Las Vegas is known for many things: casinos, glitzy shows, kitsch and wedding ceremonies performed by Elvis impersonators. But if that's not your cup of tea you don't need to write off a Vegas vacation. More people (including families) are discovering that a vacation to Las Vegas is extremely affordable and holds many other things to do and see that don't involve showgirls, slot machines or saying "I do".
If you've had your fill of gambling, or aren't interested to begin with, here are 8 other things to give a try:
- See the free show at the Bellagio Fountains. It’s every half hour between 3:00 – 7:00 pm, and then every 15 minutes until midnight (schedule changes on the weekends). These amazing “dancing” water performances are choreographed to a concert of music from all genres – modern, classical, Broadway, Big Band and more.
- Get your adrenaline going on a thrill ride. If heights and loops and stomach-dropping is your thing, don’t miss the Stratosphere’s SkyJump, a 108-story free fall, the trio of Big Shot, Insanity and X-Scream, or the roller coaster at New York, New York.
- Take a “world” tour without ever leaving Las Vegas. Many of the hotels base their themes on international cities and countries: France (Paris Las Vegas, Monte Carlo), Italy (The Venetian, The Palazzo, Caesar’s Palace), Egypt (Luxor Las Vegas), or even medieval times (Excalibur). Visit them all and you’ll feel like a world traveler (sort of)!
- Swim with the fishes at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. Even just watching them is interesting enough! And it’s not just sharks, go to see the jellyfish, stingrays, crocodiles, sea turtle, jungle, piranha and many more.
- While you’re at Mandalay Bay, relax at the pool for awhile. You’ll feel like you’re in the Caribbean – this pool has a real sand beach, a 1.6 million gallon wave pool, a lazy river, raft rentals, cabanas and more.
- See the circus. Above a casino floor at the Circus Circus hotel you'll see acrobats, trapeze acts, jugglers and more in the midway (kid-accessible). Performances start at 11:00 am each day.
- Visit Hoover Dam. The man-made wonder is about 45 minutes from the flashy Vegas scene. You can take a tour of the dam and even down into its depths.
- If you still need a break from Strip, less than 20 miles west of Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon. Take the 18-mile scenic car route through the desert and trail, making sure you get out of the car for a hike to get a good look at the desert rock formations (know your physical limits before you go on the hikes).
Book your Vegas vacation on AAA.com between March 1 - 31, 2013 you'll save up to 30% with hotel rates from $24 per night.