ultimate guide visiting las vegas off strip activities

Neon Boneyard (left). Image by korymatthew via Flickr.

The Strip may be the heart of Las Vegas, but there’s so much more to Sin City than the casino resorts and bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard.

There are tons of places off the Strip to check out…it’s just really difficult to prize yourself away from the casinos, particularly if hungover! The Grand Canyon, a helicopter tour and a visit to The Neon Museum are all awesome things to do.Victoria, Pommie Travels

If you have time (and energy!) to explore beyond the Strip, be sure to check out these unique attractions:

1. Fremont Street

Distance from the Strip: 7 miles

downtown las vegas fremont street john phelan

Fremont Street. Image by John Phelan via Wikimedia Commons.

Also known as Glitter Gulch, Fremont Street is located in Las Vegas’s downtown core. This pedestrian-only thoroughfare features a zip line, casinos, live music, and nightly light shows displayed on an LED-lit canopy.

While there’s plenty of excitement along the Strip, we recommend visitors to Las Vegas consider the classic nostalgia which can be found in the Fremont Historical District, the Atomic Museum and the Neon Museum. Restoration efforts in Fremont include an interactive urban art experience which features classic neon evocative of the Rat Pack glory days. Fremont’s restaurant scene revolves around the historic district’s nod to the early days of Las Vegas. The Atomic Museum’s cold war vibe and the Neon Museum’s boneyard will send you back in time as well.Betsy and Pete, Passing Thru

Take Betsy and Pete’s advice! While you’re downtown, be sure to check out…

2. The Neon Museum

Distance from the Strip: 7 miles

Explore a historic collection of Las Vegas’s neon signage, preserved and displayed in indoor exhibits, as well as the renowned outdoor “neon boneyard”. Suzanne from The Travel Bunny “love[s] the Neon Boneyard, where all the old vintage Vegas signs from the original hotels and casinos are laid to rest”:

Take a tour to hear about the history of the signs and the celebrities who frequented the hotels and casinos. The Mob Museum is fabulous too – give yourself at least 2 hours for that one.

Guided tours run seven days a week. Learn more.

3. The Mob Museum

Distance from the Strip: 7 miles

While you’re in downtown Las Vegas, take a trip back in time and explore the history of organized crime through interactive exhibits and immersive storylines.

4. Grand Canyon

Distance from the Strip: 125-280 miles

Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park via Flickr

Take a break from the city and journey to one of the most breathtaking sights in the United States. The iconic South Rim is about a 5 hour drive from the Strip, while the West Rim is only about 2.5-3 hours away. There are many guided tours that depart right from the Strip, including bus, airplane, and helicopter tours complete with floor landings, champagne toasts, and unparalleled photo ops. Many of our Grand Canyon tours depart from right from the Strip.

Of course the Grand Canyon is always a worthwhile trip. I’ve been twice and my mind still has to stretch to take it all in.Deb, Aroundusty Roads

Learn more about the Grand Canyon – check out our Grand Canyon Visitor Guide.

Take a look at our most popular guided Grand Canyon tours.

Grand Canyon South Rim Tour Overlook

Grand Canyon South Rim Bus Tour

Marvel at the South Rim’s breathtaking views on our most popular guided and narrated luxury bus tour to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim National Park! Your journey begins with pick up from the hotel before traveling through Las Vegas & Boulder City, Nevada.

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grand canyon west rim deluxe bus tour hoover dam stop optional skywalk

Grand Canyon West Rim Deluxe Bus Tour with Hoover Dam Stop and Optional Skywalk

Enjoy your trip to the Grand Canyon on a large luxury motorcoach, complete with a drive over the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge before arriving at the stunning West Rim! Skywalk available for an additional fee.

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grand canyon west rim helicopter tour floor landing limousine upgrade

Grand Canyon Helicopter Floor Landing with Limousine Upgrade

Travel to and from your helicopter in a luxury limousine before you land on the Canyon floor and at an exclusive private ramada overlooking the Colorado River. Your return flight includes a cruise over the Las Vegas strip.

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5. Satisfy your need for speed at Exotics Racing

Distance from the Strip: 2 miles

Speed demons, rejoice! At Exotics Racing, you can choose from a range of luxury and exotic vehicles and drive your dream car around their 1.2 mile racing track, complete with 1,800 foot straightaway where you can reach speeds up to 130 mph.

6. The Hoover Dam

Distance from the Strip: 35 miles

hoover damOne of the world’s most spectacular engineering marvels is just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip. Descend into the dam, view it from indoor and outdoor platforms, and even from two states! You can also combine your Hoover Dam tour with a Lake Mead or Colorado River Cruise.

