Of course, there are the slot machines, but Vegas has so much more to offer year-round, it’s hard to decide what to do next. From taking in the latest Cirque du Soleil show to river rafting, you can do it all in Las Vegas.
But, there are a few things that top the list, besides gambling. I’ll reveal to you the five things I love to do when I’m in Vegas, besides playing slots.
Take in a Show
Vegas is not only the gambling capital of the country, it’s also a world-class entertainment city. For one, Mystère by Cirque du Soleil never gets old. The avante garde production plays at Treasure Island and it never ceases to amaze me. This is just one of the Cirque du Soleil shows playing around town, and every one is highly recommended.
Blue Man Group is another weird and wacky Las Vegas mainstay that can’t be missed. If you have kids with you, the insane drumming and constant, colorful movement of the Blue Man Group will thrill them.
Then there are the residency shows; you might be able to catch a performance by one of your favorite artists. Well-known residencies have included Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Usher, Katy Perry, and Keith Urban.
For my complete list of fabulous Las Vegas shows that cannot be missed, click here.
Feast on Fine Food
Besides gambling and entertainment, Las Vegas is famous for its all-you-can-eat buffets, featuring some of the finest food ever. Sin City’s world-class buffets allow you to sample the best foods from all over the world.
Besides buffets, the city has hundreds of world-class restaurants, as well as local favorites. From 5-star restaurants to humble local hangouts, Vegas has it all.
The eclectic eateries run by chef Dan Krohmer are ones you can’t miss; there’s Other Mama, featuring a menu of super fresh, sustainably grown seafood. Krohmer is also responsible for Hatsumi and La Monja Cantina both at Ferguson’s Motel. Hatsumi is a traditional omotenashi-style Japanese restaurant, while La Monja is an off-the-wall Mexican cantina.
You can also pick up a tub of authentic, Southern-style banana pudding while you’re in town, at the recently opened Gray’s Banana Pudding Store.
The Las Vegas Valley offers so much more besides the neon-lit casinos. Many people don’t realize, the city sits in the center of a beautiful, pristine desert, filled with outdoor adventure. Just a few miles west of town, you can explore the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This area is not only a popular drive, but it’s also a favorite with rock climbers.
East of Las Vegas is the Lake Mead Recreation Area, where you can take Northshore Drive along the lake. It’s gorgeous, full of fabulous rock formations and even wildlife; don’t be surprised if you see wild burros, wild horses, or even Bighorn sheep. Northshore Drive eventually comes to the entrance of Valley of Fire State Park.
Valley of Fire is a must-see whenever you come to Las Vegas. The red sandstone rock formations rival those found in Southern Utah. The colors of the rocks go from orange, pink, yellow, white, and black. It’s definitely a place to get out your camera and take a few shots for Instagram.
You can also rent a kayak and take a half-day trip down a peaceful stretch of the Colorado River through Black Canyon. Be sure to book a trip through the amazing Emerald Cave for even more Instagrammable moments.
Pay Homage to Cowboy Country
Dust off the glitz and glamor, and you’ll come face-to-face with Nevada’s gritty side. Usually, in December, the city plays host to the National Finals Rodeo. If you think the NFL is tough, wait until you see the best bull riders and steer wrestlers in the world compete.
For something a little more relaxing, you can also take a horseback tour through Red Rock Canyon at sunset. This peaceful ride ends with a barbeque and a bonfire. For early risers, you can take a horseback tour of a real, working ranch, ending with a cowboy breakfast of pancakes and eggs.
See the City from Above
The High Roller at the LINQ is the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, soaring 550 feet above The Strip. Hop aboard for a bird’s eye view of The Strip during the open bar Happy Hour.
For an even more expansive view of this amazing city, take a helicopter ride at night. A helicopter ride across the valley is more affordable than you might think. The entire valley shines like a sea of light. It’s truly a spectacular way to see the city we all love.