Las Vegas Travel Guide the Strip

Travelers flock by plane, tour bus, automobile and even moped to experience the wonders of the Las Vegas Strip. Their vacation days will usually be carved out with sight-seeing, gaming activities, shopping, club-hopping and show watching. The Las Vegas local, on the other hand, has often become quite adept at finding alternatives to Las Vegas Boulevard and all it entails. There are several hidden gems within the Las Vegas city lines and on the outskirts that visitors should consider when a time out from the Strip is in order.

Mount Charleston is 35 miles northwest of the Strip, and is a part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. For such a quick drive from town, Mount Charleston provides a striking contrast with the city. The mountain provides skiing and sledding opportunities in the winter and an escape from the brutal Las Vegas heat in the summer. You can hike, camp, enjoy the picnic areas, rent a cabin, stop for lunch at the Mount Charleston Lodge, or just enjoy the scenery in this beautiful and surprisingly green area.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway offers many attractions for all levels of auto racing fans. The speedway, which is located off the I-15 about 12 miles north of downtown Las Vegas, frequently hosts a wide range of events. Novice car racing, auto shows and exhibitions, drifting contests, dirt racing, and NHRA and NASCAR races are some of the exciting events that take place at the speedway. The excitement here can be contagious, and a day at the racetrack can provide a nice change of pace.

Lake Mead National Recreation Center is located 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas and is a pleasant spot for a day trip out of the city. A nice way to enjoy the lake is to rent a boat or personal watercraft from one of the three marinas at the lake. Houseboats, fishing boats, jets skis and patio boats can be rented by the hour or for the entire day. Don’t forget your sunblock and some tasty snacks to quench your appetite on the lake! There are also places to sunbathe and fish, as well as restaurants and snack bars.

If you like to shop but want to avoid the typical mall experience, check out the Broadacres Swap Meet on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Here you will find a unique shopping experience that meshes swap meet and flea market. A main attraction for this location is the diverse festival of foods that are available. You can drink from a freshly cracked coconut, eat chicken roasted over an open flame and cool down with a classic snow cone. There is too much food to mentionyou will have to see for yourself! Broadacres is located on North Las Vegas Boulevard, past downtown Las Vegas

A distinctive food spot that many locals have come to love and appreciate over the years is Firefly on Paradise Tapas Kitchen and Bar. This restaurant is a couple blocks east of the Strip. It has a lively atmosphere and a vast selection of fun and delicious food. Try the pork empanada, patatas bravas, smoked salmon platter and Nutella-banana sandwiches.

There are many enjoyable options off the beaten path in Las Vegas. When the power slot-pulling wears you out, make like a local and venture off the Strip!