Unique Things to Do in Las Vegas

Here’s a list of strange and unusual sights and activities located in and around Las Vegas. It’s a work in progress. I live in Las Vegas and I’ll be adding to it every month, so check back for updates. 🙂 Also, read my post Confessions of a Former Las Vegas Snob to discover why Las Vegas isn’t as awful as everyone may think it is.

All of the items on the list are places I’ve actually visited and no one has paid me to promote their business on my blog. These are all 100 percent honest reviews.

1. Soak in some hot springs

Las Vegas is home to several natural hot springs. The only way to get there is by hiking or paddling on a kayak, so only physically active people should attempt to go. It’s worth the effort because the hot mineral water will feel good on your sore muscles – just don’t drink or accidentally swallow any of the spring water; it could kill you. Read more

2. Tour a gold mine

This is slightly gimmicky but worth it if you’re willing to drive over an hour outside of Las Vegas (you can stop in Boulder City – a cute town next to the Hoover Dam – on your way there). Several movies/music videos and photo shoots have been filmed at the gold mine because of the cute vintage cars and old west gas station and cabins. It’s a great place to take fun photos. Read more

el dorado gold mine

3. Take pictures of graffiti street art in the arts district

If you’re a photographer and want to photograph a different side of Vegas, the art district can make a good backdrop. It’s also a good place to visit if you want to walk around but are tired of strolling up and down the Strip. Read more

4. Go alien hunting near Area 51

This isn’t in Las Vegas or anywhere near it, really. But if you’re looking for something super unique to do,  you don’t get any more unique than camping at Area 51. Definitely plan on camping there, as there isn’t much to see and so driving out there just for the day doesn’t make sense. Go in the late afternoon, visit the Lil Ale Inn for dinner and then head over to the Area 51 gates at dusk. You can pitch a tent, sleep under the stars and search for UFOs and then head back to Las Vegas the next morning. Read more

5. Visit Bedrock City (a Flintstones theme park)

I only recommend visiting this place if you’re driving to the Grand Canyon, as it’s in the middle of nowhere and too far from Vegas for a day trip. The park is incredibly cheesy and bordering on “lame”, but the entrance fee is cheap and you can take a lot of funny/cute photos there. Read more

tall sign fred flintstone
Fred Flintstone sign outside of Bedrock City in Arizona

6. Play with kangaroos and monkeys at an exotic animal sanctuary

This exotic animal sanctuary is about an hour outside of Las Vegas and worth the day trip if you have the time. You’ll have to arrange a visit in advance, because at time of writing, the sanctuary was accepting tours by appointment only. The price is just $10 to $15. Read more

monkey

7. Prepare for a zombie attack at The Zombie Apocalypse Store

Totally cheesy and weird, but worth it if you’re looking for a good instagram photo or two. It’s right off the Strip, so you don’t have to travel far. Read more

8. Visit a “micro nation”

Apparently there are foreign countries that exist within the continental USA. They’re called “micro nations” and one such mini nation is located in Nevada. It’s located closer to Reno than Las Vegas, but might be a good place to stop by if you’re driving through the state and are looking for an interesting roadside attraction. You’ll need to apply for a visa in advance in order to enter this “country” though, and walruses and “anything from Texas” are illegal there. Read more

9. Buy a cactus at a large cactus store in the middle of the desert

If you’re driving to Pahrump, Death Valley or Red Rock Canyon, then you should definitely make a quick pit stop at this store. Even if you don’t buy anything, the shop is so unique – with its 100s of plants, helicopter, church, labyrinth and pet dogs – that it’s fun just to wander through. Every time I visit, I end up going home with a baby cactus. Ha. 🙂 Read more

10. See some wild donkeys and horses

Bonnie Springs usually has wild donkeys hanging around the parking lot. Read more

Me, standing next to the burro sign near Death Valley
Me, standing next to the burro sign near Death Valley

11. See some funky outdoor sculpture art in the middle of the desert (it’s free)

Did you miss the part where I mentioned it was free?  I recommend stopping there if you’re driving to Death Valley. Read more

12. Go on a sleigh ride at Mt Charleston

This is SUPER LAME if you’re from somewhere cold, say most of the continental US, but if you’re a local Las Vegas resident and you’re looking for something to do in the winter time, I recommend it! You can go get hot chocolate at one of the lodges afterwards and take in the snowy mountain views. The best part? Mt. Charleston is only 45 minutes outside of Vegas. Or if you’re REALY brave, you can try a little winter camping! Though I don’t know if I recommend that exactly. Read more

13. Pose for photos in a fake electric chair at the Mob Museum

The mob museum isn’t free but the exhibits are highly interactive, which make it worth while. Read more…

14. Tour a neon sign graveyard

THIS IS AWESOME! You should definitely make time for this, even if you’re on a short trip. It’s vintage Vegas at its finest. Read more

neon boneyard

15. Get married in a Denny’s

If you’re not looking for a weird place to get hitched, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going here. I do recommend visiting Fremont Street, however, which is where this Denny’s is located. The Drink and Drag bowling alley (it’s a bowling alley…run by drag queens) is in the same building and that place is fun (although expensive). Read more

16. Eat at the Heart Attack Grill (or just take a picture in front of the funny sign)

This place is also at Fremont Street, which is just a fun place to visit in general. Read more

