The Natural Wonders of Las VegasSeptember 20, 2015 9:24 am
Las Vegas isn’t all about windowless casinos and pool parties; the city is lucky to be located amongst breath-taking natural beauty and landscape, from the Nevada mountains to the lakes and even Grand Canyon. From natural botanic habitats, to man-made lakes, if you’re an outdoorsy kind of person, don’t rule out Las Vegas, pack those hiking boots and head for outer state.
Address: 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
The Springs Preserves isn’t actually that far out of Las Vegas, so if you’re staying centrally and want a bit of a botanic-fix during your Las Vegas visit, it’s right on your doorstep. On an ancient tribal site, later home to Spanish explorers, this beautiful 110 acre natural habitat is home to the largest collection of Mojave Desert cacti as well as natural gardens, a butterfly habitat and weekly Farmers Market where you can buy locally sourced produce.
Flamingo Wildfire Habitat
Address: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Only in Vegas would you get a Flamingo habitat inside a hotel… The famous Flamingo Resort at the iconic Caesar’s Palace is home to a flock of live Chilean flamingos, as well as other beautiful wildlife, from swans to ring-tailed ducks, pelicans and huge koi carp, all housed a lush rainforest-type environment complete with lush foliage, waterfalls and islands. It really is a stunning attraction not to be missed if you like your wildlife and natural habitats.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Address: 6375 NV-159, Blue Diamond, NV 89004
The original Sandstone Ranch was established in 1876; now the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park preserves this historic site and can be found just 15 miles west of Vegas. It’s a 520 acre oasis, called Spring Mountain for the many springs which once provided the source of water for the Paiute Indians, bringing settlers to the area. Visitors to the area can enjoy theatre productions, tours, living history programs and more!
Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio
Address: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are a wonder to behold. At the bottom of a naturally lit atrium, the gardens boast huge blooms, seasonal flowers, and bright themes that change every season and occasion – whether it be Chinese New Year or the 4th of July, the 14000 square feet of magnificent gardens are a stunning floral representation of these celebrations. Set inside one of the most impressive hotels in Las Vegas, the combination is not to be missed.
Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory and Botanical Garden
Address: 2 Cactus Garden Dr, Henderson, NV 89014
A chocolate factory and a cactus gardens rolled into one – really? Yes! You can indulge your sweet tooth and appreciate the natural beauty of a botanical garden in just one attraction just 15 minutes away from the Strip! Take a tour and see the huge tanks that hold over 35,000 gallons of chocolate – you’ll even get a free sample, too. Walk off the calories through the Cactus Botanical Garden afterwards and admire over 300 species of cactus to finish the day.
Acacia Demonstration Garden
Address: 50 Casa Del Fuego St, Henderson, NV 89012
If you’re a keen gardener living in a dry climate – then this is a great place for you. Get top tips on how and what to grow in an arid, desert climate. You’ll find the Cactus Garden, Mediterranean Garden, Ethnobotanical Garden and much more to inspire your green fingers. It’s public park in the Henderson area of Nevada so you can spend all day roaming the vast expanse, including soccer pitches and a dog park in case you’re with your family and pets!
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Address: 3205 NV-159, Las Vegas, NV 89161
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is one of the best nature and wildlife reserves in Nevada and you can easily spend a day there hiking, walking along their beautiful trails and getting to know the beautiful landscape and wildlife of the Nevada desert. If you visit at night you can see some stunning sunsets, and you can even take a tent and camp in the various campsites across the conservation area.
Address: 268 Lakeshore Road, Boulder City, Nevada 89005
Lake Mead is the largest manmade expanse of water in the United States so you’ll be taken aback by just how large it is! It attracts locals and tourists alike who flock to Lake Mead especially in the warmer months to make the most of its cool waters for water sports, boating and fishing. There is a popular Lake Mead cruise, too, which promises panoramic views of the lake and its dry, rugged landscape. If you want to make a day of it you can even see the Hoover Dam through which the lake pumps over 100,000 gallons of water a second!
If you like hiking and prefer the cooler climes than the sizzling heat of Las Vegas, then Mount Charleston is worth a trip. The Mount Charleston range promises great trails and hikes, beautiful pines and mahogany, as well as wildlife such as deer and even desert tortoises. In the colder months, it’s a great destination for skiing and snowboarding, or campsites for picnics and even golf courses during the summer!
If you prefer gardening to gambling, you won’t be short of things to do in Nevada. The area is brimming with things to do outside the city in the wild, nature reserves and botanical gardens. Don’t be cooped up in the city, explore the landscape and natural environment and see Nevada, the mountains and the Mojave for all its worth!
Image credit: Les Haines – Flickr