Here’s a twist: you’re in Las Vegas during the insanely-busy tipoff to March Madness but you don’t like basketball. You either got dragged their by your hoop-crazed friends or significant other, blindly rolled into town for a convention, or booked your Sin City getaway obvious to the fact that the entire sports betting world would be descending upon Vegas.
Not to worry. Las Vegas is an amazing place because you can lose yourself in so many different things. You can be here and not even know that there’s a major convention or expo happening. Avoiding March Madness may not be as easy, but it’s really not that difficult.
The easiest and most obvious way to not watch basketball is to avoid the sportsbook and sports bars. Think of the first weekend of March Madness like an NFL Sunday. Basketball games and highlights will be on every TV you see at a bar or in the casino. Just stay away from the TV's and you won’t have to deal with basketball.
Let’s focus on fun. What can you do in Las Vegas that isn’t related to basketball? Everything else!Spend the day outside
Pools are open at many casinos on the Vegas Strip and temperatures are in the 80’s. Dayclubs have already started opening and you can spend all day outside partying at Encore/Drai’s/Tao Beach Club, Marquee Dayclub, Wet Republic, Rehab, Daylight, Liquid and more. Whether you want to party or just hang out, you can spend much of the day at a pool.
You can use March Madness as an excuse to have a different kind of Vegas vacation. Explore nature outside of the casino. Try some of these activities:
• Play a round of golf. There are hundreds of courses in Las Vegas.
• Take a hike at Valley of Fire or Red Rock Canyon.
• Ride the zipline at Bootleg Canyon.
• Go horseback Riding at Calico Basin near Red Rock Canyon.
• Ride ATV’s in the desert.
• Go to an outdoor gun range like Pro Gun Club.
• Go shopping outdoors at Tivoli Village in Summerlin.Drink and dine Al Fresco
Grab your drinks and meals outside. There are plenty of outdoor dining options in Las Vegas today. In fact, eating and drinking outside has never been easier. Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful Las Vegas weather during the day or night but you’ll also avoid the college basketball hoopla.
The variety of bars and restaurants with outdoor seating stretches from fast food to gourmet. You can kick off the day with great breakfast overlooking the Vegas Strip at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris or Tom’s Urban at New York-New York.
The Linq has plenty of affordable outdoor drinking and dining options for any time of the day. Some of the better options include In N Out Burger, Yard House, and Chayo (Mexican). You can even grab dessert at Sprinkles and chillax in the sun. Yeah, chillax.
The Bellagio and Wynn have plenty of fine dining restaurants with outdoor seating for dinner time. You can find also moderately priced outdoor dining options from Border Grill at Mandalay Bay to Benihana at the Fashion Show Mall.Go to Downtown Las Vegas
Some of the casinos on the Vegas Strip have added TV’s to their gambling pits. If you really want to avoid the hoops go to the downtown Las Vegas casinos to gamble. Many of the properties are smaller and have fewer amenities. You won’t find many TV’s getting in the way of your blackjack or craps games. You’ll probably spend less money too, since many of the casinos offer lower limits than the Strip.
The Fremont Street Experience at night is probably the most chaotic cluster of the non-basketball brand of madness you’ll find in Las Vegas. Walk around and enjoy the free entertainment on one of three stages or the Viva Vision shows on the canopy above you at the top of every hour. This covered mall of casinos is unlike anything you’ll find outside of downtown.
Lastly, Gold Spike has transformed into a haven for people looking for a bar that doesn't have sports. Instead of watching the games while you drink, you can play different games while you drink. You'll find games like billiards, shuffleboard and fake Connect Four inside the bar. Head outside and you'll find a massive beer pong game, cornhole, chess and more.
When you’re done eating, drinking, and gambling you can head out to a nightclub to meet up with your friends that wasted the day cooped up watching hoops.
Don't forget, the first weekend of March Madness and St. Patrick's Day happen at the same time. You can easily avoid hoops madness and find plenty of Saint Paddy's madness all over town.