Non-gambling things to do in and around Las Vegas?

The BH has a conference in Vegas, and having never been, I’m tagging along.  I’m going to do Hoover Dam and will do a fair amount of gawking and people watching on the Strip, but I’m not really a gambler.  I expect I might see a show if the budget allows, but are there any sights in and around town within a hour’s drive (I will have a car) that you’d recommend?  Thanks.


14 thoughts on “Non-gambling things to do in and around Las Vegas?

  1. Cheri @ Blog This Mom!

    I do not like Las Vegas, not much at all, but I loved “Love.” Is it still there? And I would see Phantom of the Opera if it is there, but I’ve seen it four times (at least), so there’s that.

    Have fun, dear BLC. I am looking forward to your Las Vegas people-watching observations, if you are so inclined to post them.


  2. CTJen

    Hrrmmm. What about the Liberace museum? Also, what about the roller coasters? Also, there’s an aquarium over at the Mandolay hotel. Have fun!

    LA is only about 4 hours away by car.

  3. jess

    when are you going? the us airforce thunderbirds call nellis afb home – and it’s right outside of vegas. they might be flying when you are there. the thing about vegas is that it really is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. you can drive up to st. george utah…the virgin river canyon is really pretty. otherwise, there isn’t much… check out one of the cirque du soliel shows (ka and mystere are both really good…); go to the art museum at the bellagio; ride the roller coaster at NY NY (it’s absolutely bitchin!); and visit downtown @ night – it’s called fremont street. i wish i could go with you! the steakhouse in au paris is expensive as hell and worth every penny. go shopping at caesar’s palace. try to run into celebs @ the venetian or @ the palms. the stratosphere is overrated. if you see the little white chapel, that is where i got married the first time. seriously…there isn’t much outside of las vegas, but there are TONS of non-gambling activities (several are free!) to keep you busy. i’ll try to think of other ideas..if i do i will email you.

    jesss last blog post..Still no post about Europe, but they will come…

  4. LawyerChick

    Oooo! Fun! I am not a gambler either, but I have on occasion enjoyed the casinos. My parents live in Vegas so I am there pretty often. Basically I agree with Jess and here are a few add’l things:
    Red Rock (Canyon?) out west of the Strip is pretty cool – its a state or national park with cactus, sahuaro, burros, hiking, etc, and very pretty.
    The shows are always good, the free shows (e.g. Bellagio fountains, Treasure Island Pirate whatever) are also really fun. The public spaces of the big hotels and casinos are cool too – my favorites are the Chihuly glass flowers in the ceiling of the lobby of the Bellagio, and the conservatory there – a seasonal floral extravaganza. I always go check it out when I’m in town. Wynn, Paris and the Venetian are pretty cool too. Vegas has a really good Chinatown too – the food is in strip malls but it’s cheap and delicious – just west of the Strip.
    I’ve seen KA and O of the Cirque du Soleil shows, and then also seen a couple of magic shows, all of which are way cool. Last time I saw Steve Wyrick at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood – this is not the headliner at the casino – and he was great. It’s a small and intimate theater and he makes some crazy stuff disappear.
    um… I always make a pilgrimage to In-n-Out Burger too … but you’re a vegetarian, right?
    Also, lots of spaaaah.

    LawyerChicks last blog post..Be afraid. Be very, VERY afraid.

  5. LawyerChick

    P.S. if you think you might want to try the gambling thing, check out the craps tables at Barbary Coast on the strip, or at one of the downtown casinos – or on a weekday morning. Barbary Coast still has $2 craps tables, the other casinos may have $5 craps tables in the mornings when things are slow. You can just ask the people at the table how to play and they’ll guide you through the basic rules, and if you play very conservatively (minimum bet on the pass line), $20 can last you a few hours of entertainment.


    LawyerChicks last blog post..Be afraid. Be very, VERY afraid.

  6. andrea

    My suggestion would be checking out all the restaurants and eating copious amounts of food but I’m pregnant and my focus is limited to food!

    I agree with LawyerChick and think you should check out Red Rock Canyon. I’m a huge fan of desert landscape. Plus, you should do a search to see if there are any good short hikes in the area. Vegas itself is not so great if you don’t like gambling.

    Have fun!

  7. g

    Have you been to Vegas before?

    I’ve been 3 times now, and I have to say – the experience of going there for the first time is kind of surreal. A repeat visit is less so, you know what to expect.

    Although – I last went there in 2004. Vegas reshapes itself so quickly that I expect I’d be surprised if I went today!

    Have a great time.

    Wear a watch – there are no clocks in casinos!

    gs last blog post..Welcome October

  8. Susie


    1. Visit old Las Vegas (downtown Las Vegas), Freemont Street, the Cowboy, etc., at night. They’ve erected this giant screen covering the street. It’s a pretty trippy show.
    2. Madame Toussauds (Venetian). Enjoy the ridiculousness of the indoor canals while there.
    3. Museum at the Bellagio. Or, just check out the fountain show, the lobby and the little garden display (all free) – also, if you want a completely decadent over the top buffet, this place is it. Pricey, but has almost every luxury food item you could want. Weekend brunch comes with champagne 🙂
    4. shows are majorly expensive. Usually the less popular/older hotels have less expensive offerings.
    5. Pieros, off the strip (short cab ride). Authentic italian, amazing wine list. Totally mafioso. (They shot part the movie Casino there, in fact). Fabulous food.


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