Chocolate & Catcus Just Outside the Strip

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by airynfaerie on October 12, 2009

For a quick trip in the day during a stay in Las Vegas, visitors can hop over to the neighboring town of Henderson for a look inside a chocolate factory and botanical cactus garden. I know that these two things sound very unrelated, but at the Ethel M factories, both exist simultaneously.

Easy to reach, and relatively free of crowds, this small chocolate factory is a pleasing getaway, located only 15 minutes away from the lively casino Strip in the heart of Vegas. For chocolate lovers, not only is it interesting to see the production of several favorite candies being made in front of you, but the gift shop is sure to be a favorite, as is the free samples given out during the small tour.

Over 55,000 gallons of chocolate are held in the large vats in the factory at any one time and watching the extensive preparation of a single piece of candy is both interesting and mouth-watering. Enjoy fondues and hot/cold chocolate drinks at the cafe, or just buy a box of truffles and finish them off before even thinking about taking them home (although chilled boxes are available for transport in the infamous Nevada heat).

Don't expect too much on this small jaunt outside the city, but if you're needing a break from the neon lights, this tour is worth it, especially as it extends into the outdoor garden which is full of dozens of varieties of cactus. I didn't even know so many varieties existed before my visit, but it was an educational and peaceful experience to walk through the lovely manicured gardens. Extending over 3 acres, and housing more than 300 types of cactus, the garden is a treat for nature lovers.

Oh, and did I mention that this entire visit is free of charge!

• Open daily, 8:30am - 6pm. (live chocolate production generally Mon - Fri 8:30am - 3:30pm)
• Admission is free
• 10 miles southeast of The Strip
• 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, NV 8919
Ethel M's Chocolates and Cactus Garden
2 Cactus Garden Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada
(800) 438-4356

© LP 2000-2009