Category Archives: Las Vegas – Off Strip Activities

Rail Explorers of Las Vegas

If you are like me, you can only take so much of the Las Vegas strip before you crave a change of scenery. Most likely, this is exactly why people go to Vegas for shorter periods of time. I am not one of the people who goes for a long weekend. I book ten-day trips to see family and explore all of the possibilities outside of the strip.

If you like the open air and traveling at wind-roaring speeds, give the Rail Explorers of Las Vegas a go. You will get a chance to fly down the tracks on one of the black and red pedal cars, viewing beautiful scenery as you kick-back and relax. There are several different ride options to choose from. We decided to do the night lantern package and it was a total blast, though the ride does go by quickly.

If you are worried about pedaling, it is not all that bad. There is only one short stint toward the end of the ride where you have to pedal uphill. Your other party members will be pedaling along with you, so it really is not difficult. Once the ride has ended, you will board the train and return to the station.

Along with the railcar experience, you will be able to view the small train museum located on the premises. It was fun to wander around and check out the different artifacts and read about the history. As per the norm, I took tons of photos.

This is an experience that most anyone can enjoy and appreciate. If you would like further information, checkout the below website. Be sure to choose the Las Vegas location, since they are located in other states as well.

Experience the magic of the railroad like never before – Rail Explorers USA


Calico Basin – Kraft Mountain Loop Trail

Whenever my husband and I go to Las Vegas, we like to take some time out to hike. Sometimes we travel to the Valley of Fire or Mount Charleston, and other times we might plan day trips to Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, or Mount Zion. If we are not in a traveling mood, we go to Red Rock and usually tool around on the rocks in the Calico Basin.

Now, until this last trip, I had no idea that the Kraft Mountain Loop trail was so incredibly beautiful and worth the hike. You do not have to pay to hike this trail. You can park in the nearby lot and walk to the trailhead, but you will have to climb upward a good distance to get to the good stuff.

Once you hike Hell Hill – yes, that is what they call it, you will have a choice of a few different routes to take. You can either hike upward and rock scramble, or you can head out and downward making sure to follow the trail as it heads to the right, which is Kraft Mountain Loop. This will start you off on some amazing scenery. You will go through shelf caverns and there will be plenty of opportunities for photo shoots and to climb up and down the rocks as you go.

This hike is a 3.1-mile loop and it is absolutely worth it. The hardest part is climbing up Hell Hill. As you go along, if you come to an opening on the trail and meet a ten-foot drop down between large boulders, there once was a rope there to help hikers safely climb down, but if the rope is gone, back-track briefly and loop around to your left; you will find an easier passageway to maneuver.

As you go you might see some wildlife, and you will most definitely see people climbing all over the place. We did this hike in mid-November and the weather was perfect. We also went in mid-afternoon and were able to view the sun as it began to descend below the mountains, which created some great photos. I will definitely do this hike again.

For more information on Kraft Mountain Loop, please check out the below website:

Kraft Mountain Loop Hiking Trail, Summerlin South, Nevada (

The Neon Museum in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a city meant for fun and exploration. Most often, when we think of Vegas, we think of drunken debauchery and hiding the evidence of what we did while there. Clearly, with the development of Facebook, there is no longer any true way to hide your crazy escapades, so why not opt for something a little less sinful? What, you ask, would I recommend? How about the Neon Museum?

To visit the Neon Museum, you must book your time-slot in advance. They run on a tight schedule and you will get the best bang for your buck if you plan to go at night and you also plan to watch the, Brilliant, light show. You absolutely have to add Brilliant to your ticket. It is worth the viewing.

You will see many different signs from throughout Las Vegas history. Several of which have been restored. The guide will humorously tell stories about where the signs are from and other stories regarding the owners of the casinos. You will be allowed to take photographs of everything, and of course, that was one of my favorite parts.

