July 2019 - Tacos & Beer

17 Ways To experience Vegas Like A Local

17 Ways To Experience Vegas Like A Local

Ok, so you’ve planned your big trip to Vegas, but now what are you going to do once you get here? If you aren’t big into gambling and nightclubs you might be at a loss. Don’t worry though, there is way more to Vegas than meets the eye. If you want to experience Vegas like a local keep reading to see our list.

While most locals have to venture to the strip for work or play, most of us regularly avoid the area. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any fun either. There is just so much to enjoy about this beautiful city we call home, and almost none of it involves the dinging of slot machines.

valley of fire

1.  Red Rock

Located directly west of the strip, red rock is a great place for hiking and walking. But, if it’s too hot or you just want to relax there is also a scenic drive through the colorful canyon.

2. Mount Charleston 

Believe it or not this ski mountain is located just 45 min or so away from the bright lights of the city. During the winter you can enjoy snow sports and snowball fights. But during the summer it’s a beautiful place to escape the heat. The temps there can be up to 30 degrees cooler than in the valley.

3. Downtown Summerlin

This shopping district popped up a few years ago and is a great alternative to the crowded fashion show mall. There are lots of stores, restaurants and bars. There is also an upscale movie theatre with reclining seats.

4. Arts District

Located on Main St. south of Charleston Blvd this old town area is going through an evolution. While it’s always been a place for unique vintage shops and boutiques, more and more breweries and coffee shops are opening up down there.

las vegas arts district

5. The Sand Dollar

In 1976, the Sand Dollar Blues Bar opened its doors, and almost instantly became one of Las Vegas’ most iconic bars. Some of the greatest blues legends, as well as many other famous musicians graced the stage for over 30 years. In 2007 it closed, but was reopened and has had a serious resurrection. Most nights the bar is packed with people listening to some of the best live music in town.

6. Atomic Liquors

Atomic has a very long and exciting history, check out their website to read the full story. A fun fact though, they have the very first tavern liquor license in the city #00001.

7. Chinatown

Located just west of the strip, chinatown is a hub for amazing food and booze. There are so many hidden bars, restaurants and stores you could spend days checking it all out.

8. Golden Tiki

This bar is one of a kind. It’s best described as a weird adult Disneyland, pirates of the Caribbean theme included. Just Go.

9. First Friday

This once a month festival is a must do if you happen to be here during that time. Lots of food and art all in a walkable area of downtown.

10. Ronald’s Doughnuts

This whole in the wall doughnut shop has been open for more than 20 years. You probably wouldn’t even notice it if you didn’t know where to look. But, now that you know about it you’ll make it a priority. Make sure you bring cash they don’t accept credit. Pro tip- top two rows are vegan.

11. Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park contains ancient, petrified trees and petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. It’s only about an hour from the strip, so it makes for a great day trip.

12. Zion

While technically this state park is in UT, it makes a wonderful overnighter break from the bright lights. There are beautiful hiking trails and it’s only a two hour drive.

13. 7 Magic Mountain

This actually is a two-year exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high day glow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders. Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone created the piece.

7 magic mountain

14. Atomic Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) is a national science, history and educational institution that tells the story of America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test Site. This is a great find for people looking for kid friendly activities.

15. Neon Museum

Also known as the neon boneyard, this magical place holds many of the original Las Vegas casino signs.

16. Mob Museum

This is a more recent addition town. You can explore the real stories and actual events of Mob history through interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind Mob and law enforcement artifacts found inside our restored 1933 former courthouse and post office building located just minutes from Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

17. Velveteen Rabbit

If the name sounds familiar it’s likely because you read a book of the same name as a child. You know the one where the bunny wishes to become real? While the bar seems to have nothing to do with the bunny, they have amazing cocktails and a stylish interior.

Let’s be real, that was a serious list. What are your top picks for ways to experience Vegas like we do?

What is Mezcal? And why you should be drinking it…

Mezcal has been rising in popularity in the last few years. It seems mixologists are always coming up with new fancy cocktails using this Mexican alcohol. But if you saw it on the menu and thought, “what is that?” you probably aren’t alone. And if you think Mezcal and Tequila are the same, we’re here to tell you, it’s not. So, let’s break down the facts and find out why you should be drinking it.

 

What is mezcal?

Mezcal or mescal (/mɛˈskæl/Spanish: [mesˈkal] (About this soundlisten)) is a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. Agaves or magueys are found mainly in many parts of Mexico and all the way down to the equator, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca.[2] It can also be made in Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan and the recently approved Puebla.

what is mezcal

What’s the difference between mezcal and tequila?

While mezcal and tequila are both made from agave, tequila can only be made from blue Weber agave. Mezcal, however, can be made from more than 28 different varieties of agave. While it can be made in different areas of Mexico, most mescal comes from Oaxaca.

Espadin, the most common agave used, takes eight years to grow to maturity, though other varietals can take longer. Once it’s mature, the spines are cut away, exposing the hearts — piñas — which are buried in smoky fire pits and covered. The agave cooks from anywhere between three days and two weeks. (Tequila, on the other hand, is cooked for far less time in a more conventional oven.)

mezcal

What’s all the hype about?

If you haven’t noticed, mezcal is kinda having a moment. It might be because it has a very distinct flavor. The roasting of the plant gives the finished product a smokey, savory finish  . Most people find it’s best sipped slowly like a fine whisky or scotch. But, many restaurants these days have made some pretty unique drinks from tequilas.

Best mezcal cocktails for beginners

Ok, so now that you know the facts, are you ready to try it? Here are a few mixed drinks to get you started. Once you’re in love, you can start sipping it straight like the pros. Be sure to pair it with your favorite taco for a truly Mexican experience.

Spicy Sandia: Rayu mescal, jalapeño, lime juice, watermelon puree. 

Cantarito: Rayu Mescal, orange and lime juice, grapefruit soda and tajin

Jamaica con Mezcal: Rayu Mescal, triple sec, jamaica syrup, lime juice and a tajin rim

 

If you tried to make your own specialty mescal drinks, leave us a comment and tell us how they turned out. But, if you don’t feel like putting in the work, head on down to the bar and order one up. You won’t regret it.