If you're planning to go to Vegas for the holidays, a trip to the Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden in nearby Henderson is recommended. This one of the largest cactus gardens on the planet and the scenery is outstanding. Set on three acres, the Ethel M Botanical Garden features a variety of drought-tolerant plants native to the American South West. In addition, many of these shrubs and succulents are from Australia and South America. But there is more to the Gardens than the cacti.
The Ethel M Chocolate Factory is also located on the property. Admission to the gardens is free and one can take a leisurely stroll through the garden and enjoy the scenery. There is also a self-guided chocolate viewing aisle from where you can see how chocolates are made.
The garden is sustainable thanks to the recycled water from the candy factory. There are no chemicals used and the water is also used to hydrate many other plants and provide water to the birds. During the holiday season, the gardens are brilliantly illuminated with thousands of colorful lights but reservations are required. All visitors are limited to a 60-minute stroll through the garden.
There are also guided tours of the candy factory where you will also get a chance to sample some of the chocolates. Overall, this free natural garden is worth a visit but remember to bring your wallet if you're going to buy the chocolates for sale- they're rather expensive. Because of the covid pandemic, masks are mandatory and everyone has to abide by the 2-meter social distancing rule.
The Gardens are located about 30 minutes east of the Las Vegas Strip