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Expert Advice

Experience a Different Side of Vegas with These Things to do: 4 Off-the-Strip Ideas

One Owner shares four casino-free ideas for your next Las Vegas vacation

Jessica M
Stunning desert panorama.

Las Vegas fascinates me. People watching on the Strip, the over-the-top casinos, the energy and the lights — it pushes the envelope, and I love it.

Many people assume you go to Vegas to party and gamble and maybe, if you're a romantic, have an unplanned wedding. I suppose for a lot of people, that's true.

However, I'm not one of them. 

might pay an obligatory visit to the slot machine from time to time. But, for many Vegas visitors, gambling isn't on the itinerary, and it's easy to see why. There's plenty to love about Sin City away from the casinos and off the Strip. 

Here are four things I love about Vegas and recommend to everyone.

1. Hoover Dam

Aerial shot of Hover Dam in Las Vegas, Nevada.    

It may not seem like the most glamorous site to put on your "things to do in Las Vegas" list, but it's incredible, and this mind-bending engineering feat is worthy of a visit. Access to the Dam itself is free, minus parking fees, but I recommend paying the entrance fee to explore the museum. 

Inside the museum, you'll discover how Hoover Dam came to be and the interesting background on everything from choosing the location to the construction and more.

As for getting to the Dam, plan to rent a car. It's less than an hour from the airport, but it's far enough away that it doesn't make sense to use Uber, Lyft or a taxi. 

If you're staying at one of the four Hilton Grand Vacations resorts, you won't need a car otherwise. So, I recommend renting a car just for a day to see Hoover Dam. Then, take advantage of having wheels and explore some of the other cool little towns nearby as well.

I was flying from the East Coast, so my flight arrived in the morning. Upon arrival, the first thing I did was rent a car at the airport and set out on an adventure.

At the end of the day, I returned to the airport, dropped off the car, and got a ride to the resort. If you've not been to Vegas, the airport is very close to the Strip — making a ride-sharing service or taxi a cost-effective way to get to your resort. 

2. The Mob Museum

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip with purple painted skies overhead.    

I visited The Mob Museum on a whim based on a recommendation, and it did not disappoint. So even if you've never been interested in learning about organized crime, consider checking out the museum. 

It was super interesting to learn about the role of the Mob in the building of Vegas. If you can, visit this museum after touring Hoover Dam, which is what I did. 

Already having the background on Hoover Dam helped me appreciate the museum more and understand how the Dam's construction fueled mob growth in unexpected ways.

I can honestly say this is a museum that I'd visit again. Museums often wear me out, so if you tend to avoid museums for the same reason, give this one a try. 

3. The Food Scene

Overhead shot of plated tacos.   

Who would I be if I didn’t talk about the food scene? Las Vegas is a great place for foodies. Unfortunately, so many people I spoke with on my trip seemed to stick to the chain restaurants because they're so accessible and visible on the Strip. 

Please don't make that mistake (unless you really love chain restaurants) — there is too much good food.

Thanks to the recommendation of a few locals, I had amazing tacos and Thai food a couple of blocks off the Strip. Also, when you rent the car to visit Hoover Dam, take advantage of your ability to explore and check out some of the great eats best accessible by car.

Next time I go back to Vegas, trying more local food spots is at the top of my list.

4. Grand Canyon National Park 

Aerial shot of a lake and raft in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.   

I didn't get to it on this trip, but I'm setting aside an entire day to see the Grand Canyon on my next trip to Las Vegas. Some day-long tours depart from Vegas, where a guide drives you and a small group of people to the Grand Canyon for a tour. 

I've seen helicopter tours as well from my research, so maybe that's worth the splurge. I'm sure it's an incredible experience.

While I'd love to see the Grand Canyon, camping isn't my thing. So staying at a Hilton Grand Vacations Las Vegas resort and having someone else driving and telling me about the Grand Canyon sounds perfect. 

One of the things I love about taking tours in different cities or countries is that you generally meet really interesting people. In addition, the tour guides are experts in your destination, which makes for a great travel experience — especially if you're traveling solo

Check out Hilton Grand Vacations' Las Vegas resorts to find the right one for your travel style. 



Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Jessica M.

Jessica M

Returning Explorer and Owner since 2019, Jessica says, “based on the way I traveled, vacation ownership just made sense." She enjoys the opportunity to use her ClubPoints to travel with family and friends, but you'll also find her flying solo. 

She says, "I love inspiring people to travel, and I'm excited to help young, single people think about vacation ownership and traveling in different ways than is often presented." Always one for adventure, you can find her off the beaten path to experience local culture, try regional foods or on the water enjoying watersports of all kinds. 

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