After booking a flight and a Las Vegas hotel, you’ve likely already spent a significant amount of your hard-earned, to-be-spent-on-vacation dollars. So, don’t gamble away your vacation. Make your Sin City stay a “sure fire bet” by stepping out of the casino with my five suggestions of things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling for first-time visitors.
Disclosure: This guide to non-gambling activities in Las Vegas contains affiliate links. When you click on or book your Las Vegas hotel or activities through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I also earn from qualifying purchases. As always, all opinions shared are my own and all recommendations have been thoroughly researched or experienced by yours truly.
Walk The Las Vegas Strip
Acquaint yourself with Las Vegas, its hotels, casinos, and people with a stroll down the infamous Vegas Strip. Between the people watching, street performers, and the dancing Bellagio fountain, there is plenty to see without setting foot inside a casino.
But certainly step inside for a relief from the arid desert heat to check out each hotel’s unique décor. Don’t miss the colorful glass flower ceiling by Dale Chihuly at the Bellagio, gondolas floating along shop-lined canals in the Venetian, and Roman-style art and architecture inside Caesars Palace.
Outside the hotels, take in sights of beautiful fountains, Paris’s Eiffel Tower, an erupting volcano at the Mirage, and Treasure Island’s pirate ship.
Best of all, this activity is entirely free. However, be sure to bring spending money in case you decide to eat a crepe in Paris, visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, shop the designer stores of the Forum Shops at Caesars, or cool down with an ice-cold beverage. FYI, alcoholic drinks are allowed on the Strip!
Take A Ride On The Wild Side
Each Las Vegas hotel has an attraction, and at New York-New York it happens to be a roller coaster that whips visitors around Manhattan landmarks at 67 mph and through a 180-degree twist and dive. Atop the 1,149-foot Stratosphere tower, visitors can leap from 829 feet at the SkyJump or play it a bit safer by riding one of several thrilling attractions. And, at Fremont Street, you can zoom through the sky on the SlotZilla Zip Line.
Dine At An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
Sin City has vices for all, including the “I’m on vacation from my diet” gluttons. So, indulge at least once at a Las Vegas buffet. Widely considered the best in Las Vegas, Wynn Buffet diners can visit 15 live cooking stations featuring global flavors and find an expansive array of delectable desserts. The bright dining room is filled with yellow-and-green striped chairs around white-cloth-covered tables and towering whimsical arrangements of flowers and fruit. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner, dining at the Wynn Buffet is perfect for a gluttonous brunch.
Soak In The Sun Poolside
When it comes to poolside fun, Vegas has it all — waterfalls, lazy rivers, European bathing, hot tubs, a Tahitian-themed adult-only oasis, cabanas outfitted with flat-screen TVs, rockin’ parties, swim-up gambling, and even family-friendly pools.
Some pools are strictly for hotel guests, while others allow non-hotel guests for a cover charge ranging on average from $20 to $30 or a cabana rental. Keep in mind some pools open to non-hotel guests only do so Friday through Sunday. If it is a pool party you seek, you’ve certainly come to the right destination.
See A Show
A trip to Vegas wouldn’t be complete without a night out on the town to see one of its many shows. Bachelorette parties make up the mostly female crowds at Thunder from Down Under, Chippendales, and other burlesque shows, but Vegas has kid-friendly options, too. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the acrobatic feats in the Cirque du Soleil shows, mind-boggling illusions performed by magicians, and the Blue Man Group’s lively percussion show. For a traditional Vegas experience see a tribute to Elvis or the Rat Pack. Comedy shows, hypnosis, musicals, concerts, and more round out the city’s diverse show lineup.
Sleep In Luxury
As I mentioned, Sin City indulges every vice — including sloth. When you sink into the plush cocoon of your luxurious hotel room’s king-sized bed, I bet you’ll want to order room-service breakfast and lounge a bit.
Las Vegas has fantastic luxury hotel and resort options including the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. But, in a city as opulent as Vegas, even the mid-range hotels are quite luxurious.
During my girls’ Vegas getaway I stayed at The Mirage. Our “resort queen” room with two queen-sized beds was spacious enough at 394 sq. ft. to accommodate three women and all our luggage. We never felt like we were tripping over each other — even while getting ready to go out. My favorite amenity was the pool with its waterfalls and lagoons. We ordered poolside cocktails from the Dolphin Bar and relaxed in the hot tub. In October!
Planning Your Las Vegas Vacation
Now that you’ve read about all the fun things to do in Las Vegas for non-gamblers, it’s time to plan your Sin City vacation. Here are my tips to get you started:
- When should you visit? I recommend spring from March to May or fall from September to November for the best weather. It will be warm enough to enjoy the Vegas pools or stroll the Strip wearing shorts or sundresses during the day. At night, you’ll be comfortable in pants, but you probably won’t need a jacket.
- Find the best deals, compare rates, and read hotel reviews for Las Vegas hotels on TripAdvisor. You can even book directly on the site and combine with a flight!
- You are likely to find the best rates on Vegas hotels on weekdays and in the summer when temperatures push 100° Fahrenheit/38° Celsius.
- The closest airport is McCarran International Airport. I recommend taking a shuttle from the airport to your hotel if you are staying on the Strip, but if you want to save time, a taxi may be a better option. I found taking a taxi was more convenient for returning to the airport from my hotel.
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What are your favorite non-gambling activities in Las Vegas?
