Hidden Las Vegas?
January 20, 2018 9:51 AM   Subscribe

What are some off-the-strip things I should see and do in Las Vegas next week?

I'm going to be in Vegas for a week, and I'm wondering if folks have ideas about lesser-known attractions and local gems. Some things I enjoy are:

* neat city neighborhoods
* learning about history and architecture
* great non-strip/casino restaurants and eating food in general (no dietary restrictions)
* museums of anything
* live music
* cool stores
* natural phenomena (I've been to Red Rock and might see the Hoover Dam this time around.)

but really I'm open to anything!

More detail: My bff lives in Vegas so this is not the first and won't be the last time I visit, and she and I are pretty on top of all the glories the strip has to offer. I live in NYC so already have access to the general category of Things Available in Large U.S. Cities. I hate eating dinner in malls.

I don't drink, and while I'm very happy to hang out in bars and clubs, stuff like beer tastings etc. are not for me.

Thank you!
posted by this, of course, alludes to sex to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (18 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
The National Atomic Testing Museum is well worth a visit.
posted by jamaro at 9:57 AM on January 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

Lotus of Siam and Valley of Fire State Park.
posted by Xurando at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

Pinball hall of fame.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

You may have already been there, but the Neon Sign Museum is super cool.
posted by cooker girl at 10:43 AM on January 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I recommend getting the dam tour instead of the power plant tour at the Hoover Dam. Its first time, first serve and we had to wait a few hours but it's so much better to be able to look out from the middle of the dam and see all the art deco decorations inside since they were expecting tourists when they built it.
posted by carolr at 11:29 AM on January 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I always recommend the off-strip restaurant called Herbs & Rye that has early evening/late night happy hour where the steaks (and other menu items) are half-price.
posted by trixie119 at 1:30 PM on January 20, 2018

You can kill two of your birds with one stone by going to the Nevada State Museum and the Springs Preserve, both at the same location. There is a garden and a butterfly habitat at the Springs Preserve as well as a replica "boomtown 1905" and other natural and cultural features.

The original Las Vegas High School (now a magnet school for the performing arts) is a neat old Art Deco building at 7th and Bridger, right near the original downtown, and there is a historic neighborhood to the south of the school complex (originally residential, now mostly law offices). Container Park nearby is fun to wander around.

Seconding Lotus of Siam, which has apparently reopened in a temporary location following the collapse of its roof.
posted by Preserver at 2:05 PM on January 20, 2018

Seconding the Pinball Hall of Fame.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 2:08 PM on January 20, 2018

The tech support phone lady for my vacuum's company who lives in Vegas strongly recommended The Golden Tikki to me yesterday fwiw.

Also: Lotus of Siam, well off the strip, might be the best Thai restaurant in America (order from menu, not buffet)
posted by Quisp Lover at 2:28 PM on January 20, 2018

Breakfast at Mary's hash house
posted by brujita at 4:59 PM on January 20, 2018

If you have a car, Ash meadows is really cool. It's an area with a lot of massive springs providing fresh water. The wetlands park is also fun, and much closer (east end of Tropicana Rd).

We've developed a pretty good ramen scene lately. Monta is the place that everyone recommends, but I've never found it worth the wait. Sora and Tatsu are the two I usually go to. Japanese Curry Zen if you like Japanese style curry - excellent. Jamm's is a great local breakfast diner, but kind of a drive from the strip. Golden Steer if you want some excellent Steak. Via Brazile on west Charleston is a great Brazilian steakhouse. If you want authentic street tacos, Tacos el Gordo is really good, but I like Los Compitas, too.

If you run out of things to do/see, send me a memail - I live here and can probably come up with more suggestions.

Also, /r/vegas and /r/vegasvacation usually have decent suggestions if you read some of the threads. Check for a "What's Happening this Weekend" post - those usually list some interesting festivals and such.
posted by BenevolentActor at 5:57 PM on January 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains is only up for a few more months. It could be your last chance to catch it.

There’s also a large contingent of Hawaiians in the Las Vegas area - which means many delicious restaurants with Island favorites. Speaking as a New Yorker - the plate lunch scene here sucks. So if you like laulau or teri chicken you have options in Vegas.
posted by rdnnyc at 7:44 PM on January 20, 2018

Double Down Saloon.


Wayne Newton's place
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:08 PM on January 20, 2018

Lotus of fucking Siam.
posted by aramaic at 11:26 PM on January 20, 2018

Have you been to Las Vegas Chinatown? Ugliest thing I've ever seen, but the Chinese food scene is unquestionably the best for a non-coastal US city. My personal recommendation is for Yunnan Garden (note: different from Yunnan Tasty Garden, which is very close by) on Schiff Dr, a tiny alleyway in the giant strip mall that is LV Chinatown.
posted by serelliya at 10:36 AM on January 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Las Vegas has something called the "18b Arts District" between the Strip and downtown, which I've never been to, but it's on the list for my next visit - I want to check out Retro Vegas. Closer to downtown, 11th Street Records is a good hipster-type record store, and there's also the Downtown Container Park which is a mix of restaurants, bars and small boutiques.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 11:43 AM on January 21, 2018

> Las Vegas has something called the "18b Arts District" between the Strip and downtown,

I was going to suggest the arts district on Charleston, but I don't think the OP is going to be here for First Friday?
posted by BenevolentActor at 12:54 PM on January 21, 2018

Seconding Valley of Fire.
posted by Moxx of Balhoon at 3:58 PM on January 22, 2018

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