The Las Vegas Motor Speedway in North Las Vegas hosts both NASCAR and NHRA events throughout the year. It's a very popular destination, though far from both Downtown and the Strip. If you intend to take in a race, you'll need a car.
The Las Vegas Aviators is a minor-league team in the Pacific Coast League that plays between April and early Labor Day in the brand-new Las Vegas Ballpark in downtown Summerlin.
Las Vegas has no professional NBA team, but the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA play their season in the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the South Strip.
One of the best ways to explore the Las Vegas Valley is by bike. Outside of the urban area, roads are flat with spacious shoulders, providing great opportunities for serious road biking (early in the day, of course, before the desert sun has a chance to set the region to broil). Local conservation land offers epic options for mountain biking, too; in addition to hundreds of miles of mixed-use trails in the Red Rock National Conservation Area, the bike-specific trails of Bootleg Canyon, near Boulder City, are internationally renowned as challenging and fun. Perhaps the crown jewel of the local bicycling scene is the River Mountains Trail, a 36-mile trail that winds past Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City.
Bowling in Vegas incorporates elements of casinos, bars, and nightclubs, with lively crowds to match. Locals take their leagues seriously, so "spare" yourself some heartache and call ahead to make a lane reservation.
The Oakland Raiders relocated to Las Vegas in fall 2020 and were renamed the Las Vegas Raiders. They will play in a new domed facility named Allegiant Stadium west of the Strip and south of Mandalay Bay. The stadium did not welcome fans for NFL games during the 2020 season due to COVID-19 but was expected to operate at close to full capacity for the 2021 season.
With an average of 315 days of sunshine a year and year-round access, Las Vegas's top sport is golf. The peak season on the greens is any nonsummer month; only mad dogs and Englishmen are out on the courses in the noonday summer sun. However, most of the courses in Las Vegas offer reduced greens fees during the summer months, sometimes as much as 50%–70% lower than peak-season fees. If you want to golf a course on a weekend, call before you get into town, as the 8–11 am time slots fill up quickly. Starting times for same-day play are possible (especially during the week), but if you're picky about when and where you play, plan ahead. Some of the big Strip resorts have a dedicated golf concierge who can advise you on a course that fits your tastes. In some cases, these people can get you access to private courses.
Sweeping vistas. Ocher-color rocks. Desert flora and fauna. These are just some of the reasons to love hiking in and around Las Vegas. Most pedestrian trails in the area are mixed-use, meaning they double as bicycle and equestrian trails. All of the trails offer respite from the bustle of the resorts. The very best trails in the region are in Red Rock National Conservation Area. Here, the Ice Box Canyon trail heads 2.6 difficult miles from the exposed desert up into a shady box canyon, where waterfalls appear after rainstorms, and La Madre Springs trail stretches 3.3 miles up an old fire road to a spectacular vista point. What's more, the Willow Springs Loop, which is only 1.5 miles, takes hikers past some pictographs that have adorned the rocks for hundreds of years.
Trails on the other side of the Spring Mountains, in the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, are breathtaking in a different way; in winter, there's snow all over the place, and the shade of the canyon keeps temperatures about 15 degrees cooler than they are on the Valley floor. Popular hikes there include the 3-mile round-trip to Mary Jane Falls (a waterfall at the back of a pristine mountain bowl) and Bristlecone Trail, a strenuous 6-mile loop at the end of Lee Canyon that hugs the ridgeline and offers some of the most incredible vistas in the entire Las Vegas Valley. For more information about hikes in the Spring Mountains, check out the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway on Kyle Canyon Road, about an hour outside of Downtown Las Vegas.
Before you lace up those hiking shoes, remember that trails at all the region's top spots dot the landscape across a variety of sites, and you'll need a car to get from one trailhead to the next. And, of course, this is the desert, so you'll need to bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to spend at least part of your hike in the heat of the day.
Wildly popular, the Las Vegas Golden Knights play at T-Mobile Arena on the South Strip. During their inaugural season in 2017/2018, the Golden Knights swept their playoff series, becoming the first expansion team in the history of the NHL to do so in their first season. They later played for the Stanley Cup in 2018, losing to the Washington Capitals. They didn't do quite as well in their second and third seasons, but were considered favorites for the Cup in 2021.