3 Ways to Explore
Quality of Life

enjoying the las vegas valley's unique location
The city’s nightlife and legendary status as the “entertainment capital of the world,” are well recognized. While that is a major draw for visitors, residents note other factors that set this region apart, mainly access to a great quality of life expressed through recreation and outdoor activities. As you establish your new life in Las Vegas, you’ll begin to explore the wide range of adventures that await your discovery. In this chapter, you’ll be introduced to the best of Las Vegas and the region – including events, sports, recreation, performance and visual arts, golf, attractions, youth organizations, religious affiliations and volunteer opportunities.

The entertainment capital of the world is not a term that Las Vegas takes lightly. However it is one that is far too frequently taken only at face value. One must be careful to not let the glitter and glamour of the Strip become blinding, for they will miss all of the charm that truly defines Las Vegas. 

Las Vegas is a city that embraces the arts, both performing and visual. It is a community that appreciates spectator sports and nurtures burgeoning sports teams. It is home to a people who share a love of the great outdoors and recognize the beauty embodied by the desert. Yet, most importantly, Las Vegas is a community that cares for itself. Home to dozens of non-profit organizations and charities Las Vegas is indeed a beautiful place to call home.

Friedrich Nietzsche said “without music life would be a mistake.” Well, make no mistake – there is certainly music in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Philharmonic serenades Las Vegans with an impressive variety of concerts throughout the year. Las Vegas is also home to the Vegoose Festival, which welcomes some of the biggest names in rock and roll, country and pop music once a year to the Sam Boyd Stadium. All summer long, Lake Las Vegas is home to many musical performances, including the weekly “Jazz on the Lake” concerts. Indeed, the musical underbelly of Las Vegas is strong. Residents are spoiled by the abundance, variety and availability of performing arts throughout the city.

Newcomers to Las Vegas who are passionate about ballet will be pleased to know that the city is home to the Nevada Ballet Theater. The theater houses a world renowned ballet company that commits to unmatched artistic standards. Theatrical “can’t miss” performances are also hosted at the outdoor Super Summer Theater at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Here attendees can appreciate performing arts in a lush and serene setting.

While the Louvre may be home to the world’s most extensive collection of artwork, Las Vegas is also home to an ample selection of fine arts. The Bellagio Las Vegas Resort features a fine art gallery that displays the works of renowned artists, such as Ansel Adams and Roy Lichtenstein. Many other Las Vegas mega-resorts have also shifted gears and are now focusing on providing their clientele with a holistic experience that often includes museum displays and impressive exhibitions. A community favorite has long been the Bodies Exhibition at the Luxor.

The thrill of the game is alive and well in Las Vegas on both semi-pro and collegiate levels. Ultimate thrill seekers would probably find the most satisfaction in the stands of a Las Vegas Wranglers hockey game at the Orleans arena. The Wranglers hold the honor of being named “Las Vegas’ Best Sports Team” in 2005, 2006 and 2009 by the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper. But, if peanuts and crackerjacks are on the menu, then attending a Las Vegas 51’s baseball game is a must. The whole family can spend a day in the sun and “root - root - root for the home team!”

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is the home of the “Rebels” athletic program. The program features an impressive football team and men’s basketball team, both of which are huge community attractions. The 2008 men’s basketball team was tournament champions in the Mountain West Division. Not to be discounted are the women’s volleyball and tennis teams as well as the men’s swimming and diving team each of which hold the same honor of division champions.

Speed demons and car lovers alike feel right at home at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway which hosts several NASCAR races as well as drag and formula racing. For a more hands-on experience, take the wheel at one of Las Vegas indoor kart racing tracts, such as Pole Position Raceway. If your need for speed is still not quenched then venture to the Stratophere Las Vegas Resort and ride one of their heart-pounding amusement park style rides.

For the outdoor enthusiasts, Las Vegas’ climate affords countless opportunities to experience a wide array of recreational activities. While some other areas may be geographically limited in the variety of outdoor activities possible, Las Vegas is one of those rare places where you can truly do it all. Year-round hiking, biking and camping is attributed to the 300 plus days of sunshine and moderate temperatures enjoyed by Las Vegans. Waterskiing at Lake Mead is a favorite summer pastime while snow skiing at Mount Charleston in the winter is a true delight.

When it comes to golf, Las Vegas is way above par. With more than 60 courses located in the city, and its nearby surrounding areas, golfers can escape into paradise from tee-time until dusk. If that just wasn’t enough, Las Vegas’ Angel Park Golf has a 12-hole course that remains open at night. However, the ultimate title of golfer’s paradise belongs to the Lake Las Vegas Resort. Lake Las Vegas has all of the nuances of a true “golf destination” and is located only 17 miles from the Las Vegas strip.

