Ah, Vegas. The adult playground we know and love. But do you ever find reasons to go off the strip? I mean, off Las Vegas Boulevard and away from the glittering neon facades of the big name casino hotels. If you haven’t, then I’d like to shed some light on reasons why off-the-strip Vegas is pretty amazing.
My husband and I are yearly regulars to Las Vegas. Of course we enjoy the over-the-top aspect of everything from shows to fancy restaurants and the pool and shopping scene. That’s part of why I love Vegas so much. I can actually feel truly carefree there, which as a full-time adult is pretty hard these days.
Reason #1: Because Vegas is more than just “the strip”
It’s easy to get sucked into what’s happening on Las Vegas Boulevard and not realize that there’s actually an entire city surrounding you. Sure, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, as they say. But it doesn’t have to. You can explore Las Vegas and actually come home better for it, not hungover and with an empty wallet. Unless that’s your goal. Live and let live, I say. But let me tell you how we discovered that off-the-strip Vegas is pretty amazing.
To be honest, we’ve never really explored off-the-strip Vegas before until this year. Actually, that’s incorrect. We have done the Fremont Street Experience before, but I’m talking about doing something completely different. I’ve always wanted to check out The Neon Museum and my husband has always wanted to try this Thai place called Arawan. Turns out they’re pretty close to each other so we made it a date.
Reason #2: History awaits you
If you’ve never been to The Neon Museum then you have to make it a point to go on your next trip to Vegas. The tour is loaded with Vegas history and little known trivia, plus the signs are incredible. Everything is outdoors in what they call the “boneyard.” There actually are some bones out there if you count the giant original skull from Treasure Island. Go ahead and search The Neon Museum on Google Earth and you can’t miss it staring up at you.
What I didn’t realize was all the work that goes into designing and creating neon signs, as well as the incredible amount of money it takes to restore them. Not all of the signs are fully functional, but they do have spotlights on those that aren’t lit up. The signs that are lit are spectacular! More signs are planned on being added so there’s plenty of fresh history to enjoy. We visited right at dusk, which made taking photos of neon signs really fun. Tickets are also quite reasonable.
Reason #3: Eat like a local
There’s nothing wrong with an extravagant and lively meal at one of the major casino hotels (We enjoyed a birthday dinner at Sinatra this year), but off-the-strip Vegas has restaurants that are worthy of exploration too.
After our Neon Museum tour we had dinner at Arawan. We are pretty much always in the mood for Asian food of any kind and Arawan completely delivers on flavor, presentation, and service. The restaurant was pretty busy and full of locals but we had a reservation so it was no problem. We were even a little early and they seated us right away.
I ordered the Arawan Pad Thai which came encased with a delicate egg lattice and topped with very large prawns. It was amazing! My husband had the Crispy Duck which was also very good. I cannot say enough good things about how delicious the food is at Arawan.
You’ll want to take a cab or Uber to both The Neon Museum and Arawan. I enjoyed the ride over and seeing all the drive-thru wedding chapels along the way. I’ve really only ever seen them in movies, so I crossed that off my list, too.
I hope this post encourages you to do some off-the-strip exploring in Vegas. Have you been to The Neon Museum before? What’s your favorite thing about Sin City?
As always, thank you for reading and sharing!
Xo – Erin
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