The Las Vegas Valley is filled with interesting, thought provoking and entertaining attractions. Las Vegas City, as well as nearby Henderson and Paradise, are of course known for their casinos and other gambling related activities, but they are also home to many other forms of entertainment, from dazzling shows, theater and ballet to night clubs, art galleries, shopping, and concert halls.
The surrounding nature has a lot of amazing experiences to offer, and there is also a number of parks and public gardens, such as Sunset Park, the Alan Bible Botanical Garden, the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the UNLV Arboretum, the Acacia Demonstration Gardens, the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden and The Gardens at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.
If you’re looking for something a bit more wild, we suggest the Clark County Wetlands Park, Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Las Vegas Spring Reserve, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area or why not the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument.
The Tules Springs Fossil Beds National Monument was established as late as 2014 to protect an area rich in Ice Age paleontological artifacts. Fossils found here include Columbian mammoth fossils, American lion fossils and fossils from camelops, an extinct genus of camel that once roamed western North America. The oldest fossils found here are 250,000 years old.
Museums and exhibitions
In the mood for a museum visit while staying in the Las Vegas area? You can have your pick among anything from the Atomic Testing Museum to the Erotic Heritage Museum.
Examples of museums and exhibitions located either in or near Las Vegas city:
- Atomic Testing Museum
- Burlesque Hall of Fame
- Clark County Heritage Museum
- Discovery Children’s Museum
- Erotic Heritage Museum
- Guinness World of Records
- Star Trek: The Experience
- Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
- The Linq Auto Collection
- Las Vegas Art Museum
- Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement
- Las Vegas Natural History Museum
- Liberace Museum
- Lost City Museum[nb1 1]
- Madame Tussauds
- Marjorie Barrick Museum
- Neon Museum
- Nevada State Museum
- Nevada State Railroad Museum
- Pinball Hall of Fame
- Shelby Museum
- Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art
- Thunderbirds Museum
About the Las Vegas Valley
The Las Vegas Valley is a densely populated region of Nevada bordered by the Spring Mountains to the west, the Sheep Mountains to the north and the Black Mountains to the south. The name Las Vegas is a pretty new one; the first person known to have used it was Raphael Rivera, a scout for a group of merchants travelling from New Mexico to Los Angeles in the late 1820s. Las Vegas means the meadows in Spanish, and is a reference to the lush greenery made possible in the otherwise so harsh desert thanks to artesian wells located here.
In prehistorical times, what is now the Las Vegas valley was actually a wetland fed by rivers. Several hundred thousand years ago, the rivers began to gradually disappear and the wetland shrunk until it was gone completely and replaced by a dry and barren desert landscape where few animals and plants could eke out a living.
Humans have been living in the Las Vegas Valley for over 10,000 years and the early humans here shared the valley with mammoths. In 1993, mammoth skeletons were uncovered here by construction workers.
Examples of artifacts left behind by early human residents are petroglyphs, piktograms and baskets. Roughly 2 700 years ago, the Paiute people moved into the area that we today call Big Springs. They only lived here during the winter; during the summer they moved to the nearby mountains.
When to go?
If you plan on spending time outdoors rather than staying in air conditioned casinos, December is the coolest month to visit the Las Vegas Valley. During this month, you can actually expect to see some snow falling in the nearby mountains, although rarely in Las Vegas, Paradise and Henderson.
February is the rainiest month, but that doesn’t mean much in the Mojave Desert. Even though February is the rainiest month, rain will usually not fall during more than a few days here. During an average year, Las Vegas City receives roughly 110 millimeters of rain and will typically not experience more than 30 rainy days at most.
The warmest part of the year is June – September. For July, the average day temperature is well over 30 degrees C and during the night the temperature will usually hover around the 27 degree C mark.