7 Unique Boulder City Experiences

Boulder City is vastly different from nearby Las Vegas but offers plenty of all-ages fun

Just about 25 miles outside of Las Vegas, visiting Boulder City is like taking a step back in time.

The small city of over 15,000 people was originally established in 1931 to house the workers who built the Hoover Dam, Boulder City, and still features many of its original structures.

Boulder City doesn’t have any casinos—gambling is illegal— but makes up for this as a family-friendly destination featuring picturesque art-deco architecture, mom-and-pop boutique shops and restaurants, scenic natural wonders, and unique annual events.

Boulder Dam Hotel. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Boulder Dam Hotel

This Colonial Revival-style hotel was originally built in 1933 for tourists to Boulder City. The hotel has welcomed a number of famous guests over its history including Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, and Howard Hughes. The hotel still offers rooms and also features a museum on the first floor as well as a full-service restaurant. Rumor has it that the hotel is also haunted, with one of the alleged ghosts being a former hotel clerk.

A tunnel on the Historic Railroad Trail in Boulder City. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Historic Railroad Trail

The Historic Railroad Trail offers panoramic views of Lake Mead, overlooking the Boulder Basin area along a former railroad grade.

The trail features some of the only remaining sections of the Hoover Dam Railroad, including three tunnels — approximately 300 feet in length and 25 feet in diameter.

The dog-friendly trail is relatively easy at about a 7.5 mile round-trip, and is perfect for a casual walk or bike ride.

Desert Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hemenway Park

This public park not only offers beautiful views of Lake Mead but also one of the best spots to see Nevada’s state animal: The desert bighorn sheep.

The sheep come down from the mountains to the park everyday to graze and drink water. While the sheep are used to people taking pictures of them every day, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and must be given proper space for their safety and yours.

The 10-acre park also makes a great spot for a family picnic or BBQ and features basketball courts, horseshoe pits, softball fields, and playground equipment.

Hoover Dam

Construction began on the Hoover Dam in 1931, which led to the development of Boulder City so workers had a place to sleep. The 726-foot-tall dam is located about 8 miles northeast of Boulder City, and sits along the Nevada-Arizona border on the Colorado River. The dam offers a museum and tours of the structure’s inner workings.

Watercraft on Lake Mead
Watercraft on Lake Mead. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Lake Mead

Boulder City is just minutes away from Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The lake offers close to 250 sq. miles of recreational fun, including boating, fishing, and scuba diving. There are also plenty of places nearby to hike and camp overnight.

Train Cars at Nevada Southern Railroad Museum. Photo Credit: Facebook
Vintage train at the Nevada Southern Railroad. Photo Credit: Facebook

Nevada Southern Railroad Museum

This historic railroad depot was originally created as a transportation network for dam workers and equipment between Boulder City and the Hoover Dam. Today, guests can explore a unique collection of railroad artifacts, and even ride several classic diesel locomotives.

Visitors can also ride specially designed pedal-powered, two- and four-seat vehicles on the tracks of the Nevada Southern Railway.

Tom Devlin's Monster Museum
Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum. Photo Credit: Facebook

Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum

For those looking for something spookier to do, Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum includes a unique collection screen used props, creature suits, and other custom pieces representing some of the greatest monsters from throughout horror movie history.

Tom Devlin has been working professionally as a special makeup effects artist since 2001 and has acquired a vast collection of horror memorabilia that you can spend hours fascinating over.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $15, Children 6-11 are $7, and Children 5 and under are free.

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