For most of us, when we think Las Vegas we think The Strip. That inevitable draw to the glimmering road dripping with shows, games, food and spirits. Clouds of smoke dance above tinkering glasses of libations to the orchestra of slot machines. People laughing, shouting, singing, dancing. It can be quite seductive. Indeed, a trip to Las Vegas is no trip at all without walking down that boulevard.
That being said, Vegas has so much more to offer. My most recent trip was to visit family and with that was a pleasant discovery into some interesting things to do above and beyond your typical Vegas experience:
1. Red Rock Canyon: There are 19 marked trails for every hiking level and affords hikers the opportunity to experience breathtaking views, colorful geological areas, peaks and even man made water holes.
2. The Fremont Street Experience: An expansive one street experience, Fremont Street incorporates an “old Vegas” vibe through old-fashioned casinos and hotels, free entertainment such as outside concerts and shows, and sexy and bizarre street performers. This culminates into a “vintage Vegas” feel that is super fun to experience. I highly recommend getting a cocktail at Downtown Cocktail Room and then zipline above the street if that tickles your fancy. Also – don’t forget to look up! There’s an amazing light show on Fremont Street where “it’s 12.5 million lights and 550,000 watts of sound you’ll only see in Las Vegas.”
3. The Linq: Technically, this is actually on the Strip but different enough to still make it on the list. The Linq is a wide alleyway full of new restaurants, shops, and casinos that revel in the shadow of the massive “High Roller” – boasting the world’s tallest observation wheel. They even have a Brooklyn Bowl there!
4. Yoga – There are tons of fantastic places to do Yoga in Vegas. I highly recommend doing Dolphin Yoga at the Mirage where you and 8 others (max) do yoga class in an underwater dolphin viewing room. For a more traditional experience – I also recommend TruFusion – they have top-notch instructors and gorgeous space with 2 hot rooms, a regular exercise room and a full service juice bar.
5. The Valley of Fire: Open all year long, this is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. There are areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs to experience and you can camp, hike, and picnic there. There are also a number of interesting Native American shops selling an array of hand-made jewelry, clothing and dreamcatchers.