4 Great Places to Visit When You Need a Break from the Las Vegas Strip
If you think that Las Vegas, Nevada is nothing more than a gambler’s paradise”, it’s time to think again. When you desperately need a break from the clanging noise of the slot machines and the smoky casinos, consider these 4 fantastic fresh air options all within a stone’s throw of the Strip. The world-renowned Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, easily accessible and located in a prime area of Las Vegas, is the perfect jumping off point to reach the following four interesting and exciting vacation alternatives.
Skiing and Snowboarding Near Mount Charleston
In the spirit of Las Vegas, we’ll place our bets that skiing in the desert is one of the last things you thought you’d be doing on your vacation to Sin City. But when you think about it, it makes sense; after all, the word nevada (as in, Las Vegas, Nevada), means, “covered with snow” in Spanish. So it makes perfect sense that you’ll find plenty of options to partake of this winter sports activity. Mount Charleston is located just about an hour northwest of the Las Vegas strip, and it’s an ideal place for novice and intermediate skiers to practice their skills on 11 different trails. Don’t worry if you didn’t pack your skis: you’ll have no problem renting ski and snowboard equipment. For more detailed information, check out the website of GO Mt Charleston and that of Lee Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon
If your time is limited, Red Rock Canyon is a great option for an afternoon get-away. The 195,000-acre national conservation park is located only about 30-minutes’ drive west of the Strip. As its namesake indicates, this vibrantly colored Red Rock Canyon has something for everyone. Hiking trails, wildlife observation areas where you might see some bighorn sheep, bird watching, bike rentals, seasonal waterfalls, rock climbing, and scenic drives where you can take in the beauty of the picturesque bluffs that make the canyon look like a tiered multicolored wedding cake! If history is your thing, then nothing beats the unique sandstone cliffs that are full of petroglyphs drawn by ancient Native American peoples.
Let’s put it this way: without the Hoover Dam, the ritzy glitzy Las Vegas that we know and love would have never been built. Frankly, it’s not even a stretch to say that the incredible growth of the entire Southwest region of the United States would not have occurred without the electricity generated by the giant turbines of this art-deco style architectural and engineering wonder. Completed in 1936, and visited by millions of people every year, the once tallest dam in the world was designed to control the forceful flooding of the powerful Colorado River as it exits the Grand Canyon. It’s located only 40 minutes from downtown Las Vegas, making it a great day-trip option. You can take a guided underground tour to see how everything functions from within the heart of the operation, or you can walk up to the windy bypass bridge, (open to pedestrians since 2012). From there you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the dam, Lake Mead, the dedicated power plant, the Colorado River, and the Black Canyon.
Some environmentalists and biologists seriously believe that Lake Mead has a 50% chance of drying up and ceasing to exist by 2026. Those claims (if you take them seriously) make an excellent case for why you should visit the 247 square mile lake NOW.
If you aren’t aware, Lake Mead is actually a man-made reservoir created as a result of the Hoover Dam halting the water flow of the Colorado River. The 1.5 million-acre Lake Mead National Recreational Area (which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2016) is considered to be a highlight of the nation. There are so many fun and family-friendly warm weather activities to enjoy, such as boating, swimming, paddle boating, water sports, cruises, fishing, bird and wildlife watching, hot springs, hiking, photography, and more. At slightly more than 1,000 feet above sea level, the lake boasts a 700-mile coastline and is surrounded by picturesque backdrops and scenic landscapes.
Helicopter Tour Over Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon
Contrary to popular belief, not all the jackpots in Las Vegas are won inside the hundreds of casinos on the Strip. You’ll hit the “Mega-Jackpot” when you book a night-time helicopter tour up and over the “City of Lights,” or a full day helicopter tour over one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Booking a spectacular and unforgettable helicopter trip is easy, especially when you are staying at the above mentioned Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. This favorite Las Vegas hotel can help you to set up and organize the helicopter tour of your dreams, and they can also make all transportation arrangements when necessary. Just stop by the concierge desk and one of their qualified tour representatives will help you get everything arranged.
We hope we have encouraged you to take some time away from the Las Vegas Strip, and discover these and other wonderful area attractions that Nevada has to offer.