Just a short drive from the bustle of Las Vegas is Boulder City, a small town full of big adventure. The quaint, welcoming destination is the perfect spot for a family vacation or day trip, with a variety of experiences to be had. From endless outdoor recreation and one-of-a-kind shopping to interactive museums and down home dining spots, your visit will be one the entire family will remember.
Where to stay
Boulder City accommodations offer a little bit of everything for everyone — and every budget — with charming inns, hotels and motels. For a fun retro stay, check in to the newly renovated Sands Motel, surrounded by historic sites and quirky local shops. Stay at the Best Western Hoover Dam Hotel and enjoy all the amenities a family stay needs, which, of course, is an onsite, indoor pool! The hotel is also centrally located to shopping, parks and namesake Hoover Dam. The whole family will love their stay at the El Rancho Boulder Motel, even the four-legged members. With spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, dog area and proximity to Frank T. Crowe Memorial Park, you know you picked the right place to settle in.
Everyone in the family has different tastes in what constitutes fun but rest assured Boulder City has a variety of activities the whole crew can enjoy. Get the ball rolling with a visit to Boulder Bowl, Boulder City’s historic bowling alley. Established in 1947, these lanes offer timeless fun, perfect for the whole family. Next, scare up some fun and head over to Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum. The monstrous gallery is dedicated to the art and history of special makeup effects, and includes new exhibits and movie monster characters throughout movie history. Go from monsters to aliens at The Flying Saucer — Area 52, where the extraterrestrial fan in the fam can pick up out-of-this-world souvenirs and snacks, and get a photo inside the flying saucer out front. Bet you didn’t know the historical city is also home of the history-making Fisher Space Pen Factory, the pen made famous by being the official pen of NASA manned space missions? You can visit the retail storefront and buy the same type of pen from the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. Finally, My 4 Sons Comics, Cards & Games invites you to discover your inner nerd through a wide-ranging selection of comics, action figures, trading cards, board games, and so much more.
The ideal outdoor adventure in Boulder City begins in the water. No matter what kind of marine recreation you enjoy, from fishing and riding personal watercrafts, to kayaking and swimming, Boulder City offers endless outdoor fun. Take a family swim in the refreshing water from one of the sandy beaches at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Kick up the fun a notch and rent a watercraft or a kayak from Desert Adventures or Vegas Glass Kayaks, or feed your need for speed with a sport boat, watercraft, water skis or tube from Las Vegas Boat Harbor. After you dry off, take a family bike ride around the lake. The Historic Railroad Trail is an easy, 7.5-mile roundtrip trail in the lakeshore area along a former railroad tunnel with panoramic views of Lake Mead and the Boulder Basin area. If everyone is up for a longer ride, try the River Mountains Loop Trail. The 34-mile trail surrounds the River Mountains with multiple access points across Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Henderson and Boulder City. After all that exertion, take the family to one of the beautiful parks across Boulder City for some relaxation and gorgeous views. You may come across a special event happening at Bicentennial, Wilbur Square or Frank T. Crowe memorial parks.
Feed the Fam
There is a ton of amazing restaurants to grab a bite to eat at in Boulder City, but nothing says “family meal” like pizza. Stop at Tony’s Pizza for a slice or whole pie, or classic Italian dishes, such as baked rigatoni or spaghetti and meatballs. Do yourself a favor and ask about its daily specials. Satisfy your sweet tooth and cap off your dinner with a delicious dessert. For a nostalgic sugar rush, pop into Grandma Daisy’s Candy & Ice Cream Parlor for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae or banana split. And don’t miss out on the caramel apples and endless candies and homemade fudge. Or cool off in style on the vintage patio or at Chilly Jilly’z Bakery and Café’s with a Dole Whip or shaved ice. Call ahead to place your order or roll through the drive-thru to grab something to go. Not screaming for ice cream? The new DAM Roast House and Browder Bookstore has you covered. Offering a variety of sweet and savory treats and beverages, the shop uses ingredients and products from several local companies, including beans from Boulder City-based Colorado River Coffee Roaster, for all its coffee drinks. Pop into the adjoining bookstore and find your next favorite read.
No matter what you decide to do on your trip, Boulder City has the adventure, excitement and charm that the family will never forget.
The Hoover Dam has limited access at this time. For the most up-to-date information, visit https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/.