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Best Things to Do in Las Vegas Besides Gambling

Updated: September 21, 2023

While many people visit "Sin City” for its casinos, there are plenty of things to do besides gambling in Las Vegas.

From extravagant entertainment to free fountain shows, from delicious dining experiences to thrilling adventures, Las Vegas has something for everyone!

Take in a show

This is one of the very best things to do in Vegas besides gambling!

If there were no casinos in Las Vegas, people would still flock here for the electrifying entertainment.

Two popular productions are The Beatles: LOVE and Michael Jackson: ONE.

Cirque du Soleil’s latest hit is Mad Apple with amazing acrobatics. And you can always rely on David Copperfield to perform mystical acts of magic!

Read about other great Las Vegas shows here.

Many shows and other entertainment are included for free with Las Vegas tourist passes, so you can save money on tickets.

See the free fountain shows

This is one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas

The famous Bellagio Fountains put on a 5-minute ‘show’ and it is quite the sight! The 460-foot-tall water jets and dancing lights are synchronized to over 30 different songs.

For something a bit different, the volcano at The Mirage erupts, shooting fire, water, light and music! (See it now before it closes sometime in 2024).

More fire and water can be seen at the Fall of Atlantis show at Caesar’s Palace.

Lake of Dreams at Wynn is a waterfall lit with 4,000 lights, fog effects, and puppets synchronized to music.

These spectacular free shows are not only free but also an incredibly family-friendly activity in Las Vegas, sure to please the kids.

Go on a sightseeing tour

Discover the highlights of Vegas, that have nothing to do with gambling!

Big Bus Tours gives you an excellent overview of Las Vegas. Stay on the bus the whole time or hop off to see sights you are interested in. Hop back on when you are ready to move on!

Take the Big Bus Night Tour and see Las Vegas at its most spectacular, when the sun is down and the lights are on.

If you weren't aware, you can take walking tours of the city. Get a close-up look at the highlights of Sin City.

Visit the Mob Museum

Speaking of Sin City, mobsters have had a long connection with Vegas. A fantastic attraction in Vegas is the Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.

Learn about famous gangsters and mobsters through four floors of artifacts like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall. Get engaged through interactive exhibits and digital experiences.

Check out the Strip

Casinos aren’t the only establishments along the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip runs from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino to the Stratosphere. 

First and foremost, you must take a photo next to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. It is so Instagrammable! Let everyone know you’re here!

Then walk past the glitzy themed hotels, like the Paris Las Vegas, with its half-scale version of the Eiffel Tower. (You can go up to the top! Read more and buy tickets here).

Visit Egypt at the Luxor, a pyramid-shaped hotel with a 110-foot replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza outside.

See what other fun things there are to do along the Las Vegas Strip.

Check out the Fremont Street Experience 

The Fremont Street Experience really is an experience! It’s free to enjoy too.

See free concerts across three open stages. Watch the colorful street performers and the even more colorful Viva Vision light show every night.

It’s an area that’s a bit gritty, that’s close to downtown Las Vegas, so you’ll see a whole other side to the city,

Interestingly, many visitors like the Fremont Street more than the Strip!

Go to a sports game

This is a great thing to do in Las Vegas besides gamble, though you can certainly bet online for your favorite teams!

Las Vegas is home to several sports teams. Here’s who's playing and what time of year you can see them.

Dig in at an all-you-can-eat buffet

Las Vegas is known for its all-you-can-eat buffets. 

One to check out is the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. It's the biggest buffet in town.

Choose from more than 200 dishes of many cuisines. You can add an all-you-can-drink package with beer, wine, mimosas, and champagne.

An interesting and filling buffest experience can be had at Nabe Hot Pot. Try unique cuisine centered around Japanese-style hot pot dishes.

Our post, The Best Buffets in Vegas goes into detail about buffest in all price categories, types of food served and hours they are open.

Try a Secret Food Tour

Instead of a buffet, go on a 3-hour Secret Food Tour led by a passionate foodie!

You’ll sample world-class cuisine from several countries and more than 20 celebrity chefs.

Your guide will share with you the history of the city, and how the Vegas food scene has changed over time.

You’ll even learn how Shrimp Cocktail got its start in VegasYou can get more information and purchase tickets here.

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Can’t get enough of the stuff? You've come to the right place!