The museum is located in downtown Las Vegas and can be walked to from many locations. You can buy a single visit pass, or an annual. We opted for the annual, since it came with other perks as well. It allows you to visit other museums throughout the country, which sounds great to me.

To find more information on the Neon Museum, or purchase tickets, visit the below website:

The Neon Museum Las Vegas | The history of Las Vegas through neon

Get Your Groupon On!

Whenever I am getting ready for a trip, or I need a night out for dinner, or a massage to relax, there is one place I look to without fail. That place is Groupon. I am sure that many of my readers will recall hearing me speak of Groupon in the past. Groupon is a site where you can get goods and services, as well as vacation packages, for a fraction of their original cost.

Groupon is located all over the US; some cities have caught on more quickly than others. My home town for instance, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has some Groupons available, but not enough to make me happy at this point. Places like Las Vegas, however, have all sorts of Groupon services and items to choose from.

To use Groupon, all you have to do is add the app to your phone, or go to their website: You then type in the location you are interested in, and voila, all sorts of things will pop up. One thing to note is that most goods can be ordered no matter your location, but the voucher will say if it has any stipulations.

When we go to Las Vegas or anywhere on vacation, I always check to see if there are deals on hotel rooms, restaurants, or things to do. Most often we will find several restaurant options. Something important to understand is that most likely the business providing the offer is only making a quarter of what they normally would on the service or item they are offering. Groupon gets the other quarter of the price, because the price is half of what it would normally be. With this in mind, please tip well if you are going to dinner, or to get a massage, etc.

If you purchase a Groupon, always make sure you keep the expiration date in mind. You want to make sure your voucher is good during the dates you are traveling before you purchase it. If your voucher expires, however, you can still use the amount you originally paid, toward the service.

For the business owner who is looking to use Groupon, there are things you should keep in mind. The purpose of Groupon is to help businesses bring in new clientele, however, depending on whom you are and what you offer, most often the people who buy Groupons do not return. They are simply looking for a deal and providing you with fast cash, though it is a fraction of what you would normally make on your provided service. If you are a massage therapist, this could be great for you. If you are a Reiki Practitioner, like me, and people don’t necessarily know what Reiki is, this will bring in some clients, but not necessarily the amount you would hope for.

As a business on the selling end of Groupon, I have had a lot of frustrations with the company. They wouldn’t give me what I wanted in my advertisement; they didn’t like to return my calls or emails. I requested a different account manager and never had my request met, and then suddenly my account manager was gone from the company and I was never told about a replacement. I am not saying this will be your experience, I am sure others have had great experiences; mine just didn’t go how I had pictured.

If you are dealing with Groupon as a client who has an issue, they are pretty great. They tend to rectify issues quite quickly. Usually if there is a problem with the Groupon, they will refund your money. Sometimes they will give you a credit. I have never been let down by the final outcome of my request for remedying an issue with a business.

If you love online shopping and deals, check out Groupon. They can save the average person quite a bit of money on a daily basis, especially if you are open to trying new things. Just be careful, Groupon can become a little addicting when you start receiving discount codes on a regular basis.

For more information on Groupon, please visit:


Downtown Tattoo And Eric Ayala For An Exceptional Experience

As someone who has a love for art, it was only a matter of time before I got my first tattoo. It took me forever to decide what I wanted, where I wanted it, and that I genuinely would be happy upon following through with applying permanent art to my body. While all of these questions ran through my mind, one thing was never an issue; who would be applying that piece of art.

I now have four tattoos, all of which I completely love. The same tattoo artist has applied every single one of them and I could not be happier with the experiences I have had. The artist I always choose is, Eric Ayala, of Downtown Tattoo, located at 1106 E. Fremont Street.

While I have my own artistic side, Eric has been wonderful in collaborating with me to come up with the right tattoo to fit my personality. He is a traditional tattoo artist, but he always listens to what his clients are looking for and modifies things as needed. If given complete creative liberties, he will design you something exceptional; I have never been disappointed in his work.

