On our way to the Bonny’s, as Miguel calls them, we were able to make a pit stop in our favorite place– Vegas. If you’re from Los Angeles, most people think you come to Vegas every weekend. Not true! But I suppose we do come more often than say, someone from Wisconsin. This time around we stayed in Downtown Vegas and found a whole host of cool spots to check out.
1. Seven Magic Mountains
Just outside of Las Vegas, sits 7 magically fluorescent towers of rock –the newest art installation from Ugo Rondinone. Seven Magic Mountains opened on May 11, 2016 and will be on view for 2 years. It’s a magical and fun combination of whimsy and structure, dwarfed amongst the backdrop of the surrounding desert.
From Los Angeles: Drive north on I-15 to Jean, NV (exit 12). Turn right (east) on NV-161 toward Las Vegas Blvd. Drive approximately 5 miles north of Las Vegas Blvd. and the artwork will appear on your right (east).
2. Fremont East District, Downtown Las Vegas
Since we were being frugal on this spur of the moment get a way, we decided to find a moderately priced hotel in the Downtown District of Las Vegas. My search for a cheap place led me to the El Cortez. We were slightly worried when Miguel’s boss (who’s about ready to retire) told his great grandma loved that hotel. Er…
But upon arrival, we discovered that we landed amongst our people– aka hipsters. The El Cortez is located in Fremont East, a block down from the hectic energy of the Fremont Experience. There are lots of low-key eateries and bars. Check out The Commonwealth -their rooftop bar has a fantastic view.
3. Container Park
Kitty corner to the rear of the El Cortez (southeast corner of Fremont and 7th St.) is a shopping center made entirely out of metal shipping containers and cubes. It has a hip vibe of both artsy & family friendly with cool places to shop, eat and drink. Even cooler is the 55-foot-tall steel praying mantis sculpture built atop a dump truck at the entrance. The piece was originally built for the Burning Man Festival by Kirk Jellum & Kristen Ulmer.
Unfortunately all we had time for that day was to walk around, but we saw a little coffee stand that looked like a must try.
4. Fremont East Wall Crawl
Any blogger or instagrammer worth her salt knows that there’s nothing better than taking a picture next to a cool wall. And Fremont East District delivers artistically.
Check out truly awesome pics on Street Art News
5. The Valley of Fire
Technically we did this 2 years ago on another Vegas trip, but I’ve added it onto the list because it is a really cool off-the-strip thing to do. I would even go so far as to say it’s a “must” if you’re riding. The Valley of Fire State Park is about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. At 8 am in the morning, you’ll be riding through the most surreal landscape with only yourselves for company. The park contains a brilliant formations and jagged walls of eroded sandstone more than 150 million years old. It’s easy to imagine that you’ve time travelled to a prehistoric era or landed on Mars.
Info: http://www.valley-of-fire.com/ 29450 Valley of Fire Road, Overton, Nevada 89040 Phone: 702-397-2088
Stay. Eat. Do…. Ride
Stay: El Cortez
Eat: Pizza Rock
Riding Tip: Stay off the strip. Way too many people and cars distracted by the shiny lights.