Las Vegas is a great city for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. However, there is no need to stick to the Strip when you’re visiting Las Vegas – there are plenty of great family-friendly things to do in Vegas off the Strip. So, if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and the casinos, here are five options for spending your day (or evening) away from the excitement of the Strip.
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The National Atomic Testing Museum provided us with free tickets for our visit, and The Neon Museum provided us with 50% off discounted tickets for our visit. However all views and opinions expressed in this post are our own and based on our first-hand experiences.
5 things to do in Vegas off the Strip
Yes, you can almost any kind of food on the Las Vegas Strip, from fast food to fine dining. However, restaurants on the Strip can be crowded and have long waits. If you are looking for something a little quieter with no wait times, eat off the Strip!
A friend of mine who is a Las Vegas local told us that many of the top-notch chefs who flock to Vegas to work in the resorts and casinos start their own local restaurants. So, this is why there are many great off the Strip restaurants!
Next time you are in Las Vegas, consider leaving the Strip to get a bite to eat at one of the many local Las Vegas restaurants.
Great for: Foodies. Families. People looking for a quieter dining experience. And everyone who likes to eat!
We are foodies and LOVE trying local restaurants and indulging in regional cuisines when we travel. The two off Strip restaurants we visited during our most recent trip to Las Vegas were Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant and Gäbi Coffee & Bakery. We ate breakfast at both places. And both were both OH. SO. GOOD. Surprisingly, we stumbled upon Blueberry Hill after visiting the National Atomic Testing Museum. But we went to Gäbi Café at the invitation of my local Las Vegas friend. We highly recommend both!
We also recently visited another off-Strip Las Vegas restaurant, Sickies Garage. If you are foodie traveler and want to know more about these restaurants and the scrumptious food they serve, check out Restaurant Round-Up on Patreon. You will get access to the exclusive foodie content while supporting this blog!
2. National Atomic Testing Museum
The National Atomic Testing Museum is a great off Strip activity to do with your family while visiting Las Vegas! This unique museum tells the history of the Nevada Test Site, where over 900 nuclear tests were conducted between 1951 and 1992. Visitors can see artifacts including equipment and mannequins(!) that were used in the nuclear tests. You can also watch films and see exhibits about the tests and their impact on the local community.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is located just a short drive East off the Las Vegas Strip. For the most up-to-date information, visit the website .
Buddy and I have a blog post dedicated to the National Atomic Testing Museum sharing our Top 4 Reasons why Families Must Visit the Museum. We loved our visit!
Buddy says, “My favorite thing about the museum was literally almost everything. It was a good museum. Yes, if you are a teenager interested in nuclear testing and nuclear devices in general, you should visit this site.”
Great for: Families including adults, teens, and children interested in science, engineering, and modern history.
3. Area 15
Closely located near the Las Vegas Strip, Area 15 is an off-Strip experience extraordinaire! This experiential entertainment district is home to a variety of unique interactive activities and lots and lots of neon! And there are many different things to do and see at Area 15. There is food, shopping, to rides, alternative realty rides, and immersive art exhibitions. And Area 15 is a choose your own adventure offering guests the chance to select experiences a la carte. You can choose the activities that most interest your family’s interest!
For the most up-to-date information on Area 15, check out their website.
Buddy says, “The attractions are really cool and high tech.”
Great for: Families with older kids. Families with teens. Adults.
- Area 15 is a fun place to visit with your family. Just make sure you visit before 10pm! After 10pm Area 15 becomes 21+
4. The Neon Museum
Another off the Strip Las Vegas gem is the one and only Neon Museum. The museum is devoted to preserving the city’s iconic neon signs. The Neon Museum is a must-see! Visitors can learn about the iconic La Concha Visitors’ Center® before exploring the Neon Boneyard, where over 200 signs are on display. Or you can take a guided tour and learn about the history of Las Vegas. This museum is a great off the Strip Las Vegas nighttime experience.
The Neon Museum is located near downtown on Las Vegas Boulevard. For the most up-to-date information, visit the website.
Buddy and I have a blog post dedicated to The Neon Museum sharing 5 Great Tips for Visiting The Neon Museum We loved our visit!
