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5 Things to Do in Las Vegas (That Aren’t Gambling)

Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on April 20, 2022.

Vegas, baby! The shining city in the desert that’s got more catchphrases associated with it than a sitcom star (“America’s playground,” “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” and so on). And, its most famous draw is gambling. From high-stakes poker rooms to nickel slots, everyone thinks of casinos and betting as the only reason to visit Las Vegas. But even if you don’t want to risk your hard-earned cash in games of chance, there’s still plenty of fun and awesome stuff to do there.

See the Sights of Las Vegas

Shocker: A city that’s constantly filled with tourists taking cheap flights just to see what Sin City is all has (no surprise) some of the coolest destinations that you can tour. Just a few ideas: You can go visit the Mob Museum, the National Atomic Testing Museum, or even take day trips to see the Hoover Dam and/or Grand Canyon.

Catch a Show

people watching a show in las vegas

There’s nothing like a Vegas show. What started as a side industry to keep high rollers around between betting jags has turned the town into arguably the capital of live entertainment. Highlights include: Cirque Du Soleil’s numerous dazzling performances, pop music legends working in residence (past appearances include Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris, and more), decamped Broadway musicals (like Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages), magicians (Penn & Teller, David Copperfield)… oh, and the always entertaining Blue Man Group.

Get Something to Eat

Despite its past as a home to all-you-can-buffets of questionable shellfish, Las Vegas is now a foodie’s paradise. You can nosh at upscale eateries founded by famous chefs, like Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, grab a bite in an atmosphere that ranges from the awe-inspiring (Top of the World), or just chow down on delicious barbeque at Rollin Smoke.

You may also like: Las Vegas, a Family-Friendly Destination? You BET!

Check Out Some Wild Animals

a drove of flamingos in las vegas

Yeah, yeah — it’s the middle of the desert, so the local nature isn’t exactly lush. Luckily, plenty of Las Vegas residents have brought in some exotic animals for you to see. It can be as easy as swinging by the famed Flamingo Casino’s Wildlife Habitat (can you guess which pink bird it features?). Or, visit the Mirage’s Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat where you can actually sign up to be a dolphin trainer for a day. Mandalay Bay even has an aquarium where you can feed some of the animals. And — if you’re already a certified diver — you can swim with the sharks.

Do Something Crazy (But Not THAT Crazy)

While there are plenty of debaucheries to partake in “Sin City,” there are also a lot of fun and outrageous (yet perfectly legal and respectable) activities to try as well. You can head to the Strat Hotel and take a thrilling ride on the X-Scream rollercoaster, or shoot 160 miles into the air on the Big Shot catapult. If you have room for some more adventure before returning home on those cheap flights you scored, climb up to The Strat’s SkyPod for incredible 360-degree views of the city!

Think we missed an awesome non-gambling Las Vegas attraction or activity? Let us know in the comments!

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Going Places

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