You wanna visit the famous city of Las Vegas, but you’re worried about giving money to a city that is well known for being so extra, therefore has a negative impact on the environment?
Trust me, I get it. When my husband’s work relocated him to Las Vegas, I was concerned too. As a nature lover and a country-side-raised girl, I had a lot of misconceptions about Sin City.
Today, I learned how to make the absolute best out of living here and this is why I’m so passionate about sharing all my tips and tricks for travelers like YOU!
It’s true that Las Vegas was built in the middle of nowhere, that its only source of water is an artificial lake that is drying out by the hour – literally -, and that its mass tourism has a really bad impact on the planet.
But Las Vegas is also the home of many artistic, nature-loving, and eco-friendly souls. There are some things you can do to make the most of your trip here while still caring for the environment.
Here is a non-exhaustive list:
1. Visit the Las Vegas Art District
The Art District is my favorite place in the city! I love to go any time of the day and any day of the week. This is where most locals go out, and the vibe there is unmatched. Because it is more of a local place, it results in more eco-friendly businesses and shops such as local breweries, thrift stores, local boutiques and art galleries, farmers’ market, etc. I narrowed down my favorite things and then you can pick what sounds better for you:
Where to eat:
• Breakfast: Bungalow Coffee Shop is an awesome place to stop by before your art district visit. You can actually park for free pretty much anywhere in the art district but I love to park between Bungalow and Artifice because I’m always sure to find a spot. Bungalow has a really cool vibe, dog friendly, work-friendly, the drinks are so good, so is the food, the staff is super nice and it’s overall my favorite coffee shop in town. It is cash-free though so don’t forget to bring your card.
• Brunch: 18bin will transport you to a beach town. I absolutely LOVE the brunch vibe on weekends: DJ, mimosas, and all the good food you can think of, definitely highly recommend it.
• Drinks: The art district is known for its famous local breweries and I definitely think it’s a must-do. Some of my favorites are Three Sheets Craft Beer Bar, Nevada Brew Works, Servehzah Bottle Shop and Tap Room, and Able Baker Brewing but honestly don’t hesitate to walk around and do a brewery-hopping afternoon!
• Dinner: Esther’s Kitchen is my #1 favorite restaurant in Las Vegas. The prices are affordable, the staff is super nice, the vibe is so fun, but the food…the food is delicious! My recommendation is a glass of wine, sourdough bread for an appetizer, and Spaghettoni for dinner / or Caccio e Peppe for lunch.
• Party: the art district is also famous for its many bars. You can definitely visit the breweries at night but the bars I love are Velveteen Rabbit, ReBar, and Berlin Bar.
When to go: I don’t recommend going to the Art District during the week. It’s pretty empty and everything closes relatively early. Weekends are really nice, including Sundays. On the first Friday of each month, there is a big event called First Friday over there, and it’s 100% the best time to go. You’ll be able to enjoy live music, art galleries opened late, a delicious food truck, and the most fun ever!
What to do and where to shop: The Art District is also known for – I know, it’s a lot of “known for” but it’s a really famous neighborhood with a lot to do – its art galleries and vintage stores – thrifts stores, vintage, antique – I recommend Buffalo Exchange for stylish and quality secondhand clothes and accessories.
Fun fact: If you have seen Hangover III, this is where they park their car and Alan meet the girl of his dreams! This specific antique store is called Main Street Peddlers Antique Mall.
There also are boutiques that are really cute, and my favorites are For The Love LV and The Good Wolf.
2. Stay at a hotel that has eco-friendly practices
I know that visiting Las Vegas isn’t the same when you’re not staying on the Strip. But you can still make smart choices in the matter!
A lot of hotels have started implementing big changes within their management and service in order to be more eco-friendly.
For instance, The Cosmopolitan has implemented many initiatives to produce as little waste as possible, banning the use of single-use stencils and plates, donating extra food to homeless shelters, getting rid of plastic water bottles, etc.
Some hotels also make sure to sort and recycle guests’ trash!
Here are some hotels on The Strip that have made massive environmental changes in the past few years: The Cosmopolitan, The Aria, The Bellagio, The Excalibur, The Mirage, and more! Research and decide what fits best your budget and your soul!
4. Shop at a Farmers Market
• In the Art District Downtown Las Vegas, a farmers market is hosted every 2nd and 4th Saturday. It is called Fresh52 and is open from 10 am to 3 pm in front of The Arts Factory.
• Every Saturday morning, Downtown Summerlin hosts a Farmer’s market with lots of different vendors. You can find food, accessories, home decor, hygiene products, etc. Start it in front of Crate & Barrel.
• Tivoli Village is a cute little village in the heart of Summerlin with cute boutiques, restaurants, and coffees. I love Leone Cafe there! Tivoli Village usually hosts a Farmer’s market every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. This place looks like a southern French or Italian neighborhood, with paved streets and European-looking buildings.
4. Go hiking
I saved the best for the end!
If you know me, or if you have read me before, you know that I am a HUGE advocate for discovering Las Vegas’ outdoors. From 20 minutes to a 1+ hour drive away from the Strip, you will find yourself in some of the most unique and breathtaking places on earth.
Red Rock Canyon is the closest Park to the city – only a 20-ish minutes drive from the Strip – and offers some of the best hikes I’ve ever been on!
Mount Charleston is a little bit further – around 50 minutes – but a complete change of scenery – and temperature! – where you can enjoy a hike in green scenery during the summer, or go skiing during the winter.
Valley of Fire is probably the most famous Park close to Las Vegas, and I can see why! With its rocks of every shape and color and its wildlife, you’ll definitely feel like you’re on Planet Mars!
Hiking is definitely the most eco-friendly thing to do in and around Las Vegas. Make sure to respect the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace and to check out my blog post ‘How to Travel more Eco-Friendly’.
Because this blog post is not about hiking, here are more resources on hiking in Las Vegas and Nevada:
• Refer to my ‘Nevada Travel Guide’ blog post for more about Nevada’s outdoor.
• Refer to my FREE e-book ‘Southern Nevada Travel Guide’ for a complete guide to the city of Las Vegas and Nevada
• Refer to my ‘Top 3 hikes in Las Vegas for more hikes and trails recommendations in the area.
I really hope that this little eco-friendly guide to Las Vegas inspired you and made you eager to visit soon! I am so excited to see what the city will offer in terms of sustainability over the next couple of years.
As always, thank you for reading me every week! I absolutely love what I do and sharing my voice online!
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