Las Vegas is known for its glitz and glam being the entertainment capital of the world, however, there’s more to America’s Playground than just going to the strip. Below are some of the best local activities and sites Vegas offers away from the strip.
1. First Friday
First Friday Las Vegas is a monthly art and culture festival that takes place on the first Friday of every month in downtown Las Vegas. The event began in October 2002 as a small gathering of artists and musicians in the Arts District and has since grown into a major community event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each month.
At First Friday, you can find a wide variety of art exhibits, live music performances, food trucks, and street vendors selling handmade crafts and jewelry. The festival is known for its eclectic mix of local and regional artists, and the event often features special exhibitions and installations by up-and-coming artists and established professionals.
In addition to art and music, First Friday also offers a variety of family-friendly activities, including face painting, interactive art installations, and workshops for children and adults. First Friday Las Vegas has become an important cultural event in the city, and it has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas. The festival is organized by a nonprofit organization, the First Friday Foundation, which aims to promote local artists and support the development of the downtown arts district.
2. Lake Las Vegas
Lake Las Vegas offers a unique blend of natural beauty and resort-style amenities, making it a popular destination for both residents and visitors alike. Lake Las Vegas is a man-made lake and residential community located in Henderson, Nevada, about 17 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip. The lake was created in the late 1980s as part of a master-planned community, and it covers over 320 acres with 10 miles of shoreline.
The community features a variety of resorts, golf courses, as well as restaurants, shops, and recreational activities. The community is designed to provide a resort-like lifestyle with a focus on outdoor recreation, relaxation, and entertainment. Some popular activities at Lake Las Vegas include boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding on the lake, hiking, and biking on the nearby trails. The community also features two championship golf courses, the Reflection Bay Golf Club and the South Shore Golf Club, both designed by renowned golf course architects.
Lake Las Vegas is also home to several luxury resorts, including the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, and the Aston Monte Lago Village Resort offer upscale accommodations, dining options, and spa services.
3. Town Square
Town Square Las Vegas is an open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment center located on Las Vegas Boulevard South, about 2.5 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. The complex covers over 1.2 million square feet and features over 120 stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Some of the popular retailers at Town Square Las Vegas include Apple, H&M, Sephora, and Pottery Barn, as well as a variety of specialty stores offering fashion, home decor, and gifts. The complex also features an 18-screen movie theater, a children’s play area, and several outdoor courtyards and plazas for events and concerts.
Town Square Las Vegas is known for its unique design, which combines elements of traditional European architecture with modern elements. The complex features cobblestone streets, fountains, and scenic walkways, as well as public art installations and sculptures.The dining options at Town Square Las Vegas include a variety of cuisines, ranging from casual to fine dining. Popular restaurants include Yard House, California Pizza Kitchen, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. Overall, Town Square Las Vegas is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a unique shopping and dining experience in a vibrant and welcoming environment.
4. Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory & Botanical Garden
Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory & Botanical Garden is a popular attraction located in Henderson, Nevada, about 15 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. The complex is home to a chocolate factory and a cactus garden, both of which are open to the public for tours and visits.
The chocolate factory is known for its high-quality chocolates and confections, which are made using traditional methods and premium ingredients. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the factory to see the chocolate-making process in action, as well as learn about the history of the company and its founder, Ethel Mars.
After the factory tour, visitors can explore the nearby cactus garden, which covers over three acres and features over 300 species of cacti and succulents from around the world. The garden is designed to showcase the beauty and diversity of desert plants, and it includes walking paths, sculptures, and a gazebo for visitors to enjoy.
Throughout the year, Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory & Botanical Garden hosts special events and activities, such as chocolate tastings, holiday light displays, and seasonal festivals, and is an enjoyable attraction that combines the sweet pleasures of chocolate with the natural beauty of desert plants, making it a popular destination for visitors to the Las Vegas area.
There are several waterparks in the Las Vegas/Henderson area that offer fun and refreshing ways to beat the desert heat. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Cowabunga Bay – located in Henderson, Cowabunga Bay is a Hawaiian-themed water park that features over 20 water slides and attractions, including a wave pool, lazy river, and multiple family-friendly play areas.
Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas – located in the southwest part of Las Vegas, Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas is a 41-acre water park that offers over 25 attractions, including water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river. The park also features cabanas, a sand beach, and a variety of food and beverage options.
Desert Breeze Aquatic Center – located in southwest Las Vegas, Desert Breeze Aquatic Center is a community water park that features a large pool, water slides, and a splash pad for kids. The park also includes picnic areas, a playground, and a fitness center.
