Bicycle rentals can be arranged through the concierge at most of the major hotels in town. If you’d prefer to do it on your own, check out Las Vegas Cyclery (tel 702/596-2953; www.lasvegascyclery.com), a rental and tour operator offering everything from street to mountain to tandem bikes and the necessary safety equipment and accessories. Guided tours of Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, and more are also offered. Prices for mountain bike rentals start at around $40 for a half-day and guided tours at around $140.
Boating & Fishing
The bulk of the water-based activities in the area take place at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, located about 20 miles east of Las Vegas. Several harbors offer rentals of power, fishing, and house boats and personal watercraft. They can also help you with fishing licenses and equipment.
All of the major hotels (and many of the minor ones) have fully stocked gyms on the premises. The size and quality varies, of course, but the bigger resorts have facilities that would make most commercial fitness centers green with envy. Entrance to most is covered by the nightly resort fee, but if the hotel you are staying in doesn’t have one, expect a charge of anywhere from $15 to $35 per day. Several national chains, including 24 Hour Fitness, have outlets in Las Vegas, and your membership may allow you to use the local branch.
We consider the length you have to walk between hotels on the Strip or from your room to the front door enough of a hike, but if you are looking for something more traditional, the Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston areas have numerous hiking trails.
Looking to indulge your inner cowboy/girl? There are several stables and horseback-tour companies in town, most of which are located near Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston.
The SoBe Ice Arena at the Fiesta Rancho, 2400 N. Rancho Rd. (tel 702/631-7000; www.fiestarancholasvegas.com), features an NHL regulation–size rink and offers daily open skating hours, lessons, and equipment rental. Public skating times vary from week to week based on the schedules of the various hockey leagues that use the facility; usually the rink is open for at least a couple of hours every afternoon and after 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, when a DJ and nightclub-worthy lighting may help mask the sound and sight of you falling down a lot.
During the holiday season, the Cosmopolitan transforms its pool into an outdoor skating rink, complete with faux snow, hot cocoa vendors (with an option to add a little booze for extra warmth) and occasional Olympic skaters.
Part of the delight of the Vegas resort complexes is the gorgeous pools—what could be better for beating the summer heat? But there are pools and there are pools, so you’ll need to keep several things in mind when searching for the right one for you.
During the winter, it’s often too cold or windy to do much lounging, and even if the weather is amenable, the hotels often close part of their pool areas during winter and early spring. Also, the pools are not heated, for the most part—but in fairness, they largely don’t need to be.
Most hotel pools are shallow, chest-high at best, only about 3 feet deep in many spots (the hotels want you gambling, not swimming). Diving is impossible—not that a single pool allows it anyway.
And finally, during those hot days, be warned that sitting by pools next to heavily windowed buildings such as the Mirage and Treasure Island allows you to experience the same thing a bug does under a magnifying glass with a sun ray directed on it. Regardless of time of year, be sure to slather on the sunscreen; there’s a reason you see so many unhappy lobster-red people roaming the streets. Many pool areas don’t offer much in the way of shade.
At any of the pools, you can rent a cabana (which often includes a TV, special lounge chairs, and even better—poolside service), but these should be reserved as far in advance as possible, and, with the exception of the Four Seasons’ complimentary shaded lounging area, most cost a hefty fee. If you are staying at a chain hotel, you will most likely find an average pool, but if you want to spend some time at a better one, be aware that most of the casino-hotel pool attendants will ask to see your room key. If they are busy, you might be able to sneak in, or at least blend in with a group ahead of you.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.