Top Things to Do in Las Vegas that Aren’t in a Casino
Las Vegas is like no other city you’ve ever visited. It’s a sensory overload and it’s fantastic.
Although it started as a gambling haven, it has developed and redefined itself to become a city where anything is possible and your every whim is catered for.
If you think gambling, casinos and hours at the slot machines are all you can do in Vegas, then get ready to learn about some of the (endless) things you can do instead…
Ziplining at Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon
While the nervous energy is palpable during the safety demonstration, the zipline in Bootleg Canyon is an absolute must. Approx. 40 mins outside Vegas in Boulder City, you start with a drive up to the mountain, filled with stories, jokes and a little hair-raising driving to keep you alert. The guides, our guides were Matt, Vincent and Meg, were super friendly, helpful and definitely settled nerves. Once you drive up, there’s a 15min hike up the mountain and, although the terrain isn’t great, there’s plenty of stops so it’s really manageable.
The first zipline is the most nerve-wracking, but, once you start zipping, you’re too focused on the adrenaline rushing through your body, the breathtaking scenery and trying to remember what all the flag signals mean to feel any morsel of fear. The second zipline is even longer and you get to try out a new position that counteracts the speed of your descent. Safe to say, everyone wanted it to go on for longer. After posing for some cute group photos on the steps, you climb up to the third zipline. This one is the longest and you’re practically horizontal for it – unreal! The final zipline is short but fast, giving you that last adrenaline rush and leave you wanting more.
It’s $159 per person, and totally worth it! I’d recommend doing it in the morning when it’s a bit cooler. You can learn more about Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon here.
If you aren’t sure about doing a big zipline like that, try out the zipline at the LINQ Hotel or the Slotzilla zipline that goes the length of Freemont Street.
The Mob Museum
Located just a 5min walk from Freemont Street in Downtown Vegas, is the Mob Museum – a treasure trove of insight into the mob’s legacy in not only Las Vegas, but the USA as a whole.
The mafia was a huge part of Las Vegas’ development and growth in the 1930’s. For example, the iconic Flamingo Hotel, opposite Caesar’s Palace, was initially funded and developed by the notorious mobster and member of Murder Inc., Bugsy Siegel.
In the Mob Museum, you’ll sit in the courtroom that held mob testimonies in the Kefauver Committee Hearings of the 1950s, you’ll see a section of the wall from the Valentine’s Day Massacre and you can experience an authentic speakeasy bar while learning about the Prohibition Era. If you’re as fascinated with that era as this writer is, you could easily spend a full morning or afternoon there.
General admission is $26.95, which includes access to all the permanent exhibition. You can also get a Deluxe ticket for $38.75, which includes the permanent exhibits and one special experience. Or get a Premier ticket for $44.95, which includes the permanent exhibits and two special experiences. You can learn more about The Mob Museum here.
Drink at a Speakeasy
Of course, you can visit the Speakeasy in The Mob Museum for the most authentic experience, but, Vegas has plenty to choose from on the Strip. But our favourite has to be a visit to The Cosmopolitan Hotel.
In their barbershop, you’ll find a secret (well, not so secret now) door. Using a password found on their social media, you’ll enter their Barbershop Cuts Speakeasy. With plush leather couches, a little stage and an old school bar adorned with a vintage till you’ll feel like you’re going back in time.
Or visit Ghost Donkey, their smaller and almost trickier to find speakeasy at the back of the food court. It only has 29 seats and is the place to go for tequila and nachos. It’s cosy, has cute decor and filled with twinkling fairy lights.
See the Strip Sparkle
When you walk along the Strip, the hotels tower above you. As wild as it is during the day, the night is when the Strip really comes into its own. If you want to really experience the lights of Las Vegas, take a helicopter tour of the Strip at nighttime.
Flying with Maverick Helicopters, you’ll be picked up (and dropped off) at your hotel. When you arrive at their terminal, you’ll check in and relax with some complimentary bubbles until you’re called for your flight.
Your pilot talks you through everything and then it’s time to get your seat. The flight is relatively short – around 15 minutes – but it is absolutely stunning. Flying down the Strip, you’ll see all the hotels lit up. You’ll see the expanse of Las Vegas. You’ll see all the cars lighting up the roads around Vegas. You might even spot the fountains dancing at the Bellagio!
It’s $104 per person, which includes your transfers to and from the terminal and, of course, your flight. You can find out more about the Strip Helicopter Tours here.
People Watch on Freemont Street
Downtown Vegas is where Vegas began and Freemont Street is at the heart of it. It’s weird and wonderful. It’s bizarre and far from banal.
Once darkness falls, head down to Freemont Street, grab a drink from the shop (a bag of cans is perfectly acceptable here) and just soak it all in. If you enjoy people watching, then Freemont Street is the perfect place to spend an evening!
Covered by a LED dome and home to the famous Golden Nugget, Freemont Street is alive at night with bands performing and endless street performers. Freemont East (after SlotZilla) has undergone a transformation and is where the locals go. It’s filled with cool bars and a shipping container park with cool and trendy shops. Corduroy Bar is an excellent choice for an award-winning Moscow Mule!
You can learn more about Freemont Street and Downtown here.
Go to a Show
Vegas is the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ so you can’t go home without going to one of the many, many shows it has on offer. From artist residencies to comedians to musicals and magicians, there’s something to suit everyone.
Cirque du Soleil is a behemoth when it comes to shows in Vegas. They have 7 shows to choose from and all are unique and specific to Las Vegas – so you won’t see them on the touring circuit.
Ask people in Vegas what their favourite Cirque du Soleil show is and chances are they’ll say it’s ‘LOVE’, the Beatles show, and understandably so. It blends mind-boggling acrobatics with energetic dance, a bizarre story with imaginative and creative use of the stage and props with the Beatles’ top hits. You’ll leave humming the songs with a rekindled love of the Beatles and have a smile from ear to ear as it is a truly brilliant experience.
You can find out more about Cirque du Soleil’s shows here.
That’s only a handful of things you can do in Las Vegas. If we’ve piqued your interest for a trip to Vegas, then let us help you create your perfect getaway to the City of Lights…