Tourists to Las Vegas quite frequently wonder what there is to do in the summertime heat other than meander from one casino to the next, or one high-priced show to the next. They may be bored or, more often, are beginning to experience a thinning of their wallets.
Some discover the natural wonders available after a remarkably short drive in places such as Red Rock Canyon or Mount Charleston where temperatures can be 20 degrees or more cooler than downtown Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon is less than a 30-minute drive from the strip and offers several diversions from the temptations of the Las Vegas strip. Hiking Red Rock Canyon in summer is probably an activity best left to those who actually use their gym memberships throughout the year. Keep in mind temps can exceed 110 degrees and that you will need a full gallon of water per person just for the less strenuous hikes. However, taking the 13 mile scenic drive not only allow you to enjoy much of the beauty of the this National Conservation Area without ever having to leave the comfort of your car’s air conditioning.
Mount Charleston is a bit further but an easy drive considering the rise of elevation to over 8000’. You’ll want to bask in the coolness at the Big Horn Grill, munch on a Yeti burger, and sit with your dog as you dine in comfort at the lodge’s outdoor patio.
For diversions closer to the Strip check out the Atomic Testing Museum which features artifacts from the Smithsonian Institute and highlights the famous Nevada nuclear test site. Also, discover the Neon Museum which houses retro neon-fired signs from back in the day. Then there’s the Mob Museum, a virtual time machine that will take you back to the early days of fabulous Las Vegas and its gangster beginnings.
Liberace fans can explore the museum of the same name and see some of the virtuoso’s outrageous outfits. Or take a nostalgic trip through Mr. Las Vegas’ former home, Casa de Shenandoah.
For those looking for more high-brow perusing there’s the Las Vegas Art Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Bellagio Fine Art Museum.
But this just scratches the surface of things to do in the good ole’ summertime that won’t have you panting as you walk down the Strip with your tongue hanging out. Well, aside from hiking at Red Rock Canyon, of course. If you decide to do that please take care.