Without the massive wall of concrete called Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nev., wouldn't exist.
The town sprouted during the Great Depression to house thousands of workers, mainly men, who had headed west to help build the dam. People often bypass it on the drive from Las Vegas to visit the engineering marvel, but Boulder City offers a wealth of pursuits on land and on Lake Mead, the vast body of water created by the dam.
A little trivia: In the 1920s, Boulder Dam was the unofficial name for the huge public works project. In 1930, the secretary of the Interior formally named it after his boss, Republican President Herbert Hoover. After Democrat Franklin Roosevelt took office, the name reverted to Boulder in 1933. In 1947, Congress resolved to once again call it Hoover Dam. According to the local museum, an anonymous citizen suggested another name: Whogivza Dam.
If you want to go boating, the closest place to Boulder City that rents watercraft is Lake Mead Marina.
Miles one way from downtown L.A.
Boulder Dam Hotel, www.boulderdamhotel.com; Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, www.bcmha.org; the Dillinger, www.thedillinger.com; Coffee Cup Cafe, www.worldfamouscoffeecup.com; Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail, www.lat.ms/tunneltrail; Flightlinez zip-line, www.flightlinezbootleg.com; Lake Mead Marina, www.boatinglakemead.com.
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