Skip the Strip: Your Unconventional Vegas Planning Guide
What comes to mind when you hear “Las Vegas?” More likely than not you think of gambling at the casinos. You think of all the flashy lights and carefree souls that wander the strip of this world-renowned entertainment and nightlife destination. Afterall, that is what makes Vegas such a sought after vacation spot, but there’s more to it than just a strip of casinos.
Every time I go anywhere I search for hidden gems, those spots that truly make a place unique (while also giving you a break from all the crowds). I wanted to discover what else Las Vegas has to offer despite its famous casinos and shows. So, I set off on a road trip.
Here is my four-day itinerary of everything fun and unconventional to do in Vegas.
Skip the Strip
Spend day at Pinball Hall of Fame, head over to Seven Magic Mountains for sunset
Driving Day/Minus 5 Ice Bar
I left early in the morning to make the drive from Phoenix to my airbnb outside of the strip. After getting settled in I headed out to my first stop, the Minus 5 Ice Bar. There are three locations you can choose from when you reserve your tickets; Mandalay Bay, Venetian, and the LINQ Promenade. I booked mine for the Venetian because it’s my favorite casino in Vegas.
I purchased tickets for the Cool Experience which got me entry, gloves, and a parka. They also offer the Coolest Experience, which gets you two ice cocktails, and the V-Ice-P Experience. There’s mocktails for the younger guests.
If you want to enjoy the experience make sure you dress warm, the parka and gloves help, but definitely don’t wear shorts like I did. It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to immerse yourself in a little ice wonderland.
Area 15 and Omega Mart
I’ve seen a number of videos from Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, but nothing that indicated just how massive this place is. I thought I’d spend maybe an hour here, but that turned into a few hours. There was just so much to see, so many secret passageways that lead you to brand new scenery.
On the outside it looks like a funky grocery store, but inside you’ll be able to “discover secret portals, play and explore among unexpected landscapes, or simply soak up the innovative art as you venture beyond an extraordinary supermarket into parts unknown.”
Area 15 is where the Omega Mart is located. It’s just one of the experiences you can choose from. With everything from immersive exhibitions to alternative reality, it’s safe to say that Area 15 will bring you a day like no other. Some experiences include Illuminarium, Haley’s Comet, Five Iron Golf, Virtualis VR, Wink World, and more.
Pinball Hall of Fame and Seven Magic Mountains
I started out the day by visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame. This is another spot I didn’t think I’d spend as much time as I did, but there were just so many cool machines! Be sure to bring quarters or some cash to exchange so you can play all the games. The Pinball Hall of Fame is a non-profit corporation that was brought together by the members of the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club.
My next stop was the Seven Magic Mountains. These massive, vibrant, stacked rocks add a pop of color to the surrounding desert landscape. This public art installation is so unique to the area and is a great stop for a photoshoot.
Red Rock Canyon, Drive home
Before heading home I made a stop at Red Rock Canyon to do the 13-mile scenic drive. When I went it was way too hot to do any of the hikes, but they have a bunch to choose from. The park is absolutely stunning. Another great park nearby (which is still my absolute favorite State Park) is Valley of Fire.
Originally I had a reservation for a ride with Rail Explorers, but unfortunately it got canceled. That being said, I still wanted to include it in case you’re looking for more unconventional Vegas activities. They offer different experiences to choose from while you ride their pedal powered vehicle right on the railroad tracks. Some experiences include the Southwest Round-Up, Southwest Ramble, Desert Sunset Tour, Night Lights, Fireside Starlight, and more.
If you’re planning a trip to Vegas, make some time to add in something different to spice up your typical, crazy, night out on the strip.