Vegas is awesome and has a lot to offer. We share the 10 best non-gambling experiences in Las Vegas, so you don’t miss a thing!
Why Las Vegas?
When you think about Las Vegas, the first thing that springs to mind is, well, the big, bold, and bright casinos. After all, the city was built to accommodate gambling. But Vegas is – and always has been – about much more than rolling dice.
Indeed, consider that Vegas is the second-fastest growing city in the United States. Or that it has been predicted to become the next big tech center to rival Silicon Valley. Or that only around 15% of visitors to the city plan to gamble.
The last point about so few tourists planning to gamble in the city that is famous for it is perhaps the most pertinent in light of the rise of online casinos and sports betting platforms. Once, Nevada, was a destination people went to because they couldn’t gamble in their home states, but that has changed across many states since the Supreme Court’s historic decision in 2018. If you can play games like Vegas Nights slots on your smartphone or PC, why travel to Nevada with the sole intention of gambling?
The good news is that Vegas has much to offer the non-gambler. There were always plenty of entertainment options designed to get people into the casinos, but we can add more to that as the city has matured over the years. So let’s get stuck in with 10 awesome Vegas experiences that have nothing to do with gambling:
Best experiences in Las Vegas
1. Catch an NFL, NHL, or (soon) NBA game
We mentioned that the city has come of age in recent years, and one of the ways it has done that it is by attracting two major sports franchises, the Vegas Golden Knights (ice hockey) and Las Vegas Raiders (football). Bringing pro sports to the city has been a huge success, as sports fans flocked to snap up tickets for the Raiders’ NFL games in particular. It’s widely rumored that Vegas will also get an NBA franchise soon.
2. Take the Family to the Discovery Children’s Museum
One of the misconceptions about Vegas is that it is an adult-only playground. While it caters to a lot of adult vices, there’s also a surprising amount to do for children. The Discovery Children’s Museum, located in Downtown Las Vegas, is a huge three-story sensory and activity center for kids of all ages. Adults, too, will find plenty of fun among the nine themed exhibition halls.
3. Dine In Style at the Mayfair Supper Club
The restaurant that everyone is talking about in 2022. The Mayfair Supper Club at the Bellagio offers an old-school dining experience with a hint of luxury. Reservations are in high demand, so you’ll have to book weeks in advance. Why all the fuss? It’s difficult to say, given Vegas is not short of fine dining options. But our guess is that the Mayfair Supper Club transports diners back to the time of Sinatra’s Vegas. Shrimp, lobster, New York strip steak, martinis, and Ol’ Blue Eyes crooning in the background. Perfect.
4. Explore Elvis’ Personal Treasures at The King’s Ransom Museum
Located on busy Fremont, the King’s Ransom Museum hosts what is arguably the best collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia outside of Graceland. Of course, like Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Elvis was synonymous with a certain epoch of Vegas and its hedonism. But this collection offers a more intimate insight into The King’s life. The museum promotes itself by showcasing items that had personal meaning to Elvis, everything from jewelry to guns.
5. Shop for Survival at the Zombie Apocalypse Store
When you think of the term “Only in Vegas”, a few things might spring to mind. But for us, the Zombie Apocalypse Store comes top of the list. The store, located on Spring Mountain Road, is part exhibition, part real-life survival store, selling funny zombie t-shirts and real machetes and gas masks. It’s weird, wonderful, and a little bit tacky. Perfect to wander around for 30 minutes.
6. Discover Fine Art at the LVAM
The Las Vegas Art Museum is arguably the best ‘classic’ art museum in the city, although some might prefer the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art. The LVAM does both adult-focused shows and those that would appeal to kids, it showcases local art as well as international artists, contemporary art and classical masterpieces. The venue has been relocated several times over the last 60 years or so, but it feels like it’s found its natural home at the Sahara West Library.
7. Travel Up to the Valley of Fire State Park
Vegas travel guides will offer no end of things to do outside of the city, but a trip to the Valley of Fire offers the most mesmerizing experience in our book. Parking entry fees cost just $15 ($10 if you have a Nevada license plate), and the park is open from sunrise to sunset. You’ll be astounded by the sweeping red Aztec sandstone formations, ancient petrified trees, and other wonders. If you really want to experience something magical, overnight camping facilities are available.
8. Experience the Unexplainable at the Omega Mart
Right now, the hottest attraction in Las Vegas is the Omega Mart. What is it? Well, it’s a little hard to explain. It is an exhibition (of sorts) by the Meow Wolf art collective. On the one hand, it is a big (in all respects) supermarket, but it is a supermarket with a narrative. Sounds boring? It isn’t, but it might not be to everyone’s tastes. You can check out reviews of this weird art show, but it’s probably better to experience it for yourself.
9. Pump the Gas with Exotics Racing
Vegas will always offer something for those who like to get their hearts pumping, and we can think of nothing better than Exotic Racing, a supercar race day experience. A good idea for bachelor parties looking to stay sober for a few hours, you can whizz around a pro racetrack in a Ferrari or Lamborghini. A word of warning, though, with prices starting at about $100, it’s the most expensive activity on this list.
10. Visit the Best Museum in Las Vegas
We have listed several museums in this guide and overlooked others, but (in our view) the best attraction in Las Vegas is the Mob Museum. Located on Stewart Avenue, it offers a complete history of the gangsters and molls who laid the foundation for what Las Vegas has become today. Moreover, it charts mob history overall in the United States. Catering to those who like everything from mob movies to American history, it’s the best museum in Las Vegas.
Best FREE things to do in Las Vegas
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.