Las Vegas is one of my favorite destinations in the world and I have spent quite some time in this fascinating city over the past 5 years. I love the wonderful variety of its high-quality golf courses, the unrivaled culinary experiences, its luxurious 5*hotels, its unmatched entertainment options, its incredible museums, and its extraordinary glamour and ambiance. I have also explored some of the impressive natural wonders near Las Vegas such as the Grand Canyon, the Red Rocks Canyon, and the Valley of Fire.
But it was thanks to Cherie Westbrook from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that I could experience some awesome attractions in Boulder City at my last visit in June. Boulder City is just a short 20-minute drive from the Vegas lights, and fondly referred to as Las Vegas’ backyard. Its epic outdoor adventures - including golf! - its incredible desert views, and its small-town charm guarantees an unforgettable day or even stay away from the Las Vegas Strip.
I checked in at the Hoover Dam Lodge in Boulder City, the premier resort conveniently located just minutes away from the iconic Hoover Dam. Established in 1958 the property has evolved into the newly renovated Hoover Dam Lodge Hotel & Casino with state-of-the-art gaming machines, and fun outdoor activities close by. It´s the perfect lodging option to venture this awesome outdoor destination.
Keen to explore the area myself, I headed to the world-famous Hoover Damn right away. As a groundbreaking engineering project and the biggest dam of its time, the Hoover Dam is a modern wonder. Can you imagine that the Hoover Dam is as tall as a 60-story building. It was the highest dam in the world when it was completed in 1935. Its base is as thick as two football fields are long. Each spillway, designed to let floodwaters pass without harming the dam itself, can handle the volume of water that flows over Niagara Falls. The amount of concrete used in building it was enough to pave a road stretching from San Francisco to New York City. This massive dam fueled the development of such major cities as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix and its reservoir was the largest artificial lake in the world for decades. It is still the largest in the United States, capable of irrigating 2 million acres. Its 17 turbines generate enough electricity to power 1.3 million homes!
There are different tour options available ranging from Guided Dam Tours to Guided Powerplant Tours which include elevator rides and walking through tunnels. It´s well worth attending one of these tours as the learnings about this National Historic Landmark will blow your mind!
As the sunset faded behind the Black Mountains and under a canopy of stars, I headed to the Nevada State Railroad Museum Station for an evening journey to the Pass Turnaround on a new Rail Explorers rail bike fitted with the REX Propulsion System. The custom built electric motorized rail bikes make the 8-mile round trip journey quite effortless. Your speed, however, does depend on your paddling power!! Bring a sandwich and a drink with you as you will enjoy a 20-minute break at the rail-side picnic area which is lit by torches and café lights. This new experience was so much fun!
Next morning, I teed it up at Boulder Creek Golf Course, a public 27-hole facility with three world-class, 9-hole golf courses: Desert Hawk, Coyote Run and Eldorado Valley. The Oasis-themed holes feature palm trees, beach bunkers, lakes, and waterfalls. Arroyos are artfully woven into the fabric of the course. Desert holes are bordered by the area's unique soft, playable sand. The fairways are open, there are neither blind shots nor hidden hazards. No doubt, on this course you can score well. I didn´t but this is a whole different story. It´s fun and highly enjoyably to play this desert course designed by Mark Rathert! Besides value for money is excellent!
Boulder City boasts another excellent golf course - Cascata Golf. The exclusive course soars 3,200 feet above the Las Vegas desert Valley and amid the foothills of the River Mountain Range, which offers a breathtaking backdrop for a highly unique golf experience. The par-72 Rees Jones-designed golf course provides stunning vistas at every turn. Towering red mountain peaks contrast lush fairways, accented by lakes, streams, and wildlife. Aptly named after the Italian word for waterfall, the property features a 418-foot waterfall that cascades over the dramatic mountainside and through the heart of the Tuscan-inspired clubhouse. Wow!
Sadly, I didn´t have time to experience Cascata Golf myself on this visit as my primary focus was on off-course attractions which are plentiful and do not disappoint in Boulder City.
One of such bespoke experiences was The Lake Mead Dinner Cruise aboard the Desert Princess, which turned out to be one of the highlights of my short stay at the destination. The 2.5 -hour cruise on this authentic three-level paddle wheeler offers a relaxing sightseeing experience on the clean, blue waters of picturesque Lake Mead and a tour of the Hoover Dam from an extraordinary perspective.
While most of the other guests enjoyed the cruise from the comfort of the climate-controlled lower levels I preferred the upper outdoor deck which provided breath-taking scenery and a plethora of unbelievable photo opportunities. If you don´t fancy a pre-set dinner, opt for the Brunch or Champagne Cruise.
Due to my tight agenda, I only took a short stroll through Boulder City downtown which is lined with sidewalk cafés, pubs and eateries, boutique, and antique shops. It would have been fun to explore the Historic District where creativity lives at the core of this charming city and where eclectic sculptures and beautiful wall murals can be found.
So, many unique experiences await just 20-30 minutes south-east of Las Vegas. Thank you, Cherie for expanding my horizon, I enjoyed my Boulder City experience immensely!
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