Everybody who’s spent a day in Las Vegas has been up and down the Strip. Not a tourist pounding the pavement out there isn’t already aware that most of the services, shops and restaurants near the hotels are catered specifically to tourists – everything is overpriced, blindingly glitzy, artificial and overpopulated. The travel guides always direct people to the same places. And yet, there’s an entire city to be explored, and beyond that, the sprawling desert countryside with its dusty trails and sky perforated with mountains.
So this time around, after having worn thin your soles on the burning concrete of Las Vegas Boulevard, why not go rogue for a day? Learn something new, see the city from a different angle, do something you can’t do at home, eat something that isn’t on the everyday menu and go on an adventure.
There is no chase quite like a wild desert chase – rocks and dirt kicking up at every turn on the rough terrain of the Nevada desert, chasing a Sun Buggy tour guide across 15,000 acres of hills, valleys and washed out creek beds and trails. This isn’t your average dune buggy – wider and lower to feel the ground underneath, with way less bulk, with options of a single rider, two-seater or four-seater, with NASCAR seatbelts. Designed for a real race.
Families visiting Las Vegas can also check out our list of Las Vegas' best kid-friendly attractions
This place is perfect for people who feel the need to take flight yet can’t get over a fear of heights. Feel the air coursing through your body as you enter the wind chamber. Feel gravity melt away with every gust from below. Totally safe and totally fun, indoor skydivers are joined by a seasoned professional, taken through a short lesson on the rules and safety protocol, and after a few practice takeoffs and landings, it’s time to levitate.
Hopper's guide to Las Vegas for thrill-seekers has a lot of other ideas for adrenaline junkies
Get away for the day! With 19 hikes and trails ranging from beginner to advanced to discover the rainbow of natural colors splashed and layered across the vibrant 195,819 acres of Red Rock Canyon, this is not an attraction to be missed. Geology-fans, kids and nature lovers alike will find the tracks of small bipedal dinosaurs stamped in the Aztec Sandstone and the fossils of sea life dating back to the Paleozoic Era fascinating . You can even bring your dog! Want history? This is it, over 250 million years of it. So go out and explore.
Also check out Hopper's picks for the five best places to hike near Las Vegas for more places to enjoy the great outdoors
More than 150 historic relics of Las Vegas’ notorious gambling den history are littered throughout the neon boneyard. Vintage signs and long faded marquee lights, the staples of the bygone Las Vegas skyline from the ‘50s onwards, now lie strewn across this stretch of desert. Be sure to make a stop at the reception hall, the refurbished La Concha Motel lobby, built in 1961 by Paul Revere Williams, with its antiseptic white space-age shell-shaped frame.
The Neon Museum is also on Hopper's list of five offbeat museums in Las Vegas along with other cool museums
The Lotus of Siam doesn’t look like much in its post in an innocuous strip mall off a dusty stretch of Las Vegas highway, but the restaurant has been hailed one of North America’s best Thai restaurants. Saipin Chutima, the mastermind behind Lotus of Siam has been featured on the Food Network numerous time and his creations include such concoctions as drunken noodle with crispy duck, prawn in a blanket, which are prawns wrapped in bacon and wonton wraps and deep fried, served with sweet and sour sauce. Cap that meal off with Singha beer and you’ll be in a Thai dreamland.
See more restaurants in Las Vegas that are loved by local food bloggers where visitors can eat like a local