Things To Do In Vegas, Besides Gamble

You might think that Vegas is all about gambling, but there is other stuff to do. If the casinos have taken their share, check out some of these other activities. I have tried, when ever possible to list things that are not on The Strip, and when possible, unique to Las Vegas. I know that the Bellagio is on The Strip, but it truly is an amazing gallery. No other art gallery in the state has access to the kind of artwork you will find there.  There is also a list of the best off-strip restaurants, which also happen to be unique to Las Vegas.



  • Springs Preserve - The Springs Preserve is a 180-acre non-gaming cultural and historical attraction designed to commemorate Las Vegas' dynamic history and to provide a vision for a sustainable future.
  • Known as the birthplace of Las Vegas, the site of the Preserve was once home to bubbling springs that were a source of water for Native Americans living here thousands of years ago. It also sustained travelers of the Old Spanish Trail and Mormons who came to settle the West.
  • Hoover Dam - The information that you need to plan your trip. Here is where you will find a description of the tour, admission fees, directions and more.
  • Red Rock Canyon - The Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center is a focal point for visitor orientation. The multiple facilities offer information and interpretation about recreation opportunities, wildlife, wild horses and burros, vegetation, geology, cultural resources and much more.
  • The Atomic Testing Museum - The Atomic Testing Museum permanent exhibits portray world history as community history through varied representations of the story of the NTS and its programs, first-person narratives, large iconic artifacts, environmental re-creations, interactive elements for personal exploration in multi-media presentations and stunning graphics, many not seen before.
  • Bonnie Springs Old Nevada - Originally built in 1843 as a stopover for the wagon trains going to California down the Old Spanish Trail.
  • Valley of Fire - Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park, dedicated 1935. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyph.
  • Lake Mead - Lake Mead offers year-round recreational opportunities. Its lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, and fishermen while its desert rewards hikers, wildlife photographers, and roadside sightseers. It is also home to thousands of desert plants and animals, adapted to survive in an extreme place where rain is scarce and temperatures soar.
  • Clark County Museum

Restaurants - Not on the Strip Las Vegas has lots of restaurants in the mega-resorts. While these are some of the finest culinary experiences in the world, Vegas has many off-strip originals.

  • Todd's Unique Dining - Excellent Food. Casual yet upscale dining.  Try the Goat Cheese Wontons, Grumpy Salad and the Short Rib.  2010 and 2011 winnner of the Best of Vegas for Gourmet Resturant
  • Honey Salt - The most recent that I've visited.  The chared octopus was amazing.  Also, the play on the capresse salad with shaved semi-sweet chocolate was a surprise and just a delight.  I'll be back.
  • Settabello Pizza - Like in Italy.  Really Excellent!
  • Panevino - Italian, great views of the strip without the hassle of the strip. Fantastic.
  • Vintner Grill -Great food.  They make their own cheese.  Quirky decore. Always a great meal.
  • EN Sushi - My favorite sushi place.  Way down south in Anthem.  There are a lot of high end sushi joints in Las Vegas, but EN really gets it done for me.  Very high value to price ratio.
  • Rosemary's Restaurant - My favorite, anywhere...UPDATE... I am sad...Very sad to report that Rosemarys has closed it's doors.  I hope that Michael and Wendy find a new place, and am hopeful that their food continues to live on through their cookbok.  I have a copy and am grateful to have it.

Restaurants - On the Strip  Fine dining on the Strip.  I love to eat good food, while there are many great resturants for "locals" there is, of course great food to be had on the strip as well.

  • Jaleo - at the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  This Jose Andres staple originally found in Washington DC is re-invented for it's Las Vegas implementation.  I had dined at the DC spot in 2010 and am really glad to see this incarnation in Las Vegas.
  • The Barrymore - Adding a contemporary twist to retro Vegas, Barrymore servers up American Classic cuisine that's both approachable and unpretentious. Handcrafted cocktails and a selection of one-of-a-kind vinos from across the globe.  Again excellent food and vibe.  Cool decor (in the blue room in the back...) If you are in for trying a bunch of dishes, ask for a 4-top...
  • Craftsteak - at the MGM Grand.  Chef Tom Colicchio's interation of the craft line of resturants.  Really great food and service.  Fennel salad fantastic, and whipped potatoes with enought butter to stop your heart, not to mention the steak.  Ask about the prix fixe menu.  We have been able to get a great cross section of many of the favorites for  a reasonable (at least in the 'fine dining' category) price.
  • Bouchon - at the Venetian.  Bouchon is the vision of world-renowned chef Thomas Keller, who was named "America's Best Chef" by Time magazine. He is also the sole recipient of consecutive "Best Chef" awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation. Located in the Venezia tower, Bouchon brings to Las Vegas the top cuisine and service that have made it a Napa Valley institution.  Try a gin a tonic with the house made tonic.  French, elegant, but relaxed.
  • Margaritaville - ok.  A little lower end than the previous mentions, but it's fun, good burgers and margarittas.  Bring friends, try the conch fritters, a "Loaded Landshark", and don't forget the Heinz 57 on the burger Not to mention the magazine ready burger that arrived at my table.  Located at the Flamingo Hotel.
  • Anthony's - at the M Resort.  It's a ways down the Strip, but worth the drive.  The bone-in filet is really great. The bone makes such a difference in the flavor of the cut.  The complement of appetizers is pretty standard for a steak house, but done very well.  I really enjoy the Foie and the Beef Carpaccio.  They cut the beef a little thicker and the dish feels more substantial than most dishes of the same like.  Worth the drive.

