Las Vegas is the entertainment mecca and one of the most popular destinations in the United States.
Millions of people come here to see the glitzy Las Vegas Strip, the center of action 24/7. Although many tend to think that everything in Sin City revolves around casinos, there are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble.
The Las Vegas Valley is home to stunning scenery, cool landmarks, and world-class museums! Despite the common stereotype, Sin City also has plenty of art and culture, and if you are willing to step outside the tourist zone, you will be in for a nice surprise!
I’m here to show you why you need to get off the beaten path and check out some of the most incredible things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble!
If hiking is your jam, the stunning Red Rock Canyon is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble!
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or Red Rock, as locals call it, sits under 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and offers some of the best hikes near Las Vegas. With bright orange rock formations and desert vegetation against the blue sky, it’s a perfect outdoor gym where you can hike many trails along the 13-mile scenic loop.
Shoulder season is the best time to visit Red Rock Canyon, as summer tends to bring scorching temperatures to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, winter can have plenty of cold days, so if you can, plan your visit to Red Rock between October and May, as you will be able to enjoy the great weather at Red Rock.
PRO TIP: You will need a car, as there are no buses from Las Vegas Strip to Red Rock.
2. Fremont Street
Fremont Street is one of the most popular places off the Las Vegas Strip.
Located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, this pedestrian-only venue has the largest LED canopy in the world where you can see cool graphics. If you want to feel some adrenaline, get on a ziple right under the canopy! It’s an exciting thrill ride that will take you above one of the most iconic venues in Las Vegas.
Here you can also find many street artists who wear all sorts of costumes and perform tricks trying to get your attention and ultimately, money. Near Fremont Street, you will also find many original Las Vegas hotels such as Golden Nugget and Californian.
To learn more about Fremont Street and get a history lesson of the city’s downtown, which was the “original Las Vegas,” you can take a guided tour with one of the local guides.
3. Neon Museum
Also called “The Neon Boneyard,” Neon Museum is a perfect spot to snap some colorful photos and get a glimpse into the history of Las Vegas.
Neon Museum is home to a large collection of faded vintage signs from many original Las Vegas hotels and businesses. Here you will find old signs from several iconic properties such as Sahara, The Moulin Rouge, and The Stardust.
Neon Museum is located in Las Vegas Art District and can be easily reached on foot from the Fremont Street Experience. You can also catch a shuttle from Downtown Las Vegas.
I also suggest making a reservation online and checking if there are available spots, as Neon Museum is a popular place for events and birthday parties. You can also book a guided tour on a spot to learn the history behind some of the most famous vintage signs.
The entrance fee for a daily tour is $19 for general admission and $15 for Nevada residents with proof of ID.
4. Las Vegas Arts District
Exploring the local art art culture is by far one of the best things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble.
I recommend spending time in Las Vegas Art District where you can see Sin City’s burgeoning art scene and visit restaurants, thrift stores, and museums.
One of my favorite things about Las Vegas Arts Districts is its collection of incredible murals. The city’s wall art is attributed to the arrival of Life Is Beautiful, a music festival that has also quickly grown into a big culinary and art event.
Where is Las Vegas Art District located?
The area has grown quite a bit over years, however, it still has loose boundaries that stretch from the Stratosphere to the Fremont East Entertainment District.
Some of the most popular museums in the district are Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, the Neon Museum, and the Pinball Hall of Fame. And if you are craving entertainment, visit the Vegas Theatre Company’s Cockroach Stage, where you can see Las Vegas artists and performers put a local spin on a highly commercialized entertainment scene in this city.
5. The Mob Museum
Officially called the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the Mob Museum is one of the highlights of the Las Vegas Arts District. Situated just a few steps away from the Fremont Street Experience, this museum documents the history of organized crime in Las Vegas and the entire United States.
The museum has several floors of exhibits and audio guides in multiple languages. You can also take a guided tour of the Mob Museum, as it will help you to save some time. The museum is pretty big, and if you read everything, you can easily spend at least a couple of hours there.
General admission to the Mob Museum is $30 and you can purchase your tickets online ahead of your visit.
6. Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area
If you are looking to disconnect and get some exercise, head to Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.
The most famous feature of this area is the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site that has over 300 panels with rock art and 1,700 individual design elements that were created by Native American tribes thousands years ago. Remember NOT to touch them, as oil in your hands can actually damage these fragile panels.
To test your physical stamina, try the Black Mountain Trail, a strenuous 7.6-mile hike that brings you to the peak with a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip and even stretches into Arizona to the east and California to the southwest.
PRO TIP: Visiting Sloan Canyon is just one of the best outdoorsy things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble. To check other places to visit by car near Las Vegas, read my guide.
