Welcome to Sin City. If you’re anything like me, you didn’t know that Las Vegas was anything more than a place to do stupid things over the weekend. You probably didn’t even consider it a place where normal people actually live. You probably moved here out of unforeseen circumstances, such as a job offer… I know that’s what happened with me. I wasn’t excited in the least to move to a place like Las Vegas, but I soon came to see that there is so much more to this town than the strip, and believe it or not, it is actually a great place to raise a family.
Ok. You live in Las Vegas. What do you do when the magic of seeing the strip whenever you want wears off? I HAVE SOME ANSWERS FOR YOU, MY FRIEND.
Places to Shove Your Face
Think off the strip. Vegas has all sorts of awesome restaurants brimming with charm and awesome grub, even miles from the bright lights. There are a lot of places around here that you can find easily or that have been made popular by Food Network, but I’m going to try to give you a few places that might be a little harder to find.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is a must. Forget Subway. Capriotti’s will blow your socks off. Prices are average-high, but you will understand why once you try it. My favorite is their signature sandwich “The Bobby,” which is basically like Thanksgiving jammed inside of some bread. When I first ate this sandwich, my mind literally exploded out of the back of my head because it was just too damned delicious. With numerous shops sprinkled throughout Las Vegas, there is no excuse for you not to stop by sometime. Check out their menu:
SoHo Sushi Burrito… “What?!” You may be asking yourself. Yes. You read correctly. This place is more than just a novelty spot as they offer amazing, scrumptious entrees you have to taste to believe. I’m just going to leave it at that. The people who opened this restaurant are geniuses.
2600 W Sahara Ave #115, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Capo’s Speakeasy looks like a hole in the wall. I drove past it dozens of times without even noticing it until my co-worker told me to give it a try. The ambience is very nostalgic, playing off of older times when gangsters ruled the city and prohibition was fought underground. The menu is chock full of Italian dishes and drinks. Let me tell you though, this is not a place I would bring my kids because it is a little pricier and people come here to get away from the Chili’s atmosphere. If you are in the mood to ditch the kids and go on a date, this is what you are looking for.
Places to Take a Day Trip
I’ll keep these short and sweet because they are pretty self-explanatory.
Red Rock- Hiking, camping, rock climbing, views of the whole city + strip, STUNNING and really puts things into perspective. We are all so small in the scheme of things! kind of catharsis stuff. Very Thoreau.
Valley of Fire- Hiking, camping, rock climbing, super cool Indian Petroglyphs.
Lee Canyon- Hiking, camping, streams, snow, skiing, **FREE CAMPING @ Macks Canyon which is more intimate and available than the pay spots.
Mt. Charleston- Hiking, camping, snow, programs for people of all ages.
Boulder City- A really cute little town near Lake Mead. (I’m not going to suggest going to Lake Mead because in all honesty, we went camping there and it just wasn’t that great. Our camp site was about a mile walk from the lake. I’m sure some sites have views. I viewed a bush. Meh. The lake is very dried up and there was not a lot happening there. The coolest thing about that place is that there is an old hotel there that is dilapidated and neat looking that you can kind of explore if you are not worried about getting killed or in trouble). Anywho… Boulder City is one of those historic towns that has cute shops and hotels and car shows, etc., on the weekend. It is a neat place to visit for a low key day out or weekend trip.
Places to Take the Youngins
Discovery Children’s Museum
Right next to the Smith Center is a magical place called the Discovery Children’s Museum. This place is multistory, totally interactive, just entertaining. My kids ages 10, 6, and 2 all love this place. They have specialty exhibits, (the last one I saw was dinosaurs), and pretty much anything else you would expect to find. The price is $14.50 unless you get a membership OR if you are a teacher for Clark County. Then you get a discount. (Discounts are the best).
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t know about this place. It is great whether you have kids or not. It is located right off of Fremont Street and you’ll know you’ve found it when you come across a huge fire-breathing praying mantis. This entire park is mode of shipping containers filled with interesting stores, restaurants, and bars. This is my favorite place to go in Las Vegas because my kids get to run around crazy in a tree house playground while I sit by drinking a beer, eating bbq, and listening to music. This place is even better in the evenings because they project movies, music videos, or have live performers such as one-man band Daniel Park who I always hope to see whenever I stop by on a Friday night. Container Park is always hosting special events and never disappoints. Kids can participate in a drum circle when the sun goes down to help wake up the praying mantis, which some kids find terrorizing, but is still adorable anyways. If you want to stay with the family for a few hours, then make sure to get there somewhat early because there is no one under 21 allowed after 9 p.m.
Bonnie Springs Ranch
If you’re in the mood for a scenic drive, Head out west and check out Bonnie Springs Ranch.This is your standard old Western-themed town complete with shops, a train, daily shows, museums, and holiday adventures when it comes to be those times of year. This is a great place to spend a few hours galavanting around outside. There is also an area near here that offers horseback rides.
Places You Might Not Have Thought Of
McMullins Irish Pub
I went here the other night with some friends for Pub Trivia. I wasn’t sure exactly how that was going to go down because I’ve never played that kind of thing before, but it was fricken awesome. The whole place pretty much broke up into groups to play and it was very competitive. Great atmosphere, good food, drink specials, and PUB QUIZ EVERY TUESDAY. I know what I’m doing next Tuesday. Take some friends… preferably friends of all different ages and interests because you will need them for nerdy questions… like stuff about Harry Potter or geography.
Now, this list is pretty short and swweet and I know I've missed a lot of places. Leave me some suggestions of places to check out and I'll go there and write a Part 2 to this post! Leave suggestions either in the comment section or under the Contact tab. Get out there and explore!
Ashley and Cecilia work hard, play hard, write stuff, read stuff... because they don't know what else to do with their lives.
I- We should buy something superficial
II- Buy odd clothing
I- An Unusual Social Event
I- We should go somewhere with dangerous animals
I- Somewhere with strange food
When we get ten total votes, the item with the highest number of votes will be our next expedition.
(One vote per reader, per category).