Things To Do in Vegas: 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, check out our list of things to do in Vegas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?