Las Vegas is the gambling mecca of North America, so it should come as no surprise that the city has developed its fair share of attractions aimed directly at adventurous tourists. The glitz and glamour of Sin City should be enjoyed thoroughly, don’t get us wrong, but there’s some traps in and around the world-famous Strip that are better left off of your travel itinerary. Luckily, for every terrible attraction to skip over in Las Vegas, there are plenty of worthy things to see and do. Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of Sin City tourist traps that just aren’t worth visiting during your time in Nevada’s most famous city.
The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace
All told, the Forum Shops include more than 160 individual stores, but are they worth your time? Generally, the types of retail shops you’ll find at this well-positioned mall are the same that you’ll see at your local shopping center. Sure, the Forum Shops feature a plethora of higher-end brands for high rollers and big spenders, but these stores aren’t exactly attractions any more. Instead, if you’re in the mood for some shopping, check out Container Park at the corner of 7th and Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. This unique mall hosts an inventive mix of indie clothing boutiques, jewelry stores and art galleries selling wares that you won’t find anywhere else. Even if you’re not big on shopping, this mall constructed primarily of old shipping containers is worth a look. Throw in free concerts, movie nights and activities for the kids, and you’ve got an affordable evening in Sin City.
Photos at the Las Vegas Sign
The iconic ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign has become a must-see spot for visitors from around the world, but why should you settle for a picture that thousands of others have already taken? During the day, huge tour buses shuttle dozens of tourists to this famous sign, making it extremely crowded and unquestionably a tourist trap. For a more unique set of photographs to share with family and friends, we suggest a trip downtown to the Neon Museum. For a small fee, you can take a tour and get up close and personal with a collection of vintage Vegas signage in the ‘neon boneyard’. Signs for classic casinos like the Stardust and Sahara make for great backdrops for family photos, and they’re a lot less crowded than that other sign across town.
Gold and Silver Pawn Shop
After debuting in 2009, Pawn Stars became one of the highest rated reality shows on television. People just couldn’t get enough of watching tourists and locals sell their family heirlooms for a little extra gambling money. Sometimes, though, things on TV don’t quite live up to expectations. In recent years, Gold and Silver Pawn has become one of Sin City’s most recognizable tourist traps, but you’ll likely be surprised at just how popular it can be. After waiting in a line for over three hours, visitors are able to walk around the famous store, but the characters they’ve become so familiar with are normally nowhere to be found. This is because famous personalities would get in the way of the pawn business. If you really want to learn something about the pawn business, visit a pawn shop in your hometown. Spend your time in Las Vegas doing something else; you won’t be sorry.
The Dreaded Two Hour Tour
This is an old favorite at tourist destinations around the world. You’ll be treated to free gambling money, tickets to shows, dinners and hotel rooms, and all you’ll need to do is attend a quick two hour meeting to learn about the tremendous benefits of timeshare ownership. Two old clichés ring true here. First, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second, nothing is free, especially in Las Vegas. If you find yourself getting harassed by people hawking these programs, there are a few simple solutions. Sure, you could just ignore them, but we find the best option is telling them that you’ll be leaving later tonight. If you don’t have time to hear the spiel, they don’t have any good reason to keep bothering you. Everybody wins.
Is there anything more annoying than having to pay to get some of your own money? Las Vegas, always the cunning artist of cash grabs, has implemented high ATM fees of $5 or more on most gaming floor machines in order to pad their pockets just a little bit more. While $5 may not seem like a lot, you could be making a lot of withdrawals during your time in Sin City if things don’t go your way. Luckily, we’ve scouted the ATM with the lowest fees in town. Just off of the Fremont Street Experience, there’s a cash machine with a fee of just $2. If you’re wondering if this little baby is a big deal, your concerns will disappear when you see the huge neon sign celebrating this monumental achievement. Seriously, there’s a neon sign advertising an ATM that charges $2 per transaction. Only in Las Vegas. If $2 doesn’t get your blood pumping, we’ve also heard rumors of a $1 machine at Casino Royale. Do some research, save some cash.
Tourist traps come with the territory for a destination as popular as Las Vegas. With a little bit of forethought and research, however, you’ll be able to avoid these money pits in favor of some truly unique experiences in the world’s most famous casino city. Spend some time on the casino floor, take a terrifying leap off the top of the Stratosphere tower, see a show or two and enjoy some time by the pool. Vegas has plenty to offer. In the meantime, Prism Casino offers all of the gaming fun with none of the tacky tourist distractions. Hone your skills before hitting the Strip, and you could be rewarded with a more profitable visit to Sin City.