Las Vegas and gambling are about as synonymous as it gets. If you aren’t that into risking your money on games of chance, it’s possible Vegas isn’t on your travel radar, but it should be. There are so many things to do in Vegas that have absolutely nothing to do with gambling and everything to do with fun, food, amazing views, and, in one case, a trippy art experience like no other. Here are 9 things to do in Vegas that’ll make you feel like a winner every time.
While the rest of your group is spending their money at the slot machines, you can spend your money to fly over the Grand Canyon, Mojave Desert, and Zion National Park without ever leaving Vegas. FlyOver Las Vegas is an immersive flight ride experience where you strap into a seat facing a 52-foot-wide spherical screen that completely surrounds your field of vision. When your “flight” begins, your seat lifts into the air as you soar above the natural wonders of the West.
Walking past the hundreds of vintage neon signs at the Neon Museum is like stepping back in time to the Las Vegas of yesteryear. Signs that years ago illuminated the Vegas strip now reside in an outdoor art gallery called the Neon Boneyard and even if you aren’t that into gambling, you’ll probably see a few things you recognize. Daytime self-guided guided tours are available, along with guided nighttime tours, and a multi-sensory nighttime show that brings the signs to life with lights and music.
Not far off the strip, The Golden Tiki is an authentic tiki bar that serves tropical cocktails and island-inspired eats in an elaborately themed space. The decor is kitschy and just a tiny bit risque (OK, erotic wallpaper and phallic door handles may be more than a “tiny bit” riqsue, but you’ll only find those in the bathrooms), with just the right amount of sensory overload. For a small upcharge, your bartender will light your drink on fire using a shot of 151 proof rum or you can purchase your cocktail in a souvenir tiki mug that you can proudly display in your home. You must be 21 or older to visit and reservations are recommended for table seating, but there is open seating at the bar.
If you want to see more of Vegas than the inside of a casino, the best way to do it is from 550 feet above the strip. The High Roller is an “observation wheel” rather than a ferris wheel, dubbed as such because it combines the best parts of a high-flying ferris wheel and a scenic gondola ride. Each gondola is temperature controlled and the full journey takes around 30 minutes. In addition to regular admission tickets, you can purchase a “Happy Half-Hour” ticket that includes an open bar and bartender for the entirety of your journey. Lines can be long even if you purchase tickets ahead of time, so factor that into the time you allot to enjoy the experience.
Another option for enjoying sky-high views of the glittering lights that adorn seemingly every inch of Sin City is on the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at the Paris Las Vegas. An elevator takes you 46 stories up to the viewing deck that looks out over the nearby casinos, as well as the desert and mountains in the distance. There’s also a restaurant serving French cuisine on the 11th floor and a free light show each evening that doesn’t require you to leave the ground.
Both inside and out, the Venetian Resort Las Vegas feels much like visiting the centuries old floating city in northern Italy. Instead of spending your day on the casino floor, you can spend it traversing the resort’s Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. Choose from an indoor or outdoor ride with a singing gondolier to guide the way. Twice a day, you can witness the Gondolier March–a tradition where the gondoliers sing in unison while marching along the indoor canal to mark their arrival for a day of ferrying, and serenading, guests.
If you’ve ever seen a movie or TV show set in Las Vegas, you’ve probably seen the iconic Bellagio fountains. Spanning more than 1,000 feet on the lake outside of the Bellagio’s main entrance, the show uses more than 1,200 fountains that can shoot water as high as 460 feet. Enhanced with music and lights, the fountain show is free to watch and plays multiple times daily and is free to watch.
You can see and do just about anything in Vegas, including riding a roller coaster that twists, turns, and loops around the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. The Big Apple Coaster is no kiddie coaster–it travels upwards of 67 miles per hour, barrels through multiple inversions, and climbs to a top height of 203 feet. Purchase tickets in advance to skip the long lines and bring your best smile for the on-ride photo.
Calling Omega Mart an immersive art experience hardly does it justice. It’s more like a psychedelic, surreal, interactive grocery store from another dimension. The shelves are filled with food items that parody what you’d find in your neighborhood store, freezer case doors open to reveal secret passageways, and there’s even a multi-story playground where kids of all ages can climb and slide to their heart’s content. Tickets must be purchased in advance and you must choose a specific date and time to visit.