Visiting Las Vegas for the Gambler in Recovery

There's a lot of stuff to do in Las Vegas other than gambling.It's easy to avoid gambling, even around Las Vegas, if one avoids the "Strip" casinos. It's just to easy as a newly reformed gamer to be drawn in by the lights and the ping-ping-ping noises of the machines. We don't gamble this time, some other time, some other day, Las Vegas can still be a lot of fun to visit, even without gambling being involved.

The hotel desk clerks have free maps to offer visitors, so take one with you, you might need it. Sometimes the clerks will talk to you, other times the clerks are busy with a lot of guests – a lot of the desk clerks don't know much about Las Vegas. Tipping the desk clerk $1 – $3 is enough money for the help. Be sure to get a wake-up call for yourself, as you might oversleep.

Hoover Dam Tours cost between twenty and thirty dollars and can be a lot of fun to do. There are also dinner boat cruises on the Hoover Dam, complete with dancing. The Hoover Dam is located at Lake Mead, south of Las Vegas, there are days of activities there, and lots of things to do. Lake Mead is a beautiful man-made lake created by the Hoover Dam. There are a lot of hiking, bicycling, boating, and other outdoor recreational activities all around Lake Mead.

There are a lot of places to go camping around Lake Mead, there is an entire national park there. This is south of the Railroad Pass casino in Boulder City, Colorado. There's a great visitors' center in Boulder City, Colorado, staffed by park rangers to this national park, who know their way around the park, as well as a historical museum, covering the history of the construction of the Hoover Dam.

Also in Boulder City are a few lovely art galleries, one of which is inside the Boulder City Public Library, which usually has an excellent art display on its walls, which in itself is good viewing for an hour, plus, the viewing is free! There are no slot machines in the public library.

Gamblers Anonymous meetings are places to meet people, bring $1 – $3, have coffee or decaf or tea and some snacks, relax, meet some people, and listen to the proceedings. I don't go to Gambler's Anonymous meetings as I still tend to gamble on people, which is a lot like gambling on the slot machines.

Ethel M chocolate factory tours sometimes offer a Kidd's marshmallow factory tour on a single day, the bus tour costs $10 – $20, and is a pleasant way to spend a day around suburban Las Vegas.

The displays at McCarran airport are good places to get lost when one is trying to avoid the ping-ping-ping of the slot machines. These are gorgeous displays, and opportunities to get to the Maryland Avenue bus to the airport abound from the downtown bus station, which is the northernmost stop of the strip bus. There are rental car offices at the McCarran airport, there are hotel buses, there are bus tour information booths, as well. The large screen show in the baggage area is worth watching for at least a half-hour, and it is a free show.

The helicopter or the small jet tour to the Grand Canyon or around the Grand Canyon usually leaves from the executive airport, however, pick-ups are also arranged from McCarran airport. The information booths designed for tourists have a ton of brochures.

The idea of taking a Gray Line tour bus tour may or may not be appealing, there are alternatives such as Cactus Jack's, Wild West Tours, and other companies that may be more appealing to you. Rental cars are readily available from McCarran airport for a do-it yourself tour.

Red Rock Park is another location for hikers, bike path users, and mountain climbers to visit, this park is just outside of Las Vegas on the West Side.

Things to Think About Doing to Get Away from the Machines if You are on "The Strip"

Circus Circus free live performances and acts are places to visit if you find yourself "on the Strip", which require going into the casino. There is a McDonald's with a huge, flashing, neon sign across the parking lot of Circus Circus, which is a place to get away from the casino, and the strip bus is near there, too.

The M&M; factory store is another great place to go to get away from all the slot machines, the store is nice, the help is friendly, and the store is full of "juice", or energy, as is Coca-Cola World.

The boat show at Treasure Island is outside of the casino, and has a lot of light, color and sound; and is good for fifteen minutes or so of free entertainment.

The Stratosphere Tower elevator costs $10 to go up, and gives a great view of the entire Strip of Las Vegas. A person could spend a few hours looking at people from this fine location to watch what is going on around.

The bus trip to Jean, Nevada, costs about $5 – $20, and, gives a tourist about 90 minutes to sleep each way, and there are free shuttle buses between the casinos, plus a roller coaster. Don't miss the return bus, unless you are staying overnight, please. These casinos are near the prisons and are low-pressure gambling establishments. If you can stand the "free" buffet, and tip wisely, the whole day can be spent with a quick trip to the local shopping outlet mall, where one can purchase a watch to be certain to get back to the tour bus on time, or clothes. This bus trip is not within walking distance of the strip, and the employee-only shuttle buses are the only other way back to Las Vegas.

There's a few more ideas about going to Las Vegas without gambling on the machine, to look at on these links. Going to Las Vegas without gambling is like being a kid again, or like seeing Las Vegas again for the first time, going to Las Vegas without gambling.

Here is a tip – if you use the guest laundromat at your hotel, there are no gambling machines there. It costs between $3 – $5 to do your laundry at the hotel, bring a magazine. The first-class resort hotels also offer a wash and fold service for guests, who use the accommodations.

Sources: Vegas kids, website; The Relaxing Side of Las Vegas, Susan Gans; Las Vegas Vacation Tips, Cait Farrell,

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