What makes Las Vegas such a beautiful place to call home relies not only on the quality of life but also on the quality of the people who live there. By volunteering for a charity or non-profit organization you have the chance to positively impact the lives of others in your community. For many residents in Las Vegas this has become a way of life. Organizations like The Boys and Girls Club, The Ronald McDonald House, Civitans and The American Cancer Society are all flourishing in Las Vegas. If there is a cause that is dear to your heart, Las Vegas offers ample ways for you to become involved and realize how rewarding life in the Entertainment Capital of the World can be!

The information that follows will provide you with places, activities and excursions to jumpstart your introduction to living in Las Vegas.

Active Performing Arts Scene
As can be expected from a city that thrives on live entertainment, Las Vegas offers outstanding performance venues throughout the city. In addition to the performing arts offerings on the Las Vegas Strip, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Ballet Theatre, two cultural institutions and mainstays on the Las Vegas performing arts scene, have been redefining the quality of life for all Las Vegans.

— Charleston Heights Arts Center
This facility contains a 375-seat theatre, a ballroom, a conference room and an art gallery with an 11-foot ceiling. The center hosts the Rainbow Company Youth Theatre and Las Vegas Civic Ballet Association classes.

— Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts
Classes are offered in dance, music, children’s theater, gymnastics, cheerleading and aerobics. Events such as workshops, concerts and competitions are held throughout the year.

— Las Vegas Little Theatre
An amateur theatre company founded in 1978 by Jack Bell and Jack Nickolson, the Las Vegas Little Theatre started with performances in a converted storefront with an initial seating capacity of 48. Over the years many critically acclaimed and award-winning plays have been presented, such as “Master Harold...and the Boys,” “Purple Hearts,” “The Woolgatherer,” “Master Class,” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

— Las Vegas Philharmonic
Founded in 1998, the Las Vegas Philharmonic is the third largest arts organization in the state and six-time recipient of the Best Performing Arts Group award. The Philharmonic has grown into a nationally recognized orchestra, entertaining growing audiences with a continuously expanding program which currently includes a Masterworks Series featuring some of the best touring artists in the world; a Connoisseur Series that presents top soloists performing in some of the city’s most luxurious homes; a variety of special events; a Pops Concert Series debuted in 2008; and its annual Fourth of July “Star Spangled Spectacular” concert. The Philharmonic has created an extraordinary impact on the cultural and educational life of Southern Nevada and will find its new home in the $475M Smith Center for the Performing Arts slated to open in 2011.

— Nevada Ballet Theatre
The Nevada Ballet Theatre is the largest professional ballet company and dance academy in the state. The mission of Nevada Ballet Theatre is to educate and inspire regional, statewide and national audiences and vitally impact community life through professional company productions, dance training and education and outreach. Beginning in 2011, the Nevada Ballet Theatre will be a resident company in the new world-class Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

— Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV
The Nevada Conservatory Theatre (NCT) is the professional theater training program of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. NCT is committed to bringing to Las Vegas the highest quality theater by featuring professional artists and advanced students recruited from around the country.

— Performing Arts Center at University Nevada Las Vegas
The Performing Arts Center at UNLV, Southern Nevada’s premier performing arts venue, consists of three different venues, including the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, built in 1976 and seats 1,832. It is the only true symphony hall in the state of Nevada. The Judy Bayley Theatre is a proscenium arch theatre that was constructed in 1972 and is the home of UNLV’s excellent performing arts programs including the Nevada Conservatory Theatre. The Black Box Theatre accommodates recitals, small lectures, dance and social events.

— The Rainbow Company
This nationally acclaimed and award winning youth theatre group is part of the Division of Arts & Community Events, City of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services. At the core of the company is its ensemble, a group of 40 dedicated children, ages 10 to 18 who are selected by open audition. The Rainbow Company is dedicated to creating quality children’s productions for the youth of Nevada and is currently enjoying its 33rd season. The company is housed at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center.

— Super Summer Theatre
Located in the historic Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, the Super Summer Theatre features popular, live stage productions. The historic park encompasses 520 acres of an old ranch near the base of the cliffs of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, (about a 20-minute drive from Las Vegas).

— Theatre in the Valley
For more than 15 years, Theatre in the Valley has been a feature of the Henderson community. The theatre is dedicated to producing quality plays and musicals that people can both participate in or relax and enjoy as a welcome, appreciative audience.

— Utah Shakespearean Festival
Now in its 48th year, the Utah Shakespearean Festival is one of the oldest and largest festivals dedicated to Shakespeare in North America. The Festival is located in Cedar City, Utah, a community of approximately 28,000 people and is within a day’s drive of seven national parks and numerous national and state forests, monuments and recreation areas.

Visual Arts
Art lovers will be pleased to know there is an active arts scene in Las Vegas, including the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art that features an impressive collection of contemporary art, the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum and the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. In addition, there are more than 90 art galleries located throughout the region exhibiting traditional and contemporary art.