Buddy says, “I do recommend the Neon Museum for teenagers, especially if you are into lighting and into Vegas history itself. And yes, I would go back and visit again.”
Great for: Families with older kids. Families of teens. Anyone interested in local history, architecture, lighting, and neon signs.
- Buy your tickets online in advance. They do sell out!
- Video is not permitted at the Neon Museum. And there are dress code rules like closed toed shoes for safety. Make sure you read the rules on the website before your visit.
5. Hoover Dam
This next off the Strip spot is a bit of a drive away from the Las Vegas area. But this day trip from Las Vegas is definitely worth the drive!
Hoover Dam is located approximately 30 minutes from the Las Vegas strip due East off the I-11 freeway. This iconic site to behold offers a fascinating glimpse into American history and engineering. The dam, built in the 1930s, is more than 700 feet tall! Visitors can walk across the top of the dam. And if you have the time, you even can purchase a ticket to tour the dam.
You can reach Hoover Dam from the Las Vegas Strip via I-11. Just head east towards the Arizona Nevada state line and follow the brown and white signs. For the most up-to-date information on Hoover Dam, visit the website. Buddy and I have a blog post dedicated to Hoover Dam sharing What to Know Before Visiting Hoover Dam. We had a fun, albeit hot and windy, experience during our most recent visit.
Buddy says, “I recommend Hoover Dam for teens. Especially if you are into electricity or engineering. I do recommend it.”
Great for: Families with kids of all ages. People interested in engineering and hydroelectric power.
- While visiting Hoover Dam is free, visitors do need to pay for parking, entrance to the Visitor’s Center, and gas.
- Bring cash for the parking attendants!
- It is HOT in the summer. Make sure you bring sunscreen, a hat, and an refillable water bottle.
If you’re looking for something a little different to do in Las Vegas, be sure to check out some of these great off-strip activities. From eating at local restaurants to exploring museums and a day trip to Hoover Dam, there’s plenty to see and do away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.
What are your favorite things to do when you leave the Strip in Vegas? Let us know in the comments below.
Do you have questions about family travel or traveling with teens? Feel free to reach out! We are happy to chat and share our experiences! We look forward to connecting with you.
Planning a trip to Las Vegas with Teens? Check out our blog post series on Las Vegas!
- Visiting Vegas with Teens: 5 Fun and Interesting Things to Do
- 5 Fun and FREE Things to Do in Vegas with Kids
- 4 Great Reasons Families Must Visit the National Atomic Testing Museum
- 5 Great Tips for Visiting The Neon Museum
- Travel Made Easy: What to Know Before Visiting Hoover Dam
- 5 Interesting Things To Do in Vegas off the Strip
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14 thoughts on “5 Interesting Things To Do in Vegas off the Strip”
Wow what a great guide, I will keep this in mind for my first visit to Vegas!
I love Vegas and these are some great off the beaten path experiences! My favorite is the neon sign museum at night, it makes for a great date night. I have yet to make it to area 15, next time I’m out there I’ll have to check it out.
I have been to Las Vegas more times than I can remember and sadly the only one of these activities I have done is the Hoover Dam, and that’s only because my job took me there for a day. I will have to be a better tourist in years to come. Thanks for all the ideas
The Neon Museum looks really cool. This is a great list, especially if you’ve been to Vegas before and done the whole Strip experience (which I have!)
Glad you found it helpful!
Great ideas of things to do in and around Las Vegas. I’d love to visit Hoover Dam.
Hoover dam is on my list. It looks very neat. Thanks for sharing
Of course! You are welcome. We hope you enjoy your trip to Hoover Dam.
That is a great guide to exploring Las Vegas, not only the most popular sights! I would love to see the Hoover Dam the most! thanks for sharing it
I’ve visited Vegas a few times with work but I’ve still never made it to the Neon Museum! I’m desperate to visit! Hopefully I’ll be back soon and get the opportunity to go! Area 15 sounds really cool too! Thanks for the great guide!
You are welcome!
Love this list. I want to check out the neon museum my next time in Vegas!
My family and I drove past Hoover Dam when we were going to Vegas from the Grand Canyon. I remember it being super crowded! (this was 13 years ago).
The Hoover Dam seems like a really cool sight to see! I would love to check it out!