When it comes to Las Vegas, certainly there’s one element that has been emphasized about the area from Day 1. Gambling is the signature of the Vegas identity. Always has been.
Always will be? Maybe not. Since 2018, a change in United States law now enables any of the 50 U.S. states to legalize sports betting and other forms of gambling such as casinos and poker rooms, both the retail and online versions. The monopoly that Vegas has held for so many decades evaporated in a simple vote of the Supreme Court.
Perhaps the best-kept secret of the Las Vegas area is that there is so much to do that doesn’t involve betting, and yet are sure bets to prove an entertaining adventure. Hike the Red Rock Canyon. Zip line across the Strip. Watch the gladiators of the NFL do battle on any given Sunday. And you’re only a short journey away from such iconic landmarks as the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. Yes, there are plenty of ways to get a Vegas adrenaline rush that don’t involve pulling a lever, playing a 12-leg parlay, or hitting on 15 at the black jack table. And if you still want to get your bet down while you’re otherwise occupied having fun, not to worry. With online sports betting sites such as Bovada, as long as you have a mobile device, you’re connected to the action wherever you are.
Hike The Valley Of Fire State Park
A public recreation and nature preservation area that covers nearly 46,000 acres, the Valley Of Fire State Park is located about an hour’s drive northeast of Las Vegas, making it the ideal day trip.
Forget about Throwback Thursday. At the Valley of Fire State Park, every day is throwback Jurassic. Estimates are that early man lived in Nevada as long as 11,000 years ago. In excess of 2,000 petroglyphs carved into the sandstone around Valley of Fire State Park offer compelling proof of this to be so.
The Valley of Fire consists of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone mountains. Enjoy the many varieties of plant life common to the area, such as burro bush, creosote bush and brittlebush, as well as several species of cactus.
There are numerous hiking trails that traverse the Valley of Fire, and park representatives will happily map out routes and provide estimates of time to complete the journey for neophyte hikers.
Campsites and WiFi are available at the park. At a $10 per car entry fee, and $20 per night for a campsite, it’s also one of the best bets in Vegas.
Kicking It Off Old School
It wasn’t all that long ago when Las Vegas was bereft of major league sports franchises. Thanks to the arrival of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, that’s no longer the case.
The vagabond Raiders, who’ve previously called both Oakland and Los Angeles home, recently completed their first season in their new locale. They play out of brand-new Allegiant Stadium, or as Raiders fans like to call it, the Death Star.
“Allegiant Stadium” by RAIDERS is licensed under CC BY 3.0
A Different View Of The Strip
Just when you thought you’d seen the famous glitter of the Las Vegas strip from every angle, there’s a whole different way to look upon it while getting in a good workout in your hiking clothes.
Thanks to the Las Vegas Overlook Trail, hikers can gain a scenic view of the Strip and the Vegas skyline from atop a peak that requires a climb to 1,150 feet. Situated amidst the Muffin Boulders beyond the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the route also offers views of Triassic-era fossils. And the day fee for access to these trails is a mere $7.
Go Fast Before You Go Home
If you feel the need for speed, Vegas can satisfy that craving in a number of ways. Through the Richard Petty Driving Experience, enjoy a ride in a NASCAR with a professional race car driver around Las Vegas Speedway. The bold can even strap into the driver’s seat and take the wheel themselves.
That’s also what’s offered by Exotics Racing. Get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and put the pedal to the metal around their track, reaching speeds of 130 mph.