Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 01:42 PM - NevadaEvery year millions of people head to Las Vegas for vacation, but not all of them go there for what the city is most famous for, gambling. The casinos offer a lot more than slot machines and poker tables for visitors. There is a reason why this city is referred to "The Entertainment Capital of the World." There is a lot of entertainment available that has nothing to do with gambling for those wishing to forgo risking the over $400 that the average gambler looses in a trip to Las Vegas.
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One of the biggest attractions is the shows. Some shows like Cirque du Soleil, which has various versions of their amazing circus running simultaneously at different casinos, have been running for years and grow more popular year after year. Popular entertainers play there, often for long runs. Celine Dionne recently ended a four-year run at Caesar's Palace. Elton John is scheduled for a few months in mid 2008 at the same venue.
Visitors also find Broadway musicals such as the wildly popular The Producers, top notch comedians, and compelling dramas on the stages at Las Vegas casinos and other venues.
Shopping is also a very popular activity for those who visit. While some of the high-end shops make window shopping necessary for many visitors, there is plenty of affordable shopping for those who want to spend their time in the stores. The Forum Shops at Caesars is home to 160 boutiques and shops, 13 restaurants and various specialty food shops.
At the Bellagio, the Via Bellagio offers high-end shopping, and the Pool Promenade has unique shops that cannot be found elsewhere. Bargain shoppers can find treasures outside of the casinos at the Las Vegas Premium Outlet that offers over 100 outlet stores or they can try their luck at the Fashion Outlets Las Vegas that offer many of the same brands that can be found in the hotel boutiques but for far less.
Another attraction for non-gamblers is the dining. Many celebrity chefs have restaurants in the city. Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck both have more than one restaurant in the casinos, and Bobby Flay has the popular Mesa Grill at Caesar's Palace. Celebrity chef restaurants aren't the only fine dining choices, however. There are many, many five star restaurants in the casinos and the surrounding area. It's also possible to get really good food in Las Vegas without the five star price tag at some of the other eating establishments. In a city that seems to be open 24 hours a day, there are lots of great places to get a meal any time of day.
Boxing matches also draw crowds to Las Vegas. The biggest ones are always held at the Las Vegas casinos, and it's not uncommon for the regular tourist to come face to face with the celebrities who attend these boxing matches. Other sporting events that Las Vegas caters to are kick boxing, WWE wrestling events, speed racing, and the occasional celebrity basketball game with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Las Vegas may not be the first vacation destination that people think of when they think of family vacations, but it is becoming an increasingly popular spot for families. The casinos and other businesses in the surrounding areas are adding more and more attractions for children. Many of the casinos offer live animal attractions such as Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef, The Mirage's White Tiger Habitat, and The MGM Grand's Lion Habitat.
A state of the art arcade called Game Works will appeal to kids of all ages, The Las Vegas Zoo offers hours of entertainment away from the casinos, and Circus Circus has been a family fixture in Las Vegas for years. The city boasts the world's largest indoor theme park, the five and a half acre Adventuredome. Families can find go-karts, kid-friendly shows, children's museums, and wax museums along with many, many other family oriented activities scattered all throughout Las Vegas.
Those wishing to get out from the confines of Las Vegas and its beautiful but flashy buildings can head outside for some fresh air. A visit to The Hoover Dam is easy by taking a tour bus that can be booked from Las Vegas. Bonnie Springs Ranch Old Nevada is just a short drive from the city, and visitors get to experience the Old West. Red Rock Canyon is a bit more of a drive, but it's a great place to get away from it all and do a little hiking. Of course, the area surrounding Las Vegas is littered with golf courses so no golfer has an excuse for not hitting a few while in Vegas.
By: Ti Stephanie Larkin
Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics pertaining to vacations and the travel industry such as Las Vegas Vacation | Las Vegas Vacations