Yes, there is more to do in Las Vegas than just visit the Strip! Retirement in Las Vegas doesn’t mean you will be chained to a slot machine. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the majority of local Las Vegas residents barely even step foot on the Strip! And if they do, it’s probably to enjoy some fine dining, professional sports (GO KNIGHTS GO!), or an amazing concert.
Southern Nevada offers an immense array of activities for all of its residents. And frankly, it doesn’t receive the credit it deserves for all of the outdoor, natural, and community events in and around the Las Vegas valley.
I want to share with you just a fraction of all the fun Las Vegas retirement activities to be enjoyed in this amazing city.
Golf in Las Vegas
Las Vegas golf courses, along with the year-round sun, attracts a lot of retirees to the area. Golf courses in the area have exceptional tee off rates and beautifully maintained playing grounds.
Just how many golf courses are there? Well, the entire Las Vegas Valley offers some 70 courses to choose from.
Here are some of the most popular golf courses in Las Vegas:
Bali Hai Golf Club (if money is of no concern!)
Being that it is Las Vegas, many golf clubs offer more than just golf. Weddings, dining, living communities, and social events are also part of the golf scene here in Vegas.
Nearby Parhump and Mesquite also have some incredible courses as well and are a very short drive away.
Hiking in Las Vegas
You don’t have to go far to find some amazing hikes. Living in the Las Vegas valley places you a very short distance to some of the following destinations.
A pro tip is to get your US Forest Passport for easy access to national parks. Not every park charges an entry fee, but some do, and having a passport can get you discounts and free entry for visitors (depending on the rules of each park).
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is easily visible from the city and provides many of the picturesque and mountain back-drop pictures of Las Vegas and is just a few minutes west of the city. You can drive in and find multiple starting points for hikes. Some people enjoy checking out the rocks close to the road, while others walk deeper into the park.
Valley of Fire
Valley of Fire is similar, yet so very different, to Red Rock. At both parks, you can drive in and follow a loop. Pull over when you see the small parking lots and begin your hike from there. It makes for a perfect day-trip as drive time from Vegas is less than an hour and you will easily spend most of the day at the park taking in the reddish hue of the rocks. There is also a museum that explains the history of the area and the Native Americans that inhabited it.
The river can be accessed from many points, including Lake Mead and off of Highway 93 (the same highway that takes you to Hoover Dam). Bring an umbrella because you won’t find many trees to cover the sun.
Also, be careful! Many people underestimate the cold water temperatures and strong currents. There are several places where small out coves and lagoons form, making for safe swimming.
It does require some hiking to access some points. A local favorite is hiking down to the river, off of Highway 93 and passing through the Goldstrike and Ringbolt hot springs on the way.
Lake Mead Recreation Area
The entire Lake Mead recreational area is expansive and there are multiple areas where the lake can be enjoyed. Many people drive to a dock and launch a boat while others drive out to Callville Bay Resort.
In addition to the hot springs, there are also several other hikes starting from Lake Mead. The Railroad Tunnel trail and the Liberty Bell Arch trail are very popular among locals. Some of these trails start or take you into Arizona.
Other Popular Hikes:
- Fortification Hill
- First Creek Pool and Waterfall
- Sloan Canyon
- Mt Charleston Peak
- Mary Jane Falls (also on Mt. Charleston)
Regardless of the season, there is tons of fun to be had on Mt. Charleston.
Skiing at Mt Charleston
Thanks to an elevation of 11,916 feet above sea level, you can enjoy recreational activities in the snow such as skiing and snowboarding, tubing, and sledding on the mountain.
There are a few lodging options on if you’d like to stay close by but from the city to the peak is only a travel time of about 40-65 minutes.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be eaten at the Mt. Charleston Lodge.
In the summer, Mt. Charleston is an excellent place to hike and bike, especially if you need to see some pine trees and mountain views.
Fishing and Boating
For fishing, the two best places are Lake Mead and the Colorado River.
If you don’t consider yourself a hardcore fisherman, you can also do some easier fishing at many of the ponds found in city parks:
- Floyd Lamb Park
- Lorenzi Park Pond
- Sunset Park Pond
Boating activities can be found at Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River. Some areas are better for smaller vessels like a jet ski, while others allow for a larger speed boat with room for water skiing and tubing.
There are also tour companies that will take you out on the Colorado River. Owning a boat is not necessary as rentals can be found.
Not bad for being in the middle of the desert!
As you can guess, you can mountain bike at a lot of the places already mentioned such as Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead, near the Colorado River, and the parks.
The Sloan Canyon Conservation area, just southeast of Vegas city limits, contains many acres of trails for biking including Anthem Hills, the McCullough trails, and Black Mountain. It will take several trips to bike all of these trails. So no need to worry that it’s a one-and-done experience.
Just east of the Sloan Canyon area is the River Mountain Trail loop, offering impressive views of the city and surrounding areas.
Community Events In Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a very culturally diverse city with a strong Hispanic, Filipino, African, and Chinese populations. There are many celebrations that stem from these cultures which make for great retirement activities.
Here are some of the many community activities to found:
The Blues Fall Festival and Food Drive
The Balboa Incident swing dance and music event
Dia de Los Muertos celebration at the Springs Reserve
The National Finals Rodeo
Vintage and new car shows
Sports in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has always been a sports town, home to major boxing events and the epicenter of sports betting. However, only recently is Las Vegas stepping into another level of sports authority. The addition of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the soon to be Las Vegas Raiders (that is going to take some time to get used to) are putting Las Vegas on the map for major sporting greatness.
Watch the progress on the new Allegiant Stadium, home to the future Las Vegas Raiders.
International soccer also comes to Vegas periodically. Pro teams from international leagues play championship-level games and national selection squads participating in ‘friendly’ matches.
Plus, Vegas hosts other major events such as the PBR Bowling Championship, The World Series of Poker, and plenty of UFC fights.
Every month is packed full of activities, so if you are looking for activities in retirement, just download a popular app, such as Eventbrite, to stay up to date.
Quick Getaways Are Easy
Las Vegas’ location places it within a few hour’s drive to the cities, attractions, and beaches of southern California.
If you go east, you are only a couple hours away from natural wonders of southern Utah, such as Zion National Park.
The McCarran International Airport gets you to where you want to travel, usually direct. Las Vegas allows for quick flights to major west coast cities and to the amazing towns and beaches of our neighbor to the south, Mexico.
Music in Las Vegas
From rock to country, electronic music, big band groups, solo artists, and large Mariachi bands, if you have a favorite group, artist, or genre then chances are they will make a stop in Vegas.
And it’s not just national artists, plenty of international music stars, even many you never knew existed, will perform in Sin City.
Several major concerts and festivals, such as Rock in Rio (which recently moved to Vegas), Life Is Beautiful, and the Bender Jamboree, to name only a few, make for a great time listening to music.
As you can see, there is a reason that Las Vegas receives millions of visitors every year and why the Las Vegas metro area has a growing population of now over 2 million. It is a great city with lots of activities. No matter what your age, you won’t be bored here. Retiring in Las Vegas might just make you the envy of your friends!
Remember, if you want to see if you are on track for retiring or need help working out some of the details, never hesitate to contact me.