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Vacation Planning

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Vacation Planning

My friend called me the other day to let me know he was going to Las Vegas for vacation next week. He was a notoriously bad gambler and wanted some ideas to get him off the casino floors for a few days, hoping to have a little money left over when he returned. Having lived there, people often ask me for advice on things to do. It's been my observation that most people think of Las Vegas in terms of one street surrounded by desert, but if you are willing to look, there is more there than the movies and television depict.

One of the first things I did when I moved to Las Vegas was visit the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam sits on the boarder of Nevada and Arizona and is, in my opinion, one of the most amazing architectural constructions in the country. There are several different ways you can explore this unique site, they offer a guided tour of the interior workings of the dam, a top to bottom tour with a raft ride on the Colorado giving you an up close and personal view of the bottom of the dam. Also, there is a Mississippi-style paddleboat that will take visitors on a tour of Lake Mead and the top portion of the dam ( On my visit to the dam, I took the guided tour of the inside of the dam and was astounded at the history surrounding the construction of this modern marvel.

In another direction, Bonnie Springs Old Nevada is a recreation of an old west style town complete with gunfights, hanging reenactments, a museum, petting zoo and of course, a gift shop. This spot is one of the coolest things to see on a trip to Las Vegas. Filled with historical information and activities for people of any age, the town allows people to interact with a part of history filled with action and adventure. Bonnie Springs is a great way to spend a day in Las Vegas (

For those who love nature, Las Vegas is a perfect place to visit. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. They offer a 13-mile scenic drive allowing you to see the beautiful landscape and wildlife. There are guided horseback rides, hiking trails and rock climbing routes that allow you, with special permit to camp on the route. Red Rock Canyon offers a look at Nevada away from the cities and crowds allowing you to see the area the way it used to be. There is also a visitor's center with information on the local wildlife and terrain of Red Rock Canyon (

These are just a few of the unique locations to spend a vacation in Las Vegas. No matter what age or interest, there is bound to be something that will excite and entertain visitors. Outside the casinos, activities are extremely affordable and many free ones as well. Sometimes, it is important to leave the beaten path and explore the unexplored



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