Too many think of Boulder City as merely a way station along the road to Hoover Dam or Lake Mead, but we know better, and we’re willing to share. A historic American hometown just 40 or so minutes to the south of Las Vegas, Boulder City is a wonderful place to escape the rat race for a day. With its refreshing lack of gambling, an authentic small-town charm, and a manageable downtown district that’s perfect for parking and exploring, Boulder City serves as a pleasant pressure-relief valve for the glitzy overload that Las Vegas can be.
Never been? You’re in luck! Gas up the truck, because May is the perfect month to check this one off the list — and perhaps add it to the regular weekend rotation. While we could list a hundred un-Vegasy reasons that make a visit to Boulder City worth the effort, we’ll limit it to two this month.
First up is the 42nd Annual Boulder City Spring Jamboree (May 4-5), which takes over four gorgeous public parks in downtown with a full roster of family-friendly events. (Live music! Face painting! A rock and gem show!) Think of it as county fair without the animals. Plus, there are dozens of artists and craftsmen (and a few Pinterest purveyors) hawking artsy-crafty goodness, a classic car show, and plenty of food booths fueling all the fun. This year, Get Outdoors Nevada Days — an expo of all the outdoor adventure our state offers — combines with the Jamboree … Bonus!
The following Saturday (May 11, 3pm-2am), the 8th Annual Dillinger Block Party takes over several blocks of Arizona Street around The Dillinger for an energetic affair that features an eclectic line-up of DJs, vendors, a beer-drinking contest (don’t stand at the front …), and food trucks. Live music this year includes legendary drummer Sandy Nelson, Boulder City all-stars The Junkyard Dogs, Same Sex Mary, Biz Dirty Harvard, and more.
And since you made the drive out here, leave yourself time to wander down the tree-lined Cherry Street and drool over the historic homes. Be sure to take in the rest of downtown, where you’ll find art galleries, unique boutiques, a wine bar (Milo’s), a brew pub (Boulder Dam Brewing Co.), a dive bar (The Back Stop), the venerable Coffee Cup restaurant, vintage and antique shopping (we suggest the stylish finds at TrailerPark), and even an old school road trip souvenir shop (Boulder City Trading Post). Come back soon, now, ya hear?