10 Vegas Activities for People Who Don't Gamble
LEA ANN FESSENDEN
I am not much of a gambler myself; I feel I work too hard for my money to simply throw it away on a whim. But that doesn't mean I can't find some great stuff to do while in Las Vegas. Years ago if you didn't drink or gamble, there were really only the shows to see but now Vegas has turned itself into a thriving city of activities for people of all tastes and ages.
Shopping OK, I'll admit it I love to shop and Las Vegas has some outstanding shopping. Practically every major designer or boutique is represented in one form or another. Giant malls such as The Forum Shops at Caesar's with 160 stores or the Fashion Show Mall (near Wynn Las Vegas) which houses anchor stores such as Neiman Marcus, Saks, Macy's and Nordstroms can take up hours of shopping time. But if your taste is a little glossier, try the Bellagio Hotel shops such as Hermes, Tiffany, Chanel, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Fendi and Fred Leighton. The Wynn Las Vegas offers Oscar de la Renta, Ferrari/Maseratti, Manolo Blahnik, Dior, Gaultier and Louis Vuitton.
Spas After all that shopping you will want to immerse yourself in a relaxing spa and Vegas has a bevy of fine ones. Some of my favorite treatments include: the Espresso Anti-Cellulite Wrap at the Spa at Red Rock, Canyon Ranch Spa's Aquavana water therapies, a Shiatsu and Desert Sage massage at Spa Mandalay. Whatever you want to do to invigorate your aching muscles is available at one of the many outstanding spas in Vegas. A perfect end to a full day of shopping.
Shows There are all kinds of shows to experience in Vegas, many are for children, many aren't. You'll always find some entertaining comedians, magicians, hypnotists and gorgeous show girls. The Blue Man Group at the Luxor always brings in a good crowd as do the sexy Chippendale dancers at the Rio. But take the kids to see Lance Burton's magic show at the Monte Carlo.
Amusements Bored? Well get that adrenaline pumping at the Stratosphere resort's High Roller, the world's tallest roller coaster at over 100 stories above ground. Another great roller coaster is just outside of town at Buffalo Bill's Resort and the Sahara offers Speed : the Ride which goes from 35 mph to 70 mph in two seconds!
Pool Every hotel in this sun drenched oasis has a pool. From simple to elaborate there are plenty of ways to keep cool in the heat of the day. The Flamingo has the best network of waterslides, pools and waterfalls; the Mandalay Bay pool has actual waves and a sandy beach, while the Belaggio is just downright classy.
Golf I don't know a putter from an iron but I do know that a lot of people enjoy the golf in Las Vegas. The most popular courses are at Shadow Creek and Wynn Las Vegas. Shadow Creek is available for about $500 in green fees and I'm told it is an amazing course. All counted, there are about 40 golf courses around the Las Vegas area, chances are your hotel will be affiliated with one of them or try one of the many public courses.
Dining Las Vegas has become quite a culinary capital with renowned chefs such as Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Shawn McClain, Joel Robuchon, Richard Chen, Julian Serano and many many others have outstanding restaurants with a variety of intriguing cuisines to choose from.
Nightclubs For those of you who love the nightlife scene, Vegas has quite a few lounges to check out. Tao at the Venetian, Body English at Hard Rock, Pure at Ceasars , Jet at Mirage and Tryst at Wynn cater to the late night party revelers. A few quieter options include Lure at WLV, Tabu at the MGM, Mix on the rooftop the THEhotel and Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio.
Museums Las Vegas may seem like a strange place to see brilliant works of art, but check out the Guggenheim collection at the Venetian Resort, Faberge treasures at the Bellagio, major bling at the Liberace Museum, Picassos at the Picasso Restaurant in the Bellagio as well as the Natural History Museum. There are other small museums dedicated to all kinds of crazy things such as Elvis of course, cars, King Tut and gaming memorabilia.
Exoctic Animals Just about every hotel has some kind of great animal related attraction and most of them are free. At Mandalay Bay you'll find tropical birds and a Shark Reef aquarium with 100s of different species such as crocodiles, sting rays and sharks. The Tropicana has a Wildlife Walk, the MGM Grand has a Lion Habitat and the Flamingo has beautiful flamingos as well as penguins. Of course it wouldn't be a visit to Vegas without seeing the Mirage's gorgeous cats in Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden as well as the Dolphin Habitat.
As you can see, there is plenty to do for those of us that prefer to stay away from the gambling tables or for those who just aren't having any luck. You'll be surprised at the unique entertainment available all over Las Vegas.