— Art Immersion
An excellent way for newcomers to learn about the local arts scene is to head downtown on the first Friday of the month for First Friday. Centered within Charleston and Main Street in the heart of the Downtown Arts District, First Friday is an ongoing monthly arts, entertainment and social event featuring an eclectic mix of events, from art exhibits to theatrical presentations, musical performances and poetry slams. Visitors can listen to live local bands play throughout the evening while they “people watch,” sample new restaurants and visit diverse shops and attractions.

Major Museums
— Atomic Testing Museum/NTS Historical Foundation
The museum, which opened in March 2005, documents the history of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site in the desert north of Las Vegas.

— Bodies the Exhibition - The Luxor Las Vegas
Celebrate the wonder of the human form at Bodies. The Exhibition, a unique show about the amazing and complex machine we call the human body.

— Boulder City - Hoover Dam Museum
The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum tells the story of the Boulder Canyon Project as it was experienced by the men and women who braved the desolation of the Southern Nevada desert to build Hoover Dam and Boulder City.

— Bruno’s Indian Museum
Located in Boulder City, this museum features a large collection of turquoise as well as an art gallery and studio where you can see artists at work.

— Carroll Shelby Museum
Located at the entrance of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Carroll Shelby Museum exhibits rare cars, historic racers and unique memorabilia.

— Central Nevada Museum
This museum chronicles important events and figures that left their marks on central Nevada, which includes Nye and Esmeralda counties and their surrounding areas.

— Clark County Heritage Museum
Located on the edge of the Valley, the Clark County Heritage Museum provides hours of fun while teaching visitors about the rich and colorful history of Las Vegas and its surrounding communities.

— George L. Sturman - Museum of Fine Art
The collection features contemporary works from many renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Robert De Niro and Henri Matisse. A large collection of African, American and comic strip art is also on display.

— Goldwell Open Air Museum
Located just outside the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada, this museum is a 7.8 acre outdoor sculpture park which features the work of Belgian artist Albert Szukalski. Admission is free and is open 24 hours a day for seven days a week.

— Hammargren Home of Nevada History
Dr. Hammargren’s home is famous for his historical collections of Nevada history; especially Las Vegas memorabilia, signs, stage production props and other unique artifacts from around the world.

— Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
Located in McCarran International Airport, the museum provides visitors with the history of commercial and general aviation in southern Nevada starting with the first flight in 1920 through the introduction of jets.

— Imperial Palace Auto Collection
Open to the public daily, the Auto Collection features hundreds of automotive classic treasures from the past, including Johnny Carson’s 1939 Chrysler Royal Sedan and “Eleanor,” the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback used in the movie “Gone in Sixty Seconds.”

— Las Vegas Natural History Museum
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is dedicated to educating the children and families of the community in the natural sciences – both past and present. Through its interactive exhibits, educational programs and the preservation of its collections, the museum promotes an understanding and appreciation of the world’s wildlife, ecosystems and cultures. The most recent exhibit is located in the Egyptian Pavilion and features a replica of King Tut’s Tomb, the greatest archaeological find in the world’s history. This was previously exhibited at King Tutankhamen’s Tomb & Museum at the Luxor Hotel.

— Liberace Museum and Foundation
Founded more than 30 years ago, the museum features “Mr. Showmanship’s” dazzling jewelry, rare antiques, unsurpassed wardrobe, unique pianos and his custom car collection. The non-profit museum supports the work of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts that has funded scholarships for the arts since 1976.

— Lied Discovery Children’s Museum
Since opening to the public in September 1990, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum has established itself as an important community resource, becoming one of the metropolitan area’s major educational institutions serving children and families.

— Lost City Museum
Located on an actual archaeological site of Pueblo Grande de Nevada (Nevada’s Lost City) the Lost City Museum interprets the artifacts left behind by the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) occupation of the Moapa Valley from the 1st through 13th centuries A.D. The museum also contains displays about the Early Man and Archaic periods of southern Nevada, as well as the later occupants of the Valley, the Paiute, whose exquisite basketry is on display.

— Lost Vegas Historic Gambling Museum and Store
Located at Neonopolis downtown, the museum features more than 5,000 unique historic items and memorabilia chronicling the city’s past. The retail gift shop offers a wide array of souvenirs, such as hotel ashtrays and matchbooks.

— Magic and Movie Hall of Fame
Explore $4.5 million collection of magic, movie and ventriloquist memorabilia. Experience the history of magic firsthand and see a live comedy magic show in the Comedy Magic Theatre.

— Neon Museum
The Neon Museum was established in 1996 to collect and exhibit neon signs, the classic Las Vegas art form. Dedicated individuals from the private sector as well as corporate and government entities have worked tirelessly to promote the preservation of these national treasures. The Neon Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, study and exhibit neon signs and associated artifacts to inspire educational and cultural enrichment for diverse members of our international community national community. Refurbished signs are on display throughout the city and a self-guided walking tour is available.

— Nevada State Museum and Historical Society
The Nevada State Museum & Historical Society presents exhibits on the early people and history of southern Nevada, fossils, important geological formations and the state’s plants and animals. The research library specializes in southern Nevada history with newspaper indexes, materials on microfilm, map, photograph and manuscript collections. 

