Vegas, Off the Beaten Path Guide.
Las Vegas is, well, Vegas. It’s the place where people let their hair down, leave their mundane lives at the airport terminal (& many times their dignity, but I’m not judging) and go bonkers. The moment you land in Vegas you just feel alive. How you feel when you leave is another story, but leading up to your departure is fun filled excitement (at least for me it was). From the day parties, to the sick nightclubs, to the endless gambling, it’s just non-stop party fun.
But what else does Vegas have to offer other than the Strip? A lot, actually. I bet most people have absolutely no clue. Well I’ll give you a mini guide of places I think are worth checking out if you can escape the party hardy fun.
K well the obvious one is The Hoover Dam. It’s a stunning showing of what humans are capable of. I did the power plant tour which is the shorter tour. It basically takes you down to see the turbines, watched a small film presentation, and there’s a nice exhibit. Wasn’t too long, got the information I wanted to know, and really enjoyed myself – minus the heat.
Friendly Warning: Do NOT touch the railings outside when it’s over 100 degrees. 😊
Next place I’d suggest for you retro-ers out there is the Pinball Hall of Fame. It is the world’s largest pinball collection. Aesthetically, could be nicer but hey you’re not there for the aesthetics. It’s 10,000 square feet of endless pinball. The machines have been restored and are in amazing condition. From antiques to modern day machines, pop your quarters in and enjoy a past time fave.
OK OK, I think we can all agree that we love the Titanic movie. “Jack, Jack, come back.” I remember when I was younger it was split on 2 VCR tapes because it was too long to fit onto one. Ahh memories. So yah, there’s a really cool Titanic Artifact Exhibition in the Luxor Hotel. I’ll warn you it is pricey, but come on, you’re already in Vegas which means you’re already prepared to go balls to the wall. Your tickets are boarding passes with the name of an actual passenger on it and then you find out at the end if they’ve lived or died. Kind of eerie-ish but interesting idea. It’s amazing how many artifacts there are, there’s even a big piece of the actual Titanic ship! Only stinker is that you can’t take any pictures. :/
For my history buffs out there, the National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) should be rather compelling. This museum offers an insight into what it was like during the Cold War. It’s an interesting museum with TONS of information about development of atomic bombs, above ground and below ground testing, impact on local and remote communities as well as workers at the sites. There’s a cool simulation of an above-ground test. It’s a great museum and a lot to take in but you really get a sense and understanding of what it was like during those times. There’s also a serious reality aspect to this museum concerning the catastrophic devastation and power an atomic bomb can cause. I recommend spending several hours here.
Ok I literally LOVE anything mob related. Not the brutal killings of course, I don’t know why but I just love the stories (don’t judge me). So I was super excited to learn about the Mob Museum, officially the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. It takes you through the history and impact the mob scene had in Vegas as well as the rest of America. Not recommended for children as there are graphic pictures.
Another spot for my fellow nerds out there is the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society where you can learn about the history, natural history and pre-historic history of Las Vegas. I personally always visit state museums & historical societies at pretty much every state that I travel to.
And last but not least there is the Neon Museum. This place is COOL. They are an organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for historic, arts, & cultural enrichment. It contains an excellent collection of old casino signs dating back to the 1940’s. The main exhibit is called the Neon Boneyard and the visitors center is housed in the historic La Concha Motel lobby. You can only visit the museum through an hour long guided tour. Not all 200+ signs are lit up because well, that would cost a ton of money to keep all of them lit so there’s a very limited amount that have been restored and light up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do the night tour but it is highly recommended.
TIP: Purchase tickets in advance!! This is a popular attraction & can only be seen by timed tours so be sure to plan ahead.
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