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7 Ways to Have Fun Off the Las Vegas Strip

Heading to Viva Las Vegas, but want to do something other than gamble and spend lots of money on The Strip? Do you want to have fun off the Las Vegas Strip without breaking your wallet? Stick around because we can show you several things to do off the Las Vegas Strip!

There is so much for anyone and everyone to enjoy in Las Vegas, but Las Vegas is more than just The Strip. We would know best, it is where we moved after we graduated from our universities, met, and fell in love…awww. What we both love about Las Vegas is not even on The Strip, it is off The Strip. There are so many things to do in Las Vegas than just gambling, dining at celebrity chef restaurants and watching Cirque Du Soleil shows. So what are the fun things off the Las Vegas Strip? Hiking, canyons, the Hoover Dam, National Conservation and Recreation Areas, lake activities, colored rocks, hot springs and would you believe me if I said snow?!?!

My list of activities to enjoy off the Las Vegas Strip are the perfect day trips and break from all of the busy streets filled with tourists, gambling, smokey casinos, dance clubs and more. In addition, Las Vegas can be expensive, so these day trips off the Las Vegas Strip are quite budget-friendly. They are also the perfect activities to cleanse yourself from all the “Viva Las Vegas” shenanigans. You can easily enjoy these activities with a driving distance of no longer than one hour (give or take).

Renting a Car

When you visit Las Vegas, you do not need a rental car for staying on The Strip, but you will need it to explore things off the Las Vegas Strip. We rent our rentals cars in two ways – AutoSlash and Costco. If you are members of Costco, then you need to take advantage of their unbelievable rental car rates. To be honest, paying $60 a month for better car rentals may be worth it. If you are not a Costco member, then we highly recommend using AutoSlash.

Just grab a taxi from your respected resort and go to the airport, should cost you no more than $15. Why only rent a car for day trips? Because The Strip and Downtown Las Vegas make their guests pay for parking overnight now (used to not be that way) and rates can go from $10 to over $20 a night.

When we lived in Las Vegas, we used to rent cars all the time for our day trips. One time, we rented a vehicle for $40 for 4 days – you really can’t find a great deal like that anywhere else. In our experience, we have found rental car rates in Las Vegas to be significantly cheaper than other cities, which makes it very budget-friendly to enjoy these trips off The Strip. Furthermore, a lot of these outdoor destinations off the Las Vegas Strip are great for a weekend getaway. So if you love to camp, I recommend getting a Las Vegas RV rental.

Red Rock Canyon

(Distance from The Strip: 30 mins)

Let us start off by saying how much we LOVE Red Rock Canyon. We actually had it as our view every day from our apartment to and from work and the view never got old. Since it was so close to where we lived, during spring and fall, we would go hiking at Red Rock Canyon every other week. Needless to say, it is one of our favorite things to do off the Las Vegas Strip. If you have time to visit Red Rock Canyon from the Vegas Strip, we highly recommend you enjoy the drive throughout the park (convertible would be the best) and then hike one of many of Red Rock Canyon’s trails.

Hiking at Red Rock Canyon is amazing, there is so much beauty everywhere you look. The Red Rock Canyon trail we would say you HAVE to hike is Ice Box Canyon – it is the best hiking trail in Red Rock Canyon. If you go during the right time of the year (December-April), at the end of the trail is a small waterfall. Red Rock Canyon always blew us away with not just its majestic red tinted rock/canyon formations, but deep into the park is so much green, waterfalls and crystal clear waterholes. Who knew all of this beauty existed in the desert and just 30 minutes from the Vegas Strip?

The Ice Box Canyon trail is a total of 2.6 miles, which averages to 2.5 hr long hike. It is considered to be a moderate to strenuous hike. The trail is quite fun and easy to follow. There are tree logs to cross, rocks to climb and the end of the trail is the best part of all – crystal clear, ice cold waterholes! During the summer, the cliffs provide a lot of shade, therefore the canyon rarely gets any sun, hence the name, Ice Box Canyon. We don’t recommend swimming in the waterhole, one we have no idea how deep it is and two, it’s freezing!!!!

