Every year, travelers from all over the globe are drawn to the illustrious neon lights of the Las Vegas strip. Many are hoping to win big at the casinos, while others prefer to enjoy the luxury shopping, all-you-can-eat buffets, exclusive night clubs, and elaborate stage shows. With an abundance of options to choose from, it’s easy to see why so few tourists make it off the strip. But Vegas has much more to offer than the activities it’s most known for. Here are five unique attractions that can be found off the strip:
The Saw Escape Room and The Blair Witch Escape Room
Escape rooms can be found in just about every US city, but it should be no surprise that Vegas makes them bigger and better. These two officially licensed escape rooms make guests feel like they’re in the movies, with Hollywood-style set pieces and multiple actors incorporated to guide you, as well as scare you. Both rooms can be found in the same location, which is about a 10-minute drive from the Las Vegas strip. While the Saw escape room is a scarier experience, the Blair Witch room is more challenging as far as puzzles go. The company offers a 40% discount for those brave enough to do both.
Zak Bagan’s The Haunted Museum
Zak Bagan’s The Haunted Museum is a must-see for fans of the macabre. Created by the host of the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures, this museum is housed inside of a nearly 100-year-old mansion that is believed to be haunted. The 11,000-square-foot property now houses a variety of supernatural objects, including the Dybbuk Box, Ted Bundy’s glasses, a haunted doll, part of Ed Gein’s barn, and the stairs from Indiana’s “Demon House”, which was featured in one of Bagan’s past specials. The morbidly curious can book a 2 hour guided tour for $48. The museum also offers an upgraded all-access RIP Tour, as well as late-night flashlight ghost hunting tours.
The newest hotspot in Las Vegas is Area 15, which is located in an industrial strip mall that’s been turned into a center for interactive entertainment. This self-described “portal into otherworldly experiences” brings something truly unique to the scene with its focus on oddities and surrealism. Fans of selfie museums, interactive art installations, and escape rooms won’t want to miss the 15 different attractions housed here. That includes multiple VR experiences, a couple of light and sound shows, a zipline, axe throwing, a barcade, and an observation lounge.
The main attraction at Area 15 is the Omega Mart, created by the New Mexico-based immersive art company Meow Wolf. Omega Mart looks like a regular supermarket at a glance, but upon closer inspection, all the products are bizarre twists on familiar products. After a bit of wandering, shoppers will find hidden passageways into secret rooms and perhaps another dimension.
Lost Spirits Distillery
Nestled within the Area 15 campus is yet another must-see experience, called Lost Spirits Distillery. Unlike Omega Mart, this attraction isn’t exactly family-friendly since most visitors leave a bit tipsy. There are actually three different experiences to be had here. First is a guided tour of the interactive distillery itself, where liquor enthusiasts can see how the rum is made, as well as taste it. Tickets to the distillery tour can also be bundled with access to the show, which is the real gem here. Inside the distillery is a labyrinth of lounges and stages, with different cirque, jazz, and burlesque performances every 15-30 minutes. There’s also a 10-course, booze-infused dinner called 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for those willing to shell out $300 for it. Driving home is not recommended.
The Floor is Lava
One of the most innovative hidden gems in Las Vegas is a real-life game of The Floor is Lava. Fans of the classic kids’ game can take their entire family (between 7 and 22 people) to Lost Games LV and enjoy this hour-long experience. Although Lost Games is mostly known for its escape rooms, this particular game focuses more on social deduction, with each player being assigned a secret role and two teams competing against each other. Whichever team avoids the lava and occupies the most islands at the end of the session wins.
While there’s always something to behold on the strip, there’s much more to Las Vegas than that area. Some of the town’s most innovative and immersive tourist spots can be found in other parts of the city. Adventurous explorers will be rewarded for seeking experiences off the beaten path.