Additional Sights In Las Vegas:
There are a bunch of things to do in Vegas just off the Strip that most tourists never even hear of.
Prioritizing Your Time
Most of the sights on this list are pretty awesome, but they are often overlooked by the tourists who never leave the casinos. We suggest working a couple of these stops into your visit to help mix your trip up a little.
All of these sights are very easy to get to by car or local bus. On the interactive map we made, we have included the main bus lines you need to know about to help make it easy. The two main ones are going to be the Deuce and the SDX Express, but every stop has a bus line going by it. The last thing you want to do is end up walking a couple miles more than you need to in the desert heat. Use the buses.
Other Top Sights Around Las Vegas:
1. Neon Museum: The first neon sign in Las Vegas was put up in 1929 at the 1929 at the Oasis Café on Fremont Street. The use of neon signs boomed and Sin City, especially Downtown, became a sea of neon through the 1980’s. As aging casino were replaced in the 1990’s many of them moved away from neon to a crazy of individually themed casinos like Caesar’s Palace. As LCD and LED signage became available the old neon were disregarded at an even faster pace. Seeing the culture of neon disappearing, the Allied Arts Council formed the Neon Museum and started an effort to save an important piece of Las Vegas history. The group worked with Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO), who was the company that manufactured most of the Vegas signs, and began to collect them for refurbishing. Some of the signs have been fully resorted and placed back into the Las Vegas landscape including a collection of them near the Neonopolis on Fremont Street which include Aladdin’s Lamp, The Hacienda Horse and Rider, and the Flame Restaurant sign. Other signs have been placed right in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd including the Binion’s Horseshoe, the Bow & Arrow Motel sign, and the Silver Slipper which sits in front of the Neon Museum.
Today the Neon Museum is made up of a main museum visitor center an a 2 acre display yard known as the Boneyard. You can easily peak through the fence or over the wall to get a peak of the signs frozen in time, but taking the official tour is a great experience. Before you even take the tour you know it’s going to be awesome from the giant high heel street lamp to the eclectic mix of sign letters spelling out “Boneyard”. The standard tour last one hour, takes you through a staged collection of 120 signs and includes some very entertaining stories of the of the vintage sign fossils. There is a great mix of urban decay and bright colors among the massive neon skeletons that will make your photographs really pop. If you are looking from more private time with the photos they have a separate staging area for photographers and video shoots that you can submit requests for a fee, but you need to submit your request at least a week a head of time.
Guided Tours: You can only tour the museum on a 1 hour guided tour which leaves every 30 minutes Mondays-Sundays starting at 10am until one hour before sunset. Cost: $18. Location: 770 Las Vegas Blvd North. Museum Website: (HERE)
2. Grand Canyon Helicopters Tours: There are 2 main helicopter tour companies near the airport www.grandcanyonhelicopter.com & www.sundancehelicopters.com. There is also a small plane tour which is cheaper, but the helicopter gives you a lot better viewing. Our favorite option is to take the tour that lands inside the canyon for the ultimate experience.
3. Richard Petty Driving Experience (Las Vegas Speedway): NASCAR racing is huge in Las Vegas, and what better way to experience it than to get behind the wheel yourself? Located at the Las Vegas Speedway, the Richard Petty driving school is a sure fire adrenaline rush. You can choose to either be a passenger with a professional driver or take control and drive the race car on the highly banked corners. This adventure is definitely worth saving up the money for. Company Website: (HERE).
4. National Atomic Testing Museum: At the National Atomic Testing Museum you’ll not only learn about the development of nuclear weapons, but will also dive deep into the culture it shaped. The Museum has an under ground testing bunker, a b53 nuclear bomb, nuclear testing tower, and chucks of coal looking material from an explosion in Russia. The coal like material is a mystery that has led to a lot of alien theories as the material is nuclear and made up of manufactured materials we don’t have on Earth. Many believe this explosion has what was left from a spacecraft crash. Other alien exhibits cover Area 51 and the famous sighting on Coney Island.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday Noon-5pm. Cost: Museum is $14 for Adults; $20 with Area 51 Exhibit; Discounts for Kids, Seniors, and Military. Location: 755 E Flamingo Road. Museum Website: (HERE).