1000 Scenic Loop Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89161
Entry fee: $15 per vehicle 

Seven Magic Mountains

(Distance from The Strip: 35 mins)

One of the most unique things to do in Las Vegas is going to see the Seven Magic Mountains. In 2016, Las Vegas partnered with the Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno to install a magical art piece by the renowned Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone. The art piece is called the Seven Magic Mountains and has been a huge success since it unveil. It brings color into the desert with the seven, 30 to 35 ft. high bright colored boulders. It is certainly a fun sight to see and only 30 minutes off The Strip. Grab your camera, tripod and your free spirit, the Seven Magic Mountains wait for you!

S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89054
Entry fee: FREE

Lake Mead

(Distance from The Strip: 35 min)

Skip the day clubs and pool parties and head to Lake Mead! It is the perfect place to really make use of that swimsuit you packed. It is 112 miles long and the largest reservoir in the United States. That means there are plenty of fun things to do at Lake Mead. Instead of pool parties on the strip for your girls weekend in Las Vegas, grab a party boat on Lake Mead with your friends! You can also enjoy water sports such as wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, and more. If water sports are not your thing, visitors can also relax at Boulder Beach and enjoy swimming nearby. Note, the beach is a little rocky, but other than that, it is a great place to swim. Needless to say, there are plenty of experiences to enjoy on Lake Mead.

10 Lakeshore Rd
Boulder City, NV 89005
Entrance fee: $20 per vehicle 

Hoover Dam

(Distance from The Strip: 45 min)

Hoover Dam is an iconic landmark thanks to the movie, Transformers. Or maybe because it generates 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year for 1.3 million people across Nevada, Arizona, and California. Needless to say, a visit to Hoover Dam is not to be missed.

If you are visiting Las Vegas with toddlers and looking to get away from The Strip, a day trip to Hoover Dam is perfect. There are plenty of ways to enjoy and explore the Hoover Dam. You can enjoy a birds-eye view from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (also referred to as the Colorado River Bridge). The bridge allows for some great photo opportunities and the chance to marvel at how big the Hoover Dam truly is. Or you can walk across the Hoover Dam which is also spectacular and thrilling when you look down from the ledge. For those scared of heights, you can go on a tour which provides guests with an inside look of the Hoover Dam and the opportunity to learn more about its history and significance.

On the Arizona side, visitors have the option to pay to park at lots close to the Hoover Dam, but there are also first come first serve free parking spots just a little further. If you didn’t get lucky in the casinos, maybe you will get lucky with parking. It is FREE to walk and drive across the Hoover Dam and Colorado River Bridge. Whereas you have to pay to enter the visitor center and go on the tours.

81 Hoover Dam Access Rd
Boulder City, AZ 89005
Parking: $10 or FREE
Visitor Center: $8 ages 4 and up

Arizona Hot Springs

(Distance from The Strip: 45 min)

Seeking a fun adventure to really rejuvenate your mind and body? Look no further than the Arizona Hot Springs. Not only is it a beautiful hike between some small canyons, but you also get to hike along the beautiful Colorado River. This secret gem is quickly becoming one of the most popular things to do off the Las Vegas Strip thanks to recent viral videos.

To get to Arizona Hot Springs, you must hike the White Rock Canyon trail. The total distance of the trail,  is 5.9 miles and hiking it can take around five hours, plus more time to enjoy the pools. It is considered to be a strenuous hike because you have to climb some rocks to get to the spring and pools. At one point during the trail, hikers must climb a ladder. The trail is marked fairly well, but hikers should be aware that the trail will close during the summer months and it is strongly advised to bring water no matter what time of the year you visit. Swimming in the hot springs dehydrates the body tremendously, so again, PLEASE bring plenty of water.

The hike is enjoyable, but nothing to rave about until you get deep within the canyon, close to the Colorado River and springs. Then the fun really begins when you reach the pools (thermal baths). The spring forms several pools and releases highly mineralized water at a temperature of about 111°F. Once you arrive at the several pools, you are in natures very own spa retreat. So pick your own thermal bath and relax!

Willow Beach, AZ 86445

Mt. Charleston

(Distance from The Strip: 53 min)

Would you believe us if we told you that within an hour driving distance from the Las Vegas Strip is snow?!?! Of course, it is not year-round, but Mt. Charleston sees snow during the months of September to April. Even in the summertime, if you are looking to escape the Las Vegas desert heat, Mt. Charleston will be at least 20°F cooler. Whether there is snow or flowers on the ground, Mt. Charleston is one of the most refreshing things to do off the Las Vegas Strip. We love to just drive up and down the winding roads and soak up the wonderful views.

