Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, is often synonymous with dazzling casinos and vibrant nightlife. However, if you’re like me and prefer to keep your coins in your pocket, have a little less Hangover-like Vegas adventures, but instead a little more ease, flow, and maybe a good show then you’ve come to the right place! Beyond the slot machines and poker tables, this vibrant city has a trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored. In this guide, I’ll uncover the non-casino treasures of Las Vegas, from psychedelic and eclectic dining experiences to captivating attractions that transport you beyond the neon lights.
Unique things to do in Las Vegas
Soar Above the Strip at FlyOver Las Vegas
For a unique perspective of the iconic Las Vegas Strip, embark on a virtual reality flight at Las Vegas’ news attraction, FlyOver Las Vegas. This experience needs to be on your Vegas bucket list, hands down! Located at The LINQ Promenade, the FlyOver immersive experience takes you on a thrilling journey, allowing you to soar above the city’s most famous landmarks. Feel the wind in your hair as you glide over the vibrant lights and architectural wonders of Las Vegas as well as other legendary locations like the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Lake Tahoe on the Wonders of the American West flight ride.
PC In Color Studios
Do not miss out on some of FlyOver Vegas’ other iconic flights where you’re transported to the land of fire and ice as you soar across the breathtakingly beautiful Iceland. However, my absolute favorite flight is Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies. With its Indigenous stories woven into the captivating sights, sounds, and spirit of the Canadian Rockies, this flight ride was powerful, affirming, and simply magical. I didn’t want it to end and wanted to go again and again! The FlyOver Las Vegas experience is an absolute must-do while in Vegas!
Be Mesmerized at a Magic Show
Step into the enchanting world of magic with a live show that will leave you spellbound. Vegas offers a variety of magical performances that cater to every taste. However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, bundle the Nathan Burton Magic Show with a FlyOver Las Vegas ride and you can save 30% off single rides at FlyOver. The Nathan Burton Magic Show is located in the same building, so not only does it save you money, but it also saves you time. Nathan’s magic show is high energy, entertaining, and will leave you scratching your head, wondering, “How in the world did he do that?!”
Unravel Crime History at the Mob Museum
Dive into the intriguing history of organized crime at the Mob Museum, located in downtown Las Vegas. Housed in a historic courthouse, this museum takes you on a journey through the rise and fall of the mob in America. Explore interactive exhibits, witness iconic artifacts, and uncover the secrets of the criminal underworld that once gripped the nation.
After you’ve made your way through three levels of history, head to The Underground in the basement of the Mob Museum and partake in some Prohibition-era craft cocktails at the not-so-secret speakeasy. You can find the password of the day on their website.
See Where the Signs Come to Life at the Neon Museum
If you’re looking for things to do off the strip in Las Vegas, venture off the beaten path to the Neon Museum, a graveyard of iconic Las Vegas signs. Located in downtown Vegas, this outdoor museum preserves the city’s luminous history, showcasing vintage signs that once adorned the Strip. Take a guided tour (highly recommend) to hear the fascinating stories behind each sign, and witness the colorful glow of these neon relics against the evening sky. I promise you’ll have a newfound appreciation of the Sin City’s signage.
Peruse Bellagio’s Fine Art Gallery
Escape the hustle and bustle of the Strip at Bellagio’s Fine Art Gallery, where world-class art exhibitions await. Featuring rotating exhibits that range from classic to contemporary, this gallery provides a tranquil space to appreciate the beauty of visual arts. Stroll through the carefully curated displays and let the masterpieces evoke a sense of wonder and introspection.
Can’t-miss restaurants to try in Vegas
Delight in a Feast for the Senses at Superfrico
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Nestled in the heart of the ever-so-swanky Cosmopolitan hotel, Superfrico is a culinary haven that takes your taste buds on a rollercoaster of flavors. Helmed by celebrity chef Steve Martorano, this Italian-American kitchen offers a modern twist on classic dishes. From the spicy soppressata meatballs to the flavorful fish piccata, every dish I tried at Superfrico was a palate-pleaser! In between savory bites, you will find yourself both captivated and maybe even slightly confused by the entertainment, where the talent changes from a dancing penguin to donning pasties faster than you can say chicken parmesan. It’s all in good fun and a good time will certainly be had!