Unique Fun Activities

  • Pawn Stars - Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is the store that 'The Old Man' and Rick own. It's busy these days, I assume due to the show, but never the less, a fun place to visit.  Bring something of interest.
  • Maverick Helicopter Tours - a flight above the Las Vegas Strip, or a trip throughout the stunning Southwest, as well at trips to the Grand Canyon from the Las Vegas Strip. Experience a breathtaking tour of the most beautiful scenery in the Western United States.
  • Ethel M Chocolate Factory - Ethel’s. Chocolate represents a proud heritage of chocolate making that started when our founder, Forrest Mars Sr., watched his mother create gourmet chocolates in their home during the early nineteen-hundreds.  Self Guided Tours and special events during the holidays.
  • Fast Lap - Indoor Go Carts - Gasoline powered karts that can reach speeds of up to 50 MPH.
  • Flyaway Indoor Skydiving - Flyaway Indoor Skydiving is a vertical wind tunnel that allows you to experience the freedom of human flight. What a blast! You'll laugh the whole time.
  • SkyMania Trampolines and Dodge-ball...Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park has created and built the world’s first all-trampoline, walled playing courts. It's a playing court that is original and unique.
  • Las Vegas Motor Speedway - From NASCAR events to race driving school. Events are held throughout the year.
  • Exotics Racing - So you want to drive one of those fast cars... $99 to as-much-as-you-want-to-spend.  Heres a video of a friend of mine getting his drive on...  in a Porsche 997


Las Vegas Golf

My Favorite Golf Courses


 Hotel Deals RSS Feed Due to the downturn in the economy Las Vegas is full of great deals right now 4-star hotels at 2 star prices! Get up to 60% off retail rates . This is the coolest thing around. iconIf you have never been to Vegas or are looking to visit here for the first time, now is the time.

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 Free Stuff to do on the Strip

If your staying down on the strip and are interested in some free activities try these

  • The Volcano at the Mirage - Revamped and reopened in 2009. The new volcano features more fire and original music by Micky Hart from the Grateful Dead. Even if you have seen it before, it's worth seeing again.
  • The Fountains of Bellagio - Absolutely amazing. The fountains are great from the street, but I like to get a table on the terrace at the Fontana Bar. You can enjoy a cocktail and watch the fountain shows with a front row seat.
  • The Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio - The gardens are changed several time through out the year, so there's always something new to see.
  • Caesars Palace Fall of Atlantis Show - Located in the Forums Shops at Caesars Palace. If you hapen to get there around fish feeding time, its neat to see the divers in the huge fish tank on the back of the attraction.
  • Freemont Street Experience - Technically not on the strip. It's quite a walk, so you might want to take a cab. Amazing light show and free street concerts almost every night on several stages.
  • The Sirens of TI - at Treasure Island. I think the show was better before the revamp, but it's still a great setting and cool to see the ship sink. Stick around following the show to see the ship un-sink.
  • The Lion Habait at the MGM Grand - a one-of-a-kind Lion Habitat as a showcase for public education and appreciation for this majestic creature of nature.
  • The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign - Located south of Mandalay Bay in the middle of Las Vegas Boulavard. The sign used to be surrounded by dirt, but the area has recently been improved to include a parking lot and landscaping, making it an attractive and popular place for a photo opportunity.
  • City Center - An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, CityCenter offers a new era of resort experiences with an ambition to refine and redefine Las Vegas.
  • The Cosmopolitan - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a unique luxury resort offering a decidedly different perspective, situated in the heart of The Strip. The resort's uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized, residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. The Cosmopolitan's luxurious resort amenities include a 100,000-square-foot casino; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool experiences at The Pool District; Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan, a multi-level integrated nightclub; a diverse and dynamic restaurant collection; nine eclectic retail boutiques and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space.

Some of these activities cost money, but if your looking for free activities, Vegas is loaded with them. Most of the mega-casinos have a "Front Feature" which is designed to generate traffic.  These links are sort of a stream of consciousness list. I figure I might as well make them available to everyone.

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