If you are looking to hike, Mt. Charleston has some great hiking trails to enjoy in the spring and summer such as Mary Jane Falls, Fletcher Canyon, and Charleston Peak South. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy an ample amount of winter sports at Lee Canyon. They have skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and sledding for visitors of all ages. Mt. Charleston is a great day trip no matter what time of the year it is!

2275 Kyle Canyon Rd
Mt Charleston, NV 89124
Hiking: FREE

Valley of Fire State Park

(Distance from The Strip: 1hr 4 min)

The Valley of Fire State Park contains over 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone. Who knew one of the most beautiful state parks in the United States was just an hour outside of Vegas? There are plenty of things to do in the Valley of Fire State Park, but the most popular is simply driving through and hiking trails. Driving through the Valley of Fire State Park is breathtaking on its own,  but when you add hiking to the agenda, it makes an amazing day trip off the Las Vegas Strip.

The Valley of Fire trail we highly recommend to hike is called Fire Wave. It is an easy 1.2-mile hike, (about an hour long), that is a photographer and nature lovers dream. The trail is an out-and-back hike with marked posts and stones to help hikers find their way, but it is also a trail that is fairly broad which allows hikers to wander freely and explore the park’s beauty. Hikers will know when they hit the end of the trail because their jaws will drop in awe. The Fire Wave is essentially a sandstone formation that resembles the look of an ocean wave with swirling patterns of red, white and pink sandstone. It is one of the most magnificent sites you will ever see. All around you are gorgeous backdrops to capture photos you will look back on forever.

29450 Valley of Fire Hwy
Overton, NV 89040
Price: $10 per vehicle 

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I hope you enjoyed my list of places and things you can enjoy off the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas is so much more than just dance clubs, gambling and celebrity restaurants. I hope you have the opportunity to see what I mean by going to at least one of these many beautiful places during your next trip to Viva Las Vegas!




  • Jyoti

    Wow! I had didn’t know there is so much to do near Vegas. It’s one of the most convenient places to get together but I’d rather be outdoors. I’ll keep this list handy and start working on our next girlfriends trip.

    • oursweetadventures

      There is so much to do off the strip which is one of the reasons we liked living there so much.

  • Louise

    Love all these ideas, you guys! I wish more people ventured off The Strip. Vegas has sooo much to offer besides partying and gambling 🙂

    • oursweetadventures

      We loved living in vegas because all of the extra things to do off the strip. Outdoors activities were a key reason for that

  • Anupriya Basu

    That’s a very informative and exhaustive list, something I wish I had when I was there last year. I did visit some of these places but yet to explore the whole list. And, I never could imagine that red Rock had trails and waterfalls! I loved that park but never thought of hiking. On my to-do list now!

    • oursweetadventures

      There are a ton of trails in Red Rock Canyon. We loved living near there and having easy access to the park. Many trails all around Vegas.

  • Claire

    Wow! There is so much to do away from the Las Vegas strip that we all know about! So many amazing locations with unbelievable natural landscapes!

    • oursweetadventures

      The Landscape is incredible in Las Vegas. A truly beautiful area that not many people know about

  • Backwoods Tourist

    I’ve been to Vegas once. Stayed on the strip and did ALl the casinos. Hoping to go back when the kids are of age to be there. Really want to visit Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam next time! Great post! Totally more to do that just the strip!

    • oursweetadventures

      They have a great food scene off the strip as well that anyone would love. The outdoor activities are great for families.

  • I went to Vegas for the first time last year and loved the surrounding areas – my favorites were Zion and Bryce Canyon NPs. I wish I had seen this guide before I went there cause I definitely would’ve visited some of the places you mentioned!

    • oursweetadventures

      Zion is incredible and so close to Vegas as well. One of the best parts about living out west is the proximity to the NPs

  • daniele

    Your tips are amazing, I will surely consider them for planning my trip in the USA. I’ve never been there but it’s on the top of my bucketlist.
    Your shots are spectacular too 🙂

    • oursweetadventures

      There is a ton to do in Vegas. You definitely need to make it there when you visit. The outdoor activities that are available make it very attractive.

  • Danijela

    Yes, well, you said it, Vegas is usually about gambling, famous restaurants and Cirque Du Soleil shows. So much so that I almost get surprised when I see a post like yours. 😀
    Joking aside, didn’t know that there are so many fun things to do other than gambling etc. Love the Lake Mead, would be so interesting to visit and plunge there. And thanks for the car rental tips, it can get pretty cheap it seems, good to know. 🙂

    • oursweetadventures

      We always found great rental rates especially in Vegas. Lake Mead is a great recreational area. There are so many outdoors activities to do in Vegas.

