“How far do you live from the Strip?” my visiting Canadian friends asked me recently. They were shocked to learn I was an almost twenty-minute drive away! My Canadian friends had assumed that Vegas is the Strip; how could the rest of Las Vegas possibly exist so far from all the action?
These people were very aware that my business is not related to the casinos. Yet it still seems hard for many people to fathom that there is more to Sin City than our glorious boulevard lined with lights and casinos.
Locals know that there is much more to Vegas than just casinos and shows. And more and more visitors are catching wind of this fact every day–much to their delight. Here are just a few of the off-Strip enjoyable things that Las Vegas has to offer.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
This glorious setting of mountains and rock striped with burnt orange and red is located just 17 miles west of the Strip on Charleston Blvd. It offers a beautiful scenic drive, as well as over 30 miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and biking.
Sites in Red Rock Canyon include:
- Calico Hills
- Calico Tanks
- Icebox Canyon
- Spring Canyon
- Pine Creek Canyon
- Lost Creek Canyon
- La Madre Springs
Bonnie Springs Ranch
Built in 1843, this ranch was originally an Old Spanish Trail stopover for wagon trains on their way to California.
The ranch is home to a nice stable of horses and ponies for children to enjoy. There is even a quaint hotel with Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces in each room. Bonnie Springs Ranch services also include:
- Field Trips
- Horseback riding
- Pony rides
- Boarding for horses
- Facilities for banquets and weddings
- Tour packages
The Ranch also has a zoo with a wide assortment of animals, including a Canadian Lynx and stunning wolves.
The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay has one of the most amazing aquariums you’ll ever see. The Shark Reef is an undersea delight of sharks, stingrays, and fish. They have more than 100 different species of fish, including 15 species of sharks.
This $60 million aquarium and was designed to immerse the visitor into the underwater world. Over 10 million visitors–including 150,000 Clark County Students–have enjoyed the aquarium since it was built in 2000.