Sign for the "Heart Attack Grill" in Las Vegas, Nevada
Sign for the “Heart Attack Grill” in Las Vegas, Nevada

17. Play with ferrets at an exotic pet shop

Paris Hilton supposedly visits this pet store every time she comes to Las Vegas. I’ve got to warn you, the store is tiny! But if you’re on East Tropicana and if your dream has been to play with a baby ferret (which are illegal in many states) then this is the place to go. Read more

18. Go cliff jumping!

Totally fun and totally worth it…but it’s a bit of drive. I always tell locals to go here…but tourists?  You may want to stick with Lake Mead (it’s a lot closer). Read more

19. Visit a Christmas cactus garden

I’m partial to cacti on a normal day, so cati sporting colorful Christmas lights? I’m hooked. But this probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The gift shop and “chocolate factory” are borderline lame. Read more

20.  Sled down a sand dune!

I recommend checking these sand dunes out if you’re traveling from LA to Las Vegas (or visa versa) and have some time to kill. Read more

21. Visit the oldest saloon in Las Vegas

This saloon is 101 years old and supposedly haunted! It’s located in a ghost town just 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas. Read more

22. See some wild donkeys and watch a gun fight in a ghost town

Cloride and Oatman, Arizona, are two ghost towns along Route 66 that are under two hours away from Las Vegas. Both places make for some fun backdrops for cheesy, wild west photos. Read more

23. Visit a car forest in Goldfield, Nevada

A little over three hours outside of Las Vegas (towards Death Valley) is the world’s largest ‘car forest’. Two Nevada artists took 40 old cars, painted them and then arranged them out in the desert. It’s quite the site to see! I recommend checking it out if you’re driving to Tonopah or Reno. Read more

International Car Forest of the Last Church

24. Go camping at a waterfall in Grand Canyon National Park

The hike to the waterfall is 11 miles and you’ll need to get a permit ahead of time in order camp or even hike there (they’ll turn you away at the village if you aren’t on their list of people who’ve pre-paid). The trailhead is about 2 1/2 hours away from Las Vegas (closer to Vegas than the Grand Canyon, although technically it’s in The Grand Canyon National Park). Read more

25. Play old arcade games at The Pinball Hall of Fame

The Pinball Hall of Fame is old and run-down but it’s cheap fun and a good place to go if you’re visiting Vegas with kids or teenagers. There are 100s of vintage and new games you can play. Read more

26. Visit a Bottle Forest

At the Bottle Tree Ranch, near Victorville, California, you can take pictures of a “bottle tree forest”. I’d only recommend stopping by if you’re driving from LA, as it’s far closer to LA then it is to Vegas (it’s off the 15, about three hours from Las Vegas). But if you’re coming from Southern California on the I-15 and are looking for a fun detour to break up the drive, it might be worth it. It’s only about 20 minutes off the freeway, on historic Route 66. It’s free! Read more

bottle tree ranch

27. Go hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park

This is definitely not a day trip destination, as it is a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas. But it’s near both Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon and is a great place to visit if you’re traveling to either of those places. It also makes for an awesome weekend camping getaway. Go in the summer! Bryce is at a higher elevation and is an ideal place to visit if you’re in search of a place to go to escape the desert heat. Read more

28. Ride your bike in Blinking Man! It’s part pub crawl, part psychedelic bicycle parade

It’s like Burning Man, but on a bike! Decorate your bike with lights, put on a fun costume and join several 100 other people for a bike ride around downtown Las Vegas. It’s totally random and fun and 100 percent free! 🙂 Read more

Ride your bike in Blinking Man

29. Visit a Castle in Death Valley

A medieval castle in the middle of the hottest stretch of desert in the US? Yep! It exists! And although the castle is cool, Death Valley is even cooler! Colorful mountains, sand dunes, and a cool little desert creature called a “kangaroo rat”. Death Valley National Park is a little over than two hours from Las Vegas. Read more

30. Photograph some fun art installations in the town of Joshua Tree

Although this is three hours outside of Las Vegas, it’s a great weekend road trip destination or a place to check out if you’re traveling to Las Vegas from Palm Springs. The best part? It’s free! Read more…

31. See some giant rainbow-colored rocks in the middle of the desert

About 20 to 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas, in Jean, Nevada, are seven towers of colorful painted rocks called “Seven Magic Mountains”. If you’re driving to or from Los Angeles on the I-15, it makes for a fun souvenir selfie (plus it’s free!), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend making a special trip out there to see it. Read more…

`seven-magic-mountains-closeup

32. Hang out with some wild bighorned sheep in Boulder City

30 minutes outside of Las Vegas, in Boulder City, Nevada, is a small, nondescript neighborhood park where wild, bighorned sheep congregate every evening just before sunset. If you’re in Boulder City to see the Hoover Dam, this park can be a fun pit stop on the way back to Las Vegas. Read more…

Big horned sheep Las Vegas

9 thoughts on “Unique Things to Do in Las Vegas

  1. Awesome website! Great list! As a recent transplant, this is exactly the kind of information I’m looking for. So excited to check some of these places out!

  2. How about the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio? I always make sure I go see The Talking Tree, it has something fairytale-like that manages to keep my interest.

    Some find it a bit creepy but I can’t get enough of that tree.

  3. We moved from Nevada back to Ohio about a year ago. I kinda needed the pictures. There are some things I really do miss about that place. <3

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