Norbert Figueroa a RoamRight Blog Author

Activities In Vegas Off The Strip

Las Vegas isn't all glitz and glamor. Check out these ideas for more family-friendly, off-the-strip experiences.

Image source: Flickr - dph1110

Las Vegas is well known for its strip, its extravagant hotels and casinos, its over the top shows and endless hours of gambling. It is great if you love that, but what if you’re interested in seeing something beyond the casinos and popular shows on the strip? That’s when you’ll find an even quirkier Vegas that presents a broad variety of activities that not only are fun and interesting, but also might save you a lot of money!  Here are a few activities you should consider.

Visit the Neon Boneyard

This is where all the flashy Vegas signs go after they either get decommissioned or the hotels and locales close. Here there are several legendary signs from the old Vegas days and even a few more contemporary ones.  Several of them are just the old versions of more modern signs that can still be seen on the strip, while others show a partial history of what Vegas used to be in the old days.  It’s recommended to visit the Neon Museum and Boneyard in the evening to see some of the signs in full display.

Fly a plane

Get your hands behind the controls of an aerobatic plane to feel the thrills of the sky as you do loops and barrel rolls on top of the desert landscape. Be sure to eat well before or after you fly, as you might not want to see your meal flying loose in the cockpit.

Relive the old gaming days at the Pinball Hall of Fame

Located near the strip, this is the place for vintage game aficionados or people looking to relive a bit of their arcade games youth. Here you’ll find a mix of pinball machines and class arcade games, each costing from 25 to 75 cents per play. In addition to an awesome collection of video games, they also have vending machines with vintage sodas and even a popcorn machine.

Climb Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is one of the most renowned climbing spots in the Southwest US, as it is known for its ominous and unique rock formations and vivid colors. The climbing difficulty varies from expert to novice, but there are also hiking trails for those of you not interested in climbing. It’s a great way to get outside the city and explore the desert and mountains. Keep in mind, though, that if you are visiting Las Vegas in the summer, it is recommended to go hiking in the very early morning. It can get very hot; so make sure to bring plenty of water.

Drive a dune buggy

Get your adrenaline fix by driving a buggy on top of desert dunes. There are several family-friendly tours and other more thrilling experiences like the Valley of Fire. Quite popular is the Vegas Mini Baja Chase, which is an off-road chase across a 15,000 acres field with a view of the Vegas strip.

Explore Hoover Dam

Located on the border between Arizona and Nevada, the Hoover Dam stands over 700 feet tall and stretches over 1,200 feet. You can reach the dam by driving on your own or you can take a tour from any of the operators on the strip. This dam is a great engineering achievement from the 1930’s that made possible the creation of several towns and cities, including Las Vegas.

Go boating on Lake Mead

Did you know that there’s an oasis just next to Las Vegas? It’s called Lake Mead. This lake is actually the largest reservoir in America and was created by none other than the Hoover Dam. Here you can rent boats, jet skis, and do other watersports; a great way to cool down during the hot summer months. 

Enjoy the Fremont Street Experience

While it might not feel truly “off the strip” since you still have the casinos and drunken partiers, people do come here to take a break from “the strip” by seeing a live show, getting cheaper drinks and meals, shopping, and people watching. So, think of Fremont as the strip, but cheaper.

Go ziplining

What, wait… Zip lines in the desert?  Yes, apparently zip lines are not reserved only to the jungle. Freemont Street offers a unique ziplining experience over the street, but there are other locations, like the Rio Hotel, which offer other equally amazing ziplining experiences from one tall building to another, several stories above the ground. 

Visit the Atomic Testing Museum

Nevada served as a test site for nuclear detonations, and the Atomic Testing Museum documents the history and all major events of what happened during the height of the nuclear testing. The museum is located east of the strip and offers guided and self-guided tours.

Ride Desperado

The strip has a roller coaster at New York-New York Hotel, but if you drive out to Primm, Nevada, you’ll ride the roller coaster classic known as Desperado. Back when it was built in the 1990’s, it was the tallest roller coaster in the world, and still to this day, it is considered one of the best roller coasters in the world.

Which Vegas experience interests you the most?

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.


About the Author

Norbert Figueroa

Norbert Figueroa, a RoamRight Blog Author Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.

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