Spending 24-hours in Las Vegas is a dream for some and a nightmare for others.
For some visitors, it’s all about hitting the tables, soaking up the sun at the pools, relishing in the comped drinks and enjoying the culinary awesomeness in every casino.
But casinos certinaly don't rock everyone’s boat the same way.
Fortunately, for those who want to experience Las Vegas, stepping foot into one of the mammoth casinos lining The Strip isn’t a requirement.
In fact, a visitor can enjoy Las Vegas without ever stepping foot into the pocket-drainers.
That’s right. Las Vegas, sans casinos, is a reality. In 24 hours, visitors to Las Vegas can hit museums, coffee shops, go on adventures and more. And, the only money being spent is in exchange for goods and services. Not sure where to start? How about breakfast?
An old institution in Las Vegas, The Omelet House (2160 W Charleston Blvd # A), is a bit shabby but the menu more than makes up for the looks. Plus, the clientele here is worth the trip alone. From politicos to celebutantes, to hung-over club-goers trying to soak up the alcohol before heading home (or work), this restaurant gives visitors a chance to see how the locals “live,” or at least, due to the close proximity of the tables and booths, lets them overhear the stories. Did I mention the food is the perfect combo of greasy and healthy? It is.
From there, head down to The Freemont Street Experience. Yes, it is lined with casinos, but on Fremont Street there is entertainment for the adventurous and the not adventurous. For dare devils, there is Fremont Street Flightline, which is a zip line that whizzes participants 25 miles-per-hour down, for 60-feet down an 800- foot line, under the fantastically cheesy Experience (think mega LED lights and computerized videos ranging from aliens to patriotic). And, it’s not super pricey — $15 for riders before 6 p.m. and $20 after. For everyone else, there’s the people-watching. Sure, you can people-watch anywhere, but Fremont has got some of the more eclectic tourists hanging out in “old” Vegas.
A few miles from Downtown is the Neon Museum Las Vegas: The Boneyard. This is an outdoor exhibit, so if you go in the summer, bring water. And lots of it. And wear your sunscreen. Take a step back in time and learn about Las Vegas during the time of mobsters and the Rat Pack. This nonprofit museum has relics from an old Las Vegas, laid out in a gorgeous display of old (and no longer functioning) neon signs. The curators help guide guests as they weave their stories of the properties the signs belonged to. Not only is the museum a “must” while in Vegas, it also lends itself perfectly to photo shoots. But, be warned. If you want to head to this, reserve your tour in advance. Tours operate Tuesday through Friday, twice-a-day (noon and 2 p.m.), and on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. There’s a minimum donation of $15.
The Atomic Testing Museum is another place worth checking out. The museum documents the history of atomic testing that took place in the 1950s at the Nevada Test Site and comes complete with a unique display of memorabilia and stories. General admission is $15.
There’s also the Pinball Hall of Fame, a 10,000 square-foot space dedicated to, yup, you guessed it, pinball. Pop quarters into the machines, which date back to the 1950s, and try your luck.
There’s more! Stay tuned for next week’s post that highlights the great outdoors, the multitude of Vegas shopping, the best new show on The Strip and the airport and more!