It's probably possible to tire of the endless Las Vegas boozing, club-hopping, luxury-shopping, show-watching and slots-pulling, so just in case, here are a few local attractions to serve as non-vice diversions in between your first morning martini and 9pm Thunder Down Under showing.
Every evening, at 7, 8:30, 10 and 11:30pm, the sexy "Sirens" of Treasure Island battle a band of scurvy pirates in a flurry of smoke, sparks and bare flesh that draws hordes of onlookers (you get a special perch to watch from if you're a TI guest) happy for the free show.
Whether you're staying at the Bellagio or not, you must take a few minutes to stop and watch the famous fountains--they dance to music every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the day/time. But if you really need to impress someone, reserve a Strip-facing king corner suite at this artpiece of a hotel. Put a bottle of champagne on ice, take a bubble bath for two in the enormous tub looking out over all of Las Vegas, and watch the famous Bellagio fountains erupt against the backdrop of Paris' Eiffel Tower together. You'll find it hard to leave the room, but at least venture down to the pool for a piña colada and a dip, and maybe to Olives restaurant for the spring pea mezzaluna.
Even if you're not staying at Circus Circus (and I don't know why you aren't, I saw a special there for $17 a room), you can still have an adventure there, at Adventuredome--five acres of indoor theme park fun that involves rides like the Canyon Blaster roller coaster, Sling Shot and Inverter for big kids, plus less dramatic ones like the Frog Hopper for little ones. Pay by the ride or get an all day pass, and if it's your bday, you can even have your party here. Now that's an adventure!
Get up close and personal with over 2,000 marine animals at this impressive exhibit, where you can see everything from jellyfish to sea turtles to golden crocodiles, and of course, the sharks. One-time adult admission is $18 but an annual pass is only $40, so if you think you'll come again, go for that.
There's no better spot in Las Vegas than the Stratosphere tower to try and give yourself cardiac arrest--sitting atop the 108-story tower, four rides (SkyJump, Insanity, X-Scream and Big Shot) are ready to fling you into outer space, hang you off the side of the building, send you free falling nearly 900 feet, and take you on the roller coaster of your life.
Billed as the "Fremont Street Experience," this mostly involves walking the length of downtown Las Vegas's Fremont Street while zipliners zoom overhead and the domed ceiling explodes in psychedelic patterns to the beat of Pat Benatar songs. There are elderly Elvis impersonators the color of Tan Mom, there are middle-aged tourists in cargo shorts drinking tall boys wrapped in paper bags, there are street artists and live bands and random costumed dancers and 99-cent fried Twinkies. There are also a dozen or so awesome bars and restaurants, check out my Downtown Vegas guide for those.
I'm a sucker for a botanical garden, and this 180-acre garden, museum and gallery is a beautiful respite from the normal Las Vegas tomfoolery. Check out the special exhibits, take a hike, rent a bike, or attend one of the live shows or events. You'll leave feeling refreshed, for the price of just one cocktail on the Strip.
You're in Vegas, so it's okay to do silly stuff like tour a wax figure museum and pose with a replica of The Rock. Or Justin Timberlake. Or Johnny Depp. Definitely Johnny Depp... Before you go, check around on the discount websites to see if you can get a deal, or book on the museum's website for 20% off.
The classic Strip roller coaster, Manhattan Express, sits atop the well known skyline of New York New York, whipping screaming riders around breathtaking corkscrews and loops at speeds of nearly 70 mph. Don't shut your eyes--the views are great! Tickets are $14, but if you want to go a second round, it's only $7.
So yes, you might feel a little bit silly drifting through the Venetian's tourist-choked Grand Canal in a gondola while a non-Italian gondolier dressed like an Italian gondolier sings enthusiastically overhead, but if you get into the spirit of things, it's actually really fun. Go early so you don't run into a line. Afterwards, get a cappuccino and plate of cookies at Tintoretto.
Ever thought you'd look great behind the wheel of a Ferrari? Test that hypothesis at this unique "exotic car driving" attraction, where you get to drive at least three exotic or muscle dream cars for about an hour through beautiful Red Rock Canyon. The price is steep, but still a teeny tiny fraction of what the real deal would cost. Great gift for the Lamborghini LP570-4 Spyder lover in your life.