The bright lights of Vegas have made it famous tourist destination for people from all over the world, who are drawn here to the middle of the desert because of its decadent image and the undeniably top notch entertainment that it offers.
The epicenter of this city is knows as the Las Vegas Strip. Everything is here – casinos, tall buildings, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. It’s many draws are widely know. But what if, like me, you are not interested in fast living and spending money on drinking and casinos? Well, look beyond the Strip, and Vegas still has a huge number of exciting attractions.
Using Las Vegas as a base, you can explore the dramatic desert landscapes and attractions nearby. Get you exciting adventure by day, then return to the bright lights of the city itself to avail yourself of the excellent accommodation, food and drink.
From Las Vegas, the imposing Hoover Dam is only a half an hour or less by car. Its construction in the Black Canyon began in 1930, and was completed only five years later. The visitor center is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas), and the Dam tour costs $30 per person. The additional Power Plant Tour is a further $11, but very interesting and well worth the entrance fee.
For those of you with an adventurous tendency, it is possible to kayak from the base of the dam, down the Colorado river. Evolution Expedition Kayaks offer a seven hour tour from Hoover Dam for $182. For this, you get also a visit to the Sauna cave, a geothermal heated tunnel where you wade through warm and steaming water up to your ankles before returning to the boats. Enjoy exploring on the clear, pristine water of these canyons, while majestic peregrine falcons soar overhead.
Lake Mead, the large reservoir formed by the dam, is a good place for water sports. Why not try water skiing, or, if you are in need of some rest and relaxation after all the adventure, why not just have a swim to cool down, and sunbathe by the marinas.
Or maybe you want to choose a ride with a plane or helicopter from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon itself? There are many operators offering a range of tours, some aerials only, and some landing at the bottom of the Canyon. The best tours are those that allow you to take your time and explore the Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of those sights that everyone should see in their lifetime. Even with all the hype, you will be awestruck by this nature’s wonder.
Within a short drive of Las Vegas you can also find the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Red Rock Canyon is only 17 miles from the Strip. The amazing red colored geological features, desert plants and animals are some of the best examples the Mojave Desert has to offer. Here you can hike, bike, ride, climb, or simply relax and watch the wildlife, or take in the natural beauty of this unspoiled area.
So, when you visit Las Vegas, look beyond the Strip, and see for yourself the beauty and splendor of this part of Nevada.