Category Archives: Las Vegas – Off Strip Activities

The Rainbow Club & Casino In Henderson, Nevada

If you have the desire for great food and a smaller gaming facility, check out the Rainbow Club & Casino in downtown Henderson, Nevada. The Rainbow is one of our family’s favorite places to hang out. They have some fun promotions as well as a great restaurant to dine in.

Images, is the restaurant located inside the Rainbow. They serve up a little bit of everything. One of their huge draws is their $1.99 breakfast which gives you a great variety of protein and carbs; on weekends, the price does go up to $2.39, but either way, you can’t beat it. The Rainbow also offers great specials on steak and prime rib. Everything I have eaten at Images has tasted wonderful. They have a very delicious clam chowder on Friday nights that I would definitely recommend.

If you go to the Rainbow on the weekend, you will need to plan ahead for your meal. There is usually a wait for up to an hour prior to being seated. Even with the wait, the dining experience is well worth it. My family usually plans to go play for a while as we wait for our table and things work out just fine.

If you are playing a slot machine, you are eligible for free drinks. The atmosphere is a little smoky, but it is smaller and more intimate than the big Strip casinos. I am very fond of several of the games this casino offers; it has a nice mix of old and new games.

For more information on the Rainbow Club & Casino, please visit: http://www.rainbowclubandcasino.com/

 

 

The Eldorado In Henderson, Nevada

Often while visiting Las Vegas, my husband and I, will leave the Strip and venture to some of the smaller casinos. The most common spot we go to is Henderson, Nevada. While these casinos in Henderson do not have table games, they do have many other great offerings.

The first place I would like to mention is the Eldorado. Eldorado has three things that make me come back. Bingo, Mary’s Diner, and looser slot machines. Really I think almost any slot machine located at a smaller off Strip casino, will be looser. This does not guarantee a win every time though; you should still play responsibly.

I love eating at Mary’s Diner. The food there has always been excellent; I have no complaints. If you have a player’s card you can quickly rack up points which are best used on food because they go the furthest. Their breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and shakes are all great.

This is the place in Henderson to go to if you want to play bingo. Depending on the time of day they run different specials. If you are willing to go to the 9pm session you can play “Balls on the Wall,” which means that if you bingo on one of the numbers on the wall chart, you get extra money. If you are in town on your birthday, they currently give you a free blue pack for every session. This is my favorite place to play in all of Nevada, at this time.

Aside from gaming, this casino is clean and they offer free drinks for those who are playing at a machine or in bingo. They have wonderful employees with great personality. They treat everyone like they are a friend. Who could ask for more?

For more information on the Eldorado, please visit: http://www.eldoradocasino.com/?disid=wmm_yelp_env_elv_eldoradocasino_organiclink

 

The Hoover Dam

Many years ago, in 1931, during the Great Depression, construction on the Hoover Dam was kicked off. The Hoover Dam is a stunning example of our countries capabilities during times of hardship. At the time of completion the Hoover Dam was the tallest dam in the United States, at 726 feet tall. Now Oroville Dam in California is the tallest at 770.5 feet.

The Hoover Dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona. I recommend walking the bridge above the dam, at one point you are in Arizona and the next you are in Nevada. This site has long since been a popular tourist attraction and it is something that we take most of our Las Vegas travel companions to see at least once.

The views from the bridge above are phenomenal. You can feel the whole thing shake as traffic flies by, but don’t let this stop you from walking out into the middle. You will be able to get some great photos and/or selfie’s if you so choose. Be sure to bring a jacket if you are there in spring or fall, the wind is a little intense.

For a more personal experience getting to know the dam, you can partake in one of the many dam tours. If you are more interested in the views you can drive the roads surrounding the bridge and stop at the different look out points to take photographs. No matter where you are surrounding the dam, you can walk away with some great memories and photographs to document them.

For more information on the Hoover Dam, please visit:

http://www.history.com/topics/hoover-dam

https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/index.html

Visiting Mt. Charleston

A visit to Las Vegas, Nevada does not have to be all about the casinos and the crazy night life. You can also plan other daytime activities such as hiking and exploring the mountains around Las Vegas. Mt. Charleston is a wonderful place to day-trip to, or even stay for a while. The views on this mountain are very different from Red Rock Canyon and are very much worth checking out.

My husband, Neal, and I, have visited this particular area many times. We love to hike and wander the trails of the mountain as well as stay at the Resort on Mount Charleston. This resort is quite rustic and pretty comfortable, though a little bit dated. Dependent on the time of year it may also be very quiet. I love how this resort has such wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. The altitude here is much higher than Las Vegas, so the air is quite a bit cooler and can make for a nice getaway in the heat of the summer.

