1. Don’t hang out on the Strip watching for stars.
Instead, see some real stars in Tonopah.
It’s the #1 place for stargazing in the entire country, according to USA Today.
2. Skip LONGBAR at the D Las Vegas.
Instead, visit the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings.
LONGBAR boasts the longest bar in Nevada, but it’s also full of tourists. Pioneer Saloon is a Nevada icon and has been featured in many television shows and movies.
3. Don’t take a gondola ride at the Venetian.
Instead, take a cruise on the Bleu Wave on Lake Tahoe.
Admire the azure blue Emerald Bay with a lunch cruise on the Bleu Wave, a 70-foot-long yacht. Why float down a fake river inside a hotel when you can enjoy a gorgeous lake surrounded by pine trees?
4. Don’t watch the fountains at the Bellagio.
Instead, wonder at the natural beauty of Big Falls, at Mt. Charleston.
It’s a strenuous 1.4-mile hike, but well worth it.
5. Don’t ride the Big Apple Coaster.
Instead, ride the Desperado Roller Coaster in Primm.
Its 209-foot height and 90 mph speed make it one of the tallest, fastest coasters in the country.
6. Don’t take a helicopter tour of Vegas.
Instead, hike to the top of Wheeler Peak (or drive up the scenic byway).
The view is stunning, and you’ll get some fresh air, too. You’ve already seen a thousand aerial photos of Vegas, anyway.
7. Don’t marvel at the wax figures of famous people at Madame Tussaud’s.
Instead, people-watch on the strip.
The craziness of the tourists is a million times more entertaining than wax renditions of movie stars.
8. Don’t dine at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Instead, patronize your favorite local restaurant.
Bland, boring buffet offerings? Yuck. Visit a little hometown spot for delicious local food. This is Little City Grille, in Boulder City, which consistently wins awards with local residents.
9. Don’t waste your entire paycheck in the casino.
Instead, take spend the entire day at The Valley of Fire State Park.
It’s Nevada’s largest, oldest state park. You can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air for just a $10 entry fee.
10. Don’t get married in a drive-through chapel.
Instead, get married in a beautiful, historic place.
Your poor mother will die of disappointment if you elope to Vegas. Find a local place with some real history, like Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, and include your friends and family.