Las Vegas is renowned worldwide for its glitzy casinos and high-stakes gambling.
But there’s more to the region than just poker chips and slot machines. This culturally and ecologically rich city offers visitors a wealth of attractions and activities far beyond the typical casino nightlife.
In fact, there are so many things to do in Las Vegas that don’t involve a casino, that you’ll need to plan your trip carefully to make sure you don’t miss out on the top attractions that fit your interests and budget.
So buckle up, because we are about to embark on an exhilarating journey through Las Vegas, sans the casinos.
Top 10 things to do in Las Vegas that don’t involve a casino
Ready to explore the multi-faceted Vegas without the bells and whistles of its casinos? Here are our top ten picks that are sure to make your trip memorable.
1. Visit the tallest observation deck in the U.S.
Las Vegas isn’t just about the glitz and glamor on the ground. It’s also about the breathtaking sights from above.
At 1,149 feet up, the Stratosphere Tower boasts the tallest freestanding observation deck in the United States. It offers an unobstructed, 360-degree view of the Las Vegas skyline that is truly unparalleled.
But the experience doesn’t stop at the viewing deck. The tower also features the following amenities for you to enjoy during your visit:
- The world’s highest thrill rides, including the Big Shot and Insanity
- A sky-jumping platform
- A revolving restaurant with amazing views of the city
- An artisanal bar stocked with fine liquors
- A chapel for weddings
- An event space for unique gatherings
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening out on the town or just want to take in the view, this is one of the best places to go in Vegas to really take in and appreciate your Las Vegas adventure.
2. Discover the charm of Fremont Street
Fremont Street is a vibrant blend of old and new Las Vegas. This bustling area, located in the heart of downtown, offers a delightful mix of shopping, dining, and live entertainment.
From the moment you step onto Fremont Street, you can feel the energy and history that make this place so special.
Here’s a brief list of what you can do at Fremont Street:
- Shopping: Browse through eclectic boutiques and souvenir shops for unique finds
- Dining: Savor delicious meals at a variety of restaurants offering everything from gourmet dishes to comfort food
- Live entertainment: Enjoy free concerts and street performers showcasing their talents
- SlotZilla Zip Line: For the thrill-seekers, take a ride on the SlotZilla zip line and soar over Fremont Street
- Viva Vision Light Show: End your day by watching the Viva Vision Light Show, the largest LED canopy screen in the world, that provides spectacular visual entertainment
Want to get additional insider tips on Fremont St.? Here’s our complete guide to exploring the area.
3. The Neon Boneyard — a glimpse into Vegas’ illuminated past
Step away from the traditional casino scene and immerse yourself in the radiant history of Las Vegas at The Neon Boneyard. This unique attraction, part of the Neon Museum, sprawls over an expansive 2.62-acre outdoor exhibition space.
Here, you’ll find a fascinating collection of signage from bygone casinos and other establishments that once lit up the city’s skyline.
This iconic shell structure, which officially opened its doors on October 27, 2012, instantly transports you back to the golden era of Las Vegas.
The Neon Boneyard is not just a museum; it’s a vibrant testament to the city’s colorful past, making it a perfect alternative for those wanting to explore beyond the casinos.
4. Check out The Mob Museum
Dive deep into the intriguing world of organized crime and law enforcement at The Mob Museum, nestled in downtown Las Vegas. This national museum offers a captivating exploration of the perpetual power tussle between the mob and the law, tracing its roots to modern times.
As you traverse through the museum’s four meticulously curated levels, you’ll encounter:
- Interactive exhibits: Engage with multimedia displays and artifacts that paint a vivid picture of the mob’s history
- Storytelling: Understand the truth, the myths, and the gray area surrounding some of the most infamous characters and events in U.S history
- Immersive experiences: Participate in group scavenger hunts or guided tours for an enriched experience
- Crime lab: Get hands-on with forensic evidence to solve real-life crimes
- The Underground: Visit the fully operational speakeasy in the museum’s basement, complete with Prohibition-era ambiance
Housed in a beautifully preserved former U.S. Post Office and Courthouse from the 1930s, the museum itself is a historical artifact that’s worth the visit in and of itself.
5. Defy gravity with indoor skydiving in Las Vegas
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush without the risk of jumping out of a plane, indoor skydiving in Las Vegas is your perfect bet. This exhilarating activity allows you to experience the thrill of freefalling within the safe confines of a vertical wind tunnel.
With professional instructors guiding you through the process, you’ll be floating on air in no time. It’s an unforgettable, gravity-defying adventure that adds a whole new dimension to the Las Vegas experience.
6. Experience the majestic Grand Canyon with Gray Line Las Vegas tours
The Grand Canyon draws millions of visitors every year, but reaching it can be quite a challenge. That’s where Gray Line Las Vegas comes in. With our comprehensive Grand Canyon tours, you can explore this natural wonder in style and convenience.
Here are a few of the whimsical experiences you can expect when booking a tour with Gray Line and visiting the Grand Canyon:
- Helicopter tours: Soar above the canyon in a helicopter for an unbeatable bird’s eye view. It’s an unforgettable way to appreciate the scale and beauty of this geological marvel.
- Luxury van tours: Enjoy a comfortable ride through the scenic landscapes leading up to the Grand Canyon in a luxury van. Guided tours provide insightful commentary about the area’s history and geology.
- Skywalk: Step onto the glass-floored Skywalk and feel your heart race as you stand 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. This unique perspective offers an adrenaline-pumping way to enjoy the breathtaking panorama.