— Nevada State Railroad Museum - Boulder City
Located in Boulder City, the Nevada State Railroad Museum preserves the heritage of the historic Boulder Branch Line, commissioned by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1931 to haul equipment and material needed to construct the Hoover Dam. The museum currently operates an excursion train on the original railroad line laid down by the Union Pacific. This unique Las Vegas area attraction takes visitors on a trip along the tracks of southern Nevada’s colorful past aboard refurbished and air-conditioned Pullman coaches from 1911.

— Searchlight Museum
Located in the Searchlight Community Center, the museum focuses on the fascinating history of this historical community founded in 1898. Searchlight takes its name from the Searchlight Mine, and mining history is a prominent part of the museums offerings, in addition to the many interesting residents of the community.

— Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art
The museum features more than 7,000 square feet of exhibit area with a main gallery, a special exhibitions gallery and a small works gallery. Plans include expansion into adjacent space to include a large exhibition gallery dedicated to bigger works including sculpture. Founded in 2003, the museum is located in the Neonopolis at the Freemont Experience.

— Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
Located in the Luxor Las Vegas, the 25,000-square-foot exhibit features numerous items from the Titanic, including luggage, the ship’s whistles, floor tiles from the first-class smoking room, a window frame from the Verandah Cafe and an unopened bottle of champagne with a 1900 vintage. In addition, the exhibit features a piece of Titanic’s hull, a full-scale recreation of the Grand Staircase as well as a newly expanded outer Promenade Deck, complete with the frigid temperatures felt on that fateful April night.

— UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History
Located on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, the Marjorie Barrick Museum educates visitors about the native cultures of the southwest United States and Mesoamerica. The exhibit hall also features a 2,500 square foot temporary exhibit area hosting international, national and regional exhibitions.

— Walker African-American
The Walker African-American Museum & Research Center is designed to preserve and promote the history of people of African descent locally, nationally and internationally. The temporary location offers a variety of materials, includeing books, magazines, dolls, stamps, postcards and trade cards documenting the accomplishments of people of African descent.

Spectator SPORTS
Did you know that Las Vegas has a team for almost every sport? From baseball, to basketball, football, ice hockey and soccer, there’s plenty for residents to enjoy year around. It’s noteworthy that Vegas is often referred to as “The Mecca of boxing,” a distinction it shares with New York’s Madison Square Garden.

— Baseball: Las Vegas 51s
Formerly known as the Las Vegas Stars, the Las Vegas 51s are a minor league baseball team and compete in the Pacific Coast League. Owned by Stevens Baseball Group, they play at Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas.

— Professional Hockey: Las Vegas Wranglers
This minor league ice hockey team plays in the Pacific Division of the ECHL’s National Conference. The team plays out of Orleans Arena.

— Indoor Football: Las Vegas Showgirlz
This women’s football team is part of the Women’s Football Alliance. The team plays their home games on the campus of Faith Lutheran Junior and Senior High School in nearby Summerlin.

— Motor Sports: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS)
Also called “the Diamond in the Desert,” LVMS is one of the most complete racing complexes in the world, with 1,600 acres including road courses, a three-eighths mile oval, a dirt track and a state-of-the-art drag racing facility. It’s also home to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, as well as Busch and Truck Series events.

— Rodeo: Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR)
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008, the NFR recorded a total event attendance of 173,975 over the 10 days of the competition. The National Finals Rodeo, organized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is the premier championship rodeo event in the U.S. Wrangler Jeans is the title sponsor for the 10-day event, commonly just called the National Finals or NFR, which is also sometimes referred to as the World Series of Rodeo and the Super Bowl of Rodeo. The NFR is held each year in the first full week of December at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

— Las Vegas Bowl: The Maaco Bowl Las Vegas 
This bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas since 1992. Since 2001, the game has featured a matchup of teams from the Pac-10 and Mountain West conferences.

Sports venues and Arenas
Cashman Field Center: This arena is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Its primary use is for baseball and it is the home field of the Las Vegas 51s minor league baseball team. Cashman Field opened in 1983 and has a maximum capacity of 9,334.

MGM Grand Garden Arena: This facility is located in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a seating capacity of 17,157 people.

Mandalay Bay Events Center: The indoor arena seats 12,000 and is part of the Mandalay Bay Resort.

Orleans Arena: The multi-purpose arena seats 9,500 and is home to the Las Vegas Wranglers ice hockey team. Located at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is operated by Coast Casinos, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming Corporation.