Overall, these waterparks offer a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages, making them popular destinations for families and tourists looking to cool off and have fun in the Las Vegas/Henderson area.
Las Vegas is known for its vibrant nightlife, and there are plenty of bars and karaoke venues throughout the city for those looking to have a good time. Here are some popular options:
Dino’s Lounge – located in the historic Huntridge neighborhood, Dino’s Lounge is a dive bar that’s been around since the 1960s. The bar is known for its cheap drinks, friendly atmosphere, and karaoke nights on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Golden Tiki – located in Chinatown, The Golden Tiki is a unique tiki bar that offers a fun and immersive atmosphere. The bar features exotic cocktails, live music, and karaoke on select nights.
Player 1 Bar is a popular video game bar located in Las Vegas. The bar features a wide variety of classic and modern arcade games, consoles, and board games, making it a fun destination for gamers and nostalgia enthusiasts. The bar has a retro-inspired decor with arcade cabinets lining the walls, and there are multiple TVs and projectors throughout the space for watching sports or gaming tournaments. In addition to the games, Player 1 Bar also offers a full bar with a selection of beers, cocktails, and snacks. One of the unique features of Player 1 Bar is its tournament nights, where gamers can compete in a variety of games for prizes and bragging rights. The bar also hosts regular events and theme nights, such as cosplay contests and trivia nights.
The Back to the 80s Cafe is a retro-themed cafe located in Las Vegas. As the name suggests, the cafe is inspired by the music, movies, and pop culture of the 1980s, and features a colorful and nostalgic decor.
7. Area 15
AREA15 is an immersive entertainment complex located just off the Las Vegas Strip. The complex offers a variety of attractions and experiences that are designed to be engaging, interactive, and unexpected.
One of the main features of AREA15 is Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, an interactive art installation and grocery store that takes visitors on a surreal journey through a parallel universe. The installation features mind-bending visuals, secret passages, and interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to explore and discover.
AREA15 also features a variety of other attractions and experiences, including virtual reality experiences, a laser tag arena, a 360-degree projection room, and a variety of bars and restaurants. The complex also hosts regular events and performances, such as live music, comedy shows, and art exhibits.
8. Exotics Racing/Vegas Superkarts
Exotics Racing and Vegas Superkarts are two separate attractions located in Las Vegas that offer thrilling driving experiences for visitors. Exotics Racing is a high-performance driving experience that allows visitors to get behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic cars, such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches. The experience takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where visitors can drive the cars on a professional racetrack with an experienced instructor by their side. Visitors can choose from a variety of driving packages, ranging from a single lap to a full-day experience.
Vegas Superkarts, on the other hand, offers a different type of driving experience with high-speed go-karts. The attraction features an outdoor racetrack where visitors can drive their own high-speed karts and race against each other. The karts can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, and the track features twists, turns, and elevation changes for an exciting and challenging experience.
9. Springs Preserve/Wet Lands
Springs Preserve and Wetlands Park are two popular outdoor destinations located in Las Vegas that offer a chance to experience the natural beauty and biodiversity of the desert environment.
Springs Preserve is a 180-acre natural park that features walking trails, botanical gardens, and interactive exhibits that showcase the history and ecology of the Las Vegas Valley. The park also includes museums and galleries that focus on topics such as sustainability, water conservation, and the history of Las Vegas.
Wetlands Park is a 2,900-acre park that is located in the southeastern part of the Las Vegas Valley. The park is home to a variety of wetlands habitats, including ponds, streams, and marshes, that support a diverse array of plants and wildlife. Visitors can explore the park’s trails and observation decks to observe birds, reptiles, and other wildlife, and learn about the importance of wetlands in the ecosystem.
10. Hiking/Horseback Riding
Las Vegas is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes that offer a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking and horseback riding. One of the most popular destinations for hiking and horseback riding near Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The area features a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes, that offer breathtaking views of the red sandstone formations and desert landscape. Visitors can also rent horses and take guided horseback riding tours through the area.
Another popular destination for hiking and horseback riding is Mount Charleston, which is located about 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The mountain offers a variety of trails for hikers of all skill levels, as well as horseback riding trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is another popular destination for outdoor recreation near Las Vegas, with miles of hiking and horseback riding trails that wind through the desert landscape and offer views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River.
Las Vegas is much more than just the Strip. There are plenty of fun activities to do off the Strip that are perfect for anyone looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some outdoor adventure. Whether you’re into hiking, art, or excitement, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Westcorp MG manages a wide variety of beautiful apartments all over Las Vegas that are close to all these amazing hidden gems.
Click here to find the living space that’s right for you and let the adventures begin!