When you hear the name Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind is gambling and partying. However, this place has more to offer. This city, together with its surroundings, has stories to tell, about things that usually get overshadowed by the bright neon lights. You will discover its wonderful greenery, remarkable hiking areas, skiing slopes, lake associated activities and one of the world's natural wonders, close to the city.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is one of the world's largest artificial lakes. Luckily, it is not so far, only about an hour drive within the southeast section of the strip. You can enjoy several, different activities like boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing and kayaking. Here, you can check out the facilities such as covered picnic areas, camping grounds with hookups as well as three marinas. You can cruise and have brunch, dinner, party or a romantic date.

Mount Charleston

You may want to explore Mount Charleston, which is 35 miles from Vegas, northwest. Here, you will enjoy the cool mountain breeze while being surrounded by towering pine trees. You will find birds and animals like wild burros, desert tortoises and deer. Every summer, Mount Charleston becomes cooler, allowing visitors to escape from hot Vegas. If you happen to visit during fall, you will be able to observe the changing foliage colors. You can hike, camp or picnic during spring, summer and fall. Every winter season, you can ski, go snowboarding and sledging.

Red Rock Canyon

Leave Vegas for a while and go to Red Rock Canyon to experience the desert at its best. It is just about fifteen miles in the west side of Vegas. Its soaring red cliffs with wildlife like bighorn sheep, burrros, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, red tailed hawks, golden eagles, wild horses, hummingbirds and rabbits welcome tourists, sightseers, rock climbers, hikers and joggers.

You can ride around the picturesque loop, which is about thirteen miles, and capture photos, go hiking, horseback riding or driving throughout the Red Rock Conservation Area.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Spring Mountain Ranch, which is located underneath the beautiful mountains, gives striking views and remarkable hikes. Every summer, you will find a musical theater. You can also visit historical sites that consist of a blacksmith shop, ranch house, 2-hole outhouse and cemetery. Drown in the glory of Lake Harriet with its abundance of ducks ands fishes. The ranch is filled with animal life, which includes mule deer, bighorn sheep and lizards.

Valley of Fire

Owing its name to the flaming red sandstone, the Valley of Fire gives striking views and comes with some of the oldest rock formations on earth. It is almost an hour drive, in the northern part of the Strip. The valley is known as the oldest state park of Nevada. While you are visiting, do not miss the Seven Sisters, Mouse's Tank, petro glyphs at Atlatl Rock, Rainbow Vista and Elephant Rock.

Source by Karina Popa