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There’s so much to do in Las Vegas that getting off the beaten path can be difficult. But a few attractions that pass most people by include:
If you have the benefit of a car, you may want to venture out of the city for a very different experience. A 45 minute drive will take you away from the hustle bustle into the quiet of the desert. Possible day trips, that may require an early rise and a late return, include:
Clark County Museum has a great museum with diaramas and changing exhibits, and gift shop. ...plus a street of historic homes to self tour. The 30 acre site also includes a railway depot, railway stock, a barn to tour, a Ghost Town and Mining Trail to walk, and a nature trail. There are always lots of cottontails hopping around, and sometimes the road runner is in full view, too. The historic homes are all air -conditioned in the summer, so this is a year round treat. Only $1.00 for seniors and children up to 17, and only $2.00 for adults. Only closed on major holidays. Located in Henderson, on your way to the Boulder Dam. 702-455-7955
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. A huge, mountainous desert area 20 min west of the strip. Take Charleston westward into the park. Drive the loop. Stop and hike. Don’t necessarily stop at the first parking/hiking point (which is mostly for rock climbers - see their tiny bodies clinging to the stone cliffs). The stops/hiking points can be very different: canyons vs. rocks vs. swells. The visuals are stunning. Be sure to have a camera. There’s a solid visitor center. Consider hiking with a local expert, who can arrange private and group hikes and rock-scrambling adventures in the area.
Clark County Wetlands Park The Wetlands Nature Preserve, at 7050 Wetlands Park Lane (zip code 89122), is located at the end of East Tropicana just north of the Silver Bowl (about 8 miles east of the Strip) . The Preserve is open daily, dawn to dusk, and the Information Center is open 9AM to 3PM. The Preserve includes over two miles of paved trails (and several miles of unpaved trails), a bird-viewing blind, and ponds. Admission is FREE . See the website for maps, a birding checklist, a bird gallery to assist in identifying those unfamiliar species, directions, and other helpful information.
Valley of Fire State Park Located 50 minutes northeast of the strip, this is a fantastic drive with hikes through the red sandstone formations, canyons, and petroglyphs. For more info see "Things to Do" in Overton, Nevada.
Ethel M Chocolates in Henderson, not far. Sure, for the chocolate tour, but the demonstration water reclamation project is the crown jewel. So little environmental consciousness is evident in LV - just rampant building with no evidence of even solar panels. Ethel M also has a demonstration botanical garden with low-water plants that is a photographer’s delight.
The Hoover Dam - an hour or so outside of LV
This monument to human labor and environment-tweaking speaks for itself. Good visitor center that provides not only the engineering feats but also the social/historical context of the dam’s construction. Take the time to take the tour through the Dam. It takes you down into the turbine rooms and through a gallery of historic life-sized photos that were taken during the construction of the Dam and is a memorial to the men who lost their lives building the Dam and a monument to this amazing engineering achievement.
Primm Outlet Mall
About an hour's drive from Las Vegas on the California border, this name-brand outlet mall is definitely worth the trip. Also at this location are three casinos: Terribles (attached to the mall), Whiskey Pete's and Wild Bill's (both connected to the mall by monorail). There are shopping shuttle tours available for $15 from several on-Strip locations, including Fashion Show Mall and MGM Grand, with departures beginning around 9 a.m. with return trips ending with a 6 p.m. departure from the mall The shuttles guarantee 3 hours of shopping, but it is possible to arrange a return on a later bus by contacting the Service Center booth at the food court at the mall at 12:30.
Grand Canyon Skywalk A glass horseshoe-shaped bridge jutting out over the edge of the Grand Canyon 4,000 feet above the floor of the canyon. The bridge is located at the area more popularly known as Grand Canyon West. Be advised that even though the Visitors Center is still under construction, the Skywalk itself is open.
Low-keyed restaurants enjoyed off the strip, all in strip malls :
The Egg and I - on Sahara
Shucks - on Flamingo near Fort Apache
Java ah Go-Go Cafe at 5415 South Rainbow- a Starbucks alternative, on the southwest edge of city development
Sun Buggy Fun Rentals Provides free shuttles from resort in Las Vegas to take an adventure tour in their custom built dune buggies. The Nellis Dunes Mini-Baja is a high speed off road chase described by Rolling Stone Magazine as "Sin Citys Best near death experience!". The Mini-Baja has already been featured in several TV shows and magazines and is as close to real baja desert racing as most people will ever get. Sun Buggy Fun Rentals also has more laid back excursions like the Valley of Fire adventure which is a scenic nature tour like none other. Several past clients have posted videos of their adventures on youtube .
Adventures Vegas is a one stop resource for all off the beaten path activities and fun things to do ina and around vegas..