Field Notes: Las Vegas is more than Lights

With the infusion of start-ups and business engagement, Las Vegas recently has a great deal more to offer. Vegas isn't just about the Strip any more. In fact, I would argue the best parts of our trip were away from the hustle and bustle the city is known for. If I didn't know any better, most of our experiences could have taken place outside of Denver or even Austin. There is a new hip vibe moving through Las Vegas, and with am abundance of outdoor adventures beyond the city limits, its no wonder downtown is continuing to improve.

To Eat:
Literally. Whether it is breakfast or lunch, this is your place. Their offerings are delicious and offer a slight culinary twist that keeps you on your toes. My picks: cinnamon biscuits, shrimp and grits, and huevos motulenos (with fried bananas!). Don't forget to order at least one pancake. It is like funnel cake for breakfast. Their food philosphy is "eat happy" and I dig it.

Gluten free people, gluten free. And some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. Plus they partner with specific farms. That is about all it takes to win me over these days. Pizza and farms. Pssst, their American Mules aren't too bad either.

Big Ern's BBQ - located in the Container Park (see below), this is some of the best barbecue I have had outside of Texas, wait, I don't think I have ever had barbecue in Texas, but you get the point. Ribs, brisket, pork and sides. Beer on tap. Its good outdoor eating.

To Do & See:
Downtown/Fremont Street
The original Vegas strip, Fremont Street is filled with lights, street entertainers, and plenty not worth mentioning. Its a sight to see. And for traditional "vegas" food, you might want to swing by Hash House A Go Go for ginormous portions. There is nothing healthy about this place, just warning you.

The Container Park
The slide is legit, and so is this project. Shipping containers, built together containing food and retail spots create for an afternoon or evening of fun away from the light.s

Red Rock Canyon
If you want to get out for an adventure, this is your place. Numerous hiking trains, horse back riding, wild burros, natural springs, Red Rock Canyon is a day of adventure. Bring your water bottle.

These three helped me ring in my 30s in Vegas.
I hope these tips help you make a trip to Vegas more worthwhile. 

Have you been to Vegas? What would you add to this list?

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