Eric is a great artist for first time tattoo clients, or anyone looking to get a large intricate tattoo. He has a light hand so that the pain is less and things heal more quickly. He is also a very quick and smooth tattoo artist. To give an example: knee tattoos can be extremely painful, but Eric is so skilled that I know of one occurrence where the patron was able to sit through the outline of the entire tattoo without as much as a single break. I’m not saying you won’t have pain, but he helps lessen the sting a little, and he has a happy, shining personality, on top of it all.

If you are looking for a great tattoo artist, Eric Ayala is wonderful, I definitely recommend him. I also recommend the shop he works out of. Downtown tattoo is clean and has a vast variety of artwork to look at. I am sure any one of the artists at this location would love to help you create your first or next piece of unique body art. I know that I will continue to return to, Downtown Tattoo, for all of my tattoo adventures.

For more information on Downtown Tattoo, please visit:


Check Out The Silverton

When I visit Las Vegas there are certain things I look for and very much enjoy. One of those things is a tasty buffet. The other is an atmosphere that can entertain me for hours. The Silverton Casino has both of these aspects, and much more.

If you are looking for a great buffet experience, check out the Season’s Buffet at the Silverton. I prefer to go on Sundays for brunch. Sundays the Seasons Buffet does a Bellini Brunch, and it is exquisite. They have five or six different Champagne drinks to choose from, including your typical Mimosa. My favorite is the pomegranate because it comes with strawberries on top.

Beverages aside, this buffet has a lot more to offer. They have some of the best macaroni and cheese I have found, as well as some wonderful pizza. They have a vast variety of foods and they keep their food hot, or at least they did when I visited. They also have a great dessert bar with ice cream, cakes, brownies, cookies, pies, and for those who are looking for it, sugar free, or gluten free items.

If the buffet doesn’t grab you, then perhaps one of the other many restaurants will. I haven’t checked out the other possibilities other than dessert. The Gelato is amazing. They have several flavors to choose from. Three of my travel companions tried it and loved it. If the other food options are as good, then you are in for a real treat.

Outside of the buffet you have a vast variety of slot machines to choose from, both old and new. You can also go visit the Bass Pro Shop entrance to the casino. There you will find waterfalls with ponds of giant coy and a huge fish tank. On certain occasions you may even see a mermaid. This is a great attraction that a lot of people like to stop and view. There are jelly fish in small tanks above the bar near the pro shop entrance. You will find even more fish within a tank inside the actual store.

If you happen to be staying at the Silverton, or you just need to stop and rest for a bit, you will find several differently colored Adirondack chairs around fire pits at the entrance to the casino. This is a new addition in the past year. The Silverton has done a great job cleaning up their exterior and making it more inviting to their hotel guests, as well as those who are just visiting for the day.

I very much urge people to check out the Silverton; as an off Strip casino, it is a lot of fun and it’s one of my favorites.

For more information on the Silverton, please visit:


A Fun Filled Night At The Downtown Container Park

Las Vegas is full of great activities. If you are looking for something fun to do off the Strip, Fremont Street has a lot to offer. One place in particular that I recommend visiting is the Downtown Container Park.

This park is quite unique; it offers a variety of food places to choose from. My family ate at Big Ern’s BBQ and we were not disappointed. The food does take a little while to make if you are there on a busy Saturday night, but everything was very tasty. They make a great brisket salad; it is huge and very flavorful. The rest of my family ordered pork sandwiches and they were very happy. If you are not a barbecue fan, there are plenty of other great food options available.

After dinner we sat and listened to some jazz music, which was playing at one end of the park. The singer was wonderful and she sang a lot of songs that we all recognized and enjoyed. There is music in the park every last Saturday of the month. If you are looking for a different form of entertainment, check out one of the 360 degree movies playing in the dome. Movie times can be found on the park’s website.

