By Debbie Hall
Photos courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau
Away from the glitz and glamour is Boulder City, Nevada, about 25 miles southeast from Las Vegas. Today, the quaint, historic town thrives with recreational activities, festivals and landmarks, as well as the gateway to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.
Originally built in 1931 by the Bureau of Reclamation and other companies to house workers building the Hoover Dam, Boulder City is one of only two cities in Nevada that still prohibits gambling within its city limits.
Boulder City has two municipal golf courses (Boulder City Municipal Golf Course and Boulder Creek Golf Course), one private golf course, a city pool, racquetball complex, lit tennis courts, athletic fields, BMX bicycle track, zip line and mountain hiking trails. Nevada’s first airport, Boulder City Municipal Airport, accommodates private planes, skydiving trips, and scenic aerial tours of Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Several helicopter tour companies also operate out of the city.
There is an actual Main Street in Boulder City with boutiques, antique stores and wonderful places to eat such as Boulder Dam Brewing Company, Milo’s Cellar and Grandma Daisy’s. Stroll down the street, window shop, browse and enjoy a time from the mid-20th century in today’s world.
Love history? The Nevada Southern Railway Museum excursion train showcases this historic way to travel. Ride the rails starting at the Nevada Southern Railway station along the Boulder Branch Line to Railroad Pass in a newly refurbished, air-conditioned Pullman Coach from the 1930s.
The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum honors the men and women who traveled west, lived in brutal conditions and built one of the biggest dams in the world. Experience their world through artifacts, photos and videos of this important time in the history of Nevada. There are walking tours of Hoover Dam and its construction. Black Canyon Adventures offers an excursion for a different view. A motorized raft with a guide takes guests down the Colorado River below Hoover Dam to experience the breathtaking scenery as well as view structures that have remained intact since the 1930s.
Located not far from Main Street is Boulder Dam Hotel, built in 1933. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, plan an overnight stay in one of the 21 quaint, comfortable, newly remodeled rooms and suites that include free Wi-Fi internet service and complimentary, cook-to-order breakfast.
Further from town is the Hoover Dam Lodge, the only hotel inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The resort offers a pool, dining and a casino with gaming, and is also pet friendly.
For a staycation that can be as quiet or as active as planned, for a day or over the weekend, go online to visitbouldercity.com for more information.