Sure, Las Vegas is synonymous with gambling, partying, epic buffets (and sometimes, epic hangovers). But did you know there’s a ton of other stuff to see and do on and off the Strip that doesn’t involve booze, craps tables or nightclubs? Once you’ve found a great deal on a flight to Sin City with Cheapflights.ca, here’s a list of over 50 cool things to check out in the city.
Watch the Mirage volcano erupt
You can catch sight of a volcano exploding nightly at the Mirage. The explosions and fireballs (no lava, sorry) happen outside the Las Vegas Boulevard main entrance Sunday to Thursday at 7 and 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.
Spend some time at the circus
The world’s largest permanent circus happens at, you guessed it, Circus Circus. You can catch a rotating roster of acts – from jugglers to trapeze artists – daily beginning at 11:30 a.m., all for free.
Explore the Bellagio Conservatory
The stunning conservatory at the Bellagio changes with the seasons, but no matter the floral display, expect vibrant colours and impressive artistry.
And stay to check out the fountains
The Bellagio is also home to some spectacular fountains. But not just any fountains. These ones are part of an elaborate show, complete with lights and music that’s well worth a watch even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
Visit the Neon Museum
If there’s one thing that Vegas is known for (other than gambling), it has to be neon signs. Take an hour-long guided tour of the Neon Museum and the Neon Boneyard, featuring more than 200 signs.
Shop the Zombie Apocalypse Store
Stock up on everything you need to fight zombies at the Zombie Apocalypse store. You know, just in case the zombies really are coming to eat our brains.
Ride the Big Apple rollercoaster
Vegas has everything – even roller coasters. The roller coaster at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino features a thrilling 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver – the world’s first coaster to do a move like that.
Take in the views from the world’s tallest observation wheel
You may have thought that the London Eye and Singapore Flyer were pretty big, but the High Roller in Las Vegas at the LINQ surpasses both. The tallest observation wheel in the world, it measures over 158 metres (520 feet) tall.
Take a gondola ride at the Venetian
No need to go all the way to Italy to experience a romantic gondola ride. If you happen to be in Las Vegas, you can get the next best thing courtesy of the Venetian Hotel with a gondola ride through the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes.
Learn about the mob at the Mob Museum
Anyone curious about real life mobsters (as oppose to the ones in movies and on TV) should make their way to the Mob Museum. This is your one-stop shop for everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the mob (and were maybe too afraid to ask).
Admire the Eiffel Tower
Like the Venetian, Paris Las Vegas offers its own version of an iconic European experience. This time, the Eiffel Tower. Get panoramic views of the Vegas Strip from the top, which is a 140 metre (460 foot) ride up in a glass elevator.
Go zip lining
Downtown Las Vegas is home to SlotZilla, a 12-story, slot machine-inspired zip line attraction. Choose from various heights and lengths, depending on your level of thrill-seeking.
Hike Red Rock Canyon
Work off some of those all-you-can-eat buffets that Vegas is so famous for with a hike in beautiful Red Rock Canyon, a short drive from the Strip. Get your legs moving and heart pumping with 19 different hikes and trails.
Strap on a water jetpack and learn how to zoom around above Lake Las Vegas with Flyboard Las Vegas.
Jump off the top of the Stratosphere
SkyJump has those daring enough to do it, leaping from over 250 metres (829 feet) above the Strip, off of the Stratosphere Tower. On the way down you’ll hit speeds of 40 miles per hour.
Hang out in Downtown Container Park
More than 40 shipping containers have been converted into small business at Downtown Container Park, where you can shop, eat, drink and dine off the Strip.
Take a gaming lesson
Need a refresher on your gaming skills? You can refresh your memory with a free lesson at the Luxor. The hotel’s casino staff offer free Craps, Black Jack and Roulette lessons daily on the casino floor at noon. Circus Circus also offers a free chance to up your gambling game daily. Learn Blackjack at 10:30 a.m., Roulette at 11:30 a.m., or Craps at 12:30 p.m.
Get out of Vegas with a bicycle tour
Las Vegas is surround by some seriously beautiful scenery and you can enjoy it on two wheels courtesy of Cycle Vegas Bicycle Tours. The company offers tours for all skill levels with rides down various trails that run through the Mojave Desert. If you don’t have a car, they’ll come pick you up at your hotel for an extra fee.
Play some pinball
Pinball fans can hit up the Pinball Hall of Fame to see and play over 100 machines from the 1950s to the 1990s. Older games will set you back a quarter while newer ones are 50 cents.
Visit Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Get off the Strip and head to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve to explore their botanical gardens, nature trails and museum exhibits. If you feel like getting some exercise, there are nearly six kilometres of trails here that take you through 110 acres of native habitats and archaeological sites.
Many of the hotels in Las Vegas are known for their sprawling spas, all with their own relaxing amenities that go well beyond plush treatment rooms. And the best part is, many of them offer day passes for people who just want to use the aforementioned amenities minus getting a pricey massage or body scrub. For example, spa day passes are $50 for non-hotel guests at the Spa at Aria and include use of their fitness centre, outdoor therapy pool, heated stone beds, Shio salt room and wet areas. Other spas that offer day passes include the Spa at The LINQ Hotel & Casino, Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian and the Spa at Mandalay Bay.
Participate in a First Friday
If you happen to be in Las Vegas on the first Friday of the month you can check out some art. Frist Friday art walks take you through various galleries in the downtown area’s arts district making for a unique Vegas experience away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.
Drive an exotic car
OK, so you might not be able to afford to buy a Lamborghini, but you can still take one out for a spin in Las Vegas courtesy of Exotics Racing. The company allows you to get behind the wheel of your dream car and give it a whirl, with coaching from a professional racing instructor.
