If you’re visiting the Jockey Club and want to explore the world outside of the famed Vegas Strip, here are a few ideas:
- Spring Mountain Ranch State Park– The ranch is located 15 miles west of Las Vegas at 3,800 feet. The park is situated beneath Wilson Range’s majestic cliffs in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The 520 acre retreat was once owned by millionaire Howard Hughes and other colorful characters. The park includes the historical sites of the Main Ranch House; Wilson Cemetery, Sandstone Cabin; Board and Batten bunkhouse; Blacksmith’s Shop, Hay and Horse Barn/Corral, Two-Hole Outhouse, Chinchilla Shed and many more. Hiking, guided tours, picnicking, living history programs, and Super Summer Theater are among the many activities. If you’re thinking of visiting this park, remember the ranch is usually 10-15 degrees cooler than the Las Vegas Valley.
- Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City– All aboard and off toward Hoover Dam. Passengers may board refurbished and climate controlled Pullman Coaches (dating back to 1911) or enjoy the open air coach for a 45 minute ride. You’ll feel as if you are back in the 1930’s as museum employees are decked out in period attire. Excursion train rides are on Saturdays and Sundays (except January). Read more.
- The Atomic Testing Museum– The United States’ primary location for nuclear testing was this Nevada Test Site from 1951-1992. The museum is in association with the Smithsonian Institute and features a discovery area, theater, stories from past employees and more. In 2009, the Las Vegas Review-Journal rated this museum the “Best of Las Vegas.”
- Valley of Fire State Park– “Voted Best of Nevada 2009” by Nevada Magazine. Valley of Fire State Park is 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas and six miles from Lake Mead. This is Nevada’s largest and oldest state park, dedicated 1935. “The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyph. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography.” Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the coyotes, tarantulas, ravens, and big horn sheep. If you’re a “Trekkie,” you may recognize the White Domes where Captain Kirk died.
For more “Off the Strip” adventures, visit Top 10: Off the Beaten Path Things to Do in Las Vegas.