If you can head out of Vegas for a few hours, visit a chocolate factory at Ethel M Chocolates in Henderson, Nevada.

You can take a free self-guided tour and of course, pick up some to nibble on. Better still, purchase a tasting package and eat fresh chocolates on the spot!

If you need a quick fix in town, run to Hershey's Chocolate World at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino for 800 Hershey’s chocolates and candies in a massive 13,000-square-foot store. 

Visit Venice, Vegas-style

At the Venetian Hotel & Casino, you can experience Venice right here in the US. 

This hotel has man-made canals that pass indoors through the Grand Canal Shoppes. The outdoor gondola experience glides under a replica Rialto bridge. 

The view of the Las Vegas Strip is marvelous. Purchase your gondola ride tickets here.

While you're there, do some shopping and catch free live entertainment at the Grand Canal Shoppes.

Mingle with the rich and famous

At Madame Tussauds, you can get up close and personal with the life-like wax figures of celebrities and famous individuals.

Pose with Elvis, Celine Dion, Dwayne Johnson, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus.

What would a trip to Vegas be without a picture with the Rat Pack?

Madame Tussauds is located right outside the Venetian, so why not combine a visit to Madame Tussauds with a gondola ride? Purchase tickets here.

Relax in ‘nature’ at Mystic Falls Park

Strangely located in the middle of Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, the 25,000-square-foot Mystic Falls Park is a place to unwind in a peaceful environment.

Come here to chill out among the walking paths through live trees, past waterfalls, to the sound of chirping birds.

Catch the 10-minute Mystic Falls Sunset Stampede Laser Light Show where dancing fountains are synchronized to music and colorful laser lights.

Stroll through a botanical garden

Enjoy the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden inside the Bellagio Hotel. Though smaller than Mystic Park, you’ll see an impressive range of horticulture.

Stroll among colorful flowers and trees, cross bridges over ponds and admire the stunning floral designs that change every season with special displays on many holidays.

When you step inside the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden you won't believe you are in Las Vegas!

Sky high adventures

Soar above Vegas and beyond!

This hot air balloon ride takes you over Pahrump Valley just an hour outside of Vegas. 

Go as high as 10,000 feet for a bird’s eye view of the surrounding mountains and the desert below.

Helicopter flights are also very popular in Las Vegas.

This helicopter flight at night rises above all the neon signs for a breathtaking view of the glittering city.

Head to the thrill rides

Some people get adrenaline-high gambling, while others get their kicks riding thrilling amusement rides. The Stratosphere (Strat) Hotel’s Tower has some awesome ones. 

Experience a free-fall on the Sky Jump from the Tower or shoot 160 feet in the air at 45 mph on the Big Shot. Don't worry, you're strapped in!

Spin at 3 Gs while dangling from the Strat Tower on the Insanity ride. Teeter over the edge of the Tower on a roller coaster 866 feet high on X-Scream.

Meanwhile, over at the Linq Promenade, whizz over the people on the streets beneath you riding the Fly LINQ zipline and look down at them from the High Roller Observation Wheel.


Las Vegas is situated among so many natural wonders, that it makes sense to take a day trip to see some of the most breathtaking landscapes in America.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Tours are long (as long as 12 hours) but unbelievably worth the time. The Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world. 

Helicopter tours make your experience that much more spectacular. You’ll fly over the canyon as well as Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Make the most of your time away from Vegas and take one of the combined Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam tours available.

Read about the many options here.

Red Rock Canyon

If you only have a half-day but want to see some beautiful natural landscapes, this tour of Red Rock Canyon is the place to go. 

This highly rated 4-hour trip includes time driving through picture-perfect scenery in an open-door van and also some time on the ground.

There will be some time on the ground walking easy trails.

After. you’ll visit a state park with lush green pastures, an old mining town from the 1800s, and American Indian heritage sites.

Valley of Fire State Park 

This award-winning 5-hour tour from Las Vegas takes you to the electric landscape of Valley of Fire State Park.

The fiery red stone formations look ablaze when the sun beams down on them. On a tour, you’ll see natural splendor and also learn about how this unique terrain was formed.

For thousands of years, Native American-Indian tribes lived in this landscape and your guide shares insight into Native American legends, history, and myths about the park. 

You’ll also be able to see ancient petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: September 21st, 2023
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