Discover the distinctive history of the men and women who braved the desolation of the southern Nevada desert to build Hoover Dam, settle Boulder City, and create the clean, green, adventure oasis that Boulder City is today.
Boulder City’s old-time vibe is a delightful surprise to visitors but hardly an accident. The town owes its existence to Hoover Dam, one of America’s man-made wonders eight miles up the road. Built with enough concrete to pave a two-lane road from San Francisco to New York City, the dam soars 726.4 feet high, far taller than the Washington Monument. It holds back Lake Mead, the country’s biggest reservoir.
To house the workers building the huge structure, the federal government designed and erected Boulder City on a site described by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the dam’s 1935 dedication as having been “a cactus-covered waste.” These days, the 408 residential and commercial buildings constructed between 1931 and 1942 make up the Boulder City Historic District, Nevada’s largest concentration of sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Coffee Cup Cafe packs ’em in with breakfast fare such as omelets bulging with pork chile verde or peanut-butter-and-bacon waffles. Order a burger piled with cheddar, bacon, and beef brisket at the Dillinger, in a 1940s bank building, or try the pub grub and a pint of Powder Monkey Pilsner at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co.