In another post about Las Vegas (which you can read here), I’ve shared how my perspective of the city changed after a few more recent visits. I always thought the city had sort of a party, gambling vibe and it wasn’t really a place that had captured my attention because of that.
As I quickly found out, my initial opinions were very wrong. Instead, I found the city to be electric and captivating and also discovered plenty of awesome things to do off-the-strip. There’s so much more to the city than just the strip so don’t discount this locale like I did just because you’re not a gambler.
7 Must-See Attractions off the Las Vegas Strip
Whether you’re a non-gambler or looking for a day-trip from the strip, here are 7 must-see attractions off the Las Vegas strip.
The Neon Museum
The Neon Museum is a special place dedicated to preserving neon signs and Las Vegas history. The 2.25-acre outdoor space features a visitor center (inside the former La Concha Motel lobby), a light project exhibit in the North Gallery, and the Neon Boneyard. In the Boneyard you’ll find more than 250 signs of many gone-but-not-forgotten downtown casinos including the Stardust, Sahara, and many more vintage signs from famous spots like The Golden Nugget, the Hardrock Café and even an old Caesar’s Palace marque.
The Main Collection contains 200+ unrestored signs which are illuminated with ground lighting at sunset along with a handful of restored signs which shine in all their glory. The collection showcases the trends in the history of iconic Las Vegas from the 1930’s to present day. I’ve always been intrigued by the story and history behind these relics and the keys that they hold to Las Vegas of the past.
The Freemont Street Experience
Freemont Street is part of the downtown area, just north of the strip and it has its own charm and unique vibe. Our visit to The Freemont Street Experience is one of my favorite parts of our Las Vegas visit, in fact, we usually plan an evening to go and walk around, see the light show, catch a band or two and pop in and out of the old school casinos for a little gambling.
If you’re looking for a thrill for your inner adventure seeker, check out the Slotzilla zip and zoom line which is sure to get your heart pumping as you fly above the crowds. Fly seated from 7 stories high over two blocks on the zipline and if that’s not enough, take it up a notch with the zoom line where you’ll fly 11 stories high, superhero style (on your stomach) over 5 blocks. I love a good adventure but I prefer those where my feet are firmly planted on the ground. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough for the zipline. Maybe. But probably not.
Either way, Freemont Street makes for a fun evening because there’s plenty to see and do, and some cheap eats, too. And if you’re a beer drinker, you’ll appreciate the giant beers for less than $10. Grab a beer and enjoy some live entertainment and take in all that this street has to offer.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Located in the Mojave Desert and just 21 miles from the Las Vegas strip, a drive out to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a great way to break up your visit or plan a day sightseeing off the strip. The park features a one-way 13-mile scenic drive that costs just $15 per car.
Known for its geological features of towering red sandstone and Native American petroglyphs, there’s plenty of panoramic viewing spots to take a great Instagram worthy selfie or just capture a snapshot of the spectacular scenery thanks to the natural beauty of the rock formations and vivid rust-red hue of the rocks.
If you’re looking to do more than take a scenic drive, the park also offers over 20 hiking trails, a wide variety of plants and wildlife and even camping starting at just $10 a day.
Seven Magic Mountains
This free public art installation is just 10-miles south of Las Vegas. Seven Magic Mountains was created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and the installation is sort of in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road. With desert landscape all around, you’ll find these seven brightly colored towers of stacked boulders that stand more than 30-feet high. The colorful boulders are impressive in their own right but the mountains also captured my attention since they serve as a unique backdrop.
On the last night of our 2018 Las Vegas trip, I decided to gamble and threw twenty bucks at the penny slots. I gambled into the wee hours of the morning and when I hit a $72.00 jackpot, I decided to call it a night. I headed to my room and having worked up an appetite, I decided to splurge on some late-night room service (Thank You winnings!). In the midst of my indulgence, I saw an advertisement on TV for this installation. As luck would have it, we happen to have a full day to fill the next day since we were taking the red-eye home, and I knew exactly how we would fill our day or at least part of it. True Story.
On our visit the next day, we spent 30-minutes or so walking around, checking out the different stacks of boulders, and taking plenty of photos as you can see – mini photoshoot anyone? I will say, the giant boulders were pretty impressive and I may have been a sucker for those bright colors, too. But all in all, I’m really glad we made the time to visit this off-the-beaten-path site because it did not disappoint and made for some fun photos. Plus, I love a good spur of the moment exploration hatched over a late-night breakfast.
Downtown Container Park
Located on the historic Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Downtown Container Park is just a short two-block walk away from the Freemont Street Experience area. Container Park is an outdoor open-air shopping and entertainment venue featuring live music, 28 unique retail shops, restaurants and bars. All built from 43 repurposed shopping containers and 41 locally manufactured cubes.
The space also features a kid-friendly interactive play area called The Treehouse where you’ll find a 33-foot tall slide, giant foam blocks and more. And don’t miss the giant 35-foot-tall praying mantis sculpture that shoots flames from its antennae or The Dome.
The Dome is described as a “visual experience” with nearly 14 million pixels that offer a 360-degree theater experience with five different movie options for both kids and adults.
Hoover Dam Tour
Located just about 40 minutes outside of Las Vegas, a visit to Hoover Dam is another great way to spend a day sightseeing off the strip. This dam is famously located at the Arizona-Nevada border and is the highest concrete arch dam in the US.
This one is for the history buffs – formerly called Boulder Dam and renamed Hoover Dam after President Herbert Hoover in 1947, the dam was constructed back in the Great Depression-era and has certainly stood the test of time.
The dam is pretty impressive to see and even if you don’t take a tour. We visited close to the end of the day and there were no more tour slots open but all was not lost. We still walked around to see the dam and I was able to snap some pretty great photos as the sun began to set.
If you’re interested in taking a tour, there are three different ones offered daily including a self-guided visitor center tour, a guided power plant tour, and a guided dam tour.
Take a photo with a Million Dollars
You’ll find the million-dollar display inside of Binion’s Gambling Hall on Freemont Street. This photo op is located next to Club Binion’s. Per Binion’s rules, you must be 21 to take a photo with the moolah. The photo is free of charge and you’ll take home a glossy 6×8 photo inside a souvenir frame.
We took a photo with friends on one of our visits to Freemont but somehow the photo never made it home with us – we aren’t sure where it got lost, or who had it last. All I know is I was sad to find out it had gone missing and never made it home in my pink suitcase. I guess we’ll just have to try again on our next trip.
So there you have it, my recommendations for 7 places you don’t want to miss off-the-strip on your next trip to Las Vegas. Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any of these or plan to on your next visit. I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Viva Las Vegas!
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
Leave a Reply