College Sports

—  The University of Nevada (UNLV)
  • UNLV Rebels, the school’s football team, plays at Sam Boyd Stadium.
  • The Runnin’ Rebels men’s basketball is the most supported team at UNLV, and they play at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.
  • The Lady Rebels, this basketball team plays at the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. As with their male counterparts, the Lady Rebels have seen much success on the court, posting a .654 winning percentage which ranks them 37th best in Division I.
  • The Hustlin’ Rebels, they are the baseball team at UNLV and play their games at Earl Wilson Stadium.
— UNLV sports facilities
  • Thomas & Mack Center: This 18,500-seat multipurpose events center is the site for basketball and hockey games, major concerts, ice shows and the National Finals Rodeo. It houses the administrative offices of intercollegiate athletics department, the center’s operating staff, the athletic development office and Rebel Store.
  • Cox Pavilion (COX): This multipurpose venue is connected to the Thomas & Mack Center and is the home court for women’s basketball and volleyball. It also hosts convocations, small concerts, trade shows and other events.
  • College of Southern Nevada (CSN): The Coyotes baseball team is the longest running athletic program for CSN.

recreation and leisure
Thanks to our great climate, it’s possible to enjoy the outdoors all year long. Walking, biking, playing tennis, swimming – the local communities are geared to offering you a wide selection of ways to stay fit and enjoy the open spaces. A short distance from the area, there are fun adventures, such as snowboarding, skydiving, horseback riding, kayaking, desert-bike riding and whitewater rafting. There are also tour operators who provide land, air or water adventures to nearby wonders, including the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Mount Charleston.

County, city and state parks
— Clark County
The Parks and Recreation department of Clark County maintains more than 60 various types of parks and other facilities including swimming pools, picnic areas, a shooting park, a wetlands park, horse stalls, dog parks, an archery range, a skate park, a disc golf course and a bicycle moto cross track. The county also manages several museums, including the Aviation Museum, the Clark County Museum and the Searchlight Museum. At local parks, you’ll find amenities including playgrounds and athletic facilities for tennis, hockey, basketball, volleyball and soccer. All parks are open 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information visit www.accessclarkcounty.com/depts/parks.

— City of Las Vegas
In Las Vegas, there are 45 public parks. You can check each park and its facilities by visiting the city’s Web site at www.lasvegasnevada.gov and click on “Resident.” The city also provides recreational facilities, including golf courses, arts and community event facilities, recreational centers, active adult/senior centers, sports complexes and swimming pools.

— City of North Las Vegas
In North Las Vegas, there are more than 375 acres of developed parkland, special-use recreation facilities, open space, trails, public grounds, 35 parks and 5.37 miles of regional trails. Park sites, such as the Cheyenne Sports Complex, allow the community to hold sporting events and provide large group recreational opportunities. Some of the types of facilities supporting activities in the city’s parks include playgrounds, water features, tennis, sand volleyball, basketball, bocce, soccer, softball and baseball fields. The park facilities are designed to accommodate individuals, families or groups. For more information, visit www.cityofnorthlasvegas.com and click on “Park Services.”

— City of Henderson
Henderson, which was named a “Playful City USA” by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, offers 46 well-maintained parks, open grass areas, playgrounds, walking courses, dog parks, skate parks, splash pads and lighted sport areas. The city has recently been awarded more than $200 million in funding for the development of more than 30 projects, including parks, trails and natural areas. To learn more, visit www.cityofhenderson.com.

— Boulder City
Boulder City Parks & Recreation offers year-round youth and adult sports, aquatic and recreation programs. It manages 16 parks and other amenities, including a recreation center, swimming pool, ball fields, tennis courts, a hiking trail and the Reflections Center, (a landscaped area composed of seven sculptures that change annually). There is also Lake Mead Resort and Marina, a popular fishing and boating area. For more information, visit http://www.bcnv.org/parksrecreation/.

— State of Nevada
The Nevada Division of State Parks plans, develops and maintains a system of 24 parks and recreation areas for the use and enjoyment of more than 2.3 million visitors a year. The division was established in 1963 by the Nevada Legislature to form a new state park agency within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Nevada state parks located in the Las Vegas Region include Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area, Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Valley of Fire State Park. For more information, visit www.parks.nv.gov.

More Leisure Activities in the Region
— Bowling
If you enjoy bowling, Southern Nevada has more than 15 Southern Nevada USBC Association member bowling centers. Check out www.sonvbowl.com to find out more and to learn about tournaments throughout the year.

— Camping
A popular camping spot is Mount Charleston in Toiyabe National Forest, which is open May through September. Located 35 miles north of Las Vegas on route 95, you’ll find it’s a great getaway from the heat of the city and a nice break from city life. Learn more at www.stateparks.com/toiyabe.html.

— Golf Courses, Clubs and Services
Las Vegas recently was named the top emerging golf destination in the world by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. Residents can select from championship courses, designed by legends of the sport, with lush fairways and breathtaking views. For spectators, Las Vegas hosts many nationally and internationally televised golf tournaments including the PGA Tour’s Michelin Championships at Las Vegas, LPGA Takefuji Classic and Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge. If you want to improve your swing, you’ll also find numerous golf schools available.

— Horse Stables
Las Vegas offers skilled and novice riders numerous places to horseback ride, including Cowboy Trail Rides, Vegas Horseback Tours, Red Rock Ranch and Riding Stables and the Brass Tacks Equestrian Center. You can also go online and search for private tour operators that offer horseback riding packages.