Or a bulldozer
Maybe fancy cars don’t do it for you, but giant machines do. If that’s the case, you can drive a bulldozer, excavator and other construction-related machinery with Dig This Las Vegas.
Go skydiving – indoors
Does the thought of jumping out of an airplane make your palms sweaty with fear? You can still experience the sensation of freefalling – minus actually hurling yourself out of an airplane – with a visit to Vegas Indoor Skydiving.
If the thought of jumping out of an actual airplane thrills rather than terrifies you, you can do that in Vegas, too. Skydive Las Vegas offers Nevada’s highest skydive with views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Colorado River and Valley of Fire.
Kick back in Beer Park
Paris Las Vegas is home to Beer Park, a massive rooftop bar complete with picnic tables, over 100 beers to choose from, misters to keep you cool, games like foosball, beer pong and giant Jenga, and great views over the Strip.
Catch a (simulated) wave
FlowrRider at the Planet Hollywood Pools allows you to try your hand at surfing without setting foot in the ocean. The attraction is geared towards both beginners and expert wave riders.
Visit the National Atomic Testing Museum
Learn more about America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test Site with a visit to the National Atomic Testing Museum. One cool feature is the Ground Zero Theater simulation of an above-ground test, but there’s lots of other interesting things to see here in the form of short films and interactive exhibits.
Wander around Fremont East District
If you’re looking for entertainment, food and drink without the intensity of the Strip, head to Fremont East, which offers a low-key way to wine, dine and have fun in Vegas.
Watch the Sunset Stampede Laser Light Show
Off-the-Strip hotel Sam’s Town is where you can go to check out the Sunset Stampede Laser Light Show in Mystic Falls Park. Lasers, music and dancing water combine for a fun, family-friendly experience.
Learn about whiskey
Whiskey fans, or just anyone who wants to learn more about whiskey, can visit VomFASS for their Whiskey Experience, a tutored tasting and class dedicated to whiskeys from America, Ireland, and Scotland.
Watch an indoor storm gather
At Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood you can watch an indoor rainstorm Monday to Thursday at the top of each hour and Friday to Sunday every half hour. Storms come complete with thunder, lightening, fog and pouring rain.
Do some shopping at Grand Bazaar Shops
There’s no shortage of shopping opportunities in Las Vegas, but Grand Bazaar Shops lets you browse and buy in an outdoor setting. Modelled after some of the best open-air markets in the world, shop everything from apparel and beauty products, to jewellery and footwear.
Take a brewery tour
Learn more about the process of brewing craft beer with a guided tour of downtown Las Vegas’ Banger Brewing. Tours are free, but they fill up fast, so it’s best to book in advance online.
See a giant gold nugget
The aptly named Gold Nugget hotel is home to the Hand of Faith, the largest gold nugget in existence. See the 61-pound chunk of gold, discovered in 1980 with a metal detector, which is on display in the hotel’s lobby.
Check out the Fremont Street Experience
Adjacent to Fremont Street East is you’ll find the Fremont Street Experience, complete with its own array of restaurants, bars, hotels, attractions, live shows and other events.
Visit the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
If your interest in aviation only extends to searching for and booking flights, Cheapflights can help you out, but if you want to know the who, what and when about the history of aviation, head over to the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum, which covers the history of flight through various exhibits.
See Lake of Dreams a the Wynn
Las Vegas hotels are known for their eye-catching shows of all kinds and the Wynn is no exception. Their Lake of Dreams involves a 12-metre (40 foot) waterfall, and pine-topped mountains are the backdrop to a light show which features over 4,000 lights, as well as puppets and holographs.
Take a selfie with the Las Vegas sign
Were you even in Vegas if you didn’t take (and post) a selfie with the iconic Las Vegas sign?
Tour the Ethel M Chocolate Factory
Chocoholics and anyone with a sweet tooth will want to pay a visit to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Take a self-guided tour to see how the sweet stuff is made.
Go ice skating at the Cosmopolitan
If you happen to be in Las Vegas in the winter, you can skate at the Cosmopolitan. The hotel turns their Boulevard pool into an ice rink complete with light snow showers every 30 minutes.
Get a cupcake from an ATM machine
What’s better than going to a bakery and ordering a decadent cupcake? Getting one out of cupcake ATM machine, which you can do courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM Las Vegas.
Visit Las Vegas Natural History Museum
You might not associate Las Vegas with education, but you can learn a lot about natural history with a visit to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
Eat some dim sum in Chinatown
Did you know Las Vegas had a Chinatown? It does and now you know. Do some exploring and stop to fill your belly with some authentic dim sum.
Eat some “secret” pizza
Hidden on the third floor of The Cosmopolitan, there is a pizza shop with no signage. Once you locate it, you can order a slice or a whole pie, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes to cook.
Hang out at happy hour
Las Vegas is filled with bars offering happy hour deals on food and drinks. Some newer ones to try include Pub 365 (named for the number of beers they have on tap), Harvest by Roy Ellamar (actually dubbed “harvest hour”) and Lakeside Restaurant.
Explore The Park
Forget benches and dog walkers, The Park Las Vegas is an outdoor complex comprised of restaurants, events and shopping.
Take a food tour
In addition to all those casinos, Las Vegas also has its fair share of amazing food. Experience some of it with a gourmet walking food tour of various ‘hoods in the city.
See the Swarovski Starburst
Every night at 9 p.m. and midnight at Bally’s Las Vegas, you can feel like it’s New Year’s Eve when a sparkling, crystal-covered starburst drops 17 metres (55 feet).
Featured image: iStock photo/gilaxia