Think “Las Vegas” and what likely comes to mind is the decadent casinos, all-you-can-eat buffets and Ferris wheel yoga. Well, maybe not Ferris wheel yoga. But the fact that you can sign up to do sun salutations in a glass bubble 500 feet above ground is testament to how unique of a city Las Vegas truly is. In Vegas, when it comes to quirky and one-of-a-kind things to see and do, the sky is the limit – literally.
For the adventurous visitor looking to venture off-the-beaten-Strip and experience something new, exciting or just plain weird, here are nine things you didn’t know you could do in the City of Sin.
Practice yoga in a Ferris wheel
Towering 550 feet above the ground, Vegas’ famed Ferris wheel, aptly named the “High Roller,” is the largest of its kind in the world. While the option exists to ride the wheel sans the Namaste and yoga mat, for fitness fiends or those simply looking for an interesting item to tick off the bucket list, the High Roller also offers instructor-lead yoga sessions. Classes last an hour and can accommodate both beginners and advanced yoga practitioners.
Explore a ghost town
Flying into Las Vegas, it might appear that the neon metropolis is smack dab in the middle of nowhere. While Vegas certainly is surrounded by miles of undeveloped desert, it’s also within driving distance of several historic and authentic ghost towns. Grab your cowboy boots and book a Ghost Town Explorer Tour from Bindlestiff Tours and you’ll be chauffeured to not one but two neighboring ghost towns. Wild donkeys, historic Route 66, a haunted hotel and an old timey saloon are just some of things you’ll see when you adventure into Nevada’s wild, wild west.
Learn to throw an axe
Come to Vegas and you’ll not only get to throw some dice, but if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can throw an axe, too. You read that right. At Axe Monkeys, the country’s largest axe throwing range, you’ll get to throw an axe, knife and even a ninja star or two. Each session includes a lesson and safety demonstration.
Race around a track in a Lamborghini
In most cities, speeding down the street in a Corvette is a surefire way to get yourself a ticket. Not so in Vegas. Nascar fans, car enthusiasts or curious thrill seekers can get their engines roaring at SpeedVegas, which offers drivers the chance to take a few laps around a Formula One-inspired track in a luxury vehicle or muscle car.
Soak in a hot spring
While Vegas may be best known for its pool parties, it’s also known by outdoor-lovers as a great place to go to relax in a hot spring. Believe it or not, the state of Nevada has more natural hot springs than any other state in the country. Though you have to hike or boat to get there, there are two hot springs within driving distance of the Strip. Admire the red canyon cliffs and turquoise-colored water of the Colorado River while you soak in the healing springs of Gold Strike Hot Springs or the Arizona Hot Springs. Your tired muscles will thank you.
Float in a hot air balloon
While there are several ways to take in the view of the Las Vegas Strip—the observation deck of the Stratosphere, the tallest freestanding tower in the US, is probably the most well known – one of the most unique is via hot air balloon. Vegas Balloon Rides offers visitors a bird’s-eye-view of the Strip and the valley’s gorgeous Red Rock Mountains in its hour-long balloon ride. Catch the first rays of a picturesque desert sun rise and soak up the twinkly neon cityscape before coasting back down to enjoy a complimentary champagne toast.
Go alien hunting
Under usual circumstances, if you’re seeing UFOs on the Vegas skyline, it’s probably a sign you may need to pump the breaks on the partying. When you’re on an Area 51 VIP tour, however, UFOs are par for the course. In this “Only in Vegas” type of tour, you’ll journey down Extraterrestrial Highway, visit the location of a real life UFO sighting, photograph mysterious Petroglyphs, dine at the Little A’le’Inn (get it?) and visit the fortified entrance to the famous and mysterious Area 51.
Visit a Castle
When you visit Death Valley National Park, you expect to stand on the lowest point in North America—salt flats 282 feet below sea level. You might expect to visit a museum, hike sand dunes and traipse through pink, purple and blue-hued hillsides. You may even expect to stumble upon a ghost town or two, like the abandoned gold mining town of Rhyolite. What you likely won’t expect, however, is to come across a 96-year-old Spanish-Mediterranean style castle. This isn’t Europe, after all. But two hours outside of Las Vegas is “Scotty’s Castle.” Named after gold prospector Walter Scott, the villa was built in 1922 and served as the vacation home to a millionaire couple before being purchased by the National Park Service in 1970.
Swim and Paint with the Dolphins at the Mirage
While swimming with sea creatures may not seem like an activity you would think you could do in the desert, The Mirage Resort and Casino has found a way to make that happen at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. And if swimming with a bottlenose buddy wasn’t enough, you can also paint with him, too. In the Mirage’s “Painting with the Dolphins” Program, you can create a unique piece of art with the help of a real live dolphin. You’ll go home with a certificate, your masterpiece, a photo keepsake and the bragging rights that you got to create art with Flipper.