We attended the  Ironman 70.3 World Championship race a few years back that was held in the Henderson and Lake Las Vegas areas and not near the strip. Not being a huge Las Vegas fan, this was actually a good thing. While the immediate area seemed to still be in “transition” we found plenty to do and places to eat. But being outside the strip means you will need to have a car to get to and from the airport as well as to get around.

Places To Stay

We found it best to stay either in one of the Lake Las Vegas hotels near the swim start and all Ironman ceremonies or in Henderson near the expo/finish line.  We stayed at the Westin Lake Las Vegas, which also has several decent restaurants and there is also the Hilton Lake Las Vegas.  There are several Marriott Suites in Henderson.  Staying in Las Vegas is certainly an option, but you will add to your travel time considerably for race day and other race activities and dinners/award events.  There are also many options including condo rentals and less expensive motels around Henderson.

Things To Do In the Area

Well, this IS Las Vegas so casinos abound if that’s your thing.  But, if not, there are many places to visit for outdoor activities:

  • Hoover Dam – 20 miles
  • Bryce National Park – 284 miles
  • Grand Canyon – 264 miles
  • Death Valley – 133 miles
  • Mount Charleston – 58 miles; hiking and camping
  • Lake Mead National Recreational Area – 5 miles
  • Las Vegas strip – 20 minutes
  • Red Rock Canyon – 40 miles; hiking and biking
  • Valley of Fire State Park; hiking and sightseeing
  • Boulder City – historical interest; very close to Hoover Dam
  • Lake Las Vegas has a big marina and offers a variety of watersports, including paddle boat rentals and boat rides

Lake Las Vegas, itself, has a village-style marketplace (actually known as The Village) with various eating establishments and shops.  I have to say that last year, many of the shops were empty and until the athletes arrived, it was very quiet, including the casino.  Henderson has several large malls with many chain stores such as Coach, Forever 21, Brookstone, etc.

Food

Lake Las Vegas has various eating establishments and one Italian restaurant that I remember, Luna Rosa.  Henderson has the typical chains such as Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, Panera, etc. as well as local restaurants of all types.  There is a Whole Foods near the expo for stocking up on goodies and nutrition that you didn’t pack along.