If you like waterfalls, there is a waterfall hike at Mt. Charleston called Mary Jane Falls. Certain times of year are much better for the waterfall; you would want to go earlier in the year, maybe April, rather than midway through summer. Even if you aren’t there during peak waterfall time, the hikes are beautiful and relaxing. On one such hike I got separated from my group and happened across a photo opportunity that I still love looking at, to this day. The picture is of a single tree, illuminated by the sun, on a cliff looking out at storm clouds over the desert. The photograph was a great take away from that particular trip. You will see many great photo opportunities while hiking Mt. Charleston.

The Resort on Mount Charleston is a great place to relax after hiking. They have a great restaurant on location, as well as a bar that serves food. You can have your wedding ceremony and reception at the resort if you so choose. I also considered Mt. Charleston as a wedding location; it would have provided beautiful scenery for saying our vows. If you want a little romance, a pet friendly room, a ski package, or a hiking package, check out their special offers. Every now and then I will see a Groupon deal for the Resort on Mount Charleston; this is a great way to try the place out and see how you like it before committing to a longer stay.

If the Resort on Mount Charleston isn’t for you, there is also a lodge on the same street. I have not stayed at the lodge, but perhaps one day soon I will check it out. I have provided their website below.

For more information on the Mt. Charleston area, please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Charleston

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/mary-jane-falls-trail

http://www.mtcharlestonresort.com/mount-charleston-nevada/mt-charleston-lodge-packages/mount-charleston-hotel-vacation-packages.php

http://mtcharlestonlodge.com/

 

A Taste of Bryce Canyon

This past October, my husband’s aunt and uncle took us for a drive to Bryce Canyon, from Las Vegas. If you are okay with a 4 hour car drive, perhaps you would like to take this scenic drive as well. Bryce is definitely a trip you want to make when you have a full day, or more.

We chose to take this drive in October, because we were hoping to see some of the fall colors. While the colors were not as plentiful as that of the Midwest, it was still a pretty drive. Had we chosen to go a little earlier in the season, I think there would have been more to see, since the trees had already dropped quite a few leaves. The varying colors of the rock in the canyon, and the changing light as we went from midday to evening, gave us plenty of colors to look at aside from the foliage.

Upon reaching Bryce Canyon, we did a driving tour and stopped at many of the lookout points. The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon are definitely a beautiful and impressive sight. We saw quite a variety of rock formations throughout the canyon, and of course, we took lots of photographs.

My husband and I only went down one hiking trail, but had we arrived with more time to burn, we would have spent a great deal more of our visit hiking. Even with the long drive there and back, Bryce was totally worth seeing. I will definitely come back again sometime and stay somewhere nearby overnight. I would like to hike and evaluate some of the trails and get even more photographs of the impressive rock formations. Definitely look for more information on Bryce Canyon in the future; this trip did not quite fulfill my desire to explore.

For more information on Bryce Canyon, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

KISS, by Monster Mini Golf

Two years ago while visiting Las Vegas; my family decided they would like to partake in a little friendly competition. We promptly sought out the first mini golf we could find. Low and behold, KISS, by Monster Mini Golf.

This course is eighteen holes of pure black-light fun. Everything is KISS related and if you like black-lights as well as mini golf, you will love this experience. It definitely takes some getting used to. Golfing in a black-light setting is much more tedious than a regular mini golf course; perhaps this is why I have finished dead last, twice.

Adding to the experience is a live DJ, who showcases KISS music, the entire time you are there. If you want a little more excitement added to your experience, you could get married in the KISS wedding chapel and then have your reception in the KISS event room. After your wedding ceremony you may partake in more mini golf as well as KISS themed arcade games. There is no end to the fun you will have at KISS, by Monster Mini Golf.

Before you leave for the evening, be sure to check out the KISS themed gift shop. You never know what you may find. Perhaps that perfect piece of rocker memorabilia, to add to your personal collection.

For more information on KISS, by Monster Mini Golf, or to book your event, please visit: http://kiss.monsterminigolf.com/

Valley Of Fire

One hour, northeast of the strip, you will find Valley of Fire State Park. This is another wonderful place to see if you love beautiful scenic drives and exploring. Much like Red Rock, you will find awe inspiring rock formations in various colors.

Upon arriving there will be a fee to get into the park. Currently that price is set at $10 per car. You can enjoy the park from dawn until dusk. Definitely pack a lunch, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy a meal, along the way.

This park is filled with tons of hiking trails and lots of things to see. You can camp at one of the many sites available; you will have shade, a table, and water nearby. You will see things such as petroglyphs and petrified trees. The visitor’s center will provide tons of information about the 40,000 acres that make up the park.

If you wish to get married in the Valley of Fire, that can be arranged as well. My husband, Neal, and I, were originally supposed to say our vows in the park, but we skipped ahead and got married early. When we renew our vows in a few years, I am seriously considering the Valley of Fire because of its beautiful surroundings.

If you wish to remain in your car, you can still drive through the park and see many of the beautiful rock formations. I have taken this drive many times and I still find it exhilarating. Once you reach the petroglyphs, however, I would suggest getting out and taking a closer look.