Spicy soppressata meatballs, little gem salad, warm brussels salad, OG square pizza, spaghetti pomodoro, market fish piccata, roasted pineapple sorbet
Brunching in Style atSadelle’s
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For those who believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Sadelle’s at Bellagio is a must-visit while in Vegas. This New York-inspired eatery serves up a delectable brunch spread featuring bagels, smoked fish platters, and decadent pastries. The elegant ambiance and impeccable service make Sadelle’s a perfect spot to start your day in Vegas.
Grapefruit brûlée, avocado toast, bacon
Dumplings and Delight atDin Tai Fung
If you love Asian fare as much as I do, Din Tai Fung is one of the best restaurants to dine in Vegas. Dive into the world of exquisite dumplings at Din Tai Fung, located in ARIA Resort & Casino. This globally acclaimed Taiwanese restaurant is renowned for its meticulously crafted xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and other delicious dim sum delights. The bustling atmosphere and open kitchen concept add an extra layer of excitement to your dining experience. Din Tai Tung has a shareable concept, which is perfect for trying a little bit of everything.
Chicken soup dumplings, chicken dumplings, chicken spicy wontons, chicken fried rice, garlic string beans, cucumber salad, chocolate & mochi xiao long boa, honey milk tea (this was so good, I ordered two!)
Indulge in an Italian Extravaganza at Eataly Las Vegas
Experience the charm of Italy without leaving the Strip at Eataly, located within Park MGM. This vibrant marketplace is a gastronomic paradise, offering a diverse array of Italian delicacies, from freshly baked bread to artisanal pasta. Explore the various food counters, pick up gourmet ingredients, and indulge in a culinary journey that captures the essence of Italian cuisine.
La Pizza e La Pasta restaurant — insalata di rucola (arugula salad), insalata romana (caesar salad), margherita verace pizza, tagliatelle alla bolognese
Feast on Fusion Delights at 8 East
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Located in Circa Resort & Casino, 8 East seamlessly blends Asian flavors with a modern twist. From sushi rolls to flavorful stir-fries, the menu at 8 East is a fusion of culinary influences that will tantalize your taste buds. The contemporary decor and panoramic views of downtown Vegas add an extra layer of sophistication to this dining experience.
Stir-fried green beans, ginger chicken dumplings, pork belly bao, duck roll, brisket fried rice, pad thai (this was my favorite dish at 8 East), Thai tea creme brûlée
Where to stay in Las Vegas
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New York New York
Alright, party people! If you’re all about that New York hustle and want to feel the electric vibes of the Big Apple right in the heart of the desert, the New York-New York Hotel & Casino is your go-to spot. Imagine waking up next to a mini Statue of Liberty and having a Brooklyn Bridge view from your window – it’s like Manhattan, but with a splash of Vegas extravaganza! And don’t even get me started on The Big Apple Coaster – it’s a wild ride that’ll have you screaming “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of!”
For all you glam-seekers and lovers of the finer things, the Bellagio is the epitome of swankiness on the Strip. Picture this: you, sipping a fancy cocktail, watching the iconic fountains dance to the rhythm of your vacation dreams. It’s like stepping into a Hollywood movie, but you’re the star. With jaw-dropping botanical gardens and a fine art gallery that’ll make your cultured heart skip a beat, Bellagio is where luxury and entertainment do a tango. Romance or just living your best life – this place is your stage!
Now, if you’re the kind of traveler who wants to dip your toes into the Vegas excitement but also craves a serene escape, Vdara is your secret hideout. This place is like a zen garden amid the Strip’s chaos. No casino noise – just you, a chill suite with a kitchenette (yes, you can pretend you’re a master chef), and maybe a spa day for good measure. It’s the perfect mix of tranquility and Vegas pizzazz. So, whether you’re a couple looking for a lovey-dovey getaway or a business traveler wanting to mix business with pleasure – Vdara’s your place!
So there you have it! Las Vegas has something that caters to every palate and passion. Whether you’re savoring culinary delights at Superfrico, soaring above the Strip at FlyOver Las Vegas, or unraveling the mysteries of organized crime at the Mob Museum, the non-casino wonders of Vegas promise a diverse and unforgettable adventure. So, the next time you find yourself in this glittering city, take a detour from the familiar and discover the hidden gems that make Las Vegas a destination like no other.