After a few days (or even a few hours) on the Las Vegas Strip, you may find yourself searching for something to do away from all the glitz and noise. Here are three fun, interesting, and (best of all) reasonably cheap activities you can find for some off-strip Vegas fun.
Red Rock Canyon
It’s hard to believe that this natural gem is just a 30 minute drive from the non-stop lights and sounds you’ll find on the Las Vegas Strip. Despite its close proximity to the Vegas strip, you will feel as though you’ve been transported to a completely different world – one with strange and colorful rock formations, oddly named plant life, and lizards and other small critters skittering about.
Whether you’re the type of person who loves to get your hands dirty in the dirt or one who prefers the air-conditioned comfort of your car, you are sure to love Red Rock Canyon. For the less active types, there is a small museum in the visitor’s center jam-packed with information about the canyon’s history and the many different life forms found there. The scenic drive is simply not to be missed – nearly every turn will bring new and stunning vistas and there are plenty of designated points to pull off the road and snap some photos.
If you prefer to get closer to the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon, there are hiking paths available for all different fitness levels. Whether you are a flat earth walker or a rock climber, you’ll find something in Red Rock Canyon to suit your tastes.
The scenic loop is open from 6 am until 8 pm and the visitor’s center has slightly more limited hours – call to find out exact hours during your visit to Las Vegas, 702.363.1921. Cost is a low $5 per car and bicyclists are free!
It may seem strange to list a fast food joint as a Las Vegas attraction, but if you’ve ever been to In-N-Out Burger, you can understand why it has been included. Originating on the west coast, In-N-Out Burger is still a family owned business that cranks out fantastic burgers and fresh cut fries in no time. If you live on the east coast as I do, Vegas may be your only opportunity to tell someone you want a double-double animal style with fries on the side. There are a few In-N-Out Burger restaurants in Las Vegas, but you can’t miss the gigantic sign (visible from the Strip, but not on the Strip) for the one on West Sahara. All burgers AND fries are fresh, never frozen, and cooked to order – which can be a nice change from some of the tired buffets on the strip.
If you are a history buff or just admire that kitschy Vegas style, you should definitely take time off from the tables to visit the Neon Boneyard, home of vintage Vegas signs from the 1930s onward. You’ll see everything from gargantuan silver shoes to a hula girl taller than your house. Tour guides are informative and gladly answer your questions about the signs.
A word of warning – the Neon Boneyard is located on a 3 acre open lot, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and PLENTY of water to stay hydrated while you poke around the signs. Also keep in mind that the Boneyard offers tours by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead to reserve a time to see this fascinating piece of Vegas history. 702.387.6366