Deb from Aroundusty Roads recalls her trip to the Hoover Dam:

Off the Strip I loved going to Hoover Dam. We took a tour so again, no rental car and we had the benefit of the tour guide’s stories about the area as we drove to the Dam.
Explore our most popular Hoover Dam tours

complete hoover dam experience tour

Complete Hoover Dam Experience

Get the best of both worlds with this tour, a refreshing stop at the Colorado River and an in-depth tour of the mighty Hoover Dam.

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mini hoover dam tour

Mini Hoover Dam Tour

Catch breathtaking views of Lake Mead en route to the Hoover Dam! Descend 500 feet into the Dam and see it from two states!

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hoover dam suv tour

Hoover Dam SUV Tour

View the Hoover Dam from two states, and even venture deep inside the Dam to view the generators!

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7. Check out a shark tank

Distance from the Strip: 7 miles

Located in downtown Las Vegas inside the Golden Nugget hotel, this shark tank also includes a three-storey waterslide, making it the perfect off-Strip destination for families travelling with kids.

Get more tips for visiting Las Vegas with your kids.

8. Stroll through the Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens

Distance from the Strip: 6 miles

The Springs Preserve Botanical Gardens contains the largest collection of Mojave desert cacti and succulents in the area, as well as a butterfly habitat. It’s a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and families.

9. Red Rock Canyon

Distance from the Strip: 20 miles

red rock canyon

Experience the true beauty of the Southwest desert just a few short minutes outside of Las Vegas. The Strip is actually visible from Red Rock Canyon!

I’d love to see Red Rock Canyon. I haven’t made that tour yet but I love nature and landscapes.Deb, Aroundusty Roads

If you need a change of scenery or simply want to step back into nature, this much-loved desert oasis is perfect for half-day or full-day excursions.

Learn more about Red Rock Canyon:

Take a look at our our Red Rock Canyon tours

red rock canyon suv tour

Red Rock Canyon SUV Tour

See the dramatic scenery of Red Rock Canyon on this unique tour, including scenic drives and an exclusive off-road adventure.

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10. Bounce around at a trampoline park

Distance from the Strip: 5 miles

SkyZone Las Vegas was the world’s first indoor trampoline park. With open jumping, Ultimate Dodgeball (AKA dodgeball on a trampoline), SkySlam (that’s trampoline basketball), and a foam zone, SkyZone has something for visitors of any age.

11. The Atomic Testing Museum

Distance from the Strip: 2 miles

The Atomic Testing Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. The museum tells the story of America’s nuclear testing program, complete with a replica of the control point where nuclear detonation countdowns occurred.

12. Death Valley

Distance from the Strip: 120 miles

death valley salt pan

Image Source: Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons

Death Valley is home to the lowest, hottest, and driest spot in North America. It’s continually shifting landscape, diverse wildlife and vegetation, and unique geological features make it one of the most intriguing landscapes in the Southwest.

See Death Valley on our guided day tour

death valley bus tour

Death Valley Bus Tour

Join us on this wonderful tour Ubehebe Crater, Furnace Creek Ranch Museum, Badwater Mud Canyon and Rhyolite Ghost Town. As a special memento of your adventure, you will receive a Death Valley Explorer Certificate at the end of your tour!

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13. First Friday

Distance from the Strip: 5 miles

On the first Friday of every month, Las Vegas artists, artisans, and musicians gather downtown to share their work through live music, visual and performing arts, and delicious food. Culture buffs can’t miss this monthly peek into Las Vegas’s burgeoning art scene.

14. Explore wetlands

Distance from the Strip: 10 miles

Learn about native wildlife and local ecology at the Clark County Wetlands Park, where you can explore the habitats of the more than 300 species of plants and animals that inhabit the Las Vegas Wash. Guided discovery walks and family programs are available.

15. Valley of Fire

Distance from the Strip: 55 miles

valley of fireNamed for its distinctive red sandstone formations, the Valley of Fire State Park consists of over 42,000 acres of rugged desert terrain, complete with iconic rock formations, petroglyphs, canyons and hoodoos.

Learn more about the Valley of Fire.

Guided tours to the Valley of Fire depart daily from the Las Vegas Strip. Take a look.

Valley of Fire SUV Tour

Come with us to explore the Valley of Fire, one of Nevada’s most visually stunning sights, in our custom built Tour Trekker SUVs! Venture deep into the Valley of Fire, experience the magnificent backdrop of the Mojave Desert, and learn about many Native American cultures.

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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas

Find answers to all your questions about Las Vegas in our Ultimate Guide!

Special thanks to all the expert travelers who contributed their tips to the Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas!