When you think of Las Vegas, the first thing you think of is casinos, gambling and all-you-can eat buffets. There is much more the Las Vegas then showgirls, alcohol and slot machines- all you need to do is look! Off the Las Vegas Strip are activities, experiences and sights to keep the off-strip adventurer at heart entertained, no matter your budget or time frame.
Here are some of the best places to visit “off-strip” when you visit Las Vegas!
Visit Arizona Hot Springs
Black Canyon, the section of Colorado River below the Hoover Dam, is famous for slot canyon hot springs! The easiest of the springs to get to is Arizona Hot Springs. A pool located in a narrow slot canyon just above the river. Maintained by the National Park Service, there is a 6 mile, round trip, hike and a 20 foot ladder climb. It is best to visit in winter when the hike is cool and the soak in the pool is refreshing and enjoyable. Forget the spa, head off the Las Vegas strip to the hot springs.
Downtown Container Park
Visit the Downtown Container Park, an open air mall made from upcycled shipping containers! Check out the Burning Man, a 55-foot tall steel sculpture that shoots flames at sundown. At dusk, jump into the public drum circle to help wake the Burning Man. Be sure to check out their schedule for events and live music!
The Springs Preserve is a 180-acre natural preserve attraction in Las Vegas, featuring botanical gardens, museums, events, exhibits, walking trails and other attractions. Check out the Butterfly Habitat in spring and fall. The seasonal exhibit, allows you to wander and witness the butterflies and the plants that sustain them. Or, visit the Sustainability Gallery, where you can learn about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The gallery includes interactive exhibits and an entire house full of sustainable appliances, fixtures and décor!
Ethel M. Chocolates and Botanical Gardens
Visit Ethel M. Chocolates and Botanical Gardens , just off the Las Vegas Strip, for fantastic chocolate and cacti! The chocolate shop was founded by Forrest Mars Sr. (Mars Candy) and features homemade, gourmet chocolates. Walk through Nevada’s largest (and one of the world’s largest) collections of its kind. The collection features four acres of drought-tolerant ornamental, cacti, and other succulents from all over the world. Admittance to the Gardens is free!
Lucky Cat Fortunes
Visit Las Vegas’s most famous soothsayer, the Lucky Cat, located at the Cosmopolitan Casino. The 9-foot tall, chrome cat dispenses fortunes free. But, only to those who put their hand on his paw (bring disinfectant). The fortunes vary from fortune cookie advice to Cosmopolitan rewards like, rooms and drinks!
Valley of Fire
An hour from Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire, the oldest Nevada State Park. With breathtaking red sandstone formations. These amazing vistas appear on fire when they reflect the sun’s rays. There are also great examples of rock art at different locations around the 35,000 acre park.
There are way too many things to do in Las Vegas to spend all of your time on the Strip. Explore all of the activities, experiences and sights to keep you entertained without even going to the Las Vegas Strip. Explore Sin City and the surrounding area!
Your turn! If you have any cool, off-strip, activities, experiences or sights, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you’ve got!