Las Vegas

Sure, you’ve heard stories from friends when they come back, but nothing compares to experiencing the fabulous Las Vegas first hand. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you want to visit, Las Vegas has them all.

You can be floating down a canal in a gondola at The Venetian one moment and riding in a crazy taxi cab/rollercoaster at New York New York the next. There are mob museums, wax museums, and more art museums than you can imagine.

Wanting to keep it free? Las Vegas has plenty of free attractions as well. Some of the most popular are the water fountains at the Bellagio and the Pirate show at Treasure Island.

You may not have heard, but Las Vegas also has gambling. In fact, if you want to try your hand at Black Jack, Poker, or the always available slot machine; chances are you won’t have to look far in Vegas. You can gamble at the gas station, the grocery store, the airport, and of course the casinos.

If you’re wanting to get a little dancing and partying in, you picked the right city. One of the city’s most used phrases is “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Partying and living it up is what this city is all about. Just about every casino on the strip has their own nightclub. Whether you want to go and dance, or sit back and relax at a table with bottle service; the nightclubs are happy to accommodate.

Although Las Vegas is widely known for the party-lifestyle and lavish, excessive casinos; there are many more entertaining options outside of the Strip than you would imagine. In a half hour or less, you can find yourself in a scenic desert setting, get the chance to witness a wild-west gunfight, at one of many museums taking in history, or even taking the best dam tour around. Following are just a few of the highlights outside of the Strip.

Hoover Dam

If you’re one to enjoy seeing the result of American ingenuity, then you’ll need to look no farther than Hoover Dam. Since it was completed in 1935, the Hoover Dam has stood as one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century. Even after 75 plus years it continues to bring in masses of visitors each year. As the dam tours were mentioned earlier, it is important to inform you that there are two types of tours you can take while visiting. The first is “The Power Plant Tour”, which will take you all the way down into the heart of the dam where you’ll be able to see the enormous generators that supply energy to California, Nevada, and Arizona. The other tour is simply called “The Dam Tour”, which increases your time at the power plant facility and also gives you amazing views of Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and the new bridge. If you prefer to keep it free, however, you can opt to simply stand at the top of the dam and revel in the three million cubic yards of concrete which ends at the Colorado River. It is legitimately a breathtaking view.

Red Rock Canyon

Both tourist and locals are drawn to Red Rocks Canyon, and for good reason. Only 15 miles will remove you from the flashing lights and noise and place into a serene wilderness. The barren mountains of auburn Aztec sandstone come out of the flat desert floor of mesquite and yucca. It’s the home for many of Nevada’s wildlife such as mountain lions, desert iguanas, ringtail cats, foxes, and roadrunners. You can watch them run wild in their natural habitat while taking a tour on the 13-mile drive that will also have you loop through the canyon. If you feel like getting out of the car and braving the heat (in the summer), there are also many hikes available to go on.

Clark County Heritage Museum

Remember how museums were mentioned before? Well the Clark County Heritage Museum is definitely one of the best. It’s approximately 20 miles east of Las Vegas in the neighboring city of Henderson. You definitely get a good bang for your buck with this option. At the museum you can learn all about the entertaining background of the area. You’ll learn about topics that far predate the casinos and gambling that Las Vegas is known for today. A couple of the highlights are the original Native American tribes as well as the explorers and settlers that came in the 1800’s. If you want, you can even learn about the native plants of the area. Alongside the museum are eight other historic sites that you can visit once you’re done at the museum.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Bonnie Spring Ranch is by definition, the Old West. Back in 1843 the first ranch was established, however it now operates as a tourist attraction only. This is where you’ll get the opportunity to see the old western gunfight and even witness a reenactment of a bank robbery. Spend the afternoon walking the dirt streets and visiting the old opera house and other old western buildings. The cherry on top is that you only pay per car, so it’s easy to keep the cost low if you’re bringing the whole family.