Momma To Go
Love this post! We always spend too much money in vegas, not on gambling, but on drinks, shows, food, love the food! but it is true that walking around and checking out the different hotels are free. And i love the pool at the Venetian!
I LOVE Vegas! I used to go every year for a while. I’m a big BlackJack player so I like to do a lot of gambling while I’m there, but everything else is amazing. I’m a huge Celine Dion fan, so I usually try to see her show too. We always hit the spa for the day when I’m with the girls. Vegas has AMAZING spas.
I like Vegas and I am not a gambler at all. Agree people who are not interested in the casinos can have a lot of fun. For my next trip to the city, I am planning to stay Downtown and forget about the strip. I want to concentrate on the scene there. Oh, and the Wynn buffet looks beyond amazing. Gotta go. #WeekendWanderlust
Ruth, if you decided to eat at the Wynn Buffet, I recommend timing your meal to overlap with the breakfast and lunch hours. Then you get the best of both meals! Just check the Wynn’s website for the hours when they switch from one meal to the next. Hope you have fun on your next Vegas trip!
Great list of things to do that don’t include gambling. I agree, experiencing a Las Vegas buffet and their pools is a must. Drinks can be very pricey tho. I haven seen really cheap Groupons for Vegas hotels. I love that you included the Chihuly glass ceiling. I’ve been to Vegas a couple of times. Not sure I’ll be heading back that way as there are so many other places I want to visit.
Lara, you are right about pricey drinks, but I didn’t really mind since we saved money by splitting a room. Actually, the Bellagio has two of my favorite sights in Vegas: the Chihuly glass ceiling and the dancing fountain. Luckily, the Bellagio is pretty central to a lot of the Strip! I’ve only been to Vegas once, and I’m sure I’ll go back again someday. I wouldn’t mind another round of poolside relaxing and delicious dinners!
Las Vegas looks like so much fun. I’m not a gambler but would still visit, just to experience it all.
Ever since we moved to Utah, we have been trying to plan a Vegas trip since it is so close. Gambling isn’t our thing so I appreciate this post!
I’m glad I could provide a little inspiration for your trip then! I just scratched the surface, so if you need more non-gambling ideas, check out my Vegas board on Pinterest, Jessica.
I’m not a gambler at all but I’m all for Vegas! It’s awesome for budget travellers too, there’s so much to do & see for free, and you can get awesome hotel & food deals. Can’t wait to go back in the summer!
Yes, so much to do and see for free! You could spend a whole day wandering the Strip and only spend money on food and drink. I’ve seen some fantastic promotions for Vegas hotels, especially during the summer. Hopefully, you’ll snag a great deal for your next visit, Sheena!
Las Vegas has so much to offer but I do worry I’d get trapped in the casinos and miss it. I can’t help myself, I loved a good casino 😉
Too funny, Claire! I’m not a gambler, but if I were, it does seem like Vegas would pull me in. Luckily, the casinos, hotels, and restaurants are all conveniently in one place!
Great post! With family in Vegas, we’ve had the opportunity to watch the city evolve. We’re so glad there is more to do now than just Circus Circus and club shows. This post has us planning a return trip! #WeekendWanderlust
Thank you, Rob. Vegas certainly has changed over the years, hasn’t it? I can’t keep up with all the restaurants and shows!
I’m not a gambler – in fact, I once read a book in the corner of a casino while my husband gambled – but my extended family are so I’ve been to Vegas a few times. And I think you’ve dispelled that notion that Vegas is only for gamblers. I’ve never run out of things to do there!
Thanks, Jill! I can’t imagine running out of things to do in Vegas. Each hotel has its own unique theme with restaurants, pools, shops, and attractions to explore! And, that’s just on the Strip! As a return visitor you can also explore other parts of the city that most visitors don’t have time to see on a weekend getaway. Plus day trips the Hoover Dam or Grand Canyon. So much to do!
My favorite thing to do in Vegas is the Venetian. I love the canal and Venetian streets. It makes me feel like I’m actually in Venice. #weekendwanderlust
The all you can eat buffet sounds amazing. This post is just what we needed since we are not big on gambling. Thanks for all the tips.
It’s funny because the last major vacation my husband and I took was to Vegas — 5 years ago! And neither of us are gamblers but we had such a blast! We saw a couple of shows and did a lot of exploring!!
Walking the vegas strip was fun when I went. You bump into so many interesting things.
Wow, that looks really cool!
This is great – Vegas is such an inexpensive place to fly to and stay for the level of accommodations you get in the hotels! I would totally take the kids here for a fun, gambling-free spring break.
Liz I did the same thing years ago. Want to add that having the buffet in the same building Zuma nitty is in is the best buffet I had. Very nice night out and even if you’re alone, you’ll quickly talk to people around you at dinner!
Cork and Fork Aficionado
This would have been perfect for my parents to read before they went to Vegas in October. They are not really into gambling but really wanted to go. I will send this to them in case they decide to ever decide to go again!
Kate @ Love from Scotland
Great guide, i’ve pinned it for the suggestions of pool parties – oh I need some fun!
Love it! I could use a fun vacation by the pool right now, too. 🙂
Great post – I’ve loved Vegas ever since my parents started taking me there as a teen. I’m heading there in a few weeks for work, too 🙂 staying at Paris but usually I stay at Ballys. I stayed at the Wynn once, in 2009, which was fab, too.
My favorite non-casino activity is the shows! I bought myself a ticket for Zumanity (NYNY, Cirque du Soleil) this time.
Zumanity looks like a fun show. Have fun in Vegas, Liz!