Should you find yourself with four hours to kill in Las Vegas, you’ll have no trouble at all enjoying the delights of the Strip. But that’s not all Sin City has to offer!
If you’re looking to escape the “live it up and wake up down” cliché, leave your lanyard in your hotel room and check out four offbeat alternatives to the booze, cruise, and lose experience of the Las Vegas casinos.
With just four free hours, you can skip the sucker bets and check out one or two of these sure jackpot experiences.
See the lights
The old ones, that is. Las Vegas isn’t shy about knocking down its old spectacles to erect new ones. Ever wondered what happens to those glittering marquees of yesteryear? If you want a glimpse of some classic signs, pay a visit to the Neon Boneyard at the Neon Museum on Las Vegas Boulevard North.
According to the website, “(the Neon Boneyard) is home to some of the most treasured and world-famous signs of Las Vegas — Caesars Palace, Binions Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget and the Stardust. The two-acre campus, which includes the Neon Boneyard, houses more than 150 historic signs.”
Be a rock star
With the freezing casino air conditioning and the lavish pools, it’s easy to forget you’re sitting in the middle of an incredible southwestern American desert. While your average Vegas tourist is busy moving from one seat to the next (card table, buffet booth, lounge chair), there’s actually a great way to see the canyons, creek beds, and sandstones while getting a serious workout.
A guided rock scrambling adventure in Red Rock Canyon is the perfect way to shake off a meeting and balance out Vegas’ heavy meals. Rock scrambling is defined as “making one’s way quickly or awkwardly up a steep slope or over rough terrain by using one’s hands as well as one’s feet.” While the activity requires athleticism, balance, and coordination, it’s a superb natural antidote to the Strip’s theme park atmosphere.
Play the machines
No, we’re not talking about the one-armed bandits (that don’t even spit out real coins anymore). We’re talking about the flipper-equipped variety at the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame. If you miss the days when quarters were king and keeping your eye on the silver ball was the goal of the game, check out this 10,000 square foot playable museum. With over a hundred games covering decades of the golden ages of pinball, you’re not liable to get bored chasing a high score. Even better: the museum is a 501c3 non-profit, so a portion of those coins you drop for fun will support the local Salvation Army. (Bonus play: The Pinball Hall of Fame is quite close to the airport.)
Booze isn’t hard to find in Las Vegas, so we’ll leave that up to you. But what about a simulated atomic blast? The Nevada Test Site was the United States’ on-continent nuclear weapons testing facility from 1951 until 1992. At the Atomic Testing Museum you can get an insight into U.S. nuclear history and experience a motion-simulator that gives visitors a sense of what it was like to be on site during a test detonation.
Getting through Vegas without losing your shirt? Now there’s something to smile about on the flight home.