There are a number of reasons why people flock to Las Vegas. The city is well known for being the entertainment capital of the world and the casinos and shows attract millions every year. Now there are also major league sports teams as well, so you can watch your favorite teams at the same time as taking advantage of the famous Vegas betting sites.
But, as much as any visitor to Vegas should check out the fountains of the Bellagio and get a ticket for the Sphere, there are plenty of other attractions that don’t always get the attention that they deserve. Some people will actively seek out some more unique experiences to be had in the Sin City.
So, with that in mind, we’ve come up with seven ideas to make your Las Vegas vacation a little different to the norm. By all means, hit The Strip and do all the “Vegas things”. But make sure you’ve got a few more special Vegas stories as well by taking a look at some of these.
The Neon Museum
Our first gem might not be quite as “hidden” as some on our list. But if you drag yourself away from the slots and shows for a moment, you could discover some of the most iconic elements of a Las Vegas from a bygone age. Vegas might be a place that is always reinventing itself but this museum was created to keep the history of this unique city alive.
The museum was first dreamt up when it was realized that the sign for the iconic Sands hotel and casino would have to be scrapped. So some local historically minded citizens set up an installation that has now moved to a permanent home on Las Vegas Boulevard North. Expect to see signs and artifacts from the Rat Pack era.
Seven Magic Mountains
Most people visit Las Vegas and never leave The Strip. We get it, there’s so much to do – and so much to enjoy in just a few blocks – that you can have an incredible vacation without really exploring further afield. But there is a lot to discover just outside the city, and the Seven Magic Mountains is one such attraction.
Located around five miles north of downtown, this public sculpture by Ugo Rondinone consists of seven 35-foot columns of boulders, brightly painted to capture the light of the Nevada desert. Originally planned to be dismantled in 2018, it is now set to be in place until at least 2027 and is open from sunrise to sunset.
National Atomic Testing Museum
Head just north of the airport and you can explore the fascinating nuclear history of the area. Originally opened as the Atomic Testing Museum in 2005, it documents the history of nuclear weapon testing in the Mojave Desert. Its importance was realized by the Obama administration, which assigned it as a national museum.
Exhibits at the museum range from Native American artifacts from the local area to Geiger counters used after atomic tests. There is even the chance to experience what observing a nuclear test would have been like in the Ground Zero Theater. This is definitely a side of Las Vegas that doesn’t get as much attention as the neon-lit casinos of The Strip.
Hand of Faith
Although this region is well known for its own gold rush, this attraction is centered around a discovery from the other side of the world. The second-largest gold nugget was found by a metal detector in 1980 in Australia and weighs 61 lbs. Incredibly, it was found just six inches below ground.
Kevin Hillier, the man who discovered this amazing natural artifact, sold his find to the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas for just over a million dollars and it now stands proudly in the hotel’s lobby. It might only take a few minutes to view but you will never have seen such a chunk of gold in all your life before.
A Piece of History
Speaking of taking in a moment of history. The theme of The Luxor Hotel and Casino may be ancient Egypt – the place looks like a giant pyramid and has a Sphinx-like creature outside. But inside can be found some pieces from one of the biggest moments of 20th-century history.
Even if you are not the biggest history student in the world, or even a fan of the blockbuster movie, the story of the Titanic is one that you will know about and you can view pieces from the ill-fated liner at this fascinating exhibition. You can also see what cabins and rooms would have been like for the passengers on board.
Kiss Mini Golf
Now for something completely different. One of the elements of Las Vegas that is loved and loathed in equal measure is its kitsch-ness. But if you are thinking of visiting Sin City there is a very good possibility that you love the idea of a mini golf course inspired by heavy metal gods, Kiss.
The 18-hole mini-golf course can be found at the Rio Hotel and Casino, just off the Strip, and is part of a larger Kiss World that also houses a museum, an arcade, and even a wedding chapel. If you ever thought that the only thing that mini-golf was missing was a heavy metal soundtrack – then this is the place for you.
Freemont Street Experience
We thought we would finish off with another attraction of Las Vegas that is not entirely a hidden gem as such. But it is part of the city that looks back to the past a little more – and can sometimes, therefore, be missed by visitors staying at the fancy big hotels on the Strip.
Located in downtown Vegas, this five-block stretch of the city was where the Rat Pack used to hang out and still exudes a vintage charm that isn’t always as visible at the newer casinos. The highlight has to be the Viva Vision light and sound show that takes place on an LED canopy spread over 130,000 square feet.