5. Reality TV Show Locations: From Pawn Stars to Counts Kustoms and Rick’s Restorations the History Channel has had a ton of famous shows based on local businesses. At the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, don’t expect to actually run into the stars themselves, but a stop is well worth it for any hard core fan. Even before the show Pawn Stars, the shop was already the most famous pawn shop in town. Pawn Shop Address: 713 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Store Website: (HERE).
6. Dig This: If you really want to flex you muscle, then head out to the always fun Dig This attraction. It’s like an adult playground where you get to drive huge machines and dulldozers while pushing stuff around. Dig holes and push boulders, it’s all a great time. Official Website: (HERE).
7. Premium Outlets North: While there is a ton of shopping to be had on the core of the Las Vegas strip, the outlet mall is where you’ll find the best deals. It is easy to get to by taxi or bus and has different stuff in stock than other outlet stores around the country.
8. Hard Rock & Hofbrauhaus: Located just east of the strip, this Is a very fun place to party. On your way there make sure to get a taste of Germany across the street from the Hard Rock in the famous Bavarian beer hall Hofbräuhaus. At Hofbräuhaus you will experience live German music, great food, and huge glasses of imported Bavarian beer.
Looking for a high-octane party experience instead? Then check out Carey Hart rocking bar Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock. They have the feel of a rock concert’s backstage party and has live music that will blow your socks off. If you’d rather go high class clubbing, go to the posh Body English; open Weds & Fri-Sun 10pm-4am. This club is probably the fanciest club in Vegas complete with dark hard woods, plush couches, beautiful lingerie clad waitresses, and a $250,000 chandelier hanging over a huge dance floor. The Vegas after-parties always spill over to the Hard Rock’s Center Bar which stays hopping 24 hours a day. If you’re looking for something to remember your trip forever check out the world famous Hart & Huntington tattoo parlor and get some ink done.
10. Little White Wedding Chapel: Yeah, visits to the wedding chapels just seem to kind of happen in Vegas on a whim. The most popular chapel is the Little White Wedding Chapel across the road from the Stratosphere. It is home of the Tunnel of Love, which is the first drive up marriage window, but there are 4 other chapels to chose from there. The chapel also happens to be where Britney Spears tied the knot for an entire 55 hours in 2004. Did we mention that you can be married by Elvis while in a pink Cadillac here? Address: 1301 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Hours: 24/7. Chapel Website: (HERE).
11. First Friday Art Show: The 1st Friday of each month Downtown Las Vegas has a cool art festival featuring local artists. Artists set up stands along Casino Center Rd from Charleston to Colorado. It is a great free event. Art Show Website: (HERE).
12. Indoor Skydiving: Tons of fun and the closest thing to real skydiving. Location: Next to Encore, Corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Convention Center Dr. Cost: 1 flight $75, 2nd flight same day $40. Company Website: (HERE)
13. Palms: Best place off the strip as it has four of the tops places to check out at night in Vegas: Ghostbar with a great terrace overlooking the strip, Rain, and the open topped Club Moon on the roof. To get on the guest list to any of these clubs click here. This Palms also has a series of over-the-top fantasy suites that will blow you away
14. World Series of Poker: Famous for bringing poker back into the main stream, the WSOP make several stops in Vegas through the year and is very fun to attend even if you don’t plan on playing. To view the current schedule for the World Series of Poker click here.
15. Cirque du Soleil: Known as the best show production company, Cirque du Soleil show blow audiences away in countries throughout the world. They have absolutely amazing shows in Vegas, most of them are listed in the Show section above. Currently there is a promotion on all Cirque du Soleil shows in 2009 ranging from 25-50% off, details here. To gain access to other promotion and advanced tickets sales simply join the free Cirque du Soleil Club.