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Cool Things You Didn't Know You Could Do in Las Vegas
Pink Cadillac Tour with Elvis as chauffeur
Imagine if you will........Elvis driving along, singing his most popular hits on 2-hour historic tour of Las Vegas in a 1955 Pink Cadillac...yep - really! You, and up to three passengers, will be the talk of your hotel as you are picked up in style by the King himself. You then get a full two hours of Elvis as your personal Las Vegas guide - and did we mention - in a pink caddie? Stops include the Bellagio Fountains, Fremont Street and the Welcome to Vegas sign before returning to your hotel. For Elvis fans this is a no-brainer and what a great surprise for a birthday or anniversary. It certainly has us All Shook Up!
Go for a sleigh ride at Mount Charleston
Less than an hours drive from Sin City is Mount Charleston at an elevation of 12,000 feet complete with a ski lodge almost hidden amongst the fir trees. In the summer months the temperature in Vegas can easily hit a sweltering 120 degrees, but Mount Charleston can be a good 40 degrees cooler. It's a fabulous place to escape not only the desert heat but also the crazy Vegas crowds. During the winter months snow normally falls here and that's when the sleighs are dusted off and brought out for the season.
The Mob Museum
Lefty, Lucky, the Ant, Bugsy, the Snake, the Chin, Scarface and the Brain. The monikers of mobsters are like the nicknames of odd superheroes. They are two syllables of rat-tat firing, evoking creepy animals, physical protrusions or uncanny powers. And now, here in a city where such figures were once as comfortably in their element as Zeus and his family on Olympus, they are finally getting something close to the museum they deserve: the Mob Museum. Come see how the mob maneuvered into businesses of pleasure, not releasing its hold until late in the 20th century, when corporate casinos trumped their almost quaint predecessors.
The Atomic Testing Museum
There was a time when tourists flocked to Las Vegas to see the flashing lights. In the 1950s, many visitors arrived to view the neon, but a few set their sights on the atomic tests at the Nevada Test Site. The Atomic Testing Museum commemorates this era, when the power of the atom was just being discovered and there was just as much naïveté as there was concern over what this new technology was capable of. The museum, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, is not just Geiger counters and old black-and-white photos – it also highlights the pop culture and the sociological trends of what is arguably one of the most controversial periods in American history.
The Laundry Room is the semi-secret backroom Speakeasy inside the Commonwealth bar in 'Old Vegas', Fremont Street. Accessible via a hidden door, by those with reservations only, this intimate pre-Prohibition bar is a cocktail lovers dream. We’d love to tell you how to get reservations, but then we’d have to kill you. Dems da rules!
Meet the Mermaids
Come on. Mermaids. In a tank. Waving at you. Does it get any cooler than that?! Named the "Best Free Attraction" in Las Vegas, Silverton Hotel & Casino's saltwater aquarium is impressive. The 117,000-gallon reef aquarium is a tropical oasis in the middle of the desert. Admire more than 4,000 tropical fish and three species each of stingrays and sharks. And of course, the Mermaids! Get a front row seat at the Mermaid Restaurant and Lounge and enjoy the show.
Go alien spotting in Area 51
Gasp! The existence of Area 51, the US airbase located north of Las Vegas and rumoured to house UFOs, has been officially acknowledged in newly released CIA documents. Crikey.
From Las Vegas you can drive or take a day trip along the famous Extraterrestrial Highway (the location of countless UFO sightings) into remote and eerie Area 51. The E.T. Highway has become a Mecca for UFO enthusiasts from all over the globe who love to don their smartest Star Trek t-shirts and make the pilgrimage into middle-of-nowhere and the teeny town of Rachel, population 47. This is the home of the infamous A'Le'Inn (get it?), where would-be UFO spotters fill up on alien burgers, alien milkshakes and swap stories about anything, well, alien.
Hang out with the locals on First Friday
First Friday, funnily enough, on the first Friday of every month is THE way to mix and mingle with the locals. It takes place in downtown Vegas and is packed with local artists, fab food truck fayre, one-off shops and an eclectic bunch of street performers! Fremont Street Experience and East Fremont are popular with the locals and this area is quickly becoming a retro gem. Who knew there was life outside the strip?
The Neon Museum
Hands down one of our favourite places in Vegas. Located downtown near Fremont Street Experience, this area has seen lots of rejuvenation over the past few years. The Neon Museum is situated on 2 acres and includes the Neon Boneyard which houses more than 150 historic signs. Each sign in the collection has a unique story about who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made and how it fits into Las Vegas’ rich history. Changes and trends in design and technology are also illustrated in the pieces that range from the 1930s to present day.
The boneyard is only accessible as part of a one hour guided tour and we recommend booking before you go. During the tour, signs are viewed at ground level and you're able to get up close making for some very cool photographs. Want to see ours? We have about 589! This is a Vegas must.
Valley of Fire
Most people who visit Las Vegas know about Red Rock Canyon, but if you’re willing to drive a bit further, you’ll find Valley of Fire State Park. It’s home to stunning rock formations like the White Domes, Arch Rock, Elephant Rock and Fire Wave. What about exploring on a Harley-Davidson? You can rent these on a daily basis which we'll sort for you as part of your holiday. Several of the BV team have done this and raved about it. Apart from experiencing 'helmet hair' - it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We're a little bit rock 'n roll at Bon Voyage, don't you know.
Play on vintage pinball machines from 1955
We love a bit of vintage, who doesn't? Lovely Tim Arnold, owner of the Pinball Hall of Fame has built up a collection of nearly 1,000 of these delightful machines. He frequently hosts 'Fun Nights' where you can drop in and flip away to your heart's content whilst listening to your favourite tracks from the era. Poodle skirts optional.