— Motorcycle Riding
Heading out on the highway on a motorcycle is an experience you should have, considering the region is known as a biker’s paradise. The great weather, fantastic scenery and superb driving conditions make it a super weekend getaway. Check the biking scene by attending the annual Las Vegas BikeFest™, a heavily attended weekend event.

You’ll be glad to know there are a number of Harley-Davidson motorcycle stores that can equip you for the open road. Las Vegas Harley-Davidson, the new Vegas Valley Harley-Davidson dealership and Red Rock Harley-Davidson are full service and pride themselves on providing exceptional customer service.

— Tennis
If you’re interested in learning more about tennis, contact the Nevada Tennis Association that promotes the sport of tennis and provides classes, programs and events for players of all age and skill levels. Learn more at www.ustanevada.com. Another resource in the community, the Tennis Welcome Centers, offer programs that will get you playing in no time. Courts, instruction, people to play with, drill tips can be found at 15 different centers in Las Vegas. Learn more at www.tenniswelcomecenter.com.

— Water Sports
Lake Mead: The waters of Lake Mead are clear, and provide ideal conditions for water sports like water skiing, tubing and touring via personal watercraft, boating and fishing. You can also enjoy cruises that provide dining and entertainment.

Las Vegas Boat Harbor: The largest privately owned marina in the world, boasting approximately 1,500 slips in the Hemenway Harbor of Lake Mead. Facilities include runabout rental boats, pontoon rental boats, waverunner rentals and a marina store with all boating essentials.

Rafting: The favorite place for river rafting in the area is Black Canyon, just below Hoover Dam. Enjoy floating down the calm waters of the Colorado River through Black Canyon for a typically 3.5 hour ride. One great sight along the ride is spotting a grotto-like cavity in the canyon wall that spouts 120-degree hot water. Rafters will also see Longhorn sheep and a variety of birds along the way.

For those preferring to go it alone, you must make arrangements and reservations with one of the authorized delivery services to transport your craft to the launch site. Most delivery services can also provide rental craft if desired. Launch fees are $10 per person plus a $3 National Park Service entrance fee for adults age 16 and older. Shuttle service fees are determined by the individual outfitters. Questions about launch permits can be directed to Black Canyon/Willow Beach River Adventures, a National Park Service concessioner. This firm maintains an office in the Hacienda Hotel on Highway 93 near the dam, and can be contacted by phone at (702) 494-2204. For more information, visit www.usbr.gov.

— Gardening and Landscaping
As new residents settle in to the desert lifestyle and are ready to try their hands at landscaping and planting, they wonder, what plants will grow here? One suggestion is to visit the Springs Preserve, a 180-acre national historic site and eco-island along Valley View Blvd., south of U.S. 95 and west of downtown. In addition to the colorful desert botanical gardens, museum galleries and walking trails, there are educational programs which provide active learning opportunities for children, adults and teachers through lectures, tours and hands-on workshops.

Visit the website at www.springspreserve.org, where you’ll find additional resources, such as the Experts Directory where expert desert gardeners can answer questions about local gardens and garden clubs, including how to dispose of hazardous materials, caring for your garden, lawn and flowers and handling various pests.

Click on Plant Search, where you can find information about plants that grow in the Las Vegas Valley, including information on water usage, blooming season, rate of growth and sun exposure. You can type in a plant’s botanical or common name to find information and photos. Search by plant type, sunlight exposure and other attributes to find plants that might thrive in your desert garden or landscape.

The Las Vegas Valley Water District is the site’s owner and steward and works with the Springs Preserve Foundation to protect the area and create a community gathering place.

In Las Vegas, there are countless ways to have fun. Breathtaking thrill rides and entertainment of every variety draw visitors from all across the globe. For those who think gaming is all Las Vegas offers – think again.

— Amusement
Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix: A great place for family fun, the Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix offers fun amusements such as go karts, kiddie karts, dive bomber, tornado twister, arcade games and dragon roller coaster rides.

Laser Quest: Laser Quest combines the classic games of tag and hide & seek with a high-tech twist. Donning the most sophisticated laser tag equipment available, the game is played in a large, multi-level arena featuring specialty lighting, swirling fog and heart-pounding music.

SkyMania Fun Centers
: A sports, fitness and entertainment center and home to the world’s first all-trampoline-walled playing field with suspended rotating goals. SkyMania offers the first truly 3-D sports games and activities on trampolines including open court jumping, dodgeball, SkyRobics and corporate team building activities.

Spring Mountain MotorSports: Located 45 minutes from the Strip. Offers an exhilarating 3.5-mile road course in various configurations featuring Corvette Driving Programs, Radical Racing Schools, Lotus Performance Driving Schools and an exclusive country club for members only.

