When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the strip – casinos, drinks, shows, lavish hotels, and Elvis impersonators. However, there are many more things to experience in the Las Vegas area. This area of our country is beautiful and offers wonderful landscapes often overlooked by the casual traveler. Las Vegas is also a town full of history that is fun to experience. After a few days of Las Vegas drama, you might welcome the change that these sites bring.
Red Rock Canyon
Not far from Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon Park. This area offers a beautiful, unique landscape that can be breathtaking for those used to the city. Drive on a winding road that weaves through enormous red rock formations. Pack a meal and stop at one of the picnic areas for a memorable outing. Several designated areas are perfect for light recreational rock climbing or relaxing on a high rock overlooking the beautiful landscape. Trails are labeled for those who want to connect with nature and get some exercise. Whether you decide to just drive through or if you stop and enjoy the outdoors, this is one unique location that should not be passed up.
Visit Fremont Street to experience the history of Las Vegas casinos. This older strip of casinos gives you the feeling of the rat pack days. Back in the day, this was where everything was happening in Las Vegas. Today, this smaller and older casino area is not quite as lavish as the newer strip, but still a fun experience. Live music often fills the streets, and everything is alive. Visit at night to see the famous lighted outdoor ceiling. This extensive overhead display is hard to describe with words. Frequent “shows” are played out in lights to music for your enjoyment. Go see it for yourself… it is definitely worth your while.
If you are up for a drive through the desert, Hoover Dam is an excellent destination. Scheduled tours are available if you enjoy them and want to learn more about the function and history of the dam. If you do not enjoy tours, simply driving through the area surround the dam and seeing the dam itself are worth the experience. The winding roads leading up to the dam display a beautiful landscape. The dam itself is an astonishing site to see. Do not just drive over the dam. Make sure you get out of your car and gaze down into the concrete dam. At night, the dam is lit and becomes even more dramatic and beautiful.
The Grand Canyon
Many daytrips to the Grand Canyon originate from Las Vegas. You can plan ahead, or decide to join one while on your vacation. Many hotels and ticket booths on the Las Vegas strip sell these tickets. Usually a bus will pick you up from a location on the Las Vegas strip in the morning, take you to the Grand Canyon, and return to the strip in the afternoon or evening. If you have access to a car, you can plan your own site seeing trip that includes the Grand Canyon. If you plan ahead, you might be able to find a travel package that includes a Grand Canyon tour at a steep discount.
If you are not familiar with the desert landscape, you might enjoy simply driving out into the desert and seeing what it has to offer. The desert offers many unique features that can create a fun experience for a visitor.
Escape into one of the many museums found in Las Vegas to learn about Las Vegas history, or to see some interesting items. Ask at your hotel desk for brochures on the local museums. Some hotels themselves even contain free museums for guests.
For more ideas on unique things to do in Las Vegas, ask someone at your hotel desk, a waitress, or a local Las Vegas resident to recommend some must see or unique sites. After a few days in sin city, it is easy to grow tired of the noise, lights, and mayhem. A change of scenery can be most welcome!
So, next time you visit Las Vegas, plan to see a bit of history, or visit a natural or man-made wonder. It will certainly help balance the craziness of the strip, and give you a more well-rounded experience.