Ever since opening its first casino in 1931, Las Vegas has remained the largest gambling destination in the United States. This is why it's easy for people to overlook how Vegas has more than just casino games to offer.
In fact, you can find plenty of things to do here even if you're not a gambler. From canyons to vegetarian restaurants to nightclubs, Las Vegas is full of non-gambling attractions.
You can read about 7 of these attractions below along with my thoughts on each one.
Some great attractions to visit in the middle of your Vegas trip include the Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyons. Not only do these spots feature breathtaking scenery, but they also offer temporary breaks from the glitz and glamour of Sin City.
Located halfway into Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a four hour drive from Vegas. But you'll find that it's worth the drive when considering the unforgettable canyon views, including one from the Skywalk that lets you safely look 700 feet below.
If you don't want to go this far, Red Rock Canyon is a nice alternative. Located 20 miles from the Vegas Strip, Red Rock offers horseback riding, rock climbing, scenic drives, and lengthy hiking trails.
You may not go to Las Vegas for the dining experience alone. However, you certainly won't be disappointed with all of the restaurants that you'll find.
Here are just a few examples of the many fine dining experiences in Sin City:
Bazaar Meats– Opened by famed chef José Andrés, Bazaar Meats features a number of carnivorous dishes from around the world. Suckling pig from Spain, A5 Kobe from Japan, and Finnish caviar are just some of the exotic dishes that you'll find.
Joel Robuchon Restaurant – The atmosphere alone is enough reason to eat here since the Joel Robuchon Restaurant features opulent French décor and huge chandeliers in each room. Some of the delicious French cuisine that you can expect to find here includes black truffles, caviar, and foie gras.
Estiatorio Milos – Opened in the Cosmopolitan in 2010, Estiatorio Milos specializes in Mediterranean dishes like Portuguese grilled sardines, salt crusted fish, and real Greek yogurt.
Cut – Las Vegas has no shortage of steak houses, but this one by Wolfgang Puck is special. Opened in the Palazzo in 2008, Cut only does meat, which means your steaks are being made by masters.
While Cirque du Soleil travels all over the world, this Montreal based performance troupe does multiple shows in Las Vegas every night.
Cirque du Soleil is a stunning combination of acrobatics, dancing, music, and talents that come together to tell a story. And what's nice is that you can catch this act at multiple Vegas resorts.
Of course, Cirque du Soleil isn't the only act in town because Vegas also offers a number of other shows and featured singers. Notable performers include: Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Thunder from Down Under, Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood, and Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace.
The construction of the Hoover Dam is actually one of the biggest reasons why Las Vegas still thrived during the Great Depression. Construction lasted from 1931 to '36, with many of the workers frequenting Vegas.
Today, it's the other way around because Sin City visitors often make the 40 minute trip to see the 700 foot high dam.
You can enjoy hour long tours of the Hoover Dam where you'll see the power plant, passageways, and the dam itself. The visitor center also includes movies about the dam, maps, photos, and various displays.
If shopping is your thing, then Fashion Show Mall is the place to go. It's hard to miss this building because it has two towers and a giant oval shaped disc above the actual mall.
Located on the Vegas Strip, the mall spans 1.9 million feet, houses 250+ stores, and features weekly fashion shows. Some of the notable stores spanning over 100,000 feet here include Dillard's, Forever 21, Macy's, Macy's Men's Store, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
If you'd like to catch a fashion show, visit the runway in the mall's center atrium during scheduled events.
One of the best reasons to visit Downtown Las Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience. Spanning five blocks, this attraction features light shows, concerts, restaurants, and stores.
Specific attractions include the SlotZilla zip line, Viva Vision lighted canopy, Pedestrian Mall, and the Neonopolis Mall. SlotZilla has become especially famous because this 12 story zip line allows visitors to go the entire length of the Pedestrian Mall.
If you want to travel from the Vegas Strip to Freemont Street, you can get here cheaply through the city's Deuce and SDX busses.
If you're looking for a drink, Las Vegas has just about every nightclub experience imaginable.
Drai's After Hours is an excellent spot for those who want an elegant, quiet setting. XS nightclub is a little more vibrant, but it also offers posh lounge furniture if you're not into crowded dance floors.
Those seeking a high energy experience will find that Hakkasan, Hyde Bellagio, Foxtail, and Marquee offer loud music and big dance crowds. Also look for the many day clubs throughout Las Vegas that combine huge pools with modern music.
Las Vegas is often referred to as an adult playground, and it's not hard to see why when you consider all that this city has to offer.
Canyons, clubbing, hiking, fine dining, shopping, and zip lining are just some of the activities I've covered. But keep in mind that Sin City has far more than the seven attractions listed above, including 24 hour wedding chapels, NASCAR driving experiences, go karting, strip clubs, shooting ranges, and roller coasters.
So if you're looking for a great spot to take your next vacation, Las Vegas is sure to have something that you'll enjoy.