Did you say free? Yes, in fact. There are several free outdoor activities and attractions to see in the great Silver State. Take a look!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Check out the Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas
Located in downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience features a 90-foot high LED video screen canopy that spans four blocks and is comprised of 12.5 million energy-efficient light bulbs. A spectacular light show to music plays every night beginning at 6:00 p.m. There are also stages with free music and a variety of street entertainers to remind you that you are, indeed, in Las Vegas.
2. Walk the Strip, Las Vegas
Of course walking is free, and this could be a free activity provided you exercise willpower around all of the amazing stores (like the Grand Bazaar Shops across from the Bellagio.) It is possible. In fact, last spring break my daughter and I walked a whopping 13 miles one night along the strip and, aside from the yummy Slurpee at Coca Cola World, it didn't cost us a dime.
3. Spend your hot August nights in Reno, Sparks, and Virginia City
During the first two weeks in August, these three cities turn back the hands of time to celebrate classic cars. In addition to the huge car shows, there are free concerts, drag races, parades, and dances.
4. Visit Great Basin National Park
From scenic driving routes up Wheeler Peak to self-guided walking trails to picnicking to nature study to bird-watching, Great Basin National Park has it all. Admission to the park is free.
5. Explore an old ghost town, Rhyolite
Between 1904 and 1916, Rhyolite was just another short-lived gold rush era boom town with a bank, stock exchange, saloons, schools, hotels, hospital, machine shops, and foundries. Today, it is nothing more than an abandoned reminder of an era long gone. Tom Kelly's bottle house is a central attraction, as are the various other odd pieces of art such as Albert Szukalski's ghost sculptures strewn about town.
6. Tour Ethel M's Botanical Gardens, Henderson
Take a leisurely stroll through the nearly four-acre picturesque botanical cactus garden adjacent to the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory (psst, you can take a free self-guided tour here too!) Ethel M's is located at 2 Cactus Garden Drive and can be reached at (702) 435-26o8.
7. Enjoy the spectacular Fountains of Bellagio,, Las Vegas
This spectacularly choreographed combination of music, lights, and interwoven water is among the most popular attractions in Las Vegas. Shows are every half hour during the day and every 15 minutes between 7:00 p.m. and midnight. The Bellagio is located at 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South and can be reached at (702) 987-6667.
8. Stroll along the Reno Riverwalk
Enjoy a large variety of local art as you stroll through the Reno Arts District and Riverwalk. In addition to the local art (including some Burning Man Festival pieces donated to the city), you can people and bird watch, check out the shops, and enjoy a nice day or evening with friends and/or family.
9. Visit Downtown Container Park, Las Vegas
This unique retail, dining, and play park is made entirely out of shipping containers (hence the name.) In addition to free entertainment throughout the year, be sure to check out the 55-foot long fire-spouting praying mantis. Container Park is located at 707 E. Fremont St. and can be reached at (702) 359-9982.
10. Take the Kit Carson Walking Tour in Carson City
This self-guided, 2.5-mile walking tour goes through the downtown Carson City residential area where there are over 60 late-1800's historic houses, landmarks, and other structures. The trail also takes visitors by the Governor’s Mansion, the Bliss Mansion, the Brewery Arts Center, the Nevada State Capitol, and the Nevada State Museum. You can even download a free map and podcast so you know where you're going and what you're seeing. The tour starts at 1900 S. Carson St.
11. Save the First Friday of the Month, Las Vegas
First Friday is a monthly art celebration held in downtown Las Vegas featuring the work of 100 local artists toward fostering creativity and culture. Both outdoor and indoor food, art, drink, and other shops are open. Admission is free, and children are not allowed.
Have you been to any of these awesome free outdoor activities in Nevada? Do you know of any others I might have missed? Please comment below.