When you visit Las Vegas, there are a lot of attractions you know about before you touch down. Chances are you’re excited about checking out some of the big resorts and their casino floors. You may have a few famous pools or spas in mind, and you’ve probably got a couple of clubs or shows with which to occupy your evenings. This is the nature of Las Vegas: its biggest attractions are extremely well advertised, to the point that they draw tourists from all over the world.
At the same time, however, there’s so much to see and do in this bright, crazy town that you may accidentally overlook a few fun things also. In other words, if you’re only focused on the most publicized things to do, you might miss out on some smaller or less famous activities that are every bit as enjoyable. If the idea of seeing other sides of the city intrigues you, these are some of the more unexpected attractions you can find around the city.
The Velveteen Rabbit
As I alluded to above, popular clubs are among the main attractions of Las Vegas. There are countless venues where flashing lights, pulsing music, and energetic crowds keep at it through the night, and some of them are definitely worth visiting. If you’re more interested in finding cool little places to enjoy drinks with friends, however, you should bear in mind that Vegas also has a lot of great bars. Really, I could choose any number of different places to talk about, but I’m going with the Velveteen Rabbit. Described as having a warm, friendly, and ultra-modern design, it’s just an inviting place with cozy seating, creative cocktails, and DJ activity – not to mention occasional live bands in the courtyard. It’s as unique as you might expect a Vegas bar to be, but not because it resembles the rest of Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon
This is technically outside of Las Vegas, but it’s surprising how often it seems to be neglected in tourism recommendations and travel articles. People do talk about attractions outside of the city, such as the Hoover Dam and even some of the great parks of the Southwest. But Red Rock Canyon, which is very close to the city, escapes mention more frequently. I’d jot it down on your list of places to check out if you ever make it to Vegas. It’s basically a national park full of towering red cliffs; you can almost think of it like the Grand Canyon flipped inside out. And don’t get caught up thinking it’s a full day trip. As Atlas Obscura points out in its own write-up on Red Rock, the canyon is just 15 miles west of the city and is visible from the Las Vegas Strip. It’s right there.
Circus Circus Rides
Circus Circus is a popular Vegas hotel, but it’s generally overshadowed by the larger and more famous resorts. Because of this, a lot of visitors miss out on the fact that Circus Circus has some of the most unique attractions in town. Its “Adventuredome” houses numerous theme park-style rides, there’s a haunted attraction called the “Fright Dome,” and there’s even a gaming theater. It’s a very cool venue, particularly if you’re traveling with family and you’re looking for things to do that don’t involve casinos (though there is a casino on site).
An Undead Survival Experience
Vegas has an odd connection with zombie culture. I mentioned the “Fright Dome” already, but beyond this, people have long associated the undead with this city. There’s a Zombie Apocalypse store in town; some have commented that you’ll run into folks who more or less look like zombies in the wee hours of the morning; and “Lost Vegas” has even become a theme in gaming. An online take on the game featuring zombies around a slot machine reel describes zombies causing havoc in and around Sin City’s most iconic sights. It’s certainly an intriguing thought for those who are into that sort of thing, and now the city’s Undead Survival Experience brings the theme to life. Based on the show Fear The Walking Dead, it’s a blend of ride, video game, and “escape the room,” and it’s a total blast.
Rose. Rabbit. Lie
Sticking with the Rabbit theme, I have to point this out as a unique restaurant you can enjoy in town. As with bars and clubs, a lot of the focus tends to be on gaudier establishments, such as those run by celebrity chefs. But Rose. Rabbit. Lie is a really fun place to grab a bite, mixing entertainment (singers and dancers and such) with great food and an interesting, intimate venue. It’s in the Cosmopolitan resort, and you’re paying for performance as well as food, so it’s not cheap. But if you want to enjoy Vegas in a slightly less traditional fashion, it’s a good place to mark down for a dinner.