Las Vegas beyond the Strip

Looking for new cheap thrills and chills in or around Vegas? Ever wondered what else lies out there in the desert? Afraid of withering away the rest of your vacation spending cash in a casino with only a cheesy t-shirt to bring home? Well, the next time you’re in Sin City, crank it up a notch with a day trip to a rarely explored local hot spot. Or try adding a twist to one of the most popular tourist haunts, like Hoover Dam, and explore its inner workings. Trek out through the striking surrounding scenery of Lake Mead or the Grand Canyon by helicopter or jeep. Away from the glittering allure of the Las Vegas strip, lies a world of fun and adventure waiting to be explored.

What better way to nurture your inner sci-fi geek (or lure a trekkie away from a convention), than by taking the tour that will expose those ugly truths hidden by the government to the harsh light of day. If you’re lucky, you just might spot some little green men trying to hitch a ride back to Vegas.

Less than an hour from Vegas, Lee Ski Canyon is a quaint little hideaway nestled inside of the Toiyabe National Forest. Although it lacks the amenities of a posh ski resort, you can rent your ski equipment and spend the day swooshing down the slopes for about a hundred dollars. You can also bring your own gear and buy a season pass for under $600 and come as often as you like. Most of the slopes are steep and not the best place for beginners to get their feet wet, but seasoned veterans will find the no-frills ski experience enticing enough.

An alternative to spending the day at the slot machines – get your adrenalin rushing while rafting down the Colorado river.

Revisit the old southwest before the bright lights of the strip were ever lit, by taking a tour through the ghost town of Oatman, Arizona and nearby gold mine.

Looming high above the hustle and bustle of the strip, Mount Charleston’s cooler, tranquil climate lures both thrill-seekers and nature-lovers with it rock climbing and skiing facilities, as well as its startling scenic backdrop. Explore the alpine trails of the mountain and nearby Kyle Canyon without breaking a sweat by taking a tour by jeep.

Not only nature buffs will marvel at the colorful, eye-popping vistas of the Valley of Fire, even city folk will be enchanted by the rock formations you get to explore in this tranquil yet fiery landscape.

Before planning your next vacation in Vegas, shop around (there are hundreds of travel packages offered by travel agents and sites alike) and spice things up with a little side adventure.