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Las Vegas: Those two words alone conjure instant images of drama and excess, flamboyant dancers and ludicrous architecture, lights that never stop flashing, roulette wheels that never stop spinning, and a city that never, ever sleeps.
But there's a lot more to Vegas than The Strip. So whether you are visiting for a convention, a romantic getaway, or just want to inject a little variety into a hedonistic trip, here are a few things to do in Las Vegas without losing your money or your mind.
The Las Vegas Campus of the University of Nevada acts as the intellectual and cultural center of the city. Its performing arts venues showcase ballets, operas, and big theatrical productions, and ticket prices ring in at a fraction of what you'd pay to see the Blue Man Group. Download a free 90-walking tour of the campus from our guidebook, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Las Vegas.
Go beyond the Bellagio's Gallery of Fine Art to the 18b Arts District, an 18-block stretch of galleries and art spaces that hosts an outdoor fair featuring live music and food stalls on the first Friday of the month. The Arts Factory in particular is a great spot to see work by local artists.
The House Of Blues can be a den of ill repute after dark, but come Sunday morning it plays host to the famous Gospel Brunch, a joyous blend of live gospel music and a buffet with such Southern foodie treats as biscuits, gravy, and jambalaya. You might end up stuffing yourself into a food coma, but then, this is Vegas.
This thought-provoking attraction traces the history of the atomic age and describes the ground-level atomic testing process that took place in the desert. You can also purchase tickets to the Area 51 exhibit if you fancy a little alien-chasing during your trip.
Just north of The Strip lies the Downtown & Fremont Street district, which includes the Art Deco-era Huntridge Theater. The nearby Nevada State Museum charts southern Nevada's strange history, and the Las Vegas Zoo is home to more than forty endangered species and a petting area for pygmy goats that kids will love.
When you're lost in the vast smoky expanse of a casino floor it might feel like there's no escape from the chaos, but just 17 miles west lies the hiker's paradise of Red Rock Canyon. The conservation area's stunning namesake stands proud over a unique network of nature trails and climbing spots, popular during the winter months.
Discover more with DK Eyewitness Travel Guides.