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Author’s note: as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we want to make it clear that this article is not intended to encourage others to visit Las Vegas at this time; the intention of this article is to educate others on the city’s culture and offerings for entertainment and educational purposes only.

Las Vegas, Nevada might be known for its neon lights and anything-goes mentality, but residents of the city know that there’s more to “Sin City” than the glitz and the glamour of the Strip! You might be surprised to learn that if you were to step away from Las Vegas Boulevard, you would find yourself in a city just like any other – but still with a culture all its own. Whether you’ve never been to Vegas or call yourself a local, it’s possible there are still parts of the city you have yet to explore for yourself. Read on to learn more about what makes Vegas so unique and why this Southwestern metropolis is more than just a gambler’s paradise.

Nature Abounds

A colorful selection of stacked rocks titled Seven Magic Mountains, a Las Vegas landmark, sits atop the desert landscape.

Seven Magic Mountains

You could stand anywhere in Las Vegas, and in every direction you would find beautiful silhouettes of the mountains that serve as a backdrop to our otherwise flat desert landscape. If you’re a hiker, rock climber, or simply looking to kick back and enjoy the view, Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, Seven Magic Mountains, and Lake Mead are all just a short drive away. For an added taste of history, the Hoover Dam is almost equally as convenient. And if you’re open to traveling a little farther? A roadtrip to Valley of Fire, Area 51, the Grand Canyon, Reno, any number of National Parks in surrounding territories, or a trip to the California coast isn’t out of the question, either.

Team Loyalty

Jeff Whyte - stock.adobe.com

Photo credit: Jeff Whyte – stock.adobe.com

With the introduction of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team and the incoming Las Vegas Raiders NFL team, the city has seen a powerful surge in its dedication to athletics, with superfans traveling both near and far to attend games and show their support. The 2017 NHL season truly brought community members together, and that momentum has only continued throughout the following seasons. Additionally, the enthusiasm of UNLV fans can be seen at events throughout the entire academic year. 

For those who love sports but prefer smaller crowds and more intimate settings, there are sporting events designed to suit your needs as well! The incoming Henderson Silver Knights minor league hockey team, Aviators minor league baseball team, Vegas Rollers of World TeamTennis, Lights professional soccer team, and Aces WNBA team all provide vibrant environments of their own, so grab your popcorn (and your pom poms).

Museum Exploration

The neon red signs from the Riviera and Hard Rock Hotel rest at the Neon Boneyard Museum in Las Vegas.

Rivera & Hard Rock Cafe signage at Neon Museum

Museums within Las Vegas often combine entertainment with education, giving them an interesting flair, to say the least! One of the most popular spots in town to learn a bit more about Vegas’s intriguing history is the Mob Museum, also known as The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Here, you can take an interactive trip through time as you discover the truth about the rise of Las Vegas as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the entire world, and learn all about who was running the show behind the scenes.

Photographers and content creators might be especially interested in the Neon Boneyard. The Neon Museum is home to dozens of old signage pieces from casinos past – artwork doesn’t always have to take on traditional forms, after all. If you are looking to study some more conventional pieces of art, however, there are plenty of art collections tucked away inside resort properties all over town. 

Local Culture: Shopping, Dining, Entertainment, and More!

A sign that reads, "Fremont East District" arches above a Downtown Vegas city street.

Downtown Las Vegas

It’s no secret that Las Vegas has a vibrant residency culture, with world-famous musicians, theater troupes, and even magicians calling different casinos their home for months or years at a time. As technology continues to expand, the capabilities of these performances increase and, as a result, they continue to be must-see staples worthy of revisiting for both locals and tourists alike. Additionally, theater buffs and fans of classical music will be thrilled to find that the Smith Center, located Downtown, is home to phenomenal broadway performances, symphony orchestras, and other unique events on a regular basis.

While each of these shows are incredible and certainly add some flair to a Vegas vacation or night out on the town, there are other spots throughout the city that carry their own traditions and remain popular with Vegas residents. First Friday, for instance, is a collaborative monthly event put on by local artists and organizations, allowing those who stop by to engage with their community and become better acquainted with the local culture while supporting local artists and vendors in the process.

A plethora of local restaurants and bars also have their own unique history. Atomic Liquors, for example, is the oldest freestanding bar in town, and was formerly the best seat in the house…for observing nuclear testing. The Golden Tiki in Chinatown is also a fan favorite, providing visitors with a tropical blast from the past, complete with shrunken heads lining the bar’s perimeter and live surf rock.

Palm trees and yellow buildings line a street at Tivoli Village in Las Vegas.

Tivoli Village

If you’re looking for a simple shopping trip, there are an abundance of options to choose from, including Town Square just down Las Vegas Boulevard, Downtown Summerlin out west, Fashion Show Mall toward the north end of the Strip, and our favorite: Tivoli Village. (We might be a little biased; did you know that Tivoli Village is home to ZOOO INC’s headquarters?)

What are we missing? Let us know what you love most about Las Vegas, whether it’s the blazing neon or supporting the local culture.

ZOOO is continuously looking to develop new partnerships with local business owners throughout Nevada, California, and Japan as we prepare to launch our app. Our goal is always to increase repeat customers and incentivize those who choose to shop local. Getting started is easy; pre-register with us today!

If you’re a consumer eager to earn rewards for supporting local businesses, pre-register to be the first to know when our app goes live!

Taylor Dodson

Taylor is a creative content strategist originally from the Midwestern U.S. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English, Film, and Creative Writing from Lawrence University, where she served as a four-year starter on the university softball team and took on four different positions in Campus Life while pursuing her double degree. With a deep love for collaboration, Taylor hopes to apply her background in community engagement to the digital world in support of local businesses. When she’s not at work, you can find her playing Animal Crossing or hanging out at her current favorite tea shop.

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    Copyright 2018 – 2021. ZOOO INC. All rights reserved.

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