When you book a tour rather than tackling the Grand Canyon on your own, you get to maximize your time and money, sit back, and enjoy the experience without any hassle.
7. Discover the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead’s tranquil beauty
Seeking a break from the bright lights and bustling energy of Las Vegas casinos? Consider a day trip to the monumental Hoover Dam and serene Lake Mead, two iconic landmarks just outside the city.
- Hoover Dam: Hoover Dam, completed in 1935, is recognized as one of America’s seven modern civil engineering wonders. It generates over 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year. A visit here offers a fascinating insight into this engineering marvel and a chance to appreciate the breathtaking views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead.
- Lake Mead: As the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead boasts over 550 miles of shoreline and incredibly diverse flora and fauna. A paddleboat tour across its tranquil waters offers a calming contrast to the flashing lights and noise of the casino floor.
Spending a full day (approximately eight hours) allows ample time to explore these attractions thoroughly. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks and bring a good amount of water with you, especially if you plan on being active or are visiting during the summertime.
If you don’t want to plan this excursion yourself, enjoy our Lake Mead and Hoover Dam cruise options.
8. Discover nature’s wonders — top hiking trails near Las Vegas
Venture beyond the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas to explore some of Nevada’s most stunning natural landscapes. The area around Vegas is rich with diverse hiking trails that offer everything from tranquil walks to challenging climbs.
The good news is that these trails are very nearby and you can find a trail that works great for families or outdoor adventurers, depending on your preferences. Here are some great trails to give a try:
- Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs Trail
- Little Falls Trail
- Echo Overlook Trail
- Rainbow Vista
- Fire Wave Hike
- Ice Box Canyon
- Calico Tank Trail
This is by no means an exhaustive trail list. Between the several federal, state, and Clark County parks in the area, you can easily find a route that meets your needs and interests.
If you are unfamiliar with any of these trails or need some guidance, make sure to look online for detailed descriptions and maps.
9. Catch a show in Las Vegas
The entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, is renowned for its high-energy shows that cater to every taste and interest. Whether you’re into music, magic, comedy, or drama, there’s always a show ready to captivate you.
- Music concerts: From superstar residencies to tribute bands, Las Vegas stages are graced by top-class performers from across the globe
- Magic shows: Prepare to be amazed by world-class illusionists and magicians who’ll make you question reality with their mind-bending tricks
- Cirque du Soleil: No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing a Cirque du Soleil show. These performances blend circus art and street entertainment, offering a unique and mesmerizing spectacle.
- Comedy shows: Laugh out loud with some of the funniest comedians in the industry. Vegas comedy clubs host both established comics and rising stars.
So, take a break from the casino floor and immerse yourself in the vibrant performing arts scene of Las Vegas. There’s a show for every night and every mood, as well as every budget. Keep an eye out for discount tickets, special offers, and other promotions.
10. Indulge in a feast and experience the classic Vegas buffet
Las Vegas is not just about casinos and shows; it’s also a food lover’s paradise. The city’s buffet scene is legendary, offering an incredible variety of dishes from around the globe.
Some buffets are simple and affordable while other ones offer a more luxurious culinary experience. It all depends on what you’re looking for, but most Vegas buffets offer the following features:
- Seafood extravaganza: Many Vegas buffets feature an impressive seafood spread with fresh oysters, shrimp, crab legs, and sushi
- Carving stations: Enjoy succulent slices of prime rib, roast turkey, or leg of lamb, freshly carved for you
- International cuisine: Sample dishes from Italy, Mexico, China, and more. The world is at your fingertips at a Vegas buffet.
- Dessert paradise: Save room for dessert! From chocolate fountains to an array of pastries and cakes, the sweet treats are endless.
Experiencing a classic Vegas buffet is about more than just satisfying your hunger, it’s a culinary adventure. So, loosen your belt and dive into a gastronomic experience like no other.
Indulge in retail therapy with Las Vegas shops
In Las Vegas, shopping allows you to get a taste of the many cultural aspects of this city that make it so unique and interesting. From recycled shipping containers to grand, high-end complexes, Vegas offers a variety of unique shopping experiences.
You may want to shop in the following areas:
- Container Park: Venture to downtown Las Vegas and explore Container Park. This innovative shopping hub is crafted from recycled shipping containers and houses local retailers offering a variety of unique finds. Along with the shopping, enjoy quirky attractions that add to the fun and vibrant atmosphere.
- The Shops at Crystals: For those with a taste for luxury, The Shops at Crystals is a must-visit. This extravagant shopping complex on the Strip houses an array of exclusive brands such as Bulgari, Cartier, Prada, and Versace, making it a haven for fashion enthusiasts.
- Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian: Shopping takes a romantic turn at the Grand Canal Shoppes. Meander along cobblestone walkways under a faux blue sky, surrounded by water, replicating the enchanting atmosphere of Venice.
- The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace: This fabulous shopping destination boasts a variety of stores, from Swiss luxury watches at Tourneau to chic women’s fashion at Aritzia, not forgetting the iconic Fendi.
- LINQ Promenade: Families shouldn’t miss the two-story I LOVE SUGAR candy store at the LINQ Promenade. The gummy bear chandelier is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
So, step away from the gaming tables and indulge in some retail therapy, Las Vegas style. With its eclectic mix of shops, every stroll becomes a delightful discovery.
Find the best casino-free Vegas tours with Gray Line
Gray Line Las Vegas offers unique tours that allow you to explore the city without ever setting foot in a casino.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or just want to experience something a little different, Gray Line has plenty of options that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
So go ahead and take a break from the slot machines and try something different.