Area 15 is an art, entertainment, dining, & retail complex that opened in 2020.
It is located a mile off the Strip behind the Trump Hotel (about 2 miles from The Strat).
Area 15 has many immersive and interactive art installations such as Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, the Van Gogh 360 degree immersive art experience, Museum Fiasco Cluster sound and light spectacle, and Wink World: Portals Into The Infinite.
Explore The Sanctuary, a 32-foot high bamboo volcano and take a selfie next to the 12-foot tall glowing skull.
Experience high-tech entertainment such as the Birdly flight simulator, Oz Experience virtual reality, Particle Quest augmented reality, and Five Iron virtual golf.
Get your blood pumping by throwing axes at Dueling Axes or riding Haley’s Comet indoor zipline.
Enjoy a drink or a meal at Emporium bar and arcade, Oddwood Bar (with a large glowing LED-lit Japanese tree), or The Beast food hall by Todd English.
Boulevard Mall is not far off the Strip behind the Venetian.
This exciting mall has 140 stores and restaurants.
It has entertainment options such as SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium, Galaxy Movie Theatres, Jupiter Express Railroad, Game Center Animal Rides, Dixie Dooley’s Magic Shop, First Vegas Virtual Reality, Las Vegas Family Puppet Theater, Versus esports arena, and Rex Center (with laser tag, go-carts, and mini golf).
Located in the East Fremont Entertainment district, the Downtown Container Park has unique stores & restaurants in converted shipping containers. Enjoy The Dome – an immersive, 4K-visual dome entertainment experience, the candy store, a park with a play structure for kids, and a fire-spitting Mantis sculpture in front.
Take a short 10-minute cab ride West of the Las Vegas Strip to this massive flea market with up to 600 vendors.
We love finding good deals and unique products and food.
Admission costs only $1.
Las Vegas Premium Outlet Malls (North and South)
There are two outlet malls in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas North Premium Outlets is downtown near the West end of Fremont Street. It is an outdoor mall with over 140 retailers plus several restaurants like Shake Shack and Cheesecake Factory.
Las Vegas South Premium Outlets is not far South of the airport on Las Vegas Boulevard. It is an indoor mall with over 140 stores and two food courts inside. You’ll find more dining options in the parking lot.
The Pinball Hall of Fame recently re-located to a massive stand-alone building on the Las Vegas Strip across from Mandalay Bay and the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. For the last 10 years it was located off-Strip, so I decided to leave it in this article.
Their website says they have over 200 playable retro pinball machines and 50 arcade games from every decade. However, someone recently told me that they now have 800 pinball games and 200 arcade games.
This unique casino and resort is located on the Eastern outskirts of Las Vegas (20 minutes from the Strip) and periodically offers free shuttle service to and from the Las Vegas Strip.
There is a lot to see here besides gambling, including bowling, an arcade, and the Sunset Stampede, a free Laser Light and Fountain Show in the Mystic Falls Park. The park also has trees, bubbling brooks, and animatronic animals.
If your trip permits enough time, we suggest you visit Grand Canyon National Park, a 1,200,000 acre National Park in Northwestern Arizona.
It is absolutely spectacular, which is why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. You can wander trails along the cliff tops and find breathtaking observation decks. You can also venture to the bottom of the canyon for a totally different experience.
To get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, you can take bus tours or even helicopter tours.
The South Rim is great for first-time visitors for its abundance of visitor services and lower cost. It’s quite a drive, as it is a 4.5 hour trip without taking any detours along historic Route 66.
Grand Canyon West Rim and the Grand Canyon Glass Skywalk are closer to Las Vegas (closer to a 2-hour drive), but the cost is higher and it is not part of Grand Canyon National Park.
Explore Grand Canyon Caverns, which is 200 feet below ground and is the largest dry cavern in the USA.
Use one of the rafting outfitters in this article to experience kayaking, river rafting, and whitewater rapids on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Lake Mead is located 24 miles southeast of Las Vegas right beside the Hoover Dam.
Lake Mead is a man-made lake on the Colorado River formed by the construction of the Hoover Dam. It is the largest water reservoir in the United States and provides water to the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Lake Mead has a recreation area where you can go to a museum, rent a boat or kayak, or take a lovely and relaxing charter cruise.
