Las Vegas entertains over 30 million visitors every year, but many people never leave the Strip and its famous hotels—maybe because they’ve never heard of some of Southern Nevada’s less advertised locations. Take a detour off Las Vegas Boulevard to see some Las Vegas places you (probably) haven’t heard of:
Molto Vegas Farmer’s Market is unlike any other Las Vegas farmer’s market. It’s an indoor farmer’s market. It carries only regionally grown, seasonal items from Southern Nevada and Southern California. And it’s just off the Strip. Molto is the creation of two Las Vegas chefs, and it’s only open on Thursdays, from 11-1.
Until recently, you could not visit the St. Thomas ruins because they were underwater. When Lake Mead was formed, this town on the edge of the Valley of Fire was submerged. Over 70 years later, Lake Mead’s water levels have dropped so low that St. Thomas is again on terra firma. Fresh-water shells cover the stone foundations of the town’s former homes, and the reeds growing from the former lake bed are so high that you feel like you’re in a maze.
Have you ever seen a big horn sheep at close range? Visit Hemenway Park in Boulder City and you can see an entire herd. Boulder City has grown up around the park, which was once on the outskirts of town. Now the park has a profusion of signs warning visitors not to feed the sheep—although you’d think those big horns on their heads would be enough warning.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is home to a resident that you may have heard of: The Devils Hole Pupfish. At one time, there were only 38 fish remaining, but conservation efforts have increased their numbers to over 100. The cave in which they live is off-limits to visitors, but there is a small viewing platform. The rest of the refuge is full of warm, crystalline springs—and other types of pupfish live in those springs. Located just outside of Pahrump, about an hour and a half from Las Vegas, Ash Meadows was almost destroyed by home developers before the tiny pupfish galvanized efforts to save the area.
The Erotic Heritage Museum is just off the Strip, in the same industrial area where the gentlemen’s clubs are located. But this isn’t a bump-and-grind kind of place—although it is for adults only. It’s a more serious examination of human sexuality, but don’t worry—you won’t feel like you’re back in Health class. A museum about sex? Now that’s Vegas.
Photos of St. Thomas, Hemenway Park, and Ash Meadows courtesy of Terrisa Meeks
Photo of Molto Vegas Farmer’s Market courtesy of Molto’s
Photo of the Erotic Heritage Museum courtesy of Sarah Murray