5 Things To Do In Las Vegas That Aren’t On The Strip
Updated April 2020, 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas That Aren’t On The Strip was originally written in October 2015
I hate gambling in casinos. I don’t like going clubbing and I don’t see the appeal of the Las Vegas strip either. I know, I come off as a Vegas-hater, but I have been here damn near 20 times. I’m over it. I do, however like the neon lights; the defining element of Vegas. However, I do have the luxury of having family that’s been living here for about the last 15 years, so I’m fully aware of the good stuff to do off the strip. If you’re not into gambling, but want to experience the essence of Vegas, you could always check out the neon museum. You can find out more information on NeonMama.com. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to visit these fun places in the past, so here are my suggestions for the top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas That Aren’t On The Strip.
1. Valley of Fire State Park
North of Vegas on the I-15. There are numerous hiking trails here, or if you’re lazy you can just drive the road through the park. You will inevitably pass nearby here if you are headed to Utah to check out Zion National Park and beyond. So make the stop and come check it out. It’s better than the strip. Featuring rock formations that look they’ve been set afire and many petroglyphs. Park entrance to Valley of Fire is $10 per vehicle.
If you’re looking for an adventurous off the strip Vegas getaway you can camp in Valley of Fire, click here for more info on the state park + camping info. Not as adventurous, but want to be near the park? Check out the Northshore Inn At Lake Mead.
Shop Valley Of Fire Day Tours Here
2. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon is on the western outskirts of Las Vegas. Another park designed for the active and for the lazy so you’re bound to keep everyone happy (a road cuts through it, and there are hiking opportunities). There is a 13-mile loop road that has parking around most trailheads and attractions. There are many red rock formations and sandstone peaks around the park. Park entrance is $15 per vehicle. Learn more about Red Rock Canyon here.
There is a campground within Red Rock Canyon, click here for more info on it and to reserve a site. Being that Red Rock Canyon does sit on the western edge of the city, you can easily stay in the city or on the strip and make a day trip out here. But, if you want to stay close to the park, click here to shop for hotels nearby.
Shop Red Rock Canyon Day Trips Here
3. Mt. Charleston
Mt. Charleston is the perfect place to escape the summer heat of the city, or if you’re in Vegas in winter to go skiing! Mt. Charleston is north of Vegas on the I-15 (before Valley of Fire). The Mt. Charleston area offers up a scattering of campgrounds as well as a mountain resort, offering skiing and snowboarding if you happen to be visiting in the winter. You can find more information on the Mt. Charleston area here. For more info on skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Charleston, check out Lee Canyon.
Check out this half day Mt. Charleston photo tour
4. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam blocks off the Colorado River at the Black Canyon, helping create the Lake Mead Reservoir, just 30 miles south of Las Vegas. The dam provides electricity for utility companies in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Its construction was a massive Great-Depression era effort and is an engineering spectacle. Take the US-93 south of the city to get here. Click here for more info on Hoover Dam.
Wanna stay closer to Hoover Dam? Check out these hotels nearby here.
Wanna take a day trip to Hoover Dam?
Shop Hoover Dam Tours here.
Start planning: the perfect two week American Southwest road trip itinerary
5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is one of the largest reservoirs in the USA. It is formed by the above mentioned Hoover Dam by blocking the Black Canyon along the Colorado River as mentioned above. A fun place to get out on the water with plenty of boating and fishing along with hiking that can be done around the lake. Click here to read more about what activities you can do and sites you can visit within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Entrance to Lake Mead Area is $25 per vehicle or $15 per person on foot or cycle. These entrance fees are good for seven consecutive days.
Looking to stay near the lake? Click here to shop hotels around Lake Mead. Wanna camp at Lake Mead? There are several campsites in the Lake Mead recreational area. Click here for camping info, though I’ll mention that campsites cannot be reserved online– you’ll need to call the phone number listed for the specific campground listed on the chart.
Shop Lake Mead tours here