After we had our fill of music we wandered into some of the stores. There is everything from shoes to jewelry, toys, jerky, and nuts. One particular store I like is Kappa Toys. If you love fantasy games, they have some of those. They also have a ton of collectible figurines. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you can find puzzles, games, and other Harry Potter items. I could have looked through this shop for hours. So far this is the most inexpensive price I have found, including online, on Harry Potter Clue; the prices can range though, on other items.

Toward the end of our visit we were pleasantly surprised when suddenly the Praying Mantis at the front of the park began to move to the music and shoot flames out of its antennae. This was a really neat sight to see. Later in the evening the Praying Mantis began moving again and you could feel the heat from the flames all the way across the street.

The Downtown Container Park is fun, but after 9pm, you must be twenty-one and older to enter. Another rule the park has, is that no pets are allowed, accept llamas and service animals. I find that a little bit funny. Perhaps next time I will bring my llama.

For more information on the Downtown Container Park, please visit:


The Bronze Cafe In The Market

I’m currently on a bit of a food kick. Another great place to visit if you want something healthier and a little bit different is the Bronze Café. This café is located inside the Market at 611 Fremont Street.

You can find lots of great food options such as salads, sandwiches and breakfast items. They have gluten free options as well as Vegan. I had a very good sandwich on gluten free bread. The bread was massive and very tasty.

This little spot doesn’t have tons of seating but it is totally worth it for a fresh and healthy experience. We were kind of tired of greasy food and buffets, so my family was very pleased with the Bronze Café. The market the café is located in also has lots of great fresh food options as well as wonderful beverages such as coconut water, to choose from.

For more information on the Market and the Bronze Café, please visit:


Making Positive Changes With Sister House Collective

There are so many wonderful places to shop and things to see in Las Vegas. If you are like me, you love to look at and browse through all sorts of things. If I were to pick something very specific that I were drawn to, it would be a store that has a great cause behind it and also has some great natural products.

Sister House Collective is a wonderful little shop located at 1110 Fremont Street. The goods within this store are created by artisans around the world, as well as several in house artists. You will find things such as handmade cards and artwork, leather items, natural skin products, beautiful crystals and stones, as well as handmade jewelry, and wooden kitchen items, just to name a few items.

This store was conceptualized back in 2014 by Ashley Ayala. All items are created through fair work practices. There are no sweat shops creating the clothing and items sold here; only hardworking beautiful souls who are trying to make a positive change. Your purchases could help to improve the lives of many local artists as well as artisans from around the world.

Sister House Collective has great energy and the people who run it are very kind-hearted, hard workers. They have an exceptional calendar of events that I would encourage everyone to check out. They even host several different workshops on branding, modern calligraphy, how to create pop-up shops, and much more. Check out the, “Local,” section of their website for a list of upcoming events.

For more information on Sister House Collective, please visit their website at:

A Trip To The Emerald Island

Sticking to the theme of casinos in Henderson, Nevada, there is one more place my family loves to visit; the Emerald Island Casino. This casino is located in downtown Henderson right next to the Eldorado and the Rainbow. You can easily visit all three of these wonderful establishments in one day.

Much like the Rainbow and the Eldorado, the Emerald Island Casino also has a great restaurant. They run daily specials and the food is excellent. You can get breakfast any time. If you are playing at a slot machine and you find yourself wanting a bite to eat, you can order from their bar menu and they will bring the food directly to you.

This casino is very gracious in their giveaways. There are different times during the week where you can earn one hundred times points, or other point multipliers. They hand out free food on a daily basis. Sometimes they have donuts, other times it might be pizza or ice cream sundaes. If you visit on St. Patrick’s Day, they have a ton of great food all day long. This is the place to be for St. Patty’s Day, if you intend to go to a casino.

One of the nice things about the Emerald Island is that you can easily rack up points and use them in the restaurant. The atmosphere is clean and inviting and I can play here for hours without losing too much money. Their daily promotions and treats make this a fun casino to visit on a regular basis.

For more information on the Emerald Island Casino, please visit: