I had a hard time trying to put into words the awesome beauty and charm of Boulder City, NV. Being a Midwesterner, visiting the Southwest is a bit of an out of body experience. Especially Boulder City, with it’s beautiful Sierras, the desert, and Lake Mead as its backdrop, it just takes your breath away with its stunning beauty. And that’s just topography, once you immerse yourself in its small town culture, you will be even more in love with this town.
Boulder City is the town that built Hoover Dam. Literally that is why the town exists; it was formed in 1931 specifically by the Bureau of Reclamation and Six Companies, Inc. as housing for Hoover Dam workers. The town was under strict guidelines with no alcohol or gambling as it was founded during prohibition. It wasn’t until 1959 that Boulder City officially was incorporated, celebrated with a ceremony on January 4th, 1960. Since then, the town has been making a name for itself as a small town destination, and for good reason.
Unbelievable Outdoor Recreation and Adventures
Did you know that Boulder City has nearly twenty parks for outdoor recreational activities for kids and adults in their small town of 15,000? The treasure trove of natural wonders ranges in everything from kids splash pads, nature trails in the canyons, to BMX. That’s because Boulder City has a dedication to the health of its citizens and the next generation, and using their monumental natural resources sure makes a lot of sense. The tourism industry is no different, with incredible adventures you wouldn’t believe are all packed into this small town.
Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon
My Town had the best time here, and I have to say, I’m also pretty proud, as I have always been too chicken to zipline! But the staff at Flightlinez completely put my mind at ease. They make you feel completely safe with their training, and as an added bonus they are their own comedy show! What a wonderful way to explore Bootleg Canyon when you’re in small town Boulder City. This is going down in the books as a My Town Must. Not because of the unique and exhilarating experience, or that they have the second largest single zip in the country, but because of the staff that I will always remember as being a part of the experience. Check out video here.
Just down the road from Flightlinez, is another amazing adventure for all ages! “Only 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip in the beautiful small town of Boulder City, there is an exhilarating 4 mile downhill ride where you’ll experience the beauty of the Nevada desert, the River Mountains and the Eldorado Valley like never before.”(railexplorers.net). This experience is truly unique and easy fun. See the picture for the relaxing site you’ll arrive at after your Rail Explorers ride. The experience has great ambiance, and you are encouraged to bring your own snacks and drinks (alcohol allowed too!). Once the peddling and adirondack time ended, you then board for the return trip on a historic train from the collection at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. What a great way to spend an evening in small town Boulder City. Check out video here.
In addition to the adrenaline rushes on land, of course we had to list beautiful Lake Mead. What a gorgeous backdrop and an incredible attraction for the small town of Boulder City. Check out all the amazing activities here.
Inns and Institutions
It seems like every small town has unique old buildings that capture your attention and your imagination. It is wonderful when you’re able to visit a town that has invested resources in these institutions, and brings them back to life or they have been lovingly maintained. In Boulder City you will find these investments at Hoover Dam, The Boulder Dam Hotel and Museum, and The Sands.
Incredible Hoover Dam! Did you know that Hoover Dam has over seven million visitors a year? Or that they built another huge structure, the Bypass Bridge, after 9-11? Or that you get to visit Nevada and Arizona when you visit? The number of visitors is simply because this man made wonder just has to be seen up close, and when you do, you will feel like you’re a part of history. It’s truly something so monumental you will never forget it. But in My Town’s opinion, the greatest perk to taking a trip here is of course “The Town That Built Hoover Dam”- Boulder City.
Boulder Dam Museum
The absolutely awesome Boulder Dam Hotel and Museum is a 1933 structure on the National Historic Register, built to accommodate workers of Hoover Dam. It is appropriately named as Boulder Dam was the Dams original name before being renamed Hoover Dam. Boasting beautiful rooms, and great location within walking distance to all shops and restaurants downtown, it’s a great find. My Town did not have the opportunity to stay here, but did get a good look around when we visited the museum on the first floor.
The museum is wonderful, not only is it interactive and fun, but free! The curators did a great job of showcasing the stories and backgrounds of the Boulder Dam workers, as well as the Dam construction and the surrounding environment. My favorite part was getting to use an authentic timestamp to enter each area (see pics in photo gallery). It really is worth the time, and honestly, it only will take you about a half hour to 45 minutes to go through, depending on your interest and pace.
My Town loved staying at The Sands during our time in Boulder City. The Sands is a Modern Motel that has been in Boulder City since 1951. The main hotel corridor in Boulder City has a super cool nostalgia to it of the 1950’s Las Vegas Strip. But don’t worry, these motels have been fully updated, and in the case of The Sands- recently renovated for 2020! All the motels on Boulder City’s strip (Nevada Way) have fun lighted signs, making them unique, and are within walking distance to all the fun shops downtown. Great place to stay if you’re visiting Boulder City and/or Las Vegas. A great little place with all the amenities, but not the high price tag!
The Delicious and Delectable of Boulder City
There are wonderful choices in Boulder City when it comes to great food. From pub style dining to coffee shops, Here a few My Town Picks:
Meet the “Taj MaHausage”, a hotdog (well sausage) so big and awesome it barely fits the picture. This is one of many reasons to visit The Tap in Boulder City. I was getting over being sick the day we visited, and really needed comfort food. My husband got the Taj Mahausage, but I was thrilled that this brewery style bar and grill served breakfast all day. So I got “The Deep South” breakfast. It was amazing, and we shared an oatmeal stout that was so good we took a growler for later adventures. Thank you to the Tap for making me feel great that day!
The World Famous Coffee Cup– As seen on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, is a special find in small town Boulder City. I got the Papa Con Chili Verde (see pics in gallery for description), yum! The food here is a great way to experience the Southwest. The Coffee Cup offers an amazing vibe, great food, fast service, and this diner-style establishment serving breakfast and lunch is the real deal, and a My Town Must.
Check out the The Southwest Diner– A local favorite for breakfast and lunch, and is located almost next to The Sands. Enjoy your morning coffee at the local watering hole and take in the local flavor!
Unique, Interesting, Yours of Boulder City
What is it about a town that makes it special? A local attraction, a family-owned business that has been there forever? A piece of history you can’t find anywhere else, or a bookstore with just the right vibe? Here are a few of the Unique, Interesting, Yours of Boulder City.
Are you a fan of the old and new monster movies? You have to check out Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum. I am a total fraidy cat, and this place is amazingly fun and a totally unique experience. There mission is this: “to preserve the art and history of special makeup effects. This gallery of Tom’s art includes everything from screen used props and creature suits, to custom pieces representing monsters throughout movie history”(tomdevlinsmonstermuseum.com). Tom has made creature masks and costumes for over 100 feature films, and now has his workshop in small town Boulder City next to the Monster Museum.
Small Town Story Highlight
I heard a great little story while exploring Boulder City, and the story went like this….The owner of a great small town business-Boulder Heat Junkie, got started by bringing his product to local businesses like Boulder Dam Brewing Co., and would sprinkle the spice blend on fries (and I’m guessing other foods). When patrons noticed, they wanted to try, and then wanted more. Now this product is available in several downtown Boulder City businesses. I love how small communities support one another’s business endeavors, and it’s a great story to tell for small town Boulder City.
Just heading to hang out downtown is a lot of fun in Boulder City, My Town had a blast exploring, and was very happy to grab a glass wine, a scoop of ice cream, and get my fortune told all in one fun outing (See video here). There is also a relatively new sculpture installment that tells the tales and history of Boulder City. These beautiful pieces add great cultural experience to your time downtown. Check it out here.
MTT Antique and Market Finds
Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This includes Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! In Boulder City there are great Antique and Market finds everywhere you look, so below are a list of My Town Musts.
Boulder City Co. Store– Square 1 Gallery– Back in Tyme Antiques–Milo’s Cellar and Wine Bar–Jewelry by Charlie & Unusual Souvenirs–Boulder Dam Brewing-Grandma Daisy’s–The Chicken Shack- Chilly Jilly’s– Jacks Place–Tony’s Pizza
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