Vegas for the non-gambler
Is this even possible or a contradiction? Vegas is known for its casinos, what could it offer to someone who doesn’t gamble? Let’s explore!
The first attractive aspects of Las Vegas were the flight and hotel combos being offered by many travel sites. You can find these easily if you do a google search or even as an offer from a trusted site in your email inbox. We were able to get a flight to Las Vegas with a room at the Luxor for $81.89 per night. It’s simply ridiculous. So now that we got the transportation to Vegas with hotel covered, let’s see what we can do there.
Made it to Vegas, now what?
First thing that hits you when you arrive is the sheer scale of everything. Every theme is taken to extremes for each Casino, one trying to out-do the other. We took the early flight in and arrived at around 8 am. We then cabbed it to the Luxor which was only about $17 with the traffic. While we couldn’t get into our rooms this early, we checked our bags at the desk so that we were free to roam.
The Luxor – what a beautiful casino. Even if you don’t really appreciate architecture this pyramid catches your eye right away. While this is a 23 year old casino, the exterior design is timeless (obviously). This massive structure which cost $375 million to build contains 4,407 rooms, and 29 retail stores. As impressive as it is during the day, it is even more so during the night. Mostly due to its intensely bright “Luxor Sky Beam”. According to Wikipedia, curved mirrors focus the light from its 39 Xenon lamps into one narrow super beam which produces 42.3 billion candela, the strongest light beam in the world. It’s so intense that it can be seen while flying over Los Angeles and it is as an FAA designated navigational landmark for aviators.
What to eat?
Keep an eye out for deals within the casino / hotel you’re staying at. We found a deal within the Luxor which gave us an all-day buffet for $35. Since we got there early morning this deal was awesome as we didn’t have to think about buying any other meals for the day. We were given a wrist band for the buffet and off we went. The food was pretty good and allowed us the freedom to then start exploring Vegas. Be aware of high prices on the main strip for food, so look out for deals whenever you can or eat off the strip.
What to do?
Catch a show! There are so many shows going on all the time throughout Vegas that you’re bound to find out that you like. We decided to see Cirque du Soleil at 7pm. What a show, the physical feats are breathtaking. Cirque does a great job at immersing the audience into the whole experience. From the beautiful choreography to the performers flying around the theater and sometimes directly above you. You find yourself looking in all directions, it is a feast for the senses.
Use your hotel in Vegas as a home-base and go exploring Nevada or even Arizona which is nearby. We rented a convertible and planned to go visit nearby landmarks. If you’re willing do to a bit of driving, this is the best bet. It allows you the freedom to go anywhere you want like the following:
- In a mere 40 minutes you can get to Red Rock Canyon.
- At only 48 minutes travel time you can get to the Hoover Dam.
- Or in a manageable 2 hours and 15 minutes you can reach the Grand Canyon west and its Skywalk.
As we sometimes stopped to take in the landscapes, we could only wave to the poor souls inside the tour buses as they were being moved from point A to B. Even though we only stayed for a few days, we visited all three of the above and couldn’t be happier. These are sites I’ll always remember.
- Don’t eat on the main strip (where all the major casinos are at) unless there’s a specific restaurant you have in mind. You can find comparable or better food off the strip at better prices.
- If you plan to do some exploring, rent a car, don’t go the tour bus route. Preferably a convertible if the weather is cooperating. A convertible is a must with all the beautiful scenery.
- Don’t let the cabbies hold you hostage with traffic. If you see that the main strip is having terrible traffic, you can tell them to go around it with nearby highways and skip it altogether if your destination allows it.
Would I go back again? Yes! With so many things to see, I’d love to continue exploring Vegas, parts of Nevada and Arizona and would go back in the future.