ATV and dune buggy tours
Off-road driving tours are offered by many tour operators that take you to different places and use different vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles and custom-made dune buggies. The tours start in Las Vegas and then you are taken out in the desert for some off-road wild rides in cool vehicles. Check out the attraction ratings and comments on TripAdvisor to help select the tour that is right for you.
This historic town is home to the Nevada State Railroad Museum, many antique stores, and an antique market. Boulder Dam Brewing Co. is a popular dining spot. There are a few unique things to do nearby. Go to Hemenway Valley Park to view a herd of up to 60 Bighorn Sheep. Pedal a railbike downhill for 4 miles along the railroad tracks through the Nevada desert, River Mountains and Eldorado Valley. To save some energy, you can also take a scenic 35-minute train ride on the Nevada Southern Railway.
Buffalo Bill’s is located in Primm, Nevada, approximately 40 miles South of Las Vegas near the California state line. It is currently closed due to the pandemic, but a nearby sister property called the Primm Valley Resort & Casino is open.
Of course, you can have fun gambling or enjoy a nice meal at these resorts, especially during a pit-stop if you are travelling between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
To us, the most interesting reason to stop used to be the thrilling attractions such as the Adventure Canyon Log Flume, 225-foot tall Turbo Drop drop ride, Desperado Roller Coaster, and 3-D simulator called “The Vault” at Buffalo Bill’s. Unfortunately, these attractions are all closed as of April 2021 and it is unclear when they will re-open, if ever.
You will also find a golf course and outlet mall in the area.
UFO-hunters and alien conspiracy theorists travel Nevada State Route 375 towards Area 51, which is why it is called the Extraterrestrial Highway.
Some people believe crashed alien spaceships are stored & tested at Area 51. What we know is that advanced military aviation technology is tested there.
Since people can’t actually enter Area 51, which is on a military base, they meet at the Little A’Le’Inn in the nearby town of Rachel, Nevada or at a nondescript black mailbox in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road between Rachel and Alamo, NV. Some people leave letters addressed to the little grey men in the black mailbox.
The drive is a daunting 150 miles each way if you are up for it.
Here, you might meet people with similar interests to swap stories or make plans to watch the sky for unknown aerial phenomena.
Seven Magic Mountains is a free art installation by Ugo Rondinone consisting of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders standing more than thirty feet high.
It is located 10 miles south of Las Vegas in the Ivanpah Valley.
Visitors love to take memorable pictures here, but maybe not for much longer. The outdoor exhibit might not exist after 2021 because it was built on public land with a time-limited permit.
We will not go into detail about the ghost towns listed below, but if you want to see what life was like a 100+ years ago in Nevada, visit one of these ghost towns.
Eldorado Canyon, which is a 1-hour drive Southeast of Las Vegas, has a “living ghost town” called Nelson Ghost Town you can explore. You can also tour the abandoned Techatticup mine near the town of Nelson, Nevada.
Goldfield Ghost Town is a historic mining town from the wild west close to Phoenix, Arizona (300 miles away from Las Vegas). The town’s main street has shops and historic buildings. You can also pan for gold, tour inside the historic Mammoth Gold Mine, and visit the Goldfield Museum. Train enthusiasts and families will enjoy riding on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train. The biggest attraction here is the staging of an old west gun fight.
BONUS TIP: This is not a ghost town, but Tonopah Creepy Clown Motel is a creepy and weird place to visit. The Clown Motel was named “America’s Scariest Motel” because of its clown theme and proximity to the cemetery where many miners were laid to rest after the Tonopah-Belmont Mine Fire of 1911. This motel houses 2,000 clowns from every era and part of the world. One big drawback is that it is very far away – 200 miles Northwest of Las Vegas.
Not everyone wants to gamble, drink, and see shows every day of their Las Vegas vacation. Others just want a break from the crowds where they can see or do something special.
We hope this article has given you lots of food for thought when planning your next trip to Las Vegas.
Let us know in the comments below if you try any of our suggestions or if you have experienced them before. Also, please share any other great ideas for off-strip things to do in Las Vegas that are not on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street.
* AUTHOR NOTE: Access to businesses, attractions, and parks are subject to change, especially due to pandemic health restrictions and related tourism and business conditions. Please check the website or call before going to avoid disappointment, especially if you are driving an hour or more to get to some of these locations.
Kevin & Tina
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