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 six suggestions of things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling for first-time visitors.
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 at the Bellagio, gondolas floating along shop-lined canals in the Venetian, and Roman art and architecture inside Caesars Palace.
Best of all, this activity is entirely free. Though 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. Alcoholic drinks are allowed on the Strip!
Take A Ride On The Wild Side
Each 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 jump the world’s tallest free fall or play it a bit safer by riding one of several 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 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 come to the right destination. Every weekend the ultimate Vegas pool party hits Hard Rock Hotel’s Rehab when three acres full of swimsuit-clad partiers take to the man-made beaches and lazy river. At the Palms Casino Resort Pool, a young, raucous crowd parties their “Ditch Fridays” poolside.
Seeking tranquility? A more relaxed poolside experience is offered at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace. There you’ll find seven pools, 44 cabanas, and swim-up blackjack in a Roman oasis.
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, Magic Mike Live 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 sleeper, I bet you’ll want to order room-service breakfast and lounge a bit.
Las Vegas has fantastic luxury hotel and resort options including ARIA Sky Suites, the Mandarin Oriental, 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. You don’t need to book these airport-to-hotel shuttles in advance. You’ll just purchase a ticket outside the terminal and wait for your chariot to arrive. I found taking a taxi was more convenient for returning to the airport from my hotel.
- Peruse my Las Vegas board on Pinterest for more itinerary ideas, packing lists, and tips for trip!
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What are your favorite non-gambling activities in Las Vegas?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you book your Las Vegas hotel through one of my TripAdvisor links, I receive a small commission to sustain this blog. Thank you for your continued support of The Epicurean Traveler. As always, all opinions shared are my own and all recommendations have been thoroughly researched or experienced by yours truly.