People didn’t want to go to Vegas because they thought it was all casinos and the Strip, Mexico or India because of safety concerns, or Paris because of the crowds and “rude French people
It’s true that the Vegas Strip is a shitshow of people gambling, getting drunk, and being obnoxious and/or just generally weird. Everything is fake, expensive, and designed to get you to spend money at the casino and in overpriced restaurants.
But gambling is not the only thing to do there, even on the Strip. There’s more to this city of over two million people. For example, here is a sample of what you can do that doesn’t involve casinos, drinking, or spending a lot of money:
- The Mob Museum – This is an awesome showcase of Sin City’s turbulent past and its connection to the mafia.
- The Neon Museum – This eclectic outdoor graveyard for hundreds of the city’s famous neon signs from the old casinos is really an awesome experience. Ideally, go around sunset.
- Fremont Street – This is Old Las Vegas. Yes, it does have historic casinos, but also buskers, street artists, open-air concerts, and tons of interesting people-watching! A four-block canopy covers much of the street, on which there are regular light shows as well. You can also take a zip line over the street itself.
- Red Rock Canyon – Take a break from the city for some scenic hiking and biking trails just 30 minutes from town.
- Hoover Dam and Lake Mead – Under an hour east of Vegas is Hoover Dam, this a massive feat of engineering spanning over 1,200 feet and standing 700 feet tall. Lake Mead, a by-product of the dam, is great for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities. You can also take a guided tour of the dam itself (for $30 USD).
- The National Atomic Testing Museum – An affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum, this exhibition north of town documents the history of nuclear testing in Nevada (over 900 nuclear bombs were detonated in the state). There’s also a separate exhibit for Area 51 too (the truth is out there!).
- The Arts District – This area is full of galleries, thrift and vintage stores, theatres, and music venues and is the cultural heart of the city.
- The Haunted Museum – This paranormal museum is full of allegedly cursed objects, such as haunted dolls and paraphernalia owned by serial killers. There are 30 rooms full of all kinds of oddities, and the house itself is said to be haunted too