Beyond the dark casinos, all-you-can-eat buffets and bustling Strip, an entirely different Las Vegas vibe awaits. Home to outdoor adventures aplenty, incredible cuisine and cheap show seats, this is your guide to the Vegas only locals know about.
Below are five activities to view your Las Vegas vacation through a more local lens.
1. Paddle Lake Las Vegas
Twenty miles east of the Strip, find an outdoor paradise in the pre-planned community of Lake Las Vegas. In the summer months, rent a pedal boat, kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the 320-acre lake. Or, go for a thrilling ride on a Flyboard, jetpack or Duffy Boat. On a Flyboard, you’ll feel like a superhero as you soar through the air using the power of water propulsion.
Bounce around the Lake Las Vegas Water Sports aqua park, the city’s first floating obstacle course, for all-ages fun. For after-dark entertainment, book your spot at Neon Paddle, a glow kayaking event that starts with socializing on the beach followed by paddling to a floating dock with a DJ, flame blowers and LED lights.
For a romantic night out, book a sunset yacht cruise followed by dinner at Mimi & Coco Bistro, a lakeside restaurant with French flair.
2. Dine in Fremont East
So, where do locals eat in Las Vegas? They typically skip the touristy Fremont Street experience and visit the hipster haven of Fremont East. Here, you’ll find Las Vegas local restaurants for just about any dining style or preference.
Find pub fare on the eclectic garden patio of Park on Fremont, where a lofted, Cinderella-esque carriage and rideable seesaw add charm and quirk to the decor. Or, pay tribute to the original motorcycle daredevil, Evil Knievel, at his namesake pizza joint, which serves up New York-style pizza by the slice.
3. Explore Downtown Container Park
While on historic Fremont Street, visit America’s first shopping and entertainment complex built entirely from shipping containers: Downtown Container Park. Enter at the metal, fire-breathing mantis statue (yes, really), and watch live entertainment while sipping and snacking at locally run eateries.
One of the most family-friendly hot spots in town, this vibrant district features sweets shops, hot dog stands and free movie nights — ideal for a Las Vegas family vacation. For a break from the Vegas heat, step inside The Dome. Recline in this 4K-visual dome-shaped entertainment venue to watch vibrant, all-ages movies illuminated by 36,000 lumens of light.
4. Visit Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
Immerse yourself in the world of Marvel comics at this interactive exhibit tucked inside Treasure Island. See uniforms from blockbuster movies while diving deep into the history, science, engineering and stories of some of the world’s most beloved comic characters. The world’s largest Marvel retail store as well as green screen photo opportunities conclude the experience with an extra dose of fun.
5. Hike Mt. Charleston
Take a 45-minute drive outside Vegas to the camping and hiking paradise of Mount Charleston. It’s 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the Strip and home to more than 60 miles of maintained trails. Its biggest hiking challenge is the 8.5-mile climb to the top of 11,916-foot Charleston Peak, but shorter jaunts lead to cascading Mary Jane Falls or through aspens and ponderosa pines to Cathedral Rock.
No matter which path you choose, be prepared for sun exposure and variable weather conditions while exploring this area.
Where to Stay
Whether you love the Strip or are seeking solitude, Diamond Resorts Las Vegas properties offer something for everyone. Choose from the following options:
Polo Towers: A center-of-the-Strip resort for those who love energetic Vegas vibes, but crave a relaxing retreat with a rooftop pool.
Desert Paradise: A quiet resort with a gorgeous pool and easy outdoor recreation access.
Cancun Resort: A south-of-the-Strip gem that families love thanks to its fantastic pool with waterfalls and slides.
The Carriage House: An all-suite hotel just a block away from the bustle of the Strip.
Start planning your Las Vegas vacation today — and explore the city’s local flair.
Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Inc., its parents, sister companies, and subsidiaries, make no warranty, express or implied, as to the condition, capacity, performance or any other aspect of the activities, events, or service providers listed herein. No inquiry has been made into the activities or events, or the qualifications or the quality of services offered by the providers. Do not consider this an endorsement of or recommendation for any of the activities, events, or providers.