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The top 6 things to do in Las Vegas, according to a local

Casinos are great... but try one of these Las Vegas activities, too

Welcome to Las Vegas road sign
Snapwire / Pexels

Vegas–the city of never-ending possibilities. But what if I told you there’s an entire realm of Sin City that remains hidden from most tourists? There are so many things to do in Las Vegas to keep you entertained and captivated.

Keep reading to discover how locals spend their free time. From hidden speakeasies to off-the-strip local watering holes, there’s so much more to this city than casinos and nightlife!

1. Connect with nature

Fire Wave rock in Valley of Fire State Park
Filip Fuxa / Shutterstock

While the bustling, neon-lit city may not immediately evoke thoughts of nature, the area surrounding the desert metropolis is actually home to a wealth of natural wonders just a short drive away.

Among the most prominent outdoor destinations are Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead Recreation Area, and Mount Charleston, all of which offer stunning natural landscapes and ample opportunities to connect with the great outdoors. 

Beyond these popular landmarks, the region also boasts lesser-known gems like Valley of Fire State Park (featured in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp) and Lake Las Vegas, giving nature enthusiasts even more options to explore. 

2. Watch a live sporting event

Allegiant Stadium Shown On Las Vegas Raiders Season Ticket Holder Seat Visit Day
Count Chris / Shutterstock

If you can’t go a single game without watching your favorite team, Vegas has you covered. The Fremont Street Experience is the original Las Vegas strip location and a great place to catch the game. Circa, one of the newest hotels in the area, features the largest sportsbook in the world, providing an unparalleled experience for fans. 

Beyond watching games at sportsbooks and fan hubs, Sin City is also home to numerous professional sports teams that you can attend in person. These include the Las Vegas Raiders, the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Las Vegas Aces. The Oakland A’s are also heading to Las Vegas if baseball is more your sport.

3. Play video games

Area 15 entrance
Kit Leong / Shutterstock

If video games are more your thing, the city offers a multitude of opportunities to entertain yourself. Located in MGM Grand on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, gamers can find Level Up, offering 30 big screens, arcade games, and multiplayer virtual reality experiences. 

Yet, the video game experience doesn’t stop there. Area 15, situated just a short ride off the main tourist area, is home to a multitude of attractions catering to the gaming crowd. In the opposite direction, approximately a 15-minute drive from the strip, is Player 1–featuring pinball and arcade classics.  

Across each of these locations, you’ll find an eclectic mix of both retro and contemporary video games, complemented by bars and dining options to fuel their gaming sessions.

4. Try a local brewery… or two

Interior view of the CraftHaus Brewery
Kit Leong / Shutterstock

For those seeking to immerse themselves in the local beer culture, Vegas has many craft breweries popping up. Lucky for you, most of them are concentrated in one area, which is rightfully named the “Brewery Row.” 

Located in the Arts District (a short distance North of the Strat) the breweries of Brewery Row provide ample opportunity for visitors to sample the diverse flavors that have helped define Las Vegas’s evolving beer scene. 

But the appeal of the Arts District extends beyond just the breweries, as the neighborhood also boasts a vibrant array of complementary bars and dining establishments to try. 

5. Find a speak-easy

Dark bar with three empty barstools
Rachel Claire / Pexels

Speakeasies have a long and storied history in Las Vegas, offering cocktail enthusiasts a quieter, more intimate atmosphere to enjoy hand-crafted libations away from the bustling crowds. These hidden gems can be found both on and off the Strip, providing a chance to experience a different side of the city.

On the Strip itself, the Aria Hotel conceals one such speakeasy – Easy’s cocktail lounge, tucked discreetly inside the hotel’s Donut Shop. This cozy, sophisticated establishment provides a refined respite from the energy of the main thoroughfare.

Venturing into downtown Las Vegas, visitors can uncover one of the city’s oldest hidden gems – the Downtown Cocktail Room. Marked only by a small neon martini sign, this discreet establishment provides a serene escape from the lively atmosphere of the Strip, offering a refined cocktail experience in a more local, off-the-beaten-path setting.

6. Attend a concert

Large crowd with musicians on stage / Pexels

Vegas is home to annual music festivals like the Electric Daisy Carnival and has multiple concert venues, including the Las Vegas Motorspeedway, Allegiant Stadium, T-Mobile Arena, and The Sphere–just to name a few. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more intimate experience, the Strip features many residencies where you can catch legendary artists in a smaller, more private setting. Vegas isn’t the entertainment capital of the world by accident.

Brittney Bertagna, RN
Brittney is a graduate of California State University, Chico, where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Business. Her…
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