— Zoo
Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park is on a 3-acre campus located just 15 minutes northwest of the Strip. The zoo exhibits over 150 species of plants and animals including the last family of Barbary Apes in the U.S., ostriches, exotic reptiles, endangered cats and much more. As the only zoo in Las Vegas and the only year-round zoo in Nevada, the zoo focuses on education and appreciation of these animals. While you’re there, discover native mammals, reptiles and invertebrates at the Live Exhibit of the Springs Preserve. From desert tortoises to kangaroo rats, the Preserve is a sanctuary for indigdigenous species.

Scenic and Historic Getaways
Once you’ve settled in to your new Las Vegas home, you’ll want to start discovering the beauty of local sites, all within a short distance. You might consider hiring a tour company that can provide you an overview and description of these unique places. Check the Web for sightseeing and tour companies and learn about seeing these places by air, by bus or by Jeep!

— Lake Mead
[35 miles Southeast of Las Vegas]
The reservoir created by the damming of the Colorado River became Lake Mead, named after Elwood Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner at the time. The newly formed lake drew thousands of visitors to this wondrous contrast of desert and water. Lake Mead National Recreation Area became the first national recreation area in 1964. Today, millions of visitors each year come to enjoy the many recreational opportunities found within the park’s diverse landscape.

Lake Mead is the 16th largest manmade lake in the world, occupying approximately 1.5 million acres and 700 miles of shoreline. Located in Nevada and Arizona, the lake offers year-round recreation including boating, swimming, hiking and wildlife viewing. Three of America’s four desert ecosystems – the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts – meet in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Learn more at www.nps.gov/lame/

— Bonnie Springs Old Nevada
[25 miles West of Las Vegas]
Consists of a 115-acre park, motel, museum, shops, restaurant, petting zoo and horseback riding.

— Lost City Museum, Overton
[60 miles Northeast of Las Vegas]
The Lost City Museum was built by the National Park Service to exhibit artifacts that were being excavated from Pueblo Grande de Nevada. These Anasazi Indian sites were being threatened by the waters of Lake Mead as it backed up behind the newly built Hoover Dam. Eventually, when the lake was filled to capacity, about five miles of sites had been inundated or undercut by the water.

The Civilian Conservation Corps assisted in the excavation of the sites and the construction of the museum building, which was constructed of sun-dried adobe brick in a pueblo-revival style. The museum also served as the park headquarters for the Boulder Dam State Park that was established at Lake Mead.

The museum is currently owned and maintained by the State of Nevada as one of its six state museums. Program include ongoing archaeological research on the remaining Lost City sites, school tours and outreach programs, changing exhibits and archival library and collections research capabilities. Special public programs are held throughout the year. Visit www.nevadaculture.org/museums for more information.

— Mount Charleston
[45 miles North of Las Vegas]
Here you’ll find panoramic views, horseback riding, hiking, biking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, hotel, skiing and sleigh rides in winter.

— Spring Mountain Ranch
[18 miles West of Las Vegas]
Historic site, ranch house and visitor center.

— Valley of Fire
[55 miles East of Las Vegas]
Native American exhibits, visitor center, climbing, hiking and picnic areas.

— Ghost Towns Worth Visiting
  • Chloride Mining Town – south of Hoover Dam off U.S. 95.
  • Eldorado Springs – 42 miles south.
  • Goodsprings – 37 miles south.
  • Johnnie – 50 miles northwest.
  • Pioche – 175 miles northwest.
  • Rhyolite – 120 miles north.
  • Sandy & Sandy Valley – 36 miles southwest.

Youth Volunteer Opportunities
There are many ways young people in the Las Vegas area can be involved in the community. Listed below are a number of organizations that welcome and encourage volunteers and youth support.

Assistance League of Las Vegas
6446 West Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 870-2002
e-mail: allv@allv.org
Assistance League of Las Vegas has been dedicated to effectively finding and fulfilling the needs of the Las Vegas community for more than 30 years.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada (BBBSN)
4065 East Post Road
Las Vegas, NV 89120
(702) 731-2227
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBSN) is the oldest, largest and most effective youth mentoring organization in the United States. For more than a century, BBBSN has developed positive relationships that have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of young people. BBBSN mentors children, ages 6 through 18, and helps children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.

Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
1501 North Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 385-2662
Catholic Charities is one of the largest nonprofit social service providers in the state and offes the most comprehensive range of human services. Catholic Charities includes diverse programs designed to help people – from infants to seniors, regardless of race, religion or creed.

Since 1941, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada has provided social services programs for infants, children, families, seniors, homeless men, women and children, people interested in adoption and refugees in need of resettlement.

Civitan Las Vegas
Civitan is a worldwide, all volunteer, non-profit service organization providing members an organized way of meeting community needs through hands-on service. The organiation focuses on helping developmentally and physically disabled individuals as well as help individuals, organizations and families in need.

