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The neon signs marking out Las Vegas have made it an internationally famous destination, though while the city is most celebrated for the casinos that line its Strip, there is so much more than gambling culture.

The full Las Vegas experience includes colorful cocktails, live theatre shows, thrilling rides, mafia history, nature, concerts, and yes, casinos.

So if you’re after more than hitting the gambling floor, here’s a well rounded list of things to do … with only 1/10 being a casino (we couldn’t not include the Bellagio!).

Top 10 Things To Do in Vegas: More Than Just Casinos

Peppermill for Cocktails

Cocktail drink RF

Vegas is for sipping cocktails in luxurious surroundings and Peppermill is the place to do that. It’s a diner and lounge with iconic status, and has become one of the most famous places for drinks in the city.

At the front is the diner, which serves fantastic hash browns and eggs. After you have eaten though, go through to the back, which is home to the Fireside Lounge.

This features retro 1970s-style décor. In the center is a pit fire that guests congregate around for the legendary Peppermill Scorpion Bowl and nachos.

The Bellagio for Casino Culture

Bellagio Vegas RF

These days, an online casino will let you play every game imaginable. For all that though, the top Vegas casinos are still places that should be experienced.

There are so many along the Strip that picking one is almost impossible, but there is something special about the Bellagio – its fountains. They have featured in movies like Ocean’s Eleven, but witnessing them for real is something else. 

Plus inside, the opulent surroundings and huge gaming rooms are truly astounding.

Park Theater for Shows

Las Vegas is a town where the entertainment never ends and a great place to enjoy it is the Park Theater. Found on the Strip, it always has major music stars as it headline performers.

These include heavyweights like Cher, Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and Bruno Mars, so it caters to all tastes. If you can afford a VIP seat, you will get your own cocktail waiter.

Mob Museum for Gangster History

Mob Museum Vegas

Mob Museum Vegas

Another thing that Vegas is known for is its historic Mafia links and the Mob Museum is the place to learn more. It details the sordid and glamorous story of how gangsters helped to building a glittering gaming jewel in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Full of interactive displays and exhibits that take you into the heart of organized crime, this not-for-profit museum is a fascinating glimpse into darkness.

Image credits: Han Zheng (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr / Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

High Roller for Thrills

This rollercoaster – named in tribute to the casinos – is fairly new to Vegas. As usual, the city has gone for bigger and better.

The High Roller is 520 ft around, which surpasses rival wheels in Singapore and London, and a spin on it will last for half an hour.

In addition to being thrilling, it also lets you enjoy remarkable views of the city and landscape from 550 ft up in the air – if you can stop screaming that is!

Red Rock Canyon for Nature

Red Rock Canyon Vegas bike woman RF

If you want to clear your head after all that criminality, Red Rock Canyon is the place to go. It is a National Conservation Area that covers 13 miles and is ideal for a scenic drive.

Full of stunning rocky landscapes it has a number of trails for those who prefer to explore it the hard way – on foot. It feels like a totally different world to the Strip and reminds you that Vegas is a desert city.

Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck

Only Las Vegas would think of constructing a restaurant replica of the most famous French attraction at half-size. It is completely accurate in all its detailing at scale and can be found on top of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

The restaurant itself serves wonderful food and the experience of seeing the famous tower in the surroundings of Vegas rather than Paris is too surreal to be missed.

Hoover Dam for Architecture

Hoover Dam RF

This enormous dam was built back in the era of the Great Depression and 21,000 men labored five years to construct it. You can take a guided tour or opt to gaze at its imposing 726 ft curved wall from Lake Mead if you prefer.

The dam was completed in 1936, opened by President Roosevelt, and named after his predecessor Herbert Hoover. It is a feat of engineering and has remained one of the top Vegas attractions for nearly a century.

While technically not in the city itself, Hoover Dam is 40 minutes from Vegas and a worthy day trip for your itinerary.

FlowRider at Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood is a Las Vegas must anyway, as it always has big name artists in residency, but make time to visit FlowRider while you are there. It is located on the roof of the building.

FlowRider is an artificial wave simulator that will let you find out what it is like to ‘catch a wave’ on a surfboard in a safe way. It’s laidback vibe will also appeal to hardcore boarders though, so there is something for everyone.

The Colosseum for Concerts

You will find this impressive Roman-style concert hall within the enormous Caesar’s Palace hotel and casino complex. It attracts world famous singers and there is always a spectacular show to see, all year round. 

With the famed casinos of Vegas like this one, the gaming is only one of the attractions they have to offer. So even if you don’t like casinos, you will be missing out if you don’t pay a visit to at least one during your stay.

As you can see, Las Vegas is about more than just gaming – even its casinos are about more than just gaming. Every moment of your visit should be magic!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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