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8 Ways To Enjoy Las Vegas Without Gambling

8 Ways To Enjoy Las Vegas Without Gambling

Las Vegas, also called “Sin City,” is known as a gambling mecca.  But what if you don’t gamble?  If you find yourself “stuck” in Las Vegas (perhaps attending a conference or workshop) here are eight categories of things to see and do in the Las Vegas area that have nothing to do with gambling.

1. Sightseeing

red rock canyon

    Even if you’re on Las Vegas’ famous “Strip” (Las Vegas Blvd.) you can partake in some amazing sights that doesn’t require any type of gambling.  Although the hotel-resorts have largely “dethemed” their properties, there are still some really interesting design and architectural elements.  You can “travel” from Egypt (Luxor) to New York City (NYNY), to Paris (Paris, LV), to Venice (Venetian) all within a few blocks.

    More interested in “real” geography and environments? The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is less than 20 miles from the Strip, on the northwest edge of the city.  There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails and a 13-mile scenic drive, plus horseback riding, rock climbing, biking, and picnic areas.  There is also a visitor center with exhibit rooms and a book store.

    Mount Charleston, otherwise known as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, is about 35 miles west of the city.  It’s a particularly popular destination in the hot summer months, with cool mountain breezes and more moderate temperatures.

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    About an hour’s drive northeast of town is the Valley of Fire State Park.  It is Nevada’s oldest (and largest) state park, dedicated in 1935.  Hiking, picnicking, and camping are available.  While summer daily high temperatures can be extreme (100+ degree F days are common, and hitting the 120 degree F mark is not unheard of) and winter daily temperatures can fluctuate between 75 degrees F and freezing, fall and spring months are generally mild and pleasant.

    Finally, don’t forget to check out the Hoover Dam, which is a short drive southeast of Las Vegas.

    2. Pampering Yourself

    As you might expect from large resorts, there are a wide variety of spa-like services available.  Women can get the usual facials, manicures, and pedicures.  Men and women can also get massages, haircuts and styling services.  All spas are open to the general public so you’re not limited to going to the hotel you are staying at.

    Men, consider trying a barber straight-razor shave along with a hair cut.  This is a particular interest of mine and something that actually changed my grooming life to such a degree that I became a “guru” at it.  Be sure to ask for the most experienced shaver on staff for the best possible results.  Some specific barbers to consider include those at Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Mandalay Place, Mirage, Riviera, and Venetian (all on The Strip), and the El Cortez near downtown.

    3. Freebies

    Although the prices for goods and services on the Las Vegas Strip can cause “sticker shock,” there are a number of free things to experience.  Perhaps the most famous are the fountains in front of the Bellagio resort.  Every 15-30 minutes between 3:00 p.m. and midnight (depending on time, day, and weather conditions), “dancing fountains” choreographed with music shoot water to heights of up to 24 stories.

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    Similarly, the volcano in front of the Mirage hotel erupts nightly from dusk to midnight every hour on the hour, weather permitting.

    Daily, every hour on the hour starting at 11 a.m. the Fall of Atlantis is reenacted by 9-foot-tall  animatronic statues (and a 20 foot dragon) at the Forum shopping area of Caesar’s Palace

    Lots of other “freebies” come and go in Las Vegas, so be sure to check THIS listing.

    4. Non-Gambling Games

    Gambling are not the only gaming opportunities available in Las Vegas; you can play other games too, usually with a “twist!”  “Adventuredome” at Circus Circus boasts family-oriented rides (roller coaster and motion-control), miniature golf, arcade, and midway games.  Games that might be considered a little less ordinary include a KISS-themed mini golf course, a Pinball Hall of Fame with over 150 vintage pinball machines, all playable and inexpensive ($0.25 to $0.50), and a number of adult-oriented thrill rides atop the Stratosphere Tower.

    5. Fulfilling A Fantasy

    You might just be able to satisfy a life-long fantasy in Las Vegas. Due to the sheer number and variety of visitors to the area, it is possible support some unusual businesses that cater to some very distinct clientele!

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    Ever want to drive an incredibly expensive sports car?  There are several businesses in Las Vegas that can make that dream come true.  You can even “upgrade” that experience by driving a NASCAR-style stock car.

    How about getting to play with heavy construction machinary?  You can spend an afternoon running a bulldozer or excavator digging trenches, stacking one-ton tires, or playing “bucket basketball.”

    If that’s still not enough action for you, there are several gun ranges in Las Vegas where you can rent and fire vintage and automatic weapons (under supervision).

    One fantasy you can cannot fulfill in Las Vegas (legally) involves prostitution.  Despite what the mass media and street corner barkers may lead you to believe, prostitution is very much illegal in the Las Vegas area.  There are legal brothels in Nevada but the closest ones to Las Vegas are in Pahrump, about an hour’s drive to the west.

    6. Museums And Exhibits

    Las Vegas has a fair share of museums, botanical gardens, and zoological exhibits.  A couple that stand out from the crowd include the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum.  Both celebrate Las Vegas from very distinct points of view.  The Neon Museum displays much of the signage from earlier days and older technologies.  The Mob Museum displays artifacts from the days of organized crime running the city.

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    Some other venues worth looking into include the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the National Atomic Testing Museum, and the Auto Collection at the Quad hotel.  Other collections and exhibits come and go, so be sure to check what is currently showing.

    7. Dining

    Las Vegas’ claim to culinary fame used to be cheap buffet food.  No more.  Some of the world’s finest chefs maintain restaurants in the city and dining experiences can be truly extraordinary.  Do yourself a favor by indulging in items you may never be able to experience otherwise, such as the finest aged steaks, the freshest seafood, and the most indulgent desserts.  A quick internet search will probably show you several options for whatever food you are interested in.

    But don’t fret buffet lovers, there’s still a variety of buffets in Las Vegas, though the good ones have relative prices to match their variety and quality.

    8. Shows

    Virtually every major Hotel/Resort/Casino in Las Vegas offers some kind of production or musical entertainment.  Everything from international headliners, magic shows and tribute” bands can be found at almost any given time.  Check any of the Las Vegas tourism sites (like THIS one) to see what will be playing during a particular time frame.

    A safe bet for enjoying a “house production show” may be one of the Cirque du Soleil shows that play in the city.  Mystere is often recommended as a gateway into this type of show.   A more “Vegas” type of production show would include Bally’s Jubilee! which is adult oriented (and some might consider risque’).

    A Bonus Tip – The Las Vegas Experience

    Do you avoid gambing because you don’t understand the games?  Many of the casinos in Las Vegas offer “classes” on popular table games, particularly Blackjack and Craps.  Attending these classes may give you the confidence you need to try a game of luck.  Just be sure to never risk more money than you can afford to lose and keep in mind the odds are always in the casino’s favor.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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