Mention Lake Las Vegas, and you can expect one of three responses. The first is incredulity: “There’s a lake in Las Vegas?!?” The second is confusion: “Do you mean Lake Mead?” And the third is skepticism: “People go there?”
Since its opening in the early ‘90s, Lake Las Vegas has seen commercial and residential booms and busts and has been quietly edging for a comeback in recent years. Throughout the years of successes and failures, one thing has remained constant: That 320-acre manmade lake sure looks – and feels – refreshing on a hot Las Vegas day.
Located just a half-hour from the Strip, the Mediterranean-style village on Lake Las Vegas offers a peaceful setting where visitors can enjoy kayaking, waterfront golfing and the underrated pleasure of strolling with gelato while ogling the opulent homes along the shoreline.
Curious about Lake Las Vegas? Here’s how to enjoy it:
Adventure sports are the main attraction for visitors to Lake Las Vegas. Whether you’re in the mood to kayak, paddleboard, water pedal bike, flyboard or check numerous cable park activities on the water, rentals are available through Lake Las Vegas Water Sports. Keep an eye out for speciality experiences, such as SUP yoga and neon paddling after dark.
If you prefer to keep your activities on dry land, tee up at the Reflection Bay Golf Course, an award-winning course nestled right beside the water.
Like every other faux-European destination in Las Vegas, there’s a certain surreal pleasure in wandering the Mediterranean village by Lake Las Vegas. It’s the perfect place to have pasta on the patio at One5 Lakeside, or enjoy lemon sorbet by the water at BellaLinda Gelateria. Other dining options include The Pub, a casual spot for fish and chips and beer, Sonrisa Grill, a haven for margarita and taco lovers and Le Cafe Du Lac, a French cafe known for its galettes.
Lake Las Vegas tends to be quiet during the cooler months, but once the desert warms up, so does activity in the village. On Saturday and Sunday nights throughout the summer, you can enjoy free outdoor music. The area also hosts numerous festivals including jazz festivals, beer festivals and holiday celebrations.
The tranquility of Lake Las Vegas can make it hard to imagine going back to the chaos of the Strip – so why not spend the night? The setting makes for a pleasant diversion from the neon jungle of the city for tourists. For locals, it makes for a unique staycation. Hotel offerings trend towards luxury, with options including the Westin Lake Las Vegas, a palm-studded resort with suites and a spa, and the Hilton, which features a pool with private cabanas and daily shuttle service to the Strip.
Whether you choose to swing by Lake Las Vegas to rent a paddleboard and take a dip or you stop by for a glass of wine at sunset and end up staying the whole weekend, this underrated and often-overlooked area is definitely worth checking out.