There are certain sites, museums, restaurants and experiences that make up the classic Las Vegas experience. You can watch the Fountains of Bellagio rise and sway to Frank Sinatra songs. You can buy a literal buffet of buffets pass that allows you to feast at various casinos over a 24-hour period. You can win or lose big on the casino floor, eat prime rib after midnight and get your picture taken with an Elvis impersonator. But when you’ve done all of those must-do things, what’s left? Turns out, plenty. For seasoned Las Vegas travelers who feel like they’ve done everything, these underrated attractions are worth considering.
Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort
Did you know that one of the oldest settlements in Las Vegas is just steps away from Fremont Street? The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort is the valley’s first permanent, non-native settlement and dates back to 1855 when Mormon settlers arrived in the area. This state historic park features what’s left of the fort, plus a visitor center, artifacts and photos. It’s a great attraction for history-minded travelers, plus the $3 admission fee will sit well with folks who spent the majority of their vacation funds at the slot machines.
Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum
In the land of showgirls and go-go dancers, the Burlesque Hall of Fame is right at home. This under-the-radar museum in the Arts District may not draw the crowds that museums on the Strip do, but it’s a cheeky destination that’s worth checking out. See black-and-white photos depicting burlesque icons and learn about the history and the art of the striptease. The Burlesque Hall of Fame also offers film screenings and burlesque classes.
Twilight Zone Mini Golf
On a sweltering summer day in Las Vegas, step into the cool darkness of Twilight Zone Blacklight Mini Golf and enter another dimension. This kitschy, fun experience makes for a cheap outing on the Strip. Located inside Bally’s, Twilight Zone Mini Golf features large-scale art inspired by the classic TV show, a retro soundtrack and even a small arcade. The 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course is perfect for both Twilight Zone fans and families.
National Atomic Testing Museum
The history of Las Vegas isn’t all mobsters and Rat Pack escapades. The city is also defined by the rampant atomic testing that went on in the 1950’s in the nearby desert. Learn about this explosive time in Las Vegas history at the National Atomic Testing Museum just off of the Strip on Flamingo Road. Step into the Ground Zero Theater and experience a simulated atomic blast, learn about the development of atomic bombs and see the unique and offbeat ways in which Las Vegas capitalized on atomic testing as a means to attract tourists.
Clark County Wetlands Park
Opportunities to get outside and experience desert wilderness abound in southern Nevada, but you don’t have to drive to Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire or Mt. Charleston to spend some time away from the smoky casino floor. The Clark County Wetlands Park sits on the east side of Las Vegas. Take an easy hike in the 210-acre Wetlands Park Nature Preserve area to look for birds, and then check out the displays and artwork at the nature center.