If you think Las Vegas is all bright lights, big city buzzing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you only need to know the meaning of Las Vegas to know there is more than a concrete jungle here. When the area was discovered by Spanish explorers on their way west, they named it Las Vegas, meaning “the meadows” because of the vast expanse of greenery. And certainly, the 32 million visitors to Las Vegas annually are most likely there for those bright lights and the 24/7 buzz, but we found five different ways to enjoy the area.
While exploring all Las Vegas has to offer, book a stay in our Las Vegas cabins.
1. Museums: Just like the variety of shows, Sin City also offers up some pretty varied museums. There’s the Atomic Museum, whose mission is to “tell the story of America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test Site.” Exhibits include the Phoebus 2-A, a real nuclear reactor, several lesser-known atomic weapons and the interesting Pop Culture, which displays artifacts like comic books and toys related to the atomic bomb (atomicmuseum.vegas). The Mob Museum tells the story of organized crime and law enforcement (themobmuseum.org) while the Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting and preserving the iconic neon signs of Las Vegas (neonmuseum.org).
2. Wildlife: The luxurious hotels along the fame Strip are home to more than gambling casinos and entertainment venues; there is also an amazing array of wildlife to be found. The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay has not only sharks, but giant rays, sea turtles, and piranha. If you drop by the iconic Flamingo Hotel, not only will you see the exotic Chilean flamingos but also other exotic birds, turtles, and fish among a four-acre garden complete with streams and waterfalls at the hotel’s Flamingo Wildlife habitat. The Mirage Hotel is home to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat where visitors can see white lions, tigers, and leopards amidst a jungle setting while the dolphins can be seen from an underwater viewing area.
3. About 30 minutes outside Las Vegas is the town of Boulder City, which was built for the purpose of housing the workers who helped build the nearby Hoover Dam. Today the city is worth a road trip if want to visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum, walk or bike the Historic Railroad Trail, check out the Bighorn Sheep roaming the green grass at Hemenway Valley Park or enjoy the restaurants, shops, and galleries in the downtown area and glimpse some really cool 1930s architecture. FYI, Boulder City could be a great stop if you’re heading to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which is about 15 minutes away.
4. The Other Wild Life: As they say, when in Paris…so why not experience a bit of the wild side of Las Vegas? Consider Omega Mart, Meow Wolf’s interactive art installation with secret portals and storytelling to peak the imagination. Omega Mart is just one of several interesting sensory experiences found at AREA15 which also offers non-traditional dining experiences including the space-odyssey inspired LIFTOFF.
5. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Just outside Las Vegas, this desert location has plenty to do. There are 26 different trails to hike and explore, the 13-mile Scenic Drive through the canyonlands, rock climbing options, and plenty of native flora and fauna worthy of an Instagram post or two.
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