Many people flock to Las Vegas to gamble, sip free cocktails, and lounge by the pool. If this is all you want, you’ll never have to leave the Las Vegas Strip. But if you find yourself wanting a break from the casino atmosphere for an afternoon or day, there are several things to do in Las Vegas just outside town. Consider the following options:
Hoover Dam is a quick 45 minute drive southeast of the Las Vegas strip and is one of the man made wonders of the modern world. And now it has a brand new, adjacent rival—The Hoover Dam Bypass. This massive arched bridge spans the top of the canyon 900 feet above the Colorado River, offering stunning views of the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. While the lights of Vegas Strip might hold you spellbound, these massive engineering feats will inspire true awe.
Just 35 minutes west of the Las Vegas strip you can escape into extraordinary desert beauty at the Red Rock Canyon preserve. From most vantage points outside of Vegas, you see desolate desert wilderness. But Red Rock is an oasis of stunning sandstone reds and pinks. You can drive the scenic loop and soak it in without leaving your car, or you can take in the refreshing desert air on one of the 20 hiking trails which range from easy to strenuous. A popular activity is climbing and scrambling over the red rock formations.
A 10 minutes’ drive up the road from Red Rock Canyon is Bonnie Springs Ranch. Here an old mining town has been replicated, complete with Wild West performances throughout the week. You can ride horse back through desert sandstone landscapes or let the kids enjoy the petting zoo. The World Famous Bonnie Springs Ranch Restaurant & Bar offers down home country BBQ, chicken and ribs, steak, and Bison products, and many other items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stay at the motel in one of their themed rooms and enjoy the desert serenity.
These are just a few things to do in Las Vegas when you need a break from The Strip.