Things to Do in Las Vegas (Off the Strip)

By Kate Riley February 27, 2018

I’m in Las Vegas for a few days working on my investment property here and visiting with my parents. I have extended family who live in the area, as well as real estate, and it’s an easy flight from the Bay Area, so I’m in Las Vegas a lot. In the past four years I’ve visited Vegas over two dozen times, for work and play.

Las Vegas is world famous for its casinos and restaurants that line Las Vegas Boulevard on The Strip. I’ve spent time there too, whenever there’s a show or band in town that I want to see. I admit, its a lot of fun to walk around the casinos on the Boulevard, and when first timers come to visit, I always take them to the Bellagio to see the lobby and fountains, and for a walk around The Venetian, two of my favorites.

However there is so much more to Las Vegas than the casinos on The Strip. Over the weekend, I went up to the snow on Mt. Charleston with my parents and shared a few pictures on my Instagram stories. There is so much to do here, these are a few of the places I recommend, plus some tips from parents and cousins who are residents.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is a 30 minute drive from Las Vegas and a great place to go in summer. Rent boats at the harbor for a day of fun.

Hoover Dam

One of the greatest engineering spectacles, the Hoover Dam was built during the Depression and stretches over the Colorado river on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Definitely worth the day trip to see it! Stop in cute Boulder City, Nevada on the way, but before you go, look up their festivals and jamborees, they’re always having a good time out there.

Red Rock Canyon

I love to hike up at Red Rock Canyon, you can see beautiful rock formations and desert foliage (I love the Joshua trees) and if you’re lucky maybe you’ll have a wild burro encounter. :)

Bonnie Springs

Just beyond Red Rock Canyon, take a trip to the Old West by visiting Old Town Bonnie Springs, there’s horseback riding, a saloon, and live performance shootouts, it’s fun for the family.

Vehicle Fun

For adventurers and thrill seekers, you can hire jeep rental tours, rent a slingshot, or head out to SpeedVegas to race cars at the track.

Mt. Charleston

Head up to Mt. Charleston resort area to get that alpine feeling, it’s a 35 minute drive. There’s a lodge at the top with cabins to rent, a resort just below, and also campgrounds and skiing at Lee Canyon. Yes you can play in the snow in winter in Vegas!

Container Park & Old Downtown Vegas

Container Park is a small shopping and dining center crafted of shipping containers and it’s worth a visit for a bite to eat before you stroll down Freemont Street and old Downtown Vegas, the site of the city’s original casinos before The Strip became the hot spot that it is.


Find the history of old Vegas in the Neon Boneyard where you’ll find all the retired signs from yesteryear. Read up on all the known stories of organized crime at the Mob Museum.

Ethel M Chocolates & Cactus Garden

If you’ve ever wanted to see how chocolates are made, visit Ethel M, don’t leave without assembling a custom box of selections. They also have the most beautiful cactus garden you can stroll through.

Honorable Mention: Drive 3 hours to Williams and take the Train to see the Grand Canyon. Don’t be surprised when the train gets robbed on the return trip, it’s part of the entertainment. :)

One final tip, when in Vegas keep your eyes open for Elvises, you never know where they will pop up for a photo opp!

This is not an exhaustive list, there really is so much to do here, you need only research sites that offer the “best of” to find great restaurants and events.

Locals, let me know if there’s anything I missed! What are your favorite things to do in Las Vegas off the Strip?




  1. There’s a breakfast & lunch restaurant a few blocks away from Freemont Street (behind the Container Park) called “Eat”. It is hands down the best food we’ve ever had in Vegas and we go there a lot. If you can, go on a weekday, because it was featured on one of those diner shows and the lineups are really long on weekends.

  2. Great list! I’ve been to LV several times and even got married there! We are gamblers but I want to take ours kids out to see the Grand Canyon and hopefully stay longer in Vegas now with these great things to do! Thank you!

  3. I went to the Neon Museum recently and loved it! It was a fun activity after seeing the strip since we’re not big gamblers. We then went on to Zion & Bryce for a few days but not before grabbing some Donut Bar!

  4. My husband travels to LV for work frequently, and he never goes near the strip!

    He highly recommends the Springs Preserve & Nevada Museum.

    A couple of years ago he had to be there for work during my daughter’s spring break so we decided to the kids. Our day trip to Valley of Fire State Park was awesome!

    There’s so much more to Vegas to the bright lights & gambling.

    • Thanks for mentioning Springs Preserve! I’ve been there twice, it’s a great educational stop, and they have events that are so great!

  5. Kate! I love the photos of you with the Elvises! You are such a fun lady! Plus the flip house kitchen looks gorgeous.

  6. hi Kate. Our family of 5 recently took a trip to Pheonix, Grand Canyon, Zion and Las Vegas, where we spent the last 2 nights of vacation. Our kids are ages 7-10 and we were not interested in exploring the Vegas Strip. I had your post bookmarked and referred back on our way to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Thank you!!! We stopped off in Boulder City, Historic District, and found the perfect breakfast / lunch spot, The Coffee Cup. I highly recommend it!!! In fact, we loved Boulder City so much, we stopped there on the way back from boating rather than take another route back to the hotel. We stopped for ice cream but would have loved to join in the wine, food and great atmosphere of the town. I took a run in the neighborhood near our hotel and kept wondering if your flip houses were amongst them!!!

    • That’s amazing Christine! I’ve been to the Coffee Cup, it’s the best!! Haha I wonder if you passed my investment houses, they’re located in Summerlin so if you were there, maybe you did a driveby!

      • I don’t think so – we stayed just south of the strip at the Cancun Resort and I went running in the neighborhood just east of that… on Wigwam out to Bermuda and Pebble Roads…. we loved Zion, stayed in Springdale… have you been there? Next time we will go to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Moab and Arches. But honestly, the Coffee Cup is such a great spot – we wish it was closer to home!!!

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