While it’s a cool trail, it’s extremely exposed, so I recommend doing this hike from late September through April when temperatures in Las Vegas are mild. Remember to follow the Leave No Trace rule, bring plenty of water and snacks and wear comfortable shoes, as there are plenty of rugged volcanic rocks along the trail.
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is located near the city of Henderson about 25 minutes southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.
7. Seven Magic Mountains
Seven Magic Mountains is a colorful piece of art along Interstate-15. Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone in the middle of the desert, Seven Magic Mountains are pyramids made out of neon-colored boulders stacked on top of one another.
While this spot is about 10 miles outside of Las Vegas, it has become one of the most popular roadside stops as many travelers who travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas stop here to snap a colorful photo for their social media.
For better experience, arrive early. Seven Magic Mountains is a popular stop that draws thousands of people daily. This is especially true for weekends when travelers from all over the United States come to Las Vegas to party and have fun.
Unfortunately, there are no buses between Seven Magic Mountains and the Las Vegas Strip, so you will either have to take an Uber or rent a car to come here. Additionally, you should bring plenty of water and some snacks as there are no stores or facilities here.
8. Vegan Restaurants in Las Vegas
If you think that visiting Las Vegas restaurants is a perfect alternative to gambling, I have good news for you:
The vegan restaurant scene in Las Vegas has blossomed over the last couple of years, so you no longer have to eat plain salads and tofu, if you want to eat healthily.
While Sin City is not always associated with plant-based food options, local restaurateurs have taken note of the recent trends and now you can find many vegan options in famous restaurants on Las Vegas Strip and unpretentious eateries in downtown Las Vegas alike.
If you are new to the vegan scene in Las Vegas, check out Go Vegan Cafe, a restaurant that offers incredible raw vegan food such as delicious smoothies, hearty omelets, and pancakes. VegeNation is another great place with an ambient atmosphere and yummy dishes. One of my favorite vegan restaurants in Las Vegas is Veganos Kitchen that serves yummy Mexican food such as tacos, quesadillas, and others.
On the Las Vegas Strip, several restaurants have vegan options. Check out Sinatra at Encore, SushiSamba at GrandCanal Shoppes, or Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar.
9. Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
While Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Las Vegas, not everybody has time to go there.
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is a 1,900-feet canyon that was carved by the Colorado River millions of years ago. But if driving and planning a trip seems like a hassle, a helicopter tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon is a perfect alternative.
Not only do you get an introductory course to one of America’s most famous landmarks such as Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River from the comfort of a helicopter, you also avoid hours of driving. Taking a helicopter to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is a great way to experience Grand Canyon in less than a day.
There are multiple tours of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas that include different stops, so make sure to check them ahead of your trip!
10. High Roller
Who said that you need to party and gamble to get a thrill out of your trip to Las Vegas?
The High Roller, the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world from where you get a spectacular view of the entire Las Vegas Valley will do just that! It takes about 30 minutes to complete the full rotation that is accompanied by the narration about Las Vegas and the story behind the High Roller.
I recommend jumping on a High Roller whether it’s your first trip to Las Vegas or not. And the good news is that you can get tickets to High Roller online to skip the line. Part of the LINQ hotel, the High Roller also offers discounts for locals and an option for renting the entire cabin with a bartender.
BONUS: Take a Day Trip From Las Vegas
When casinos are not your scene, then taking a day trip is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble.
I especially recommend taking a day trip to one of the national parks near Las Vegas. Within a couple of hours of driving from Las Vegas, you will find some of the most incredible scenic vistas on the West Coast. For example, Death Valley is one of the most popular national parks near Las Vegas about 2,5 hours away.
To see the full list of the best national parks near Sin City, check my complete guide here.
Hotels In Las Vegas
If you want to be close to most things to do in Las Vegas, consider staying in one of Las Vegas Strip hotels.
Here’s a little secret: Hotel prices in Las Vegas tend to be lower during the off-season which runs from late October through mid-March.
Budget Hotels In Las Vegas
Mid-Range Hotels In Las Vegas
If you have a bit more money to spend, there are many hotels where you can enjoy great amenities and proximity to all the fun things Las Vegas without going over budget. For example, SAHARA Las Vegas is a gorgeous newly renovated property that offers a pool, on-site shops and free parking.
The D Las Vegas is a good mid-range hotel in downtown Las Vegas and Circus Circus offers a theme park with a big rollercoaster and tons of entertainment! The STRAT is great for those who need to be on North Las Vegas Strip.
Luxury Hotels In Las Vegas
Bellagio is the most popular luxury hotel Las Vegas with the famous fountains and central location along the strip. And Waldorf Astoria offers a more relaxed atmosphere with no casinos, nice spa, swimming pool and great dining.
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