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Sorry guys, it’s been a long while since my last post – I was saving up some articles hoping I’d have transferred to a new domain by now (updates hopefully coming up soon) to post them there.  However, since it’s taking longer than I thought, I figured I’d restart posting and the transfer will happen when it happens!

It’s getting to be quite a busy season in Las Vegas, and a lot of conferences/festivals are coming up in that city soon.  I thought I’d do a bit of an alternative post on the city, so I worked with the Hipmunk City Love Project on their “Cities Less Traveled” series, to try to describe a flip side of Las Vegas.  If you’re one of the millions of people (including most Angelenos) who’s been to Vegas multiple times and seen the same sights over and over again, here are suggestions for something new to try.  I’m including links to helpful services and hotels offered through Hipmunk, however, as always, all opinions are my own.

Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations in the world, yet most people who visit Sin City limit their exploration to the casinos of the Las Vegas Strip. Nevertheless, besides the gambling and all-night partying, The city has much to offer adventurous travelers interested in alternative experiences and the great outdoors.

Red Rock Canyon Hike

Photo by Frederic Lardinois via Trover.com

Get out of the casino and explore the stunning Southwest landscape that surrounds Las Vegas. Red Rock Canyon State Park has great hiking trails and grand, sweeping views of the area. If you are a hiker, photographer, or lover of the outdoors, you must explore this underrated park. Walk through on your own, or join a group hike through this beautiful corner of the Mojave Desert. Plan your stay at one of the Las Vegas Hotels close to the park entrance.

Stratosphere Roller Coasters

Photo by Sam Stidham via Trover.com

For adrenaline junkies, the roller coasters of the Stratosphere Casino are an absolute must stop on a Vegas vacation. The highest hotel also boasts the highest roller coaster in the world  Big Shot standing at 1,081 feet. The terrifyingly steep and fast ascents will test the courage of even the most seasoned roller coaster fans. Stay in the Stratosphere Hotel, which is also one of the cheapest hotels in Las Vegas, to get easy, all-day access to the roller coasters, plus the many other death-defying rides and jumps from the hotel.

Motor Speedway Racing

Photo by Phil Akers via Trover.com

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway holds all sorts of events, from NASCAR racing to the Electric Daisy Carnival festival. If you’re in town at the same time, buy tickets to NASCAR to watch drivers race at breakneck speeds around the track. However, if you’re feeling a little more courageous, go on a day when the track is empty and rent your own Ferrari, Lamborghini, or BMW M3 to race around the track yourself.

Sunset in the Valley of Fire

Photo by Eli Ditmore via Trover.com

Even though it’s one of the most beautiful state parks in the United States, the Valley of Fire has kept a low profile and remains off most tourist lists. The park’s isolation, with its natural beauty, makes it a great destination to get away from the crowds and really experience the quiet of the Southwest desert. The State Park is about 50 minutes away from Las Vegas hotels. Head to the Valley of Fire around sunset, when you can see the surreal sight of the red rocks lit up and glowing. Remember to take a camera with you!

These four experiences prove that Las Vegas is not just the land of clubs and casinos. Get out of the chaotic Strip, ditch the slots, and discover something new in America’s playground.

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