My favorite things to do in Las Vegas, that are not the “Vegas strip” experience.

Visit the restaurant Raku and Raku Sweets in Las Vegas Chinatown for the experience. Make sure you read Raku’s menu in advance and look-up Japanese terms prior to your visit. The servers are willing to explain, but it will make your experience more pleasant being prepared. Call for reservations to make sure you have unrushed seats. Try something from the robata grill that you can’t get at home, and order the tofu. Skip dessert at Raku and save yourself for a 3-course prix fixe dessert at Raku Sweets a few doors down. You will enjoy the serendipitous experience.


Edible menu at Raku Sweets.

Go hiking or drive the scenic route in Red Rock Canyon, a beautiful national conservation area right in Vegas proper’s backyard. Stop by unassuming Presto Cafe for a healthful smoothie and salad on your way home to reward and replenish your body after time in the sun.


Shades of red at Red Rock Canyon.

Cross into one of the neighboring states for an additional dosage of natural beauty. Visit Zion National Park and Kolob Canyons, also part of Zion, in Utah. Drive west to Death Valley National Park in California. Or scan Google maps for a different nearby park that better strikes your fancy. Don’t forget about the Grand Canyon. It is a trek away, but grand isn’t part of the name for nothing.


Welcome to Zion NP.