Las Vegas for the non-partier

The lights, the entertainment, the vibrant nightlife. Las Vegas sure is one hell of a place.

I hate to say this, but Las Vegas was probably one of my least favourite places to visit. As a person who is not hugely into partying, drinking or gambling, I found myself a little bit out of place here. Despite this, there is still a lot of awesome things to do and see in this city.

If you’re like me and have ended up in Las Vegas without the intention to get absolutely white-girl wasted, here are some alternative things you can do.

A day in Vegas 

I decided to go indoor skydiving at a place located on Convention Center Drive and it turned out to be one of the coolest things I had ever done. It cost about US $85 to do a group skydive for 15 minutes, with all ages welcomed. According to the company, the experience is supposed to mimic the ‘thrilling sensation of skydiving, without a parachute or aeroplane.’ I’d never been outdoor skydiving so I couldn’t really compare it to any other experience.

The way it works is that you are placed over a 1000 horsepower motor that keeps you up in the air, as an instructor spins you around and keeps you afloat. The first time is intense because you don’t really know what to expect but after the second and third time you become more relaxed.

I would totally recommend indoor skydiving if you’re looking to have fun, try something new or even as a time-filler. It was an experience I’ll never forget and was probably way less terrifying than outdoor skydiving.

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Floating at Vegas Indoor Skydiving

If you’re sick of staring at the four walls of your hotel room, take a walk along the Las Vegas Strip. There is just as much to see and do during the day as there is at night.

Apart from its many attractions, the Las Vegas Strip has plenty of places to eat, drink and shop, along with museums, exhibits and shows.

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New York, New York on the Las Vegas Strip

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Caesar’s Palace

A night in Vegas 

Despite there being hundreds of nightclubs and casinos to explore, a night in Las Vegas can be a little less low-key if you’re not into the party scene.

If you’re not into partying or just in need of a night off, I would 100% recommend that you check out the free Viva Vision light show at Fremont Street.

Fremont street is a five-block entertainment district in downtown Las Vegas. Every night of the week a free light show is displayed on a huge screen suspended above the mall. The Viva Vision light show is a must-see in Las Vegas with more than 17 million people per year experiencing it.

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Fremont Street

The best way to watch the show… From the ground.

Now laying on the ground in a public place may not be the most hygienic thing to do and you will be subject to plenty of stares, but I promise you it is an experience out of this world.

I’m not lying when I say that my Topdecker friends and I became more of an attraction than the actual show above us. People stood around filming and taking photos of us as we lay on the floor.

Another cool way to view the show is by flying on the SlotZilla Zip Line, a 12-storey high, slot machine inspired, zip line attraction.

SlotZilla offers two ways to fly:

The lower ‘Zipline’ costs US $25 and is about 23 metres from the ground.

The ‘Zoomline’ costs US $45 and takes off at around 35 metres.

You can also save US $5 on either line if you choose to fly before 6 p.m.

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A snippet of the Viva Vision light show at Fremont Street

The fountains of Bellagio are also really cool to see at night. Located outside the Bellagio hotel-casino at the intersection of Flamingo Road and the Vegas Strip, is an aquatic show choreographed with music and lights.

Shows take place every half an hour from Monday to Sunday and every 15 minutes after 12 a.m.

Walking along the Las Vegas Strip is just as exciting during the day as it is at night. Everything is lit up so beautifully, making it the perfect time to explore.

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The Bellagio

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Paris, Las Vegas

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Exploring LA in just two days

I started my US adventure in Los Angeles and had only two days to experience everything it had to offer. I know what you’re thinking, two days isn’t necessarily a lot of time to explore an entire city, but surprisingly I covered quite a lot of ground.

I arrived at around 6:30 am local time after enduring a 13 hour flight with zero sleep. I  wasn’t able to check into my hotel room until 12 o’clock so despite being exhausted, I didn’t want to waste any of the limited time I had to explore.

Hollywood

I booked a tour with Starline Tours that went through Hollywood, Mulholland Drive and Beverly Hills. I saw some amazing views of downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. I also saw the Hollywood sign off in the distance and a whole lot of palm trees.

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The Hollywood Sign

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View of San Fernando

My tour guide was super engaging and told us a tonne of cool facts about the city and the places we saw. He was more than happy to point out which houses had celebrities residing in them. I was given the opportunity to see where Michael Jackson lived and sadly passed away, and a whole bunch of other famous households.

After exploring the Hollywood Hills, we moved on to Beverly Hills and again, saw a tonne of famous people’s houses, lots and lots of palm trees (there never seems to be a shortage of palm trees in LA) and the famous Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Beverly Hills

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The Beverly Hills Hotel

The tour was just over 2 hours long, which I thought was the perfect length because we got to see a decent portion of the city and I wasn’t bored to death of sitting on a mini bus all day. I would totally recommend booking a tour like this if you are aiming to cover some decent ground in a short period of time. Having a tour guide is also really great if you’re interested in learning more about the history, and the celebrity and entertainment culture of Los Angeles. Starline offer a range of tours, including a Hop-On-Hop-Off that takes you around the entire city as well.

The Walk of Fame 

It would be pretty silly to visit LA and not visit the Walk of Fame (in my opinion anyway). Not only is it great walking exercise, (2.1 kilometres in length) there is also some really cool things to see on Hollywood Boulevard.

The Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Madam Tussauds, the Museum of Death and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, are some of the main attractions that are worth checking out if you have the time.

Sadly, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds both passed away while I was there, which meant that their stars were decked out with flowers, candles and Star Wars memorabilia.

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Carrie Fisher’s Star

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Outside the Chinese Theatre

If you’re feeling a little bit hungry from all that walking, stopping by In-N-Out Burger on Sunset Boulevard is a must. It was pretty packed when I stopped by for lunch but well worth the wait, and you can’t visit California without at least trying it once.

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Can confirm the burgers are good

Downtown LA

I stayed at the Miyako Hotel, Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. I enjoyed my stay here because there was plenty of places to eat and explore. However, Downtown LA isn’t the safest place, especially at night, so try to avoid walking around by yourself. The Miyako isn’t really in the best location either, only because it was a little far out from most of the places I wanted to visit. This was easily solved by catching the train and is probably one of the easiest ways to get around LA.

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The view from my hotel room in Little Tokyo

Santa Monica 

I caught the train down town to Santa Monica, which was easily one of my favourite places in LA. Santa Monica is right near the beach and the Pier is an iconic location. I spent the afternoon riding the ferris wheel, browsing the many stalls and souvenir shops and taking in the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

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Santa Monica

There’s a tonne of things to keep you entertained on the Pier, including restaurants, rides and even an aquarium. Or you can just relax on the beach.

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Santa Monica Pier