We had a blast exploring beyond the Strip this time, getting the most out of our time. The round-up will start with the Strip and move on to Fremont Street, Red Rock Canyon, and further north to Rachel, Nevada and Area 51.
1/ The Strip
Mornings on the Strip can create some gorgeous scenery, depending on which way you’re facing. On the first couple of days we had a prime view of the Stratosphere, mountains in the background.
Sunsets are pretty awesome, too.
On the first day we walked 7 kms from the Wynn to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, and 7 kms back, getting in 14 kms of walking before noon. I could say it was in an effort to offset the $6.99 buffet we had eaten at, but in reality I just didn’t know how far it was. Having said that, it made us feel better about the $6.99 buffet we had eaten at.
The rest of the Strip is a full-on assault on the senses in the best possible way. I love the energy, the atmosphere, and the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Below is a shot mid-Strip of the Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage, and the Paris balloon. Taken from our perch atop Planet Hollywood.
One of my favourite properties has always been the Mirage. It has a California Pizza Kitchen, a Carnegie Delicatessen (sandwiches bigger than your head), home of the LOVE show (phenomenal!) from Cirque du Soleil, and I once ran into Norm Macdonald from SNL there. I hear he’s running around telling that, “I once ran into Paul from Voyages and Vistas at the Mirage” story, and I’m okay with that. All this, and one of the four finest Vacation movies ever made was filmed there.
While visiting the Venetian the light was setting perfectly – good timing for portraits. I couldn’t resist snapping this one of the lovely Angela.
The Strip, of course, is where I began my quest to track down the finest hot dog in Las Vegas, a journey you can read about here. Here I’m about to dive into a Spicy Mojave Dog at Pink’s, just outside Planet Hollywood.
2/ Fremont Street and North Las Vegas
Moving off-Strip for most people might mean a bit of time on Fremont Street. We spent one day there but didn’t get to see the big light show at night. Even so, there was plenty to see and do. Like the Strip, it’s a visual assault, and it feels a bit sleazier than the Strip, but it’s still good fun and we enjoyed our time there.
Because most of Fremont Street is covered, it makes for an interesting dynamic during the day. They’ve added in zip lines, so every couple of minutes a couple of people go flying by overhead, their half-drunk friends yelling, “Go Skippy!” – or whatever their name is – as they whip past. It makes things interesting.
Some of the old neon is a throwback to classic Vegas:
I love all the old properties on Fremont Street:
Of course, Fremont doesn’t have a monolpoly on Neon. Just a few minutes away is the Neon Museum, aka Neon Boneyard. This place totally exceeded our expectations, as I wrote about here.
If neon isn’t your thing, getting out of town is an excellent idea, and you don’t have to go far to get into some awesome terrain.
3/ Red Rock, Rachel, and Area 51
If you’re able to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and embrace the great outdoors, Nevada is an incredibly picturesque place to explore. Well, I suppose it is whether you drag yourself out of bed or not, but if you do you’ll manage to actually see it, which is nice.
We rented a car and checked out Red Rock Canyon, which is only 17 miles from the Strip. Learn more about it in this post, but here are a few photographic highlights. Gorgeous spot, and easy to get to:
Nevada has the Strip and these ridiculously gorgeous vistas nearby? It’s almost unfair.
At Red Rock you’ll find a pretty spectacular view no matter which direction you look.
I once caught a fish THIS BIG…
Outside of Red Rock you’ll find heaps of great spots to hike, explore, and take photos. One of my favourites was the Delamar Dry Lake about an hour and half from Las Vegas. It’s in the middle of nowhere – truly – but is on the way to Rachel, Nevada, Area 51, and the Extraterrestrial Highway, so it’s worth a stop if you’re heading there anyway. We had an awesome time on a Viator tour hunting for aliens, and found some of the best scenery in the country along the way.
The Delamar Dry Lake.
Joshua tree near Area 51.
Hunting for aliens always begins at the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada.
Of course, while you’re looking out for them, they’re looking out for you…
Even if you don’t find any, there’s always something nice to look at. There certainly aren’t many people to talk to – Rachel has a population of 51.
Getting out to Area 51 – one of the most heavily guarded military installations on the planet – is a trick meant for those who really know where they’re going. It’s a trek, but one well worth making if you’re into this kind of thing. Whatever you do, stay on THIS side of the warning sign.
So there you go! More images of Vegas and Southern Nevada than you can shake a cactus branch at. I’ll leave you with one final look – the spot Angela said she’d like to move to if we weren’t wimpy city folk. Remember next time you go to Vegas there’s more than slot machines and Elvis lookalikes out there. Cheers!
How about you? Ever explored off-Strip or done anything outside the norm in Sin City?