For more information or to book your event at Valley of Fire, please visit: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire

A Visit to Fremont Street

Ah the drunken debauchery of Las Vegas. So many casinos to hit, so little time. Even if your time is short in the land of sexy fun, you should definitely take time to enjoy The Fremont Experience. If you already have a place to stay on the strip, you can easily catch a bus over to Fremont.

Thirty-four years ago, when my parents were visiting Las Vegas, Fremont Street was considered to be the Las Vegas strip. Now Fremont Street is just as exciting, but provides a little different experience for Vegas goers. My recommendation is that you get a hotel on Fremont for at least one night of your stay. Trust me; it’s going to be a late night.

There are many hotel/casinos to choose from on Fremont. I have stayed at the Plaza on a couple of occasions, and while its accommodations are decent, I ran into issues with my room both times. The Golden Nugget also gave me some issues; they didn’t have the room I requested, but their year round pool area, complete with fire pits and heat lamps, more than made up for my frustration. If you choose to stay at the Golden Nugget, be sure to check out the actual golden nugget, and the awesome shark tank waterslide.

Some of the highlights of Fremont Street are the ninety foot tall, fifteen hundred foot long Viva Vision video screen, the ever popular Slotzilla Zip Line, which spans the length of Fremont, and the several stages that host live bands each night. As you wander down Fremont you can easily catch all of these activities in motion.

While on Fremont, you will see a number of casinos. There will be tons of stores for buying souvenirs, or alcohol, and plenty of bars. You will also see scantily clad street performers and people in exotic costumes. You may even see some things you wish you hadn’t.

There are plenty of places to dance and have a good time. The D has a great dance club that plays fun upbeat music. If you are looking for something a little different, check out Hogs and Heifers, which is located around the corner from Fremont, on North 3rd Street. This bar is for people who like country music and are not easily offended. You will see the bartenders dancing on the bar and they will also go to lengths to harass you, but it is all in the name of fun.

Fremont Street is also the home of some great food choices. You will find the Heart Attack Grill located at 450 Fremont Street. Patrons of this establishment are adorned in hospital gowns and served massively oversized meals. If you are looking for buffets, the casinos have them by the boat load, and if you want a tasty diner experience, the café in Binion’s is tasty, as well as reasonably priced.

With so many activities to choose from, you cannot go wrong with visiting Fremont Street. For more information, please visit: http://vegasexperience.com/

The Pahrump Valley Winery

Every now and then, while visiting Las Vegas, my family likes to get out of town and take a small trip over to the Pahrump Valley Winery. It will take you sixty minutes to get to the winery. Once you are there you will be happy you made the trip.

The winery offers tastings, as well as tours. They have won eighty-three national awards for their wine. Nevada Magazine voted their restaurant as “Best Restaurant,” the past two years in a row.

One of the coolest events you can go to at this winery is the Grape Stomp. This festival is in October and provides fun for your whole group. You can stomp grapes (if you sign up in advance), taste wine, listen to music, and eat some wonderful food. The best part is, in 2016, the entry price was $7 in advance or $10 at the door. That’s a great price for such a fun event.

My favorite wine at the Pahrump Valley Winery is the Burgundy. It has a great flavor and I could enjoy it anytime. If you are looking for something a little sweeter, the 2013 Symphony is also great. I definitely recommend going in and doing a wine tasting. Don’t forget to tip the staff; they are always so happy and helpful.

For more information on the Pahrump Valley Winery, please visit: http://www.pahrumpwinery.com/

Red Rock Canyon

If you are in Las Vegas and you love the outdoors, especially hiking, you should definitely take the time to visit Red Rock Canyon. Only seventeen miles off the strip, Red Rock is well worth the drive. It will give you a break from the indoors and the craziness of the strip.

I frequently take time for a hike in Red Rock. You cannot beat the amazing views. You can either choose a specific hiking trail, or just spend some time climbing around on the rocks. One of my favorite things to do is take pictures of all the unique rock formations. The colors in Red Rock are extraordinary.

Just outside of the payment zone for entering the park, there is a boardwalk that you can meander through. You will see tons of different plants as well as some animals. Do not make the mistake I made; go when it’s not ridiculously windy. The boardwalk is not protected from the elements and you will lose your hat, sunglasses, or anything else that is not tied down, including light-weight people.

If walking and hiking does not sound exciting to you, there are other options. You could take the 13 mile scenic drive, which will leave you feeling peaceful and relaxed. However, if you still want to be outside, but you just don’t want to walk, you could also opt to go horseback riding. After your horseback ride you can relax and have a nice picnic lunch at one of the many picnic areas.

Be sure to stop at the visitor center before leaving the park. There are many more things to learn and see. You can check out the exhibits as well as the bookstore. I always stop simply to purchase a magnet for my travel collection.

For more information on Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, please visit: https://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_programs/blm_special_areas/red_rock_nca.html