Boulder City is just 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of the Las Vegas Strip, on the way to Lake Mead. Built in the '30s for Hoover Dam construction workers' families, it is the site of the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, the only Nevada city that does not allow public gaming. Boulder City's historic Old Town district is home to many quaint shops, several of which feature works by Native American jewelers.
Rhyolite is a well-preserved ghost town 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Las Vegas near the small community of Beatty, Nev., which bills itself as the "Gateway to Death Valley." Highlights of the area include ruins of the Potter General Store, Newton's Grille, a school, several major banks, a house made entirely out of bottles and a railroad depot.
Bonnie Springs Ranch/Old Nevada lies about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Las Vegas near Red Rock Canyon. Bonnie Springs Ranch was built in the 1840s as a cattle ranch and watering hole. You can also visit Old Nevada, a place where tourists can witness a re-creation of an Old West town complete with gunfights, horseback riding, children's petting zoo and mini-train rides. typically my kids keep me here longer than i want but it is a good alternative to the attractions on the strip. Bonnie Springs Ranch/Old Nevada is open to the public year-round.
Hoover Dam is an engineering wonder of the world just 35 miles (56 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas. Formerly named Boulder Dam, this historic man-made creation tamed the mighty Colorado River and created North America's largest man-made lake, Lake Mead. Take the tour down into the depths of this concrete structure and imagine what went into the construction of this beast. It is huge and there is very little chance that you will not be impressed.
Lake Mead National Recreational Area is just 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Las Vegas at its closest point. With more than 550 miles (880 kilometers) of shoreline, Lake Mead Recreational Area offers outdoor enthusiasts year-round opportunities for swimming, water skiing, camping, boating, fishing, tours and cruises. A popular activity is renting a house boat and floating around for a few days.
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