enthusiasts, The Van Gogh Experience is a soothing and immersive show that surrounds you with Van Gogh’s masterpieces. If you’re lucky enough to find it near you or in Vegas, I highly recommend experiencing this artistic wonder.
The Lost Spirits Distillery:
Although it wasn’t open during our visit, The Lost Spirits Distillery promises an extraordinary adventure akin to “Disneyland for Liquor.” Imagine a Willy Wonka-style immersive tour through a distillery, complete with hologram shows and submarine rides. Keep an eye out for its opening—it’s bound to be an unforgettable journey.
Dig This Vegas:
Bring out the child within you and unleash your inner excavator at Dig This Vegas. It’s an experience for everyone, from ages 3 and up. Unleash your construction prowess as you dig, excavate, and bulldoze to your heart’s content. They even have mini excavators for the little ones!
Vegas Pro Photo Tip:
When capturing the magic of Vegas, note that some places might not permit professional equipment. But don’t worry about capturing every moment—sometimes it’s best to immerse yourself fully in the fun and let memories create themselves.
So, go ahead and book that Vegas trip. With a world of exciting activities to indulge in, from thrilling adventures to awe-inspiring art, you’ll never be bored. Las Vegas has something to offer every traveler, making it a destination that truly has it all. Get ready to eat, shop, see, and do to your heart’s content. There’s a whole world of experiences waiting for you to explore! For more information on packages, click here.