The city of Las Vegas offers so much more than its reputation sometimes suggests. There’s a buzzing startup scene, nice hiking nearby, and tons to do besides the typical ‘Vegas’ experience. Here are few highlights of what to do in Las Vegas, outside of clubs and beyond the strip:
People-watch on Fremont Street.
Las Vegas has world-class people watching, and one of the best places to do it is Fremont Street. If you’ve never been, Fremont Street is what’s referred to as the “Old Strip.” In a nutshell, that means it has more history, cheaper drinks, and more diverse people-watching.
One of my favorite places to spend time around Fremont Street is the second story balcony of the bar Commonwealth. It’s a great place to watch crowds pass, sip cocktails, and play people-watching games like, “Local or tourist?” and “What day of Vegas are they on?” (People usually start to look a little ragged and partied out around day 3.)
While you’re around Fremont Street, also check out Container Park.
The park is filled with buildings made out of shipping containers, restaurants, bars, twinkle-lights, a gigantic preying mantis that shoots flames, and an adult-sized treehouse.
Container Park is a perfect break from the lights and noise of Fremont. There’s also a grassy area where the community does outdoor movies during the summer months.
Snag brunch at Skinny Fats.
Skinny Fats is a tasty local favorite—they’re opening up 3 more locations around Vegas this year!
Their menu side has a ‘skinny’ side and a ‘fat’ side (which they’ve renamed to a ‘healthy’ side and a ‘happy’ side). So, you can be indulgent or healthy—although I’ve noticed that even the ‘fat’ side of the menu had some options that still look fairly healthy.
Skinny Fats adds delight to the experience with free coffee before 11, rainbow cutlery, super-pleasant staff, and food that exceeds expectations.
Left: “happy-side” chicken and waffles, “Chickenwaffadopolis.” Right: healthy-side protein waffle with berries.
Go for an an early-morning jog on the strip.
There’s something a little magical about seeing the strip conservatively-dressed and squeaky clean. There are businessmen, cheerful workers, and occasional other joggers all nodding and smiling at each other across the immaculate sidewalks. It’s refreshing and a little strange to see the strip so prim and polished.
One side note: I’ve found that if you start your run before 5, there will still be straggling partiers from the night before. I’ve witnessed an occasional arrest this way, so if that’s your thing, by all means do go before 5!
Take a ride on the top of the Stratosphere.
If you’re interested in carnival-type rides, the ones on top of the Stratosphere are much better than the New York, New York roller coaster or the zip line at the Rio. I particularly like the ride Big Shot.
While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by Herbs & Rye, an award-winning, speakeasy-style bar with tasty cocktails and friendly bartenders.
Visit the 7 Magic Mountains.
7 Magic Mountains is an art exhibit created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone in 2016. It’s about 20 minutes south of Las Vegas.
I would recommend going as early as you can. Watching the sun come up over the colorful pillars was quite incredible, and it was also nice to have the place to ourselves.
7 Magic Mountains is even cooler in person than pictures suggest and well worth the drive.
Enjoy your trip to Las Vegas!