A 30- to 40-minute taxi ride (about $60) to the Strip from some hotels
No public transportation, just metered taxis
Some hotels located along major highways -- less pretty scenery
Most resort casinos draw a local crowd, not lively tourists
Fewer prestigious dining options in general than on the Strip
Blistering summers; average highs in the 100s (Fahrenheit) during July and August
What It's Like
Up until about a decade ago, the area surrounding Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip's towering hotel-casinos was an endless red desert. But as development expands, an ever-increasing number of resorts offer an isolated alternative to the 24-hour crowds. It's part suburban sprawl (fast food, outlet malls, congested interstates) and part outdoors escape, like at the gorgeous Red Rock Canyon, in Summerlin or the profound man-made oasis of Lake Las Vegas, in Henderson. Sure there are casinos -- it's still Vegas, after all -- but they often get less attention than the natural landscape.