  • Melanie

    YES!! Wasn’t Red Rock Canyon wonderful?! We did a hot spring hike too, that was a little closer to the Hoover Dam, and LOVED it!! There is so much adventure just outside the strip! Glad y’all had such a good time!

    • oursweetadventures

      Our hot spring hike was close to the dam as well. Maybe we did the same one! Red Rock is amazing!

  • April

    Why spend time on the strip when there is so much beautiful nature to be enjoyed so close outside of it?! I’ve been to Red Rock Canyon and LOVED it. Such a beautiful area. I still need to get to the Valley of Fire. One of these days. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • oursweetadventures

      It took us moving away from Vegas to finally experience the valley of fire unfortunately. We would easily go back and do it again

  • Jess

    I’d never really considered visiting Las Vagas because I’m not into gambling and casinos. Who would have thought there is so much natural beauty so close!

    • oursweetadventures

      There is so much to do within 2 hours of Vegas and the beach is also just 4 hours away in LA. So much more to do than gambling

  • Madhu

    Really nice to read and know that there are other aspects to Las Vegas and that too so beautiful. Thanks for sharing saving it for my bucketlist

    • oursweetadventures

      There are some great outdoorsy activities to do in the city which is why we loved it so much

  • Harmony, Momma To Go

    Ive been to Vegas MANY times, but have not ventured to any of these places… maybe its time to get off the strip! I love how some pics you are in swim suits and some have snow!

    • oursweetadventures

      You should definitely spend some time exploring the city outside of the strip. There is so much out there.

  • Kim

    A couple more to add:

    Nelson/Techactticup off US 93 outside Boulder City. Really neat place to explore. Mine tours are also available. I have yet to take one, but maybe someday.

    Goodsprings ghost town which is about 30-40 minutes from the Strip. Pioneer Saloon is a neat place to stop for a snack/meal and also learn some history. Clark Gable spent many hours there waiting for news of his wife Carole Lombard who died in a plane crash on nearby Mt. Potosi.

    I have lived in Vegas for 11.5 years now. Still have kind of a love/hate relationship with it, but there’s enough interesting places to go within an hour or two to make it worthwhile.

    • oursweetadventures

      I believe we did Goodsprings one day and really enjoyed the area around it. My husband wants to do a mine tour one day as well. We too have a love hate relationship with the city and often wonder if we will ever move back

  • Taiss

    I love all of these suggestions! We were just in Las Vegas and actually saw Hoover Dam from a helicopter ride! We did the loop at Red Rock Canyon but it looks like Valley of Fire would also be another great place to see! I never knew about the Costco membership and car rentals so thanks for that tip! I would also love the hot springs you mention here! Next time!

    • oursweetadventures

      We were able to do a helicopter trip to the grand canyon one time and it was amazing to see everything from the air.

  • Alberto C.

    Thanks for these great recommendations! I had never heard of Seven Magic Mountains or the Valley of Fire State Park before, but they look stunning! They will definitely be included in my next visit to Vegas

    • oursweetadventures

      If you had to only pick one I would say the valley of fire but they are both nice. I hope you can make it out soon!


    This is such an informative post! Love it. I am going to save this for when I visit Vegas again.

    • oursweetadventures

      Thank you for the nice comment

  • Kylie S

    I like your pictures! I have been to 7 Magic mountains. The colorful stones were beautiful. We also to a one-day grand canyon tour that was offered by NVstarr in China Town. We had fun! Vegas rocks.

    • oursweetadventures

      We are happy to hear that! Vegas has so much to offer outside of The Strip.

  • Brit on the Move

    What made me crack up is the Seven Magic Mountains. First of all, never heard of it but did you notice that they look just like your ice cream logo? What a coincident…. So really cool ideas here! Thanks.

    • oursweetadventures

      Hahaha I did not notice – that is funny 🙂 I am glad you found some good ideas on my post. Thank you for stopping by. Please let me know if you have any questions. I used to live there 🙂

  • UsaBoatReview

    You have to go to Fremont street at night to experience the light show!

    • oursweetadventures

      Yes, we agree! That is a spectacular show ?

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