Las Vegas Offers More Than Gambling

Poker Chips

Poker Chips (Jamie Adams via Wikimedia Commons)

Circa: The Strip.

For tourists, Las Vegas conjures up images of neon lights, lively entertainment, and extravagant hotels and restaurants. And of course, the lure of casinos.

Gambling has existed in this town long before roller coasters, pirate shows, and musical dancing water displays.

Today, many locals only step foot on the Strip when out of town relatives and friends come to visit. It is a tourist madhouse. One with no shortage of tourists.

I have been to Sin City at least a dozen times in my life, beginning with the customary 21st birthday present. I will not mention the year, but I will say that it was during the boom of the Strip’s themed mega-resorts. Each time I have been, I have spent less than $100 (often significantly less) on gambling. And still had a good time.

But I am Not a Gambler

When I meet people who have never been to Las Vegas or are appalled by the city, they present the same argument I often do for not visiting. I am one of those who professes, “I am not a gambler,” which is a true statement.  I have sat at a few of the slot machines over the years, but have not advanced much beyond that. Many non-gamblers feel there is no other reason to visit if they don’t want to throw down several hundred dollars in the casinos.

Some curious visitors fall into the “I’d like to gamble, but don’t know how” category. The tables can be intimidating for those who have not spent much time learning the rules of the game. With the exception of Craps and Roulette, everyone seems so serious. How can you bounce up to that with your “free” drink in hand without feeling a bit anxious?

I’ll stick to video Blackjack, thank you.

The Strip Does Exist Beyond Gambling

Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Strip

It took me awhile to get this concept. After years of coming here, I starting seeing options for other activities outside of sitting in a smoky casino all day.

For one, the food. In the hotels on the Strip, food choices are endless. But also void of the cheap buffets that existed in the 90’s. Getting off the Strip is a great option for food if you have a car. If you are bound to the Strip, you will not starve and likely gain 3-5 pounds over a long weekend.

For those who like to shop, each hotel includes dozens of boutiques to browse. There are also plenty of outlet and shopping malls. There is no shortage of shopping if that is your thing.

Las Vegas offers great shows including Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and plenty of concerts and comedians.

Another option that is completely free is people watching. Visitors come from all over the world and the mix of cultures, ages, and personalities makes for an entertaining afternoon without paying an entrance fee.

Hotels like The Bellagio and Treasure Island provide large shows in the front of the hotel. These are also free of charge and easy to watch while strolling down Las Vegas Boulevard.

Once you get your fill of the Strip, there is a long list of activities you can do in other parts of the city, including Fremont Street, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, hiking, biking, museums, golfing, and of course plenty more shopping and restaurants.

If You ARE Interested in Gambling…

Obviously, if you are interested in gambling, Vegas is THE place to go.

One way to learn the ropes without exasperating stares is to invest some time (and money) into an “online” casino. These real money online casinos can earn you cash along with bonuses that do not exist in the offline casino world. And without the intimidation factor.

I imagine this option is appealing to introverts or to those who don’t live in Las Vegas or other cities with legalized gambling. It is also a good way to “warm up.”

While you may want to practice a few of the games pre-trip or in the comfort of your hotel room, there is more to Las Vegas than gambling. I swear. You are not required to gamble online or offline while hanging out on the Strip.

Regardless of your motivation for coming to Las Vegas, it is a city I would recommend visiting at least once. Just to see. There really is nothing else that compares.

17 Responses to Las Vegas Offers More Than Gambling

  1. Las Vegas offers the biggest breakfast buffet’s I have ever seen in my life!

    Nate @yomadic March 27, 2012 at 7:16 am Reply
  2. I agree, Vegas is much more than gambling. There’s a ton to see and do. Most people never go beyond the two strips and rarely see most of what is there.

    I was too young to gamble when I was there, but still had a blast. Big shows are awesome and one of the biggest secrets is the Pinball Hall of Fame museum. Play a ton of pinball machines from vintage to current, so long as you have the quarters to spare. Personally, that sounds like more fun than poker or blackjack.

    • I have not heard of that – it sounds like fun!! :)

      Julie April 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm Reply
  3. Vegas… Money is that all matters. So they try to make more and more money trying to become a family destination. Good bet!

    roy April 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm Reply
  4. I visited Vegas only once so far and it was very brief and for two days it was all gambling. However, I would like to visit again, possibly for more than two days with less gambling and more sites seeing and taking in the city.

    vacation rental website design May 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm Reply
  5. Being an attractive tourist place LA has attracts thousands of visitor every month. I am keen to visit the city and will definitely be there this year. However, I am too not a Gambler but will love to see other playing this game.
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    Radha Chaudhary May 21, 2012 at 4:24 am Reply
  6. I never visited Vegas but i want to go this summer and hope it will be much more than gambling June 1, 2012 at 4:53 am Reply
  7. Vegas sounds amazing. Can’t wait to get out there to visit someday. Until then, the East Coast isn’t too bad. Myrtle Beach makes living here pretty cool.

    Myrtle Beach oceanfront resort June 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm Reply
  8. Yeah there is a lot more to do there than just gambling. I remembering going to Excalibur when I was a kid and that was lots of fun. As well as New York New York was amazing.

    Hotels in Edmonton June 27, 2012 at 8:01 am Reply
  9. Getting off the stip is the most important. If you stay in Vegas you will miss some pretty great stuff. Mount Charleston is amazing and only about 30 minutes outside Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is beautiful, and of course you have Hoover Dam.

    Las Vegas Travel Souvenir

    JPs Bears August 11, 2012 at 8:25 am Reply
    • I love Red Rock Canyon for hiking and yes, you must get off the strip!

      Julie August 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm Reply
  10. Oh Vegas, I still want to go there but I get annoyed when I lose $5 online so I don’t know how I’d cope with a bad streak in one of the top casinos!

    Tottenham Betting August 21, 2012 at 9:06 am Reply
  11. Like This !!!

    Wisata di Malang September 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm Reply
  12. Vegas Oh Vegas …

    Transport Malang September 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm Reply
  13. There’s a lot more to Las Vegas than the strip. Vegas is a big city! Outside the strip and gambling there’s beautiful real estate, geography, and landmarks. A great place to check out is the Valley of Fire if your looking for family fun. Wonderful trails.

    Las Vegas Classifieds October 24, 2012 at 11:44 pm Reply
  14. Las Vegas beautiful city with a rich variety of beauty of the city.
    I want to vacation in Las Vegas

    hotel di bandung February 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm Reply
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