Nevada Child Seekers
2880 East Flamingo Road, Suite D
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(702) 458-7009
The organization’s mission is to advocate for and engage in prevention, identification and location efforts on behalf of missing and exploited children. The community’s support enables it to help families in the search for their missing children and to provide abduction and exploitation prevention education for children and families.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC)
2323 Potosi Street
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 252-4663
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Las Vegas creates and supports programs that directly improve the health, education and well-being of children in our community.

The Ronald McDonald House of Greater Las Vegas is the cornerstone program of RMHC, and provides temporary housing for families who travel to Las Vegas to receive critical medical treatment for their children.

United Way of Southern Nevada
1660 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 734-2273
e-mail: info@uwsn.org
United Way is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. In Southern Nevada, United Way’s vision includes enabling children to enter school developmentally on track in the areas of literacy, social, emotional and intellectual skills; assist individuals and families to increase their income, build savings, and sustain assets; and ensure that every family has accessible, continuous, culturally competent healthcare and children are healthy upon entering school.

Volunteers of America
5895 Boulder Highway
Las Vegas, NV 89122
(702) 293-3301
The Las Vegas office of Volunteers of America operates the “Cars Helping People” program. The vehicle donation charity program organized by CarsHelpingPeople.org is used to raise money for a variety of outreach programs. By donating a used car to Volunteers of America through Cars Helping People you are helping us fund services for the elderly, children and disadvantaged adults.

Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada
1660 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 892-2321
The Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada (VCSN) is a program of United Way of Southern Nevada and provides a link for individuals, families, teams and corporate groups to join together and engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout Southern Nevada. VCSN promotes volunteerism and getting people involved in their communities in partnership with other organizations. From motivating children to discover and learn, to serving hot meals to low income families, residents of Southern Nevada are responding to critical needs.

Religion in Las Vegas
In a setting more known for entertainment and gaming, it surprised newcomers to learn that Las Vegas has many more churches than casinos! Religion is as deeply rooted in Las Vegas as the sagebrush that colors the desert and the casinos that line the Strip. Indeed, as early as 1855, Mormon settlers established a mission fort in the area with the intent of converting the local Indian population to the Mormon faith. Strained relations with the Indians and harsh climatic conditions lead to the eventual failure of the mission only three years latter. Yet, while the mission failed, the fort survived and Las Vegas soon began to take shape. Today, approximately five percent of people living in the Valley are Mormon. By the early 1900’s the first church in Las Vegas, First Methodist, opened. It was soon followed by Christ Church Episcopal and a Catholic church in 1908. The first Protestant services took place in1910.

The diversity of religion in Las Vegas, so evident in its early history, still persists today. According to the 2009 Las Vegas Perspective, Clark County’s religious affiliations are as follows:
  • 28.8% Roman Catholic.
  • 25.4% Protestant.
  • 5.2% Latter-day Saint/ Mormon.
  • 2% Muslim.
  • 2.2% Jewish.
  • 23.9% Other Religions.
  • 14.5% Unaffiliated.

Today, places of worship can be found for many denominations and beliefs, including Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Church of Christ, Scientology, Pentecostal, Hindu, Full Gospel, Lutheran, Religious Science and more.

According to the 2009 Las Vegas Perspective, Catholics represent the largest religious denomination in the area. The diocese’s website at www.lasvegas-diocese.org provides a complete list of all the parishes and missions in Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties. There you can also find information about all Catholic diocesan schools in the parish.

Baptists are well represented in the Valley, with more than 20 churches. There is an active Jewish community in the Valley with 11 temples, including Temple Beth Sholom that recently unveiled the Warsaw Ghetto Remembrance Garden, which is dedicated to the occupants of the infamous World War II enclave.

Rumor has it that there are more bibles in Las Vegas’ hotel rooms than in Rome and Jerusalem combined. This strong presence of religion throughout the Valley can make the task of choosing a place of worship seem monumental. Prior to relocating, it is always good to check with your local religious leaders to see if they may be able to recommend a place of worship in Las Vegas. Many religious organizations have networks that span across the country. If you have friends or family in the area, who share your religious beliefs, be sure to also ask them for insight.

If your local leaders cannot point you in the right direction there are a variety of resources that can be used to guide you. One tried and true source is the local Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages offer a complete listing of places of worship, separated by denomination, for all of Las Vegas. National Web sites, including www.usachurch.com and www.local-worship.com, also offer comprehensive listings for the area. Additionally, many places of worship have their own Web sites, complete with pictures and pertinent information that can assist you with the decision making process.

As religious affiliation is a very intimate and personal matter, there are many things to consider when selecting your place of worship. For some people proximity to their neighborhood is important. For others, the size of the congregation is a factor. Also important to consider are what additional religious and social services are provided. In Las Vegas many places of worship also offer day care, school, senior housing, faith based bookstores and social halls.

As a newcomer to Las Vegas you will surely be impressed by the thriving religious culture in the area. Although Las Vegas is known as Sin City it is a region that also embraces religion. So whatever your religious affiliation may be, you will find an abundance of welcoming congregations throughout the Valley.
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